Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My Boston Marathon Journey by Katelyn

As most of my blog readers know by now my cousin, Katelyn, ran the Boston Marathon with the Marathon Strides Against MS team.  I was so honored that she was willing to do this b/c not only does it raise awareness for MS but it also raises a TON of money.  Katelyn raised over $4,000!  Since running a marathon is something I would NEVER do I thought I would have Katelyn share a little of her experience with me and my readers.  So please let me introduce the amazing, brave, hard-working, ambitious, generous, fun and talented Katelyn. . .

Katelyn and I at the FINISH LINE after she ran the Boston Marathon for MS!!!!
Running the Boston Marathon was never on my bucket list.  Actually I have only gone to the Boston Marathon as a spectator twice. So how did I end up running the 115th Boston Marathon?    That is a very good question. 

At the 2010 Boston MS walk, Jodi mentioned to Meghan, Chad and myself that MS had a Marathon team and asked if any of us would be interested in joining.  Since my brother, Chad had run Boston before and my sister-in-law, Meghan is a former track star either of them would have been an obvious choice to volunteer.  But for some reason I thought it would be a good idea. The girl who thought a 3.5 mile mother’s day race was too long only a couple of years ago!

So in September I filled out the application and waited to hear.  I still remember the feeling of “What did I get myself into?!?” when I got the phone call telling me I was part of the team.  The Marathon Strides Against MS team was made up of 70 runners, 20 of whom qualified for Boston.  We started our training on December 4 with an 8 mile run.  By the end of January after each Saturday morning run I could say, “That was the longest I have ever ran.”  Beth, Doug, Mark, Silva, and Evan were a great group to run with.  The people I met through the MS team were a remarkable group.  I will truly miss seeing them every Saturday morning. 

Mark, Beth, Katelyn and Doug after final Saturday run before Marathon Monday!
Not only did I need to train for Boston but I had a goal of raising $4000 for MS (I was required to raise at least $3,250).  I had my first fundraiser, a Stella & Dot Truck show, in December.  I was able to raise more than $200 and collect more than $400 worth of jewelry to raffle off at my next fundraiser.  In February, I hosted a cocktail hour at the Kinsale Pub in Boston.  Jodi blogged about it here.  I lucked out and it didn’t snow all week!  I had a great turn out and raised A LOT of money and had a great time. By April 18, I surpassed my goal and had raised over $4200!

Katelyn's friend Michelle cheering at the top of Heartbreak Hill!
The support I received from my friends and family has been amazing!  It was much easier than I thought to raise so much money.  And to all the people that had to hear stories of my training, thank you for listening. (I don’t always tell the most interesting stories!)  I had an overwhelming amount of emails, texts and Facebook messages wishing me luck on the day of the marathon.  To everyone that cheered me on at the course and to those who had to work (craziness!) but where there in spirit, thank you.  I wouldn’t have been able to cross the finish line without you! 

Katelyn's friends, Molly and Laura, watching for Katelyn at mile 24!
As for the race itself, it didn’t go exactly as I had planned but still a phenomenal experience.  I ran with Doug 24 out of the 26.2 miles.  It was great to hear people cheering you on for all 26.2 miles.  It was amazing to hear people thank you for raising money for the MS Society.  Although I ran for close to 5 hours the day flew by.

Katelyn at mile 25 getting cheers and encouragement from friends, Kelly, Raleigh and Alyssa!
This has been an experience I will never forget! And the answer to the most common questions I get, yes I still have all ten toes nails and no I didn’t lose any weight.  Please don’t ask me what I am doing on April 16, 2012.  I am scared to hear what my answer might be. . . .
 
Katelyn with her parents at the finish line!

What do you think?  Will Katelyn run another marathon?
Have you ever consider running a marathon to raise money for a charity? 



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