Just qualifying for the Boston Marathon is an accomplishment by itself, and the dean of Wayne State University Law School, Jocelyn Benson, learned she had made the cut last fall. A month later, she discovered she was pregnant.
“I realized, when else am I going to have an opportunity to try to run the most prestigious marathon, most special marathon in the world, the Boston Marathon eight months pregnant,” Benson said.
The 38-year-old mom-to-be runs a couple of marathons a year and had participated in the Boston Marathon once before.
This time, it would be a whole new challenge, and if she finished the physically grueling race, she would join a club of only a handful of women who have done it baby in tow.
After months of training, she crossed the finish line in six hours and 12 minutes. Her husband was by her side on a bicycle, rooting her on.
“Absolute euphoria when I finished the marathon even as I was approaching the finish line,” said Benson. “I can’t believe I was actually finishing it because in my head, I was thinking I hope I can but I don’t know if I can.”
Benson was inspired to run after she heard about a woman with her same due date who ran the Boston Marathon last year.
At the time, the woman was also 8 months pregnant.
She says she wanted to demonstrate that women are capable of extraordinary things.
“I live my life setting my own limits and not letting people set limits on me,” said Benson. “And so part of wanting to run this was a bit of that. You know, 50 years ago women were told they could not run the Boston Marathon at all, and you had one woman say, ‘no, I’m going to try to do it,’ and she ran it 50 years ago, Bobbie Gibbs.”
Her son is due in early June.
She is proud to say her little champ has already participated in two marathons including the Boston Marathon.