Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Islander heats up marathon

Published on April 17, 2012
Jason Malloy

Nicholson crosses the finish line in Boston as the second fastest Canadian female

Jen Nicholson was relieved to cross the finish line Monday in the sweltering heat of Boston.

With temperatures surpassing 30 C, the Cornwall resident finished the Boston Marathon in two hours, 56 minutes, one second.

“I really just wanted to finish today,” she said in a phone interview from Boston following the race. “It was by no means a personal best, but I’m not disappointed.”

Her time was second among Canadian women. Paula Keating, from Miramichi, N.B., finished in 2:48:58.

Nicholson was 373rd overall, 18th among women and fourth in her division.

“It means a lot,” she said of being among the top Canadian women finishers. “I was proud to be a part of that, proud to be a Canadian runner, representing P.E.I.”

This was her third time running the world’s oldest annual marathon. She posted the top Canadian woman’s time a year ago.

“I love Boston,” she said. “It’s a beautiful city and the crowds are just amazing.”

She had set 2:45 as her goal this year, but adjusted it due to the extreme heat.

Organizers added extra drink stations and Nicholson ensured she rehydrated at each one of them.

“It was very hot,” she said, but “you can’t control the weather.”

Given the conditions, she said it was even more important to pace herself for the 42.195-kilometre course.

The heat slowed the leaders and led to warnings that may have convinced as many as 4,300 no-shows to sit this one out.

Race organizers offered those who picked up their registration packets, but did not start, the opportunity to save a place in next year’s race.

The largely unprecedented offer was issued in response to forecasts that called for temperatures rising from 21 C at the start to a high of 31 C by mid-afternoon, when runners were still streaming across the Back Bay finish line.

Wesley Korir won the race with a time of 2:12:40 – the second-slowest Boston victory since 1985.

Sharon Cherop won the women’s race to complete the Kenyan sweep, outkicking Jemima Jelagat Sumgong to win by two seconds in 2:31:50.

The women’s winner was decided by a sprint down Boylston Street for the fifth consecutive race — all of them decided by three seconds or less. Josh Cassidy of Oakville, Ont. won the men’s wheelchair race in 1:18:25, two seconds faster than the previous world best. A total of 22,426 runners started the race in Hopkinton — about 84 per cent of the registered field of 26,716 entrants.

(With Associated Press files)

Results for runners registered from P.E.I. at the Boston Marathon on Monday (including times and overall placing):

  • Steven Baglole, Charlottetown, 2:55:41, 361
  • Jen Nicholson, Cornwall, 2:56:01, 373
  • Jocelyn Peterson, Charlottetown, 3:42:19, 4,973
  • Michael Peterson, Charlottetown, 3:42:19, 4,975
  • Emanuel Manny Costain, Summerside, 3:53:29, 7,161
  • Paul Dalton, St. Edward, 4:09:16, 10,415
  • Carolyn Rowe Turner, Summerside, 4:12:44, 11,086
  • Brenda Benson, Summerside, 4:12:44, 11,088
  • Francis Fagan, Charlottetown, 4:20:50, 12,563
  • Beverley Walsh, Charlottetown, 4:22:35, 12,893
  • Diane Boswall, Frenchfort, 4:32:47, 14,582
  • Shawn Shea, Stratford, 4:41:01, 15,648
  • Kimberley Bailey, Cornwall, 4:52:23, 16,952
  • Jo-Anne Shea, Stratford, 5:02:22, 17,870
  • Mike Murrins, Charlottetown, 6:03:45, 20,764

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