© Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Nowa
Shelley Carroll, seen here at the 2013 Bluenose Marathon in Halifax, is running the Boston Marathon on Monday.
AMHERST – Amherst’s Shelley Carroll will be Boston Strong when she braves the Boston Marathon Monday morning.
Her and her three kids, 19-year-old Annie, 14-year Chris and 11-year-old Kyle, travel by car to Boston Thursday morning and will spend the weekend in Beantown.
“My kids have been really supportive and really flexible about my training schedule,” said Carroll, who is 40-years-old. “The first few days of the trip is for them, so one thing we’re going to go to do is take in a Red Sox game.”
Carroll runs with the Striders running club in Amherst. She’s been running for about 10 years and started running marathons in 2008, but this is her first Boston Marathon.
It will also be the first Boston Marathon since the bombing at the Boston Marathon in 2013.
“A lot of the runners run for charity and it’s such a community-oriented event. It’s unbelievable that something so awful would happen at the Boston Marathon,” said Carroll. “But a lot of great, positive stories have come out of it. It’s very emotional. I figure for the first two or three miles it will be just me, my snot and my tears.”
She qualified for the Boston Marathon last May at the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax with a time of about 3:38:00.
Only now is it beginning to sink in that she is really going to Boston.
“It’s overwhelming when I think about it,” she said. “Every time there’s a commercial or an article about the Boston Marathon I get goose-bumps. It’s real now.”
Boston’s Shalane Flanagan is one of the favourites to win the marathon on the women’s side of the competition.
“I will be nowhere near her. I’ll be a long ways behind her,” said Carroll with a laugh. “”We’re not even in the same league. Maybe she’ll order me a cold beer or something.”
The toughest obstacle at the Boston Marathon is Heartbreak Hill.
“That’s where the tears come, because when you get past that you know you surpassed the toughest part and it’s all downhill from there,” said Carroll. “It’s all downhill to the finish line and that’s where my family will be waiting for me.”
She says the support she’s received from people in Amherst will help her get through the tough parts.
“There’s a real sense of community in Amherst. When I go to the grocery store people offer encouragement by saying good luck. That will help me get through those tougher miles,” said Carroll. “I’m grateful to the Striders, my friends and family, and my co-workers. They’ve been very supportive with my training and fundraising.”
Carroll begins the Boston Marathon at 11 a.m. EST.