Tami Sylvester at the Boston Marathon

November 22, 2023
Staff Stories

Congratulations to Tami Sylvester on finally completing her Faith Over Fear goal of running in the Boston Marathon in 2023! We chatted with her about her experience and this is her story:

My goal was to run the Boston Marathon, and I did it!

I flew down on Saturday, and the weather was beautiful on the trip there. On the way to Boston, there were a few other people on the flight also going down to the Boston Marathon – you could tell they were going down there to run because a lot of them were wearing the coveted Boston Marathon jacket.

The marathon took place on Monday April 17. It was a very cold start. The rain was pouring, and we had a head wind the entire time. Most courses are loops, where the start line is the same as the finish line. In this case, the organizers of the Boston Marathon would bus you out to the starting line and you would run towards Boston in a relatively straight line.

I remember just being nervous, thinking “oh my goodness, I’m so cold!” My running shoes were already soaked from walking two kilometers from the bus to the starting line. Luckily, I brought a poncho from home, so that kept my body relatively dry during the race.

I didn’t go into this race with the mindset to achieve my best time; I just wanted to take it all in and enjoy it – which I did. I started off with a bit of a downhill, and that was quite encouraging. I remember thinking “OK, I can do this – this is alright”. Once I got my pacing and my adrenaline was pumping, I just kept going as if I was training in the bitter cold back home. During the course of the entire race, the rain was on and off so the weather was a bit of a challenge. What was nice was the further we went in the course, the more little villages we would pass by on the way into Boston. It was really great to see people with their kids and dogs from these villages come out to the course and cheer on you from the sidelines, despite the weather! Many of them had encouraging posters, trumpets and noisemakers to lift our spirits. There were even a few college kids that noticed my pink Canada jersey and shouted “Go Toronto Canada!” It was amazing! The closer to Boston we got, the bigger the crowds got as well, and with all the cheering you sort of forget that it’s raining, and you’ve been running for a while.

I kept an eye out for my family along the course. There were ten family members in total who flew down to spend the weekend with me. They had told me ahead of time which point in the course they would be located so I would know where to look for them. Closer to the end of the course, I saw my sister-in-law, and my brother-in-law. Right at the finish line were my husband and son standing up on chairs so I could spot them. My daughter, who had an exam that day and couldn’t fly down with the rest of us, in the end was still able to be part of the race with me – I called her on video chat towards the end and had her on video on my phone watching as I was crossing the finish line! My mother was waiting for me past the finish line to greet me after I finished the race and was impressed that I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face.  

All-in-all, it was a fantastic weekend. I really enjoyed my time in Boston and would recommend it to anyone willing to give it a try.

Because of tax season, I was back to work on the Wednesday. Something I appreciated was that none of my clients seemed to mind that I was away – in fact, they were so happy that I was doing it and were very encouraging!

Now that I look back at everything that I had to do to complete this goal, I don’t know that I could do that again! Training in the winter months, running in the harsh elements, balancing tax season, driving my son out to his sports activities – how did I manage to carve out all that time required to run at least 10K on a regular basis to do the qualifying race last year?

I guess, when you have a goal, you set your mind to it and you just get it done. It just happens – no matter what, it’s happening.

Although I’ve qualified for next year’s Boston Marathon, I will be taking a bit of a break until my personal life slows down a bit. Perhaps when my son is off to college, I will be able to train for other races. There are other races I’d love to do in the next few years now that I’ve experienced Boston, including New York City and Disney World. Now that it’s over, I do still run for fun. Generally, I will try to get outside and run about 10k three times a week just to keep up with my current level, and for my mental health.

It is an honour to be the first entry in the Faith Over Fear campaign and kickstart the support from the staff. Garth is very inspirational, genuinely a nice person, and I am glad I can support him and what he stands for.

Related Resources

Are You Ready To Talk To A Specialist?

Get in touch, tell us your needs and we’ll assign an industry specialist to your organization.

Stay In The Loop

We’ll keep you up-to-date about content and trends that are relevant to you and your business.

Follow Us

Follow our social media accounts to get the latest news and opinions from our industry experts.

Find A Career

Join a team that wants to help you advance your career and achieve success, whether you’re still a student or an experienced professional. We will support you every step of the way on your path to success.