Sawyers Holt had qualified and registered for the 2020 event and had even booked a room for her stay. But after the Boston Marathon was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic, runners were instead given the option to run a marathon in their hometown. Sawyers Holt began training while laying out a 26.2 mile course in and around Pilot Mountain.
She finished the course at the Main Street home of her parents, Eddie and April Sawyers, in a time of 3 hours and 55 minutes. She fought through muscle cramps during a four-mile stretch, making the long distance run one of her most difficult to date.
Janice Hauser was among the crowd waiting for Sawyers Holt at the finish line.
“I’ve known her since she was born,” Hauser said, “and this suits her. She’s always very determined and focused. Whatever she does, she gives it her all.”
Sawyers Holt voiced appreciation to the large group of supporters who came out, including those who waved and cheered from their homes as she passed.
“I was pleased and surprised by all the support I received,” she said. “I was overwhelmed in a good way. I’ve been blessed.”
“And I want to give a special shout-out to Adrian and Emma Joyce,” she continued. “They rode their bikes and helped watch out for me the entire way.”
“This was one of my hardest marathons,” Sawyers Holt said, “but it was also one of my best experiences. I’m happy with it.”