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Boston Marathon 2017

When I started running, my original goal was to run a 5k. After completing it, my goals escalated. Run a half marathon. Run a marathon. And once I was running marathons, I wanted to run different courses, and I began to start on the World Marathon Majors. The biggest marathon (not by number of runners) – and hardest to get into – is the Boston Marathon. On April 17, I set out to run through Massachusetts on my fifth marathon major.

While the race is called the Boston Marathon, it is actually a 26.2 mile run from Hopkinton to Boston across the state. Early Monday morning on Patriot’s Day, I boarded a bus from Boston to Hopkinton to the Athelete’s Village to prepare to run the distance. The sun was bright overhead as my start time drew closer, which had me hoping the predicted clouds would come in soon.

Usually when I write about my races, I break down the course, but there were very few actual turns in the course. The first 16 miles of the race are on Route 16 and run through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, and Wellesley. While people had told me that the first 16 miles were downhill, they were more hilly than I expected. It didn’t help that the first six miles were hot and sunny, throwing off my race plan. Regardless, I pushed through and made it to the hills at mile 16.

Starting at mile 16, the larger hills begin. Pushing up each hill then getting to take each downhill in succession was tough, but eventually I made it to Heartbreak Hill. At mile 20, the largest hill of the marathon runs for almost a mile uphill, but the people cheering at the top as I crested the hill made it worth it. I knew from there it was all downhill for 5 miles. It felt amazing to let the course carry me. As I reached the final flat two miles, I felt amazing as the finish line grew closer. Turning right and then left onto Boylston Street, the finish line was in sight and it was amazing to cross it and complete my fifth marathon major and tenth marathon overall.

While I didn’t run the race I wanted to, I was able to run a fairly solid race at a slower pace than I planned. I completed the Boston Marathon in 5:08:51 and can now say I am a unicorn. Now I just need to run London in 2018 to complete the marathon majors and become a six star runner.

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