The American Northeast has treated Vancouver resident Kate Gustafson well in recent years. The 31-year-old was the top female in the open division at the Boston Marathon on April 18. During her college years, Gustafson attended Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. where she played NCAA Division I hockey.
Her former Union College teammates now live in Boston and were on course for the race, complete with homemade signs including “some girls chase boys, Kate passes them,” “go for the gusto,” and “love your stamina, call me.”
Cheered on by friends and family, Gustafson finished as the second overall Canadian, behind Ailsa MacDonald, in 2:51:13, good for 25th overall.
The elite women and the rest of the field began at different times so Gustafson did not see a single female competitor during the race. The elite women began approximately 30 minutes ahead of the rest of the field as runners made their way from Hopkinton, Mass. to Boylston Street in downtown Boston.
Kate’s brother, Ben, who lives in Toronto, was also in the race and ran 2:57:01, eclipsing his goal of breaking the three-hour barrier (the 27-year-old qualified with a 3:00:03). Based on age and sex, there are varying qualifying standards that entrants must meet to be eligible to run at the Boston Marathon, a world marathon major.
Gustafson ran the Boston Marathon in 2009 but added that she wanted to run the race again, this time with her little brother. Their post-race photo is a keeper.
“I was also joined by my partner Michael, a runner as well, my cousin Liz [who] came up from Washington D.C. and my brother’s girlfriend, Ali, was also there to support,” says Gustafson. “It was awesome. Those three were cheering at the 16.8-mile [27K] mark.”
Gustafson lives in Vancouver and writes for ivivva, a brand created by lululemon, in addition to owning a coaching business. She’s an advocate for female participation in sport and works with groups in Vancouver to bring the community together through running.
Her teammates also had the perfect view of Gustafson’s finish.
“My teammates hunkered down at a friend’s apartment overlooking the finishing stretch,” says Gustafson. The video of the Vancouver resident finishing can be found below with a perfect vantage point from a friend’s apartment along Boylston Street:
Monday’s Boston Marathon marked the 120th anniversary of the event, the world’s oldest continually run marathon, which was also the 50th anniversary of female participation. Bobbi Gibb was the first woman to unofficially finish the race in 1966.
Following the race, Gustafson also got a shout out from U.S. Olympic marathon qualifier Desi Linden, who finished second at the 2011 Boston Marathon:
@atrueworld love this, Kate! Big congrats, you're amazing!
— des_linden (@des_linden) April 22, 2016