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Boston Marathon Course section


Thanks to weather, runners kept their cool

By John Powers, Globe Staff, 4/16/2002


Men  |  Women  |  Wheelchairs  |


Women: Okayo KOs course in debut
Men: Rop puts Kenyans back on top
Runner-up: Ndereba is still first-rate
Ryan: Their absence didn't last long
US runners: Support not there
Beardsley: He returns for more fun
Masters: At 43, Kipkemboi in prime
Wheelchairs: VanDyk wins again
Notebook: Runners kept their cool
The start: Meeting first challenge
First-person: To end, the hard way
Heartbreak Hill: Over the top
SporTView: Coverage lagged
Faces in pack: Miles of smiles


Memorable moments
During the race
Before the race
Sunday pasta party
Sports & Fitness Expo

All but 700 of yesterday's 14,837 starters (out of 16,936 entrants) had finished the marathon course by the time the clock was turned off at 6 p.m. The breakdown was 9,018 men (out of 9,394 starters) and 5,119 women (out of 5,443). The field for the inaugural race in 1897 was 15 starters (all male) and 10 finishers. The field for the first women's race in 1972 was eight starters, all of whom finished. The last official finisher (at 6:00:00) was Martin Hewitt, a 42-year-old from East Brunswick, N.J.

Boston Athletic Association officials credited temperatures in the mid-50s for the high completion rate and the low number of casualties - only 350 runners were treated. ''Overall, a pretty good day,'' said Dr. Marvin Adner, the BAA's medical director. ''Much better than we expected, based on the forecast. On a hot day, we would have seen double that. We had planned for problems with fluids and hyponatremia [low sodium].''

Safe running

All was quiet on the security front, which officials had beefed up because of post-Sept. 11 concerns. ''No security incidents whatsoever,'' reported David Goggin, assistant secretary for the state office of public safety. ''Completely safe day.'' ... Kenya's Mbarak Hussein and Elias Chebet, who finished fourth and sixth, respectively, are siblings of former Boston victors. Hussein's brother, Ibrahim, won in 1988, 1991, and 1992. Chebet's brother, Joseph, won in 1999.

Twice the fun

Seventeen British soldiers, running in fatigues and combat boots, finished the Marathon in 5 hours 15 minutes, just 72 hours after completing the London Marathon Saturday. The soldiers drew hearty cheers from spectators along the route. Major Peter Willett said the run was punishing but worthwhile - the Honourable Artillery Company raised $43,000 in donations for the widow and 5-month-old son of Briton Simon Turner, who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The artillery company is the oldest regiment in the British Army, founded in 1537 by King Henry VIII. Willett said the soldiers were heading out last night for a celebratory pint despite their sore and blistered feet.

Familiar perch

John Archer of Milwaukee and his daughter, Patti Watkins of Stamford, Conn., had the best - and just about only - seat from which to observe the runners as they passed Wellesley College.

Archer, 87, was the special guest of the college's Munger House dormitory, which established an award in his honor in 1999. Archer sat high above Route 135 in a special chair with his nickname, ''Black Bart,'' on it.

''John took what was such a positive experience for him and wanted to give it to other runners through his gifts to us,'' said Bethany Clark, a senior from Glenview, Ill., and Munger House president. She was a prime mover in inviting Archer back to the campus.

''We started working on the signs [of encouragement for the runners] Friday and finished them Saturday night,'' she said of the more than 60 that were posted in front of Munger.

Archer ran 21 Boston Marathons (65 marathons in all), and the retired executive with Schlitz Brewing Co. never forgot his warm receptions at Wellesley. ''The roar of the crowd increases with each step you take along the campus,'' said Archer. ''Wellesley College is the greatest place for encouraging these runners. It makes them say, `I think I can make it the next 13 miles.' Thank the Lord for these young ladies.'''

For years, Archer has sent checks to students at Munger Hall to cover expenses for the signs, plus water and oranges for the runners.

Archer, who has been staying at the College Club over the weekend, was the guest of honor at ceremonies Sunday night when the annual Black Bart Award was presented to Wellesley student Eleanor Kleiber for dedication and service to Munger.

Celebrity chase

Mario Lopez, one of the anchors of ABC's ''The Other Half'' along with Dick Clark and Danny Bonaduce, announced on the show 21/2 months ago that he would run the Boston Marathon. ''I wanted to run the oldest, the most prestigious race,'' he said last night after finishing in 5:42:44. He was running to raise money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America. Clark and Bonaduce put up $1,000 each to support Lopez's run for charity. Lopez, a 28-year-old resident of Hollywood, completed the 26.2 miles despite a sprained left ankle, which he twisted while training for the race. ... Wayne Levy, Celtics director of community relations, finished in 2:36.30, 10 minutes faster than his previous best in 1995. Levy won the BAA's half-marathon race in October in 1:10.57.

Root cause

Ford Weiskittel of Geneva, N.Y., who raised $11,000 for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, was rooted on at the Wellesley College 20K checkpoint by his wife, Harriot, Wellesley Class of 1969 and daugther, Elisabeth, Wellesley Class of 2003. Harriot and Elisabeth had a bright orange sign made up to commemorate the moment - ''I'm a Wellesley College dad '03 and husband '69'' - that Weiskittel carried as he ran the length of the campus on Route 135. ''Carrying that sign turned out to be a big hit,'' said Weiskittel. ''I got a lot of high-fives and the cheers seemed to get louder when the students saw it.'' ... Jessica Wesley, a Wellesley College sophomore from Barrington, R.I., volunteered at Sunday's pasta party at Boston's City Hall Plaza and asked runner Chip Winters where he was from. Small world, it turned out. ''I found out that Chip's from Middlebury, Vt., where my dad [ Charles] grew up and where I was born. Chip said he went to high school with my father,'' said Wesley. As a result, she hand-painted a sign with Winters's name that she hung on the railing on Route 135 to inspire him.

Marvin Pave, Jim Greenidge, and Andrew Helman of the Globe Staff contributed to this report.

This story ran on page D7 of the Boston Globe on 4/16/2002.
© Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

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