Saturday, April 18, 2009

Runner's Boston quest - McCosham leads P.E.I. contingent into the famous marathon

Runner's Boston quest
McCosham leads P.E.I. contingent into the famous marathon
The Guardian

For some the 113th Boston Marathon on Monday is more than a challenge, it’s a quest.
Leo McCosham fits that description.
“I’ve been running hard 80 to 100 miles per week on the hills from Cornwall to DeSable and back,” said McCosham. “I did not run all winter to jog Boston.”
He is one of 27 Islanders running the marathon proper (42-kilometres) and five more in the five-kilometre run.
The Charlottetown native is P.E.I.’s top qualifier after a fourth-place finish, time in two hours, 46 minutes and 58 seconds, at the Island Marathon in October.
His Boston jersey number is 1,444, which means he starts 444th in the first corral in the first wave of 14,000 runners.
The next 14,000 runners start in a second wave.
It also means 443 people qualified with faster times, so McCosham, who leaves today for Boston, has no illusions about winning in his third straight appearance.
“There’s an old runner’s saying — trust your training. You have to trust your training, run it as a race and see what happens at the end,” said McCosham, who won the Marathon-by-the-Sea in Saint John, N.B., in September in a time of 2:51.
The former arm wrestler said the course in Boston has relatively easy downhill start, but its many small ups and downs wear on legs and can show up later in the race around the 20-mile mark — and the dreaded Heartbreak Hill at 21 miles.
It’s where many fatigued runners “hit the wall” as energy stores in the legs are used up.
The back half of the course is largely uphill with its own peaks and valleys, but the front half does most of the damage.
“The old saying is if you don’t train for Boston, Boston will destroy you,” he said. “(I think the) secret is the 80 to 100 miles of pounding I've given my legs.”
Maybe the 45-year-old is on to something.
His previous finishes in Boston were 2:55:13 (729th overall) last year and 3:05 in 2007. This year he’s hoping to crack 2:45.
The top 15 finishers in the men’s and women’s divisions earn equal prize money race starting at $150,000 for the winner, $75,000 for second, $40,000 for third and descending to $1,500 for 15th place.
It’s not much, at least out of the top three, especially with hotel rooms roughly $250 to $900 per night.
Most runners complete the marathon off the money list so Boston’s done for the love of running.
But a few perks might be found along the way — hobnobbing with well-known personalities is one.
“I ran with (Tour de France cyclist) Lance Armstrong for 20 kilometres last year,” said McCosham, who won the P.E.I. Road Runners Club’s male roadrunner of the year award.
The top three Island Marathon finishers, Mike MacKinnon, Stanley Chaisson and Scott Clark, are not running in Boston.

Competitors from P.E.I. entered in the 2009 Boston Marathon on Monday (by bib number starting position, subject to change):

14758 - Beverley Walsh, 47, Charlottetown
16198 - Anne MacLaurin, 36, Miscouche
16686 - Linda MacIsaac-Gallant, 40, Summerside
16976 - Jackie Chaisson, 38, Charlottetown
17191 - Natalie Mitton, 36, Stratford
17862 - Kimberley Bailey, 43, Cornwall
18365 - Loretta Van Ekris, 42, Charlottetown
18690 - Diane Boswall, 48, Charlottetown
19100 - Mary Stewart, 43, Summerside
19521 - Elaine G. Burkholder, 51, Kensington
19852 - Sandra McConkey, 48, Stratford
20283 - Maureen Leard, 48, Cornwall
20322 - Dianne Pye, 50, Charlottetown
20791 - Jo-Anne Shea, 50, Stratford
21317 - Judi Coughlin, 56, Summerside
1444 - Leo McCosham, 45, Charlottetown
1780 - Steven Baglole, 32, Charlottetown
3860 - Chris Matters, 36, Charlottetown
4081 - Tyler Sellar, 21, New Haven
4432 - Edwin Gillis, 45, Summerside
4510 - Sean McCormick, 39, North Rustico
7810 - Gary Simmonds, 50, Morell
8033 - Garth Simmons, 45, Kensington
9749 - Mark Victor, 45, Charlottetown
11875 - Paul Dalton, 50, St. Edward
13427 - David Beaton, 50, Charlottetown
17473 - Paul Atkinson, 58, Cornwall
444 - Meghan Boswall, 17, Charlottetown
785 - Diane Boswall, 48, Charlottetown
3354 - Carrie Drake, 17, Stratford
946 - Billy Van Ekris, 16, Charlottetown
3065 - John Drake, 48, Stratford

(Note - Some Island runners may be missing as they are not lised as being from P.E.I.)

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