Stephanie Bruce, in her final year as a professional athlete–her Grit Finale, ran the 2022 Boston Marathon. The entire weekend was an incredible experience for her, and for our team. Relive it all below…in photos. Enjoy!
Steph’s first event of the weekend–a Friday night shakeout run sponsored by HOKA at Boston’s Nightshift Brewing. 7-yr-old Riley (second from top left) made it almost 2 miles!!
After the run, Steph signed hats for the crowd. First in line–her son Hudson!
On Saturday morning, Steph was back at it–speaking at the BAA Fan Fest with the other top American women. Elaina Tabb (left), a math teacher, taught the crowd that we’re not actually trying to run tangents, we’re trying to run secants (look it up!).
Sunday at Boston is pretty chill, except for the elite athlete technical meeting. This is where it starts to feel real! Pictured–Coach Ben’s blurry iPhone pic of the start times slide.
RACE MORNING! Steph’s crew (left to right): NAZ Elite Board Member Ted MacMahon, Coach Ben, NAZ Sports Scientist Jennifer Higgins, and videographer Stephen Kersh. Ted, a Boston native, crushed his driving duties and they saw Steph at 5, 12, 18, and the finish.
Meanwhile, back in Flagstaff, NAZ Elite and Run Flagstaff teamed up to host a Boston Marathon Watch Party to cheer for Steph and all the local pros. A big thanks to all who came out and to Picky Bars and HOKA for the fuel and prizes!
Steph just before the 12-mile mark. She had checked off of the front group around 10k, choosing to run a pace more sensible for her. She battled 2018 Boston champ Des Linden for much of the rest of the way.
Coach Ben yells instructions at Steph just before the 19-mile mark. Still in 14th place at this point, and 40 seconds out of 12th, she would go on to reverse that and then some over the final seven miles.
All smiles post-race for Steph! Over the final 10k, she went from 14th to 12th, from 4th American to second, and finished in 2:28:02–her second-fastest marathon ever. (PC- Josh Cox)
Post-race pic with Steph and friends/family. (Left to right): Husband Ben Bruce (who ran 2:27:34 to win Bruce household bragging rights on the day), Jennifer Higgins, Coach Ben, HOKA Director of Global Sports Marketing Mike McManus, Riley Bruce, Steph, Hudson Bruce, Ted MacMahon. Can you tell this group was happy?!!