Stephanie Abraham, 35
Attorney turned stay-at-home mom
My BQ race was at the 2012 Marine Corp Marathon, where I ran my PR (3:33:10) — I am aiming to beat that by an ambitious 10 minutes at Boston.
I got into running in 2010, the year after my youngest son was born. I had always been into sports and had run recreationally in my 20s, completing a few charity 5Ks here and there, but I never considered myself a “real runner.” My husband and I ran a 5K a few years ago, and I came in first out of all the women. That’s when I got hooked and thought to myself that running was something I could really embrace and make a part of my life.
Why are you running the 2014 Boston Marathon?
Getting to Boston has been a goal of mine for a while, but I am running Boston this year to really experience this race and all its history, old and new, good and bad. It is of course the oldest, most magnificent and exclusive marathon in the world, and I’m sure there is nothing else like it. It is also quite a challenging course, which makes it all the more attractive to me.
More importantly, I live in a very small town in southern West Virginia that has very high obesity rates, addiction rates and economical problems. West Virginia is consistently rated as a state with some of the lowest health levels in the country and is again this year. As one of the very few runners in my town, I run a loop on the 4-lane highway, which traverses through Logan County, every day in an effort to inspire and teach people that being healthy and happy is not out of their reach.
What part of the event/course are you most looking forward to?
I am most looking forward to getting to that start line. I imagine the camaraderie among the athletes, getting ready to take the first step toward likely the most significant and emotional 26.2 miles of their lives, will be overwhelming. Catching my first glimpse of the finish line banner is a very close second.
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What does “Boston Strong” mean to you?
Boston Strong is a way of stating that runners are the most resilient people on earth. I’m sure we all felt the same way last year — that someone attacked our friends and the cheerleaders in their support system, who are just as important to a race as the runners themselves.
Who is coming out to support you this year?
My husband, Brian, and my two boys, Gavin, 6, and Chase, 4, will be waiting for me at the finish line, as they always are. The best feeling in the world is when you know your family is proud of you.
What is your race-day goal?
My race-day goal is to finish between 3:20 and 3:25. I’ve put in the training, so I’m ready to put it on the line. And while finishing with a PR is important to me, I’m really going to try to focus on the experience as a whole — I don’t want to miss a thing.