Martha Williams never thought she’d qualify for Boston. But she did.

"I am running to show our daughter it’s possible to reach lofty goals and to motivate others with polycystic kidney disease to not give up on keeping your body moving."

–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 15, 2019.

Name: Martha Williams
Age: 40
From: St. Peters, Missouri
Bib #: 20470

I started running for fun in college to blow off steam with my discman. Fast forward six years and I finished my first marathon, barely cracking five hours. And then another six months later, shaving 40 minutes off. I never thought I would qualify for the epic race known as the Boston Marathon. I entered a medical research study for kidney disease at Tufts Medical Center and visited Boston twice a year for eight years, usually around April and October, and seeing that freshly painted finish line on Boylston tempted me.

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After my daughter started kindergarten, 13 years after my first marathon, I trained in earnest and qualified, by 21 seconds! It will be a joy and honor for me to run this course where there is so much history — it’s the icing on the cake of my 40th birthday celebration. I am running to show our daughter it’s possible to reach lofty goals and to motivate others with polycystic kidney disease to not give up on keeping your body moving.

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

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