The biggest story of the Boston Marathon was Desiree Linden, who broke the race’s 32-year drought on U.S. winners for women. But the second biggest story might be about the women’s second place finisher, Sarah Sellers. And that’s because no one really knows who she is.
Jaclyn Reiss of the Boston Globe found out who she is, and the answer may shock you: she’s just a normal person who likes to run.
Sellers works as a nurse in Arizona. She’s not country singer Sarah Sellers, which is one of the results you find when you Google her — the two just happen to have the same name. Sellers finished four minutes behind Linden, running in brutal conditions: driving rain and bitter cold. That’s pretty good considering it was just her second marathon ever.
That’s right, Sellers entered the Boston Marathon having run just one other marathon, and she got second place. Her first marathon was the 2017 Huntsville Marathon in Utah, and she didn’t just win that one, she also set a women’s course record. Sellers was a long-distance runner in college (she attended Weber State University), but when she was a senior five years ago, she broke a bone in her foot. It took three years to heal.
Sellers ran the race on Monday wearing a pair of $90 New Balance 1400s. She bought them in February at a running shop in Tucson, and according to Lucas Tyler, one of the store’s managers, she was very low key about running in the Boston Marathon.
“She made a comment that she was going to Boston, but she kind of made it sound like she was just going to run Boston, that this wasn’t a huge deal,” Tyler said. “She said 2:45 [two hours and 45 minutes] was her PR [personal record], and in the past, with 2:45 you have been able to place pretty well in Boston. We were like, OK, what is she talking about? I mean, 2:45 is fast.”
Sellers’ husband, Blake, spoke to the Globe after his wife placed second, and he was overjoyed and so proud of what she’d accomplished.
“That’s one of the things about her — she’s really mentally tough, which I think really helped her under today’s conditions in Boston,” he said. “She sent me a text saying she won the hypothermia bowl today,” he added, laughing. “I just spoke to her on the phone. She said, ‘I think I’m going to wake up and find out this didn’t happen.’”
Blake also said that Sellers has been waking up at 4 a.m. so she could do practice runs before work. Her goal had been to place in the top 15 at the Boston Marathon so she could qualify for the Olympics. Those early mornings were all worth it, since Sellers has gone above and beyond her original goal.
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