Kevin Shroyer, the father of a 14-year-old girl whose donated lungs saved an Alpha’s life, completed the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 18 in her honor.
Although the experienced distance runner was happy to cross the finish line, he said he would like to post a faster time next year. He qualified for the event by completing a previous marathon in three hours and 35 minutes, but finished on Monday in 4:01.
"Since it was not what I was expecting to run, I will let everyone know what happened,” he wrote Monday on his Facebook page. “I was pretty much right on my pace upon climbing the infamous Heartbreak Hill. However, upon descending the back side, my right quad seized up suddenly, forcing me to come to a dead stop and grab onto a handrail to keep from falling.
“Fortunately, I was running close to the side of the road at the time. A sweet older woman spectator immediately saw the distress I was in as I could not straighten that leg out below the knee. She held onto me until the pain subsided and I was able to gradually massage it until it released, but my day was effectively over at that point.”
Calling it a “frustrating and humbling” experience, Shroyer struggled over the last six miles, alternating between fast walking and very slow running.
“This was something that had NEVER happened to me before in a race,” he wrote. “However, I accomplished goal #1 and that was to qualify, run, and finish the race for Korinne and to promote organ, tissue and eye donation on the biggest running stage in the world! It wasn't my plan to be out there for 4:01, but perhaps it was God's plan.
“Timewise, this was my worst marathon in years. But, maybe by me being out there all those additional minutes, someone was impacted by seeing Korinne's picture on the back of my singlet and the fact that she was an organ and tissue donor. Indeed, I had a number of other runners, male and female, offer expressions of condolence to me throughout the day, which was nice. So, if that is the one positive takeaway from today's experience, then I can accept that and would do it all over again!”
Shroyer has already qualified for the 2017 Boston Marathon, and he plans to run it.
“After looking at today's result they might not want me back, but too bad, I am coming!” he said. “Today will not be my defining Boston moment!"
To read about how Shroyer prepared for the Boston Marathon, click here.