Local Runners Complete Amazing Marathon Race
By Bill Marsh Item Staff
Posted Apr. 22, 2016 at 2:01 AM
BOSTON – Nine local runners crossed the finish line at the 120th running of the Boston Marathon in Copley Square on Monday afternoon.
There have been large fluctuations in weather for the marathon during its long and storied history, and this year was no exception. It was warmer than normal on marathon Monday, and that had an effect on the runners and their times.
The first local runner to cross the finish line on Boylston Street was 54 year-old Sean McDonough, of Sterling, who completed the 26.2 miles in three hours, 27 minutes and 23 seconds.
Just three minutes behind McDonough was Michael Gamache, of Clinton, who finished in 3:30:30. The 26-year-old Ganmache, who holds a graduate degree from the University of New England and is a physical therapist, completed his first Boston Marathon last year in 3:00:12.
Gamache’s quest to run Boston started three years ago, after the marathon bombings. Gamache, who grew up in Dudley, never ran in high school at Shepherd Hill Regional nor in college.
“After the bombings in 2013, I knew I had to run Boston,” Gamache said. “I didn’t want anyone to dictate how we live, so I started training for it. My aunt convinced me to run a half-marathon and that’s how things got started.
“After the half-marathon, I ran the Huntsville Marathon, in Utah, but missed qualifying for Boston,” he said. “That (marathon) was a learning experience, and I made some mental mistakes in that one.”
With one marathon under his belt, Gamache qualified for his first Boston by finishing the Sugarloaf Marathon two years ago, posting a time of 3:02:06, which was nearly three minutes under the Boston qualifying time for his age group.
Gamache’s goal still remains to run a sub-three-hour Boston.
“I’m determined to beat three hours,” Gamache said. “The things I saw yesterday (Monday) were amazing, but it just wasn’t my day. As soon as I realized I couldn’t break three hours, I just enjoyed the race.
“It is a fun experience and an amazing race,” he said. “The race itself means so much to me.
“I want to be a part of it every year,” Gamache added.
Kenneth Frommer and Aaron Revell, both of Lancaster, were classmates at Nashoba Regional High School in the early 1990s and, on Monday, they were teammates on the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge (DFMC) team.
Frommer, who lost his father to cancer, and Revell, who had several family members who succumbed to the disease, completed the Patriot’s Day classic in 4:05:56 and 4:47:45, respectively.
Neither runner knew each other that well in high school, but connected recently when both of their sons, who are in the same grade, played youth football.
The 42-year-old Frommer, who was running his first Boston Marathon, trained hard to break four hours and he almost did it.
“Several years ago, I’d had it with being overweight and out of shape,” Frommer said. “I joined the biggest loser (contest) at Ciccone (Family Fitness Center) and lost about 40 pounds.
“I did classes with Myra (Ciccone), who is a fantastic trainer, and that helped me get ready for it (the marathon),” he said. “I started slowly with some Tough Mudders (obstacle race) and then a half-marathon until I got accepted on the (DFMC ) team.”
Frommer raised over $11,000 for Dana-Farber.
“It was absolutely amazing,” Frommer said of running the marathon. “It was even more than I thought it would be. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had. It was phenomenal, unique and emotional.
“It was a little hotter than I had planned,” he said. “The first half took a lot out of me. I looked for a sub-4 (hours), but I had some cramping issues.
“It was just awesome seeing my family near the finish line, then running down Boylston Street with the crowds,” Frommer said.
Revell, 41, was running his second Boston Marathon, having run it last year for Dana-Farber. His two-year total for Dana-Farber is over $17,000.
“The (warm) weather was a difference-maker for me,” Revell said. “I prefer the colder weather. I cramped up at mile 10 and never really recovered. I was disappointed I didn’t make four hours, but I was happy to finish.
“It is hard to describe the experience (of running Boston), but it is one I will never forget,” he said. “Running for Dana-Farber and the energy from the crowd kept me going.”
Other local finishers, by town, and their times are as follows:
Berlin: Thomas Fleming, 3:44:10.
South Lancaster: Joyce Miller, 3:41:51.
Sterling: Russell Harris, 4:21:35; Maggie Lynch, 4:29:04; and Michael Sullivan, 4:29:44.