Kara MacLean '16 on Running the Boston Marathon

What are you studying at Simmons?

Nursing.

What's your favorite part of your program?

Definitely clinical. Being in the center of the medical mecca of the world is something I'm so grateful for. I've been shadowing some of the most respectable nurses in the profession at some of the best hospitals in the world. What else could you ask for in a nursing program!

Where are your clinical placements?

Last semester I was placed at Massachusetts General Hospital on an oncology floor and at the VA in Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury. This semester I'm doing my OB/GYN clinical at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. I will also be doing my pediatric clinical at Children’s Hospital.

What's your Simmons moment?

My first fall semester at Simmons, I realized that we did not take Veteran’s Day off. I'm from a long line of military members and I have a lot of respect for all the men and women who give their service for us. I wrote a letter to President Drinan and The Voice stating my thoughts. The next academic calendar came out with Veteran’s Day off. I felt very proud to be a part of Simmons and a part of a school where you truly have the power to make change.

What sport do you play at Simmons?

I feel proud to have been one of the co-captains of the cross country team for the last 2 years. I love racing, who I run with and my coaches. Cross country has been my outlet from stressful schoolwork and it has been so fun and challenging. 

What inspired you to run the Boston Marathon?

My dad inspired me to run when I was very young. He was a Boston Firefighter and would take me into the city to go on runs with him. Every year he took me in to watch the marathon. I promised myself I would run it as soon as I was 18. I ran the Buffalo Marathon — but missed qualifying for Boston by 15 minutes. I'm now running Boston and raising money for Tufts Medical Center. Running the Boston Marathon has been my number 1 dream from the very first time I watched it.

What's your training routine?

I try to run 6 days a week and do strength routines at least twice. I mapped out times to run that fit into my schedule for the semester. I usually just run on the Charles because I know how many miles it is to each bridge. I pretty much run anywhere though and try to discover new places so I don’t get bored.

What's your favorite song to run to?

It differs. Usually I get hooked on one song though and literally put it on repeat for the entire run. Right now I’m between The Way by Fastball, Genghis Khan by Miike Snow and Stolen Dance by Milky Chance. 

What's been the best part about training for the Boston Marathon?

Well, the worst part has been the weather, but the best part is probably being motivated to train and stay in shape. There’s really nothing more motivating to me than training for the Boston Marathon. I want to do well and remember it for my whole life. I hope it’s my best run yet.

What are some challenges you've faced while training?

It's hard to get out of bed in the cold. It takes some serious pep talk from myself to get going. There have also been runs that I consider failures. Every runner has days when it's just not happening. Those runs where you suddenly have to stop and walk. Those are mentally challenging, but it happens to everyone.

What's the first thing you're going to do when you cross the finish line?

Thinking about this gives me the chills. I have run by that finish line countless times and every time I can’t help but imagine what it would be like to cross it after running the marathon. I will definitely be crying and I will probably be looking for my dad. I can’t wait to see the look of pride on his face. This is because of him and I am dedicating this run to my father and my mother. I cannot say enough about the people who have supported me through this and through everything. The mentors in my life continue to drive me every day and they will drive me right up to that finish line.

Kara and her father after finishing a half marathon.

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