“I’ve looked at it as a blessing in disguise,” Gentry Lawson said of being too sick to attend Monday’s Boston Marathon. Lawson had been excited to compete in the Boston Marathon; it was something on his bucket list that he was really looking forward to.
Lawson qualified for the Boston event at the Ogden Marathon with a time of three hours back in May. His luck seemed to run out when he became sick. His health deteriorated until doctors deemed that his colon must be removed to prevent cancer. Besides being unable to compete, it also became apparent that in order to protect his health, he wouldn’t be able to travel to Boston.
“I was really upset about not being able to go to the Boston Marathon,” Lawson said of missing an opportunity to participate in the world-famous event. After seeing the tragic events of this year’s race, he has had a chance to contemplate his health problems in a different way.
“I’m glad that I didn’t go,” he said. With all of his trials lately, he was unsure what his timing through the finish line would be. He felt it was a blessing to be far away from the situation where even those who weren’t injured saw distressing scenes. He is glad he doesn’t have to carry those images or the terrifying feelings with him.
Lawson graduated from Morgan High in 1997, where he was very involved in sports, especially wrestling and football. At this point he had no interest in cross country or running distances that weren’t required by his coaches for other sports.
Around 10 years ago he ran a 5K and realized he enjoyed running. The 5K led to a 10K, which was followed by a half marathon and then he was running full marathons. This would have been his fourth marathon having run twice in the Ogden Marathon and once in the Morgan Marathon.
Lawson’s health is still precarious. He is dealing with hydration issues and recovering from surgery. Doctors have indicated that he will recover and be able to be active. While he finds hope in this, he is still unsure if he will be able to recover enough that he could regain his footing and again be competitive.
Lawson is an example to those around him in life as much as he was in competition. His athletic ability is surpassed by his positive attitude and ability to overcome extreme challenges.