As Jordan Hasay navigated the streets of New England during Monday’s Boston Marathon, she ran alongside some of the best competition the marathon world has to offer. But there was someone else next to Hasay for every stride — her late mother Teresa.
“I was kind of talking to her out there the whole time,” Hasay, a former prep phenom who grew up in Arroyo Grande, said during a post-race press conference.
Teresa Hasay passed away unexpectedly in her Arroyo Grande home in November. The loss rocked the Hasay family, but Jordan Hasay used the tragedy to rededicate herself to the sport that has been a part of her life since she was a prodigy winning state titles at Mission Prep.
Hasay made a big impression Monday with a record-breaking performance in her first marathon. With a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, Hasay finished in third place and broke the record for an American woman in a marathon debut. She beat the time of previous record-holder Kara Goucher (2:25:53) by nearly three minutes. It was also the fourth-fastest time by an American woman, according to U.S. Track & Field.
“(My mother) always calls me Paula because Paula Radcliffe is my idol, and we always said I would be a marathoner like her one day,” Hasay said.
Hasay, 25, said she was nervous about grabbing water bottles during the race, something she has never done before after spending her time in high school and at the University of Oregon running in much shorter events. But using her left hand, a hand that now carries her late mother’s engagement ring, the exchanges went off without a hitch. She kissed the ring as she crossed the finish line.
“I was really proud that I got all my bottles and got all my fluids,” Hasay said. “Everything, I tried to use that as a positive. There are just so many things that reminded me of her, and that helps you get through all the different checkpoints of the race.”
The setting of the race was not lost on Hasay. In an interview shortly after crossing the finish line, Hasay talked about being cheered on by a community that still feels the effects of a terrorist attack that killed three people and injured hundreds more at the Boston Marathon in 2013.
“I know a lot of people lost loved ones here, so that really just lifted me up,” Hasay told CBS Boston’s Steve Burton. “I was thinking about all of them, and I know they were with us all in spirit and my mom would be really proud.”
“I ran this race for her and I love her so much, and she will always be with me.”
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Hasay attended Oregon University. She attended the University of Oregon.