Three Pine Belt runners to take on Boston Marathon

Three Pine Belt runners to take on Boston Marathon
Susan Dobson exploring Boston. Source: Facebook
Susan Dobson exploring Boston. Source: Facebook
Dan Vega and Jane Kersh at the Boston Marathon Expo. Source: Facebook
Dan Vega and Jane Kersh at the Boston Marathon Expo. Source: Facebook

PINE BELT (WDAM) - 30,000 of the top runners from around the world will line up in Boston Monday for the 121st Boston Marathon.  Three of those runners hail from the Pine Belt.

Susan Dobson, of Petal, Jane Kersh and Dan Vega, of Hattiesburg, will all participate in Monday's marathon.  All three runners have participated in multiple marathons, but this will be the first Boston Marathon for all of them.

WDAM 7 was able to catch-up with Dobson as she was sightseeing Saturday around Boston.

"I'm just really going to try to enjoy it, but right now it's hard for me to imagine what it's actually going to be like crossing the finish line," said Dobson.

Dobson said she started running in 2007, but started doing more speed work and training in 2015.

"I started running in 2007 and never ever dreamed about coming to Boston in reality, it was always like 'Boston is so super cool.'  But then in 2015, I started doing more speed work and started realizing I was capable of doing a lot more," Dobson said.  "I was like, 'I think I can do this,' so I don't think it really became a goal until I realized it could be a reality."

Dobson said she spent time training around Petal and Hattiesburg, doing longer runs on the Longleaf Trace.  She said she is looking forward to the end of the 26.2 miles Monday.

"The  finish line is definitely the most anticipated part for me," said Dobson.  "I've already found myself getting emotional, thinking about the starting line and the finish line."

All three runners are members of the Pine Belt Pacers.  Kersh and Vega also traveled to Boston on Friday, spending time at the Boston Marathon Expo and around the city.  Monday's marathon will be the sixth for Kersh and the fifth for Vega.

"26.2 miles is still a long way, I don't care how well prepared you are," said Dobson.  "I'm trying to give myself permission not to have a specific time to finish in, really my only goal is to enjoy the experience."

According to the Boston Athletic Association, there are 31 runners fro Mississippi registered for the 121st Boston Marathon.

Vega is in the first wave, expected to start at 10 a.m. EST.  Dobson and Kersh are both in the third wave, expected to begin at 10:50 a.m. EST.