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Bowling Green woman will run in Boston Marathon April 18

ShandaBlair.jpg
Roger Blair
/
Shanda Blair's first marathon was the Jack and Jill Downhill in July 2021.

A woman from Bowling Green, Kentucky will run in the Boston Marathon on April 18.

Shanda Blair is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where she is currently director of operations for Aramark, the campus restaurant group.

WKU Public Radio reporter Rhonda Miller talked with Blair about what inspired her to start running when she was in middle school and her training for the Boston Marathon, where she’ll be wearing number
15,144.

Blair: 30,000 participants, 500,000 spectators, so there’s going to be a lot of people there.

Miller: Yes, so have you gone to Boston to look at the route, or to prepare?

Blair: No, not when it’s so far away. Maybe if it were a town over, but no, not all the way to Boston.

Miller: So you’re just going to be at the starting line…

Blair: ...and I’m going to go ‘til the people tell me to stop.

Miller: First let me ask you how long you’ve been running and how did you get to this point of the Boston Marathon qualification?

Blair: I’ve been running since I was 12 and I am 41. So, a large part of my life has revolved around running. I started in middle school. I just happened to spend the night with someone and they went to cross country practice the next day. I had never been, so they let me borrow some clothes. And I ran a lap around the golf course and I’ve never stopped. As far as Boston, when I knew I was going to turn 40, I decided that I wanted to do my first marathon. I had never done one before, so I thought well, I’ll do a marathon.

Miller: Shanda, what was that marathon?

Blair: It was the Jack and Jill Downhill, which is super fun. It is a decline from the top start of the race to the end of the race. It is in North Bend, Washington, right outside of Seattle. So, it was last July.

Jack&Jill.jpg
Roger Blair
/
Shanda Blair ran the Jack and Jill Downhill marathon near Seattle in July 2021 to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Miller: How do you train? When do you train and where?

Blair: It’s a lot of running. I usually actually get up at four in the morning. Yeah. It’s six days a week.

Miller: Where do you run?

Blair: Everywhere. I’ve run down Scottsville Road. I live out past the mall. So, Three Springs. It could be just everywhere. Every road in town, if there’s a possibility for me to be on it, I might be on it. ‘Cause some of my runs are up to16 miles, so you can run the whole parameter of Bowling Green.

Miller: You get up at four in the morning and you work, how many days a week?

Blair: Five to six.

Miller: So, you run for hours before work?

Blair: Sometimes. Yeah. Sometimes it’s not hours, sometimes it may be hour. But that’s how it has to work.

Miller: What do you think has kept you running all this time? It’s so much time and I don’t know if you have a family or family here. It’s a lot of time out of your life, plus a full-time busy job.

Blair: It is a lot of time. I think one of the things is typically it’s not so much running. It’s usually just really a good stress reliever. I definitely firmly believe in exercise and just making sure you have that in your life. My husband, definitely super supportive. He comes to all my races. He loves to take pictures and he makes videos. So I don’t know if he loves it, but he finds a way to make it fun for him. I have a 10-year-old son. You know, when I come home and I have medals or trophies or whatever, he gets pretty excited. So that’s really sweet. And I do it very early. Especially on the weekends, that’s usually when I do my longer runs. And they’re still sleeping. So as long as I get back for breakfast, and I’m making it, everybody’s pretty happy.

Miller: And your husband doesn’t run?

Blair: No, that’s a good and a bad thing. My dog, actually, I have a border collie, and she runs with me quite a lot. She’s just a little ball of energy.

Miller: Well, Shanda, I’m wishing you lots of luck, that you’ll enjoy it and come back to Bowling Green and get some rest.

Blair: That’s the plan.

Miller: Thanks for talking with me.

Blair: Thank you.

Miller: I’ve been talking with Shanda Blair of Bowling Green who will run in the Boston Marathon on April 18.