Rachel: From Start to Finish: The Race to April 18th

Usually, when I say I’m from Hopkinton, MA, people stare at me with a blank look on their face until I say, “It’s the start of the Boston Marathon.” Hopkinton is a pretty small town, so it’s a big deal when hundreds of runners, spectators, and camera crews suddenly appear on our common.

Naturally, living my entire life in this small town where nothing happens on every other day of the year, I grew up attending almost every single marathon start. Year after year I’d stand on the sidelines, watching endless waves of costumed runners, high-fiving anyone I could reach and yelling out names written on shirts. How could I not aspire to be a part of it all?

I’ve never been the most athletic girl. I dabbled in sports in high school, but I was no varsity star. About my junior year of high school, though, I started telling everyone I was going to run the Boston Marathon. I got a lot of “yeah, right” responses.

When I got to BU, I enrolled in the Marathon Training PDP through Fitrec (would recommend, even if you don’t plan on running a marathon) in hopes that it would help me achieve my dream. That was last year, and I learned very quickly that it takes a lot more than enrolling in one class to run the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston.

I set a goal to run the Boston Marathon in 2016: the 120th Boston Marathon and my 20th year on this earth. There are two basic parts of running the marathon: get a number and train. The training, I was sure I could do. The number was the tougher part. I’ve never run a marathon before; therefore, I couldn’t get a number by qualifying. My only other option was getting a number through charity.

I ended up getting a number from the 26.2 Foundation, a charity from Hopkinton that supports health, wellness, and the sport of marathoning. I was so ecstatic when I got my number! It took a while to hit me that I was actually going to do it. I was registered to run the Boston Marathon!

There was a catch, though. When you run for a charity, you have to sign a commitment to raise a certain amount of money for them. In addition to motivating myself to train and be able to run 26.2 miles over the course of three months, I’ve had to motivate myself to fundraise and come up with $5,000 by April 18th.

It’s now March 27th, and there are 23 days left until the marathon. Yesterday, I ran my longest run so far (21 miles!) from Hopkinton to B.C. As of today, I have $2,984 raised. Those 23 days are going to fly! I’m so excited for April 18th, but I’m also nervous. I have a lot of ground to cover and a lot of money to raise.

I’ve been blogging about my experience training, so if you’re interested in more of the nitty gritty stuff here is the link: https://seeherun.wordpress.com

If you’re interested in tracking my fundraising and reading a little more about my running experience, here is the link to my fundraising page: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/rachel-mclean-1/BostonMarathon2016

Maybe you’ll spot me running through Kenmore in a couple of weeks, as I run from hometown to current home. Thanks for reading!

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