Emily Cox finished what she set out to do. Run 26.1 miles. For her grandfather. For Boston Strong.
The 18-year-old senior at Woodson (Fairfax, Va.)
crossed the finish line in 3 hours, 46.08 minutes, according to race results.
Cox, the youngest female in the field of 36,000, actually qualified for last year's Boston Marathon but because she was only 17 wasn't eligible to run.
Perhaps it was fate.
According to this terrific feature on her in the Washington Post
, Cox got into marathon running largely because of her grandfather John, who served as a Marine in World War II and was the last WWII veteran to run in the 101 Marine Corps Marathons.
Doctors convinced her granddad that at 84 he should stop running marathons, so Cox picked up the family tradition at age 15. Without training, she finished a Marine Corps Marathon in 4:35.08, then in the 2012 race, she improved her time by more than an hour in 3:31.51 to qualify for Boston, the first of her family full of runners to do so.
Following last year's bombing, she had even more incentive to run: Her grandfather had passed away in August of 2011, she told Jacqueline Kantor of the Post before Monday's race.
"I'll have something to run for this year, more than me just trying to finish a marathon. Ultimately I know I've trained well. I want to have a smart pace, go out and just enjoy it, enjoy the experience, enjoy Boston and be part of something bigger than myself."
Evidently she did, starting just after 10:30 a.m. while finishing up just short of 2:20 p.m.
More remarkable than her endurance running is this: she doesn't own a smart phone or social media accounts.