Local mother in Boston Marathon

Published 6:38 pm Monday, April 19, 2010

Bridgett Jolly is making local history as she prepares to run inMonday’s historic 114th Boston Marathon. The 35-year-old housewifeand mother of five is considered the first female Lincoln Countianto run in the prestigious race.

“I’m excited about it,” said Jolly, anticipating the Bostonexperience. It is a grueling 26.2-mile run starting on theoutskirts of Boston Monday morning. She will be part of the groupthat starts at 10:35 a.m.

Earlier Monday morning, marathon runners are bussed to Hopkinton, asuburb of Boston, and headquartered at The Village. Large tentsprovide shelter before the race. Runners are given water and bagelswhile awaiting their start.

Jolly and her husband, Jim, plus four of their children, flew toBoston this weekend. They consider it a family adventure.

Her husband isn’t a runner but he supports her dedication and hardwork. She runs 55-60 miles per week. Her long runs are 20 miles,once a week.

Jolly qualified for Boston last year in the Marathon Makeover inJackson. She finished in 3:35:20, five seconds below the requiredtime.

She and fellow Brookhavenite Jeff Doremus ran in the Blues Marathonthat was based in Jackson, in January. The Magnolia State wasexperiencing one of the longest and coldest winters onrecord.

“It was so cold and the wind was blowing,” Jolly recalled. “Whenthe race ended, the wind chill was in single digits.”

Jolly, a Terry native, said running gives her a chance to unwind.”I always pray and meditate when I’m running. It makes me feel goodspiritually and physically.”

Her running experience began three years ago. At that time, she wassmoking two packs of cigarettes per day. The pressures of dailylife caused her to become a heavy smoker.

Jolly said two local runners, Anna Davy and Rosie Oakes, encouragedher to start running. “Once I got started, I quit smoking. I feltlike if they could run, I could do it, too.”

Her five children keep her busy 24 hours a day. The oldest isAriel, age 13. The others are Joel, 9; Jenna, 8; Jim, 5; and Jesse,3.

Retired physical therapist Bobby Bowton is recognized as the localdistance running guru. He has run in two Boston Marathons.

“I talked to Bobby Bowton and he said I was the first woman fromhere to run in the Boston Marathon,” said Jolly. “That’s anhonor.”

Did Bowton offer any advice?

“He talked about the fun parts,” answered Jolly. “Then he startedtalking about those hills. I don’t want to think about that.Jackson has some pretty good hills.”

There will be 25,000 runners participating in the Boston Marathon.Of those, 11,000 are women, a record number.

Most of all, Jolly wants to be in the number crossing the finishline Monday afternoon.