Local woman receives a surprise while participating in the Boston Marathon

Published: Sep. 12, 2020 at 8:49 PM CDT
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WINNFIELD, La. (KALB) - Saturday morning, a Winnfield woman achieved a milestone that is recognized throughout the country when she participated in the Boston Marathon.

“It’s an overwhelming experience,” Ashley Crawford, a runner participating in the Boston Marathon, said.

Crawford ran the whole 26.2 miles in hot Sept. heat, with an index of 99 degrees.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic put the race in jeopardy, a devasting blow for Crawford and her family.

“We were crushed,” Crystal Stewart, Crawford’s aunt said. “We were upset. We had already got our airline tickets. We had already got a room. We started making plans, so my heart hurt for her.”

Nonetheless, that did not stop Crawford or 17,000 other runners around the country.

“They made it virtual,” Crawford explained. “All of us have our app and we track our time and send it in.”

The virtual experience allowed her to run the marathon in her hometown, where her family member and friends surprised her at the finish line.

“I feel great but nothing compares to coming up to all of this,” Crawford said as she was out of breath. “My family and friends are so awesome! There is no way I could’ve done it without my friend going with me too.”

Colby Ray is the friend who rode his bike alongside Crawford the whole way. When asked what did he said to keep her going, Ray emphasized words of positive reinforcement.

“I knew you could do it,” Ray said. “It may be rough, but the end is worth it.”

Crawford can officially mark the Boston Marathon off of her bucket list, as she will walk away from this race with an everlasting memory.

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