Midcoast Boston Marathon participants endure hot conditionsLayton top area finisher, Cartwright runs barefoot, Roubinek receives police escort
Boston, Mass. — Patriots' Day may be a regional holiday for some in the Northeast, but eyes from around the world were on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on Monday, April 17 as thousands of runners — including a handful from the Midcoast — trekked across the city's streets in the 121st running of the historic and fabled Boston Marathon.
Arguably the most famous 26.2-mile race in the world, the Boston Marathon is hosted and sponsored by the Boston Athletic Association, and the course begins in Hopkinton and ends on Boylston Street.
On Monday, temperatures, at times, reached near 80 degrees, making a runner's journey a bit more challenging.
As is typically the case, the Midcoast was well represented in the event.
Registered Midcoast runners for Boston this year were Charles W. Arrigoni, 55, Winterport; Steve Cartwright, 65, Tenants Harbor; Katherine Collins, 46, Winterport; Barbara Daggett 47, Thomaston; C. Douglas Johnstone, 68, Camden; Kathy Kangas, 51, Camden; Scott Layton, 41, Rockport; Jason Mann, 36, North Haven; Emily McDevitt, 52, Camden; John Priestley, 59, Rockport; Seana Roubinek, 49, Rockport; Sarah Scordino, 33, Rockport; Ellen Spring, 64, Thomaston; Theresa Withee, 50, Hope; and Tuesdi Woodworth, 55, Searsmont.
Layton, Kangas, Withee, Cartwright, McDevitt, Collins, Daggett, Priestley and Roubinek were known participants who finished the race. Lyton also is a top triathlete.
Arrigoni, Johnstone, Mann, Scordino, Spring and Woodworth may or may not have participated in the race as their times are not listed on the baa.org website.
Spring, who if she participated would have done so for the 23rd straight year (and 26th overall), said after her finish in the 2016 Boston Marathon that “they turn off the clock after six hours,” which may explain why some of the other six registered area runners were not listed. Spring finished last year's race in over six hours.
Roubinek did, in fact, participate and was “one of the last to finish as we were treated to a police escort.” She finished in eight hours and 45 minutes, she said.
Roubinek was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011 and recently underwent chemotherapy leading up to the race. She also ran as part of the group 261 Fearless, founded by Katherine Switzer, who was the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon as a registered runner in 1967. Switzer completed the event again this year — 50 years later.
“We had the loudest sirens surrounding us as we turned into Boylston,” said Roubinek. “People eating in the restaurants and bars came out and cheered us to the finish line. So, essentially, we received the same treatment as the elite athletes who finished many hours before the four of us in the back. It's an experience I'll never forget.”
The 70-year-old Switzer finished the race in 4:44:31. Roubinek said Switzer is “an amazing trailblazer” and ambassador for women’s running.
Cartwright, an avid runner who ran the race barefoot, said he was impressed by “the welcoming spirit, great volunteers, cheering spectators [and] the fellowship of the runners.”
“Somehow, the intense security measures — police and military and being scanned — failed to dampen the energy and joyfulness of this epic race,” he said. “I finished the race feeling proud of America and Boston, and a sense that we can spread a message of love when we take on a challenge like running 26.2 miles.”
He added his running the race barefoot briefly made him something of a celebrity with some of the crowd.
“My feet are sore, but my head is happy,” said Cartwright, who has run many a local race barefoot.
Many who participate in the Boston Marathon had to reach a qualifying standard for their age and gender in the calendar year leading up to the event. However, others can participate through other means, such by raising money as with charity groups, for example.
Others may qualify for Boston but choose not to participate or simply could not register for the race. So the locals listed above are only the ones registered to participate this year, but that does not mean that they did.
Several of the area runners who could participate this year are veterans of the event, which usually draws more than 30,000 participants. This year, there were 228 Maine runners, including 129 men and 99 women.
The following is a recap of official results for Midcoast runners as listed on the baa.org website:
Layton finished in 3:29:57 for 7,036th overall, 5,574th among men and 1,048th in his age division. His mile pace was 8:01 and he finished 53rd among Maine residents.
Kangas finished in 3:59:02 for 15,354th overall, 5,718 among women and 367th in her age division. Her mile pace was 9:07 and finished 100th among Maine residents.
Withee finished in 4:03.23 for 16,332nd overall, 6,301 among women and 455th in her age division. Her mile pace was 9:17 and finished 112th among Maine residents.
Cartwright finished in 4:03:37 for 16,376th overall, 10,051 among men and 97th in his age division. His mile pace was 9:18 and finished 113th among Maine residents.
McDevitt finished in 4:04:54 for 16,658th overall, 6,491 among men and 486th in her age division. Her mile pace was 9:21 and finished 118th among Maine residents.
Collins finished in 4:05:42 for 16,842nd overall, 6,592nd among women and 956th in her age division. Her mile pace was 9:23 and finished 121st among Maine residents.
Daggett finished in 4:19.35 for 19,454th overall, 8,136 among women and 1,315th in her age division. Her mile pace was 9:55 and finished 147th among Maine residents.
Priestley finished in 4:28:10 for 20,757th overall, 11,897 among men and 1,247 in his age division. His mile pace was 10:14 and finished 151st among Maine residents.
Mann qualified for the event by virtue of a strong showing at the Chicago Marathon in October. However, he suffered a knee injury during training and had not decided if he would participate.
“I’ve missed now a fair amount of training,” he said. “I was hoping to run a personal best, but I think that’s probably out the window. If I’m healthy enough to go, I’ve always wanted to run the race, so I’ll go and run and just try and do my best. But I don’t want to make anything worse at this point.”
If he did participate in Boston, it was third marathon, having also participated in the New York Marathon.
“I’ve always wanted to run Boston and never run it,” he said. “I went to school in Boston and we used to go every year and watch it. There are lots of great races and both New York and Chicago [marathons] were awesome and really exciting to be a part of, but Boston is just so historic.”
For McDevitt, originally from Presque Isle, it was her third time running Boston, having also participated in the event in 2000 and 2014. It will be her ninth career marathon, having run New York, Chicago and Sugarloaf marathons, among others.
McDevitt, who now spends most of her time running off road as a member of Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine, has a few different reasons for transitioning back to the pavement to run in Boston.
“My friend said she wanted to break four hours and I said, ‘You know what, I’ll go with you,’ ” said McDevitt, who also is running as part of the Crow Athletics. “So that’s my singular goal for Boston.
“Most people look at it as the Holy Grail [of running], but that’s not what it is for me. I’m super excited to be there with my friend and the camaraderie of getting her over that finish line in under four hours is going to be awesome."
She also planned to run in honor her father, George Higgins, an avid marathon runner who passed away a few days after last year’s Boston Marathon.
“It’s pretty powerful for me in that regard,” McDevitt said. “I’m really running it for him and everything it meant to him and me and our shared love of running and marathons.”
Cartwright is a longtime runner who often gains notoriety for his preference of running races in his bare feet. On Monday, Cartwright’s feet felt the flat surfaces of the city streets in Beantown for the first time — at least in a racing capacity.
He said he was “thrilled” to participate in the historic event, though admitted some apprehension of the large crowds.
“I’m not really a crowd person that likes to be among tens of thousands of people,” he said. “But I’m ready to give it a whirl. I may just do it once, and that in itself is an accomplishment.”
Cartwright has run “I think half-a-dozen” marathons in the past such as the Sugarloaf Marathon, the Mount Desert Island Marathon and the Maine Coast Marathon — the latter of which earned him his qualifying time — but this was his first time running the historic Boston Marathon.
Cartwright added that for him “running is therapy.”
“I’m not one to go chasing marathons across the country,” he said. “But this is a really special one. And there is that sense of history. The 121st running of the Boston Marathon and to be part of it. It’s kind of like going to the launching of a famous boat or something.”
For Daggett, another avid area runner, this was her first foray into the historic event. She earned her qualifying time at the 2015 Maine Marathon.
Daggett has been a veterinarian for 22 years — the last 15 of which she has practiced at the Rockland Animal Hospital.
“It’s surreal,” she said of running in Boston. “I still can’t believe it. I don’t think I’ll believe it until I’m there.”
Roubinek was running in her second Boston Marathon — and seventh overall — as she previously ran as a charity runner in 2014. Her first was the MDI marathon in 2002.
She admitted she did not qualify either this year or 2014 as she is a self-described “back of the packer” and her body is “built for endurance rather than speed.”
She ran for 261 Fearless, founded by Switzer, who is the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon as a registered runner in 1967. Switzer, now 70, also run the race and “has over 100 runners on her charity team this year,” said Roubinek.
Roubinek's goal was to simply finish the race as she is continues to undergo chemotherapy. Roubinek was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011 and this is the third time the cancer has resurfaced and second time in the last 18 months.
For other Midcoast runners who wish to have a voice in this story, or talk about their experience at this year's marathon, email Mark Haskell at firstname.lastname@example.org.