BOSTON – Monday marked the 120th running of the storied Boston Marathon which attracts thousands of runners from all over the world including dozens from right here in Utah.
Among the Utah runners was St. George resident Josh Terry who was running on behalf of the Joslin Diabetes Center and his daughter, Kycie Terry, who passed away in 2015 due to complications related to undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes.
Runners earn their spot in the prestigious race by running a fast enough qualifying time in a designated Boston qualifying marathon or by raising enough money for a qualified charity, as Terry did, to be able to participate.
Terry announced his plans to run the Boston Marathon for Team Joslin in December of 2015 and since then he has been fundraising and training.
At the time, Terry told St. George News that he saw running the Boston Marathon and fundraising for the Joslin Diabetes Center as a way to pay forward the kindness he and his family received and continues to receive as well as a way to honor Kycie and help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.
Monday morning Terry posted a picture to the Kisses for Kycie Facebook page of Kycie as well as his running shoes laced up with a band saying “26.2 for Kycie.”
Terry captioned the photo with these words:
Okay sis! Me and you for the next 26.2!
Terry was emotional as he described the difficult race and how the memory of his daughter helped carry him through.
“It was hard. I started tightening up at mile 10 and my left hamstring was super tight,” Terry said. “There were a couple times where I got a little emotional and I definitely relied on her a lot. She was there with me, she was right there with me.”
Terry raised nearly $11,000 for the Joslin Diabetes Center which is located in Boston, he said. While he was in Boston, Terry was able to tour the facility and learn about the diabetes research they do.
Terry finished the race with a time of 4 hours and 54 minutes. His wife, Jamie Terry, met him at the finish line where she gave him a big hug and kiss, he said.
Terry was sore, he said, but happy that he finished.
“I am glad that I did it,” Terry said. “I am glad that it worked out the way it did.”
Runners from Utah were represented at the Boston Marathon in large numbers and a large contingency of Utah runners met at the site of the finish line Sunday to share their love for the Boston Marathon. The huge group displayed a banner saying “Utah loves Boston.”
While at the finish line Sunday, Walter Brown, founder of American Flyers Race Pacers, proposed to his girlfriend, fellow runner and pacer, Bethany Clevenger Ericksen.
The American Flyers Race Pacers is a pacing group that provides pacers who help runners to meet their goal times in half and full marathons. The group paces for several Southern Utah races including the Southern Utah Half Marathon, the Zion Half Marathon, the Dog Town Half Marathon and the Snow Canyon Half Marathon.
Brown won the Zion Half Marathon in 2013, 2014 and 2015, but settled for third place in 2016, getting edged out by St. George’s own Aaron Metler and Frederick Herr of Corona, California.
The newly engaged couple was jokingly referred to on Facebook as the “fastest Utah couple.”
The Boston marathon holds a special place in the hearts of runners everywhere in large part because of its high qualifying standards and the way the community treats the runners who come to their city to run the iconic 26.2.
“I couldn’t believe how many people were there cheering,” Terry said.
St. George runner Colleen Rue who ran the Boston Marathon in 2015 and 2011 said this:
The course, the support, just BOSTON itself is an amazing place to be. The marathon rules that town the days leading up. The people who live on the course embrace the race in every way possible. They can’t get out of their houses and so they party it up. I literally teared up many times running through the towns as they would scream and cheer and sing! It’s electric! Pre and post race is nothing but seas of runners all wearing their iconic “Boston Jackets” flooding American history locations. There is absolutely nothing like it. I feel like if you qualify for Boston and don’t go … You’ve made a terrible mistake! It is worth every bit of blood, sweat and money it takes to get there.
Three time Boston Marathon finisher and St. George resident Scott Hughes agreed with Rue calling Boston “magic.”
“The race is a celebration of hard work,” Hughes said. “Most people have to run several races before they can qualify so it is a representation of a lot of hard work, sacrifice, disappointment and joy.”
Rue said that the reason Utah is so well-represented at Boston is because Utah runners are fast and there are so many good marathon courses in the state, including the St. George Marathon, where runners can earn their qualifying time.
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