Historic event …

Six Midcoast runners cross finish line at Boston Marathon

Emotions run high, but smooth sailing year after tragedy
By Mark Haskell | Apr 22, 2014

Boston, Mass. — One year after tragedy struck this fabled event, the 118th running of the historic Boston Marathon on Patriots' Day, Monday, April 21 was a rousing success with more than 32,000 runners pounding the pavement through the 26.2-mile course from Hopkington to Boylston Street.

Of those thousands of hardy souls, six Midcoast residents participated in the marathon. And, unlike last year's race, which was tainted by the bombings that killed three and injured hundreds more, all area runners crossed the finish line.

Douglas C. Johnstone, 65, of Camden; Eric Kangas, 52, of Camden; Scott Layton, 38, of Rockport; Emily McDevitt, 49, of Camden; Seana Roubinek, 46, of Rockport; Monica Shields, 38, of Hope; Ellen Spring, 61, of Thomaston; and Theresa Withee, 47, of Hope qualified or earned the right to participate in the event.

However, only Layton, Shields, McDevitt, Withee, Johnstone and Spring were listed on the official marathon website as having participated in the race.

Spring, Withee, Johnstone, Kangas, Layton and McDevitt all ran the race last year, while only Johnstone, Layton and Kangas finished the race before the explosions took place at or near finish line.

Withee, Spring and McDevitt were still on the course when the explosions happened last year, but had passed the halfway point of the race. Runners who passed the 13.1-mile checkpoint last year were invited back for this year's race without the requirement of a qualifying time, though the runners still had to pay the required entry fee.

There were just under 5,000 runners who did not finish last year and accepted invitations to return for this year's race.

Meb Keflezighi won this year's race in a personal-best 2 hours, 8 minutes and 37 seconds. He is the first American male to win the Boston Marathon since 1983.

The individual results for the six local runners, as reported to the BAA.org website, from Monday's event were:

Scott Layton, 38, Rockport, 2:56:30, 1,205th in his age division, 1,593rd among men and 1,687th overall.

Monica Shields, 38, Hope, 3:31:53, 1,767th in her age division, 2,368th among women and 9,89th overall.

Emily McDevitt, 49, Camden, 3:54:43, 88th in her age division, 6,101st among women and 16,633th overall.

Theresa Withee, 47, Hope, 4:29:29, 1,709th in her age division, 9,853rd among women and 23,380th overall.

Douglas Johnstone, 65, Camden, 5:00:02, 397th in his age division, 15,354th among men and 27,250th overall.

Ellen Spring, 61, Thomaston, 6:50:43, 338th in her age division, 14,266th among women and 31,767th overall.

Withee said prior to the marathon that she was "looking forward" to the historic event.

"It will be full of excitement and nervousness," she said. "But this marathon is so full of tradition and celebration that I am really looking forward to the whole weekend."

"We will all really appreciate the fans this year,” Spring said also prior to the marathon. “This is especially true when we realize that it was the fans who were so tragically affected by the bombings. They were only there to support us and they were the ones killed and injured.”

“Running the Boston Marathon over essentially the same course that others have run on Patriot's Day for 118 years is a privilege to me and this year especially so,” said Johnstone in preparation for the race. “I feel very fortunate to have qualified [and] to participate in my sixth consecutive Boston [Marathon] in 2014.”

This was the 20th straight time Spring had run the race and her 22nd time overall running the Boston Marathon. Johnstone and Withee also have run the race several times.

Midcoast runners are encouraged to contact Courier Publications at 594-4401, extension 116, to tell us about the race, your thoughts on crossing the course and finish line and to share photos or video.

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