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July 2020
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11 years in the making, 11 seconds to spare

It’s been almost a year since I ran my Boston Qualifying marathon in DC, and I knew at the time that the Boston Marathon was already full for 2011.  In fact, it filled up in a matter of hours, well before I even ran my race.

There has been plenty of speculation about how Boston registration would go this year with the new system.  To summarize, registration started on Sept 12 with those who had beat the qualifying times by 20 mins, then opened to those who had 10 min and 5 min cushions over the course of the week.  Finally, they opened registration on Sept 19 all who had run qualifying times, noting that acceptances would be made based on placement within one’s age group.

I didn’t expect there to be any spots open by the time I could enter, considering that I barely made the qualifying time (3:43:35 against a 3:45:00 qualifying standard) and the flurry of registrations last year.  But just in case, I checked out the web site on Sept 17, and sure enough they were still accepting applications.  I scheduled an appointment on my calendar to apply when open registration began on Monday 9/19 at 10am.  In fact, I excused myself from a meeting, feigning an important email notification that required immediate attention, in order to grab my credit card and send my entry at 10:03am.

I was notified today that I made it.  With 11 seconds to spare. (The cutoff was 3:43:46).

I’m filled with excitement – WOW! I really did it!  I get to run Boston having qualified with an official number!

And with relief – 11 seconds! Over the course of 26.2 miles that’s not a very big margin.  It would have been easy to let up just a little during the race, to skip some workouts along the way, to unknowingly have missed this chance.

And with apprehension – wait, I’ve just signed up to train all winter?  How many times have I flippantly suggested that I would be glad to skip those long dark miles in the cold weather?

And with reflection – this is a journey considered back in college, when I volunteered at the finish line and got to see Uta Pipig come through the chute 1st again.  I started down my own path in 2000, training with Brian to see if we could really run a marathon, and finding not just a dedicated running partner but also my partner for life.  Running the Maine Marathon and being less than a minute from the cutoff, and vowing to earn a spot one day.   Racing the Bay State in 2009, undoubtedly the hardest day of running I’ve endured, only to fall short.  Thinking about all the races and lessons that have led to this event.

And finally, just basking in the amazing good fortune of this week.  Cheers!

To the new house and the 116th Boston Marathon!



Comment from Ron
Time: September 27, 2011, 8:29 am

I am so proud of you for making it! Now enjoy the race!

Comment from Tom
Time: September 28, 2011, 7:54 pm

You and Judd inspire me!!! Good luck with the training!

Pingback from » Toledo Half Marathon and New Goals
Time: May 18, 2012, 6:44 am

[…] in September of 2011, Susan found out her Marine Corps Marathon time from 2010 qualified her for the Boston Marathon. I had not been nearly as good as Susan about keeping in shape since the USMC Marathon and decided […]

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