Boston Marathon Spotlight Athlete
Margaux Akright is a former collegiate ice-dance champion. She’s been figure skating since she could walk. Athletics are in her bones. While she is new to running, her race times would suggest otherwise.
This year will be her second year at the Boston Marathon and only her third marathon race ever. She credits her motivation in running to her mother (who experienced an unfortunate decline in her health) as being a big part of why she ultimately chose to run a marathon.
“I was reading something one day…someone had quoted: ‘I run for those who can’t’ and I was like…what am I waiting for? It was really quite the experience. She was there in her wheelchair at mile 20 and it gave me that extra boost to finish.”
Growing up in Marquette, Michigan, Margaux chose to make her debut the Marquette Marathon. Which was in and of itself a challenge. A stress fracture, weeks of recovery, 3 missed flights, lost luggage, a misplaced bib and a frantic dash to the starting line were all part of the journey just to get to the race.
S“Honestly, I can’t believe I even made it to the starting line.”
Margaux still crossed the finish line in 3:35:09. Qualifying her for Boston by a comfy margin. Little did she realize that this was going to be the easiest of the two marathons she would run in 2017 and 2018.
The 2018 Boston Marathon—with its oppressively brutal conditions—had Margaux literally throwing caution to the wind which she still used to re-qualify for Boston in 2019. Multiple elite frontrunners dropping out, hypothermia, 30mph winds, rain, and cold temps didn’t stop her.
“I couldn’t feel my legs the entire time. My toes were numb. My hands were numb. I was just going through the motions trying to block the wind, block the rain. I didn’t look at my time…I had no idea what pace I was running.”
Saving her energy for the latter half of the race, she chose to focus on effort. Finally, at mile 24, she glanced down at her watch and discovered that she could set a PR and requalify relatively easily under the circumstances if she picked up the pace.
“I thought about my mom, and the last two miles were…the fastest of the race and I felt great. I thought, ‘I’m running because there are people who can’t.’”
3:33:29 read the clock as she passed over the storied blue and yellow paint adorning the rain-soaked asphalt on Boylston. For a lot of people last year, it took more than talent to finish that race. It took a little extra ingredient called ‘grit.’
“I want to set a good example for my kids. To know that you should never give up. That sometimes it’s going to be hard. Sometimes it’s going to hurt, but you just gotta keep pushing through it.”