The weather was hot and the shining sun turned glaring as the 121st Boston Marathon wore on. Not that it seemed to slow Ron Peck all that much.

The Waterville resident was the fastest central Maine male runner at the Marathon on Monday, while West Gardiner’s Johanna Stickney was the highest finisher among local women. Peck clocked in at 3:04.16, good for 13th overall in the state, while Stickney’s time of 3:30:09 made her the fifth-fastest runner among Maine women.

After Peck, Augusta’s Ian Doyle (3:06:36), Sabattus’s Todd Michaud (3:17:39), Waterville’s Daniel LaFave (3:18:09) and Gardiner’s Ward Boudreau (3:20:18) rounded out the top five local men. Stickney was followed among local women by Wales’s Audrey Machowski (3:41:20) and Hallowell’s Emmy Spiegel (3:52:53), who ran the race for the first time after working the medical tent and tending to bombing victims during the 2013 Marathon.

Portland’s Chris Harmon (2:43:57) and North Yarmouth’s Christine Hein (2:55:28) were Maine’s top male and female runners overall.

The 41-year-old Peck actually beat his 2016 time by 10 seconds. He took the starting line in Hopkinton, Massachusetts with a different goal in mind, however.

“I wanted to get under three hours. That’s an iconic time,” he said. “I tried, but toward the end I slowed down. … It was pretty tough.”


Having run Boston the two previous years, Peck had developed a plan for dealing the famous — or, for many runners, infamous — 26.2-mile course.

“The first half is downhill, and so it’s really easy to go out too fast,” he said. “I really tried to take it easy the first 10 miles or so, and then make sure I had enough left for the hills that are between roughly miles 15 to 21. And those can kind of come as a shock after you’ve been going downhill for so long.”

The plan worked, as Peck made up ground on the leaderboard on the hills, but he couldn’t reach the sub-three-hour threshold.

“I tried to … have something left at the end. I sort of did that, but not particularly successfully,” he said. “I felt like I was still passing a lot of people, but I didn’t pick up the pace as much as I had hoped.”

Doyle, a Canadian native running out of Augusta, was the area’s fastest through the first 13.1 miles, reaching the halfway point at 1:25:34. He was on pace to break three hours through the first 19 miles of the race.

Michaud ran well enough in his first Boston Marathon to qualify for next year’s as well — and even in the hours following the grueling race, the 45-year-old said he was looking forward to a return.


“It was pretty amazing to see the spectators along the way. The whole 26.2 you had (fans) three, four, five, sometimes 10 deep,” he said. “There are times where you may be getting in your own head a bit, but then when you see the support, they’re yelling your name because your name’s on your bib, it just kind of pumps you up a bit.”

Michaud said he prepared extensively for the race, but still found some elements to the course more challenging than expected — particularly the hills in Newton, which pop up between miles 17 and 19 with “Heartbreak Hill” looming at mile 20.

“They say there are three hills but I really only felt two, and the first one is steep,” he said. “That hill was probably the worst. They talk about mile 16, that really didn’t have any effect. And Heartbreak wasn’t as bad as I had heard. I think the first couple of Newton hills are the worst hills along the course. Those took me by surprise. Somebody said they’re just rolling hills, and they’re a little bit more than a rolling hill.”

Stickney’s time was behind her 3:24:53 mark last year, but the 34-year-old still posted a solid finish that had her behind only Hein, Saint Agatha’s Tracy Guerrette (3:05:02), Portland’s Kalie Dunn (3:20:24) and Columbia Falls’s Dara Knapp (3:28:09) among Maine women.

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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