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Few runners enter the Chicago Marathon expecting to win first place. Some people just want to finish the grueling journey, no matter how long it takes. Ingrid Boyer, Trinity's reference librarian, ran in the race October 12 after receiving a little nudge and inspiration from her husband, Andy.

"This was something he wanted to do, and he challenged me to join him," she said about her first marathon experience. "He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis three years ago, and running the marathon was a way to prove that the disease doesn't hold him back. It also was an expression of gratitude to God for keeping him healthy and free of symptoms since his diagnosis."

Boyer was a member of her high school track team, but she ran sprints and middle distances then. She started training in February, running up to three "gruesome" miles each session. During the summer, she logged close to 40 miles each week, and her longest training run topped off at 20 miles.

She set two goals for the 26.2-mile trek through Chicago's downtown and surrounding neighborhoods along the Lake Michigan shoreline: finish within four hours and 30 minutes and avoid walking. She clocked a time of 4 hours and 26 minutes without walking one step. A greater sense of gratification came from teaming with her husband.

"I never thought I would say this, but completing the marathon was fun," Boyer admitted. "There were 34,000 runners and nearly a million spectators. I couldn't help but smile as I ran. My smile began to fade around the 16th mile, but when I turned toward the finish line, I got excited. I was actually going to do it, and I felt great mentally and physically.

"Even with his potentially devastating diagnosis, he can joyfully proclaim: 'I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,'" she said about Andy, who finished the marathon in 5 hours and 29 minutes. "It was a privilege for me to share this experience with him. As for future races, I have told myself not to think about it at least until the soreness wears off."

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