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Tara Stockton has dreamed of running in the Boston Marathon ever since participating in her first long-distance race in 2001.
Come Monday, she no longer has to dream.
Stockton, who lives in Harriman, will be one of thousands of runners from around the world participating in the 2013 Boston Marathon.
“This is my 15th run as far as a full marathon,” Stockton said. “I said if I ever got to do Boston, I was going to have fun, so this one is strictly going to be for the enjoyment.”
Stockton, 41, is responsible for supervising several McDonald’s restaurants in East Tennessee, so finding time to train for the Boston Marathon hasn’t been easy.
“It is extremely hard,” she declared. “One day a week you pretty much have to designate a three-hour block time of just nothing but running. If my schedule calls for me to come early to work, then I have to train in the evening.”
A marathon is 26.2 miles. Stockton said it takes being in good physical and mental shape to finish one.
“Sometimes your mind will tell your body to shut down, so you have to really occupy your thoughts while you’re running in order to finish,” she said.
Her husband is Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton. He has been helping her train and will be accompany her to Boston.
“We’ve actually got certain things we’re going to try to see while we’re there,” she said. “It will be fun for us.”
Stockton started running when she met her husband.
She was elated after her first race.
“I’d say that’s probably the thing that got me into doing it,” she said. “One event kind of got you hooked to want to do the next event.”
Traveling is a perk of marathon running. Stockton said she’s participated in events in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and British Columbia.
Stockton will be running with the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation team in the Boston Marathon.
She said she’s raised more than $5,000 for the foundation, with 90 percent of the money coming from people in Roane County.
“My fundraising has been blessed greatly,” she said.
In addition to enjoying the race, Stockton said she’s also looking forward to the Boston Marathon because it gives her the opportunity to be among the top athletes in the sport.
“You can’t go out on a basketball court with an NBA player and play ball,” she said. “With this, even though I laugh and say the Kenyan runners might go see a movie and get back before I finish, I’m in the same field and able to start with those elite athletes.”
“It’s very rewarding to be in a competition where you can be with the best of the best in your sport,” she added.