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RUNNING THROUGH HISTORY – From left, Michelle Beaulieu and Nathalie Dugas wave to the crowd after the finish of the Boston Marathon last Monday. Photo courtesy of MICHELLE BEAULIEU

Beaulieu and Dugas laced up for Boston Marathon

A Yukoner has completed her goal of competing in the Boston Marathon.

By Marissa Tiel on April 20, 2017

A Yukoner has completed her goal of competing in the Boston Marathon.

Michelle Beaulieu, a Grade 7 teacher in Whitehorse, finished the Boston Marathon Monday alongside friend and training partner Natalie Dugas.

They crossed the finish in a matching four hours, two minutes and 31 seconds.

“Everything about it was amazing,” said Beaulieu.

She described running from the outskirts of Boston into the core through throngs of people cheering their names.

It was a warm day and their wave started at 11 a.m. Beaulieu was thankful for the extra water stations that communities had set up for racers. Fire stations also had their hoses primed for dousing runners in the afternoon heat.

“They’re so invested in the marathon,” she said. “Everybody is out cheering.”

It was Beaulieu’s first time racing the iconic Boston Marathon, which she did with Dugas, who has run it before.

Their motto for the event: “Take it easy; take it all in,” guided their race-day plan.

They started off slow, pacing themselves on the 17 mile downhill to have enough energy to tackle Heartbreak Hill at mile 20.

The strategy paid off as they passed other runners going up the notorious section.

Beaulieu qualified for Boston in May last year at the Vancouver BMO Marathon, where she ran sub 3:45, busting the standard after many marathons where she came within five minutes of qualifying.

Forty-five minutes back from the Yukon duo was American Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, who was back 50 years later to do it again.

Beaulieu said that the 2013 bombings filled her thoughts during the run.

“There is so much pride and glory in that run,” she said. “They have definitely rebounded from it.”

Still high on the energy from the city, Beaulieu said she would like to qualify to run the race again.

“I can see how people get addicted to it,” she said.

The other Whitehorse runner to participate was Margaret Mundell, 62, who finished in 4:48:41 and was 238th in her division.

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