OGDEN, Utah – An Ogden native is celebrating a big win at the 2018 Boston Marathon, taking home 2nd place and $75,000.
It was the coldest Boston Marathon on record with wind, rain, and cold in the forecast.
”I honestly had no expectations in terms of finishing time in those conditions,” said Utah runner Sarah Sellers.
“I think we all had to realize we had to get outside ourselves and work together to survive the conditions,” she added.
30,000 runners from around the world, came from around the world for a shot at the title in the coveted 26.2-mile race.
But tough conditions couldn’t put a damper on Sellers.
“It’s hard to get down when you look on both sides of the street for the vast majority of the race and there’s people yelling the entire time,” Sellers grinned.
“The mental anguish that comes around mile 18, or wherever, that didn’t really seem to hit because there was just so much support,” she said.
Unlike most elite runners, Sarah works full time as a nurse and trains outside of her full-time work schedule.
“Her morning runs are at 5 a.m. and if she doesn’t get out at 5 a.m. she’s running at 8 p.m. at night,” said her coach, Paul Pilkington.
“It’s rare to have someone working full time and be at a world class level in the marathon,” Pilkington added.
While Sarah is new to the world of marathons (the Boston was only her second), she’s not new to running.
“She broke her foot her senior year in college… it took almost three years for her to get healthy after that,” said Pilkington.
”I loved running my whole life, but being injured, I think, took it to a whole other level because as soon as something’s taken away from you it’s like the only thing you want,” said Sellers.
When Sarah recovered, she ran her first marathon in Huntsville, Utah (and won). After that, she re-connected with her coach from Weber State.
“She called up and said ‘coach I want to run Boston and I want to qualify for the Olympic trials, will you help me?” recalled Pilkington.
In just 2 hours and 44 minutes, Sarah crossed the finish line and claimed second place in the Boston Marathon.
“When I crossed the line, if you would have asked me what place I was, I would have guessed top 15… possibly top 10,” said Sellers.
“I was a little bit in disbelief when I saw her cross the line, I went, ‘wait, did they miss somebody? is she really second?’” Pilkington laughed.
Of course, Sarah had a little motivation from a sibling rivalry.
”My brother Ryan, he decided to sign up for it last fall, so I thought it’d be cool to come out and run it,” said Sellers.
But that’s not what she told her coach… or us.
“She said, ‘well, my brother’s running Boston and I want to beat him,’” Pilkington smiled.
“What!?” her brother says from behind the computer Sarah is giving us an interview from.
“Busted!” her husband Blake said in the background.
“Hold on, hold on!” her brother laughs.
“Yeah… that’s probably one of the details I omitted,” Sarah laughs.
Leaving Boston with bragging rights.
“If you’re a marathoner everyone always asks you, ‘have you run Boston?’ So in Sarah’s case now she can say ‘yes, oh and by the way, I was second,” Pilkington said.
In two years, Sarah will go to the qualifier for the Olympic trials, the top three runners from that marathon will earn a place on the Olympic team.