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John Habib's City Sports: Boston memories linger for marathoners

New Hampshire Union Leader

April 25. 2014 9:46PM

Emotions continue to run high for two Manchester runners after they completed the Boston Marathon on Monday. Christine Pariseau-Telge, program director for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, and Joyce Craig, alderman for Ward 1, were among the 33 Queen City residents who finished the fabled race.

For Pariseau-Telge, the main pre-race concern was for her 7-year-old son, Zachary, who was aware his mother had finished the 2013 Marathon 15 minutes before the bombs went off on Boylston Street. Zachary watched this year’s race with his father, Peter Telge, near the crest of Heartbreak Hill, and the family reunited near Boston Common after the finish.

“Zachary had a tough night sleeping the night before the Marathon, still concerned about last year’s bombings and my safety,” Pariseau-Telge said. “When I saw his face Monday at Mile 21, I saw relief, yet concern. He was still afraid of the finish line.

“When I finished the Marathon, Peter was able to get pretty close to the Common with the car, and I jumped in within 10 minutes of being done. Zachary had pure relief on his face.”

Pariseau-Telge said her son wanted to talk about all the pictures he saw that day of8-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in last year’s attack.

“Zachary wanted to know why someone would put a bomb behind a child to kill him,” she said. “We had a long talk that night, and he hugged me for a long time. I hope he realizes I did this for him and for me. We need to be strong, and for many reasons I had to convince myself of that, too.”

Monday marked Craig’s seventh straight Boston Marathon. She said she was nervous about being overwhelmed with emotions.

“This year, there was a different feel right from the start,” said Craig. “Law-enforcement officials were everywhere, walking through the Athletes’ Village, stationed on top of buildings, patrolling the route, even hovering in helicopters. All of the added security was understandable and necessary. It didn’t take away from the experience of running Boston, but it was a constant reminder of what happened last year.”

Craig said she was moved at the start of the Marathon, where there was a moment of silence to remember those who died and were injured last year.

“Over 36,000 runners and volunteers became completely silent for one minute,” she said. “As my eyes teared up, it was another reminder that there was more to this race than getting a personal-best time.”

Craig said the theme of “Boston Strong” was everywhere.

“The entire day was filled with camaraderie. There were constant reminders of resilience, perseverance and determination,” she said. “I saw a guide running with a woman, and her shirt said ‘stroke survivor.’ I saw Dick Hoyt pushing his 52-year year old son, Rick, for the last time. I saw runners who had a picture of 8-year-old Martin Richard on their shirt. And this year, more than ever before, I noticed runners with prosthetic running blades. It was very emotional.”

Craig, 47, crossed the finish line in 3 hours, 42 minutes, 29 seconds — 12th overall among Manchester finishers, female or male — but this year, she said, her finish time was not her top priority.

“Typically as I enter the last mile of Boston, I have a great sense of gratitude that I’m able to complete this race, and this year, it was even more so,” she said. “I got choked up as I passed the fire station on the corner of Hereford and Boylston, then on to Boylston and running past where the bombs had gone off last year. The crowd didn’t allow us to lose it, though. There were 10 people deep on each side of the street. They kept me moving forward, even as I was overcome with emotions. The final stretch was amazing.

“This race was emotionally charged and very satisfying. The 2014 Boston Marathon was one of the greatest experiences of my life.”

Craig’s husband, attorney Michael Craig, 46, was the seventh Manchester finisher, in 3:11:29, and Pariseau-Telge, 47, was about eight minutes behind Joyce, in 3:50:15.

The city’s top finishers were Tim Perry, 30, in 2:41:25, and Julia Huffman, 39, in 3:08:19.

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DEFENDING NHIAA Division I javelin champion Dominique Pascoal of Manchester High Central is expected to be among the top throwers in the state again this season. As a junior last year, she won the division title with a heave of 122 feet, 4 inches and placed third in the NHIAA Meet of Champions at 121-9. She qualified for the New England Interscholastic Championships, in which she placed ninth with another 121-9.

“I’ve been at Central for three years and have seen Dominique mature into an outstanding person and athlete,” said Central coach Kristen Bechard. “As a senior, she’s leading by example. She’s a great thrower, but she even takes time to run with her teammates. I designed a strength-training program for her to do at home, and she’s dedicated her time to it.”

Bechard said no one should be concerned about Central’s lopsided losses to host Londonderry Tuesday, when the Little Green lost 103-36 to the Lancer boys and 115-24 to the girls.

“We’ve had a rash of injuries early on,” Bechard said. ”We’ve lost six sprinters to injuries alone on the girls’ side. Next week our school is on vacation, and the time off will definitely help us heal.”

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LAST WEEK we reported Don Pinard, chief of Parks and Recreation, said there will no longer be a $1,000 surcharge to the city for turning the lights on before 8 p.m. at Gill Stadium. Jane Clayton, athletics director at Manchester Central, said her school has taken advantage of the good news by scheduling three 7 p.m. games at Gill in May: against city rival Memorial on May 9, against Merrimack on May 23, and against Bedford on May 30.

Central also will play a 7 p.m. game at Al Lemire Field in Derryfield Park, where it will face host Trinity on May 26.

Clayton said her school doesn’t schedule home night games in April.

“It’s just too cold in April,” she said.

“City Sports” is published Saturdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email staff reporter John Habib at

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