After completing seven marathons in her life, McKenna Bush, GCSOM ’22, was prepared to run another 26.2 miles in this year’s Boston Marathon. She knew how to properly pace herself and how to enter the right mental state before and during her run.
On her eighth marathon, however, she experienced something she hadn’t before—running past Mile 21 for the first time as a Boston College student.
Despite her marathon history, Bush said that she had not always been this avid of a runner. She first began running competitively in high school when she joined the cross country team. During her undergraduate years at Kansas State University, she began longer distance running, completing her first half and full marathons. In 2015, one of those marathons was the Boston Marathon.
“I came to Boston to run the marathon in college, and I just fell in love with the city,” Bush said. “It’s hard to come to Boston as a runner and not just fall in love with the Boston area. I remember having a thought seven years ago of ‘Oh my gosh, I love this place. I want to live here someday.’”
Seven years later, Bush dedicated 18 weeks to training, much of which was along the marathon course. In addition to the physical training process, anticipating the friends and family she would see on Marathon Monday made for a particularly memorable training experience.
“It’s just been this really sweet experience now having lived in the Boston area,” Bush said. “It made for a very special community experience this time around.”
When April 18 finally arrived, Bush’s physical training was not the only component that fueled her run, she said. The thought of the BC community that would greet her at Mile 21 made the grueling Newton hills feel more manageable.
“I can’t express enough what a difference it makes knowing that you’re going to have people that are excited to see you,” Bush said. “It was so fun knowing that the energy of BC was going to be at Mile 21. … It did not disappoint.”