Tuesday, April 26

2011 Boston Marathon Journey: What is a Winner?

Ultimate Bootcamp Trainer Meghan candidly re-caps her first Boston Marathon experience.

The Boston Marathon is the oldest and most well known marathon throughout the world. Being from the Boston area, I had to run it. There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

I ran my first marathon with the goal of qualifying for Boston in 2011.  I did so by the skin of my teeth - crossing the finish line with 30 seconds to spare. I woke up extra early the next morning, unable to sleep; it was registration day for the Boston Marathon. I dragged my sore body downstairs and logged online. Again, I got lucky and got a number for the 2011 Boston Marathon.

Fast-forward to April 18, 2011, I woke up with my goal time set in mind, 3 hours and 30 minutes, laced up my sneakers and began the journey to Hopkinton. I was focused, ready to compete with my mind, my body, and the clock.

I began running at my goal pace, and kept it up for the first 9 miles. Then, I started to slip. My legs suddenly felt as if weights had been tied to my ankles. My goal of running Boston faster than my first marathon quickly faded as a crossed the halfway mark. This is when a surprising thing happened.

Though I logged countless miles training in the cold weather, strengthened my legs to prepare for the hills to achieve my goal and even had to jump into a snow bank to avoid being hit by a car during a training run, I was not disappointed with my performance. I looked up and was surrounded by people. Runners, just like me, trying to do their best, pulling one leg in front of another tirelessly. I looked left and right, the streets lined with children, parents, and college students, screaming their lungs off like it was Super Bowl Sunday.

It was the most chaotic scene I have ever experienced, but I was at peace. There is something inspiring and magical about 30,000 people who all have the same goal at the same time- reach Boylston Street and cross that finish line. The spectators never lulled and made each runner feel like they were the winner of the marathon. I realized, despite missing my goal, I was a winner.

It takes courage and determination to reach your goals, but it also takes a little bit of luck. April 18th was not the day I would run a 3:30 marathon. I did not even come close, but I was a winner. I had the courage to start, to make that goal, to tell everyone I knew about that goal, and admit I had failed. However, the next thing I tell people is that I have not given up, I will reach that goal, there is always next time.

Whatever your goal may be, embrace it. You may fail once, twice, a dozen times, but if you never give yourself the chance to fail, you will never succeed.

Having always enjoyed fitness, sports, and injury prevention Meghan McClorey studied Sports Medicine at Merrimack College. She has since graduated and is a ACSM certified personal trainer.

1 comment:

  1. I think you will find that there at least two older marathons ...
    .. the one in the 1896 Summer Olympics, and of course the original run from Maraton to Athens in 490BC

    Boston has the oldest annual marathon competition