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Health & Wellness + Sports

Run, Ginny, Run!

BU student takes on Boston Marathon for charity


Watch this video on YouTube

WatchGinny Soskey run and talk about her journey to the Boston Marathon.

When Ginny Soskey’s family suggested she tackle the Boston Marathon after her sister ran it last year, she said they should have their heads examined. She hadn’t exercised much since high school.

But on Patriots’ Day, along with tens of thousands of other hopeful finishers, Soskey will pound 26.2 miles of pavement between Hopkinton, Mass., and Copley Square in downtown Boston, one of roughly 25,000 competitors running in the 115th annual Boston Marathon.

“When I started training last June, I was literally dying after three miles,” Soskey (CAS’13, COM’13) recalls. “But I ran three miles a day, almost five days a week. I worked it up to four miles, five miles, and kept pushing myself.”

She’s running for Tufts University’s President’s Marathon Challenge, with proceeds benefiting nutrition, medical, and fitness programs, including childhood obesity research. Her goal is to raise at least $2,500 for the charity.

Soskey chose that charity, she says, because she’s a nutrition fanatic (check out her blog). After 11 months of training, she feels confident about her ability. “Anyone can run, anyone can train,” she says. “It’s amazing what your body can do. I didn’t realize that until I started running.”

She hadn’t run since playing field hockey and soccer in high school, but pushed by a little sisterly competition and support from friends and family, she began to train for a half marathon. She upped the miles incrementally, and even convinced her boyfriend to run with her.

In September 2010, just as she was reaching the cusp of her training for a half marathon, Soskey decided to go the whole way, and signed up to run Boston, the world’s oldest marathon, her boyfriend beside her.

“People always told me that I’d fall into the groove of running,” she says. “And I’ll admit, the first two miles of running sucks. But after that, you don’t even notice the time going by. I love it.”

So what are her marathon training tips?

Last week she did a 20-mile run, snacking on grapes, Cheerios, energy gel, and plenty of water. Above all, she recommends peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for an energy boost along the way.

She avoids burning out by mixing up her training, some days going on long runs, but alternating with swimming, weight lifting, and the elliptical machine at the gym. And instead of running with an iPod, she chooses instead to focus on the scenery around her. Her favorite run is through Boston’s Emerald Necklace to Jamaica Pond.

Training for the marathon has instilled in her a love of running, something that she’ll continue doing when she’s 60, Soskey says. Lacing up her Asics and hitting the road lets her clear her head. She is a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America and uses the time to brainstorm for the group or think about upcoming school projects.

“Running is great because when school is hitting the fan and I’m thinking I can’t deal with this, I tell myself to relax, to go for a run, and then to come back and deal with my life,” she says. “It’s a great way to step outside myself and see Boston.”

If you’re planning to be anywhere along the route on Marathon Monday, be sure to cheer on bib number 25,325. Soskey says she’s aiming for a 4:30 finish time, and vows she’ll do everything in her power to finish.

“I don’t care if I have to crawl,” she says. “I will cross that finish line.”

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu. Kimberly Cornuelle can be reached at kcornuel@bu.edu; follow her on Twitter at @kcornuel.


One Comment on Run, Ginny, Run!

  • Amy Mahler on 04.14.2011 at 3:49 pm

    Ginny’s amazing, great job tackling such a behemoth!

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