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Alison Désir’s 7 Most Memorable Boston Marathon Moments

Wow—it has been a week since the Boston Marathon and I am still trying to wrap my mind around the experience. When I received the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon for Team Hyland’s in honor of the 50th anniversary of Kathrine Switzer’s historic race, I knew that the experience would be powerful—but it far exceeded even my highest expectations. From the people I was able to connect with to the experience of running with the most crowd support I’ve ever received at any race, I was blown away.

Here are my most memorable moments (good and bad and in no particular order) from my experience.

Meeting my Hyland’s teammates.

After months of sharing our stories and connecting via social media, it was great to finally connect with my teammates in person. This picture is from one of my favorite moments, when Rahaf Khatib accidentally tickled me while taking this photo in the athlete’s village.

Meeting K.V. Switzer at the Boston Marathon expo.

Timing was everything for this one! My boyfriend, Candice, Mary Wittenberg and I arrived just in time to get the opportunity to meet the legend herself. She was so warm and humble—nervous even about her race. I have never been one to keep my race bib but she signed it—so I’m framing it!

Struggling through the race but finding crowd support everywhere.

The marathon was DIFFICULT! I have spent the past three months recovering from injury so technically not training. Thanks to the physical therapy I received from Finish Line PT, I was confident that it would even be possible. But it definitely sucked a lot and was painful at times. I had to use so many mind tricks to will myself forward. At one point, I decided I would walk for a 200 count and run for a 500 count. I wanted to quit, but I had too many reasons to keep going.

This picture was when one of my great photographer friends caught me around mile 19/20:

Photo: @gnp_photos

And this is when a friend literally supported me through the November Project cheer station:

Photo: @themattpowers

Participating on panels with incredible women whom I admire.

Talking about the power of running with my baddass lady gang was definitely a highlight of the weekend.

Huge shout out to all of my fellow panelists and the moderators who kept us together: Candice Huffine, Kelly Roberts, Amanda Nurse, Kaitlin Gregg Goodman, Heather Mayer Irvine, Ashlee Lawson, Ali Nolan, and Michele Steele.

Being a total tourist in Boston.

It was a pleasure to be able to explore Boston before the race with the likes of Candice Huffine and Mary Wittenberg. They kept me calm when I was ready to jump out of my skin.

Seeing my boyfriend at the end of the race.

Photo: @themattpowers

I’m not sure how I spotted him, but right before the finish line on Boylston, I looked over to my right and he was there filming me as I crossed the finish line.

The Harlem Run and Wilpower Fitness Cheer Station at Mile 22.

When I approached mile 22, my heart was racing with excitement knowing that I would see my friends and family from Harlem Run and Wilpower. Even though my legs were failing me at that point, seeing them gave me the burst I needed to know that I would in fact finish the race!

Powdered Feet

Powdered Feet

Passionate about community, mental health and fitness, I am an endurance athlete, Under Armour athlete and believer that sport has the power to change lives. My nickname “powdered feet” comes from the Haitian Kreyol saying, which describes a person so active that you never see them, just the footprints of where they’ve been in powder. I started running after a period of depression, and, over the past 4 years, have been able to Find Meaning on the Run. My running journey started with a blog, powderedfeet.com, and eventually expanded into a transformative movement known as Harlem Run. When I’m not running, I’m working to resolve and speaking passionately about issues related to women and girls. Find meaning on the run with me at @powderedfeet on Instagram and Twitter!