Boston Marathon Stories

Our purpose is to gather stories about what makes running Boston such a special experience: race memories written by participants themselves. We hope BostonLog serves as both an archive and an inspiration…

Ode to the 121st Boston Marathon ♥

Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 in 2017, Arizona, Bushouse - Emily, F 30 - 35 | Comments Off on Ode to the 121st Boston Marathon ♥

Ode to the 121st Boston Marathon ♥

Because there’s no way I could describe what it was like to experience Boston, I won’t even try. Instead, I’m just going to say “Thank You.” Thank you to mother nature for providing a day that was, though not ideal for runners, perfect for spectators and volunteers. Thank you to the Boston Police Department for keeping everyone safe. Thank you to Katherine Switzer for blazing the trail, inspiring in women the courage to do what men forbid 50 years ago, and for making it possible for us to stand at the starting line this year,...

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“Just go straight up the stairs to the right.” – Jacquie Lemon (Winters) (April 19, 1982)

Posted by on Apr 12, 2017 in 1982, F 18 - 34, Lemon (Winters) - Jacquie, Texas | Comments Off on “Just go straight up the stairs to the right.” – Jacquie Lemon (Winters) (April 19, 1982)

“Just go straight up the stairs to the right.” – Jacquie Lemon (Winters) (April 19, 1982)

In 1982, I was 25 years old. I qualified for The Boston Marathon at the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December of 1981, with a time of 3:05. (I had run one marathon before White Rock, the New Orleans Marathon, also in 1981.) When I received my results booklet after Dallas (these printed results came via snail mail, weeks after the race), I noticed the Boston Marathon qualifying times for each age group were printed on one of the front pages. I was quite a surprised to flip over to my result and see I had qualified for Boston! I honestly was...

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From Chasing the Family Station Wagon to the Quarter Century Club – Kathy Waldron (April 20, 1992)

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in 1992, F 18 - 34, Waldron - Kathy, Wisconsin | Comments Off on From Chasing the Family Station Wagon to the Quarter Century Club – Kathy Waldron (April 20, 1992)

From Chasing the Family Station Wagon to the Quarter Century Club – Kathy Waldron (April 20, 1992)

My eleven siblings and I were raised on a dairy farm in Reedsville, Wisconsin, by awesome, hard-working parents. Quite often instead of us taking the bus home, our Mom or Pa would pick us up from school in our old Ford station wagon, so we could get milking chores started earlier. In 1964 when I was in kindergarten, the thing I looked forward to the most was having my whole family waiting for me to literally “run” out to the car, and have my Pa yell to me every day “See how fast Kathy can run!” So I would run as fast...

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At Mile 23: “Come on, Stay strong just a little longer.” – Anita Harless (April 15, 2013)

Posted by on Sep 3, 2016 in 2013, F 35 - 39, Harless - Anita, Michigan | Comments Off on At Mile 23: “Come on, Stay strong just a little longer.” – Anita Harless (April 15, 2013)

At Mile 23: “Come on, Stay strong just a little longer.” – Anita Harless (April 15, 2013)

We took the family on a road trip to Boston trying to make running the Marathon into a family vacation. We headed out Friday morning for eight hours of driving towards New York. Just the day before I had run with my son’s cross country team and had tweaked my knee. That was my first distress call. I was quiet at first about sharing it but I knew I needed prayers. As we arrived in the hotel the first night my stomach was not feeling settled. Again I tried to keep it silent. That evening I woke up several times with a fierce case of the...

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Running as the Bona Fide #14285 – Kara Bonneau (April 21, 2014)

Posted by on Aug 20, 2016 in 2014, Bonneau - Kara, F 18 - 34, North Carolina | Comments Off on Running as the Bona Fide #14285 – Kara Bonneau (April 21, 2014)

Running as the Bona Fide #14285 – Kara Bonneau (April 21, 2014)

Though the 2014 Boston was not my “A” race of spring and I hadn’t been training specifically for a marathon, I’d been excited about it for weeks… First, it’s the Boston Marathon! Second, I had really strong feelings about running after being there and seeing the tragedy unfold the year before. And third, I would be running with an amazing group of Bull City Track Club friends, with my dad and my husband there to cheer me on. We traveled up to Boston on Saturday morning, checked into our hotel, and headed...

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Boston makes you stand taller, breath deeper, and run faster – Hannah Horigan (April 21, 2014)

Posted by on Aug 18, 2016 in 2014, F 18 - 34, Horigan - Hannah, Wyoming | Comments Off on Boston makes you stand taller, breath deeper, and run faster – Hannah Horigan (April 21, 2014)

Boston makes you stand taller, breath deeper, and run faster – Hannah Horigan (April 21, 2014)

Running the Boston Marathon was an incredible experience. Being part of a 118-year old tradition was both amazing and emotional. I qualified for the Boston Marathon in Paris in April 2013, a week before the bombings happened in Boston. I was still determined to be a participant in 2014. I arrived in Boston on the Saturday before the race, and I will say the city was alive and ready to take on the 37,000+ runners. I had been unsure about how I felt up to that point, but after being surrounded by all the positive energy on the streets, I began...

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“Not just anyone can run in the Boston Marathon.” (signed) Mom & Dad – Deborah Casola (April 20, 1998)

Posted by on Jul 16, 2016 in 1998, Casola - Debbie, F 40 - 44, Virginia | Comments Off on “Not just anyone can run in the Boston Marathon.” (signed) Mom & Dad – Deborah Casola (April 20, 1998)

“Not just anyone can run in the Boston Marathon.” (signed) Mom & Dad – Deborah Casola (April 20, 1998)

What happens on the third Monday in April in Boston? Ask a Bostonian and they’ll say it’s Patriot’s Day. Ask any runner and they’ll tell you it’s the day of the Boston Marathon, the granddaddy of all marathons. One day in 1997 while on a run, my friend Miles and I were talking about Boston – he’d run it a few times. I told him since Bill worked at Digital, one of the race sponsors, I could run with one of their corporate bibs. I hit a nerve… A nerve I later completely understood. Miles said I should only run Boston if I earned...

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The Happy Swallow – Jim “Typhoon” Tucker (April 17, 2006)

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in 2006, M 50 - 54, Ohio, Tucker - Jim "Typhoon" | Comments Off on The Happy Swallow – Jim “Typhoon” Tucker (April 17, 2006)

The Happy Swallow – Jim “Typhoon” Tucker (April 17, 2006)

It all started several years earlier when I read an article in one of the Boston newspapers about how patrons of The Happy Swallow bar in Framingham would cheer wildly for the first marathon runner to come off the course near Mile 7 and enter the bar. Then the owner would give that runner a free beer as a reward. I said to myself: I want to be that runner on Monday! I had a low corral seeding, which put me near the front of the field but realistically marathon PRs were a thing of the past. So I decided I would essentially race as hard as I...

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Twelve years earlier, Heartbreak Hill seemed like nothing; this time around, it kicked my butt! – Debbie Casola (April 19, 2010)

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in 2010, Casola - Debbie, F 50 - 54, Virginia | Comments Off on Twelve years earlier, Heartbreak Hill seemed like nothing; this time around, it kicked my butt! – Debbie Casola (April 19, 2010)

Twelve years earlier, Heartbreak Hill seemed like nothing; this time around, it kicked my butt! – Debbie Casola (April 19, 2010)

Our Cruiser running group enjoyed a fun weekend filled with attending the huge Boston Marathon expo and packet pick-up, the guys’ 5K on Sunday morning, and our pre-race dinner on Sunday night. After dinner, we got back to our hotel, and before heading to bed, I tied my chip to my shoe, and set out my clothes, bib, banana, water, etc. for race morning. The only thing left to do was run the marathon on Patriots’ Day! Monday morning, I woke up easily to a beautiful sunny day and my entourage escorted me to the bus pick-up area. The lines...

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(As my dad’s favorite Disney Character Buzz Lightyear always says) “To Infinity & Beyond!” – Andrea Lammers-Pottage (April 18, 2016)

Posted by on Jul 12, 2016 in 2016, Canada, F 18 - 34, Lammers-Pottage - Andrea | Comments Off on (As my dad’s favorite Disney Character Buzz Lightyear always says) “To Infinity & Beyond!” – Andrea Lammers-Pottage (April 18, 2016)

(As my dad’s favorite Disney Character Buzz Lightyear always says) “To Infinity & Beyond!” – Andrea Lammers-Pottage (April 18, 2016)

I’ve participated in track & field since middle school (1998-1999), ran varsity track during high school (2000-2003), started running half marathons at college in 2004, and full marathons since 2005. When I moved to Canada in 2008, I ran my worst full marathon the following spring. I stopped running full marathons for a few years and focused on half marathons. I changed my training. I registered for more races. I went crazy and signed up for the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge to run in memory of my dad. And my times started getting...

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Two Bostons with Weather Extremes – Pella Roustemis (2015 and 2016)

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in 2015, Canada, F 40 - 44, Roustemis - Pella | Comments Off on Two Bostons with Weather Extremes – Pella Roustemis (2015 and 2016)

Two Bostons with Weather Extremes – Pella Roustemis (2015 and 2016)

I ran my first marathon in October 2013 at the Detroit Free Press marathon. First of all, I couldn’t believe I was going to complete a marathon. It seemed so recently when running just one mile seemed like an eternity. I really didn’t have a particular goal except to finish. I thought it would be great if I could get a sub four hour marathon for my first. Guess what? I did! 3:58-ish. After that, I was hooked! A friend of mine said it would be easy to shave off 15 or so minutes to qualify for Boston. What?!? Really? No...

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“It’s for Pop” – Kathy Yeager (April 18, 2016)

Posted by on Jul 6, 2016 in 2016, F 50 - 54, Indiana, Yeager - Kathy | Comments Off on “It’s for Pop” – Kathy Yeager (April 18, 2016)

“It’s for Pop” – Kathy Yeager (April 18, 2016)

I had only been running for a couple of months when I promised my dad I would try and qualify for Boston. Here is how Ryan O’Leary, Sports Reporter for the Columbus Republic chronicled my story on the eve of the race where I kept that promise: Sometime this week, Kathy Yeager will stop by Garland Brook Cemetery to visit her father, just as she has pretty regularly since he passed away three years ago. She will show him her finisher’s medal from the 120th Boston Marathon and smile through the tears, knowing that Prentice Neal would be...

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#1993 in 1993: Making your will exceed your skill – Ben Witherington (April 19, 1993)

Posted by on Jul 5, 2016 in 1993, M 40 - 44, Ohio, Witherington - Ben | Comments Off on #1993 in 1993: Making your will exceed your skill – Ben Witherington (April 19, 1993)

#1993 in 1993: Making your will exceed your skill – Ben Witherington (April 19, 1993)

Ah, Boston on Patriot’s Day… You can see most anything, like that man on stilts I caught on camera next to Fenway. The morning begins with the Marathon way out of town, even beyond Ashland, and certainly a long way from the Prudential Center. And then at 11:00am there is the annual Patriot’s Day game— only the Patriots aren’t playing. It’s April, so it’s the Red Sox playing at Fenway. And sometimes you even have the B’s (Bruins) and C’s (Celtics) playing on the same day. It’s a grand affair all around. There are many...

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A Year Like No Other – Kevin FitzGerald (April 21, 2014)

Posted by on Jul 2, 2016 in 2014, FitzGerald - Kevin, M 55 - 59, North Carolina | Comments Off on A Year Like No Other – Kevin FitzGerald (April 21, 2014)

A Year Like No Other – Kevin FitzGerald (April 21, 2014)

As I rode the bus from the Boston Common out the starting line for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon on the third Monday in April 2014, I thought how this journey had actually begun a full eight years earlier. I ran my first Boston Marathon in 2007, having qualified the prior May in my first marathon ever, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The 2007 Boston Marathon was the year of the epic Nor’easter, whose conditions were so severe the BAA actually considered cancelling the event for the first time in the race’s 111-year...

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Since Boston doesn’t have pacers, at least I didn’t have to watch each successive pace group pass me – Mike Sohaskey (April 18, 2016)

Posted by on Jul 1, 2016 in 2016, California, M 45 - 49, Sohaskey - Mike | Comments Off on Since Boston doesn’t have pacers, at least I didn’t have to watch each successive pace group pass me – Mike Sohaskey (April 18, 2016)

Since Boston doesn’t have pacers, at least I didn’t have to watch each successive pace group pass me – Mike Sohaskey (April 18, 2016)

The “Marathon” race from Ashland to this city, held under the auspices of the Boston athletic association yesterday… proved a great success and is an assurance of an annual fixture of the same kind. – The Boston Globe, 20 April 1897 I’d made it to Mecca. Not the Holy Land to which devout Muslims make their annual pilgrimage, but the one to which devout runners make theirs. I’d made it to Boston. Ok, so technically that wasn’t true — not yet. As Katie’s childhood buddy Paul and I meandered through the Athletes’ Village...

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Back to Boston: My breakfast becomes a DNF – Dave Parsons (April 18, 2016)

Posted by on Jun 26, 2016 in 2016, M 40 - 44, Ohio, Parsons - Dave | Comments Off on Back to Boston: My breakfast becomes a DNF – Dave Parsons (April 18, 2016)

Back to Boston: My breakfast becomes a DNF – Dave Parsons (April 18, 2016)

I am extremely grateful I had the opportunity to take part in the Boston Marathon for the second straight year. In 2015, I posted a 3:44:27 at less than 100 percent. Fortunately, I still had a qualifying time to get me in for this year. Despite breaking my foot in August, I patiently worked my way back to at least close to my best shape yet. I had a big confidence booster in February with a half marathon PR, and I was able to get lots of training on rolling terrain due to traveling to Nashville a lot for work. I went into this year’s Boston...

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26.2 mile of kissing the earth with my feet: The Hula Man does Boston – Chris Davis (April 17, 2000)

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in 2000, Arizona, Davis - Chris, M 45 - 49 | Comments Off on 26.2 mile of kissing the earth with my feet: The Hula Man does Boston – Chris Davis (April 17, 2000)

26.2 mile of kissing the earth with my feet: The Hula Man does Boston – Chris Davis (April 17, 2000)

There were so many memorable moments about my running of the 104th Boston Marathon I could write an entire volume. Boston is one of the best cities in the US and we loved it. We arrived at our Bed and Breakfast five blocks from the finish line late Thursday and spent the night resting. When we went out to do some site seeing on Friday, it was very evident there was a going to be a major marathon going on soon. There were lots of marathon jackets, and they were the best looking I have seen: a blue and yellow nylon jacket with a flap in the back...

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“Try hard — try harder!” – Kenneth Posner (April 18, 2016)

Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in 2016, M 50 - 54, New York, Posner - Kenneth | Comments Off on “Try hard — try harder!” – Kenneth Posner (April 18, 2016)

“Try hard — try harder!” – Kenneth Posner (April 18, 2016)

On Friday April 15, 2016, I was on the train to Boston to attend a conference on Native American Running presented by Harvard’s Peabody Museum in collaboration with the Boston Athletic Association and other sponsors. This topic has interested me since reading a book by Peter Nabokov which described how Indians ran to communicate, fight, and hunt, as well as interact with spiritual forces. I thought the Indians’ experiences might contain clues to human potential which have been forgotten in today’s technology-obsessed world. I’m glad I...

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A Brief Detour to Cot #12- Elizabeth Clor (April 18, 2016)

Posted by on Jun 20, 2016 in 2016, Clor - Elizabeth, F 35 - 39, Virginia | Comments Off on A Brief Detour to Cot #12- Elizabeth Clor (April 18, 2016)

A Brief Detour to Cot #12- Elizabeth Clor (April 18, 2016)

In 2007, I wrote a post in my Myspace blog in which I discussed the differences among plans, goals, dreams, and fantasies. Qualifying for the Boston Marathon fell into the “dreams” category at that point. My marathon times were nowhere near fast enough for Boston to seem feasible, but I thought if I continued to progress, I might get there eventually. I initially approached qualifying for the Boston Marathon as someone who enjoyed the personal satisfaction of running marathons and wanted to get to the next level.  But at some point,...

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I got a bit emotional as I realized these people didn’t know me, but were cheering for me anyway. – Renee Neufeld (April 19, 2010)

Posted by on Jun 18, 2016 in 2010, F 18 - 34, Neufeld - Renee, South Dakota | Comments Off on I got a bit emotional as I realized these people didn’t know me, but were cheering for me anyway. – Renee Neufeld (April 19, 2010)

I got a bit emotional as I realized these people didn’t know me, but were cheering for me anyway. – Renee Neufeld (April 19, 2010)

My first attempt to train and qualify for Boston came in 2004 with the Chicago Marathon. I was training really well, and then while playing a large group game at camp, I did an unintentional back flip. Afterwards my knee wasn’t the same, but I decided to run the marathon anyway. I came so close to qualifying, but I forgot to figure in the final 2/10 mile. I finished with a 3:41:22, 23 seconds short of qualifying. I decided it was God’s way of telling me I should get my knee checked out. The resulting appointment led me to knee surgery for...

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