A Massachusetts woman ran the 2018 Boston Marathon — one week before everyone else — while pushing her quadriplegic boyfriend the entire way.
Long-time couple Kaitlyn Kiely, 30, and Matt Wetherbee, 31, always had dreams of completing the Boston Marathon as a team, but two years ago, Wetherbee was left paralyzed from the neck down after an accident during a pick-up basketball game.
Kiely ran the marathon solo in 2017 but suffered severe leg cramping. The journey left her with bigger aspirations to run with her partner.
For Wetherbee, the only thing better than watching Kiely run last time was being with her this time.
"She's showing me today that she's going to be with me no matter what," Wetherbee said.
"I love just looking down and seeing his head there," Kiely said. "And knowing that he's there the whole time, it makes me feel like I can't stop."
The couple didn't stop even after missing an entry deadline to be considered as an "Athletes With Disabilities" duo this year. They pushed forward, determined to reach their goal.
After extensive training, Kiely set off at 9 a.m. ET from the starting line in Hopkinton, pushing Wetherbee in a racing chair the entire 26.2 miles to the finish line in Boston. The couple crossed the finish line at Copley Square at about 3:30 p.m. ET, an hour and a half ahead of the scheduled 5 p.m. finish.
While it wasn't the crowd you'd see on Marathon Monday, they say what matters is they were able to finish together.
"I'm just so proud of her," Wetherbee said.
And Kiely's reason for starting was with her every mile of the way.
"I'm so glad he could be a part of this, you know like I wanted him to be," Kiely said.
Kiely and Wetherbee did receive a police escort along the way and were cheered on by local professional athletes like Ray Bourque.
"Kaitlyn and Matt are an inspiration to all of us, completing their ‘unfinished business’ despite the many hurdles they have had to overcome," said Bourque in a statement.
Their journey, dubbed "Unfinished Business,” is being sponsored by Hotshot, a muscle cramp company, which is donating $25,000 to Wetherbee's care at Canton-based Journey Forward, where Wetherbee attends rehab four times a week.