Running in the Boston Marathon is a lifelong dream for a lot of people worldwide and for Saint Anselm College women's soccer senior Corey Murray (Scituate, Mass.) that dream will become a reality on Monday, Apr. 15.
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Follow Corey: Boston Marathon
Along with her mother, Murray will run the race for a family charity called "Operation Progress", that was started by her grandfather and father. It is a scholarship fund for college students in the inner city of Boston to help raise money for disadvantaged youth. It provides mentors through the Boys and Girls club in Boston, Mass. and in Los Angeles, Calif., where her uncle, a police officer, helped bring the mission out west.
The thought of participating in the race has been in her mind since her senior year of high school. However, since Murray would not be 18 years old on race day that year, she postponed the dream until she would be done with her collegiate soccer career. She made a promise to her mom that the both of them would run the race.
"Ever since I was little it was something I wanted to do, so we made a promise that we would do it after my soccer season ended my senior year of college," explained Murray.s
As a student-athlete, the initial training helped her at the beginning because of the challenge of pushing her body to the limit. However, the training is completely different as a soccer player to running a marathon. In soccer, Murray said it's about doing up to or more than 20 sprints in a time frame of 45 minutes at a time, whereas in the marathon it's about the longevity of being able to run for about four and a half hours.
"It definitely helped, because I'm used to having my body being pushed," she began. "It definitely gave me an advantage starting the training, but it's also just a different kind of training.
"When I was playing soccer it was 'can you make 20 sprints in 45 minutes?' You don't have to sprint once, but you run for four and a half hours."
While she does not have a specific time goal in mind, Corey does hope to finish alongside her mom. The two of them have raised over $5,000 for a donation to the foundation. Murray got about half of that from friends at Saint Anselm College and some teammates as well.
"It's been amazing," said Murray on the support from teammates and coaching staff. "My teammates, every time they see me, ask me about it. A bunch of them have come on runs with me when they're not 10 miles long. They've been great, as they always have been."
"My coaches, the same thing," she went on to explain. "They have reached out on multiple occasions, asking 'how's it going', 'how are you feeling', if I'm excited, so it's been awesome."
Head Coach Joel Bancroft was excited to hear about Murray's dream at the conclusion of the soccer season this past fall and shared his thoughts.
"At the end of our season Corey shared with me her intention to fulfill her childhood pact with her mom to run the Boston Marathon together," explained Bancroft. "We've spoken regularly and, being fascinated with process, I've picked her brain on all facets of her preparation.
"Corey is a high achiever and this is her next mountain to climb," Bancroft continued. "We are all excited for Marathon Monday and supporting Corey throughout the race."
Corey's mindset going in is nervous but she is doing all of the right things as the races approaches. She admitted that during her training, she never went over 18 miles but she added that she's using positive visualization and knowing that after the four and a half hours that it will be worth it in the end.
"We actually only went up to 18 (miles), so it's really scary and nerve-racking going in, stated Murray. "But at this point I'm trying to change my mindset into getting excited about it and to know it's just those four and a half hours and after that it's over, that's what I've been working on since January.
"We're working on positive visualization, "she finished. "We've pictured crossing the finish line a million times. I'm just trying to get my energy high; eat healthy, drink lots of water, and recover."
Murray wrapped up her senior campaign and collegiate career at the Hilltop during the 2018 season, helping the Hawks to their first postseason appearance since 2013 and reach the nine-win plateau in Northeast 10 Conference play for the first time in program history. This past fall, she played in 17 games with 12 starts and had nine points on four goals and an assist. She was second on the team in points and tied for second with four goals.
Over her four years, Murray played in 67 contests, starting 36 times. She finished with 44 career points, scoring 19 goals and adding six assists, finishing seventh all-time in program history with 19 tallies. Her 44 career points sit tied for ninth all-time in the program record books. She served as a team captain in her junior and senior seasons.