Why I’m Running The 2018 Boston Marathon

I'm Running the 2018 Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon training along the Charles River in Boston.

The 2018 Boston Marathon is just five weeks away. As my runs get longer and the race gets closer, the reality of what I’m about to do is hitting me: run my first marathon since having a baby. Gulp.

Last weekend, I ran 15 miles. It was my longest run since the Honolulu Marathon in December 2015, the month before I started IVF and this crazy baby journey. I paced a friend at that one (read about it at Shape.com). The last marathon I actually raced? The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2013, when I was sick and bonked big time. I ended up taking the 2014 marathon season off thanks to a pre-cancerous mole removal and 2015 off due to plantar fasciitis. In 2016, I toyed with the idea of a pregnant marathon, but just didn’t feel up to it. In 2017, I had delusions of running of fall marathon, but my baby had other ideas—namely, sleep torturing me.

So here we are. It’s 2018, and I kind of feel like a newbie all over again. And it’s really exciting.

Yes, I realize that anytime I mention I’ve run the Boston Marathon it will require an asterisk: *No, I didn’t qualify. I got a media entry, and raised money for charity.

I'm Running the 2018 Boston Marathon

The 2017 New Balance Boston shoes

I get it. I know so many people who have worked incredibly hard to qualify. My husband is one of them. He’s qualified four—four!—times and only just got into the race this year. As a runner who isn’t anywhere close to qualifying, it feels almost sacrilegious. I think if I were thisclose, I would gut it out and try to get in through the glory road. But my current personal best is about 45 minutes behind my age group’s qualifying time; if I don’t get in some other way, I may never run the Boston Marathon.

Plus, I had one compelling reason to run this year: my husband asked me to. For some reason, he really wants to run this race with me. After seeing him give his body and soul to qualify those four times, seeing his utter despair when he didn’t get into the race two years in a row (by mere seconds!), and finally crushing his qualifying time by over 8 minutes, I know how much this race means to him. If he wants to run it as a victory lap together, then that’s what we’ll do. This is his rodeo.

We’ve been together 10 years, running side-by-side much of the way. We became parents one year ago and haven’t been able to run together like we used to. One of us is usually watching the baby while the other one runs. But the Boston Marathon we can do together. And I think he’d rather run it at my pace than his. How could I say no?

Why I'm Running the 2018 Boston Marathon

Storming Epcot as Ariel & Eric at Disney Princess Half!

Honestly, it was easy to say yes. I really wanted a big 2018 goal to help me get back into fighting form one year post-baby. The timing works perfectly. I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February for my daughter’s first birthday, and will keep on training through to Boston.

I was delighted with my performance at Princess Half. I went into the race wanting to push myself as hard as I could and see where that got me—in great shape, apparently. It hit 68 degrees with 100 percent humidity while I was racing. Oof. But I pushed to run 2:10:09, and that included a bathroom break and a few quick photo stops.

When adjusted for the conditions, it equates to a 2:01-2:04 on a better day. That makes it, possibly, my second best half-marathon performance ever. (I used Hansons Running’s cool equivalency calculator.) My PR is 2:00:30. My second best time is 2:05:02, run on a cooler, drier day during the first week of my pregnancy. So I’m ecstatic with my Princess Half time.

I’ve been stealthily training since Christmas, and, judging by Princess Half, I’m in good shape. I can’t wait to give the Boston Marathon everything I’ve got.

Please consider donating to my American Red Cross fundraiser through my CrowdRise page. I’m raising money in honor of the Boston Marathon’s “Year of Service.” The American Red Cross has provided medical volunteers and support to the race for over 40 years, not to mention all they do nationally and internationally when disaster strikes. You can read more about that here. No donation is too small. Every dollar means so much to me.

#Boston2018, here I come!

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


03 2018

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  1. 1

    See you in Boston!
    Malinda Ann Hill recently posted..2018 Boston Marathon – Running with a Good Time for a Good CauseMy Profile

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