A local runner will fulfill her dream of running in the Boston Marathon on Monday, after originally getting a spot in the 2020 race which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kim Morrison was never a sports person when she grew up in Dundalk and went to Patapsco High School, or when she moved to Middle River, where she currently lives, and transferred over to Kenwood High, where she graduated in 1990.
But after a gastric bypass operation changed her life in 2012, she picked up distance running, inspired by her brother-in-law, Kirk Marzec, who also had a gastric bypass operation and had taken up distance running.
Morrison ran her first 5K in 2013, then went to the 2014 Baltimore half-Marathon. That was a slow start before her running obsession “exploded.”
“Boston was always, like, a dream,” Morrison said this week, prepping at work to head to Boston this weekend for the Monday, Oct. 11 race, which normally occurs in April, but was moved for this year only. The 2022 race will occur in April.
She had qualified to run in the 2020 Boston Marathon by raising funds for charity, but the marathon was turned into a virtual affair due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I actually ran it at Honeygo,” Morrison said.
But the Boston Athletic Association is allowing competitors who were scheduled for the 2020 race to either compete this year or in 2022, and Morrison has already raised the funds she needs for the BAA charity race in which she is competing.
Anxious to participate, Morrison chose this year.
During the pandemic, Morrison said she has been “training on and off” for runs, with training going back and forth between being virtual and in-person. She ran a half-marathon in Gettysburg last fall, but her official training kicked off with the Baltimore 10-miler this past June.
She then went to Boston, just three weeks ago, for a 20-miler, along with Marzec. There, she was able to see the same course that she’ll run on Monday.
“I’m more excited. I’m just nervous, all the nervous, pre-race feelings,” she said. Her sister will be going up with her, and won’t be running, but will serve as Morrison’s “cheerleader.”
And it doesn’t stop with Boston. Three weeks after she runs in Boston, she will compete in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 7.
Morrison said she fell in love with running because it’s her “’me’ time. It’s just me, just running. I don’t have to think about anything else.”
On top of that, she gets a rush, and she was swindled into believing it’s cheap to get into. But the hobby is not cheap, she said, as she has had to invest in shoes and other supplies.
Her favorite runs have been in Hershey, Pa., both for “the excitement of Hershey” and because organizers gave out free chocolate to runners, and in the Boston race, mostly for the excitement of running where the marathon takes place.
“But, this time next week, I’ll be a Boston Marathon runner,” she said.