'It’s almost here!' Natick paralympian Anjali Forber-Pratt counts down to her first Boston Marathon

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Anjali Forber-Pratt, raised in Natick and now one of the top US wheelchair sprinters, is preparing for her first Boston Marathon on April 18. She has been training in Champaign, Ill.

When are you heading out to Natick? Will you practice on the actual Boston Marathon route before the race?

I am headed to Boston on Thursday April 14th. It’s hard to believe it’s finally here! I will be participating in some events in the lead-up to the Boston Marathon with The Hartford as well as with U.S. Paralympics, so I will actually be staying in Boston, and then the rest of my team will arrive on Saturday the 16th.

Because I’m staying in Boston, I will likely take advantage of the path along the river for training purposes, but do hope to drive the course a couple times before the big day! It’s hard to find a good time to actually practice on portions of the course, given the traffic, so I think I’ll probably have to settle for driving the route.

What is your training consisting of now? How many miles are you doing a day/week?

My training has been scaled back a bit, it’s all with the idea of peaking at the right time. My coach, Adam Bleakney, is a professional at this, and so I trust his judgment on this one! I am no longer having two practices a day, and the most mileage I’m doing in a session is about 16, but I’m averaging about 7-10 per day right now.

Are there particular parts of the Boston route that are difficult? What is your strategy for the race?

Of course there are difficult parts of the route, it’s the Boston Marathon! Everybody knows Heartbreak Hill is a big one, and I hear there are some good hills just after Heartbreak too. My plan is to celebrate the experience I dreamed about for so long, stay focused on my personal goals and to feel like I had a strong race by the end.

Are you getting excited? What are your thoughts as the race approaches?

Yes, I’m certainly getting excited for the event. It’s been on my radar for so long that I truthfully cannot believe it’s finally here! As the race approaches, I am honestly so excited by all of the support and words of encouragement I’ve been getting from all around the world. I’ve said this before, as a sprinter, tackling the Boston Marathon is not an easy feat. I know this, and I could not do it without all of the support and positive energy from folks around the world. For that, I am extremely grateful! To be honest, the biggest thought I have right now is, “are we there yet?” There is a certain level of anxiousness, because I truly feel ready to tackle it, but still have to wait until the 18th… It’s almost here!

People can cheer on Forber-Pratt during her marathon through this wiki page, and can follow her on Twitter: #anjalidoesboston.

Here's a picture I drew in 1994 about this dream...

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