Boston Marathon 2019

This past Monday, I conquered my fear, and ran the Boston Marathon. Ever since last year’s difficult weather and race conditions, I have been very afraid of the Boston Marathon. So on Monday, my goal was not a personal record, but just to have a redemption run. A run where I erased my negative experiences of the previous year, and tried my hardest. And that I did. No marathon is ever easy (or maybe for some it is?), but running 26.2 miles is difficult for me. No matter how many times I do it, it is always a challenge. And on the Boston Marathon course, it is even harder — the Northeast weather conditions are spotty, the start line is far away and requires a marathon of sitting and waiting BEFORE the marathon, and the course itself is extremely difficult with so many hills — TOUGH TOUGH hills. But I did it — I went out there, tried my best, had a fun (yes, I did), challenged myself (ohhhhh yes, that, too), and ran a good race.


Expo. One of my best college friends lives in Boston, and so she was a wonderful host and driver. She picked me up at the airport, drove me to the expo, cooked me the perfect dinner, and then drove me to the start line. Thanks, Gigs!

I was dropped off at the bus at 7:30 am, and it took an hour to get to the start. It had been pouring POURING rain all night long and the morning. Due to my experience last year, I knew that I needed to bring a lot of rain gear, and throw away shoes and socks — and I am so thankful I did. The field where the portapotties were located were A MUD BATH and my feet were sopping in mud like no other!!!! It was hard to walk because there was so much mud!!!!

This is me at the start line. A girl next to me asked if I could take a picture of her — and I said sure, and then asked her to do the same for me. I started talking to her, and turns out SHE IS FROM EUGENE MY HOMETOWN! And went to my high school!!! But she was 24 and me…..much older. But how small is this world? I love the running community…….

And I also love social media community! After my college friend realized that there was no way she could pick me up at the finish line, drive me to her house, and then have me get to the airport in time for my flight, someone I (barely) knew saw a picture of me that I posted from a year before at the finish line, contacted me and said she lived close to the finishh. So I replied — can I COME OVER AND TAKE A SHOWER? Small small world.

Not only was she so kind and let me take a shower at her place, but she also made me my favorite post-race food.. NACHOS!! They have always been my go to and this time around, they tasted oh so great.

And then my new friend called me an uber after my quick turn around of shower and gulping down nachos and off I went to the airport! 45 minutes at her house was such a kind gift and I can’t wait to repay a random act of kindness to someone else — it made all the difference and was one of the highlights of my Boston Marathon experience.

When I finally arrived back in NYC, I had a second round of nachos, a gallon of champagne and some kale salad. The best.


Overall, this marathon was a great experience. Hard and challenging, but rewarding. I ran a 3:22, which I am super proud of. The hills felt like mountains, the crowds were incredible, the weather was hot and humid and I finally have a good impression of the Boston Marathon. Thank you to my countless friends who supported, encouraged, motivated, and loved me through this whole process and race day. It was unbelievable to have friends contact me when I was running — I felt that energy and it helped me — so thank you thank you.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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  1. The woman who allowed you to shower at her house seems so kind. It’s nice to hear about random acts of kindness like this! Congratulations on your redemption run!

  2. Congratulations on another fabulous marathon! Do you work with a coach or have a specific training plan you’ve been using? You’ve made really great improvements so as a fellow marathoner I’m wondering what your secret sauce is. 🙂 Thanks!

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