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By Debbie Freeman
Hannah Sine was the pride of Shelburne last week where, after months of training at Shelburne's own Towne Fitness Centre, she ran the Boston Marathon after qualifying last May.
This very special event is memorable to all of us as we remember the tragic bombing at the Marathon in Boston in 2013 and the loss of 263 lives, yet Hannah was unafraid, relentless and determined, and two years of preparation and training paid off.
Hannah prepared for the run with the help of private training coach William Clews when final stages of her training started last August.
Qualifying in Ohio didn't necessarily mean Hannah would gain entry; she had to submit an application with her qualifying time and age, and then hope she made it to the final big one: the Boston Marathon.
Yet, never in her wildest dreams did Hannah believe it when she was told she had qualified.
Excited, she packed, and was on her way to Boston.
Hannah was not new to marathons – this was her 13th – but it was, by far, the most memorable.
Arriving in Boston a few days before the big day, some of Hannah's friends surprised her, turning up at her hotel to support her.
Friends and members at her Shelburne gym had made t-shirts with “Team Hannah” on them.
Her friend Amanda, and husband Glen, had driven all the way from Dundalk with dozens of good luck messages and to support her to the finish line.
Standing at the start line in Boston on April 18, all Hannah could think was whatever happened that day, she was already a winner and was overwhelmed with the support and good wishes and messages from friends, family and members at her gym – and the T-shirts topped it all.
She started off well and after about 15kms she was experiencing tightness in her left leg.
At 25kms, her left quad had completely seized.
“Medics on site were amazing,” says Hannah, adding there was an army of organizers, and helpers.
She was expecting to finish the race In 3 hours and 38 mins, which was not far off her original qualifying time, and with the help of one of the medics and some walking, she crossed the finish line in just over 4 hours: still a great accomplishment, especially with her injury.
Proud as a peacock, Hannah arrived back in Shelburne proudly wearing her Boston Athletics Association Jacket and her medal presented to her for finishing the race.
The words of encouragement and congratulations were pouring in and she felt so very special.
She was asked to stop by the Shelburne Legion on the Friday afternoon as a few people wanted to congratulate her and, lo and behold, her friends had arranged a surprise party for her return with a beautiful large poster signed by everyone, a room full of decorations, flowers and a wonderful cake with her marathon picture on it!
“When I set out to qualify for the Boston Marathon two years ago, never could I have imagined it would be such an incredible journey, and that so many people shared that with me,” says Hannah. “My main goal was to finish the race, and yet this has been one of the most amazing times of my life and some of my gym members have become my good friends.
“Shelburne is a wonderful place and the people have encouraged me so much. I am fortunate to be a part of this community and I can't thank everybody enough”
Hannah explained that so many of her members have taken up running and are even more passionate than she is.
Towne Fitness have organized free running groups since they opened a few years ago, and many of those who take part have gone on to run 5km and 10km races with ease.
This year, the gym has a team of 20-plus runners participating in the Chase The Tornado event in Grand Valley on Victoria Day weekend, so watch this space, Shelburne!
But would Hannah do the Boston Marathon again?
“Mmm, let's think about it” says Hannah
The Staff at the Shelburne Free Press would like to congratulate Hannah on her success. We hope to see lots more of you.
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