Nietfeld Headed to Boston Marathon


Kohala High students and staff took the time to make a good luck poster for Ms. Nietfeld before she heads to Boston.

Andrew Trump

When you drive around Kohala, it is not a rarity to see Ms. Melody Nietfeld running on the side of the road. The Kohala High counselor and college prep teacher trains hard in addition to maintaining her busy schedule at the school. Now she has reached new heights with her running as she will be competing in the 116th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16th for the first time.

The Boston Marathon is the oldest marathon in the world. It  is also the only one that requires qualifying times to compete, making the event that much more prestigious. Nietfeld was able to qualify with a strong showing at the Honolulu Marathon last year. She finished the 26.2 mile race with a time of 3:52 minutes which was well under the 4:20 mark needed to qualify for her age/gender group.

Nietfeld’s training regiment leading up to the race has been very impressive. She runs 40 to 50 miles a week, adding variety to her workouts with distance runs, hills, and speed work. Although she is in great shape, her primary goal is to simply finish the race. A lot participants don’t finish the Boston Marathon because of a rapid descent towards the end of the race that takes a toll on a runner’s legs. However, she does have a secondary goal of trying to improve on her time from the Honolulu Marathon.

Niefeld will be traveling to Boston on April 12th, but doesn’t get in till the next day. This is actually cutting in close for the runner, because it takes time to adjust to jet lag when traveling through so many time zones. She plans on just taking a short 2-3 mile run when she gets up there to adapt her legs a little. Another factor that could come into play is the weather. Over the years the Boston Marathon has been run in as hot as 96 degrees and as cold as 20. As of now the weather looks okay with a forecast in the low 60’s, but things can change fast. Nietfeld is trying to prepare for whatever may come and is very excited to get to race day.