Cross Country

Former Cross Country Standout, Maleah Cole, Competed in 2011 Boston Marathon


Former Catawba cross country standout, Maleah Cole, recently ran in the 2011 Boston Marathon.  Cole finished just her second marathon among the top 4,500 females.  Below is her recap of her marathon experience.

The 115th Boston Marathon is only the second marathon I’ve participated in.  My first marathon was the Banktrust First Light marathon in Mobile, Alabama on Jan 10, 2010.  In Alabama, I placed seventh overall for women with a time of 3:37:32, qualifying me for the Boston marathon.   For me to qualify I had to run a 3:40:00 or better.  Ever since I qualified, I had been planning on registering for the 2011 Boston Marathon. 

Registration opened on October 18, 2010 and maxed out after only eight hours and three minutes!  I was lucky to have gotten in.  The few weeks leading up to the marathon, I was really nervous concerning the number of people who would also be participating in the marathon.  Over 26,000 were entered to participate.  I had never run in any race that large. I think the largest race I had done before the Boston Marathon was maybe 1,000 entrants.  I was nervous that I would get bumped into and ran over by everyone during the race.  It was pretty crowded throughout the whole race, but nobody ran over me.

The worst parts about the Boston Marathon were the athlete’s village and the mad-house after crossing the finish line.  The athlete’s village was awful because we had to hang out there for 2-3 hours before going to the starting line, there were thousands of port-a-johns in the village that still had 30 minute long lines, and the wind was freezing.  I was shivering so bad!  Once I was got to the starting line and started running, the weather was perfect!  It was sunny, warm, and the wind was to my back.  After crossing the finish line, I felt like I was a baby cow in the middle of a huge group of cattle.  We were all walking in the same direction and trying to pick everything up along the way: water, Gatorade, our space blankets, our medals, protein bar, our bags, our families, etc and all I wanted to do was find my family and sit down.

The best part about the Boston Marathon was the spectators along the course.  The atmosphere along the whole course was electric!  I’ve never seen so many people come out to cheer for a race!! I gave out hundreds of high-fives! It was so much fun!  I think the coolest thing about being part of the 2011 is that I participated in such a historical marathon!  The Boston Marathon is a historical marathon in itself, but this year the world record and the American record were broken at the 2011 Boston marathon, and I participated in it!

My goal for the marathon was to get under 3:20:00.  My official finishing time was 3:50:00.  At halfway, I was on pace to run a 3:18:00, but some events happened, along with hitting the wall, that I just wasn’t able to keep up the pace.  I don’t feel bad or upset about not meeting my goal time.  I ran in the Boston Marathon!  Running in the Boston Marathon is an accomplishment in itself, and I know that I’ll have other chances to reach my goal time!  I would say that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I know that I’ll run in the Boston Marathon again!

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