From Casual Runner to the Boston Marathon

15 April 2014

Submitted by Dean Mattix, District Executive Director of the Albemarle Family YMCA

Morgan never really thought she would get back into running. Like many of us, life had become very full. She ran track in high school, but only did short distances. College came along and pretty soon she was out of the habit. She found herself four years later not feeling as healthy as she liked. She wanted a change and started a journey that ended up taking her further than she ever imagined. She started taking classes at the Y. Boot Camp got her going, and pretty soon she and some girlfriends started participating in fun and mud runs.

She said a half marathon would be on her bucket list, never really believing it would happen. She ran that three years ago. She had hoped to complete it in two hours and was amazed when she finished in an hour and 45 minutes. Next she ran in the YMCA Mud Run at Little Creek.

Mary, a Zumba instructor at the Albemarle Family YMCA, then talked Morgan into doing her first full marathon. They trained together and competed in the Shamrock Marathon. Morgan was amazed when she discovered that she qualified for the Boston Marathon! To top it off, her mom and her son, Jayden, were on hand when she ran across the finish line with the qualifying time.

With the tragedy that took place at last year's Boston Marathon, Morgan knew she had to participate this year. She wanted to do her part in telling the world that life was about overcoming, not about letting it overcome you. She knew she had to show how the running community supports Boston and each other.     

The Boston Marathon is not a little fun run. They have 36,000 runners, and Morgan has 9000 in her wave alone. Her time was so good, she qualified not only for the race, but the first wave.
The date of the Boston Marathon is Monday, April 21. Morgan, her mom, and Jayden are going early via train, and plan to attend the after event celebration at Fenway Park. Jayden will be able to see the park and the many other sites, including Washington D.C. on the way.  

Morgan says that she could not have accomplished this without the Y. To prepare, she is running 40-50 miles a week. Meanwhile, Jayden is enjoying the Interactive Zone and spending time at the Y with his second family.  

All of this from a gal who, four years ago, thought she would never get back into running and began to exercise again to just become a little healthier. 

According to Morgan "When I set my mind to something, I am going to do it!"

Well said, Morgan, well said.  Your story inspires us all. You just never know where you will end up after you start.