It’s a long road from Hopkinton to Boston—26.2 miles in fact, if you take the most famous route.
Jennifer McWeeny ran the Philadelphia Marathon in 2013, and despite suffering from the flu, a sinus infection, and bronchitis, she prevailed to qualify for Boston.
But for many of those who will run the Boston Marathon on Monday, the road to get to the starting line is much, much longer. In the case of Jennifer McWeeny, associate professor of philosophy at WPI, the quest took the better part of 20 years.
A runner, swimmer, and soccer player at Masconomet Regional High School in Boxford, and a cross country runner and track team member at Colorado College, McWeeny decided she’d like to run the Boston Marathon around the time of the 100th running of the race, in 1996. After twice missing the qualifying time in the Honolulu Marathon, McWeeny turned her attention to earning her PhD, thinking the dream of running Boston was lost.
More than 10 years passed, and she decided to give qualifying another shot, this time at the Philadelphia Marathon in 2011. Although she nailed a qualifying time 3:29:31, McWeeny paid the price, injuring her hip and hamstring, which put her out of commission for her planned Boston run in 2013. Later that year, however, she returned to Philadelphia and ran 3:32:31, finally earning a coveted spot in this year’s Boston Marathon.