Mary Ngugi — Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon is the racer's race. No pacemakers — just instinct and race craft. The one they all want to win. With prestige comes energy. This is a city consumed by the emotions of marathon running — it's a celebration. For elite runner, Mary Ngugi, that welcoming vibe and the buzz is what elevates it above other races in the calendar.

“Boston is a very special race. But it's not just the race, it's how people are here during the race week. It's crazy. There is so much energy. You go out and everybody is talking about the marathon and everyone is excited about the marathon. I've been racing in Boston for quite a while now and I love it.”

"We all have a goal, I think. Everyone has come here to win. And I will try to do that. But it's not a race like other races, where you have pacers, and can plan, 'Ok, I'm going to run at this pace'. So it's more about what's happening in the race and then you make decisions based on how the race is going."

"It's like a lifestyle, to be honest with you. Marathon running is more like a lifestyle. It's not just what you do in training — it's what you do for the whole day. You need rods of discipline for you to perform well in the marathon."

"The marathon is hard, but the hardest part is everyday, outdoors, and grueling sessions. So you have to have that mindset from day one of training. And as you get strong physically your mindset is getting stronger as well."

"The things I used to do — when I was doing half marathons and 10ks — it didn't matter. But I can't do that now. I have to think about my diet, what I'm eating, what I'm fueling with, and the times that I sleep."

Just three minutes separated the top ten in the elite women's field. Mary finished ninth, in a time of 2:24:33.

Words by Ross Lovell, Photos by Dan King & Herman Reuterswärd