By MARK MAYNARD
The Daily Independent
It wasn’t exactly ideal weather for running, but that’s never stopped Amy Compston.
The marathon runner from Ashland — and the face behind the Amy For Africa mission — still managed to set a personal record during the 119th running of the Boston Marathon on Monday where cool temperatures, steady rain and gusty winds were part of the story.
Compston’s time of 3 hours, 27 minutes and 29 seconds eclipsed her previous best by 25 seconds. That one was set in the 2013 Boston Marathon.
With the weather being uncooperative on Monday, Compston said she was determined to start fast and try to maintain the pace throughout the race.
She was able to do just that, running a 7:54 pace for the 26.2 miles. She started with a 7:40 pace and kept that through about 18 miles.
“No guts, no glory I guess, right?” she said. “I was able to keep a good pace until those hills.”
When she made the left turn onto Boyleston Street for the finish, Compston knew the PR was within sight.
“I didn’t know if I was going to make it,” she said. “My legs were not only frozen but like two solid rocks.”
She experienced some hamstring tightness after about 10 miles and then again at 23 miles.
“I said ‘God, only You can get me through this.’ And He did.”
Fairview Elementary’s third-grade class had made a sign for Compston to take with her to Boston and her husband, Chris, set it up and stood behind it.
“That made it so much easier to find him,” she said. “I didn’t have time to wave.”
She was sprinting — as much as her frozen legs would allow — toward the finish line.
Compston was pleased with the PR, especially on a day when the elements were tough on even the best runners in the world.
“All the elites, even their times were slow for them,” she said. “It was a rough, rough day. (But) I tend to do better in extreme conditions.”
Last year, Compston ran eight marathons in eight months, including two trail marathons in which she finished first.
She also doesn’t discount the power of prayer.
“It was overwhelming before the race started,” Compston said. “I started crying, not bawling, but crying.”
Compston said she knew it was going to be “a great day. How could it not be a great day with all those people praying?”
Her time also included one bathroom break, she said.
She said the crowd would call out “Africa!” as she passed by them during the race.
“That was really cool,” she said. “Last year they said ‘South Africa.’ I got a little of that too.”
Compston was running in her third consecutive Boston Marathon and fifth world marathon in two years.
The King’s Daughters nurse and mother of four also runs her AFA mission, which started after the 2013 Boston Marathon.
A 12-member team will be going to Moyo, Uganda, in a month to distribute 26,000 shoes to children in the impoverished area.
Former area marathoner John Davis, who lives in Texas now, finished in 2 hours, 48 minutes despite an Achilles tendon injury. He also had a body temperature of 91 degrees and a severe case of hypothermia.
Davis, who inspired Compston to begin running marathons, also runs for the AFA mission.
MARK MAYNARD can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2648. Follow @DIndependent on Twitter.
Compston sets PR in Boston Marathon despite conditions
By MARK MAYNARD