Two local runners went the distance on Monday when they ran in the 2017 Boston Marathon.
Russ Hart and Rosemary Leingang, both of Columbia, are not unfamiliar with marathon running, but both experienced their first trek over “Heartbreak Hill” — a hill Boston Marathon runners reach at the 20th mile of the race with a half-mile incline.
Hart, 58, has run nine marathons and “hit all the marks” during his training. He enjoyed the overall experience but was disappointed with his results in the race, finishing with a time of 5:18.41. But, he did finish.
“At some point, you feel you can hardly even go on, but then I thought, ‘There’s no way I’m giving up this medal,’” he said.
The Gibault Catholic High School principal qualified with a time of 3:29.11 in the 2015 Memphis Marathon. He had qualified for the more-than-26-mile run once before but chose not to run.
“This time I thought, ‘I don’t know how many more times I’m going to be able to qualify, so I’m going to do this,’” he said.
The crowd of people who came out to cheer on the runners, whether it was friends and family or just marathon fans, was one of the more encouraging aspects, he expressed. Hart also said people continue to show a great deal of pride in the race after the 2013 bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260.
“(Saturday), before the marathon, was the fourth anniversary of the bombings. Everyone got together and there was that moment of silence,” he said.
Hart also noted flowers arranged throughout the area to memorialize the victims, as did Leingang.
“It’s pretty emotional,” she said…>>>
Read the rest of this story in the April 19 issue of the Republic-Times. If you don’t already receive the paper, you can subscribe by calling 939-3814 or clicking here, or pick up a copy at any of these locations.