NH runners reclaim the day for themselves, city
Meghan McIver of Holderness and Nathan Semaio of Campton ran their first Boston Marathon Monday. (COURTESY)
Those who love to run long distances and those who love to watch folks run long distances grabbed the Boston Marathon and reclaimed it for themselves and for the city on Monday.
Some 32,000 runners in all covered the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton, Mass., to downtown Boston. Throngs of spectators showed up to cheer them on, taking back the Patriots Day celebration that was turned into a time of chaos and mourning by the finish-line bombings of a year ago.
Dannis was the second woman from New Hampshire to cross the finish line, in an impressive time of two hours, 44 minutes and 14 seconds.
"They talk about how there's nothing quite like the magic of the Boston Marathon and you feel that and hear that when you're out there," Dannis said. "It's really tangible. I haven't run it before it so I can't compare it to before, but the crowd kept you motivated and was lining the street for the whole 26.2."
"I was throwing my arms up and getting them going," she said. "People who ran were coming up afterward and saying they liked me being around them because I got the crowd going. I love the sport of running and it brings so much joy."
So, too, had Jack Savage of Middleton.
McIver and Semaio ran their first marathons.
Savage was running his fifth marathon overall and second Boston.
"Everyone was taking it more seriously, in part because of the regulations," he said. "There weren't the costumed runners. People weren't there to show off. I noticed everyone was incredibly well-behaved and real supportive the whole way."
"People can get irritated, but I didn't see any of that," he said. "It seemed like everyone that was there wanted to be there, not for selfish reasons but for their collective psyche ... It was like there was a determination to pull this off and make it a positive thing."
"It was probably the experience of a lifetime," McIver said Monday night from Boston. "Looking back it was awesome. We're walking to dinner right now and we're limping along and it's going to take 20 minutes to go a block, but everyone has their medals out and their orange jackets on and it's great. It was a lot of fun ... It was a great experience. Everyone was cheering and going crazy and it was Boston Strong everywhere."
Score one for consistency. Tom Peters, 61, of Francestown became a member of the Marathon's Quarter Century Club when he completed Monday's race in a time of 3:16:49. He has now finished 25 straight Bostons. Coming out of last year's race, there were 52 runners who had completed 25 or more straight marathons.
David Audet, 49, of Concord is in the club, too. Monday made it 27 straight for Audet. He finished in a time of 3:08:46.