Originally published in The Weekly Packet, April 24, 2014
Sedgwick runner takes on Boston Marathon…again
Sharlene Grant and her daughter, 8-year-old Eve Skoletsky, at the top of “Heartbreak Hill.” This is the spot where the race ended for Grant last year.
by Faith DeAmbrose
Sharlene Grant of Sedgwick tied up her laces and headed to the starting line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21. She said she “had to finish what she started” one year ago.
Last year, in her first attempt at the Boston Marathon, she was ripped from the course at mile 21, at the top of the infamous “Heartbreak Hill,” when a pair of bombs exploded at the finish line. She was just five miles shy of the finish line.
This year, just as she had the one before, Grant ran for charity, the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, in honor of her 8-year old daughter Eve.
“There was no way I wasn’t going to do it,” said Grant when reached by phone the following day. “The whole 26.2 miles was amazing. There was so much cheering and so much support, you could feel it wherever you were that day.”
Grant trained all year for the race, and almost thought she would be out of the running—literally—when she seriously injured a toe one week prior to the race. “I thought for a minute that all the months of training were gone and that I wouldn’t be able to run. But then I got over that. It was painful, but there wasn’t anything that was going to stop me,” she said.
Grant saw her husband, Dave, and Eve first at Mile 17. As she had the year before, she stopped and had a sandwich with them before resuming the run. She saw them again at Mile 21 where she had been pulled from the course last year and then at the end just beyond the finish line. “I swear the miles kept getting longer, that they seemed to spread out more when you got toward the end,” she said, adding that none of that mattered once she turned on to Boylston Street and actually saw the finish line. At that point, she said, she knew she had achieved a goal dreamt up more than two years ago. “It was a big day.”
For Grant, and she believes for many of the other record 36,000 entrants, this year’s Boston Marathon was about closure. But, next year, she said, she thinks she will be a cheerleader at the Mile 17 cheering section.