I’m Running the Boston Marathon…

Well, as you may or may not already know,  I will be running the Boston Marathon for my first time on Monday!!  I could not be any more excited…or nervous!  I thought I would share with everyone a bit about Boston and how I got here!

Quick History of the Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon.  The date of the first Boston Marathon was April 19, 1897.  The course was originally 24.5 miles, measured from Ashland to Boston.  The first ever winner of the Boston Marathon was John J. McDermott who ran the course in 2:55:10.  There were only a total of 15 runners!

John J. McDermott--1st Boston Marathon Champion

In 1924, the start of the Boston Marathon was moved from Ashland to Hopkinton.  In 1927, the course was lengthened to the full 26.2 miles.

The Boston Marathon is always ran on or just about on Patriot’s Day.  From 1897-1968, the Boston Marathon was held on Patriot’s Day (April 19th).  However, when the 19th fell on a Sunday, the race was ran the following day on Monday the 20th.  Since 1969, the holiday was officially moved to the third Monday in April.

Another interesting fact about Boston is that women weren’t always permitted to run Boston.  In fact, Roberta Gibb was the first woman to run the full Boston Marathon in 1966.  She ran Boston unofficially without being issued a bib number.  In 1967, Katherine Switzer was the first female who ran Boston officially with a bib number (she did not identify herself as a female on the race application).  Women were permitted entry into the Boston Marathon in 1972.  That year 8 women entered and all 8 of them finished.  Nina Kuscsik was the first woman to finish the  Boston Marathon that year.

…So, what’s it take to run the Boston Marathon?

Unless you are running for a charity, there are certain qualifications that a runner must meet in order to run the Boston Marathon.  To qualify, a runner must complete a certified marathon within around a year and a half before  the Boston Marathon.  Additionally, the runner must meet the time qualification standards based on gender and age:

18-34 3hrs 10min 3hrs 40min
35-39 3hrs 15min 3hrs 45min
40-44 3hrs 20min 3hrs 50min
45-49 3hrs 30min 4hrs 00min
50-54 3hrs 35min 4hrs 05min
55-59 3hrs 45min 4hrs 15min
60-64 4hrs 00min 4hrs 30min
65-69 4hrs 15min 4hrs 45min
70-74 4hrs 30min 5hrs 00min
75-79 4hrs 45min 5hrs 15min
80 and over 5hrs 00min 5hrs 30min

My journey to the Boston Marathon…

In the Fall of 2008, I ran my first marathon, the Philadelphia Marathon.  I had no idea what to expect and I was fairly new to running.  I trained using Hal Higdon’s 18 week Novice I Plan.  This plan required zero speed work and I did zero speed work.  Somehow on that day in November, I ran my first marathon in 3:33:43.  I finished that race feeling so good.  I definitely had gas left and it was evident when I ran my last mile at a 7:20 pace!  So my journey to the Boston Marathon was short.  I qualified in my first ever attempt at running a marathon.  I chose to wait until the following year (this year, 2010) to run Boston.  In the meantime, I ran Philly again…this time finishing in 3:44…went out way to fast and hit the wall early in the race.  Not quite the time I was hoping for but that is okay.  I don’t think I’ll ever be quite as fast as I was in 2008.

Fall 2008 after qualifying for the Boston Marathon!

I feel prepared to run Boston.  I’m just incredibly nervous.  I’m not quite sure what pace to run and time is running out to decide!  As this is my first time running Boston, I am completely unfamiliar with the course.  I read about the course but still I have never ran it.  I’m not looking to PR in Boston; rather, I am looking to have an awesome race.  I want to finish feeling happy, accomplished, and proud.  I want to push myself to my limit without pushing too hard.  If I could re-qualify for Boston again, that would be even better.  The weather will also be a factor as I hear there is a slight possibility for rain.  However, that is out of my control so I will just have to deal!  A few rain drops never hurt!

I will return with a full recap with my trip to Boston.  Meanwhile, you can sign up to receive updates of my progress throughout the marathon:

In case you want to track me while I am running, my bib # is 13772.  So, here is how you do it:

  • TEXT – Simply text the word RUNNER to 31901. You will then receive an sms text response with instructions on how to submit a runner’s bib number.
  • Click Here to sign up to receive updates by email or cell phone.

If you sign up, you can get updates on my time at the 10k, 30k, Half Marathon, & Final!

Early Saturday morning, Todd & I are off to Boston.  I’m actually staying outside of Boston close to the start of the race.  But we are going to spend a good amount of time in Boston at the expo and stuff.  Now I have to make sure I remember to pack everything.  This is the first race I ever had to travel for!  I have to be prepared for the rain as well!

If anyone has any last minute tips for me about anything, I’d love to hear.

Have you ever had to travel far for a race?


11 responses to “I’m Running the Boston Marathon…

  1. Good luck, Mary!!! So exciting– you’re going to do awesome!

  2. Good luck!! My RB tells me that Boston is the absolute funnest, most awesomest marathon to run EVER, and she has run several. You will have a fantastic time.

  3. good luck!!! i’ll be rooting for you!

  4. good luck! any chance we can meet up at some point over the weekend or at the athlete’s village? i can send you my number to plan something via text 🙂

  5. great post….good luck mary!!!! i am going to sign up for the texting thing now!

  6. Hey there – got your comment so thanks! Maybe I’ll see you in Corral 13 but if not GOOD LUCK and have a blast. I have no idea what I’m doing but think it’ll be fun. Can’t wait to hear your race report afterwards.


  7. Good luck!! I’ll be there looking for you and cheering you on!!

  8. yaya mary!!! cant wait to hear how it goes! good luck and have fun!

  9. Good luck, good luck, GOOD LUCK!! Can’t wait to read your recap.

  10. I heard you ROCKED it! Congrats!

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