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 faster. However, I was unsuccessful at qualifying for Boston, trying twice in 2014. I trained during winter and spring of 2015, and then qualified for Boston that May.
Now I had made it to the 2016 Boston Marathon. To say a lot had gone in to being there is an understatement. A huge understatement. Making it to this race was definitely the biggest achievement in my “running career,” but it also will rank up there as one of the biggest moments of my life.
I could go in detail about every moment of this day, from waking up, to loading the busses down in Boston Common, driving to Hopkinton, Athletes’ Village, walking to the corrals, realizing I should have worn sunscreen, running a bit ambitious for the first seven miles, then deciding to just slow down and enjoy it… to realizing there really are people AT EVER MILE on the course, not just every mile, but every moment!… to then deciding to start giving high-fives to every little kid I could, dumping water over my head every water station due to the heat, and giving high-fives to drunk college kids at Boston College… to finding my husband, mom and her friend at Mile 24 in Brookline and stopping for a kiss, hug and a hello… and then going on to finish the 120th Boston Marathon.
Was this my fastest marathon to date? No, but my 3:35.01 happens to be my second fastest. Was I mad about my time? Hell no. I just had run my dream race, and had a damn good time during it. Will I come back to Boston to run again? Hopefully in the future I am able to qualify and do it again. Was it everything I hoped it would be and more? I can’t even begin to describe that…
Andrea tells the complete story of her Boston weekend in four parts on her blog “Je Me Souviens – To Infinity & Beyond!” which begins here.