My Boston Marathon Story: Candice Huffine
Each of the 30,000 people running the 2017 Boston Marathon has a unique story. In this mini-series, we’ll bring some of them to light.
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Past Boston Marathon Appearances: 0
Her Marathon Story:
As a curvy model in a world of rail-thin waifs, Candice Huffine knows fashion industry norms all too well. What she didn’t expect, however, was to find those very same stereotypes within the running community.
“I didn’t realize how many people weren’t doing it because they felt like they were not the right body type to do so,” Huffine says. “We’ve only seen the same kind of runner. I’ve found that a woman feels like, if she doesn’t look like that runner, therefore she cannot run.”
Huffine is out to change that, in the same way she’s championed body positivity in the pages of publications such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Elle. A relatively new runner herself, Huffine is taking on the Boston Marathon—and sharing every step of her journey with the world.
“We see runners, and we see them super fast and running these long distances, and it’s very inspiring,” Huffine says. “But you never hear about the beginning days. They’re always very scary and there are so many unknowns, and it’s work—it’s a skill that you need to learn.”
Huffine is helping other women learn that skill in two ways. First, she founded Project Start, an online community that shows women that “running can be for everybody, and literally for every body. You are a runner the day you put on shoes and start running.”
Second, she’s running Boston on an all-female team organized by Hyland’s. The team is all about celebrating the trip to the starting line as much as the one to the finish, a message that clicked with Huffine.
“It is imperative to redefine what strength and health looks like. I’m in the best shape I’ve been in in years, and I still have a tummy. I still have stomach rolls. I didn’t go down in size,” Huffine says. “Health and size are not mutually exclusive. You don’t move your body to shrink it. You move it for wellness and mental health and physical health and happiness.”
Of course, saying yes to Hyland’s meant that Huffine—who began running roughly a year ago—would need to train for the most prestigious marathon in the world. Predictably, the Women’s Running covergirl has taken the challenge in stride.
“I did a 20-mile training run last weekend, and I would have enough time left over [on race day] that I wouldn’t get swept up by the bus at the six-hour cutoff time,” she laughs. “So I feel good about that.”
Huffine admits she’s nervous for Marathon Monday, but says the anxiety is far outweighed by excitement. She’s thinking ahead to the energy and crowd support, and says she won’t be watching the clock come race day.
“I want to, personally, have fun at races and get to the finish line, but in the meantime I do it because of how I feel,” she says. “I feel unstoppable, I feel super empowered, I feel happy, and just a better version of myself.”
Yesterday I ran TWENTY miles. 20!!! And I’m still in complete shock. I knew in training for the #BostonMarathon this day would come, but I feared it as much as the first day I ever ran. All week I’ve been pacing the floors, creating and then looking back over the route, making excuses that I was injured, paced some more, and asked @themattpowers if I could really do this a hundred times. Then I decided to flip the script on myself, put an end to the madness and unexpectedly do my run yesterday instead of the plan of today. I laughed to myself the whole time as my goal became a closer reality…I really could do it after all. I am strong and ready. However, I am not immune to the common fears of a runner which are super real regardless of where you are in your journey. Point of my story, flip your script, get out of your head and just GO. It doesn’t even have to be running related. You can do it. You really, really, can. Start today and take it from me, you got this! That’s all. #PSYouGotThis #YesYouCan #ProjectStart #BurgerMe #thisshitisgood #BeBold #BeYou #BeFearless