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Local Runners Prep For Boston Marathon

Krista Lawell of Baileys Harbor will be running in her ninth Boston Marathon April 15.
Photo by Dan Eggert, courtesy of the Peninsula Pulse

Two Door County women marathoners, one a veteran and the other a rookie, have met the demanding qualifying standards and will be running in the 117th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15.  

“The Boston Marathon is my all time favorite race,” Krista Lawell of Baileys Harbor said after a recent 20 mile training run.

“The history and support of the Boston Marathon keeps bringing me back year-after-year,” said Lawell, who's preparing to compete in her ninth Boston Marathon. “The race is held on Patriot’s Day, a holiday in Massachusetts, and it feels like the entire state has line up along the race route to cheer us on.” 

Lawell, the pace team coordinator for this year's Door County Half Marathon, qualified for the Boston by running the Marquette Marathon in 3:33:44.

Joining Krista is Sturgeon Bay's Jolene Wilson, who will be running her first Boston Marathon. Wilson caught the Boston bug when she ran the Door County Half Marathon in 2012, covering the 13.1 mile course in 1:47:32 and finishing 2nd in her age division.

“Other runners kept saying that by running that time in a half marathon, I should be able to move up to the 26.2 marathon distance and qualify for Boston,” said Wilson. But she had her doubts.

Wilson had run her first and only marathon at the Green Bay Marathon in 2011 and finished the race on a very cold and windy day in 4:27:11. A respectable time but "no way close to being able to qualify for Boston,” said Wilson.

A librarian associate at Sawyer Elementary School, Wilson hit the computer and started crunching the numbers. Like all good researchers, she consulted various running websites that calculate and project race times. “Plugging in my Door County Half Marathon race result convinced me that I had a good shot, if I trained properly, to qualify for the Boston Marathon,” she said.  

Boston qualification times must be achieved on a certified 26.2-mile marathon course and are establish by the Boston Athletic Association. Qualifications are based on the age of marathoner on the day of the Boston Marathon, and not on the date of the qualifying run. To qualify, the 51-year-old Wilson had to finish her marathon in under 4 hours. After months of training, and support from family and friends, she crushed her qualifying time by almost 15 minutes, running a blistering 3:44:39 at the Fox Cities Marathon in Appleton on September 1, 2012.   

“I’m very excited! I can’t sleep,” said Wilson. “I will be taking my two daughters and one of my best friends with me to Boston!” 

“Only the best runners qualify and make it to Boston," says Russell Flemming, a certified Road Runners Club of America running coach. "It is a badge of honor. Very few qualify for Boston running in only their second marathon. Jolene did the research and followed a training plan she believed in. She should be very proud of achieving her goal.  Now she gets to enjoy the gift and that’s the Boston Marathon.

“Jolene qualifying in her second marathon is great, but you can’t ignore Krista Lawell’s great record of achievement in running Boston for the ninth time, and she is only 38 years old," says Flemming. "To sustain that level of desire and determination is amazing."

Flemming, 55, from Luxemburg in Kewaunee County, will be joining the two Door County women at the Boston Marathon. He qualified at the Marquette Marathon on September 1, 2012 by running the course in 3:22:25. He will be following -- literally and figuratively -- both women in this year’s race for

“My goal for this year’s Boston Marathon is to eat myself silly at all the great restaurants in Boston, and waddle to the starting line, and finish last,” joked Flemming. 

Russell Flemming is covering this year's Boston Marathon for If you have any questions about running Boston or training for a marathon please email Russell at


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