Columbia mom laces up for 2015 Boston Marathon
BOSTON - A Columbia mom, and now Boston Marathon finisher, Heather Cox celebrated completing the historic race alongside family and friends Monday afternoon.
Cox ran the 119th marathon with fellow Columbia runners Haley Schwarz and Anne Sievers, and 30,000 others from around the world. Cox, Schwarz and Sievers are three of 11 runners listed as from Columbia running in this year's marathon.
The 2015 Marathon comes two years after Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev killed three people and wounded more than 230 by planting bombs at the race's finish line. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed by police and Dzhokhar was captured after a dramatic manhunt. Cox did not run in the 2013 race. Schwarz and Sievers did.
"Sievers and Haley Schwarz, they were here in 2013," Cox said. "Thankfully they finished prior the bombings, but they said they felt the crowd support was greater this year. I think maybe people are just really trying to come out and support the runners. Really, it was overwhelming."
Marathoners Anne Sievers, Pat Okker, Heather Cox and Haley Schwarz are pictured above.
Heather Cox's husband, Patrick Cox, described Monday morning as an emotional time for his wife, who has been running for most of her life. The marathon is one of the most challenging to qualify for in the country and for many runners, qualifying is a feat in itself. Later that day, Heather Cox told KOMU 8 News Sievers was the one who pushed her the hardest and helped make her eligible for Monday's race.
"I wanted to quit so badly," she said speaking about their training. "She wouldn't let me. I'm just so thankful to be here with her."
Heather Cox finished the race seven minutes faster than her personal goal, coming in at 3:33:13.
The Cox's 6-year-old daughter, Hannah, showed KOMU 8 News her version of history with mom taking first place.
"As far as she knows, yes I did," Heather Cox said. "That's the beauty of having a little one. You're always a winner to them."
While that award went to Caroline Rotich of Kenya, with a race time of 2:24:55, Cox's family still cheered her from mile one to mile 26.2.