Becky Snelson ’15 strides out in the Boston Marathon

When the day dawned for her first Boston Marathon, Becky Snelson ’15 was ready, even though the day barely dawned.

“The weather was always somewhere between a steady rain and a deluge, in the low 40s and windy,” says Snelson. “Weather is one of those things you can’t control. My coach said to stay with packs of runners and dress for the winter.”

Snelson persevered and ran her best marathon time — two hours, 49 minutes, 50 seconds — to place 14th among women, less than 10 minutes behind the winner.

“In a couple of places there were pools and streams of water,” she says. “Once your shoes are totally soaked, it doesn’t really matter — although if you stepped in a puddle, you got a shock of cold.”

Snelson came to long-distance running almost by chance. She thought she would need to run a six-minute mile to qualify for the Randolph (N.J.) High School soccer team, so she joined the middle-school cross-country team to prepare. She found she liked running distances and never did go out for soccer. She ran distances at Bucknell and qualified for the Eastern College Athletic Conference championships in the 10,000 meters.

Since graduation, the mechanical engineering and music double major has been an engineer at General Dynamics in New London, Conn., where she runs with a club. “Instead of happy hour, we run,” she says. Her busy job keeps her from doing more than one marathon a year, making her finish in Boston all the more remarkable.

She does find time to do races with her mother. Since high school, they have pledged to run at least one 5K-or-longer race in every state.

“We made three over Christmas vacation — Florida, Alabama, Georgia — which makes 30,” she says. “Guess I am a little goal-oriented.”