LUMBERTON — Three hours, 39 minutes, 21 seconds.
That’s the amount of time Lumberton resident Windy Christy needed to earn the right to apply to one of the world’s most prestigious marathons.
Christy, a physician’s assistant at Southeastern Health’s Gibson Cancer Center, crossed the finish line at the Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness in 132nd place, a noteworthy performance in a field of 563 runners.
It was Christy’s second time running a marathon. She finished seventh in her age group (35-39), and was the 30th fastest female out of 241 entries.
Perhaps the most important takeaway was the fact that Christy finished the 26.2-mile course under the Boston Marathon qualifying mark of 3:45:00. That feat made her eligible to apply for the 2019 marathon.
“It was a huge goal I set from the last time I ran a marathon,” Christy said.
Christy maintained an average pace of 8:22 per mile.
Although hitting the provisional mark does not guarantee admission into the marathon’s field, which included 579 North Carolinian’s out of a total of 30,074 runners last year, the accomplishment is an important first step for Christy.
She will be able to apply for the marathon in September. If accepted, Christy will need to begin a training regimen similar to the four-month program she followed before the Wrightsville Beach marathon.
The preparation was rigorous and challenging at times, but Christy said the process reaffirmed her understanding of what it takes to be a successful runner.
“You have to put in the work. You have to show up and do the training,” Christy said.
One of the secrets to her success is CrossFit, a multi-joint strength program that incorporates workouts from a variety of training exercises and sports. She trains at Lumberton’s CrossFit QFE.
“I think that resistance training really helped,” Christy said.
Christy’s trek to the Boston Marathon has ultimately been fueled by a lifelong love of running that started when she ran her first 5K race as a seventh-grader.
Christy took to the track at R-S Central High School in Rutherfordton, experiencing success both individually and as a member of relay teams.
Since then, she has completed three half Ironman races on top of the two marathons.
Last year, Christy took first place in the women’s division of the Rumba on the Lumber 5K race with a time of 21:23.
Christy has a few achievements under her belt already, but her next race might be the biggest and toughest of them all as the 2019 Boston Marathon will be held on April 15.
Reach Brandon Tester at 910-816-1989 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Tester_Brandon.