Marianne Casey Roy and Corina Frank are abandoning the relative peace and bliss of Truro's Victoria Park to run a course that will be lined with hundreds of thousands of screaming race fans.
The Truro women are running in their first Boston Marathon on Monday.
“I’d only been running about six weeks when I decided I wanted to run the Boston Marathon,” said Frank. “At that time, I had no idea how many kilometres a marathon was, and I didn't know that I would have to qualify in order to run it.”
Frank, who is 55, began running six years ago.
“I was invited out by Connie Baird, who was a member of the Truro Run Tribe,” she recalled. “When I arrived at the Cobequid Trail, I sat in the car and debated with myself, as to whether I could do it or not. I decided that if I didn't try it I'd never know, so off I went.”
A couple of months later, she ran 10K in the Johnny Miles event at New Glasgow.
Since then she’s taken part in several runs, including a couple of marathons. Last year, she and Casey Roy completed the Fredericton Marathon, which is a qualifier for Boston.“It was great training with Marianne to qualify for Boston,” said Frank. “Although the runs were tough, we had lots of laughs along the way and covered a variety of topics.
“I enjoy challenging myself and meeting other runners and I especially love running in (Victoria) park.”
She often takes her collie, Harvard, along on short runs, while Casey Roy is joined by her duck toller, Boston.
“I was always a runner and did track and cross country for fun, but then I quit for a while,” said Casey Roy, who is 59. “I got involved again about seven years ago. The woman who encouraged me to run at that time was training to do half marathons and I thought that was amazing. I never expected I’d be doing this in the future.”
She usually runs five times a week, sometimes doing short, fast runs of about 6K and other days doing longer ones, at a slower pace.
“I love the freedom of running,” she said. When I’m out with friends, chatting and laughing, it’s like being kids running through the woods.”
Her training was disrupted in February, when a fall on the ice prevented her from running for a while. She turned to swimming in order to maintain fitness.
Frank and Casey Roy aren’t concerned with where they finish or how long it takes them to run the marathon, they’re heading out with the goal of finishing the course and enjoying themselves.
“I’m very excited about it,” said Frank. “It truly is a dream come true. I’m going to be running it for the love of running.”
Take it from someone who knows...
John Frizzell has run the Boston Marathon three times; in 2004, 2005 and 2007.
“They were the worst marathons and best marathons I’ve ever run in my life,” said the Truro man. “They were the worst because of personal issues; I don’t travel well and there was bad weather two of those years. In 2004, I had to drive through a snowstorm to get there, and then the day of the race it was hot with high humidity. The event filled the hospital with heat stroke victims. In 2007, there were gale force winds and rain.
“You take what you have and enjoy the event though. Just participating in fabulous.”
A special memory for him was having Johnny Kelley, who ran 61 Boston Marathons, sing to the runners at the 2004 event. Kelley died later that year, at the age of 97.
Frizzell’s advice to runners is to remain calm and pace themselves during the event.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the race and head out too fast. Go slower than you think you should at first.
“A lot of runners worry about Heartbreak Hill. It’s not an especially difficult hill, it’s just where it occurs in the course, around the 20-mile mark. It’s really just the last of a series of hills.”
He found running through quiet sections., then into areas where the roads were lined with cheering fans to be very emotional.
“You feel you’re running with the ghosts of great runners who’ve run along that street,” he said.
April 17, 1967 – Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to receive a number to run in the Boston Marathon. She entered the race as K.V. Switzer and wore baggy clothes to hide the fact that she was a woman. Females were not officially allowed to enter until 1972.
April 15, 2013 – Two bombs exploded near the finish line, killing two people and injuring at least 264 others.
About 500,000 spectators line the course each year
Runners must be at least 18 years old, but there are no upper age limits. In 2012, Maddona Buder finished in 5:38 at the age of 81.
The marathon has an official distance of 42.195 kilometres (26.219 miles; 26 miles 385 yards),
Several people have cheated during the marathon. The most famous was Rosie Ruiz, who was the first female to cross the finish line in the 1980 event. It was later discovered that she used the subway to cover some of the distance.