In his own words, Shanon Eichholz cheated a little bit Sunday when it came to running the 2019 Oklahoma Memorial Marathon.
“I kind of cheated and ran only the half marathon,” said Eichholz.
A veteran of the OKC marathon, Eichholz had a good reason to only run 13.1 miles instead of the full 26.2 miles. He was only 13 days removed from running the 122nd Boston Marathon.
“I was still kind of in recovery and I was not sure how well my legs would be so I decided to only do the half,” said Eichholz.
Eichholz still ran a solid race with a time of one hour, 32 minutes and 27 seconds. He was third in the male 45- to 49-year-old division and placed 97th overall.
“It was a good day to run. Everything was coming back and my legs felt good and it was a fun marathon, even if it was only a half,” said Eichholz.
When he crossed the finish line Sunday, Eichholz ended his 13 days of running having logged 42.4 race miles in three different events.
Two days before he ran the Boston Marathon, he ran the event’s 5-kilometer race with his wife, Christy.
“Christy does some running and this gave her a chance to run in Boston and run under the archway and down Boylston Street just like the full marathon does.
“She can say she ran Boston, even though it was just a 5K, she still ran in Boston. It was a fun run and I was glad to get to run it with her,” said Eichholz.
Having his wife by his side was one of the two reasons Eichholz decided to run Boston for a third time.
“I hadn’t been there in awhile and Christy did not get to go the first two times and this was special because it was the whole Boston experience, even if you were running or not. Everyone in the town goes marathon crazy and it’s a big festival weekend centered around the marathon,” said Eichholz.
The second reason to make the 3,400-mile round-trip journey was to tie his dad, Butch Eichholz, who ran the event three times. Eichholz’s first trip to Boston was in 1996 with his dad, while the second came in 2000 with his dad and his sister, Angela.
“Each time was a different experience and each was special in its own way,” said Eichholz.
He qualified for Boston by running a time of 3:05.50 in the 2018 OKC Marathon. While his finish in Boston was not as good as his qualifying mark, Eichholz said he still enjoyed every step of the 26.2 miles. He posted a time of 3:14:59 which placed him 5,383 overall, 4,692 among male runners and 595 in his age group. There were more than 30,000 runners in the event.
“It wasn’t as fast as my qualifying time in OKC but the race I ran was good enough to qualify me for next year. I’m not sure if I have any plans to go back.
“This was my third time to go and that ties me with dad. He set some lofty goals for me in running. He qualified and ran three times and now we are tied,” said Eichholz.
However, he’s not closing the door on running Boston again in 2020.
“When you make that final turn and run down Boylston Street with the crowd cheering it’s so loud and is something special to experience. Boston is one of those races you never know how many chances you will get to run it, so when you get the chance you have got to take the opportunity,” said Eichholz.
With both the Boston and OKC marathons in his rear-view mirror, Eichholz can’t rest just yet. He’s running Saturday in the Burger Day Bun Run.
“The Bun Run is this weekend. I always say I need to rest but then I look at the race calendar and say that one would be fun to run. There is always one more race to do. Rest will come later,” said Eichholz.