I have been listening to Kathrine Switzer interviews all week, which has me feeling nostalgic. This box represents my 2001 Boston Marathon. It lives on a shelf, in the hall closet. I don't think I have ever looked in it, but today feels like a good day to open this box of memories.
Monday's marathon marks the 50th anniversary of her running Boston Marathon as a registered runner. In the iconic photo below, the race director is trying to pull her off the course.
Thank you Kathrine! Because of you, I get to run.
My journey to Boston & the Shoebox
Qualifying race: Grandma's Marathon, June 2000. Just after registering our son was invited to go to Costa Rica, with his science teacher. Bill and Andrew wouldn't know if I qualified until returning home a week after the run.
Training: An April marathon means running in the winter - it was a harsh Minnesota winter. I ran e.v.e.r.y mile on a treadmill. Imagine running 20 miles on a treadmill... thankfully everyone at Lifetime Fitness knew I was training. Friends and strangers checking in to say hello.
The Marathon: My goal was to finish and enjoy the experience. Runners are transported to the start line early morning. My family crawled out of bed to walk me to the bus stop, for the start of a long day. This would be the first race giving them 'on the course' chip updates. Helping them find me as I approached the finish.
- Arriving at the start by 8:30 am, for a 12:00 start. I remember being cold and aware that I was alone. Doubt setting in.
- Then I met Bud. He's from Tennessee, 61, this was running his 12th Boston.
- I also knew I wouldn't see anyone I knew until mile 26.
- The weather forecast changed and I bought a new shirt the day before the run. My collar bone was bloody by mile 10. This discomfort preoccupied me most of the run. (I never wore that shirt again)
Andrew found me at mile 25. When Bill knew Andrew was safely with me, he dashed to the finish-line to meet us.
Looking in the box I found my bib, solar blanket, cards from friends and family. A finishers certificate and several other items. I saved the marathon proofs, which include this photo!
My thirteen year old son crossed the finish line?! He has joined me for the last 5k many times but I think officials usually scoot him off the official course. A wonderful gift, this photo.
What a treat to know that Bobbi Gibb also ran the 2001 marathon! Bobbi is the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon (1966). The pre-sanctioned era comprised the years from 1966 through 1971, when women ran and finished the Boston Marathon unofficially.
I can't wait to watch Kathrine Switzer run on Monday.