Pound pound pound go thousands of feet. There’s Framingham Train Depot, after six solid miles of running. People are beginning to drop out. There’s Wellesley College, halfway there. Running, more running. There’s the Newton fire station, and it’s on to Commonwealth Ave. Just over 9 miles to go. It’s getting hotter. Hundreds of runners surrounding local 5th grade teacher Michelle Carpenter are slowing down. “People were dropping because of the heat, so I knew to walk the water stations,” Carpenter said.
It is April 16, Boston. Her bib reads 17412. Carpenter is in the middle of the Boston Marathon.
After a time of 4 hrs, 37 mins and 35 secs, the race was done. Carpenter finished 15,216 overall, 3,233 in her division and 5,817 out of all female runners. “I saw my husband and kids at mile 25. My dad manages the Eastern Oregonian so he was sitting at the finish line, and I was ecstatic,” Carpenter said. “This is probably the only ‘Chariots of Fire’ moment I’ll experience in my life.”
Training was tough for Carpenter. While listening to cheesy workout music, she would run, hike, bike and swim for long periods of time. While swimming, Carpenter injured her hamstring. Unable to run, she continued to train for the marathon by biking and hiking.
Eventually, she was able to run again, but her injury remained. Knowing that there was pain in her future, and yet to feel relief, Carpenter ran the marathon with the injured hamstring. Only the determination to finish kept her going through the pain behind her knee and in the back of her thigh.
“Just keep looking for your next goal,” Carpenter said. After running for seven years, and facing impairing injuries, Carpenter is able to impart such simple, yet excellent advice.