Mt. Pleasant residents to take part in Boston Marathon
It's still 26.2 miles, winding through the streets of Boston. It is still an honor to qualify for the race, to run that course — but this year, reaching the finish line of the world’s oldest annual marathon will mean so much more for many.
Last year, two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured hundreds. This year, the 118th year of the famous race, will have more people than last year's event — many of them running for those who aren’t there.
Two runners from Mt. Pleasant are among the 36,000 Boston Marathon participants who will race on Monday, and both are aware that this year’s race will be different.
This year, there are more runners participating than in the past, but it was still more difficult to qualify — there were more runners meeting the mark and interested in competing. Even with a bigger field, some runners were turned away.
“The 2014 field was increased by 9,000 runners,” notes the website of the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the marathon. “This represents a significant increase, as our field size limit has been 27,000 in recent years. Knowing the increased demand we would experience to run in the 2014 race, we wanted to accommodate additional participants, bringing the total field size to 36,000.
“This change was part of our response to the acts that took place in April. Our city, our state, our nation and our sport are uniting to show that we don’t give in to such things and that we honor those who were most affected by it.”
The increase helped to accommodate a large group of special runners (last year’s runners who did not finish), and also allowed marathoners who had qualifying times to participate in large numbers, in order to honor those most affected by what occurred in April 2013.
The event begins at 8:50 a.m. on Monday, April 21 — Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts— and the first wave of runners start around 10 a.m.
Results of the race will be posted on the Boston Athletic Association website at www.baa.org.
The race will be broadcast live on television nationally on Universal Sports Network. It will also be streamed live online at http://watchlive.baa.org/.
Below, read more about the Mt. Pleasant runners who will make the trip to Boston.
Second Boston Marathon (first was in 2008)
Number of marathons run: about 20
First marathon: San Francisco, 2005
Qualifying marathon: Med City Marathon in Rochester (Minn.), May 2013
Qualifying time: 3:09:31
Talk about your training around town: I've done long runs every Saturday, all outside. I do a loop around the north side of town, past the country club and sometimes all the way to the Skunk River. I run around East Lake a lot, too.
What is your goal for Boston? As far as a time goal, I'd like to re-qualify. But any finish is a good finish. It's been a long, hard winter — I'm ready to run and not be cold.
What are you looking forward to most about the experience? It's going to be a thrill being there again — it's big just to qualify. My running had slowed, and I just wanted to go back.
What will be different this year? Security will be tighter, and there will be a lot of media attention. I think it will also be very emotional. We can show that we’re not scared.
First Boston Marathon
Number of marathons run: 6
First marathon: Fargo, May 2011
Qualifying marathon: Des Moines, October 2012.
Qualifying time: 3:51:04
Talk about your training around town: It's been a challenge. I don't mind the cold, but the ice has been difficult, and finding roads that are clear. I did a lot of training on a treadmill. My longest indoor run was 14 miles, on the treadmill and the track. The others have been outside. I really like to go out around East Lake and on the bike trail system by the high school.
What is your goal for Boston? You always want to do well, because you trained so hard. But with Boston, it will be so emotional. My goal there will be to complete the race, to be a part of a group of people that is stepping up to support others who can't be there.
What are you looking forward to most about the experience? It's the biggest race I've ever taken part in — that itself is exciting, a new experience. Also, I don't know if I can say I'm looking forward to it, but being a part of history is special. I'll be part of a huge group — not only runners, but throughout the nation — saying that we won't be pushed down, we won't be stopped.
What do you expect will be the impact of this race — on yourself and others? For me, the thing about running a marathon is that is takes a lot of perseverance, a lot of commitment. With 36,000 runners ... this event showcases that level of commitment. But this year, it's also about a lot of people standing up for something bigger than them, and I'm honored to be a part of that. I get choked up thinking about it sometimes.