Emily Knous, a member of the Boston College women’s soccer team, has always been an athlete. She also always planned to run the marathon in the spring of her senior year.
“I would say I have been a runner without being a runner,” Knous said. “I’ve always been that person on the soccer team that could run for days, and I have enjoyed running my whole life—we’re the family who does 5Ks on major holidays. … I’ve grown up loving it as an outlet, something away from soccer.”
Knous, CSOM ’22, ran for the Dream Big Foundation, which she said empowers young girls and women in low-income communities by establishing and funding sports programs which benefit their physical and mental health. Because sports were so influential in her life growing up, the cause was a perfect fit.
“Sports [have] played an essential part of my life since I was four,” Knous said. “So being a student-athlete, I wanted to use my platform to give back to the community in any way that I could.”
Despite her athletic experience, Knous experienced a setback when she developed stress fractures in both feet only eight weeks before the marathon.
“I couldn’t run for five weeks, so I was strictly on a bike and in the pool, which was tough,” Knous said.
When she got back in the swing of things, the marathon was only three weeks out. But the training community around her kept her going, especially on her Saturday morning runs down Comm. Ave.
“It made it feel like a mini-race day every Saturday,” Knous said. “It definitely gave a community feel to something that could be really difficult.”
The day of the marathon itself, Knous said, was one of the best days of her life, due in large part to those around her.
“There was not a stretch of the race that didn’t have people,” Knous said. “And just seeing so many people run for something greater than themselves … I watched on the sidelines in the fall and saw the emotion, but being on the other side was really more powerful because you got to see thousands of runners go through this with you.”