ANDOVER (CBS) – One of the top finishers in Monday’s Boston Marathon is a little known Spanish teacher and track coach at Phillips Academy in Andover. Now Rachel Hyland is coming away with much more than a medal from her marathon appearance.
Hyland was back coaching prep school track Tuesday, feeling good about herself. “It almost felt like I woke up from a dream today,” Hyland said.
The cold, windy rain knocked out some of world’s elite women runners at the Boston Marathon and Hyland crossed the finish line fourth.
“A volunteer told me I was in fourth place, and I said ‘that can’t be true,’” Hyland said.
However, it was, yielding her first ever-running payday. “Twenty-five thousand which is pretty unbelievable,” Hyland said.
It’s not like Rachel Hyland popped out of nowhere. She has been running most of her life, did her first Boston in 2012 and earned bib number 30 for Monday’s race. But her full time job, is Spanish teacher at Phillips Academy.
“It’s really amazing, I’ve sort of been on this high all day,” Hyland said.
On Tuesday, she was the campus celeb, but thinking about all those years that runners like herself labor far away from the spotlight. “It can be heartbreaking when you don’t reach your goals, and have injuries, but then a day like yesterday happens and it’s all worth it,” Hyland said.
She was feeling strong after conquering Heartbreak Hill when she realized the foul winter weather she’d trained in just might pay off. “Anything can happen, you run by feel, I didn’t look at my watch the entire race,” she said.
She ran 22 minutes slower than her first Boston, yet placed top five. “I was completely shocked, I am still shocked,” she said.
Even so, this teacher and coach did not take Tuesday off.