Alisha Wargel will start Monday, April 18 bright and early. Lacing up her sneakers and snapping on her watch, the Evansville resident will join thousands of runners from across the world competing at the 126th Boston Marathon.
“I’ve been running for 32 years. It’s therapeutic with your mood and keeping you in good shape,” Wargel says. “I’m a competitive person, so I like the competition aspect of it. I like pushing myself. I also want to be a role model for my two boys — Abram, age 7, and Sawyer, age 11 — of an active and healthy lifestyle.”
The F.J. Reitz High School alumna and former Division I cross country and track runner at Indiana State University competed in the 2017 Boston Marathon and completed the 2020 marathon virtually after it had been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She trains by taking at least one long run a week, covering 15-20 miles at a time. She also completes several workouts each week and has undertaken a 16-week training program prior to the Boston Marathon.
“I do long runs on the West Side of Evansville. There’s not a lot of traffic in the Saint Phillips area,” she says. “The USI bike path is the prettiest place to run in town, the way it winds through the woods.”
Up to 33,000 runners are expected in Boston next week for the marathon, the first held since 2019. Wearing bib number 9901, Wargel will catch a bus early Monday morning from near Boston Common to the Athletes’ Village. The race begins at 9 a.m. Central; Wargel is in Corral 2 of the second wave and will set off from the start line at 9:25 a.m. Central. The course winds through neighborhoods such as Hopkinton, Framingham, Wellesley, and Newton and will pass landmarks such as Boston College.
Wargel says she plans to spend the days prior to the race sightseeing and may attend the afterparty Monday at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Race participants can also enjoy the Boston Marathon Expo from Friday to Sunday, featuring an Adidas Boston Marathon shop and sponsor exhibits.
Other runners from Evansville are registered for the Boston Marathon, including Joshua Backes, Brenda Cross, Barry Drennan, David Eckardt, Zachary Kendle, Lindsay Locasto, Steve Matthews, Erika Maurer, Brian McWilliams, Emily Ryan, and Kyle Sharrer.
Wargel herself has already qualified for the New York Marathon in November, which will be her first marathon in the Big Apple. She says she’s looking forward to running the course through the five boroughs and across the city’s famous bridges. But in Boston, Wargel plans to enjoy the trail.
“I just want to run it for fun,” she says. “I don’t really have a goal time this time around.”
Stay connected to the 2022 Boston Marathon by downloading the Boston Athletic Association’s racing app and following along with runners including Wargel.
Photo provided by Alisha Wargel.