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Number crunching brings total to 17, 813

By Globe Staff, 4/17/2000

he final tally of registered runners for today's Boston Marathon is 17,813, breaking down to 11,442 men and 6,371 women representing 55 countries.

So why do the Marathon numbers run up to almost 20,000 when there are less than 18,000 assigned?

The answer to that question is: Only 109 of the first 1,000 numbers are assigned to the elite athletes, and the Boston Athletic Association has left gaps throughout the first 15,000 numbers where late qualifiers can be inserted.

The 17,800th entry is former world record-holder Steve Jones, who will be running the race with a friend.

Fitting tribute

Tommy Leonard, the Marathon's official greeter, is asking fans to wear a shamrock to honor Globe sportswriter Joe Concannon, who died in February.

''I don't want to see black armbands,'' said Leonard. ''Joe loved Ireland and this would be a good way of honoring him. He did so much for the running community.''

Leonard will be handing out shamrocks at the Back Bay Brewing Company on Boylston Street, where he is a guest bartender this weekend.

Many runners, Marathon officials, volunteers, and media members will be wearing shamrocks.

David D'Alessandro, the president of John Hancock Financial Services Inc., the race's sponsor, was one of many who said they missed Concannon's presence over this Marathon weekend. ''It seems strange doing this without Joe here,'' D'Alessandro said before giving his annual state-of-the-Marathon remarks ... Some 1,600 media members are expected to report on today's race.

Starting at 18

Mary Peck is celebrating her birthday today by running the Marathon.

A native of Clifton Park, N.Y., Peck qualified for Boston by finishing the Las Vegas Marathon in 3:25:12.

''I have to follow my heart, and my heart is marathoning,'' said Peck. ''I can't think of a better way to celebrate my 18th birthday than to run the Boston Marathon - my first of hopefully many.''

Peck spent last year as a student at the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid, N.Y., where she earned four Empire State Games medals for downhill skiing, soccer, track and field, and the women's open half-marathon.

She attends Shenendehowa High School in Clifton Park.

Run it again, Jerry

Of the 17,813 runners participating in the race, Jerry Dunn stands out for several reasons.

Dunn, 54, has been running the Boston route every day since April 1, when he arrived from his hometown of Spearfish, S.D.

Last year, Dunn ran the New York City Marathon course 29 consecutive days to celebrate its 29th anniversary.

''The key to my success is the ability to recover quickly,'' Dunn said. ''Last year, I found my secret formula when I discovered Endurox R4, a recovery sports drink which I take after every run and allows me to bounce back the next day without soreness.''

Dunn will also attempt to conduct a live Internet chat while running the Marathon on from 1-2 p.m. between miles 5-10.

''For runners, the Boston Marathon is comparable to the Super Bowl,'' said Dunn. ''If they can't be on the course on race day watching or competing, participating via a live chat with someone who is actually running the race might be the next best thing.''

It's cause that counts

Matthew Guzik participates in a major marathon each month, and the reason is more important than the thrill of competition. Guzik, who will be in today's field, solicits contributions for charities in each race he runs. He calls the venture ''12 marathons ... 12 months ... 12 causes.''

''I need to clearly define a goal and a purpose,'' Guzik said. ''The 12 marathons are the way to get there, and the 12 causes are the purpose.''

The marathons Guzik competes in and the charities that benefit are as follows: Jan. 16, San Diego, Local Swim Club; Feb. 6, Las Vegas, Hamilton Players; March 5, Los Angeles, Marcus Daly Hospice; April 17, Boston Marathon, Haven House; May 28, Coeur D'Alene, 4-H; June 17, Mayor's Midnight Sun, Bitterroot Public Library; July 9, Chronicle, Kiwanis/Rotary; Aug. 27, Silver State, SAFE; Sept. 17, Montana, Relay for Life; Oct. 22, Marine Corps, Special Olympics; Nov. 26, Seattle, Humane Society; Dec. 10, Honolulu, Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department.

''Basically, I'm running a 365-day race,'' Guzik said. ''I won't do speed work. Now, it's more about endurance.''

Skipping school

When Megan Black races past Wellesley College as an official entrant, she'll get more than the average runner's share of cheers and support from the students along Route 135. Black is a senior from Hingham and captain of the college's league championship cross-country team. Last fall, Black was named to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference All-Conference cross-country team and finished in the top 10 individually in three meets, including the NEWMAC and Seven Sisters championships.

Carrying the ball

Jill Mullare, who is running as part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team for the fourth time, will have the good wishes of the Boston College football team and coaches. Mullare, 28, who grew up in Norwell, is administrative assistant to BC head coach Tom O'Brien. Mullare attended Notre Dame Academy in Hingham, where she was captain of the cross-country and track teams. While an undergraduate at BC, Mullare was manager of the women's basketball team for two seasons. ''I used to watch the Boston Marathon as a student at BC,'' said Mullare, ''and being a runner in high school, I always wanted to give it a try.''

Barbara Huebner, Marvin Pave, Michael Madden, Bill Griffith, and Don MacAuley of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.

This story ran on page E10 of the Boston Globe on 4/17/2000.
© Copyright 2000 Globe Newspaper Company.

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