• True Grit for TextLess

    By TextLess Live More | Posted Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Hunter Levitan runs the Boston Marathon 2018 in honor of her sister Merritt

True Grit and Her Sister's Spirit Keep Her Going

Hunter Levitan runs the 2018 Boston Marathon in pounding rain and wind to honor her sister Merritt Levitan, an 18 year old high school graduate who was killed by a distracted driver in July 2013. Hunter was sixteen years old when Merritt was killed.

Hunter, now a twenty-year old sophomore at New York University, began training in late January, running over the Brooklyn Bridge, around the East River and along the Hudson, in all types of weather. While she thought she was prepared for the run, only true grit and the spirit of her sister kept her going in what the Boston Globe called a “slogfest.”

TLLM: Why did you choose to run the Boston Marathon for TextLess Live More?

Running the Boston Marathon is truly “Living More.” You are present for 26.2 miles. You can’t be on your phone. I wasn’t even listening to music. I was living in the moment.

TLLM: Did you have a coach to help you train?

Hartley Bingham, one of Merritt’s best friends, coached me. She’s like a sister to me. Hartley has run three marathons, each one to honor Merritt and raise money for TextLess Live More and Merritt’s Way. I couldn’t have done it without her. Hartley made it possible for me to even think about running a marathon. There was a time in my life when I had trouble mentally finishing a 5K! Hartley helped me create a training program and worked with me on nutrition leading up to the race, during the race and even after the race.

TLLM: What was the toughest thing about the marathon?

The weather and the last five miles. I hit the wall and was practically swimming!

TLLM: What kept you going?

I had no choice. I had to finish. Stopping was not an option. I was living through Merritt. She kept me going. It didn’t get difficult until Heartbreak Hill and then I hit the wall, but I knew I had to keep going because Sissy would have kept on going.

TLLM: Describe crossing the finish line?

It was unlike anything else in the world. Merritt didn’t have a chance to finish her bike ride across the country in 2013 so I felt like I was finishing her journey for her.

TLLM: Any last thoughts on your Boston Marathon 2018?

It’s humbling to see how many people cared about my sister Merritt, are moved by her story and supportive of our efforts to end distracted driving. I am very grateful for their contribution as well as their belief in me to run – and finish – this race in her honor.

TLLM: Would you run Boston or another marathon again?

Yes! To do better. To not hit the wall. To do the last five miles over again. To honor my sister. To end distracted driving. To help other people. To not be consumed by a virtual world. To “Live More”.

Hunter Levitan crossed the Boston Marathon Finish Line in 4:46:22, averaging a 10:56 mile. She raised $21,910 for TextLess Live More and the Merritt’s Way Foundation’s support of TEEP, the Trinity Excellence in Education Program.

If you would like to donate to Hunter’s run, please go to https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/trinityboston2018/hunterlevitan.

Hunter Levitan crosses the 2018 Boston Marathon Finish Line on Monday, April 16, 2018.