Apr 15, 2024 - News

8 Charlotte-area residents running the Boston Marathon

Bekah Eljoundi runs through Romare Bearden Park in Uptown. Photo: Théoden Janes/courtesy of Bekah Eljoundi

Bekah Eljoundi runs through Romare Bearden Park in Uptown. Photo: Théoden Janes/courtesy of Bekah Eljoundi

More than 500 North Carolinians will run the 128th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15.

Why it matters: The Boston Marathon is one of the world's most prestigious road races and one of six World Marathon Majors, which also includes New York, Chicago, Tokyo, London and Berlin.

How it works: Athletes must either qualify for the race or run on behalf of a charity.

The race will be broadcast on ESPN2 starting at 8:30am.

By the numbers: More than 30,000 runners will participate in the race, 537 of whom call North Carolina home, according to race organizers.

  • Charlotte accounts for 127 of them, up from last year's 93 Charlotteans.
  • Ten list Waxhaw as their home address, nine from Matthews, nine from Fort Mill, S.C., five from Davidson, four from Belmont, three from Gastonia, three from Concord, two from Cornelius, one from Indian Trail and one from Rock Hill.

Here are eight Charlotte-area residents running Boston.

Editor's note: Runners are listed alphabetically by last name. Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Bekah Eljoundi

Eljoundi, 40, calls Waxhaw home and she'll drive to Charlotte for better running routes. She's a run coach and a personal trainer who specializes in pre and post-natal fitness and a mother of a 7-year-old, a 5-year-old and a 15-month-old.

  • Eljoundi got into running after college. She thought it was insane that people ran 26.2 miles, but since her first marathon in Richmond in 2009, she has run 24 marathons.
  • This will be her sixth time running Boston.

Favorite running routes: Little Sugar Creek Greenway and Ballantyne

Advice for runners: Have people in your corner to support you even when you don't believe in yourself.

Bekah Eljoundi runs through Romare Bearden Park in Uptown. Photo: Théoden Janes/courtesy of Bekah Eljoundi
Bekah Eljoundi. Photo: Théoden Janes/courtesy of Bekah Eljoundi

Erin Del Giudice

Del Guidice, 30, ran at Davidson College and competed in the marathon U.S. Olympic Trials in 2016. She also won the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon in 2022 on the women's side.

  • Her journey with running hasn't been linear. She stepped away from the sport for several years. Today she says she approaches every opportunity to run with gratitude.
  • Del Giudice is a mom of a 7-month-old and a two-year-old.
  • She's run three marathons. This will be her first time running Boston.

Favorite running routes: Little Sugar Creek Greenway and the trail by Myers Park High School

Advice for runners: Running isn't one-size-fits-all all. If it doesn't work the first time, keep going, because it can take time.

Erin winning the Charlotte Marathon.
Erin Del Giudice winning the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon. Photo: Courtesy of the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon

Megan Hovis

Hovis, 42 with a 10-year-old, is a registered dietitian and personal trainer for Fillnow Coaching.

  • She fell in love with running in college for the University of New Hampshire and she pushed herself to run the JFK 50 mile race in 2012.
  • Hovis has run somewhere between 20-30 marathons, averaging at least two a year since 2013. This will be her sixth time running Boston.

Favorite running routes: Little Sugar Creek Greenway, Ballantyne, Colonel Francis J. Beatty Park for trails, McAlpine Creek Greenway

Advice for runners: Stick with it. It will get better and you'll start to crave running.

Megan and her son Chase at the Boston Marathon.
Megan Hovis (left) and her 10-year-old son Chase at the Boston Marathon.

Kayleigh Hudson and Matthew Bennett

Hudson, 30, is an emergency medicine physician assistant for Atrium Health. Bennett, 31, works for Merrill Lynch.

  • This will be her fifth marathon and her first time running Boston. Her husband got into running after watching her run Chicago.
  • She deferred her entry to Boston after she had their son, Leyton.

Favorite running routes: Colony Road from Rea Road to Selwyn Avenue

Advice for runners: Remember that you run because it's fun.

Kayleigh Hudson (left) holding a "BQ" sign next to her husband Matthew Bennett.
Kayleigh Hudson and her husband Matthew Bennett. Photo: Courtesy of Kayleigh Hudson

Curtis "C.J." Langley

Langley, 42, is an SVP for Bank of America. He ran a Spartan Race in 2012 and recalls the physical agony that followed. He was in his early 30s. After that, he set a goal to be in the best shape of his life by 35, and the day before his 35th birthday, he ran his first marathon in Wrightsville.

  • Running became a social thing and it still is. He's also run a few ultras.
  • This will be his 12th marathon and his second time at Boston.

Favorite running routes: Mallard Creek Greenway and Little Sugar Creek Greenway

Advice for runners: For newcomers, find a groove. Make it as enjoyable as possible initially. Making it a social outing helped make it a habit.

  • Don't compare yourself to others. Running Boston doesn't determine your value as a runner, but it is a wonderful experience.
C.J. Langley running the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.
C.J. Langley running the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. Photo: Courtesy of C.J. Langley/Indianapolis Monumental Marathon

Carrie Parry

Parry, 35, was lying in the hospital bed after her third son was born in September of 2022 and signed up for the Boston Marathon. A few weeks later, she found out she had thyroid cancer.

  • "When I started running again, it really became something I could focus on that wasn't like this uncertainty and fear that I had, because of my health," Parry tells Axios.
  • Today she is cancer-free and will run her fourth marathon on Monday. This will be her second time running Boston.
  • Parry is a manager at Wells Fargo and a mother of three young boys ages 5, 3 and 1.

Favorite running routes: Booty Loop in Myers Park, Eastover, Freedom Park Little Sugar Creek Greenway, the hilly streets around Freedom Park and Dilworth speed loop

Advice for runners: It's OK to reset your goals.

Carry Parry with her Boston Marathon medal.
Carrie Parry at the Boston Marathon. Photo: Courtesy of Carrie Parry/Boston Athletic Association

Chase Price

Price, 30, is a run coach and content creator.

  • He ran his first ultra-marathon before he ran his first marathon and has completed multiple 100-milers. Charlotte was his first marathon in 2022 and he has run three marathons total.
  • This will be his first time running Boston.

Favorite running routes: Little Sugar Creek Greenway and the Rail Trail

Advice for runners: I used to be the person who thought a 10K or a half was the limit for me. Just start. That could be your local 5K. You never know when you're going to catch the running bug.

Chase Price at the Jack & Jill Marathon.
Chase Price at Jack & Jill's Downhill Marathon where he qualified for Boston. Photo: Courtesy of Chase Price

Go deeper: Best Charlotte bathrooms for runners according to Boston marathoners

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