GREENSBURG – Decatur County Memorial Hospital Occupational Therapist Kelsey Puckett has qualified to run in the Boston Marathon on April 15.
The Boston Marathon is an annual run hosted by several cities in greater Boston in eastern Massachusetts. It is always held on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday of April. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s best known road racing events.
The marathon attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England’s most widely viewed sporting event. Starting with 15 participants in 1897, the event now attracts an average of nearly 30,000 registered participants each year.
The Boston Marathon course covers 26 miles. That is roughly comparable to running from the Decatur County Courthouse to Indiana Grand Racing Casino just north of Shelbyville.
Making the effort even more impressive is the fact that on April 15 of this year Puckett will be six months pregnant!
“I got started early,” the 29 year old therapist said. “I just really loved to run in elementary school and high school. I just enjoy it. I like it because it gives me stress relief, and I run early in the morning so I get a chance to gear myself up for my day.”
Puckett told the Daily News that during the summer months she runs up to 12 miles every day. Her husband, Chris, is also athletically inclined, so the Pucketts balance working out with minding the kids.
“We get up every morning at 4 to get everything done. He will stay at home and cross train, lifting weights and such, and watch Rush while I run outside. The next day we’ll switch so that Chris gets to run outside,” Kelsey said. “Then we go to work.”
Kelsey ran in the 13.1 mile Indiana University mini-marathon at age 20 and will be running in the Boston Marathon 10 days after her 30th birthday.
The Pucketts, married four years now, ran in the 28 mile Columbus Marathon in 2018 and in the Carmel Marathon, a 50 mile run, last December.
The Boston Marathon is open to runners 18 or older from any nation, but they must meet certain qualifying standards.
To qualify, a runner must first complete a standard marathon course certified by a national governing body affiliated with the International Association of Athletics Federations within a certain period of time before the date of the desired Boston Marathon.
Kelsey has qualified as an “elite woman” and will start the marathon between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. on race day.
“I am not running to compete. I’m running to compete against myself. When I ran the last big one I was pregnant with Rush, so I know that being pregnant my time will be a lot slower!’ “
What is her advice for up-and-coming- marathon runners?
“Early mornings!” she said laughing. “And commitment. And if you’re raising kids, teamwork. But above all, you have to enjoy it!”
As for running while pregnant?
“Well, when you are pregnant and running in a marathon you just want to survive and enjoy the scenery,” she said. “So, when I survive it I’ll be ecstatic!”
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