Local runners tackle 119th edition of Boston Marathon

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Nearly two dozen local runners participated in the country’s oldest 26.2 mile race–the 119th edition of The Boston Marathon–held annually on Patriot’s Day.

With a time of 2:09:17 seconds, Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa won the Boston Marathon after battling tough headwinds throughout much of the race. He was among more than 30,000 registered participants, and also claimed top spot in 2013. Kenya’s Caroline Rotich took first place for the women with a reported time of 2:24:55. She is the fifth straight Kenyan woman to win the race.

Members of the Wilmington Road Runners Club the day prior to running the Boston Marathon. Facebook photo courtesy- Lauren Truby Vollmin
Members of the Wilmington Road Runners Club the day prior to running the Boston Marathon. Facebook photo courtesy Lauren Truby Vollmin.

Ranging in age from 26 to 61, two local groups–Without Limits and Wilmington Road Runners Club–had a number of entrants tackle the legendary route and crossed the historic finish line on Bolyston Street on Monday.

After placing 90th overall and 72nd in his division in 2014, Tom Clifford, 31, of Wilmington, finished the course in 2:29:27 to close at 79th overall and 63rd in his division this year.

“It’s tough to put into words what it feels like to run Boston,” said Clifford. “There were tough conditions today and the race played out completely different as compared to last year, but it was awesome. When you come here you feel like you’re where running was born.

“Nothing beats it. You go through each town and people are just screaming the whole time. We went through one town, around mile 8, and I raised my arms up with a couple of other guys and thousands of people were screaming ‘USA’. You get a high when that happens–you don’t feel pain–and it’s the same crowd at mile 20 to 26. People are out there in the rain and wind. You’re at the heart of running when you come to Boston and I think the word has spread in Wilmington and that’s why we had so many people run today.”

This was Clifford’s second time running in the Boston Marathon. He is the founder of the annual Quintiles Marathon in Wilmington, which serves as a Boston-qualifying event.

Tay Filer, 45, of Hampstead, finished at 03:00:17, while Rocco Quaranto III, 31, of Wilmington, arrived at the finish line three minutes later in a time of 03:03:17.

Keria Hetem, 26, of Wilmington, and Kristen Rider, 27, of Hampstead, were the top two women to finish from the area at 3:29:01 and 3:25:21, respectively.

Three other men from the area finished under three and a half hours, including Jon Higgins, 40, of Oak Island, Mark Claycomb, 55, of Wilmington, and Kemp Burdette, 40, of Wilmington. Stuart Ross, 55, Phillip Davis, 54, and Donnie Harris, 51, all posted times of three hours and 31 minutes. Jeffrey Schmidt crossed at 03:37:50, while Alecia Williams finished with a time of 3:46:18.

A photo of Tom Clifford's medal after finishing Monday's race. Facebook photo courtesy- Tom Clifford.
A photo of Tom Clifford’s medal after finishing Monday’s race. Facebook photo courtesy- Tom Clifford.

“It’s been a bucket list item to run in Boston and while there was good bit of wind on and off throughout the race,  the crowd was really amazing,” said Davis. “They push you through the race. Being from Wilmington, and not a course you’re very familiar with, Tom [Clifford] tries to help you prepare for the hills since it’s really flat in Wilmington, and from mile 16-to-21 it’s a mental block.

“One of the great things about living in Wilmington is people are so active. I never have a problem finding a running or cylcing partner and that’s a very good statement for a city. I just had a cup of clam chowder, got off my feet, and we’ll go celebrate with dinner tonight.”

Husband and wife Frank and Sharon Bourque also tackled their first Boston Marathon. Frank Bourque posted a time of just under four hours.

Click here to search official results for local runners.