Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe
Boston Marathon Course section


Up-close view for this father

By Bill Griffith, Globe Staff, 4/22/2003


Road rave
Zakharova takes women's title
Boston street smarts
Kimutai got over the hump
Runyan fifth after battle
Denisova knew her place: 2d
Hellebuyck leads the way
Ripp, Van Dyk: Spin control
Russian contingent was rushin'
Wellesley voices carry
Heart, sole are put to the test
Hopkinton's just the beginning
Pushing the human body
Up-close view for this father
Girl OK after wheelchair collision
In the running

R. Cheruiyot 2:10:11
Benjamin Kosgei Kimutai 2:10:34
Martin Lel 2:11:11
Timothy Cherigat 2:11:28
Christopher Cheboiboch 2:12:45
Fedor V. Ryzhov 2:15:29
Rodgers Rop 2:16:14
David Kiptum Busienei 2:16:16
Elly K. Rono 2:17:00
Eddy Hellebuyck 2:17:18
| Men's Top 25 |

Svetlana Zakharova 2:25:20
Lyubov Denisova 2:26:51
Joyce Chepchumba 2:27:20
Margaret Okaya 2:27:39
Marla Runyan 2:30:28
Albina Ivanova 2:30:57
Firaya Sultanova-Zhdanova 2:31:30
Milena Glusac 2:37:32
Jill Gaitenby 2:38:19
Esther Kiplagat 2:38:43
| Women's Top 25 |

Ernst F. Van Dyk1:28:32
Krige Schabort1:30:07
Kelly Smith 1:30:52
| Complete list (men & women) |

Christina Ripp1:54:47
Cheri A. Blauwet1:54:57
Edith Hunkeler1:56:54
| Complete list (men & women) |

Search BAA database of all finishers

My normal Patriots Day procedure in recent years: Settle down in family room at mid-morning with sandwiches and coffee. Set up one TV with picture-in-picture to monitor local coverage of Boston Marathon. Set portable radio on couch to check in on the WBZ coverage. Put second TV on temporary table next to main TV, tuned to ESPN2's coverage during the race, but airing the Red Sox broadcast until noon. It's a great gig but admittedly lonely when hundreds of thousands are out watching the Hopkinton-to-Boston parade. Anyone who wanders into my room soon runs out, hands over their ears, from the broadcast cacophony.

Covering the annual extravaganza that is the Boston Marathon has taken many forms in the last 35 years. One year, the computer system didn't work and results weren't available for several days after the race. Another year, it was running in the pack to chronicle how crowded it was but not having a way back to the office. Other years, it was coordinating coverage at the finish line or laying out pages back at the office. But this year was something new.

This year, the race turned personal. My son John -- No. 17564 on the entry list, No. 1 in our hearts -- signed up with the Leukemia Society's ''Team in Training,'' put the arm on friends, family, and co-workers to raise some $3,000 in pledges, and trained through the long winter. Sunday's Easter dinner was followed by a logistical session to determine where to meet him along the course.

My original suggestions -- Framingham, Wellesley, and the finish -- were vetoed. ''Our coaches will be in Wellesley,'' he said. ''So will a lot of the people I work with. How about someplace on the hills?'' We settled on Natick, someplace near the Woodland T station, just before the course turns onto Commonwealth Avenue at the Newton Fire Station.

It was such a nice day to race-watch that, with some advanced map-reading, we caught him in Natick (Mill Street), where it was T-shirt weather, great for spectating but too hot for the runners who'd trained for the winter cold. At Wellesley (Kingsbury Street), there was a hint of a sea breeze. Spectating was fine in a long-sleeved T-shirt. By Newton (Commonwealth and Washington), a second layer was called for as we watched the runners make the corner onto Commonwealth and begin their assault on the course's famed hills.

The fact that No. 17564 took his coaches' advice and went out slowly gave us time to make our destinations. The spectators who came to see the leaders go past were leaving as we arrived. Waiting in Wellesley for our guy, we spotted Amby Burfoot, the 1968 Boston winner and now editor of Runner's World, go by in the middle of the pack. He clearly was pacing someone.

Driving from Natick to Wellesley, we heard the finish of the men's race. We also made a dozen calls along the way, checking in to give updates to friends and family waiting farther down the course.

At each checkpoint we found ourselves cheering for the ''Team in Training'' runners, hoping all would finish. And never were we louder than when our No. 17564 crossed the line at 4:59:38.

The day's totals: 123 miles driven, 3 hours 30 minutes at the wheel. And a viewing experience far different from what I would have seen in front of the TV.

This story ran on page C6 of the Boston Globe on 4/22/2003.
© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.

Race Day Coverage
Stuck at work? Check out out stride-by-stride webcast for up-to-the-minute Boston Marathon updates.