With temperatures in the 80s, one can only imagine how runners felt competing in the Boston Marathon Monday...unless of course you were one of them.
Norton resident Betsy O’Brien was one of 11 runners from town who participated. Though she was given the option to defer until next year, she didn’t even consider it.
“When I recieved the email from the BAA explaining the deferment option, I didn't give it a thought,” O’Brien explained. “I said to myself, people that get diagnosed with cancer don't get the option to defer cancer, so I was all in despite the temperature predictions in the mid-high 80s. This was not a race for me it was a statement.”
A first-time marathon runner, O’Brien ran for Dana Farber and raised over $5,000 for cancer research. Her sister Aimee, who beat Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, a rare salivary gland cancer, was there along with 40 other family members and friends to cheer her on in the heat.
Heeding the advice from experienced marathoners at the startline, O’Brien decided to run it an hour slower than she planned. They told her that especially in this heat, just finishing will prove to be a feat. As she made her way to the finish line, she in fact saw several runners being taken away in ambulances and many others that had to sit on the road for rest. But she did not quit.
In addition to family and friends, O’Brien received motivation from spectators and runners. The hoses and mist tents helped as well.
“Another thing that kept me motivated was Tedy Bruschi, along with his wife, running ahead of me a lot of the race,” O’Brien said. “Like myself, they too took walk breaks and stopped to talk to friends."
Tedy's official time was 5:26:02, while his wife clocked in a second sooner. O'Brien came in at 5:29:58.
“I could not have done this without the amazing support from all," O'Brien said. "It was an incredible experience that I will never forget!”