Why I’m ‘Rolling’: Sandra Dailey is ‘rolling’ Boston after breaking her back at 47

"When I first started my adventure in the push rim, I wasn’t able to push one lap around a track."

Sandra Dailey. —Courtesy

In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston on April 16, 2018. Are you running Boston? Here’s how to share your story on Boston.com.

Name: Sandra Dailey
Age: 60
From: Eureka, Missouri
Bib #: W117

I was a 47-year-old female when I fell off an extension ladder and broke my back.

I was introduced to push rim wheelchair racing. A push chair is a paralyzed persons adaptive equipment that is equivalent to running. My legs don’t work but my arms sure do the job.

When I first started my adventure in the push rim, I wasn’t able to push one lap around a track. I surrounded myself with positive people, mentors, and did my first marathon in four months. I decide to raise the bar/goal. I wanted to qualify for Boston. Over the next 10 years it was grueling. My time was 4:00 to 3:06. I needed a time of 2:55 to qualify. A couple of times I gave up and thought it’s to hard and I’m too old.


I read a quote that said “my only regret is what I didn’t accomplish.” That quote put me back in track. I qualified in 2016 and rolled my first Boston in 2017 with a PR of 2:48:08.

In my division there is the Elite and me. I bring up the rear and make sure everyone got to the finish line. Everyone has a role, and I’m proud I was able to experience such an awesome race.

Check out our entire “Why I’m Running” series.


Editor’s note: Entries may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.