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Boston Marathon Pre-Race Thoughts

Posted: Apr 19 2015

Happy Boston Marathon Eve.  We're sending good wishes and positive vibes to everyone who will line up tomorrow for the Boston Marathon.  We asked Sonja, who is one of our sponsored athletes, to share her thoughts on the race and she was kind enough to take time out of her busy pre-race schedule to do just that.  For those of you who don't know Sonja, she is not only an incredible athlete, but she is also an incredible person.  Thoughtful, kind, and incredibly introspective.  Here's what she shared with us.

On the eve of the 119th running of the Boston marathon I’m sitting down to write some words about my experience thus far for Coeur Sports. Thank you Coeur for allowing me this opportunity and broad audience.

Boston is iconic when it comes to the marathon. For 119 years this town has become the site of an annual runner pilgrimage, a place proud runners flock to in order to test their limits on this iconic ground. I’ve always considered myself a runner, and while I save that distance typically for the final leg of an Ironman triathlon, I’ve watched enthusiastically as friends and elite runners have finished this race year after year, setting records and personal bests. Two years ago, while sitting on my computer, watching the live feed coverage and tracking my friends, my jaw was on the floor as tragedy struck this city.

From that moment forward, this route, from Hopkinton, to the finish line of Boylston Street, became a place for us marathoners to come and heal. These 26.2 miles mean different things to each and every runner, with their myriad paths that it took to arrive at the start line, but one thing is the same, this route is for recovery, for transformation, for accomplishment, and for growth. As was mentioned last night at the USAT Hall of Fame dinner, Boston has healed itself through sport. As I watch the athletes converge on the city, many of them wearing the blue/yellow scarves that were handed out at Old South Church last year, some 7,000 hand crocheted from all over the world, I feel that the city needs us marathoners to lace through and sew back up its heart.

What does it feel like to run 26 miles of road lined with people? I don’t know! I’ve run one open marathon in my life and it was 36 degrees and rained the whole time, spectators were at a minimum. It tends to be quite lonely out there on the lava fields in Kona as well. But Boston is different, and the 100% chance of rain won’t keep them away. The city has this vibe of gritty, hearty support. For example, while doing my two training runs here I have been honked at more times than the last 2 years of runs in Denver. One honk, was to let me know, honkkkkkkkk, if I crossed the road I would end up in the windshield, another toot-toot was as they stopped to let me know I should cross immediately. Other honks were just to let me know they were there, or to urge me back on the side walk. With New England confidence, they give off the vibe that support through hard things is a communal requirement. You live in hard weather, you attend hard colleges, you do tough work. This is not a town of slackers. However, you support each other through the tough. It’s the support that makes the individual stronger, lifts them up to greatness.

I’m here to run in part for my own personal curiosity, to feel what it feels like for mile 1 to not actually be mile 115, like usual. I’m here to test my limits and to push my body as fast as I can with the fitness I have built. I’m taking advice from several of the USAT triathlon hall of fame inductees last night. Tim DeBoom opened his speech with “it was all worth it”, Carlos Moleda urged the room to “keep moving forward” despite obstacles, and Susan Williams, after as we said our goodbyes reminded me to “do my best.” I will keep all that wisdom on the forefront of my mind, but deeper than that, I am here to heal. To heal from the violent acts that were launched at my community of marathoners, and to act as one of the thousands of threads that are helping to sew back up the heart of this town.