By WARREN DILLAWAY - email@example.com
Three Ashtabula area runners joined 36,000 of their closest friends Monday during the 118th rendition of the Boston Marathon.
Jesse Sharp, 57, and Derrick Butler, 33, both of Ashtabula, and Kim Kreider, 45, of Kingsville Township all completed the historic marathon one year after the tragic bombings that marred the 2013 Boston Marathon.
“It is a great event,” Butler, who lined up with some of the best marathoners in the world Monday morning, said. He said qualified with a time of 2:36, but went out a bit fast and the warm weather hurt his performance a bit with a finishing time of 3:45.
Butler was running Boston for the first time and said the excitement was unbelievable. He said security was visible but the fans were fantastic.
“I had more issues with the weather,” Butler said of the temperatures that elevated into the high 60s by the end of the race. He said the long cold winter didn’t leave the chance to run in warm temperatures prior to the event.
Kreider finished 6,888th out of the 36,000 who started the race with a time of 3:21:47.
“The atmosphere in Boston is so amazing,” Kreider said after running her fastest marathon and finishing 1,090th in the women’s race.
“People were screaming and yelling the whole time,” Kreider said. She said complete strangers would walk up to her after the race and ask if she had run the marathon.
Kreider said she went to a memorial event at the Boston Public Library over the weekend. She said the whole experience was emotional.
A group of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing victims competed in the race this year and started hours earlier than many of the runners, Kreider said.
“You’d see them running with their prosthetic legs. It was emotional,” she said.
Kreider said she was able to run her fastest time despite a “Charlie horse” she developed at the 15-mile mark.
She was able to monitor her pace with the cramping but stopped monitoring her pace.
“A little after (the) 20 (mile mark). I stopped looking at my watch,” Kreider said of her slowing pace.
Sharp said he was happy with his performance for the amount of training he completed prior to the marathon.
Sharp ran 3:24:54 good for 7,783th place overall and 208th place in the 55-59 male division.
“I didn’t really have expectations,” Sharp said.
The infamous hills did get Sharp’s attention.
“It was a heck of a workout,” he said.
“I was pretty conservative. I think I ran as well as I trained,” Sharp said.
“What a beautiful experience,” Sharp said of the event.
“People cheering and pulling you a long,” he said of the massive crowd.
Sharp said he didn’t notice massive amount of security officials along the course. “I was looking around to soak in the atmosphere,” he said.
Sharp said his pace was consistent increasing on the uphills and decreasing on the downhill portions of the course.
“I gave everything I had,” he said.