Alexis Drzewiecki never saw herself as a marathoner until an opportunity to run 26.2 miles in Antarctica presented itself.
"I read an article about a woman who ran a marathon on all seven continents," said Drzewiecki. "I've always wanted to go to Antarctica, so when I found out there was a marathon there, it wasn't even a second thought. I had never even run a marathon before!"
Drzewiecki, 35, began researching the marathon, and found out that organizers didn't take many runners in order to preserve the area. She was placed on a waiting list that was two years long at the time. But in July 2010, Drzewiecki found out she was accepted for the following February.
"I had to tell them my decision in two days," she said. "And I said 'Absolutely, let's do it.' I had no idea where I was getting the money from. I signed up for the Disney Marathon in Florida and started training."
When February 2011 rolled around, Drzewiecki had only one marathon under her belt before she traveled to Antarctica to take on the rocky terrain and cold temperatures. She said being from Boston helped her in the long run.
"I had a little bit of an edge being from Boston," she said. "The cold weather and the temperatures there are about the same as Boston, so when I was training, I went outside on days I would normally take a rest day or run on a treadmill. It was in the snow and ice that I made myself run."
Drzewiecki finished the marathon around the 6-hour mark, an achievement she said was well worth it.
"Despite the tough terrain, and the fact that it was more like an obstacle course, I would absolutely do it again."
So far, Drzewiecki has completed marathons in North America, Antarctica and Europe. She hopes to get another continent checked off her list some time in 2013 and is already looking toward a potential race in Africa for 2014. But first, Drzewiecki says she has her sights set on the finish line on Bolyston Street.
"This is my first Boston Marathon and I think I might be most excited for this one," she said. "I've lived here for eleven and a half years and every single year I just want to do it. This year, I bit the bullet, signed on to raise money for an amazing charity, and started training."
Drewiecki will run for the National MS Society, a charity she is very passionate about.
"Raising a ton of money for this cause is the best part," said Drzewecki. "All of the training for the race is just a bonus. I am so inspired by all of the people donating. I hope that even one person sees me hobbling to the finish line they will know that if I can do it, anyone can do it."
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
- Ty Velde is a 15-time Boston qualifier who's completed 11 consecutive Boston Marathons and 23 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 12th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
- Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes