Mercer Medicine Echocardiography Technician Kristie Poole recently ran her second Boston Marathon on April 21. Despite a pulled hamstring, she finished the 26.2-mile race in three hours and 55 minutes, drawing strength from the crowd of supporters surrounding the finish line.
“That was slow for me, but my leg was killing me, and the last 16 miles were terrible. I cried after I crossed the finish line – probably the first time I've cried after a race in seven years – but it was from relief that I didn't have to run anymore,” Poole said.
This year's Boston Marathon was Poole's 10th marathon. She started running outdoors about three years ago with the singular goal of qualifying and participating in the Boston Marathon.
“It took a lot of hard work and three tries before I qualified for the 2013 race, and I was really excited to be there,” she said.
Poole said she finished the 2013 Boston Marathon in three hours and 21 minutes – her fastest marathon time to date. She finished just 40 minutes before the first of two bombs exploded, killing three people and injuring 264. Only two blocks away in her hotel room, she remembers seeing SWAT teams and ambulances racing towards the finish line and thought a runner had collapsed.
“But I thought it was odd for SWAT to be involved,” she recalled. “Then I saw a woman with blood on her face in the hotel lobby, and I asked her if she was alright. She looked at me like I was crazy and said, 'Oh My God! You haven't heard? There's been an explosion!'”
Poole said she came home from Boston last year feeling guilty and not wanting to talk about the marathon until recently.
“It was my first Boston Marathon. I'd accomplished my goal and set a personal record. I had a really fun, great race. I was bummed that I didn't get to celebrate that achievement like I wanted. Plus, I got to finish my race when others didn't get that chance because they were made to stop in sight of the finish line because of the bombs. This year's race was sort of redemption for me. It gave me an opportunity to enjoy the positives of running the race itself and not focus on the tragic events of last year,” she said.
According to Poole, she plans on running the Boston Marathon every year she's able to qualify or until she no longer wants to participate.
“You get so much awesome energy being surrounded by people with the same goal – especially at Boston. That's what makes it a special kind of race. I still want to go back next year, even though I had 'bad' race,” she said.
About Mercer Medicine
Mercer Medicine is a multi-specialty physician practice and a subsidiary of the Mercer University School of Medicine and the Mercer Health Sciences Center. Mercer Medicine physicians are board-certified in the areas of family medicine, internal medicine and psychiatry. Our physicians are also professors and clinical instructors with the Mercer University School of Medicine. Mercer Medicine physicians strive to provide advanced primary and specialized care to patients throughout Central Georgia using the latest health care innovations, treatments and procedures. Our physicians specialize in cardiology, critical care medicine, endocrinology, gastroenterology, infectious disease, nephrology, psychiatry and behavioral health, pulmonology, rheumatology, sleep medicine, and sports medicine. Backed by the academic resources of Mercer University, Mercer Medicine physicians also conduct groundbreaking clinical research in their specialized fields of study. Mercer Medicine currently employs more than 40 faculty physicians at clinic locations in downtown Macon and on the Mercer University campus. For more information about Mercer Medicine and its physicians, please call (478) 301-4111.