We’re going to BOSTON!

  • This was printed in April of 2015 in The Madera Tribune, a newspaper in Madera, California. This was the 98th installment of my weekly column, Mind Over Miles.

I started writing Mind Over Miles about two years ago, just after the Boston Marathon

bombing of 2013. My first column was called “How I got bit by the Boston bug” and I

explained that I had caught the itch to attempt to qualify for and run the Boston

Marathon.

I was fueled by anger that someone would have the audacity to plant two bombs at the

finish line of the most prestigious marathon in the world — screw you, terrorists. I was

also fueled by the encouragement of my running buddies — “you’re fast, you can do it.”

The Boston Marathon is the pinnacle of marathon racing. It’s the oldest annual marathon

in the world, having been held each year without fail since 1897, and it’s not easy to get

into.

On Monday, 30,000 people will run the Boston Marathon, and I’ll be one of them.

For Madera runner Audrey Crow and I, it took hundreds of miles during three training

seasons and three marathons to BQ (Boston qualify). Finally, on March 28, 2014, at the

Modesto Marathon, Audrey and I crossed the finish line ahead of the Boston qualifying

standards for our age groups.

Now, thanks to our penny-pinching, fundraising and the extreme generosity of others, we

are finally going to Boston!

Tomorrow we will board a plane and set off on what is sure to be the adventure of a

lifetime. We cannot wait to represent Madera and the Central Valley in the greatest race

on earth.

We are deeply grateful to all those who have supported us, from our families to our coach

and running buddies, to our Madera friends and church family.

The Blanco family and their team of Warriors have been extremely generous and

supportive, holding their own fundraisers to help send us to Boston. Lupe Delgado and

T100 helped tremendously by holding a 5K race in November and donating the proceeds

to us. Kenny Shepherd at the LoanMart Madera Speedway allowed us to hold a 50/50

raffle on a popular night at the track last month, and racing fans responded in a big way.

Valley West Christian Center asked for a love offering this month and our church family

was extremely generous in making our dream come true. Individuals from Madera have

also sponsored us and purchased items from our small business, Gazelle Gear, to allow us

to reach our fundraising goal.

The tremendous support has been unbelievable, and Audrey and I wish to thank everyone

from the bottom of our hearts.

We have a busy weekend planned before Patriots Day, also known as Marathon Monday

in Boston. I’m stoked to be able to visit some of the monuments and historical sites that

mark the beginnings of our great country. Audrey is stoked to visit the world-famous

Boston Marathon Expo and then dine at Max Brenner, a restaurant famous for featuring

chocolate, or at least a dusting of cocoa powder, in every item on its menu.

Anyone can visit http://www.watchlive.baa.org beginning at 6 a.m. Monday to watch a live

stream of the Boston Marathon. Keep an eye on Fernando Cabada, a man who grew up in

Fresno and is living the fairy tale of earning a spot on the U.S. elite team. He is expected

to place in the top 10, and just last week said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if I got third.”

Audrey and I will start the race at 10:50 a.m. on the East Coast, so 7:50 a.m. here in

Madera.

I can’t wait to write about the highlight of our fairy tale — the one about two small-town

girls who persevered and made it, with the help of great friends, to a big-time race.

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