iFit sent 3 runners to the Boston Marathon. These are their stories.

Vanessa Bucklin
Vanessa
My Experience at The Boston Marathon! Describing my experience in The Boston Marathon in 400 words or less will be a challenge, as there are really no words to describe the experience I felt! I must say it was one of the greatest experiences in my life and I may not ever come down from it.

As an invited runner, I had the perfect vantage point to experience The Boston, in Wave 4 Corral 8 (the very last), I was sitting in as #31229 of the 32,500 runners. As they say, everyone has a story at The Boston and from the elite, best runners in the world to those that worked so hard to run a qualifying time, I was fortunate to be among what I consider the true “Boston Strong” guts and blue collar of the participants. I was among those that were running for someone or something else, those that believed in something more powerful than themselves, those that ran for the honor and memory of someone. I ran behind those carrying the picture of loved ones on the back of their jersey and saw that although they were not the best, most trained runners, they were out there for 26.2 miles.

I was very emotional through the entire run, and cannot even write or talk about the experience without tears. The energy, love, hardwork, dedication and grit that was powering through 26.2 miles was so contagious and so thrilling, I felt absolutely fantastic the entire race. I had a personal best at 4:22:38 and never walked once even through heartbreak hill. At any point that I felt tired or negative, I just had to look around or listen to the chants and the cheers and feel like I was floating on a cloud.

The Boston was very humbling to see the handicapped and the challenges that runners faced and overcame. The Boston was raw, it was the true reflection of the human strength and testament that anything, truly anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

I dedicated several of my miles to important people in my life and tried to think about that one person for an entire mile. Several miles were dedicated to my Husband and each of our three kids. I dedicated miles to my co-workers, my Sister, my Mom, my Dad – a recent cancer survivor, my friends including one who is fighting cancer currently. I am so very thankful to have these people in my life, and they were all with me through this celebration of running the
Boston Marathon.

In summary, running the Boston Marathon changed me forever. It was one of the greatest
experiences in my life!

Robert Jennings
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My day started with the bus ride out to Hopkinton and entering the Athletes Village where I would wait until my 1130 start time. Spending the morning with people, from around the world, who have the same passion for running was an unbelievable experience. Listening to their stories of where they qualified, how they would run the race or the charity that they were there to support, showed the friendship and common bond that all runners share.

The weather on race day turned out to be cold and damp, but the weather did not dampen the enthusiasm of the runners or the massive crowds cheering us along on the route. The crowd had turned out in full force, braving the rain and cool temperatures to sing “Sweet Caroline”, offer you an orange slice, or cheer you on to the finish. The crowd, volunteers, and support personnel made this the most memorial race that I have ever run.

Making that final turn onto Boylston Street, seeing the finish line, knowing that I was a finisher of the Boston Marathon was the most enjoyable quarter mile of my life. The crowd, packed on both sides of the streets, cheering everyone home gave true meaning to being Boston Strong. Thank you IFIT for allowing me to participate in the 2015 Boston Marathon. Running the Boston Marathon was an unforgettable and amazing journey!

Chandra Reddy
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Having waited for so long its crept up quick, one more step until I hit the Boston course for real. It was A-Run-in-Rain-Race, a new experience but a fun one, I should say! The sudden weather alert got me shopping for water-resistant wears last minute at the hustling and bustling expo.

That morning, I took the shuttle, waived through amazing number of volunteers and runners. I showed up at the corral with a heat sheet, fully decked up. I kicked off the race happily running under the gray sky. It had just started to drizzle. Then to rain. Then pour~ It was a cool run, literally in all ways (pun intended). I sped by unbelievable number of people cheering all along the course. The rain and wind didn’t keep the crowd away! They lifted my spirits so high to even get me past the Heartbreak Hill. At Mile 21, I was competing against myself. Cramping with frozen fingers refusing to pop open my salt pill dispenser, I tagged along with other runners shivering in showers, racing against the wind. Though I was living in the moment, my mind was over miles, counting.

Soon I was back in Boston with more crowd screaming and cheering. I finished around the target time and walked away with the prestigious medal. The wind was getting cruel and BAA pampered us with a much needed poncho with a hoodie!

I saw people everywhere walking with their Boston Marathon jackets and medals on, on the streets that evening. So was I, walking away proudly with my Boston Marathon jacket drawing attention everywhere I went. Later that night, I learnt that there was some remote cheering going on as well. I was so thrilled to learn that my buddies were following me every mile, live into the race! All those congratulatory greetings and wishes put me on cloud nine for rest of the week.

That’s not all. I then ran the “Boston-2-Big Sur” Marathon the same week. I still feel so overwhelmed and euphoric about it all.

Once again, thanks to iFit for the opportunity.