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Maggie Wolgamot

Chesterton girls cross country coach Maggie Wolgamot ran in Monday's Boston Marathon. She was cheered on by her parents, Eileen and Tom Daly, who made the trip from Syracuse, New York, and her daughter, Beckett Wolgamot.


The weather, as the locals would say, was wicked bad.

The rain poured for all 26.2 miles. A 25-mile per hour headwind made the 40-degree temperature seem a lot worse.

So you want to run a Boston Marathon?

"Before the race, I said I prefer the cold over the heat," Maggie Wolgamot said after Monday's race. "Now I'm not so sure. It was so cold and wet."

Chesterton's girls cross country coach withstood the nasty conditions to complete the trek from Hopkinton into Bean Town in a personal best of 3 hours, 23 minutes, 31 seconds. Her time was good for 974th in her division, 1,122nd among women and 6,153rd overall.

"I'll take it," Wolgamot said. "I've never felt so good in training. I had a big PR in my last half marathon, a 1:29, so I was hoping for faster, but considering the elements, you have to re-check, put it in perspective."

In addition to a surly Mother Nature, Wolgamot's watch went out on her, forcing her to run strictly on feel.

"I couldn't really tell my pace, which is fine," she said. "It keeps you motivated. I actually felt fine after 10 miles. I ran a little faster the second half. I trained all winter in the cold, so the temperature wasn't actually that bad. I accepted that it was what it was. I came to peace with it. You can't let your mind get in the way of letting your body doing what it can do. I didn't feel any physical pain until mile 25."

Wolgamot didn't hit the runner's wall at that point, but the exertion of the race certainly took its toll in that stretch.

"You're pushing yourself so hard, you reach the exhaustion phase," she said. "I was a little woozy, pretty disoriented. I was a little nervous so I had to pull back the reins a little but. That was by far my slowest mile."

As with all the runners, the sight of the finish line carried Wolgamot home.

"It's unbelievable," she said. "There are thousands of fans, especially the last mile. You feel like you're in a stadium. Everybody's going crazy. Everybody just starts sprinting in. It's a surreal experience, for sure."

Soon after, Wolgamot realized her cell service had also been knocked out by the rain, so she had to borrow a phone from a kind soul at a nearby deli to contact her dad, who was there along with her mom and daughter.

"I was able to find him and hobbled back to the hotel," she said.

Family is the reason Wolgamot began doing 26.2-mile races in the first place. Three family members were or are Marines and the Marine Corps marathon was her first. She's also done Big Sur in California, Disney World in Florida and most recently, the Hamptons, last September. Conor Holt, Wolgamot's coach when she was at Purdue, put together her training program for her. She did weekday running in conjunction with her distance coaching at Chesterton and ran weekends with Cari Schmack. Wolgamot's husband, Ben, is an assistant coach on Brian Schmack's staff at Valparaiso University.

"The girls were tracking me at school," Wolgamot said. "They like to see me compete, to cheer for me. It inspires them. It shows that I'll put myself out there. Watching them compete inspires me. It's why I've gotten into so many (races). I didn't have a good college experience. I was hurt the last two years. It just shows it doesn't have to be over after high school, college. You can do competitive running as an adult, keep setting goals."

Wolgamot was inspired to be part of the same marathon where an American, Desiree Linden, won for the first time since 1985, and 21 U.S. runners made the top 25.

As for what's next …

"I'm not really sure at the moment," Wolgamot said. "I really enjoyed the course. I like how it was more downhill than up. I'll play it by ear. They always say you have to forget your last marathon before you start preparing for your next one."


Sports reporter

Jim was keeping standings on his chalkboard from the time he could print and keeping kickball stats in grade school at St. Bridget's. He covers all manner of prep sports for The Times and is a long-suffering Chicago Cubs fan.