Eighth-Place Finisher One of Several Hawks in Boston Marathon

Friday, April 27, 2018
Kimi Reed crosses the finish line at the Boston Marathon

It’s not easy to run a marathon, everybody knows that. And the Boston Marathon, which draws thousands of contestants from every corner of the globe, is one of the most high-profile annual running events in the world.

Add to that cold, rainy conditions (don’t forget the hail). It’s not necessarily a recipe for a pleasant experience. But two weeks ago, at least three members of the Rockhurst University braved the conditions to participate in one of the nation’s premiere distance running events.

Among them was Kimi Reed, ’13 DPT, a longtime runner who entered the Boston Marathon for the first time.

“My husband, Marshall, and I are already looking forward to possibly making the trip again next year,” she said. “With the prestige and history of the race, I feel like can really call myself a ‘marathoner’ now.”

Despite her inexperience with the race, Reed, a physical therapist at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, finished an impressive eighth among all female competitors. Not even having run her personal best, it was a bit of surprise, Reed said.

“Running down Boylston street to the finish line, I passed Edna Kiplagat, who I knew had won the Boston Marathon last year, and I thought I must at least be in the top 15,” she said. “I crossed the finish line and asked the lady who was escorting me if she knew what place I was in. She didn't for sure, but mentioned that there wasn't too many ahead of me. So I got to the tent where my bag was, changed into dry clothes, and once I stopped shivering enough to get my phone on I saw I had tons of messages on my phone.”

Reed, who ran her first marathon as a first-year physical therapy student at Rockhurst, prepared for Boston with an intense training regime.

“I ran more miles than I have ever run in my life. I topped out with a 100-mile week in the peak of my training. I also had several weeks that totaled 80-90 miles per week in my build-up — my shoes were getting more miles per week than my car was,” she said. “A lot of my speed workouts were the same. However, prepare for the net downhill race, I added a new workout of downhill repeats much. This was to prepare my quads so that they wouldn’t get sore as the race went on.”

With Boston behind her, Reed has her sights set on a new goal — to finish with an Olympic "A" standard of under 2 hours, 37 minutes in December at the California International Marathon in Sacramento.

Reed might have been the highest placing finisher, but she wasn’t the only representative of the University in Boston April 16. Brooklyn Swantek, a current student in the doctoral of physical therapy, ran in the race for the first time, as well. And Annie Lee, Ph.D., professor of chemistry, also made the trip to the mecca of marathons, running alongside Karen Moran Redlich, ’01, ’06 M.Ed., daughter of Charles Moran, Ph.D., professor of political science. Swantek said she grew up watching the Boston marathon on TV and remembers being amazed by the idea of humans running for 26.2 miles, so to be a part of it was a dream come true. Swantek said it was only her second experience running a marathon, but an unforgettable one.

“I was pretty happy with my time as it was two minutes faster than my first marathon, despite the brutal weather conditions,” she said. “I've run in all types of weather, but the torrential downpour, hail, and wind at Boston definitely tops it all.”