Mothershed wowed by Boston Marathon experience

Published 5:55 pm Saturday, April 26, 2014

 Selma’s Janie Mothershed ties her shoe at Memorial Stadium at earlier this year in the middle of a training run for the 2014 Boston Marathon.  (Daniel Evans | Times-Journal)

Selma’s Janie Mothershed ties her shoe at Memorial Stadium at earlier this year in the middle of a training run for the 2014 Boston Marathon. (Daniel Evans | Times-Journal)

Selma’s Janie Mothershed had always heard that if a runner is fortunate enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon, he or she had to take part because it’s such a special race.

Last Monday in Boston, she found that advice to be truer than even she could have imagined.

Mothershed ran a time of 4:08:16 while also taking in the sights and sounds of a Boston Marathon that had a different feel than all of its predecessors, as the competitors and spectators honored the victims of last year’s bombings.

Email newsletter signup

“When you ran, you would get emotional — or I did — but being emotional would affect your breathing,” Mothershed said. “I was trying not to let it affect me. As we made those last turns, it was pretty intense.”

Mothershed, 51, had never been to Boston in her life, but she could tell right away that this marathon was unlike any other in history.

“Even though this was my first one, you had the sense from the time you arrived that it was very different,” Mothershed said. “People would stop me on the street. Everyone was encouraging, supporting.”

The field of this year’s marathon was expanded because many wanted to show to their respects to the victims of last year’s pressure cooker bombs, which killed three and injured more than 260 others.

Mothershed said despite the extra runners in the field — more than 32,000 — the large crowds made her feel like she was the only runner on the course.

“Everybody treated you like you were the only runner there,” Mothershed said. “That’s what made it really special. They were very supportive of every person out there. It was really great. It was an amazing feeling.”

Mothershed said those in attendance seemed determined to be at the race, screaming loudly in support of the runners in this year’s field.

“The crowd never even flinched,” Mothershed said. “They seemed so determined to be out there. I had people come up to me and just be overwhelmingly happy. They were just determined to show us support. The city themselves wanted to come out as much as the runners. It was the way it should have always been.”

Mothershed said she was happy with her time, especially when she considered how hot it was at race time and how many people were on the course.

The race ended a week that saw support pour in from everywhere for Mothershed. Days before the race she received a school wide pep rally at Meadowview Christian School, where she teaches. When asked about the support she has received from Selma, Mothershed got a little emotional.

“I can’t even begin to tell you the support that I’ve had from Selma,” Mothershed said. “That’s the most emotional thing. It’s just unbelievable how many people have called, posted on Facebook, sent cards, the school wide rally. I even had other schools making cards and sending them to me. Every time I ran I would think of all those out there supporting me. I’ll never forget that.”

Now, the countdown is on for the 2015 Boston Marathon. Mothershed has already qualified for the event and is already trying to decide if she wants to take part.

“I’m considering it. I’m qualified but I’m going to see how this year goes,” Mothershed said. “It’s a huge training commitment so if I get trained in the fall, we will see.”