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Roy runs in Boston Marathon – Just finishing it is winning it

Mauri Roy is planning on taking her summer in stride after the local business owner completed her first Boston Marathon on April 20.

Mauri Roy

Posted on 5/2/15

By Melissa Anderson

For Roy, finishing the marathon was like winning it after an injury just before the marathon almost sidelined her from the event she worked so hard to participate in.

Roy trained all winter after running a qualifying time in the Fargo Marathon of 3 hours 32 minutes last May. Roy did not find out if she had made the cut for the Boston Marathon until five months after the Fargo Marathon in September of 2014.

Some 2,000 runners who were within the Boston Marathon qualifying time for their age group and division were cut from the Marathon.

“There were basically too many runners that qualified,” Roy explained.

The registration process for the marathon ensures that the fastest qualifiers will be accepted first. Achieving the qualifying standard does not guarantee a runner’s entry, just the opportunity to submit for registration. Those who are the fastest among the pool of applicants in their age and gender group are accepted.

After she received confirmation of her being able to run in the marathon, Roy created her training plan for the marathon and began to train in earnest for the race beginning in November. Over the course of the winter Roy’s training was going as well as could be expected until a fateful run in late February- early March  which suddenly put Roy’s run in the Boston Marathon in danger.

“I had done a long run one day, and all the sudden after that I just couldn’t run anymore because of a pain in my knee,” Roy explained.

The painful knee turned out to be a pulled quad muscle. Unsure of her ability to run in the marathon but undaunted in her quest to try, Roy lightened her training and began undergoing physical therapy in hopes she would be able to recover enough to be able to run in the marathon on April 20.

“I ended up getting a cortisone shot in my knee the week before the marathon,” Roy said.

Cortisone shots are injections that are used to help relieve pain and inflammation in a specific area of the body. Cortisone shots are most commonly given into joints such as Roy’s knee. Cortisone shots usually include a corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic.

With her knee still causing some discomfort, Roy flew to Boston with her family in the hopes that she would be able to finish the marathon.

“I just wanted to try, and I knew if I didn’t try I was going to regret it,” Roy stated.

The Boston Marathon held its first race in 1897. The Boston Athletic Association is the non-profit organization that has been organizing the marathon since its inception. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and is part of the World Marathon Majors, along with the international marathons held in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City.

The course for the marathon is described as being “fun, sweaty, and heartbreaking” with good reason. At the starting line runners are 490 feet above sea level and over the course of the race the elevation drops substantially to just 360 feet, with the first mile alone having a 130 foot drop. That drop in elevation has a lot of hills as the course progresses that must be tackled, including the half mile climb up ‘Heartbreak Hill’ located at mile 20. Though ‘Heartbreak Hill’ itself rises only 88 feet vertically, it comes at the portion of the marathon when many participants begin ‘hitting the wall’.

Roy began her experience of the Boston Marathon the moment her plane touched down and the days leading up to that Monday morning race.

“The City of Boston was so welcoming to the runners. If they knew you were running they treated you like royalty,” Roy stated.

One memorable event was the day before the marathon when Roy and fellow participant went to Fenway Park to enjoy a baseball game. At the event, the runners of the 2015 marathon and past runners were honored.

“Everywhere you saw signs saying this was the best city [Boston] to run. Signs with sayings like ‘Boston Strong’ or ‘Run Boston Strong,’” Roy said.

On the day of the marathon Roy, along with her fellow participants, were bussed to the starting point at Hopkinton at 8 a.m. Roy shared that she had her injured leg taped by the professional athletic trainers the day before the race which significantly improved her ability to run.

As Roy crossed the starting line at 11 a.m. on that rainy Monday morning, she knew she would have to start out slow so she would be able to finish the grueling 26.2 mile course through the streets of Boston.

“It’s a really difficult course and I tried not to think about anything negative. I tried not to think about my knee cause the more you think about it the more it hurts,” Roy said.

As she ran the marathon ,Roy explained that she tried to just take everything in that was happening. She recalled the throngs of people along the sidelines without a break in bodies anywhere. People of all ages had come out to cheer on the runners as they pounded mile after mile.

Roy distinctly remembered running past the colleges along the course and the funny signs she viewed as she passed. The security for the marathon was also very intense. Roy explained that she never felt scared as there were numerous policemen.

When Roy reached the halfway point she knew she could and would finish the marathon even if she had to walk to the finish line.

“It’s the hardest thing I have ever done cause I was physically not in shape. I had to be mentally strong cause I wasn’t physically ready. Luckily, I’m pretty headstrong which got me through,” Roy recalled.

Roy gives a lot of credit to her mental toughness and personality for getting her through the marathon and the finish line. Having her family there to support her was also a crucial aspect to her determination to finish.

“I was fortunate to have my family there and experience it with me. Having my family standing there waiting for me at mile 26 really helped and encouraged me,” Roy said.

Roy was able to run 10 minute miles and completed the Boston Marathon in 4 hours and 30 minutes.

“I have loved running for many years and ran lots of marathons and lots of halves too. This is by far the most challenging and rewarding race I have ever ran,” Roy shared.

One of the lessons Roy learned from running the marathon was how amazing and powerful the mind can be in trying to accomplish a goal.

“Yes, I’m physically active and been a runner for years, but at any time I could have thrown in the towel and said I’m not ready for this race,” Roy explained.

With the Boston Marathon under her belt and checked off her bucket list, the question of what’s next for the determined Mauri Roy is still up in the air.

“Right now I’m satisfied saying I ran it and crossing it off. It’s probably time for me to cool off a little bit and try new things,” Roy said.

For now, Roy will enjoy her summer, running when she wants to not because she has to, and healing her injured leg.

Congratulations to Roy on finishing the Boston Marathon.