Boston Marathon Featured Runner-Kathy Labus #marathonmonday

I am so excited to start a new series featuring a different runner each week. Every Monday, until April, I will be featuring a runner that has qualified and currently training to run the Boston Marathon in April this year.

The Boston Marathon represents something special for many runners. As one of the oldest and most prestigious marathons. Earning the opportunity to even apply for entry is a honor and, marks an amount of commitment and sacrifice.

I am excited to give a voice and share the stories of a few of these runners. With each story unique and each journey filled with moments of success and moments of struggle. My hope is, each runners who shares will touch at least one person who is reading this. Gives one person hope.

I can’t wait to follow, cheer and celebrate these awesome individuals. Our first featured runner is Kathy

Athlete Name: Kathy Labus

Social Media Platforms: You can follow Kathy on both Facebook and Instagram (@kappyhooter)

  • Can you first, give us your Boston marathon story.
    • The story is the “journey” to Boston 2023.  I have run 4 marathons; 3 pushing my son with Cerebral Palsy and one solo, where I qualified for Boston on Nov. 6, 2021.  It was just 27 days after Andrew and I were a duo team in Chicago and finished in 4:42:52 on a red flag 80 degree day.  It was the first time we did a marathon in our new racing chair and without a team to assist, just us! The training went amazing and about a month out I said to my husband..”What if we spent our anniversary weekend in Indianapolis after Chicago, the boys are having surgery and maybe I could sneak in a marathon.”  We arrived on Wednesday where my son William had a heel cord lengthening surgery and Andrew had botox injections for his hand.” You see our twin sons were born at a pound and half each and at 19 have had 20 plus surgeries.  They recuperate and I got dropped off at zero dark thirty to run my first solo marathon. Somewhere in the 3:40 pace group early on, I said “I told my husband to pick me up by one”  the pacer said “Oh girl, you gonna be done way before one” That day I ran a BQ, I sobbed, grabbed a water and called my husband to pick me up.  After that, the registration for Boston 2022 came quick, I signed up, got in, got training and was so ready!
    • 30 days out from the race, on a Saturday morning, 37 degree, dark rainy run..I stepped in a hole and that was the end of the goal.  It took about 2 weeks to get a diagnosis.  A stress fracture of the calcaneus.  No weight bearing for 14 days and a cancelled Boston Marathon.  I went through denial, anger, extreme FOMO and then finally acceptance. This was not to be my year and not to be the Boston for me. I sold my jacket to a beautiful friend, watched the race and cheered my numerous friends that ran on that beautiful day last April.
    • I chose to recover as hard as I had trained and we as a family decided to make it a 2023 road trip to remember. It’s hard to not be superstitious and want to not jinx it, but it is harder to not shout it out that we are excited for this April. I mean what’s the worst thing that can happen, right? I’d rather live it loud, than be running in fear! Boston! Here we come!
  • What do you look forward to most, about running the Boston Marathon?
    • Getting to the starting line, with my bib on! Whatever happens in the race will be a celebration of the journey!
  • How will you define success, on race day?
    • Completion, but ultimately, getting there!
  • Do you have a favorite product, clothing, or tech that you use for racing or training?
    • I love my Topo running shoes and was an ambassador for years for them! #runnaturally
  • Any advice for someone trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon or training for their first Boston Marathon?
    • Hmmmm! Listen to those runners around you, soak up their stories from nutrition, clothing, training, success and failures. Then, take it all in, try everything and find what works for you. Next, sit there awhile, like for a few your engine, confidence, focus..then do it!
  • What part of the marathon do you find the most challenging?
    • Getting to the starting line just before the taper when all the training is deep and you are fatigued, but fitter than ever; listening to your body when you feel invincible.
  • What has been you favorite race (any distance) up until this point?
    • The Publix Atlanta Half! We have done it twice and will be there this February! We are part of 50 plus push assist teams!  We run with the Kyle Pease Foundation out of Atlanta, it is a magical start in the dark Atlanta morning and the hills are relentless! It’s gritty and a place where we can be with so many athlete teams like ourselves!
  • Do you have any pre-race routine, rituals or good luck charms?
    • I like Vietnamese Pho soup a day or two before the race! I envision the pile of rice noodles as a wonderful carbohydrate load and the salty bone broth as a boost to my body before battle!
  • What (or who) inspires you as a runner??
    • My twin sons absolutely inspire me! First, they encounter adversity every day, that I can never understand. Also, I run for them and others who can not! Lastly, when you give your running over to someone else, it changes the meaning of every step! This 127th Boston is technically a “solo” race and accomplishment for me!  There is no way this was a solo mission! Without my family and boys, there would be no road to Boston 2023! I am really excited and to quote a song from Lil Nas X“Why worship legends, when you know that you can join them”  I look forward to running the streets of Boston with all the legends, that are all of you that have a BQ and a dream

What an amazing start to our series. Thank you so much for sharing your story and I look forward to following you on Marathon Monday.

Make sure you are following RunCanvas so that you can hear more amazing stories over the next couple months!


Published by RunCanvas

Hi I am Janell! Avid runner and coach with 14 years of experience helping runners reach their goals. Wondering if working with a running coach is the right choice for you? Run coaching is available for ALL levels and paces. If you run, you are a runner. Hiring a running coach will help you to become stronger and more resilient – both physically and mentally.

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