It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, birds are singing, and here in Boston, we’re getting ready for the 121st Boston Marathon! This year we’re especially excited to have one of our very own taking on Boston’s famous 26.2.
Meet Mary Regan—runner, four-time marathon finisher, and all-around delightful person. Mary began running in middle school but, in her own words, “didn’t start taking it too seriously” until 2014.
Over the last three years, Mary has finished marathons in Chicago (twice!), Providence, and West Palm Beach. Though she’s loved them all, Boston is a big deal. “I could write a book on all the reasons the Boston Marathon is so special,” Mary says. Established in 1897, “It’s the oldest annual race in North America!” Plus, for a born-and-raised Massachusetts native, the Boston Marathon has particular significance. “I really can’t wait to run through my home state and the turns on the Hereford and Boylston Streets—just living through the race with the crowds and energy,” she says.
Plus, as though we needed another reason to love this historic race, the Boston Marathon raises millions for charity. In 2016 alone, its charity runners raised close to $30 million! Mary, who will be running Boston as one of two American Cancer Society-selected charity runners, has raised $7,500 of her $10,000 goal. Way to go Mary!
A veteran marathoner, she couldn’t be more excited for race day. However, as with all marathons, Boston has its grueling stretches. When asked about what she’s most nervous about, Mary doesn’t miss a beat, “Heartbreak Hill! If I survive that I can survive anything. What makes it so daunting is that it doesn’t come until mile 21, and the first half of the race is mostly downhill, so it’s very late elevation gain.”
So, what’s next for Mary? “My goal is to run all six of the World Marathon Majors in my life.” Mary says, referring to Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York City, and Tokyo. “I’m actually running Chicago and NYC this year, which makes for a huge commitment within a calendar year. But I’m excited—I might need new hips, knees and feet by 2018, but I’ll have run half of the Majors so it will be worth it!”