JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — This past Monday, Johnson City’s Drew Wasko ran in his twenty-seventh consecutive Boston Marathon.
“There’s always going to be those gremlins telling you stop, stop, this hurts this hurts, you gotta fight that off,” said Drew.
For Drew, running a marathon is mind over matter.
“The race begins at 20. Pretty much there’s steps. Watch yourself in the first seven, you can’t go out too fast. The middle you have to maintain, and then when you get to 20, do your adjustments, to get through. Sometimes it takes everything you’ve got to finish.”
Drew’s love for running began when he was just a young boy, but it wasn’t until 1987, that he took it on full time.
“I played a lot of baseball. I was challenged by one of our runners who had just finished the New York City marathon,” said Drew. “He says, ‘baseball players aren’t athletes.’ That’s all I had to hear.”
And it takes a real athlete to qualify for what’s considered to be one of the toughest courses of the world marathon majors.
“What you have to do is qualify in another marathon, by five minutes or more, to even get a shot to get picked to get in. It’s difficult,” said Drew.
Difficult, but something that’s become an annual tradition for Drew and his family
“My brother’s been there for all 27, as my sister and my brother-in-law. Plus all my kids. It’s a family thing.”
And in 2013, Marathon Monday started just like any other for the Wasko family.
“It was a gorgeous day, and I crossed the finish line, saw the family and all that. It was great. Everything was going good.”
Until it wasn’t. But on a day that time was being closely noted, time worked in Drew’s favor.
“Crossed the finish line, five minutes later, down a little bit getting my medal and what not, the bombs go off. I saw the second one,” recounted Drew.
Drew was just five minutes ahead of time that Monday in 2013. And it was that moment that changed his perspective.
“That was the only night in all 27 years we didn’t go out and celebrate. It was tough. I still get bent out of shape.”
Despite witnessing tragedy firsthand, Drew never considered not running the Boston Marathon again.
“Nobody’s gonna beat us,” said Drew.
Six years later, Drew beat his goal by a minute and a half, earning his 27th Boston Marathon medal this past Monday.
“They started out as little round little things and they’ve been getting bigger as the years go by.”
Slowing down is nowhere near Drew’s future.
“I think i’ll be running for awhile,” said Drew.
Since passing the quarter-century mark, Drew no longer has to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and is planning on running his twenty-eighth, next April.