Running Toward Your Goals: Carolyn Hoffmann ’89, ’23

Posted by Texas A&M School of Law on Apr 26, 2023 12:48:01 PM

Carolyn Hoffmann ’89, ’23

The Boston Marathon is one of the world’s most beloved sporting events and hosts thousands of runners and spectators annually. Carolyn Hoffmann ’89, ’23, an M.Jur student, recently fulfilled a personal goal by completing the 127th iteration of the marathon on April 17. 

Hoffmann, a San Antonio native, has worked in financial services for over 27 years. After observing shifts in compliance-related issues within the industry, she decided to pursue the Master of Jurisprudence (M.Jur.) program with a focus in Business Law and Compliance. In her eyes, being able to further her professional education and do so online at her alma mater was a win-win. 

“To me, the most exciting thing was to come back to Aggieland again after so many years,” Hoffmann said. “I have loved this program and have learned so much from each of my phenomenal professors. Being in this program has given me new ways to be creative and organize my time. Truly, you are never too old to learn.” 

An Unforgettable Race

Outside of her professional career, running remains one of her lifelong passions. She is no stranger to marathons and regularly competes in races. Though she admittedly lost count of the number of half marathons she has competed in over the years, the Boston Marathon stood as her 14th full marathon to date.  

“I obviously love to run. I run so often that I like to say that I am always half-marathon-ready,” she said. “Even when I’m not marathon training, I’m usually up for it if I find a good race around me and have the time to do it.”  

Hoffmann arrived in Boston on April 14, with her two kids, Natalie and Matthew; her son-in-law, Caleb; and her best friend and fellow runner Ramona. They took in the city and visited common landmarks including a trip to Fenway Park. To no surprise, she wound up doing what she loves most: running. She participated in the B.A.A. 5K Race, just two days before the marathon.  

“We ran the race more of like a training run,” she said. “At that point, we tapered our running and didn’t want to push too hard that close to the marathon.” 

The morning of the marathon was cool and cloudy. The clouds eventually brought a downpour of unfavorable rain. The gloominess was not a surprise since Boston’s weather is typically unpredictable during this time of year, she mentioned.  

However, any dreariness was immediately offset by a sea of joyful spectators scattered throughout the city. After an hour-long bus ride to her starting point, she began the race at 10:50 a.m. local time.

Carolyn Hoffmann ’89, ’23 poses at the end of the 127th Boston Marathon

“I was very proud to have qualified to run Boston. When you are there and realize you are surrounded by thousands of runners from all over the world who are fast enough to qualify to get into this very prestigious race, it is quite a humbling experience,” she said. 

The Boston Marathon’s course has different standout locations. A series of hills that begin near Mile 16 is well known by runners for being particularly challenging. The final, steepest hill lies near Mile 20, and is appropriately called “Heartbreak Hill.” Runners primarily race downhill afterward, making the last set of miles much more difficult.  

“The huge crowd turnout in the final miles really keeps you motivated,” she said. “There are massive crowds out there cheering everyone on, it felt like being in the Olympics when you get close to the finish.” 

Full Circle

The cheers she cherished the most, however, came from her two kids — who were there to greet her once she completed the race.  

As a proud Aggie, Hoffmann made sure to bring a little bit of the Lone Star State to Boston during the race by wearing a Texas A&M visor and a running outfit that read “Howdy.” The moment was even more significant for Hoffmann because her son, who will begin the same program as her, will be the next and final Aggie in their family. 

“It’s such a special thing for me,” she said. “My husband is the Class of '90, my daughter is the Class of ’21, I am Class of '89 and will be graduating with my M.Jur on May 6, and now my son has been accepted into the Business Law and Compliance Program for the Fall of 2023."

Topics: students, student spotlight

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