TRAVERSE CITY — The Boston Marathon proved to be a great motivator for Kaitlyn Malaski.
The 25-year-old physical therapist was struggling in last May’s Bayshore Marathon. So much so Malaski started to doubt whether she could finish.
“That was probably my hardest marathon to get through mentally,” the Traverse City resident said. “I wasn’t feeling well. I almost threw in the towel. I so badly wanted to stop and quit. All I could think of was, ‘You’re going to be so mad when Boston comes around next year if you quit.’ Getting to Boston was definitely a huge motivator.”
Malaski overcame her obstacles that day to finish the Bayshore in 3:30:51, a time that qualified her for this month’s Boston Marathon with four minutes to spare.
Thirty-five minutes earlier, her husband, Brent, had crossed the finish line in 2:55:06, about 10 minutes under the time he needed to earn a spot in Boston.
Although unique — a husband and wife qualifying together — it wasn’t the first time Kaitlyn and Brent had posted times to earn entry into Boston. The two had done so in previous years, but scheduling conflicts always interfered. Brent, 29, is a certified public accountant and this is his busiest time of year.
The fabled marathon, held on Patriot’s Day, usually falls on or about April 15 — tax deadline day. This year, though, the April 21 date is almost a week later, which opened the door for the two.
“I always wanted to do it — eventually,” Brent said. “This is the first time we can actually get out there.
“This is the first big marathon we’ve done, and it’s an historic one, so it’s kind of exciting.”
The Malaskis will be among nearly two dozen area runners headed to Boston.
“We’re really excited,” Kaitlyn said. “If you’re not an elite runner, the Boston Marathon is the epitome of marathon running. This year is extra special because of everything that happened last year (with the bombings).”