Vicky King of Salida wasn’t supposed to be running the Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon on March 18. She was supposed to be home with her hubby, celebrating 34 years of wedded bliss. But when she couldn’t find a marathon she wanted to do about the same time, she got the blessings she needed from her husband, she ran, and boy is she thankful. King is the winner of the SAMM first-time Boston qualifier contest! She wins $1,000 toward her dream trip to compete in the 2013 Boston Marathon.
“Oh my gosh, oh my gosh,” said a stunned King. “What news! Oh my goodness!”
King did the SAMM half marathon last year. “Modesto just kept tugging at me (this year), for many reasons. It’s local. My family could come watch me. … It’s a fast course. I really, really enjoyed it. This is my backyard. … The orchards and the fields were just beautiful. And the people out there were amazing!”
King qualified for Boston in only her second marathon. Her first was the inaugural Santa Barbara Marathon in 2010, where she ran well at 4:11:10, with her only goal to complete the course. But in Modesto, she had the “ultimate dream” of qualifying for the prestigious Boston Marathon. “My friends kept urging me to enter the contest.” This is the second year SAMM has sponsored the contest.
“I was trying to do under 4 (hours) on the clock,” she said. “Actually, I wanted to do 3:59:59. But when the 4-hour pacer went by me and started getting out of sight, I thought, just keep putting one foot in front of the other.” King said her quads were cramping for half the race and she felt like she was all over the place, literally kicking herself in the ankles. But she persevered and when she turned the corner to head toward the finish line, she knew she could qualify for Boston.
King has been running since 2005, when she was undergoing some stressful times in her life. She entered her first race at age 49 — the 5K Lodi Easter run — to “celebrate God and what He had done” in helping her get past her struggles.
Now the biggest struggle King has to face is finding airfare and a place to stay in Boston, while navigating the rules of applying for the Boston Marathon … all new territory for her. “This is monumental,” she exclaimed.
And by the way, while King was traversing the Modesto Marathon course, her husband, a massage therapist, was busy in the finish line area giving out free massages to runners. And they had plenty to celebrate that evening.