Fairfield Cross Country Alumni Compete in 2016 Boston Marathon
May 16, 2016
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Two former Fairfield University women’s cross country teammates were counted among the 27,000 runners from around the world to toe the starting line at the 2016 Boston Marathon on Monday, April 18. Kristen Golen ’12 and Sam Goodnow ’13 both competed in the 120th running of the 26.2-mile race.
“Even though I had a goal for the day, I just wanted to take it all in and enjoy it,” said Goodnow of her first Boston Marathon.
Golen agreed: “When you get to the starting line, you’re just in a celebration with all of the other runners. Your personal goals don’t go away, but you realize what’s really important about the day.”
The Boston Marathon is as much about the sport and the city as it is about the race itself. The day is a civic holiday in Massachusetts – Patriots’ Day – that has featured the Marathon since 1897. In addition, a home Red Sox game has been slated for an 11 a.m. first pitch on Patriots’ Day since 1968.
For many runners, including the Stags’ contingent that participated this April, the race is a chance to continue competing at a high level after their days of intercollegiate cross country have ended.
“The beauty of our sport is that it’s a lifelong experience,” said Head Coach Brendan Rickert, who ran the Boston Marathon for the third time in 2016. “One of my goals for our program is to teach our student-athletes how to train for life. We don’t just tell our runners to do certain things; we educate them on why we do them.”
Golen echoed Coach Rickert’s sentiments: “I’m lucky enough to have participated in a sport where there are opportunities to continue after college while also having a career,” said the two-year captain of the Stags.
But running is not strictly a part of Golen’s personal life since graduation; lessons learned from her time as a cross country runner at Fairfield have also impacted her professionally. “The experience of being on a team has made me a team player in the work force,” she said. “I’ve been able to carry the mindset into my career that it’s not about getting credit; it’s about getting the job done and looking out for each other.”“I’m excited to see the dedication of these two women from our program,” said Rickert. “The passion and enthusiasm of our alumni – in particular our young alumni – is a model for the type of student-athlete that we want as current and future Stags.”