|
|
|
The Mexico Ledger - Mexico, MO
  • A year after bombing, local athletes can't wait to run Boston

    • email print
  • Gary Cattarin, of Marlborough, was in a suite on the 30th floor of the Marriott Hotel, partying with members of the Squannicook Running Club, when the first explosion went off at last year’s Boston Marathon just before 3 p.m.
    "It shook the building," said Cattarin, who had completed his 7th Boston Marathon about an hour earlier. "We didn’t have a view of the finish line but we could see the smoke rising over the buildings. We could see people coming from that direction, running for their lives."
    As he and his friends were still processing what had just happened, a second explosion went off.
    Sharon Foster, of Hudson, had every intention of running Boston in 2013 but she had not yet fully recovered from an injury and was relegated to watching the race on television.
    She said she would have been finishing her race at about 3 p.m. – right around the time the bombs went off. Foster’s husband and mother would have been at the finish line, waiting to great her, facts not lost on her as she watched the tragedy unfold on live TV.
    "It was a very weird feeling, watching it. If I had run, I could have been at the finish line with my family," said Foster. "I knew a lot of people who were running. I had friends who were stopped at the 25 and 26-mile mark."
    Foster and Cattarin will be among an estimated 36,000 runners who will gather in Hopkinton on Patriots’ Day, April 21, for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon. Both runners say they feel perfectly safe competing this year. In fact, they say, security measures have gone a bit overboard this year.
    "They’re not letting the runners bring any bags to Hopkinton this year," said Foster. "You can go into Boston and check a small bag there and then they will bus you out to the start line. But living out here, you’re not going to be going into Boston first."
    Cattarin, who authors a running blog (
    http://thesecondlap.blogspot.com/) and has been outspoken in his critique of the BAA’s new security measures, was more blunt.
    "There are 36,000 suspects now that used to be called runners," he said. "And I’m offended by that."
    Cattarin said he appreciates the fact that law enforcement wants to do everything needed to keep runners and fans safe after the 2013 tragedy. But he said the new measures are making it almost impossible for the runners to do what need to do right before the race.
    Cattarin, 51, is one of the top runners in his age group. In 2013, he posted a personal best time of 2 hours 52 minutes. He doesn’t expect to be able to break three hours this year, as he is still recovering from major surgery on his Achilles tendon last August. That surgery led to blood clots forming in his legs, which moved to his lungs.
    Page 2 of 2 - "I didn’t start running again until late October, early November," he said. "Unfortunately, it still hurts and the Achilles is not 100 percent."
    Cattarin, who will be running his 20th marathon and eighth Boston, said his goal for the race is to hit his age-group qualifying time of 3:30 but he’s hoping to finish closer to 3:20.
    Foster, 48, is also a seasoned athlete, though marathon running is not her specialty. Foster is a tri-athlete and her weekly training regimen includes running, biking and swimming. She has run Boston just once, in 2011. But this will be her third marathon, overall. The other was part of an Ironman Triathalon, and came after she had completed a 2.4 mile swim and a 112-mile bike ride.
    All of her athletic accomplishments came after she went into remission for Leukemia 10 years ago.
    "I’ve always been active with running and biking but I didn’t start in competitions until I was in my 40s," she said. "When I got sick, I got the mindset that the stronger I was, the better chance I have of beating it."
    Foster said she began ramping up her training for Boston at the start of the year.
    "In mid-January I started to build up with long runs," she said. "I did a 20-mile and an 18-mile in March. "On March 29 I did a 20-mile, then started tapering off in April."
    Foster will be running as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She has raised more than $8,500 so far this year and her goal is $10,000. To contribute, log onto her fundraising page at http://pages.teamintraining.org/ma/boston14/sgf726.

        calendar