Price teacher qualifies for nation's premier marathon
For years Maren Broadbear looked at people who ran for fun as crazy. It was not an activity she saw as fun at all. Then one day six or seven years ago, her brother wanted the family to participate in a little 5K race in Salt Lake as a fundraiser for a cause he was supporting. So the Castle Heights teacher started doing a little running. This April she and her younger sister, Polly Baily, will head to Boston to run in the prestigious Boston marathon.
With so many people wanting to run the race, the organizers have put limits on the entries. You must finish a qualifying event with a minimum time of 3 hours and 50 minutes. She qualified with a time of 3:38:19. Her sister has also qualified for Boston after running the Salt Lake Marathon.
Broadbear had walked with a friend on a daily basis for her health and the good company for years, but running was new territory for her. She completed the 5k with her brother and since has done many other races, including some of the local 5K's and several half marathons along the way. Then her younger sister, who is an avid runner and challenged her to think bigger - full marathon bigger to be exact.
A 5K is 3.1 miles. A full marathon is 26.2 miles long. She needed to get a lot more serious about training.. She picked the 2010 Little Grand Canyon Marathon down in the San Rafael desert as her goal for her full marathon..
To motivate herself she loaded up books on her I-pod and allowed herself to listen to them only when she ran. If she hit a good part of the book, she needed to fit in a run to hear what happened. Broadbear tries to get out and run about six miles three times a week before school. She does 13 miles on Saturdays.
By the time it got close to the 2010 race, a family health crisis postponed the goal of running the marathon but she just kept on training. Broadbear does not adhere to a strict training plan, but has used the advice of other distance runners to keep her training on track. Through the summer she has added two miles a week to her long runs until she hit 21 miles. Then she had a couple weeks to "taper" her distances down as the race drew near. A few weeks ago she ran the Little Grand Canyon Marathon and not only finished but did it fast enough to get a Boston qualifying time.
"When I was training and the 21 mile mark was the farthest I ran, I was wondering what the last five miles would be like," remarked Broadbear, "But I had trained well and never hit the wall you hear so many people talk about. I just kept a good pace and kept checking my watch and I think I averaged about 8:20 a mile. I wanted this to be enjoyable and not end up crawling over the finish line in pain like I have seen others do."
Qualifying for Boston was never even a goal for her, it was just to finish the full distance. The process of training for it changed her outlook. What used to be an activity she had to bribe herself to do, now is a very important part of her life. She now often runs without her books and uses the time to decompress or work out things like lesson plans. She finds running enjoyable. Running is a family thing and she even has her students running laps on a regular basis.
Running in Boston could be a little unnerving. It will be the biggest race as far as crowds go. She knows from doing a couple big races in Salt Lake that you can get stuck in the crowd and find it hard to get a pace going so she plans to just take it as it happens. She is glad to be running it with her sister who is who give her the motivation to do this.