Boston Marathon 2014

Jessica Sowalsky's Marathon Blog

Boston Marathon 2014 - Jessica Sowalsky's Marathon Blog

Boston Marathon 2014

I finished the Boston Marathon in 5:55:30!!!!! My goal was to finish the marathon in under 6 hours. My first marathon was the best experience ever!!! The state of Massachusetts and the city of Boston had amazing spirit and was Boston Strong!!!!! I ran with a Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge teammate, Sharon the whole way from Hopkinton to Boston the whole way! A picture of the two of us is below.

During the race, I saw a ton of family, friends, and co-workers. A picture of my uncle Bobby and my cousins David and his son Mathew is below. I saw them when I was finishing Heartbreak Hill.

I would do this experience all again next year and I will raise more money for cancer research.

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Marathon Weekend is Finally Here

I have worked so hard to get to this moment…MARATHON WEEKEND! I am starting to get the jitters and I am worried about what is going to happen during the race. I know I will finish since I have worked and trained very hard! I got through two injuries and physical therapy to get where I am today…3 days to go! During the race, I will be thinking about my family, friends, and cancer patients and these people will help me get to the finish line.

During the marathon, my story will be aired on WBZ CBS. It explains why I am running and who I am running for. To watch the video and view my profile go to the below website:

Next post, will be post race…wish me luck!!!

Last Run and Boston Strong

Last night, I ran from Coolidge Corner to the finish line (5.22 miles). This was my last run before Monday’s race. A whole lot of emotions went though me when I was take the right on to Hereford Street and a left onto Bolyston Street knowing that I was close to the finish line. Once, I got to Bolyston Street I sprinted to the finish line and I started taking pictures of the Boston Strong displays, the Boston Strong daffodils, and the finish to get me psyched up for Monday! Only 4 days to go!

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One Year Anniversary

Yesterday, was the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings. Watching the television and hearing the speeches from political leaders, survivors, and runners made me feel proud of my city and to know the marathon this year will be the best one ever.

As President Barak Obama said, “We carry on. we race. we strive. we build, and we work, and we love.” “This time next year, on the third Monday in April, the world will return to this great American city to run harder than ever and to cheer even louder for that 118th Boston Marathon. Bet on it.”

Last Long Run

It is 9 days to go until the big day! Today, I ran 12 miles from Natick to Wellesley and back. The weather was gorgeous 50 degrees and sunny. I ran with a close running friend of mine Jean who trained with me for our first half marathon. She found out recently that she got a bib number from the city of Newton to be able to run the marathon. I thought it was a great idea for us to run together today on our last long run (see a picture of her and I below from our first half marathon).

I am not nervous at all. I am more excited than anything to run this marathon. As Robert Frost said: “Miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep.”




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Above are the 15 cancer ribbons I will be wearing on the back of my singlet during the Boston Marathon. Pink is Breast Cancer, Yellow is Bone Cancer, White is Lung Cancer, Orange is Childhood Cancer, Black is Melanoma, and Light Blue is Prostate Cancer. All of these ribbons are for my family and friends who I am running in honor or in memory of and who are fighting or who lost their battle with cancer. All of these people will help me get across the finish line on April 21!

My Story

Yesterday, I went to visit Brigham and Women’s Hospital to visit the NICU to see the nurses that saved my life when I was born. I got a chance to meet some of the parents in the NICU who recently had babies that were my size when I was born. I weighed two pounds half ounce and everyone thought that I would not make it. In 1985, I was considered to be a miracle child. After, I was born I stayed in the NICU for 11 weeks and then I was finally sent home. My parents came back and forth from Andover to Boston to visit me every day.

Here is my story:

I was born three months premature and suffered lower extremity and back issues throughout my childhood. Even though I beat the odds and survived being born premature, my doctors never thought I would ever walk, yet alone run. In high school, I got involved in track and field as a sprinter. My personal dedication to overcoming obstacles that could be an adversity is the driving force behind my perseverance to do what others felt was impossible.

In 2011, I ran in my first long distance race, the Feaster Five 5 Mile Road Race in my hometown. At the time, it was an accomplishment for me just finishing the race. Since that time I have run in two 5 mile races, two 10K races, and four half marathons in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Growing up, I never thought of running in the Boston Marathon. It never crossed my mind since I always ran such short distances.

This year, I am running the Boston Marathon as a charity runner for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge. This will be my first marathon. I am privileged to have a patient partner, Kiera, a 5-year old girl who has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia since 2012. She courageously battles the infections that set her back from her chemo treatments.

My personal obstacles pale in comparison to those facing a cancer patient but we have something in common – that we both want to beat the odds and achieve a substantial goal. I am running the Boston Marathon to help the future needs of others by providing researchers with precious dollars to make cancer something no one will ever die from again by helping put an end to cancer! You can visit my fundraising page here: