Cambridge native & CIHS teacher Kyle Grabowska runs personal-best pace at historic race
The April 21, 2014 Boston Marathon was special in many ways– particularly for a first-time participant. Cambridge-Isanti graduate and present CIHS math teacher Kyle Grabowska trained hard in his new sport to not only qualify to run in Beantown, but he ran a personal-best time for a marathon. Grabowska was one of 31,805 runners to finish the race– the second highest amount ever next to the Boston Marathon centennial event in 1996.
returning home, Grabowska found time for a Q & A interview on his running experiences, his time in Boston and his future race plans.
Q) First off, a little running background on you. How long have you been distance running and when did you make the leap to marathons?
Kyle G.: I never ran until my senior year of college, and so I have only been running for about a year and a half. The only sports I ever played in high school were basketball and baseball, and in college I only participated in intramural sports such as volleyball and softball. My friend was the real inspiration to even start running. As far as coaching this school year, I volunteered as an eighth grade basketball coach, and I am currently coaching the ninth grade baseball team.
Q) Boston qualifying: What time/placing did you have to get at Grandma’s Marathon to qualify for the big Boston meet?
Kyle G.: In order to qualify for Boston in my age group (18 to 34 years-old) I needed to be able to run a 3 hour and 5 minute marathon, which is about 7:03 per mile. Last year at Grandma’s was my first marathon ever, and I had only been running for about seven months before that. I was able to finish that first marathon at Grandma’s with a time of 3:02:56, so I had qualified by about two minutes, and had a pace of about 7:00 per mile.
Q) Race experience at Boston: How did your pace work for you & what were some of the standout memories you have of the course?
Kyle G.: I had my best marathon race finish at Boston this year. This was my fourth marathon. I finished Boston with a time of 2:58:55, which is about 6:50 per mile. This was also the hardest course I ran on because of the hills, like the famous “Heartbreak Hill.”
Standout memories were: having an insane number of spectators supporting the runners throughout the course, especially the last eight miles where I really needed the extra support. Also, coming up to the finish line and receiving my finisher medal. It was the best feeling ever to receive the medal, especially after all the hours I had spent training for this marathon. I train for 18 weeks before each marathon with a total of 725 miles altogether. It was especially hard training for Boston since I had to spend about 16 weeks of my training on the treadmill.
Q) A little on the atmosphere at Boston this year: were the security measures really noticeable and what was it like mixing in with the Bostonians?
At no point was I ever worried about my safety this year. There were plenty of checkpoints to make it to the race, and there were so many volunteers, police officers, and soldiers throughout the entire process. The only real Bostonian experience I had was with cab drivers because there was so many people from all over the U.S. there. Although on the race course there were a lot of people from Boston who were so thankful for all the runners participating.
Q) Is the Boston Marathon something you would like to do again?
Kyle G.: It was the most incredible experience to be a part of such a big event, and after running I was already convinced I wanted to go back and do it again. The whole week was just so fun and enjoyable. It seemed like a celebration the entire week.
Q) Running plans for remainder of 2014?
Kyle G.: I will run Grandma’s Marathon again this year. Also, I am doing my first half Iron Man in Racine, Wis. on July 20. I also plan on running the Twin Cities Marathon this year. My ultimate goal is to do the full Iron Man in Madison Wis. in 2015 so I can qualify for the Iron Man World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.