McKenzie Payne, a recent BYU-Idaho graduate, ran in the famous Boston Marathon Monday, April 18.
Payne recently graduated in April 2022 with a bachelor’s in exercise physiology.
Payne’s love of running came from her parents who instilled in her the importance of being active. After running her first marathon in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, she became hooked.
“I would say the determining factor in running Boston was one, being able to qualify, but I was also introduced to TB12, which is the charity organization I ran for,” Payne said.
TB12 is an organization founded by NFL quarterback Tom Brady. Payne was introduced to the charity through her husband’s uncle, Alex Guerrero — Brady’s personal trainer.
Through that family connection, both McKenzie Payne and her husband, Thomas Payne, landed internships with the charity.
“We were just really lucky and blessed to have that opportunity,” McKenzie Payne said.
To be guaranteed a spot on the TB12 team, she went through an interview process to evaluate whether she could raise the $12,000 requirement.
McKenzie Payne successfully raised the money via word of mouth, friends, family and social media.
The day of the race finally came. With a mix of nerves and excitement, she was ready to run the Boston Marathon.
“Just getting to that point where you see everyone getting on the buses going to towards Hopkinton … you’re just like, ‘Wow, this is actually happening,'” McKenzie Payne said.
Thomas Payne took his place at mile three to cheer on his wife as she ran.
“When I saw her … I was proud of her, and I still am proud of her,” Thomas Payne said. “She is an amazing woman.”
Even with hitting a metaphorical wall at mile 20, McKenzie Payne finished the race in 3 hours and 48 minutes, four minutes faster than her previous marathon.
“I was so excited to say that I’ve done the Boston Marathon,” McKenzie Payne said.
While some people would say that running the Boston Marathon would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, McKenzie Payne does plan on doing it again along with other marathons such as the New York and Tokyo Marathon.
“It’s just part of my life,” McKenzie Payne said. “I plan on running until my body says I can’t.”