Call it fate, destiny, luck or divine intervention.
Whatever it was, Kari Lister was not meant to be in Boston on Monday. She wanted to after she qualified for her first Boston Marathon.
Lister, 30, trained for months, even while pregnant with her and her husband’s (Andrew Lister) first child.
Playing the stubborn card, however, she told her mother-in-law, Gwen Lister, she would walk the classic American race. Ultimately, though, Lister said she could not run the 26.2 miles.
Upon hearing the news of the tragic bombings at the marathon on Monday, Lister could not believe what she saw.
“I turned on the news and I was stunned,” she said. “I couldn’t believe what happened. I feel terrible for all those runners and their families. It’s just a tragic event.”
Lister moved to Fallon from Montana seven years ago, and soon her path crossed with De Vere Karlson, an avid runner who has participated in four Boston Marathons, and Dominique Jones, another runner. Lister and Jones also teach together at Lahontan Elementary School.
Karlson said Tuesday she was 3/10 of a mile from the second of the two blast sites and was not injured.
“I called Dominique to see if De Vere was OK,” Lister said. “De Vere is amazing. She trained Dominique and me in our first marathon. She’s just an amazing mentor. She’s done so much for running in our community.”
Lister, meanwhile, said she considers the two women mentors and soon began running with them as part of the Clockwork Running Club. Four years ago, Lister competed in her first marathon and her resume includes the Big Sur, Huntington Beach (twice), Half Moon Bay and Reno marathons in addition to the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey.
It was at Half Moon Bay where Lister qualified in September for the Boston Marathon. Lister, though, did not think should would be accepted into the race after thousands of runners were allowed to defer from the 2012 race due to extreme heat.
“I applied and then found out when I was already pregnant that I was accepted,” she said. “I still kept running throughout my pregnancy and under the stubborn impression that I was going to do it.”
She prepped for months with Karlson, and the two made plans to travel together to the race. Lister ran throughout her pregnancy and was mentally and physically ready to take on Boston.
As it turned out, Lister delivered her baby boy, Jaxson Lister, by cesarean March 5. She and her mother-in-law even joked that Lister would name her son Boston. The toll of the surgery, however, was too much for Lister to overcome as she was cleared to run by her doctor on Tuesday.
“I was pretty stubborn … and it’s such an iconic race,” she added. “It’s such a big deal. People come from all over the world. I was hell bent on that we were going to go.”
Once her son was born, Lister said her priorities changed, which led to her decision not to run. Nevertheless, the Montana transplant will ease back into running as she participates in numerous local events throughout the year.