As any resident of Hopkinton can tell you, Marathon Monday is a special day in town. Ella Cornu, a 2016 Hopkinton High School graduate, remembers selling lemonade to runners and spectators passing her house on Hayden Rowe Street as they made their way to the start line. With her friend Eliza, she would walk down to the Town Common before the first wave was released, ringing her cow bell and cheering on the sea of bobbing heads, hoping to catch a high five from a passing hand.
“I remember thinking that I wanted to do that one day, that running the Boston Marathon would be my dream,” Cornu said. “I never thought I’d actually be doing it.”
And yet here she is, days away from running her first Boston Marathon. Between classes at Simmons College, shifts at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and nursing clinics, Cornu has found time to train. She has been following a training schedule she found online and tried to stick to it whist staying flexible, understanding anything too rigorous will overwhelm her.
“I try to incorporate hills and cross training into my runs, too, because I know that Boston is a pretty unique course,” she said. “It’s not the most professional training setup, but I think it’s worked for me so far!”
Her love for running has kept her motivated — something she did not discover until she got to college. With exams and clinicals and the stress that accompanies them, she discovered peace in lacing up her sneakers and running around Boston to the tempo of her favorite playlists. Through the busy streets around Fenway to Kenmore Square, the Back Bay and Charles River, Cornu finds calm.
“There are definitely times in my training when I don’t want to go out and do those longer runs. In those situations I just think of how I’m going to feel when I cross that finish line,” she said. “I picture the last few miles and how good they’re going to feel. I also remember everything I’ve worked for thus far, and usually that is enough to get me back out there.”
On April 15 she most looks forward to the energy of participants and the food she plans to eat after the race — a bowl of ramen from Wens Yunnan Noodle & Ramen. And while it’s out of her control, she’s also holding out hope for a perfect 50-degree day.
Cornu is running in support of the Hopkinton Public Library, a place she spent many Sundays as a kid with her mom and older brothers. With the library being a staple in town and an integral part of her childhood, she hopes to play a role in keeping it fruitful.
“Now that the library has expanded, the [Hopkinton Public Library Foundation] is looking to fund materials, resources, technology, educational and special projects, and longterm improvements,” she explained. “I am really excited to help such an awesome part of our community grow even more.”
To support Cornu in raising her goal of $5,000, visit her website at: http://www.hopkintonpubliclibraryfoundation.org/bostonmarathon/ellacornu.