I’ve never really taken running that seriously. I ran on the cross-country team in high school, but it was just something to do. I knew I never wanted to go to college and I never really had a clear-cut idea of what I wanted to do as far as a career goes, until I ran my first full marathon.
My name is Mason Grundy and I’m the record holder for the Fox Cities Marathon, having won the full marathon for the past three years.
I ran the Fox Cities Marathon for the first time when I was only 19-years-old and it was one of the worst experiences of my life! I had done absolutely no training for the race, so by about mile 13 I felt like I was dying and I had to walk because my legs were giving out. When I finally did cross the finish line and sat down, I couldn’t get back up again. I was limping for the next four weeks after that run.
However, my time was 3 hours and 10 minutes and someone told me that was a really good time for not having trained. They said I could go far with running. I thought about it and decided I would run the Fox Cities Marathon again the following year. Sure enough, in 2014 I came back and crossed the finish line with a 2 hours and 40 minutes time.
Following that race, I decided I wanted to come back and win the Fox Cities Marathon, but before that I wanted to run the 2015 Boston Marathon.
In April 2015 my dad and I drove down to Boston in my car. We slept in the car and ate fast food because I was funding the whole trip and I didn’t have a lot of money to spend. When I got to Boston, it was pouring rain and when the race started, the rain was coming at me sideways. Not only was it wet, it was also incredibly cold. It was only 38 degrees and I was running in shorts and a T-shirt.
I finished 15,000 of 30,000 runners, but I completed the Boston and I believe when I crossed the finish line, I also overcame a metaphoric hill with running. I decided if I could do the Boston Marathon in the pouring rain, I could make a career within the running community.
I trained and prepared and came back to win the Fox Cities Marathon for the first time in 2015. I’ve won the full marathon for the last three years.
I went back to Boston last year and came in 1,700 of 30,000 runners. I am now making a career out of running. I recently joined the U.S. National Guard and I will be doing a qualifying event to be a part of the National Guard’s running team.
I am working toward the goal of running professionally in the 2020 Olympics. I know that’s a lofty goal, but that is what I’m striving for.
I will be back this year to defend my title at the 2018 Fox Cities Marathon. This race holds a special place in my heart because it’s the race that started it all for me. This race gave me a purpose and set me on the path of what I’m meant to do with my life.
I don’t know where I would be without the Fox Cities Marathon and I can’t wait to come back again this year.