Another great experience
Minot runner competes in 4th Boston Marathon
The excitement of running the Boston Marathon outweighed the challenges of getting there post-blizzard and the difficulty of the race for Minot’s Kellie Meyer.
Meyer has participated in four Boston Marathons – in 2012, 2014, 2021 and most recently on April 18.
“It was a great experience, and I hope to go back at some point,” she said. “I’ve got kind of a bucket list of some other races that I’m hoping to do in the future, like New York City is kind of a big one that’s on my list. But I would definitely love to go back to Boston again.”
Meyer is in her fifth year as career counselor for Minot Public Schools.
She grew up in Velva and Minot and participated in track and field and cross country in high school.
“I was never a great runner in high school. I did it more for just staying in shape and the social aspect of it,” she said. In her first year at Minot State University in 2006, she signed up for her first half marathon, the Trestle Valley event near Minot.
“That one’s got a pretty big hill in it, so it was definitely a challenge for my first one, but something about just the training for it and people coming out to watch and all that, it was just a really fun experience,” she said.
Since then she has run 46 half-marathons and 13 full marathons in addition to multiple 10K and 5K races.
“It’s just kind of become my passion and something that I really like to do,” she said.
Meyer had qualified for the 2022 Boston Marathon in posting a time of 3 hours and 19 minutes in the Boston Marathon held last October. The fall race came about after the spring races in 2020 and 2021 were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meyer had qualified for the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon at a Grand Forks event in 2019 but didn’t have an opportunity to compete until October 2021.
Meyer said training over the course of the summer, running up and down Minot’s 16th Street, helped her in the fall marathon. In North Dakota, it can be difficult to train in the winter because wind and ice force much of the work to be done indoors on a treadmill. Consequently, her finishing time at the 2022 event of 3 hours and 44 minutes was somewhat over her personal best.
Meyer said she realized halfway through the marathon that she wasn’t going to post her best time because of the way her body was responding to the race.
“I saw my husband at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill, mile 21, and he looked at me and he was like,’ Oh, are you going to be able to finish the race?’ And I said I did not come all this way to not finish, so it was not a very pleasant last few miles but I pushed through,” she said.
The highlight of the race as always, though, was the amazing crowd, she said. Thousands of people line the street to cheer on the competitors.
“You feel like you are a celebrity for 26 miles,” Meyer said. “I tried to soak in the atmosphere as much as I could and kind of distract myself from the fact that I was hurting a little bit, but all things considered, a three-hour-44-minute marathon is still pretty good.”
Meyer said the stress of getting to Boston meant she and her husband, Mitch, didn’t have a chance to get excited about the race until actually there.
She described how their morning flight the previous Friday was canceled due to the blizzard that moved through the state mid-week. There was no rebooking option in Minot, but two seats were left on a flight out of Grand Forks at 5 a.m. Saturday if they could get there.
“The problem was the highways were all shut down,” she said. Fortunately, the highways opened Friday night, allowing the Meyers to make it to Grand Forks.
“It was a rollercoaster of emotion, too, because I had been training for this race since December – thousands of hours put in,” said Meyer, who had been running 60-65 miles a week.
Meyer plans to take it easier for a while and recharge from having run two major marathons in six months. She still is contemplating the races she wants to compete in the rest of this year.
She called running her outlet for unplugging. It also is her way of connecting with others.
“One of the things that I enjoy the most about running is the community of people. We do have a running community here in Minot and some of the best friends that I have I’ve met through that,” she said.
“That was probably one of my favorite things, too, about the Boston Marathon. You’ve got 30,000 people coming in from all of these different cities and countries,” she said. “It’s crazy the different backgrounds of people that running brings together – that we all have a commonality there.”