Gerrard doesn’t let Boston beat him
With more than 4 miles to go in the Boston Marathon on Monday, Ken Gerrard of South Lake Tahoe didn’t feel like running any further.
“I had plumb run of gas at mile 22 and had nothing left,” said Gerrard, who persevered to finish the granddaddy of marathons for the second straight year. “It took all I had left in the gas tank to get across the finish line.”
In fact, the 53-year-old Lake Tahoe Unified School District employee topped his effort from the previous year by more than two minutes in completing the 26.2-mile race in 3 hours, 49 minutes and 9 seconds.
Gerrard beat more than half of the 26,000-runner field, placing 12,230nd overall and 8,386th among men. Considering Gerrard was unable to train like he had planned because of a family emergency and a three-month jury commitment, finishing the 114th running of the Boston Marathon was very satisfying.
“It’s something pretty special. Until you get out there and do it with the people and (recognize) the race’s history, you don’t realize how special it is,” he said.
Gerrard finished with an 8:45-per-mile pace and thought his split times were solid through three-quarters of the race. The final fourth of the race destroyed everything but Gerrard’s will to cross the finish line.
“That’s why they call it the Boston. It doesn’t appear to be that tough of a course,” Gerrard said. ” I saw a lot people going down. You see people crying, holding their calves and hamstrings.”
Gerrard was in the general vacinity of a 64-year-old man who suffered a heart attack near the finish and was eventually revived with a defibrillator. The Associated Press reported that 1,324 runners needed first aid during or after the race.
Gerrard said that what helped him finish was the inspiration that he wasn’t running for just himself.
“The staff at Sierra House (elementary school where he works), the kids, Bev, my family. When you start thinking about all of the people who are thinking about you and tracking you, that gives you an extra push when you don’t have nothing left,” Gerrard said.
By the time Gerrard finished, record-setting winner Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya (2:05:52) was in better place, according to Gerrard.
“He couldn’t wait around that long for me. He had probably already eaten, gone home and gone to bed,” Gerrard said.
Despite his struggle to finish, Gerrard wants another shot at Boston. “I have a lot of pain in my legs today, and it’s good to know I did it,” he said. “If I get another opportunity, I’ll give it another shot. You can’t pass that up.”
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