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Boston Marathon Course section

Faces in the pack

By Marvin Pave, Globe Staff, 4/13/2001

You won't find Doris Beatty, Bob Cunningham, Timothy Kelly, Robbie Silverman, Robyn Tice, or Sandy Xenos in the winner's circle Monday, but that is not the motivation behind their months of training for this year's Boston Marathon.

Doris Beatty Doris Beatty, 66
Retiree, track club secretary
(Globe Photo / Stephen Rose)

Timothy Kelly Timothy Kelly, 34
Materials manager
(Globe Staff / Tom Herde)

Robyn Tice Robyn Tice, 35
Media relations director
(Globe Staff / Frank O'Brien)

Bob Cunningham Bob Cunningham, 40
Development director
(Globe Staff / Bill Greene)

Robbie Silverman Robbie Silverman, 20
Harvard student, editor
(Globe Staff / Wendy Maeda)

Sandy Xenos Sandy Xenos, 49
Educator, coach
(Globe Staff / Tom Herde)


They are typical ''faces in the crowd'' among the 15,000-plus official entrants - individuals running for the experience, the ambience the challenge, or a special cause.

Beatty, a 66-year-old outdoor sports enthusiast, didn't start competitive running until moving to Falmouth 14 years ago. As a volunteer at the Cape Cod Marathon and Falmouth Road Race, Beatty felt ''if they can do it, I can do it.'' In 1995 and last year, she was the local female resident winner in her age group at Falmouth. She also is secretary for the 350-member Falmouth Track Club, which rewarded her loyalty and hard work with entry to the Boston Marathon for the second consecutive year.

Cunningham, an associate vice president for development at Boston College, was on the cross-country teams at Chaminade High in New York and Holy Cross, and has run in eight Boston Marathons. The 40-year-old Westford resident ran last year's race on behalf of BC's Campus School for physically disabled children and raised $2,500 in pledges. ''Marathon Day is officially the first day of spring for me,'' said Cunningham, who will run this year's race while raising more than $5,000 for UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center's CJ Valley Memorial Fund, which aids research in pediatric immunology.

Kelly, 34, is a paraplegic wheelchair athlete who grew up in Duxbury and resides in Weymouth. A materials manager at Dyna-Fab in Rockland, Kelly was a mountain bike rider and skier before a 1990 automobile accident left him seeking other ways to participate in sports. ''Six months after my accident, I noticed there was a wheelchair bike lying around unused at the VA Hospital in West Roxbury,'' he said. ''It was an old-style four-wheeler and I would go out on the hospital grounds with it. I liked it immediately.'' With help from his family and wheelchair racing pioneer Bob Hall, Kelly has progressed to his first Boston Marathon after qualifying in October's Bay State Marathon.

Silverman, 20, is a junior at Harvard, where he is the executive news editor for the school newspaper. ''This is my first Boston Marathon and I'm incredibly excited about it,'' said Silverman, a former captain of the track and cross-country teams at Newton South High. ''Living in Newton, I've seen the Boston Marathon at Heartbreak Hill and handed out water to the runners for about as long as I can remember.'' Silverman, who would like to make a career of marathoning, said, ''finding the time to train is pretty hard when you've got homework and classes and a 40-hour week of editing at the Crimson.''

Tice, 35, is senior vice president and director of public relations at State Street Research of Boston, an investment management firm that is a chief sponsor of the Falmouth Road Race. Tice is also a member of the Team in Training Program that supports fund-raising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Last summer, Tice rode the back of the press truck in Falmouth while helping promote the race and serve as media liaison. On Monday, she'll be chasing the press while running her first Boston Marathon. ''I'm running in memory of a former co-worker, Brian O'Dell, who died of leukemia last October, and that's my inspiration for training and getting to the finish line,'' said the Belmont resident.

Xenos, 49, is the highly successful women's tennis coach at Stonehill and also wears three hats at Bellingham High: health coordinator for the school district, chairwoman of the wellness department, and physical education instructor. A former standout athlete at Franklin High and a ranked player on the United States Tennis Association's New England tour, Xenos resides about two miles from the marathon's starting line in Hopkinton. She has raised thousands of dollars over the years on behalf of the Red Cross by running the Boston Marathon.

All six represent the majority of this year's field - not competing with each other, but striving for a celebration of fitness, camaraderie, tradition, and the spirit of giving. Their Marathon Day experiences will be in Tuesday's Globe.

Doris Beatty, 66
Retiree, track club secretary

If someone had told Doris Beatty that she'd someday be running the Boston Marathon, ''well, I'd have said `no way.''' Beatty is now so devoted to her long-distance regimen she couldn't wait to get back from a recent Florida vacation and brave the New England weather on a 20-mile training run. A Falmouth resident for 14 years, she has run five half-marathons and her favorite is through Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine.

''I've tried to encourage other people to take up marathoning because it's the most awesome thing I've done in my lifetime. I still get tears in my eyes when I think about it,'' said Beatty, who grew up in Albany, N.Y., and has two daughters and six grandchildren. ''I think I'm a young 66 and I've always been active, and I'll continue to run as long as I can.''

A longtime hiker, skier, bike rider, and aerobics participant who has recently taken up kayaking, Beatty said those sports helped condition her mentally and physically for marathoning. ''Training in the winter doesn't really bother me,'' said Beatty, who worked as a legal secretary, a real estate developer, and administrative assistant for Emerson House in West Falmouth, a drug rehab facility for pregnant women, before retiring four years ago.

''My running keeps me busy, and I figure they must like me at the [Falmouth Track Club] since I'm now in my third term as secretary there,'' said Beatty, who is also one of 500 volunteer coordinators at the Cape Cod Marathon. ''I trained on my own for my first Falmouth Road Race [7.1 miles] in 1994, which I finished in 77 minutes, and my times have improved to around 65 to 67 minutes.''

Beatty ran last year's Boston Marathon in 5:34 and hopes to finish in under five hours this year.

Timothy Kelly, 34
Materials manager

A recreational hockey player before a 1990 automobile accident left him a paraplegic, Timothy Kelly graduated from Duxbury High and Wentworth Institute of Technology before landing at Dyna-Fab in Rockland, where he expedites sheet metal products to be painted or finished.

With financial help from his uncle, Foxboro resident Bob Porter, Kelly ditched his old racing wheelchair and bought a state-of-the-art T-frame titanium racing chair a year ago. ''I had done some short races before that, 5-milers and 10Ks, and I was keeping up with the other racers,'' said Kelly, ''so I figured after spending the money for the new chair, it would be nice to see what I could do with it.''

Kelly's first marathon, the Bay State in Lowell last fall, didn't go as planned. He overshot the finish line (''I kept going straight and passed the school parking lot'') and missed qualifying by under four minutes. ''I talked to the BAA officials, explained the situation, filled out my application for the Boston Marathon, and they approved my official number in January,'' said Kelly.

He said his introduction to marathon racing was encouraging, nonetheless, ''and I've been training for the Boston Marathon as much as possible, sometimes with Bob Hall in Somerville. I'm shooting for under two hours, which would qualify me for Boston next year, but it all depends on the wind, I guess,''

It was Hall who fitted Kelly for his first wheelchair a year and a half after his accident. Kelly's younger brother, Adam, also was a big help in the early stages of Tim's racing career. ''He'd ride behind me when I first started out,'' said Kelly, ''and I have to say the help and support of my family all these years has been a source of strength, in fact, I'm thinking of trying skiing again someday.''

Robyn Tice, 35
Media relations director

At Suffern High School - 30 miles north of New York City - Robyn Tice ran the second leg on the sprint medley relay. A nonscholarship track recruit at Cornell, Tice drifted toward supervising Cornell's intramural sports programs as an undergraduate.

''I had never been a distance runner,'' recalled Tice, who handles media relations for State Street Research of Boston. ''But I did have a dream of someday running a marathon. I joined the Team in Training Program [which supports fund-raising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society] and ran my first marathon in Anchorage in 1999 in 4:12 and ran my next marathon last April independently in Nashville in four hours.''

Tice rejoined the Team in Training for this year's Boston Marathon. Based in Framingham, the Massachusetts chapter's 140 runners have taken weekly group training runs along the Marathon course. The chapter hopes to raise $425,000 this year in pledges. Tice has already raised more than $50,000.

Tice, who is aiming for a sub-four-hour time, is running in memory of Brian O'Dell, a former co-worker who died of leukemia last October. The Brian O'Dell Memorial Research Fund mainly consists of contributions from employees at State Street Research and Goodwin Procter LLP, the former law firm of O'Dell's father, Ed. Both companies are matching the contributions of their employees, while Ed O'Dell, a retired partner at Goodwin Procter, is also matching contributions from the law firm.

''My goal is to come in under four hours, but 3:50 or better would be great,'' said Tice. ''I have to give credit to my coaches, Rick and Lori Muhr, for even getting me to think about that goal.''

Bob Cunningham, 40
Development director

Bob Cunningham will have friends and family rooting for him Monday at the 21.5-mile mark, which happens to be right next to his office on Commonwealth Avenue, where he is directing a $400 million comprehensive campaign for Boston College. A Long Island native, Cunningham made his high school cross-country team as a senior after three unsuccessful years of football.

''My position was wide receiver/bench,'' he said with a laugh, ''so for a change of pace I quit football and joined the cross-country team and drama club.'' Cunningham played rugby at Holy Cross his first three years, then, after running the 1981 New York Marathon, switched to cross-country.

''That was a great experience for me,'' said Cunningham, who has been at BC for three years after nine years as director of development at Harvard Law School. ''The culmination was I had run the whole season on junior varsity at Holy Cross as the No. 8 man. The top seven ran varsity, but in the final race, one of our varsity runners was sick and I took his place and he was dropped to JV. My goal was to beat him to prove that the coach was right and I did edge him out - and that's what running is all about, the challenge, the individual goal.''

Since moving to Boston in 1989, Cunningham has participated in eight Boston Marathons. ''This year,'' he said, ''I'm running for a friend of mine at UMass Memorial Medical Center, Linda Rivard, a former colleague at Harvard, as part of that fund-raising effort [for the CJ Valley Memorial Fund].''

Afterward, he will enjoy ''a Cunningham family night out on the town'' with wife Liz and their three children. ''The Boston Marathon is one of the greatest, if not the greatest celebrations for the entire community,'' he said.

Robbie Silverman, 20
Harvard student, editor

As a reporter for the Harvard Crimson newspaper, Robbie Silverman has covered the Boston Marathon. But after posting a qualifying time of 2:54 at the Bay State Marathon, Silverman will trade in his notebook and tape recorder for running gear as he enters his initial Boston Marathon as an entrant.

Silverman, a Newton native, has watched the Marathon nearly his entire life, so the anticipation of running the course, he said, has produced the extra adrenaline needed to train during a very busy school year.

At Newton South High, Silverman helped lead his cross-country team to the Dual County League championship his junior year. Newton South also made it to the state meet three times during his tenure. During training runs, Silverman is sometimes accompanied by a high school teammate, Yuval Mazor, a sprinter on the MIT track team and three-year captain at Newton South.

''My time at the Bay State Marathon was faster than I anticipated,'' said Silverman, whose father, Sam, and mother, Karen, are recreational runners, and sister, Liza, is an outdoor track captain at Newton South. ''I felt that breaking 3:10 would be difficult, so the 2:54 was great. I trained all last summer for it while I was living at home and I took a lot of runs along the Charles River, through downtown Boston, and along the waterfront. It was a great way to see the city. My long run was 23 miles and the few weeks leading up to the marathon have been the toughest for me. My goal is to run in under three hours but I'd be very happy to run in under 3:10 and qualify for next year.''

At Harvard, Silverman was a reporter for two years before recently becoming the executive news editor. ''I really enjoy it,'' he said. ''It's something I love doing and the people I work with are incredibly dedicated.''

Sandy Xenos, 49
Educator, coach

Sandy Xenos takes off on her morning run around 5:15. Then it's off to Bellingham High for the day. Then, during fall and spring tennis seasons, it's a 30-mile drive to Stonehill College in Easton, where she has coached the varsity women's team to 12 consecutive winning seasons.

Xenos was a three-sport captain at Franklin High, Class of 1969. But she didn't take up tennis until her junior year at Southern Arkansas, where she was also a swimmer and varsity basketball player. Xenos has a 131-58 record in 13 seasons at Stonehill.

She rarely takes a day off from her daily run, even if it means snow up to her knees. ''I didn't want to gain weight and I wanted to stay in shape for the New England tennis circuit,'' said Xenos, ''so I ran my first Boston Marathon as a bandit in 1978, which was also my best time - 3 hours and 13 minutes. I get up at a quarter to five every day, except on weekends, and I would probably get into more speed training, but I've had a little Achilles' problem that I'm trying to get through. My goal is to run under four hours this year - between 3:55 and 3:57. I'd take that.''

Some of her friends were planning to meet her for dinner in Boston after the race, along with her parents, Sully and Fran, who recently moved to Mashpee from Florida.

Xenos set up a booth at Stonehill basketball games this winter and has gone on-line in an effort to raise Marathon pledge money for the Red Cross. ''Several teams at Stonehill have contributed and people in Bellingham, the business community, and colleagues at the high school have been a big help,'' said Xenos, who has raised more than $2,000. ''That kind of support gives you just as good a feeling as running the race itself.''

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