Monday's 116th annual Boston Marathon was a grueling one — marked by nearly 90-degree heat — so uncommon for this time of year that more than 4,290 of the 26,716 races opted to pass on the run and try again next year, according to the Boston Athletic Association.
Macdonough Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Buster A. Nelson, 34, who completed the 26.2-mile route in 3 hours, 19 minutes and 32 seconds clocked in at a respectable 07:37 minute pace. The heat really hit Nelson hard, said Macdonough Principal Jon Romeo.
Most of the runners began between 10 and 10:40 a.m. Monday, when temperatures were in the 70s. Hours later, when they crossed the finish line, the thermometer had hit near 90 degrees. In fact, more than 4,000 had to be treated by medical personnel.
Not so for Nelson, who was running 1 hour, 26 minutes, 38 seconds at the half. A longtime runner, he had run fast enough by running another marathon — in about two hours 50 minutes — to qualify for the Patriot's Day marathon.
He trained for about a year to get in tip-top shape, Romeo said, and is one of the advisors for the Macdonough School running club, has taken part in other road races with the students and is an avid promoters of fitness with the kids.
Another Middletowner and mother of four, Julie A. Rancourt, 43, completed her fourth marathon in 5 hours, 3 minutes and 8 seconds, an 11:34-minute pace. At the half, she clocked in at 2 hours, 19 minutes and 15 seconds.
"Still trying to break my personal best," Rancourt said, "4:22, that I did in Hartford in 2008, but yesterday was not the day for that!"
In comparison, among elite runners, Wesleyn Korir was the first to cross the finish line in 2 hours, 12 minutes and 40 seconds. Susan Cherop, the female winner, ran the marathon in 2 hours, 31 minutes and 50 seconds.
Editor's Note: Readers, offer your congratulations to our two very own runners in the comments below!