All through her arduous journey to the Boston Marathon, Salem's Chrissy St. Hilaire said a finish would be a win for her in the world's most famous race.
When extreme heat gripped Greater Boston on Monday, St. Hilaire decided all she needed to do was just that: finish.
And after overcoming a history of smoking, a life-threatening fight with hyperthyroidism, and Monday's heatwave, St. Hilaire finished the Boston Marathon's 26.2 miles in six hours, 15 minutes and three seconds.
"I enjoyed myself out there and was really glad I decided to run," St. Hilaire said by phone Tuesday, noting she did not entertain the notion of accepting a deferment due to the heat because of the work she put in.
Sunday night, St. Hilaire decided she would not go for her personal record and goal of finishing the marathon in under five-and-a-half hours because of the conditions.
"I made the decision to run the race and not race the run," she said.
St. Hilaire said she felt good throughout the marathon despite the heat. She noted seeing many runners down as a result.
Yet there were plenty of misting tents and places to stop for water and other drinks along the way. She also saw people in front of their homes along the way who were spraying people with garden hoses.
"The spectators were great," she said.
Right now, St. Hilaire doesn't have specific plans to run another marathon but expects to run one by the end of the year. She hopes for ideal conditions for whatever race that is so she can make her goal of finishing in under five-and-a-half hours.
"That's still on my bucket list," she said.