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Charleston runner set to compete in Boston Marathon

TW Moore, an optometrist at Dunbar Eye Associates, will be among 30,000 runners competing in the Boston Marathon Monday.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Every stride counts across the approximate 26.2 miles of a marathon, and few know that better than South Charleston resident TW Moore.

Moore, 32, will compete in the 120th annual Boston Marathon Monday. He’ll start in Wave One, Corral Two among the event’s most elite athletes, after missing the race by fewer than 30 seconds the previous year.

“The original time that I had to beat was 3:05 and I ran 3:04:19 [in 2014],” Moore said. “If they have more applicants than they have spots for, they adjust the qualifying times, and they moved that from 3:05 to 3:03:58, and so my 3:04:19 was outside of the adjustment time.”

After some serious initial disappointment, Moore, an optometrist at Dunbar Eye Associates, continued to attack his goal of competing in the Boston Marathon.

“It gave me the opportunity to spend another year training and I ended up dropping my time nine minutes,” he said. “I had to improve my time and I’m glad I improved it, because I would not have qualified again this year.”

Because of the amount of entries to this year’s race, Boston Marathon officials adjusted the qualifying time by two minutes, 28 seconds. Consequently, more than 4,500 runners who met their respective qualifying marks were not accepted.

Thankfully, for Moore, he qualified with a time of 3:00:13 at the 2014 Chicago Marathon and improved his placement with a finish of 2:51:46, a pace of 6:34 per mile, at the 2015 Marshall Marathon on Nov. 1.

“I definitely thought I could run faster and it definitely motivated me to really train maybe a little bit harder,” he said. “On some of those mornings when you don’t feel like going out or going for a run, you think, well, this could be the difference this time.”

With his improved time, Moore, a Rivesville native, was placed in one of the marathon’s fastest starting corrals. The race features 30,000 runners across four waves, with eight corrals in each wave.

“It’s great to be so far up front like that,” he said. “I might get to spot some of the elite runners up there. I haven’t figured out the numbers exactly, but that’s probably the top 5 percent of qualifiers, which is just a really cool thing to try and think about.”

Many runners use the esteemed event as a “fun run” to celebrate the accomplishment of reaching Boston, and slow their paces to enjoy the crowds and pomp associated with the race. Moore ran recreationally in college after competing at Fairmont Senior High School, so he’s familiar with running both for himself and against the clock. At Boston, Moore plans to give everything, he said.

“Definitely trying to give my best effort,” he said. “The weather’s supposed to be a no-excuses day. I’m not going to be taking my picture along the course or anything like that.

“I think it’s a huge achievement. For an amateur runner and somebody’s who kind of really been focusing a lot of time and effort the last few years to run a marathon, this is kind of the pinnacle.”

To help celebrate Moore’s achievement, a group of approximately 15 family members and friends will join him and Aaron Rote, a friend and fellow Marion County native, who also qualified to run Boston.

“I don’t think you get to do these kinds of events and have these experiences if you don’t have that support group,” Moore said, “because there are definitely some time when you wonder why you’re doing it.”

With family and friends, the history of the marathon and the challenging path to qualify, Moore said the running itself represents just one aspect of a memorable journey.

“The 26 miles is just 26 miles,” he said. “You take into account all the history, all that’s happened the past few years in Boston and all of the personal effort, time and commitment I’ve put into it, it’s a celebration of that whole period of time, not just that one day that we’re out there.”

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