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: Simon Ong
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Bib #: 3232
Boston is more than just a marathon. On top of having a rich history, I see Boston as a “city of strength,” as it went through moments of triumph and tragedy. This is the metaphor to everyday life. I started running as a coach potato with no athletic background, and had the dream of qualifying and running Boston. Prior to my running days, I would give up every time I encountered a setback, which was probably one of the reasons that led to my weight gain. There is magic in attempting to qualify for Boston: it empowers me to see that failure is necessary to succeed in any goal. It took me three attempts before I qualified for Boston in 2014.
I ran my first Boston in 2016 after months of hard training. The weather did not go according to plan, as it was a heat wave that year. My pace started to fall off 10 to 14 km into the race, and I started to jog and walk to the finish line. After I crossed the finish line, I was taken to the medical tent as my sodium level had dropped to a low level. I was able to show my potential on that day, and I promised to return to Boston to redeem my race performance.
Fast forward. Three years later, I am planning to return to Boston after qualifying in 2018. 2019 Boston is more than just redemption. Early in 2019, my grandmother passed away. She had suffered a stroke in the past and was on bed rest. She is one of my greatest supports in my running journey. Training and racing Boston 2019 would not be easy, but I am going to give my very best, and dedicate this race to my grandmother.
Editor’s note: Entry may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.