EXCLUSIVE: This Is What It Takes To Finish The Boston Marathon, According To Amanda Carpo-Bond
Not all runners get to qualify for the Boston Marathon, let alone tick this off their bucket list. But then again, Amanda Carpo-Bond is not just anybody. After all, at 43 years young, this was her ninth time running it.
This Manila-based lawyer was part of the National Badminton Team before discovering that her main contribution to the team was running—and so she started as a runner the year after that in 2006. Now in her 12th year of running, Metro.Style traces back to her first run and finds out just what it is that has made her continuously successful in her field of passion.
What made you join the Boston Marathon the very first time and how did it feel?
“I wanted to set a goal for myself as a runner. People talked about a ‘BQ’ (Boston Qualifier). Boston is the oldest marathon in America and I think the longest run marathon in the world. There is a lot of tradition.
It felt like magic. I was and still am so inspired by the spirit of Boston. The pursuit of athletic excellence, the sportsmanship. It’s really something else. The commitment and work that go into running can’t be faked.”
Amanda with her husband and running buddy, Mike
When asked about her training and what she does to prepare, she says she built up 100kms a week for 12 weeks. That might be more than I’ve ever run my entire life. The secret, she says, is getting a support system to help you through the challenge of getting up and doing it. Hers is composed of her husband, Mike, sisters Franchesca and Leica, and friend, Aileen.
“It’s easier to do hard work with company”, she quips.
Did you feel any different running this one?
“I’m coming in a little older and had been injured most of the year. As you get older, it becomes more difficult managing time as my responsibilities have increased at work.”
But you were still able to do it. I find, on some days, it’s hard to keep my motivation to do things, even things I love doing. What helps keep you motivated?
It’s the sense that you can always do better, but never quite get there. The symbol of Boston is a unicorn—your search is forever, excellence is fleeting. You can’t sit on your laurels. There will always be a better.”
With so many quotable quotes Amanda was churning out, one can’t help but feel the passion she has for running, but more than that, her passion to live life with the same determination she has for the sport.
Have there been any specific moments or turning points before or during the marathon that was significant in your success?
"Getting over Heartbreak. All runners know Heartbreak Hill. At Mile 17 begins a 4 Mile Hill that is infamously difficult and challenging.
There is a sign there that says: 'Training got you to Newton, Heart will get you to Boston.' Gets me every time."
She mentions that one of the years she ran the marathon was 2013, when the Boston Marathon bombing happened. So I asked how it affected her at the time.
“It was scary and shocking. It taught me we are living in a new world. Terrorism is real and you have to stand up to it. Running the next year after the bombing was special. The runners overcame fear and showed up, proud. Fear can be conquered. We have to overcome and be resilient.”
So what did it feel like running the marathon this year? What were your thoughts, emotions that ran through your body?
“This year we had 37F to low 40s weather with raw wet cold pouring rain and 30 mile an hour headwind. I came in with less training than ever before because of injury. I had a lot of doubt. There were less spectators because of the pouring rain.
During the race I saw a chubby little kid with glasses all alone—holding his hand out for a high five. I thought he was so cute standing in the rain and went to high five him. He told me matter of fact: 'Don’t give up.' And that really got to me.
In running and in life you 'give up,' you make little concessions and excuses to do less, not to try your best. It was funny because the kid said that early on in the race—maybe 10km when you are far from giving up at that point—but you know it made me think of what you give up—and it’s not about one Heartbreak Hill, but all the little hills you have to get over, waking up in the morning to run, finishing your mileage etc... I realize that you get more than you give, too, especially at Boston. It’s a truly amazing experience.”
To know more about how to qualify for the Boston Marathon, visit http://www.baa.org/
Photographs courtesy of Amanda Carpo