After growing up in Natick, the fourth town along the Boston Marathon route, Hannah Buchsbaum, a graduate student in the Boston College School of Social Work, said she had always hoped to run the Boston Marathon.
“I grew up watching the marathon and I still remember the exact moment where I turned to my friend in middle school and was like, ‘I want to run this someday,’” Buchsbaum said. “And, it was just amazing finally being able to do it.”
Though she has run marathons over the past four years, Buchsbaum was not yet fast enough to qualify. But, as a member of the Cambridge Running Club, which she joined in 2018 upon her return to Boston for graduate school, Buchsbaum applied for a bib. The club receives several bibs each year thanks to members’ volunteer contributions around the city, so members can apply for a bib without a qualifying time.
Buchsbaum began training regularly in January, but scheduling in frequent training time proved to be a challenge since she had to balance working full time, pursuing her master’s degree, and also getting married during her training period.
The morning of the marathon, Buchsbaum battled some nerves, but she said that passing Mile 21 was an energizing turning point.
“It was something I was really looking forward to because I go to school here and I also live super close, and so this area has been my training place [where] I do all my runs,” Buchsbaum said. “I knew, also, once I got to the top of Heartbreak Hill … I could finish.”
Running became an important way for Buchsbaum to de-stress during her time as an undergraduate at Columbia University in New York, she said, so it has always been something she has done for fun. Though the feat is initially daunting, she said she believes that anyone who wants to can run a marathon.
“I thought it was really overwhelming at first, but you just take it day by day and I think it’s something that really anyone can do,” Buchsbaum said. “I think the coolest thing about … running a marathon, too, is just seeing so many people and knowing that each person kind of has their own story and their own way of getting there.”