EFCTS | June 24, 2022
That is one half-mile longer than the distance between Fairfield Career Center and associate school Gahanna Lincoln High School and the length of the Boston Marathon race course, a course Eastland Career Center social studies instructor Ms. Chelsea Osgood conquered on her first attempt this past April.
Living near the site of the Columbus Marathon inspired Osgood, an avid runner, to take her hobby to another level. Osgood has been no stranger to the running scene. Growing up, she regularly supported her father, who ran marathons. Though she did not run competitively in high school or college, Osgood always ran recreationally as an escape to help find calm and process her thoughts. The combination of running’s therapeutic effect, a family nostalgia, and a personal challenge to extend her limits drove Osgood to make the bold commitment to run in the 126th Boston Marathon.
Osgood shared that it was always her dream to run in a prestigious marathon at some point. After competing in the Columbus Marathon for the first time in 2019, Osgood decided to continue her training in pursuit of new personal record (PR) times. Her second go-around saw a tremendous decrease in her finish time, clocking in at three hours and twenty-five minutes (3:25). Her finish met the Boston Marathon’s qualification time of 3:30, so following that performance and with an outpouring of family support, Osgood thought, “why not?”
Running more than 25 miles uninterrupted through various terrains against steep international competition is challenging enough but leading up to the event of a lifetime, Osgood experienced another major obstacle. Actually, two obstacles.
Training in any sport is imperative, but especially for runners it is not a simple task because no course is the same. The terrain around Columbus is very different from Boston’s very difficult course, which includes a very hilly rural setting as well as a traditional downtown finish, but she made the best of the options available in Central Ohio. However, Osgood endured two injuries while training. In December, a habitual knee injury returned for which she needed physical therapy to heal. She recovered and returned to training, but then two weeks before the marathon a near-catastrophic blow; stress reactions were detected in her foot and the fear of missing the marathon due to potential stress fractures surfaced.
With the trip booked, plans made, and excitement boiling over, Osgood decided that with a little rest and determination, she was going to, in her words, “embrace the pain,” run her race and hope for the best.
“If I would not have done it, I definitely would have regretted it,” said Osgood. “I’m glad that I took the chance. Even without the injuries, I still second-guessed my abilities. Knowing that I can do something that I put the work into, plus the overall experience, it meant a lot.”
Osgood made the trip on her own, which was also something new to her. She’d run alone, without the proverbial ‘rabbit’ to chase for an improved time, and on a course she had never laced up for and would not experience until race day. But there was more than enough happening around her to make up for the pain and discomfort.
Osgood reflected that upon her arrival that there was an energy that was hard to explain but very present generated by what was estimated to be at least 25,000-30,000 additional people flooding the city for the marathon. Special events littered the area and provided her with a lot of opportunities for entertainment and to meet new people. Believe it or not, Osgood even met a group from Columbus that came to compete, which she quickly friended.
April 18, the day of the marathon, also happened to be Patriot’s Day (a holiday in Boston). Osgood said that the city was never empty the entire weekend, its people were very supportive and kind, and the amount of Boston pride was clearly reflected through every hat, jacket, shirt, and sign on display throughout the streets. Making the 2022 edition of the marathon even more unique was the fact that this race celebrated the 50th anniversary of women being legally allowed to compete, which made it more special for Osgood.
Seeing the finish line the day before the race only made her more ready for the challenge. With her students, father and the rest of her family tracking her progress through the marathon’s mobile app back in Ohio, Osgood did not just complete the Boston Marathon but finished in the top half in the female age group (18-39), among all females, and among all runners in the race. While her 3:37 time did not top her PR, Osgood was very happy with her performance, especially considering her injuries, being a first-time racer, and still having finished close to her pace set in Columbus.
“By far, it’s been probably one of the best experiences I’ve had, not just running-wise but overall in my life,” said Osgood.
And she’s not done. Osgood took a week away from running after returning from Boston but immediately went back to training. She is currently training for this Fall’s Columbus Marathon and hopes to return to Boston to tackle the marathon again in 2023. Of course, after that week’s lesson plans are done.