On qualifying for the Boston Marathon – Brittany Blanchard

Back in 2005, I ran my first marathon.   My only goal was to beat five hours and to check “run a marathon” off “my list.”  I ran the Top of Utah Marathon in 4:42 and didn’t run again for 3 years.  I was serious about checking it off my list and being done!

After 3 yrs, I began to run again (curse my love of food and wine) with my only goal being to beat my previous time each race. The Boston Marathon was never a thought in my mind until last September’s Big Cottonwood and my 9th marathon. I ran it in 3:43 (my new PR) and realized had I been 2 months older, I could’ve qualified for Boston.  Turning 40 had one benefit!! So that became my new goal!


I trained by adding some weight training, speed work, hills and of course my fun runs with Ogden Pub Runners. I loved meeting new people who continue to push me today.  I also signed up for the Striders Winter Series which kept me committed through those cold months and I think that did it!


By the time May 2016 came around, I felt as ready as I could.    I took a fun girl’s trip to Vegas to hopefully run a 3:35 at the REVEL Mt. Charleston Marathon.    3:35 was honestly my goal at that time, knowing I needed a 3:45 to qualify for Boston.   We carbo-loaded at the Casino Buffet (not sure that was the smartest idea) and went to the gift shop to grab waters for the night.  We also found butter caramels and joked that they would be great mid race fuel so we loaded up!


Race day came with cold temperatures which is ideal for me.  There was even a little snow at the start.  I started out feeling great and headed downhill, banking as much time as I could for later when I expected to hit “the wall” but it never came.  Maybe it was the caramels?!?! I ended up running and chatting with a nice man who ended up being the 3:15 pacer and I couldn’t believe I was keeping up with him.  After mile 20, 21 and then 22, I realized I was going to beat my 3:35 and kept pushing. My photo crossing that finish line shows just how surprised I was with my 3:13.



I needed a 3:45 to qualify for Boston and made it by running a 3:13!   After Boston next April, my only other goal is to head to Athens Greece to run The Original Marathon course where all of this craziness started



Brittany, you are so sweet and incredibly inspiring, especially for those of us who think Boston is unreachable.  Way to go after your goal and blow it away!!   We’ll be cheering you on next year and when you make it to Athens!

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