BOSTON — A rainy Monday could not dampen the resolve of 30,000 participants in the 127th running of the Boston Marathon. The Patriot’s day race marked the 10th anniversary of the tragic 2013 bombing near the finish line, which killed three people and injured scores more.
The mantra, “Boston Strong,” echoed through the cheers of the million plus spectators lining the 26.2-mile route from Hopkinton to Boylston Street. As the victors in each division crossed the finish line, the bells of the Old South Church rang joyfully to greet them.
Wheelchair division winners Marcel Hug (Switzerland) and Susannah Scaroni (U.S.) were the first to receive gold gilded wreaths of olive branches from Marathon, Greece. Kenyan runners Evans Chebet and Hellen Obiri were next to be crowned. Chebet won the men’s division at Boston for the second year in a row. For Obiri, the Olympic 5000m silver medalist in Rio and Tokyo, Boston was her second marathon and first marathon win.
Temperatures in the 50s and calm winds led to fast times, despite a light rain. Hug claimed his sixth wheelchair victory with a new record time of 1:17:06. Scaroni notched her first Boston wheelchair win, in 1:41:45.
Chebet’s time of 2:05:34 was nearly a minute faster than his 2022 Boston time of 2:06:51. Obiri’s winning time of 2:21:38 was four minutes faster than her sixth-place finish (2:25:49) in the 2022 New York City Marathon.
Vermonters registered for the 2023 Boston Marathon numbered 121, including a cohort of runners with local ties. Anne Treadwell, 55, from Montpelier, finished the race in 3:50:38. Her family has ties to Greensboro. Katherine Linton, 51, from Coventry, once lived in Greensboro Bend. Linton went the distance in 4:09:29.
Donna Smyers, 65, has run Boston a dozen times, most recently in 2018 under cold, rainy, and blustery conditions. The Adamant physical therapist and champion triathlete crossed the finish line this year in 4:04:27. Her time was 49 minutes faster than five years ago.
“Just happy I survived,” said Smyers. “My legs ache a ton, but I don’t think I’m injured, and I went within my predicted range of four hours at the best and 4:10 for a goal. So one more in the books! It was cool and a little rainy, so most people had less trouble than usual with cramping and dehydration. I went out too fast on those fast downhills and was starting to hurt too soon. But my weekly mileage and number of 20-milers was by far the least I’ve ever done for a marathon, so I might have hurt no matter what pace I ran.”
Candace Smith-Brown, 62, from Calais, completed the marathon with her daughter Julia Ljungvall. They ran the race in memory of Candace’s late husband, Walter Brown, who was the official race starter for the Boston Marathon from 1991 to 2013. Mom and daughter finished the marathon, hand-in-hand, in 6:19:43. This was Smith-Brown’s seventh Boston Marathon, five times in-person and twice virtually in Vermont.
Local Runners Make Rounds at Mailman Race
MONTPELIER — Ninety-three athletes completed their appointed routes Saturday at the 48th Annual Paul Mailman Ten-Miler and 5k. The two races started at Montpelier High School on the dirt track, then merged onto the Montpelier Bike Path. The 5k runners turned around on Junction Road. Ten milers continued to Jones Road in Middlesex, before reversing course and heading back to finish on the high school oval.
Nicholas Kidder, 17, from Williamstown, edged out Joel Thornton-Sherman, 13, from Waterford to win the 5k. Their times were 16:57 and 17:00.
Ginger Long, 15, from Washington, and Amy Felice, 17, from Calais, topped the women’s division in the 5k. The U-32 High School teammates finished in 20:21 and 20:24.
Darlene Oxton, 54, from Glover, included the Paul Mailman 5k in her 2023 race calendar. Her time of 33:09 placed second in the F50-59 age group. Oxton is married to Hazen Union High School physical education teacher, Wes Alexander.
“I was there cheering on my wife,” said Alexander. “Darlene is attempting to run one 5k each month this year. She did one virtual in January, and then two in the Burlington area for February and March. It has been a fun adventure so far.”
Two runners broke the 60 minute barrier for the ten mile race. Hayden Bunell, 30, from St. Johnsbury won in 57:25 followed by Jay Borland, 16, from Montpelier, in 59:32.
Kasie Enman, 43, from Huntington, won the women’s division in 1:02:42. Alien Nerenberg, 38, from Jericho, was the second female finisher, in 1:18:51.
Tim Hogeboom, 71, was the only ten-mile finisher from towns covered by the Hardwick Gazette. His time of 1:32:38 placed first in the M70-79 age group.
“After training in Walden at 1,800 feet in the cold, the temperatures felt almost tropical to me,” said Hogeboom. “But it was a beautiful day so I can’t complain. I had to stick with a pace and rhythm that I could maintain. One never really knows how one’s body is going to perform on any particular day. So you go out at a strong pace and hope for the best.”
Dogs to Have their Day at Mutt Strut
WATERBURY – Doggone it, local canines, this event is for you! The 25th Annual Mutt Strut starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 23. With your person on a leash, get ready to run a three-mile race. The wooded course loops up and down through Little River State Park.
The race entry fee is $15 for online registrations by April 21. Day-of-race registration is $20. Human entrants sign a waiver. Dogs must be leashed at all times. Solo human runners can also participate in the race.
This unique dog-friendly opportunity is organized by Central Vermont Runners (CVR). Registration information is available at cvrunners.org.
Prizes are awarded by dog weight and owner age/gender classes. The race is a benefit for the VT-CAN! Spay and Neuter Clinic.