The Boston Marathon is the oldest continuously run marathon in the world and due its challenging qualifying requirement, has earned a reputation for being the Olympics for the average person.

This Monday — like most years — Ottawa will be strongly represented among the 26,000-runner field.

“Ottawa has a huge contingent of runners in Boston every year,” said Phil Marsh, area manager for the Running Room who coached around 20 runners competing this year.

Joyce White, who trained with Marsh, is looking forward to the race. The 67-year-old started running seven years ago and admits to feeling nervous.

“I just want to finish upright and smiling,” she said.

Preparing for Boston is difficult for most Ottawa runners who get in most of their training in January and February.
“I go out there and I run every day in the winter, but I don’t really want to be out there,” said Robin Mounsteven, 25, who is going to Boston for the first time. Thinking about Boston “gets me running a little faster,” she said.

After running the race with her husband, Steph, last year, Tricia Wilhelm, 29, is looking forward to the return trip.

“It feels as if the whole city is out there cheering you on,” she said. “It’s a
really fun weekend to be down there.”

More than 120 of the registered runners list Ottawa as their hometown. The number of residents is likely higher since many transplanted residents list their original hometown on the race entry.

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