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    Posted April 27, 2014 by
    Related to: Why I'm running for Boston
    CNN columnist John Sutter explains the origins of the Run for Boston movement and why he's pledging to run a marathon by April 2014.
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Run for Boston 2014

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    Tyler Andrews' Journey to the Boston Marathon


    When you read about the 2014 Boston Marathon, the fact that Meb Keflezighi became the first American man to win the race since 1983 dominates the press. However, if you scroll down the overall results to 29th, you'll see the name Tyler Andrews, with his debut marathon time an amazing 2:21:33. P It's rare, but not out of the realm of possibility for a runner to make his debut marathon at Boston, because outstanding 10K and half-marathon times can garner an invitation as well. For Andrews, a Tufts University graduate who made a habit of watching the lead runners in the marathon's signature event come through Mile 24, the 2014 event was a special one.


    There are few runners who can claim a training regimen like the one that Andrews has completed: earning the half-marathon record for a treadmill; preparing by running as many as 150 miles a week; doing his training while working in Ecuador and Peru; and even so shooting for a time between 2:18 and 2:20.

    Jon Waldron, Andrews' cross country coach at Concord Academy, has kept up with his former protege, giving him sound advice and mentoring through his college years, was optimistic that Andrews' approach to training and discipline made it likely that he would be able to make his goal. "Tyler may not be as talented as the best runners in the race or as fast as the best runners in the race, but I really believe he's training as much as any of the elite runners...the one thing I'm certain of is he will be prepared."


    Andrews did not start to take running seriously until he was a senior at Concord Academy and Waldron joined the school to coach cross country. Between high school and college, Andrews took a year off to volunteer and travel, and running was now a serious passion for him. After his freshman year at college, Andrews transferred to a school that offered cross country, joining the Tufts squad and majoring in mechanical engineering. As a junior, he qualified for the nationals in NCAA Division III, and did the same in cross country as a senior. His Tufts coach praised Andrews for solid contributions, even though he was never the school's best runner. He holds school top-10 marks in both the 5K (14:45) and the 10K (30:22), and he won three consecutive Boston Run to Remember half-marathons, finishing in a scorching 1:07:03 in 2013. P After graduating from Tufts, Andrews has been in South America working for his nonprofit, STRIVE Trips, giving summer volunteer trips to Kenya and Peru for student-athletes. While in Ecuador and Peru, he dropped his 10K time to 29:48 and finished a 20K in 1:02:12, both in the fall of 2013. Those results motivated him to start looking for a spring marathon to run, but he never thought that Boston would be an option.


    Marc Davis, the Boston Athletic Association's  communications manager, says that about 30 percent of the event field come from invitational spots. Many qualify because of their contributions to charitable causes, but special cases such as Andrews also get invitational spots each year. Andrews certainly put his own invitational spot to solid use. In a sport dominated with media attention to American runners like Ryan Hall, it will be intriguing to see what Andrews does in 2015.

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