WICHITA, Kansas – This morning hundreds of people began what was the culmination of months of sweat and soreness to accomplish what many only dream of.
Several Wichitans will join the sea of runners in this year’s Boston Marathon, and we got the chance to catch up with one of them back here at home before leaving for the world’s oldest marathon.
“There’s 500,000 spectators on the course, and there’s just nothing like it,” explains runner Heath Larson.
The 26.2 mile course of the Boston Marathon is no stranger to him.
Heath first ran the Boston Marathon in 2009 and fell in love with the atmosphere that surrounds the race.
“I was registered to run it last year, which we all know what happened there,” remembers Heath.
The bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line would turn into his motivation.
“I was kind of heartbroken when that all happened and decided that I really wanted to qualify and go back for this year.”
After running a qualifying time in a marathon in Idaho, Heath has since trained the past four months running as many as 65 miles a week.
A total of about 600 miles run up till today.
“I don’t eat fried foods at all,” exclaims Heath.
Instead, he turns to the grill to cook what he eats.
Which works out pretty well, considering he’s sponsored by the Kansas Beef Council and runs for Team Beef.
“My wife and I, we both grew up on ranches in central Kansas, so it’s kind of a nice way, even though we love here in Wichita, it’s a nice way to tribute back to our families at home,” says Heath.
And he says beef is also efficient running fuel.
“I call it the tastiest multi-vitamin around, really. Ten essential nutrients, it’s great for recovery and a lot of people associate beef and red meat with anything but a healthy lifestyle so we’re out there trying to dispel that myth.”
So after months of training and hundreds of miles around Wichita, today Heath will take to the streets with six or seven other members of Team Beef, 150 other Kansans and thousands of runners from around the world.
“I’m looking forward to, the race is the reward and I’m looking forward to giving a thousand high fives along the course and seeing the crowds and the people and the excitement of it.”
We will be tracking Heath’s race bib number, and we’ll have an update on his success for you later.