How Luis Qualified for Boston After 10 Tries

Thanks to Luis (and his coach) for sharing the story of a long, but ultimately successful road to a BQ! Congrats Luis.

Name: Luis Fajardo (@LuisFajardoCR)

Sex: Male

Age (at the time of first BQ): 43

Height (at the time of first BQ):  5’7″

Weight (at the time of first BQ): 148lb

At which marathon did you get your first BQ? Spring Chance BQ.2 Marathon

Tell us a little about the race. After several attempts, I selected this race because is designed for BQ. This is a 5K loop (8 times) race and you can bring your own hydration. I needed all the variables in my favor and this race delivered. I was also fortunate enough to have good weather on race day ~43F at the start.

At my age (43), I needed 3:15 to qualify but I was aiming for 3:10 to guarantee (I hope so) and spot on 2019 Boston Race. I finished in 3:09:42.

Everything went smooth, besides a couple of wrinkles (had to stop to get a rock off my shoe, lost about 1min here and a bathroom break another minute here), but the most difficult part came at mile 25 with a light cramp on my right calve, I ran the last mile very conservative and playing in my head with the time I had left so was able to hit the time I wanted even with those difficulties. Last mile was the longest in my life.

How long had you been running when you ran your first BQ? ~8 years

Did you run in college or high school? No

What was your approximate lifetime mileage at the time of your first BQ? 10,000

How many miles did you run in the year before your first BQ? 1800

Approximately how many races did you run in that year? 3 half marathons one each month prior race

Did you follow a canned program? If so, which one? No

Did you run with a running club or utilize a coach? Yes

Did cross training play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, I did 3 days of strength training, I did it on hard days so easy days were easy

Did speed work play a role in your training? If so, how? Yes, I did once a week of track workouts

Any other thoughts you would like to share with those of working towards a BQ? I want to share with you all what my coach sent to me after my qualification, this explains so much what I went thru for this race. I’m now working even harder as I want to do sub 3hrs in Boston next year (2019), but the main thing I can say to anybody working hard to archive a BQ is to BELIEVE, and enjoy the ride, seriously, after so many defeats I learn to appreciate every workout and focusing on doing my best every day. You can’t control the outcome, all you can do is do your best every day and the results will come, BELIEVE and HAVE FUN!

The character: A specimen that defines a RUNNER. Somebody that was born loving running, mono-conversational RUNNING, sleeps RUNNING, wakes up RUNNING, eats RUNNING, reads RUNNING, listens RUNNING.
The challenge: Some runners have the physical “gift”, the ability to engage in running motion and feel like the wind, like you are on wheels, you flow, you feel fast, smooth, EFFORTLESS, you keep changing gears, going faster and faster and the machine responds, everything clicks. You train for a few weeks and you can already outrun everybody in your hood, and in school.
In addition to the physical “gift” you also have the mental “gift”. The ability to direct the voices in your head that tell you to slow down when suffering strikes, they have the ovarian or testicular fortitude to override the message and actually either keep the pace or even run faster. You are tough SOB, INDESTRUCTIBLE mentally.
Our character did not come from the assembly line with those engine options or computer software. The tools to work with were your average legs, 2-cylinder heart, outdated cooling system and software. However, the operating system had a glitch, the persistence software was hacked at one point and was the only director running the machine. Gradually, HE HAD TO COMPLETELY REBUILT BOTH THE ENGINE AND THE SOFTWARE to become BOSTON BOUND.
PERSISTANCE: firm, or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
Marathon 1- FAILED
Marathon 2- FAILED
Marathon 3- FAILED
Marathon 4- FAILED
Marathon 5- FAILED
Marathon 6- FAILED
Marathon 7- FAILED
Marathon 8- FAILED
Marathon 9- FAILED
Marathon 10- FAILED


Marathon 11 – TODAY – TIME RAN: 3:09


The SPECIMEN’S name is LUIS FAJARDO. After the 10th FAILED Marathon, his son asked him, “are you going to run another one after 10 FAILURES in your Boston qualifying quest?”. He replied, I DID NOT FAIL, I just discovered another WAY OF HOW NOT TO RUN THE MARATHON.
They can because they think they can ~ Luis Fajardo
Good Timber DOES NOT grow with ease, the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees ~ Luis Fajardo
The mind is its own place, and in itself CAN make a Heaven of Hell, or a Hell of Heaven, YOUR CALL ~ Luis Fajardo
DO NOT find FAULT, FIND remedy ~ Luis Fajardo”

Coach: Omarto Fumero, Miami, Florida

Boston Qualifier Questionnaire Art

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