Hi all, Mariah here!
I have been asked a good amount of questions recently about my participation in the Bozeman Marathon like how it relates to nordic training and what my motivation for it was. The reason I signed up for the Bozeman marathon was because my roommate and lifetime friend Aja want to qualify for the Boston Marathon to celebrate her birthday weekend there either this year or next. The Bozeman marathon was perfect because this year it actually gets you in to the Boston for ‘23 and ‘24. I have also wanted to race the Boston for a while and then missed the sign up last time I realized I could have! It was an obvious choice for me and a great first marathon for Aja to run.
The day went as good as it possibly could have! For instance there has been wildfire smoke in Bozeman the past week and it cleared up just in time for the race. And it has already come back this morning. I was also really lucky to just be feeling good that day and there were also such supportive people out there cheering on which really meant a lot to me! My parents drove up from Idaho, and the BSF team was out there roller skiing and friends were out there too- it all gave me so much hype!!
When I started the race my only goal was to qualify for the Boston and I knew I had to keep my pace under 8 minute miles for that. I have done 2 marathons before and both were with my dad and I ran with him for the first half both times before feeling good enough to run on my own. This time I started out a little harder than I have before and found a guy running a good pace to follow for the first portion, and figured if I blew up later at least I’d have a little buffer to be able to still make it. Luckily I never blew up and I found that I was able to maintain the 7 minute mile pace for the majority of the race! When I was getting to the last third of the race I totally got a boost from people cheering and knowing the finish was close. When I realized I could make it under 3 hours I really pushed it to the end and I do not think I could have run a second faster or or a foot longer!
It was surreal to me to run a sub-3 as I had initially been worried I wasn’t in enough running shape to possibly run under 3:30 (women’s qualify time). It just shows that the the training I have been doing with the BSF team is really doing good for me right now, and I hope that I can now bring this type of energy onto the ski trails as well :)
The whole experience was amazing. We took a bus out to the and then watched the sun rise while wrappedin the Bozeman marathon emergency blankets in a huge Montana field eryonewas just out there to have fun running. Aja ended up being stoked on her race and motivated to run another now! This race is so scenic for a qualifier marathon and the proceeds are also donated to a good cause :) I would recommend it to anyone! My focus on running is done for now, and am looking forward to sticking to ski specific training until our season starts in not so long late November!! Hope to see everyone out there
- Mariah Bredal
Blog post courtesy of the Bridger Ski Foundation