Trish Trout can scratch an item off her bucket list.
The Wesley Chapel woman completed the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21, finishing the 26.2-mile course in 6 hours and 14 minutes.
It was a day that she’ll never forget.
“I was in the center of the Boston Marathon,” Trout said. “You’re a rock star for a day. It’s like everybody’s your best friend.”
It came a year after bombings rocked the event, and security was tight, Trout said. Military police, Boston police and other law enforcement officers were stationed about every 150 yards along the route.
Helicopters hovered over the crowds. Armored trucks blocked roads. Bomb-sniffing dogs walked through the crowds, Trout added.
“My cheering section could not get to the finish line because it was lockdown. Even VIP ticket holders were kept out,” she said.
Despite the heavy security, the atmosphere was festive.
“It was a beautiful day. The energy was unreal,” Trout said. “At times, it was breathtaking, just seeing all of those people in support, and all of the runners. All ages, all shapes and sizes. It was awesome.”
Spectators lined the course, cheering on runners. People grilled on barbecues at nearby marathon parties.
Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” blasted, as Trout made her way through Natick, a town on the route. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” filled the air as she ran through the suburb of Newton. All along the way, Trout high-fived little kids.
Her name was printed on the front of her shirt, and as she ran past, spectators offered encouragement.
“When I would hear my name — and I heard it a lot — I would give a thumbs up,” Trout said.
She was delighted to see her former colleague Steve Twitty, who came with his wife, to watch her run. They made a sign to cheer her on.
Her running partner, Jacqueline Pastika of Land O’ Lakes, was not able to come, so she sent a life-size cardboard cutout that Trout’s kids, Alexa and Adam, lugged around from place to place to offer Trout moral support.
“Runners along the course also encouraged each other. Literally everyone was there to finish, and we all helped each other cross the finish line,” she said.
The crowds, the signs and the flags people waved along the course inspired Trout.
“There were only a few quiet areas along the course, and that’s when I tried to regroup and clear my mind,” Trout said.
Trout had a hip injury shortly before the marathon. While her hip didn’t bother her, she had some foot problems. So, she ran when she could, but also walked for three miles.
“I wanted to run smart. Also, I wanted to take everything in,” Trout said. “I wanted to be able to remember it. It was a huge deal.”
As she made her way through the course, she drank water and Gatorade at stations along the way.
“And, probably from Mile 15 to 21, people along the route would have orange wedges, pretzels, Twizzlers, Gummy Bears, anything to keep you going. I took it all in,” Trout said. “Right before I made the final turn onto Boylston Street, I heard someone in the crowd yell to me ‘Trish, you’re going to be a Boston Marathon finisher.’”
That was nearly the same thing Trout’s daughter told her before she went to the hotel.
“She told me, ‘The next time I hug you, you will be a Boston Marathon finisher.’ Each time I heard it, I cried,” Trout said. “I knew going into it that I was going to start and I was going to finish. Nothing was going to stop me. I didn’t have to roll. I didn’t have to crawl.”
Instead, she was running at a slow jog when she hit the finish line.
Before she injured herself, Trout had hoped to complete the race in five-and-a-half hours. She gave herself another hour after her injury.
She beat that goal by16 minutes, and she made memories for a lifetime.
Still raising funds
Trish Trout took part in the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21 as a member of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge. The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston provides cancer treatment for adults and children.
Trout pledged to raise at least $9,650 for Dana-Farber.
The race is over, but she’s still collecting funds for the cause. So far, she has raised $11,600. If she hits her goal of $13,100, she will shave her head as a sign of solidarity for people suffering from cancer, who don’t think they have anyone who cares.
Fundraising closes on May 21.
Those wishing to make a donation can visit RunDFMC.org/2014/trish.
Published April 30, 2014