On Monday, Tracey Cote, of Oakland, will run her third Boston Marathon. She’ll be able to compare this one to the previous two, and she hopes it will be easier than in 2012, when temperatures in the 80′s made the course a kiln.
David Currier, of Sidney, will experience his first Boston Marathon on Monday. He’ll have new stories to tell his friends, about the craziness at the start in Hopkinton, and the cheering young women of Wellesley College, and Heartbreak Hill, and what it’s like to cross the famous finish line on Boylston Street.
They’ll think about what happened at the 2013 Boston Marathon, of course. It’s impossible to put the bombs and the death and the heroism of last year out of your mind. That’s why, Cote said, it was important to run this year’s marathon.
“When the bombing happened, I said, â€˜I have to do it.’ I was like, â€˜How dare you do that?’ You can’t let that stop you,” Cote, the Nordic ski coach at Colby College, said. “I wanted to show support. It’s the one little thing that I can do.”
Cote earned her spot with a qualifying time from the Mt. Desert Island Marathon. Currier ran the Philadelphia Marathon last fall with an eye on Boston. For Currier, a Messalonskee High School graduate who now is an assistant track and field coach at the school, running the Boston Marathon this year is about helping to make the event a joyous occasion again.
“I knew what I going for when I ran Philly,” Currier said. “I was talking with my friends, and I was like, might as well go for it this year, because it’s going to be a giant party (in Boston).”
It should be a giant party again. Patriots’ Day has been a celebration of Boston for years. It will be again.
Neither Cote nor Currier has a time goal in mind for the race. Neither is going to push for a personal record. For starters, neither is happy with the amount of training put in. Cote spent the winter cross country skiing with her Colby team, but not as much time running miles as she would have liked.
“The last few weeks, I’ve ramped up my running,” Cote said.
Currier was asked, what did you do to train?
“Not nearly enough,” he said. “I got a few good weeks in after indoor track (season), then outdoor track started, and it still stayed really cold. I’ve been hitting a lot of good time on the bike, and running when I can stand (the cold).”
Cote will soak in the experience. Her sister-in-law, Denise Theyerl, is coming from Wisconsin to run. They’ll enjoy it together.
“My strategy is to go out slow, which is hard to do at Boston, and if I feel good halfway, pick it up,” Cote said.
Currier finished the Philadelphia Marathon in two hours, 50 minutes and three seconds. Does he have another sub-three hour marathon in him? This time around, Currier doesn’t care.
“The way my training’s been going, I’m just going to enjoy the experience,” Currier said. “At the end of Philly, I ended up on crutches for a couple days after that. Not going in with a goal for a time allows me to, â€˜Hey, stretch when you start cramping.’ Don’t just run through it and hurt yourself.”
What’s the hurry? Crossing the finish line on Boylston is an accomplishment in itself, no matter how long it takes. This is the most important Patriots’ Day in a long time. Everybody who runs the Boston Marathon on Monday is a winner.