Boston Marathon off bucket list for some Hanscom runners

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – 66th Force Support Squadron officials selected four individuals to participate in the 127th Boston Marathon, April 17.

According to base officials, a three-person committee led by FSS selected the runners to receive bibs provided by the Boston Athletic Association, the organization that manages the marathon.

“We executed an inclusive and transparent process, comparing 11 packages balancing marathons over the previous three years for active duty, federal civilian employees, dependents and retiree applicants,” said Bill Charlton, Sustainment Services Flight chief.

Those selected were Tech. Sgt. Matthew Ruscitti, who finished with a time of 3:18:00; Alyssa Ralston, who finished with a time of 3:52:51; Frank Reinhold, who finished with a time of 4:40:06; and Maj. Kristopher Williams, who finished with a time of 4:47:42.

Williams, E-7A Test deputy chief in the Digital Directorate, discussed how his military training helped him overcome the challenge of running a marathon. 

“My Air Force experience was a huge part of it,” he said. “Running Boston was so important to me that nothing was going to get in my way. My Air Force experience gave me the determination to grind it out.”

Ralston, an Air Force spouse, said it was the people along the route who motivated her.

“I went out too fast and cramped around mile 17,” she said. “I had to tell myself to slow down and that it was ok to run it easy and enjoy the crowds.”

Those who run the marathon often say it’s the support of strangers who line the 26-mile course that get them through it.

“There was literally someone cheering you on every step of the way for 26.2 miles,” said Ruscitti, a member of the 319th Recruiting Squadron, who has run other marathons. “I have never seen that before.”

Ruscitti, a Massachusetts native, said the Boston Marathon has always been a bucket list item for him. 

“I had two-and-a-half weeks’ notice that I was selected to run so even though this wasn’t my best race, [it was] definitely my most rewarding,” he said. 

Williams called the Boston Marathon, “the Super Bowl of marathoning.”

“It’s the only sport where the average athlete can compete in the same event as the elites,” said Williams, who ran his first marathon in the 2019 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

Ralston spoke about the lessons she learned running the event.

“I put so much pressure [on myself] to run it at a certain time that I was not properly prepared for that I forgot to enjoy the beginning of the race,” she said. “The next time I'll remember to take it all in and remember that this is one of the greatest marathons in the world - I should be having fun!”

Others from Hanscom also participated in the event.

Maj. Jenifer Mouser, 66th Medical Squadron officer in charge of Laboratory and Radiology, participated to raise money for a Massachusetts-based organization that benefits low-income young women and girls interested in activities that benefit their health, education, and overall well-being.

The Boston Marathon, the oldest annual marathon, is 26 miles, 385 yards through eight cities and towns in Massachusetts.