Sunday 6 August 2023

Conquering Goals: Qualifying for the Boston Marathon

Revel Mt. Charleston Finisher medal with the Boston Marathon Qualifying Tag

Personalized video created by the race

By: Justin Ferguson

Achieving a goal is a journey that often demands unwavering determination and unyielding effort. As a passionate runner, I've always dreamed of standing at the starting line of the prestigious Boston Marathon, knowing that I had earned my spot through qualifying with a remarkable time. Although I have run Boston twice before on charity spots, the desire to earn my place through qualifying always lingered in the back of my mind. On April 1, 2023, the day finally arrived when I conquered my goal by running a 3:08 race, and it was an experience unlike any other.

The path to qualifying for Boston led me to the Revel Mt. Charleston race, set amidst the breathtaking landscapes outside of Las Vegas. As I began my descent down the mountain, I was captivated by the majestic beauty around me, but I knew I had to be mindful not to get carried away. Saving a bit of energy for the end was crucial as the course would flatten out, and I would face a challenging uphill section near the finish.

Preparing for this unique race involved specific training to condition my body for the downhill portions. Many runners focus on uphill training, but the pounding your legs endure while running downhill requires a different set of skills. My training regimen included strengthening exercises and technique drills to reduce the risk of injury and optimize my performance.

The race day itself was an extraordinary adventure. Starting at the top of the mountain amidst snow-covered peaks was a surreal experience. The biting cold only fueled my excitement, knowing that I would eventually finish in the blazing desert heat. It was a testament to the resilience of all the runners on that course, battling through the extremes of weather to achieve their goals.

One aspect that needs to be mentioned was how incredibly well-organized the Revel Mt. Charleston race was. From registration to race logistics, everything ran smoothly, allowing runners to focus solely on their performance and the exhilarating journey ahead.

Crossing that finish line with a 3:08 time filled me with immense joy and accomplishment. Qualifying for the Boston Marathon has been a dream nurtured over years of hard work, and finally, it had come true. The sense of achievement was unparalleled, knowing that I had earned my spot on that iconic starting line.

This journey back to the Boston starting line, this time as qualifier, reminded me that goals are not just achieved; they are conquered through dedication, perseverance, and the courage to push beyond your limits. The road may be challenging, but the rewards are worth every step. As I now prepare to run Boston once more, I carry with me the fulfillment of knowing that I earned my place, that I am not just a participant but a true qualifier, and that is a feeling like no other.

Justin Ferguson is an avid runner

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