Alex Frey’s passion for running started at an early age. As a 6th grader at Pettisville Local Schools, elementary students were allowed to go with the cross country team and compete at the Van Wert Invitational. Frey performed well and the cross country coach encouraged him to join the Junior High cross country team. And from there he was hooked, as Frey just completed his second Boston Marathon on April 17th, 2017.
Frey, in his fourth year as a 5th grade math teacher at Delta Middle School along with coaching track and cross country, had plenty of family support on the trip with him as his wife Tanner, mother Carol, and brothers Lincoln and Dominic accompanied him. With this year being the 4th anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, Frey stated that he felt completely safe the entire time and organizers did a great job with security.
Frey said the spectators at the marathon were incredible, ”The course travels through five different towns before ending in Boston and people are lined up for the entire 26.2 miles. It was so awesome to see. Then when you do enter Boston, the roar of the crowd, cannot be compared to anything else I’ve experienced in my life.” He said the biggest challenges of the course itself were the hills between miles 16 and 21. “At that point in the race your legs are beginning to wear down and then the hills just drain you with five miles still to go. The last hill (heartbreak hill) is a true test of will power! But the most rewarding experience is when you turn the corner onto Boylston Street (the final straightaway) and everyone is cheering you on and willing you to the finish line. Then when you cross it, the pain eases for a little bit and the runners high of knowing what you just did kicks in! I cannot explain the feeling, but anyone who runs races in general knows what I’m talking about.” Frey was able to complete the race in 2 hours 56 minutes and 18 seconds (2:56.18), that beat his time last year of 2:59.52.
A Wauseon native, Frey has now completed three marathons, the first one was in Toledo last year, which was the one he used to qualify for Boston, and then the last two have been in Boston. Frey’s unsure if this will be his last marathon, “I told my wife that this was the last one I would do and it still very well could be, but registration for the 2018 Boston Marathon is in September so there is still some time to make that decision”, laughed Frey. He had to alter his training schedule for this race due to some shin pain. The training schedule consisted of one long run a week (16-20 miles), a single long tempo run (maybe 8-10 miles), and then the other days were all shorter. “I only ran 35-45 miles per week which I don’t necessarily recommend, I normally run with my teams but because of the shin pain I ended up biking beside them most of the time and I incorporated some swimming into my training also. I give glory to God for keeping me healthy long enough to run this race and I am grateful to all of those who prayed for me during this time”.
Frey has two pieces of advice for anyone wanting to run a marathon, “The first thing I would tell them is to pace yourself. A marathon is 26.2 miles and if you pick up your pace to early in the race it’ll come back to bite you later. The second thing is to soak in the moment. While I just got done saying 26.2 miles is a long race, it actually goes by pretty quickly. If you allow yourself to get caught up in the moment and take in the sights and sounds going on around you, it will allow you to have a more enjoyable experience and the race will be over before you know it.”
© 2017, Nate Calvin. All rights reserved.