Now among Boston Marathon’s elite, McKanna’s passion began in BG

CEDARVILLE, Ohio — The weather was challenging for the nearly 30,000 athletes who were participating in the 27th annual Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17.

The temperature was cool, and rain greeted the runners throughout the day — not ideal conditions for a run in the park, let alone the world’s oldest annual marathon.

For former Bowling Green resident Micah McKanna, however, it was a perfect day to be part of one of the world’s six marathon major events.

And, when McKanna, who now lives in Beavercreek, Ohio, crossed the finish line in his first Boston Marathon with a time of 2:41:40, he was relieved and filled with the satisfaction that comes from a significant personal accomplishment.

McKanna finished No. 740 in the total field, or in the top 2% competitors. Kenya’s Evans Chebet won the men’s race in a time of 2:05:54 and in winning, became a back-to-back champion.

The McKanna family celebrate after Micah McKanna’s run in the Boston Marathon.

McKanna’s love for running began as an seventh grade student in Bowling Green. He wasn’t fast. In fact, McKanna will tell you he was one of the slowest runners on his middle school team. Still, that didn’t deter him from becoming a walk-on track and cross-country athlete at Cedarville University, where he graduated in 2021. His finish time in the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota — his first and only other marathon — qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon.

“I wasn’t sure how I would do in Boston, because I didn’t believe my training was as good as it was for the Duluth marathon,” said McKanna. “And, the Boston Marathon is known for being a slower marathon, so I wasn’t expecting to run as fast as I did in Minnesota.”

He only finished eight minutes slower in Boston, which is quite an accomplishment.

Also in Boston, McKanna experienced the highs and lows that come with competing on a grueling course.

“At first I felt really good, and I started out a little faster than I anticipated,” said McKanna. “The first 10 miles were more on a downward slope, so I just went with the momentum and felt really good.”

As he was running at a solid pace, McKanna’s energy picked up around the 16-mile mark when he noticed his parents, Joe and Jayne, and brother, Tad, lining the route. He knew they were watching from some place on the route; he just didn’t know where or if he would be able to see them.

“Seeing my parents and brother gave me an extra amount of energy,” said McKanna, who is a graphic designer in Cedarville University’s marketing and communications division. “It was great to see them, but I also knew that the toughest part of the race was quickly approaching.”

In approximately mile 17 to 20 is when McKanna felt his greatest burden, and pain, of the race. That’s because he was more than half-way through the marathon and the terrain became more uphill.

This point was also the time when his college friend, Avery Traffie, who was also running in the marathon, caught up to McKanna. The pair ran together for a couple of miles before McKanna pulled away near the finish line and completed a very satisfying race.

What’s next for McKanna? The Cedarville alumnus will continue running, creating graphic design work for Cedarville University, and relish his time running in, arguably, the most historic marathon in the world.