Westwood's Masi-Phelps Posts Impressive Finish in Boston Half Marathon

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Photo by Darlene Wong Cancell. Matthew Masi-Phelps (center), who finished 17th in his age group in the Boston Half Marathon, is pictured above with his parents after finishing first in the Westwood Day 5K.

Westwood native Matthew Masi-Phelps, in the midst of just his second year of competitive running, has completed his first B.A.A. Half Marathon (Boston Half Marathon) with an impressive showing, placing 17th
of 507 men running in the 25 to 20 year-old age group (top 3 percent), 57th
of all 2,950 men (top 2 percent), and 75th of all 6,308 participants (top one percent) . He finished the 13.1 mile race in 1:19:49, with an average pace of 6:06 minutes per mile.

“I’m very pleased with it,” says Mr. Masi-Phelps, who had a goal of running the race under an hour and twenty minutes in order to meet the qualification for his age group in the New York City Marathon. He just made it.

It was a wet and rainy day, on November 13th when the Boston Half Marathon was held. But rain doesn’t bother Mr. Masi-Phelps, who says, “I just love it. I don’t know what it is.” 

Rather, the most worrisome challenge was an injury to his Achilles tendon that had occurred in training three weeks before. The injury had interrupted his preparation for the upcoming race.

“The first few miles, I felt pretty good," he commented, noting that much of the early part of the course was downhill. "But I was worried about my Achilles tendon which I injured three weeks before the race, after a hard run training for the race. Getting into the race, I could feel that nothing was going wrong with it, and that gave me confidence,” he says. 

Also giving him confidence was seeing his girlfriend, who is also a runner, and his parents at Mile One. 

Then he found himself running at the same pace as another runner. They ran a few miles together, which he says was enjoyable.

Around Mile Four, he saw a few friends and neighbors who had come to watch the race. That sight provided him with another confidence boost.

“The racecourse runs along the Emerald Necklace. It’s hilly and curvy, which is not ideal for a fast time, but certainly scenic, and I was glad that all those people came out to support the runners. It started to rain, but I actually like running in the rain. . . once you get into it, I just love it," he says.

“The race went well. I maintained around the same pace throughout, although it varied with the hills. Near the end, I knew I was going to hit my goal time. At that time, you just manage things. You don’t want to pull a muscle," he explains.  He expresses satisfaction with the day, noting that everything went according to expectations. 

Mr. Masi-Phelps’s next big challenge will be the Boston Marathon in April 2023. He has already run the race once, qualifying for the 2022 race the “easy way,” as he calls it, by working for a company that sponsors the marathon. Now, however, Mr. Masi-Phelps is happy to say that he will enter next year's Boston Marathon with an earned, qualifying time under his belt. The qualifying time for men aged 18 to 34 years-old is to run a marathon in 3 hours. Mr. Masi-Phelps finished the 2022 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:59:46.

“I really had to muscle that one out,” he notes.

Mr. Masi-Phelps is already looking forward to cold weather, winter training. His regimen will include following the training philosophies set forth in Matt Fitzgerald's book, Run Like a Pro (Even If You're Slow), adding in some skiing, and running every day.

“If there’s anything I can preach to people interested in running competitively, it’s just going out every day at a nice, easy pace,” he says.



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