Mary Prendiville says her inaugural experience running the Boston Marathon was cold, windy and wet, but something she’ll never forget.
“It’s every runners goal or dream to go to Boston,” said the buyer for Nova Chemicals in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley who had previously run in seven other marathons, but never before in what’s considered the world’s most prestigious marathon.
“The race is so intense. I’ve never, ever experienced anything like this before,” she added.
Prendiville qualified for the 119th annual event by besting the 3-hour, 40 minute standard at a marathon in Traverse City, Michigan last May.
But, she said less than ideal weather conditions played a large part in her time of just under 3 hours, 56 minutes earlier this month at Boston.
Prendiville said the 30,000 runners were greeted on race day with a temperature of three degrees along with steady rain and winds of up to 50 km/hr.
After being bussed to the starting area nearly two hours in advance of the her race, Prendiville was soaked before the race even started and said her feet and hands were numb by the time she reached about the 10K mark of the 42K run.
But, she said the terrible conditions were not going to get the best of her, despite struggling with an ongoing shin injury.
“I was focusing so much on finishing the race,” said Prendiville, who was bolstered by the estimated crowd of one million spectators who lined the route cheering on the participants from 87 different countries.
She was one of more than 2,400 Canadians registered in Boston this year, second only to the U.S. in participants.
Despite the bombing at the 2013 event, Prendiville said she felt extremel, joking that she has felt more uneasy competing at the Detroit Marathon in the past.
“There were cops and sniffing dogs everywhere,” she said.
The 38-year-old will definitely return to Boston in the future, but she’s not certain it will be next year due to family commitments and health issues.
Prendiville has also become a bit of a folk hero within the Nova community having received congratulations from her bosses, colleagues and clients alike since returning home.
“It’s crazy,” she said. “I didn’t expect it to be like this.”