By Bryan Brown
Running for Excellence is a contest at Sacred Heart University where one member of the Sacred Heart community is selected to compete in the Boston Marathon in April.
This year, the selected winner is professor Bernadette Boyle, an assistant professor of Mathematics.
Along with participating in the marathon, professor Boyle is fundraising money for the Sacred Heart student scholarship fund.
The goal is to reach 20,000 dollars before the race.
Bernadette Boyle is a Fairfield local, born and raised in the area, and she even attended Notre Dame High School.
Boyle has enjoyed running most of her adult life, as she had started competing in cross country during her freshman year of high school.
“I really joined just to make friends and meet new people,” said Boyle.
But her method of joining to become more social turned into a new love and lifestyle.
She continued to run cross country and track all throughout her high school career, even creating the indoor track team her senior year.
Boyle went on to attend Providence College in Rhode Island, a school which also had a nationally ranked cross country and track team.
“I didn’t think I was going to be good enough to run for them,” said Boyle “But I was able to walk onto both.”
Boyle still enjoys running in her spare time and contributing to the track and cross country teams here at Sacred Heart as well.
“I am the faculty mentor here for the track and cross country team so I get to train with the coaches and students, it is a great group to run with,” said Boyle.
She also still competes on her own.
“I jump into road races whenever I can and some half marathons,” said Boyle.
Boyle has done many half marathons in her life. She has competed in one every year for the past 9 years.
Although she has run these half marathons, she has never competed in a full marathon.
“It is why I entered my name in the contest, it has always been on my bucket list to complete a marathon, so I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity,” said Boyle.
Boyle also thinks completing the Boston Marathon would be a very fulfilling feat.
“It is a very prestigious thing to be able to say you completed the Boston Marathon,” said Boyle.
Boyle was one of 17 people to put their name in for the contest. The only requirement was that the person entering the contest had to have already completed a half marathon.
Professor Boyle was highly excited to learn that she will be representing Sacred Heart at the marathon. But she also realized how big of a task it is.
Boyle has been training for the marathon ever since she found out that she was selected back in November.
“You run, a lot,” said Boyle.
Boyle trains by running mass miles at a time and also does core training and biking to help her prepare.
“What a lot of non-runners don’t realize is that you don’t just run the whole 26.2 miles when training for a marathon, it is hard on the body,” said Boyle.
Boyle said she has gotten up to 16 miles before but is unsure of how far she really will go before the race.
“The big thing on race day is you have adrenaline unlike the other days you’re just running while training,” said Boyle. “Once you’re around 20 miles in, you realize you only have a little left and can push through.”
She is looking forward to the race and the atmosphere of it all.
“I’ve heard the fans of the Boston Marathon are amazing and make a great atmosphere which helps distract you from actually running, you turn the corner and it’s a whole new crowd and scenery,” said Boyle.
You can support professor Bernadette Boyle and her scholarship mission at weareshu.sacredheart.edu/project/9306.