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Boston Marathon a memorable experience for local runners


AMHERST – Back from Boston, several local runners gathered this week to share their memories of this year’s pinnacle road race on April 18.

Local runners (from left) Sheldon Morris, Kendra LeBlanc, Elita Rahn and Anthony Fromm returned this week after a memorable trip to the 2016 Boston Marathon.

Anthony Fromm, Kendra LeBlanc, Sheldon Morris and Elita Rahn were among the more than 30,000 participants in this year’s run, a first-time experience for the women.

Anthony Fromm ran a personal best in his Boston debut last year, and this year focused more on soaking up the experience.

“Last year I was just focused on running a hard race, because I felt like I had something to prove,” he said. “It was rainy, miserable and even windier than this year, but it wasn’t hot.”

The 25-degree heat presented a challenge for the local runners, who trained all winter in temperatures that seldom crept over the freezing mark. A strong headwind in the final portion of the race also presented a challenge.

LeBlanc and her sister Kaili van Vulpen crossed the finish line at the 3:31:08 mark, hand in hand after running the entire marathon side by side.

“The experience was awesome but the run was really hard,” she said. “We were hoping for a PB (personal best) but I just didn’t have it in me, with the heat and the hills. My quad started to pull at around the 20K mark, but I got through it.”

The event itself, as far as the atmosphere and the people, exceeded her expectations.

Equally impressed was Rahn, who has taken part in other large marathons like the Vancouver Sun Run, and the rowdy Tely 10 in Newfoundland.

“It was awesome,” said Rahn, who crossed the finish line at the 3:17:17 mark. “It was unlike any other marathon I’ve ever done. There is so much excitement with everyone, the spectators, little kids who probably stood there four hours watching people go by, screaming their heads off, thrilled… it’s like one big party.”

Back for the party for his third straight year was Morris, who once again received hearty cheers for his trademark beard, as well as the red maple leaf he wore through the race. The beard came off immediately after the run, which saw him clock in at 3:30:29.

Morris, who battled an injury during training, maintained a steady pace throughout the race, and was pleased with his result.

“This year I knew it wasn’t going to be a PB for me, but the awesome weather was good because there was even more of a crowd,” he said. “They were out and rowdy, although not as drunk as I’ve seen them. No one offered me cans of beer this year. I would have taken it this year.”

All four are requalified should they choose to return to Boston next year, and most have decided already that they will make the trip. All are already looking ahead to a busy running season in the Maritimes. Rahn is the busiest, planning to run another marathon at the Bluenose in Halifax next month, followed by the Cabot Trail Relay Race at the end of May, where Morris also plans to run. In June she will join Fromm at the 82.5k Wascally Wabbit ultra marathon in Folly Lake. LeBlanc will stay a little closer to home for her next run, the Cross Border Challenge on June 25.

awagstaff@citizenrecord.ca

Twitter: @ADNandrew

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