Two local runners competed in the 125th running of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Noel Colina and Dave Cutforth of Tracy were among the 15,385 athletes to cross the finish line on Boylson Street in Boston on Monday afternoon after running the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton.
Both men had run a virtual Boston Marathon last year after the event, usually held in April, was cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions. For the virtual race participants each mapped out their own 26.2 mile home courses.
This year’s race was also delayed because of COVID, but for 2021 the in-person race was rescheduled for this week. The 2021 Boston Marathon also included a virtual race like last year, which allowed 20,000 more athletes to participate from their home towns.
In an email to the Tracy Press, Cutforth described the weekend leading up to the race, including sight-seeing around Boston with his daughter, Kaitlyn, who has been a fan of the event ever since Cutforth’s first Boston Marathon in 2018.
Cutforth said that COVID still had an effect on how the race was run this year. It included a vaccine-verification process, and the social distancing practices meant that there would be no huge crowd of runners taking off from the starting line. Instead, once runners arrived at the starting line and were ready to go they could take off, and timers would log their starting time during the “rolling start.”
He started the race just after 9 a.m., and unlike 2018, when bad weather discouraged race fans from coming out to the course, he was immediately impressed by the number of spectators.
“This year, people were lined up almost along the entire 26.2-mile course and they were cheering loudly and holding encouraging signs,” he said. “I represented Tracy by wearing my Tracy Running Club (TRC) shirt and heard a lot of people cheering for Tracy and TRC all along the course, which was very encouraging.”
Cutforth said he decided to not try for his best time, but the course still held big challenges, including Heartbreak Hill at Mile 21. He said the crowd motivated him up the hill and continued to motivate him to the finish line.
“The size and volume of the crowd was nothing like I had ever experienced. Though I was one of 15,000 finishers I felt like royalty as I crossed the finish line in 3:22:05 to collect my medal.”
That time placed him at 582nd in the men’s 45-49 age group, 3,208th among all men, and 4,176th overall.
It was Colina’s eighth running of the race, including the Sept. 2020 virtual race. He ran the race in 3:55:15, putting him at 334th in the men’s 60-64 age group, 5,324th among all men and 9,044th overall.
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