Masters runner Steve Lester was the fastest Utahn in this year,s Boston Marathon, the oldest annual marathon in the world. And Lester said he felt like he was just about the oldest, if not the most beat up marathoner in history when he crossed the line on historic Boylston Street in 2:26:31.
"I was the fourth masters finisher (those between 40 and 49)," said Lester, who was the 74th male overall, behind the Africans, Irish, English, and Finns, for whom this race was an Olympic qualifier. "I had problems with blisters running in this rain. By the time I got to mile 20 I had a bad blister on my left toe. I think my shoes were too small."Sharon Frenette did herself proud by finishing second overall in the women's wheelchair class with a 2:30:16. Frenette is the reigning St. George Marathon champion.
A light drizzle, a slight head wind, and 40 to 50 degree temperatures greeted this year's 55 Utah entries.
Which was fine by University of Utah law professor Jon Harper. "I liked the weather this year, compared to other years," said Harper, who finished in "2 hours, 30 minutes and a few seconds."
Manny Garcia, a Salt Lake County employee attending his first Boston Marathon, said he couldn't have been happier with his race. "It was my best time ever," the 43-year-old Garcia said. "I ran a 3:00:29 and I qualified with a 3:17 at St. George. I was really pleased with the race and felt strong all the way.."
State senator Richard Carling, who came into the event ranked as the seventh fastest runner among the 50 to 59 year old group, said, as always, Boston was a strange and wonderful celebration.
"I was really hurting," he said. "I think I ran a 2:57:45. My feet got wet and I had some terrible blisters. I really had a hard time toward the end, after Heartbreak Hill at about the 20 mile mark."
It was Salt Laker Jeri Pavlish's first Boston Marathon and she said it was a real eye opener. "It was ugly out there," she grunted after finishing, hobbling around. "At mile 20 I started to hurt and after that I just wanted to finish."