“Boston is the ‘big dance’ of marathons. It’s a fast-paced party of 30,000 like-minded people. To enter, you have to meet the qualifying standard in another marathon within 19 months of the Boston Marathon. The number of entries is capped, so even meeting the qualifying time isn’t a guarantee that you can compete. All of that makes it a special race.” — David Anderson, Paul G. Blazer Professor of Economics and veteran Boston Marathoner
Four people from the Centre College community share their stories as they head-off to run in the Boston Marathon, the oldest and best-known marathon in the world, on April 17, 2017. Their stories are unique, but their goals are not.
David Anderson, Paul G. Blazer Professor of Economics
“I ran it in 2000 and again in 2015 when I got injured with a few miles to go and had to limp in. Hopefully I’ll have better luck this time. I feel ready for a fast run, but there’s a lot that can go wrong in a marathon, so it’s satisfying just to finish. If all goes well this will be my 60th marathon.
“The training involves extending my long runs up to 22 miles, increasing my weekly mileage up to 60 miles per week, and increasing the length of my speed workouts. Joe Pawlish (see his story below) and I ran our 22 miler together, which made it faster and more fun. We are rooming together the night before and flying back together. During the race we’ll be on our own — racing strategies are very individualistic.”
“My son is a sophomore at Williams College in Massachusetts. He has a track meet on Saturday that I’ll attend, and then he’ll come to Boston to watch the race. The fastest U.S. marathoners will be there, including six Olympians, so it should be a great race to watch.”
Last year, Anderson reached a goal of completing a marathon in all 50 states.
Chloe Grove ’20, Centre student and member of the swimming and diving team
“This is my first Boston Marathon and will be only my second marathon. My first and qualifying run was the Columbus (Ohio) marathon.
“I decided I wanted to try for Boston a few weeks before my first marathon because I realized that, according to my pace in training, I would be close to making the cut. After achieving the cut-time, I knew I wanted to run it just because it is such a great opportunity.
“I am following a similar training program as I did for my first marathon, although my runs now include more hills. I just try to make sure to cover some of the larger hills during my long runs. I have had a little less time to train, since Boston is in the spring, and I could not start training significantly for it until Centre’s swim season ended in February. But swimming has helped my endurance so I think the condensed training plan will work out.”
“My mom will be traveling with me. I’m looking forward to being able to spend some time beforehand exploring Boston with her.”
Joe Pawlish, husband of Assistant Professor of Classics Danielle La Londe
“This is my first Boston Marathon. I really injured my back last year a couple of days after running The Derby Marathon in Louisville. I was very discouraged for a while, so I decided to enter Boston so I would have something to train for and help with my rehab. I’m not 100% healed, but I’m getting better.”
Beth Morgan ’01, technical services, Grace Doherty Library
“This will be my first time running Boston, but the second time I’ve qualified. I qualified for Boston 2016 as well, but missed the cut-off by 48 seconds. Simply meeting your qualifying time is not enough, you have to come in a few minutes under these days to actually get in.
“The second marathon I ran in the spring of 2014 was a sub-4:00:00, and I ran that marathon with no structured or formal training. That was when I began to wonder how much faster I could go if I actually followed a training plan and incorporated real workouts into my training schedule. Prior to that, I never dreamed I would ever be fast enough to qualify for Boston, but the seed was planted.
“I began doing research on the Boston Marathon and was so inspired by all the runners — elite and non-elite alike — who had made the storied run from Hopkinton to Boylston Street. I was very intimidated by the time I would have to run to get in, but I love running, I love pushing myself, and I made it my mission to train hard enough to get to there.
“The biggest delight of this training cycle has been the opportunity to train with my friend Keith Stillwell, who is also running Boston this year. My past two training cycles have been solo, but this time around I had Keith’s company for nearly every run, and it’s been so great. Joe and David are in Wave 1, Chloe is in Wave 2, Keith and I are in Wave 3.”
“My husband, two kids, both parents-in-law and Centre College roommate are all coming with me so we’ll be doing a fair amount of sightseeing and such while we are there. Overall, I would just say that I am so excited to finally see my ‘unicorn dream’ come true. It’s an accomplishment I will hold dear.
“Also, a few things that will make this year’s Boston especially significant for me:
First, it’s the 50th anniversary of the first running of the Boston Marathon by a woman, Kathrine Switzer, with an official bib. As a woman, this is especially meaningful to me. I am eternally grateful to pioneers like Kathrine and Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, who blazed a trail for me! I love that the marathon affords me the opportunity to show my own daughter, and my son, too, of course, that if you believe you can, and you put in the hard work, then you can do hard things no matter what the rest of the world says.
Second, my absolute favorite runner, Meb Keflezighi, is running Boston this year. It’ll be his last Boston Marathon, and second-to-last race before he retires. The fact that I will literally run in his footsteps is simply awe-inspiring.”
by Cindy Long
April 14, 2017