My first Boston was in 2009. As I started prepping for the race, I went out a couple of times to learn the course. I was blown away by the support I received from the Boston Marathoner organizers. I instantly fell in love with the course, especially the part of the Newton Hills. I loved the neighborhoods, which reminded me a lot of my hometown of Duluth, Minnesota, and thrived on the community support of the race.
Although I fell in love with Boston, 2009 was a tough year for me. I thought I had a chance to win the race and made an error in doubting myself. I pushed with 6 miles to go, but then doubt kicked in. Looking back, I wish that I had continued pushing; I should have trusted my gut.
I finished in 3rd and was so disappointed. But I realized later that the city celebrated me just landing on the podium. I also really learned what a challenging course Boston is. There aren’t many turns, but the course is constantly changing, and you must be in tune with yourself.
Splits will not always work the way you want them to. However, the big lesson I learned in 2009 was that I needed to trust myself when I was out there. Another big takeaway was just how much the Boston running community lifted me and appreciated my performance.
My favorite moment [of my first Boston] would have been leading the final 6 miles until about 1/2 mile to go, feeling the excitement radiating off the crowds, feeling their energy and taking it in. It was really magical to feel such support from the crowds lining the way.
I went back to Boston in 2011, less than 7 months after
giving birth to my son. It felt like it was a big moment for women with
children; that you could come back and love and compete in the sport while
being a mother. I wasn’t quite as fit as I’d hoped I’d be, but I rode the
excitement of the crowds and the toughness of my competitors to a personal
My little chunky baby waited for me at the finish line with
my husband. Although I finished 5th and off the podium, I felt like I had
really shown that you aren’t dead after giving birth! That you can come back
and be one of the best in the world. The appreciation I felt from the running community
that day— but especially from other women— was so touching.
It really pushed me along the course and helped me see that
winning isn’t always the most important thing. I had shared my personal journey
back to racing with the fans and community and connected with so many people.
It really connected me to the running community in a way I had never been
My favorite memory [from my second Boston] would have been seeing Adam (my
husband) holding Colt (my son) at the finish line. Picking him up and realizing
that my life was so much more than running and knowing I had shown moms
everywhere that they should keep chasing their dreams.