Running for more than herself
Kathryn Price is a Lynnfield resident and marathon runner who is running to join the exclusive list of runners to complete the Abbott World Marathon Majors (Abbott).
Abbott is a series where runners run six of the most famous marathons in the world, collecting a “star” after each race. The marathons are in Chicago, Boston, New York, Tokyo, London, and Berlin.
Despite now being able to run 26.2 miles, Price wasn’t always a distance runner.
“In high school, I ran track. I was a hurdler and did the relays,” Price said. “I then went to Bates College and ran indoor and outdoor track there.”
It wasn’t until after college that she started to run distance. Price ran a 5k in Boston that was organized by the AIDS action committee, something that is close to her heart.
“I lost my uncle to AIDS so I did it as a fundraising opportunity for the AIDS Action Committee,” Price said. “It was just a good experience.”
Shortly after, Price was teaching in Andover where she and a colleague signed up for a half-marathon as a fundraiser. Price admitted signing up for a half-marathon was at the time “super ambitious” considering she hadn’t run further than a 10k at that point.
Price continued to train to conquer the half-marathon and since then she started to get into distance running.
“I liked the atmosphere and the comradery that comes with it,” Price said.
Fast forward and Price is back doing what she used to do in high school – relays. Except this relay was a lot longer and more meaningful.
After the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, Price learned about a country-wide relay called the “One Run for Boston”. A run that started in Los Angeles and finished in Boston. People around the country could sign up and take part in the run across the country.
“I was particularly touched by it,” Price said. “I’ve seen the Boston Marathon so many times in person and I felt like the running community was my people.”
“I signed up to run two legs in the area I grew up in southwestern Connecticut,” Price said. “Then I signed up to run the final leg in Boston that started in Newton and finished at the Boston Marathon’s finish line.”
Through the Facebook group dedicated to this relay, people were raising money for the “One Fund Boston” for the victims of the bomings. This is where Price learned about Abbott.
“It kind of just piqued my interest,” Price said. “I started to follow it and in the meantime, I got inspired by the group and ended up signing up for the Los Angeles Marathon. I fundraised for a charity in Los Angeles that supports people with HIV and AIDS.”
After Los Angeles, Price’s next race was in Philadelphia. Price insists she’s “not a fast runner,” but enjoys the aspect of running and says “the pride is in the completion.”
In 2015, Price lost her grandmother and decided to complete the Abbott majors to honor both her grandmother and uncle’s memories.
Since then, Price has run five of the six majors with Tokyo the only one left on the list. In 2020, Price was signed up to run the Tokyo Marathon, however, due to the pandemic, Price was given a deferral.
Between the time Tokyo canceled the marathon, the pandemic did not enter America yet so, thanks to another Lynnfield resident, Price was able to secure a place to run the Boston Marathon, but the marathon eventually got canceled. Despite it getting canceled, runners were able to run the marathon “virtually” allowing Price to run it with her sister.
“My sister and I ran the course unsupported. It was a really cool experience,” Price said. “In 2021, everyone who ran the virtual marathon was able to run it in person.”
Price was registered to run the Tokyo Marathon in 2023 due to the referral. However, she chose not to run this year.
“I was worried about paying to travel there and then having the possibility of it being shut down again,” Price said. “I decided to just reenter the lottery for next year.”
Price brings her family to all of her races which was another factor in her deciding to postpone the Tokyo trip.
However, Price may not need to rely on the lottery as she signed up to run a virtual marathon where four people will automatically be eligible for next year’s race.
When asked what marathon was her favorite, Price said that was “hard to answer” because they all mean something different.
“London was meaningful because we got to visit my granny’s hometown,” Price said. “My mom and dad came [along with] my sister and her whole family. It was just an emotional day.”
“My favorite course to run was probably New York because it is really well supportive there,” Price said. “There is always someone cheering you on there. There is nowhere on the course where someone is not cheering you on, which is really motivating.”
“Running Boston was probably the best. It is such a storied course. We had friends come on the course too, it just felt really special. Especially coming off of covid and being lucky to be out there,” Price said.
Price is set to earn her sixth star next year and finish an incredible achievement. So far, only 8,147 people in the world have earned all six stars. In 2024, Price is set to add her name to the exclusive list.
“I think I’m going to be sad when it’s over. I loved having this goal for so many years. I’m going to miss being part of something that is larger than myself,” Price said.