From Chicago to Boston: Shelly Fuerte

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Last year, 896 Illinoisan runners represented at the 2018 Boston Marathon, so this year, we wanted to talk to a few of them heading out there in 2019. Each week, we’ll highlight a new athlete; from first timers to veterans, learn about their goals and training plans, and cheer for them on April 15!

1. How did your running career begin?

I started running after I lost a lot of weight and needed a new goal. My friend, Deb, suggested that I go out on a run with her. My first race was as a part of a relay team for the 2009 Pittsburgh Marathon. The community and camaraderie were what got me hooked. Moving to Chicago rekindled by running after a few years off and joining Team PAWS Chicago solidified my running family.

2. Tell us about your journey qualifying for Boston.

Well, I did not qualify for Boston since I am a slower runner. I applied to run the race for charity. I was accepted by 261 Fearless and have a goal to raise $8,000 to support global running programs for women. The charity was started by Kathrine Switzer who was the first woman to officially complete the Boston marathon, quite famously, with bib #261. I am chasing the Abbott World Marathon Majors 6-star medal and am running Tokyo and Boston this spring for stars 4&5. I will just have London left!

3. What does your training plan look like?

My training started in October, just a month after completing the Berlin marathon. I am running three to four days a week and am a bit ahead of the Boston schedule because of training for the Tokyo Marathon on March 3. I have the traditional long runs on weekends and speed work midweek. My coach, Denise Sauriol, and I are in touch a lot because I am on the road for 2 months and trying to get the training in while in a new city every day.

4. What are your goals for the 2019 race?

Well, my goal for Tokyo is to finish under 6 hours. For Boston, I just want to take it all in and relish the experience of running on such a historic course. I want to make a difference by raising money for such a great charity.

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