KCU student returns from running Boston Marathon with new outlook on health

JOPLIN, Mo.–Over 28,000 runners made it to Boston on Monday to compete in one of the best-known races in the country: The Boston Marathon.

One of those runners was first-year Kansas City University medical student, Daniel O’Kelly.

“It was exhilarating. I mean, it’s a historic race, and the crowd and the spectators are amazing,” O’Kelly said. 

Monday was the medical student’s first time running in the Boston Marathon. But it wasn’t his first marathon. O’Kelly ran in the Kansas City Marathon last year, it’s how he qualified for this years Boston Marathon.

“So I had a good foundation to build off of. But I was training for probably about five or five or six months, incorporating speed and long runs just to try and prepare .”

O’Kelly says exercise and his health have helped him with his studies, and overall wellbeing.

“Health and and exercise go really hand in hand. For me, I’ve always found exercise, especially aerobic exercise, just to be such a fundamental part of my productivity, my drive and my happiness at at large…I’ve seen exercise as a fundamental part of…my my time in medical school. It just helps me be a better student.”

Not only has it helped him become a better student, but he says he hopes this experience can help him become a better physician in the long run.

“I’ll certainly champion running as a physician when I’m trying to keep my patients healthy… I just want them to to really see exercise as a positive thing rather than a source of  discomfort and pain like a lot of people see it.”

Although marathons aren’t for everyone, people should take their exercises ate their own pace.

“Not everyone needs to do a marathon to feel accomplished as a runner. It just takes, a mile every day, half a mile every day to…feel more resilient, you know, stronger, feel more empowered to do hard things.”

He said his  biggest takeaway from the race was that although it was tough, he’s ready to try again next year.

“The day of I thought I’d never do this again, the next day I woke up and really felt motivated to do it again next year.”

O’Kelly finished the marathon in under three hours.