For Ron Peck, the crowd was what stood out.

Peck, a Colby College professor and Waterville resident, ran in his first Boston Marathon on Monday. He immediately noticed how Boston’s mob of humanity compared to other marathons.

“It was the first marathon I’ve done where the crowd support was (huge) the whole way,” Peck said. “When the crowd cheers, you can’t help but get that shot of adrenaline.”

Peck was one of several central Mainers who completed the marathon. Spencer McElwain of Arundel finished the course in 2 hours, 34 minutes, 3 seconds for the top time among Mainers. Among Maine women, Scarborough’s Kristin Barry was first with a time of 2:49:32.

Peck’s time was 2:59:20, meaning he broke the three-hour mark by 40 seconds.

“It wasn’t a personal best,” he said. “But it’s nice to have a round number to shoot for, so it was a goal.”


Jeff Ross’ group started at about 11:15. For Ross, a China resident and the boys ice hockey coach at Gardiner, that meant a lot of rain.

“For our wave, it rained right as we were standing there ready to start, or walking to the starting line,” Ross said. “My shorts were sticking to me right from the beginning.”

Ross, is 40, and joked beforehand about being old. There were times on Monday where he felt that way without using any irony or sense of humor.

“My body let me know early that it was old,” said Ross, who finished in 3:34:13. “I was worried about the last time I did a marathon — the only other one I’ve ever done. My feet hurt like crazy the last six miles or so. Today, my calves hurt really early. It was a pretty long day in the rain and the cold.”

The Boston course is well known for making a lot of people feel old. That included 21-year-old Sarah Walker of Waterville, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who clocked in at 3:21:02.

“I think I was on track for a faster race, but Heartbreak Hill took a lot out of me,” Walker said. “I had done it a lot on my runs, so I wasn’t expecting it to be that bad. But it was. I’m very, very sore now.”


Walker said she wrote her name on her sleeve, and people would shout it as she ran by. She said she also got comic relief from some of the signs held up by fans in Wellesley.

“‘Kiss me. I won’t tell your wife.’ ‘Kiss me. My boyfriend’s in Texas.’ Along those lines,” Walker said.

While Walker was still in early recovery mode a few hours after running her first Boston Marathon, she admitted that she’ll probably end up entering next year’s race as well.

Ross knows how she feels. He followed his usual routine and wore a headset while running. Early on, he took out one earbud so he could hear the crowd. By about mile 20, he couldn’t even hear his headset.

“I gotta be honest with you — it’s an unbelievable experience,” Ross said. “I don’t think there was ever a spot where you ran and there weren’t people cheering you on. The emotions that come over you when you cross the finish line — knowing that you finished the Boston Marathon, and no one can ever take it away from you — it’s pretty cool.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

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