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The excitement of running the Boston Marathon for the first time

Less than two weeks remain until the start of the world's oldest annual marathon.

Erika Giovannetti
Erika Giovannetti
Photo: provided.

The 10-day countdown to the Boston Marathon is on.

Thousands of Canadians will be in Boston for the world’s oldest annual marathon and arguably the most popular road race. Some will be running Boston for the first time while others will have experience on their side having run from Hopkinton, Mass. to Boylston Street on a number of past occasions.

Canadian Running will be on site for the event and in the leadup will profile Canadians who have qualified and successfully earned a spot on the coveted start line. Entry to the race is tough as there are time standards which runners often need to be well under as there are more applicants than there are spots.

One runner, Hamilton’s Erika Giovannetti, will be running Boston for the first time after qualifying at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2015. We caught up Giovannetti ahead of Boston.

CR: How long have you been running for? How did you first get into the sport?

EG: I started running 16 years ago when I joined the cross-country team at my elementary school in Grade 3. My mom is a physical education teacher and she helped to develop a training plan for me. Initially I ran irregularly, but I appreciated that running was an excellent tool to improve my fitness for the various team sports – like basketball, hockey and soccer – with which I was involved. I pursued canoe/kayak competitively while in high school, and then rowing throughout university; running became a mental break from my athletic and academic demands. One of the masters athletes I occasionally trained alongside in high school had run the Boston Marathon before, and this inspired me to do the same.

RELATED: VIDEO: Rejean Chiasson nails final big workout before the Boston Marathon.

How many Boston Marathons have you done? How and where did you qualify?

This will be my first Boston Marathon. I qualified for it at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October 2015.

How has your training been for the race? Are you part of a club/team?

I have been running four to five times a week since January to prepare for Boston. I typically do a hill or speed workout on Tuesdays, a tempo run on Thursdays, a medium-distance run on Saturdays, and a long run on Sundays. I also like to cross-train, either on the bike or in the pool, a couple times a week. I have managed to stay on track by fitting in my training sessions before work in the morning. I am not part of a club or team, however, I have a great support system of family and friends who encourage and motivate me regularly.

RELATED: Eric Gillis shares the workout and mental strategy that has him prepared for Boston Marathon.

Besides the race, what else do you look forward to doing/seeing in Boston?

I am looking forward to walking along the Charles River. I used to be a varsity rower at McMaster University, and I always dreamed of racing at the Head of the Charles regatta in the fall. Although my rowing days are over, a casual walk along the river will be a good alternative to competing on that race course. I am also excited to explore parts of the Freedom Trail and learn more about the history of the city.