The Boston Marathon course runs through everything that is special to me in Boston. It runs through Natick, where my mom’s parents live. Next, it runs through Wellesley where my dad’s parents live and where both of my parents grew up. In Newton it runs through the rowdy stretch of Commonwealth Avenue that is Boston College, my dream college-turned-alma mater. And finally, the course winds right into Copley Square, the center of my favorite city. My dad, aunt and I all ran our first marathon at Boston in 2011 and our entire extended family rallied behind us as we trained through that snowy winter. My cousin Jeff had tragically passed away at age 19 from a brain injury nearly a year to the day earlier, and my dad and aunt ran for Team Spaulding, where Jeff was treated. The cause was deeply personal for my family and added yet another layer of significance to the day.
April 18, 2011 was absolutely beautiful. Dubbed “once in a lifetime” conditions, there was a steady tailwind, overcast skies and cool temperatures. I sat with college friends in Athlete’s Village nervously waiting and people watching before finding my dad at the start. We ran all 26.2 miles together, a truly special father-daughter experience. We gave little kids high-fives, enjoyed the bands, laughed at the signs, kept tabs on the Sox game (thanks to those people who held up signs with real-time scores- only in Boston!).
My brother secretly came from college to cheer us on and I found out by seeing him on the side of the road at Newton-Wellesley! We hugged the Wellesley girls, embraced our family members in Natick and Wellesley, ran shoulder-to-shoulder, grimacing and muttering up those Newton hills and laughed with joy and likely delirium at Boston College with my (rather inebriated) college friends. We embraced in Copley Square, wrapped in silver blankets, blaming our tears on the wind. I plan to run more marathons, but I don’t think any race will ever top that day. April 18, 2011 was one of the best days of my life.
While I’ve been active my whole life, always playing on sports teams or running, the experience of running my first marathon was what really gave me the fitness bug, if you will. I love the thrill of having a goal set- it’s what gets me out of bed every morning to get out there and run! I strongly believe that cross-training makes for a better runner, so I frequently take spin classes, and have recently taken up barre as well. Nothing makes me happier than a good sweat, and I would love to make a career in fitness.
I would encourage anyone out there who has a strong desire to accomplish something good for you mentally and physically to go for it! Having said that, right now I’m living in New York City and only 24! So I am running the island, taking every class I can, meeting new friends and enjoying all this amazing city has to offer. I am currently training to run the 2014 Boston Marathon- after experiencing the events of last year (that’s a story for a whole different post!), I can’t think of any better way to celebrate the resilience of my favorite city (sorry NYC, but it will always be Boston!) than to run 26.2 Boston Strong miles.
Fitmark Ambassador 2014