WKU Alum prepares for Boston Marathon; qualifying time 3hrs 40min

Cheer her on Monday, April 18

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Shanda Blair got into running when she was in middle school when she spent the night with a friend who had cross country practice the next morning. She decided to come along, and from there on, there were no stops on her track.

Shanda ran in middle school, high school, and ran at Western Kentucky University with a scholarship. 

Once competitive racing as a Hilltoper came to an end, she wasn’t ready to hang up the tennis shoes. 

“I’ve always been very big into exercise, obviously, starting with running,” Shanda said. “I’ve been doing Crossfit for several years. As you get a little bit older, and there’s no more races anymore. So, 5k’s, I finally ran a half marathon and last July I ran my first marathon.”

Just like that, her first ever full marathon qualified her for the Boston Marathon.

“Qualifying for myself, where I’m 41-years-old, my time was three hours and 40 minutes,” she shared. “I just wasn’t really sure I wanted to do a second Marathon, but once I qualified I was told by a lot of people that I have to.”

She’s trained as if the track will be a warzone.

“I’ve added a lot of hills. I have a longer training plan. For 18 weeks I’ve been training for it.”

When I asked her if this was a one in a lifetime event to check off her bucket list, she wasn’t so sure.

“I think I will only do it once… but I think it could also be a stepping stone for whatever might be next,” she said.

Shanda has prepared a mental time goal for herself, but at the end of the day her goals aren’t strapped down by tunnel vision. 

“[My long-term lifetime goals are] just continue running, and continue my career and try to be a good role model for my son,” she said.