Running on a dream
On November 7, resident Stacia Wilkins not only fulfilled her dream of running in the New York City (NYC) Marathon, she also finished 14th in her age group (55-59) out of more than 600 finishers and 10th in her age group for the U.S. finishers. Wilkins is a 7-time Ironman triathlete and self-proclaimed “adventure seeker.”
Wilkins shared that it is actually very hard to qualify to even participate in the race or get in through the lottery. “I ran the Denver Revel in 2019 and got a qualifying time. I submitted my qualification time and hoped. Even with that, it is not guaranteed.” After two weeks waiting on pins and needles, Stacia learned she got in. When the 2020 race was canceled, Wilkins’ acceptance was rolled over to this year.
It was the 50th anniversary of the event and it had been 735 days since it had been held, “so the town was electric and it was incredibly special to participants and the crowds,” Wilkins exclaimed. After boarding a bus to Staten Island at 5:15 a.m., Wilkins had to wait in the athlete’s village until her start time of 9:55 a.m. in the second wave of runners. “I was fortunate to be on the top level of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. [The view was] gorgeous and hundreds of feet up. The weather was perfect, in the mid-50s. The event is amazing,” Wilkins added.
Wilkins trained for the event by doing the Pikes Peak Ascent which is a half marathon and hiking rim to rim at the Grand Canyon about a month before the NYC Marathon.
Wilkins said she struggled with her feet. She has had three surgeries on her feet and she said her “shoes and feet were not getting along that day but all in all felt good.” Wilkins said she had to stop five or six times because the tops of her feet were hurting. She removed one sock (see photo) to help with the pain.
“My long-term goal is to do all the majors – I have done marathons in Chicago, London, Boston, and now NYC. I need Berlin and Tokyo! I have applied for Berlin for next year and will find out in January if my lottery got accepted,” Wilkins exclaimed. Having run the Chicago Marathon in 1992 and the London Marathon in 1996, Wilkins said she may have to run them again to qualify. “And that’s okay,” she said.