A U.N.I. student will be one of the thousands of runners taking part in today’s Boston Marathon. Chelsea Anderson qualified for Boston more than a year ago when she ran a marathon in St. Louis. Anderson had never thought of running a marathon until she joined a running club at U.N.I., and says that some of the other members helped convince her to run in Boston.

Anderson says at the time she hadn’t really thought about running the race, but she had friends who told her she should run it. You have two years to run the Boston Marathon once you qualify, and last year it there wasn’t much time between the two, so she decided to run this year.

Anderson is running as a part of the American Cancer Society’s Determination Program. One of her friends lost his battle with cancer, and Anderson says that she didn’t decide to run Boston until his funeral. She says within four months he was gone and she says he was an athlete and she decided it was something she wanted to do.

Anderson will be wearing 26 six ribbons during the race, one for each mile that is dedicated to someone she knows that has either lost their battle with cancer or is a cancer survivor. She says that she has drawn a large amount of motivation from being able to run for a cause. Anderson has a bracelet that says “I am second” to remember that the race is not about her. She says that was motivation as she ran miles and miles in all kinds of conditions to get ready. Anderson says it’s a gift to be able to run and that is part of her motivation too.

Anderson says that she isn’t intimidated by the grueling Boston Marathon course, and would like to run a similar time to what she hit at in St. Louis last year. Anderson is just about to wrap up her junior year at U.N.I.. She is originally from Kalona and is majoring in Spanish and Teaching English as a Second Language.

By Jesse Gavin KCNZ Cedar Falls