A lot can happen when two women put their strength and spirit to work for a good cause.

That’s what’s happening Monday morning when Molly Costin and Julia Snyder, both of Wadena, partake in the first fall Boston Marathon together.

While the two did not qualify for the event with a race event, they applied for spots and qualified to run under a charity bib, which raises money for one of the people killed in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, Krystle Campbell.

Krystle Campbell, a 29-year-old Medford, Massachusetts, native, was one of three people killed in the April 15, 2013 bombings at the Boston Marathon finish line.

The Krystle Campbell Memorial Fund at The Boston Foundation will be used to make gifts in honor and remembrance of Krystle to charitable causes important to Krystle and her family.

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Costin and Snyder both had a goal of raising $3,500. They both surpassed those goals with the help and overwhelming support of the surrounding communities.

Snyder, as many know, has a long history of running in the area and is owner operator of Signs and Designs in Wadena. She ran in high school and in her later 20s, after having kids, she began running competitively in races in the area thanks to other persuasive women runners.

“They kind of just peer pressure you into more races,” Snyder said of the friendly exercise.

Over time, as she developed, Snyder has become persuasive in getting others to join her in running and racing. So when she indicated to Costin if she would ever consider running the Boston Marathon, Costin, not being one to turn down a challenge, confirmed she would. When Snyder sent her paperwork to apply for it, things got very real. When they were accepted it was go-time to fundraise and continue on with a 20-week marathon training regiment. They put on around 600 miles on their way to train for this moment.

Snyder found out about the charity bib opportunity through a friend connected to Krystle. The charity gives out several bibs each year and this year, six runners are taking part in this particular foundation.

Snyder and Costin are physically prepared for the race, though there are many unknowns on the ground in Boston. They expect around 500,000 spectators, entertainment along the route and they know they can’t wear their water packs on themselves. Security and COVID precautions are heightened there.

“I think it's going to be just an unreal feeling,” Snyder said about the race, which is her second full marathon. “The atmosphere is going to be amazing.”

She’s not going into this race to break records. She said she wants to feel good while she races, whatever pace that looks like.

“The actual marathon is just a victory lap,” Costin said after explaining all the hard work that went into this moment. While it’s been work and the run will be difficult, she knows that being at the site where Krystle was killed by a bomb will be a whole other difficulty to this race.

“I think the whole day is going to be pretty emotional,” Costin said. "Putting your body through that in the first place is a big mental game. Coming to the finish line is going to be pretty emotional anyway. But knowing that that happened there and being a part of a team that is honoring her name makes it even more so."

As a way to keep her head in the game, Costin plans to pray for people every mile of the race. She'll pray for Krystle and her family, that they would be comforted and that she may be honored.

On top of all this, this will be Costin’s first full marathon. As a varsity track coach for New York Mills, she said she wanted to show her athletes what you could do with a little hard work.

“I wanted to train hard enough to be worthy of the honor of doing it,” Costin said. “The distance is hard. You know, 26 miles is hard. I haven’t been running for that long. So it’s a struggle for me, but for Boston — that’s an amazing opportunity.”

The women are taking their families on the adventure. It’s sure to be one they won’t soon forget.

Find out more about their journey and Costin’s fundraiser here or Snyder’s fundraiser here.

The big race

According to the Boston Marathon website, a field of 20,000 athletes will participate in the 125th running of the Boston Marathon, covering 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston. It’s the world’s oldest annually run marathon. With those running under a charity bib, the actual number of runners is significantly more. The number of entrants will be down from typical years due to restrictions and some people choosing to not take part due to COVID.