You could use many words to describe the Boston Marathon runners. Toned. Athletic. Strong. Willful. But the word that kept running around my mind was inspirational. Wave after wave of runners pass by you. you can’t notice every one; however, your eyes are drawn to certain individuals. Whether it’s a large bald man in a pink dress, an old man with a fire in his eyes making good time, or a gutsy woman who lost control of her bowels, but kept going–while brown waste streaked down her legs. Certain images hold you.
I remember watching the winners fly by, but it’s not something I will remember for the rest of my life.
I will never forget the man with prosthetic legs who made it in just over three hours. I’ll never forget the two well-toned young men running next to him provoking the crowd to cheer as they clapped and pointed toward him. I got the chills.
I’ll never forget the young lady that cramped up directly in front of us and then fell to the ground. I watched most of the runners hurry by her, but a few stopped and tried to help her. she motioned them onward before valiantly struggling to her feet and finishing the race without bending her knees.
I’ll never forget the company of Marines that ran the race in full combat gear while shouldering the burden of their full backpacks. as an American, it makes you feel proud. not in any elitist way. It makes you feel proud because they are proud to serve you. they are proud of the physical lengths they have gone through to serve this country–and by putting it on display at an event like this, they’re exhibiting this pride in their job. It was humbling to see this and the cheers were deafening-as they should have been.
I’ll never forget waiting on my buddy to round that last corner onto the Boylston Street for the stretch run. the longer the day gets, the more you worry. You’ve watched so many people collapse, or limp by you–pulling muscles in front of your very eyes. A lot of people walk because they can’t run anymore. You’ve seen the emergency carts motor by carrying lifeless runners in the back. you don’t know what to expect. you just hope he’s still going and going without injury.
And finally, I’ll never forget the look on Joe’s face as he turned the corner in the dark green jersey that simply read: Joe. he was still cruising along–wearing a curious smile and waving to the cheering crowd. if you knew Joe, you’d expect nothing less. All of our worry evaporated, replaced only by the hilarity of the image. I mean, of course the kid would still be steadily chugging along after 25 miles–a goofy, elated look to his face–just taking it all in and not really running, but sailing toward the finish line on the wind of the crowd noise and a challenge met.
We screamed for him. he almost ran by us, but at the last minute Joe spotted us. Instead of continuing on to the finish line, he peeled around and high-fived all of us. Then he finished the race with an added jump in his step.
These are the images I will remember from the 2009 Boston Marathon. Who knows, maybe you’ll see me curl around that very same corner next year. There’s a good bet that I won’t be as elated as Joe was.
The annual Boston Marathon went off Monday despite temperatures that soared to near 90 degrees. Among the 22,426 runners who started the race were several Stateline residents. You’ll find their results listed below. Tara Sheetz of Roscoe was the top local female finisher. She told WTVO in a phone interview Monday that she was better equipped to handle the heat than most of the runners were.”I do well in the heat because all the ironmans (triathlons) I do are usually hot. It’s just you have to adjust your time and you have to back off, and I knew that going into it (Boston) that this was not going to be a record-setting time and personal best.”When asked if she noticed a lot of runners laboring during the race Monday Sheetz said, “Oh yea. I was passing tons of people the whole way. There were a lot of people walking. you could tell a lot of people were having a hard day out there.”The overall winner was Wesley Korir a Kenyan citizen, but a resident of the United States. His time was 2:12:40. this was the second slowest Boston Marathon since 1985 due to the heat.
Local Men (Place/Time/Name/Hometown/Age)
1,896 3:20:45 Speltz, Timothy (Rockford) Age 38 Div. 1154
2,104 3:22:38 Anthony Hardin (Rockford) Age 24
8,508 3:59:25 Patrick Shaw (Caledonia) Age 54
8,294 3:58:25 Randy Ebert (Belvidere) Age 27
9,653 4:05:16 mark Gale (Byron) Age 47
11,209 4:13:19 Josephy Welty (Dixon) Age 56
11,744 4:16:21 Tim Sage (Roscoe) Age 51
20,592 5:57:12 David Kuhn (DeKalb) Age 59
6,021 3:48:08 Tara Sheetz (Roscoe) Age 45 Div. 96 Gender 1,372
6,532 3:49:45 Jaime Borgialli (Rockford) Age 35
6,840 3:51:59 Anna Nielsen (Rockford) Age 28
8,991 4:01:53 Cheryl Baker (Dixon) Age 45
9,817 4:06:11 Vanessa Garnhart (Rockford) Age 25
12,722 4:21:41 Nancy Gehrke (Sterling) Age 54
15,998 4:43:53 Therese Odell (Rockford) Age 51
“Bachelorette” hottie Ryan Sutter has no plans to sign up for the 117th Boston Marathon, but he’s not one to say never again.
“if you asked me at the finish line I would have said, ‘no way,’ because it’s so painful and you have to train for so long,” the Colorado firefighter, 37, told the Track. “but this is a special town and the race has so much authenticity, I can’t rule it out.”
Ryan, who married “Bachelorette” Trista Rehn in 2003, said he had to “adjust his expectations” for yesterday’s 26.2-mile trek which he made for Grassroot Soccer, the charity started by “Survivor: Africa” winner (and Lexington native) Ethan Zohn, who is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“my inspiration was Ethan, but no matter what I did physically it’s nothing compared to what he and other people with cancer do every day,” said Trista’s hubby, whose official time was 3:36:02. “That kept me going. and then there were people who were in the right places with little Dixie cups of water, Gatorade or a garden hose every time I needed a push.
“I started in the last wave of people (in Hopkinton). Thousands of people had gone before me, but the people seemed just as enthusiastic,” said Sutter, whose only other big race was the New York City Marathon last fall. “I mean, when you passed those colleges, it was like they were at a football game.”
Speaking of enthusiasm, Ryan said his hasn’t waned for ABC’s “Bachelorette” because “it’s like dirty laundry entertainment.”
“They’re not looking for the next great love story,” said Sutter, now a father of two. “It’s all about the drama now. but I’m trying not to get addicted to it.”
While in Boston, the Sutters expect to do the tourist thing — a trolley tour, some historical stops and, yes, more shopping on Newbury Street before high-tailing it back to the Rocky Mountains.
“Trista definitely has more shopping to do,” harrumphed her hubby.
Hope your feet can stand the pain, Ry …