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9 May 2024   |   Blog   |   

RUNNING THE WORLD: SALLY BRIDER’S SIX STAR JOURNEY

Powerful, exhilarating, satisfying and ecstatic. Sally described the Boston Marathon in four words after completing the race and gaining her sixth star. Her journey started in 2017 at the London Marathon, where sally caught the running bug and became hooked. Since then, Sally has took on the Chicago, Berlin, Tokyo and now Boston Marathons with Sports Tours International.

 

What was running the Boston Marathon like?

Now that I’ve ran all six, I can say that Boston is my favourite of the majors. But I would describe it as the toughest course because of the heat and the hills, that is a killer combination. I decided to run a lot slower than I had previously planned as I wanted to run safe. I called my husband mid race to say that it was hot and that I might be behind my time because I’m running safe, especially as we’d all been training during the winter months.

What was your favourite moment on the Boston course?

The finish was the most amazing experience, Heartbreak Hill is iconic especially when you get to the top and it says you have summited Heartbreak Hill. Another great moment was the Sports Tours cheer zone at mile 21, I stopped to give the team hugs, which I’ve never done before, but I felt like it was such as special race that I just had to.

How did you prepare for your sixth star at the Boston Marathon?

I religiously stuck to my training plan, and I didn’t miss one run. I was giving up alcohol to focus on good sleep, recovery and clean eating. Of course, it’s all about balance, but I saw running the Boston Marathon with Sports Tours as my one and only change to get in and get my sixth star. Everything needed to be perfect, so my lifestyle was my priority.

What would your advice be to someone wanting to run a World Marathon Major?

Take it all in! I knew someone who ran the Paris Marathon recently and they missed the Eiffel Tower because they were focusing on their watch and feet. I wanted to see all the signs, sights and capture all the moments in Boston. Also to be patient, just know that this journey can take years!

How did you feel when you crossed the Boston Marathon finish line?

Very emotional, I cried with happiness but also relief that I had completed the race uninjured. The famous words for Boston are ‘right on Hereford and left on Boylston’. It’s the last two turns that you do before reaching the finish. As I came to the turning to go, I physically stopped, I just stood on the side and spoke to a few people who are no longer with us and I socked up the entire atmosphere. The finish was absolutely magical.

Did you ever think you’d get to your sixth star?

As you may know, I had horrific menopause, I didn’t want to wake up in the morning and I just didn’t want to be here. It was running that really saved me and changed my life. I want to be a good advocate for older women, that you don’t have to be stereotypes into gardening or knitting, you can still do amazing stuff at 60.

What are you going to do now you’ve ran the six?

I’d like to run the Berlin Marathon again because that the world major where I gained my first PB with Sports Tours, and I’d like to run a PB again at 61. But overall, I want to put those marathons safely away in a box.

 

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