Due to COVID-19, many springtime races were canceled or postponed – a devastating blow to the motivation of runners across the world. This year’s Boston Marathon, slated to take place on April 20th, was no exception. The legendary marathon is now scheduled for Monday, September 14th. In an effort to keep motivation high, we have published the final three athlete spotlights, featuring race team members Janet Bensley, Tina Slagel, and Kevin Fitzgerald.

Kevin FitzGerald, 61, a retired National Park Service Ranger, spends his time coaching the Tuscola High School swim team and Waynesville Middle School track team in Haywood County. Kevin began running in 9thgrade (early ‘70’s) while growing up in Winston-Salem, NC and after deciding not to run in college, took up running again in his mid-40’s, running his first marathon in 2006 in Green Bay, WI (and qualifying for the Boston Marathon).  He took up the sport of triathlon at the same time and found the multisport routine to be easy on an aging body. Kevin discovered that training through the winter for a spring marathon was a great way to build a running base for a long triathlon season and did so through 2014, when after qualifying to go to Kona for the World Ironman Championships, was hit by a truck on a long training ride and spent the next 3 weeks at Mission Hospital. Ten months later he ran a half marathon and set his sights on returning to Boston for the 5th time.

Kevin has run 15 marathons since 2006, including 4 Boston’s (2007, 2012, 2013 & 2014).  His marathon (and Boston) PR is 2:52 in 2013 where he placed 9th in the 55 -59 age group.

Kevin ran the Peak to Creek Marathon in the fall of 2018 to qualify to go back to Boston. He trained a good friend who was 10 months removed from having her first baby to run her first marathon in 3:15 and qualify for Boston and they both crossed in 3:16.

Kevin’s best marathon training tip? “I am a proponent of a low mileage (55-60 mile week), high intensity training program. Find what works for you and stick with it.”

Kevin’s favorite shoe and why? “For years I trained and raced in the Asics 2000 series but switched to the Hoka Bondi, Arahi or Gaviota after my accident, needing more cushioning.”

Kevin’s pre marathon/race day routine? “Eat a big meal that morning, relax, trust your training and go enjoy the run.”

What are you most looking forward to if this is your first Boston Marathon? “A lot of things. The history of the event, the Expo, the crowds along the route, the finish…..just an amazing experience.”

Thank you for reading our Boston Marathon Preview Series! And a big thanks to Kevin Fitzgerald (also a Jus’ Running Race Team member!) for his help in compiling these posts.