Meridian Boston Marathon Qualifier Shares Photos from the Course [PHOTOS]
I may have been breaking a station rule by having my cell phone on me during out promotions meeting yesterday, but I had a good reason! I was tracking someone at the Boston Marathon!
When I started running with Team Run Boise last year, I met an incredible woman named Kimberly Simmons who was training for her first Boston Marathon. She was just getting over an injury and was just happy to be making the trip. Over the next year, Kimberly became one of my best friends and I've watched her make a huge impact in the lives of others on our team and in Fleet Feet Meridian's training programs.
She helped the store organize a training program called "Half Crazy" that gets participants ready to complete a half marathon. The people that signed up for the program came from all sides of fitness abilities. Some had run several half marathons and wanted to work on getting faster to achieve their best time after. Others had just completed their first 5K months before and wanted to take the leap of faith into the 13.1 mile challenge. A few started running/walking to deal with anxiety and depression and found that being with a supportive training group made a huge difference in their lives. I watched Kimberly work one on one with each of our participants to make sure they not only got to their goal, but exceeded their expectations.
On the morning of their goal race, The Shamrock Shuffle, Kimberly was at a work conference in Sun Valley. Something that morning told her she needed to be in Eagle at the finish line when the Half Crazies finished. She packed up her things, left what needed to be done in the hands of her capable office staff and made the drive back home to be there. Seeing the tears in the eyes of our participants as they came over the finish line and saw their coach waiting for them is something I'll never forget. It's obvious that she had made a true connection with every single one of them!
She's normally not the one to have attention focused on her, but yesterday was her day. Kimberly qualified for Boston again this year and finished the marathon in 3:48:18, just short of re-qualifying for the race again next year. (She'll still have an opportunity to re-qualify by running other marathons this year.) This year was a special year to be part of the race as it celebrated 50 years of women being allowed to run the famous marathon. Here's some of her pictures from the race and day leading up to it!