Locals prepare for Monday’s Boston Marathon

  • Krystal Ambrosini of Antrim is one of a few locals who will run the Boston Marathon on Monday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Krystal Ambrosini of Antrim is one of a few locals who will run the Boston Marathon on Monday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 3:48PM

No matter how much distance running one does, the home stretch of a marathon is going to hurt.

“Your body does really different things between miles 20 and 26,” said Erin Kelly of Jaffrey, who’s run a handful of marathons now, most recently last fall’s Chicago Marathon. “Things hurt that you wouldn't expect to, and you can't plan to fuel for that far out because your body hasn't done that, things just fall apart in ways you don't necessarily know how to deal with.”

That tremendous pain is easier to deal with, though, when it’s put in perspective. Kelly and the other locals who will run the 122nd Boston Marathon on Monday will have plenty of time to get introspective as they run, alone in a crowd of 30,000 in the country’s biggest race. 

Krystal Ambrosini of Antrim came to marathon running the long way. A multisport athlete at ConVal, Ambrosini wasn’t interested in running for anything but a ball or a basket until she reached her 20s.

 “I never imagined I could run 26.2 miles,” Ambrosini said. “I thought those people were crazy, and now I’m one of them.” 

Ambrosini quickly found running to be an outlet for life’s troubles, and she devoted herself to it more and more. Eventually, she said, it helped her escape an eating disorder.

 “I realized I had to eat or I wasn’t going to run fast,” she said .

Finishing her first half-marathon gave her the confidence to end an abusive relationship.

 “I realized I was better than I thought,” Ambrosini said, “and if I pushed myself, I could do more.” 

Three years later, she ran the Disney Marathon in Florida, and qualified for Boston after running just one full marathon. It was a stroke of luck — the Boston Marathon is one of the most difficult to get into — and she hopes to make the most of it.

 “You realize at the end how good you’re going to feel,” Ambrosini said. “I’ve had days this training cycle where I’m crying and I’m thinking I’m not going to finish it, and I have days where I have this huge runner’s high. It’s very mental. It is a lot on a person mentally, not just physically.” 

Marathoners typically train for about five months leading up to the race, so Kelly, Ambrosini and the rest of the local runners had to train through the treacherous New England winter. That can be an advantage on a cold April morning in Boston, Ambrosini pointed out, but it can make training dangerous.

Kelly suffered a two-week setback after slipping on black ice during a run, but that pain was temporary, and she’s ready to fulfill a longtime dream on Monday morning.

 “I’ve wanted to do it since I was in eighth grade,” Kelly said. “I’m wicked excited about it.” 

Kelly logs plenty of miles through the year as Conant’s track and cross-country coach, but marathons are a whole different animal. She pushed herself up to running 20 miles at a stretch during her training before tapering back down in the last couple weeks. But unlike most sports where one can practice nearly any situation, marathons are so physically taxing that running 26 miles in training would likely knock most competitors out of the actual race. That’s what makes those last six miles such an unknown. Out there, fighting through those last few miles, Kelly said it helps reenforce just how lucky she is.

“It’s a privilege to do this,” Kelly said. “I have the means and support to spend my weekends running long. People in my life support me, I can pay for this ridiculously expensive race, I’m really privileged to be able to run this race and there are people doing way harder things that don't have any other options.”


These locals will run the 122nd Boston Marathon on Monday:

Sean Radcliffe, Temple

Shane Raymond, Peterborough

John Singelais, Temple

Thomas Peters, Francestown

Elizabeth McGurk, New Ipswich

Naomi Traffie, New Ipswich

Krystal Ambrosini, Antrim

Erin Kelly, Jaffrey

Carolina Tumminelli, Mason