AFTER finishing the Boston Marathon and earning a six-star medal, Stratford Athletic Club’s Emily Adams has already started to think about her next running goal.
Six-star medals are given only to people who have completed all six races in the World Marathon Majors – London, New York, Chicago, Boston, Berlin and Tokyo.
“Once I had done Berlin in 2014, the first of the majors, I then received a club ballot place for London,” explained Adams. “Someone then planted a seed to continue on with the majors.
“I’m always up for a challenge, so it was a good thing to focus on.”
She completed the Chicago Marathon in 2016 and the New York City Marathon in 2017, bringing her World Marathon Majors tally to four. Earlier this year, Adams ticked the fifth major marathon off her list by completing the Tokyo Marathon.
It left just one more major race – the Boston Marathon.
Unfortunately for Adams and, indeed, the thousands of other runners taking part, the day of the race was hit with harsh conditions of strong winds, freezing temperatures and lashing rain.
However, a fast time was never part of Adams’ plan. Instead, her goal was to simply get through the 26.2 miles.
“Due to my injury from the Tokyo Marathon back in February and the lack of training, my only goal was to finish,” she said.
“I knew the race would be hard enough without the weather conditions. I started the race in a skin, running vest, two T-shirts, jumper, wind-proof jacket and bin liner,” she added.
“I also found a poncho on the floor which I used. I removed most of those layers during the race, but kept the poncho, skin and running vest.”
Adams finished in 4:14:16. It may have been well outside her lifetime best of 3:34:50 set at last year’s Manchester Marathon, but that mattered little to Adams, who made a piece of history for Stratford AC.
“We were being ushered along after the race to ensure we could get warm,” she explained. “Because of that, Boston didn’t quite have the same buzzing atmosphere at the end compared to other races, but it still felt amazing to complete it and I am now able to look back and realise that it was a fantastic achievement to be the first one in the club to achieve the six stars.”
The trip to Boston was a double celebration of running success as Adams’ son Alex finished second in his age group in the highly competitive Boston 5km, held a few days before the marathon.
In stark contrast to the conditions that met the marathon runners, the 5km race was held in ideal conditions. Alex went on to finish in 17:59, making him the third-fastest U13 runner in Britain so far this year.
“He was so pleased,” said Emily. “When he finished, the clock said 18:04 and then when he saw his chip time was 17:59, he was really pleased.
“He was racing not just within his own age group but also against elite adults,” she added. “It was a one-lap course, unlike parkrun and cross country but, despite it being totally different to anything he is used to, he had an amazing run and one we are all so proud of.”
Emily, meanwhile, is still very much in rest and recovery mode, but she is already starting to think of her next targets.
“I would like to do the Dublin Marathon and maybe one in Spain, but I have no real challenges on the agenda,” she said. “For now I’d just like to spend time with my family.”