Lately, this blog has been an embarrassment of riches with story after story of people working hard and qualifying for Boston. But for some of us, a BQ is still a dream. I’m one of those people, and so is Corey K who recently wrote me with his story. The subject line was “BQ Wanna Be”. Corey wrote:
I’m currently O for 6 in my attempts to qualify for Boston. I’m a 45 year old male, 5′ 8″ and 145 lbs. Growing up I was mostly a team sports guy…football, basketball, and baseball. The only year I ever ran track competitively was in 8th grade. I hated it. I only did it because I wanted to win “male athlete of the year” for my school, and track was the only sport our middle school offered in the spring. If I didn’t participate I knew I wouldn’t have a chance of winning the award. I ran the 800 and 1500 but was not very good. My best race was a third place finish in a 1500 m. race with only five runners.
I took up running about 13 years ago as a means to exercise because I could do it for free and on my own schedule. I had still played basketball regularly up until then so I thought I was in decent shape. But the first time I went out to run I struggled to get to a mile without walking. I stuck with it and one mile became two. Two became four. And soon four became 8 to 10. I thought that would be my max.
But then I started running with church friends on Saturday mornings. Most of them were running the St. George Marathon that year and were trying to get me to sign up with them, but I had no interest in doing a marathon.
They came back with lots of stories to tell. It intrigued me and I couldn’t help but feel left out. A few of them BQ’d and ran their first Boston Marathon that next Spring. Hearing about how magical Boston is finally hooked me.
I ran my first marathon in 2008. My current qualifying time is 3:25 and my PR is 3:27. So close but so far. My next best time is 3:46.
If you figure out the secret to put you over the top, please let me know.
Corey, I’m still trying to figure it out, but I’m sure of one thing — we’ve got to keep at it, week after week, month after month and for some of us, year after year. I plan on getting there eventually. I’m sure you will too.