A few days ago, forecasts had North Shore marathoners fearing the worst. Why wouldn’t they be concerned, considering how last year’s Patriots Day tradition that is the Boston Marathon was a wet and cold deluge that won’t soon be forgotten.
This year, though, the skies cooperated and delivered a day that was almost ideal for the 26.2 mile trek from Hopkinton to Boylston Street.
More than 150 runners from the area were among the thousands that completed the 123rd running of the Boston Marathon.
The men’s winner was Lawrence Cherono from Kenya, who won in a dead sprint down the final stretch and had the third-fastest Boston time ever in 2:07:57. The women’s race was won by Worknesh Degefa from Ethiopia, who was never challenged and cruised to a 2:23:07 victory.
There were some celebrities, including seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, who ran a 3:09:07, and former New England Patriot and Super Bowl champion Tedy Bruschi.
Dan Vassallo of Peabody, a top-ten finisher in last year’s deluge, was the first local runner across the line in a crisp 2:23:15; that was good enough for 35th overall and in the top 20 of American men. Salem’s Kevin Hankens was next in 2:38:34 and the other locals to come in under three hours were Michael Trendell (Salem, 2;50:26), Chris Chapruet (Danvers, 2:53:33) and Dan Chruniak (Beverly, 2:54:18).
The top women to finish from the North Shore were Michelle Milton from Danvers (3:03:01) and Arianna Maida from Peabody (3:19:28).
Whether they were running for themselves, running against the clock or running to raise money for important causes, the runners were full of adrenaline and joy when they received their medals.
Some came from clear across the country to take part: Colton Gale, who grew up in Beverly and now lives in Oregon, finished in 2:42. John Page from Beverly ran a 3:03.
Among the local charity runners, Endicott College athletic trainer and strength coach Jon Williams clocked a 3:53:16. He ran to raise money for the Bay State Games and wore a Humboldt Broncos hat in memory of the Canadian hockey team that was struck by tragedy a year ago; it was a great day and got pretty warm once the sun came out, he said.
Peabody police officer Sean Dowd finished Boston for the first time in 15 years as part of the North Shore’s Cops for Kids With Cancer team along with teammates Jim Harkins, Dave Bettencourt, Ed Cauley and Katie Tracia. Dowd reported he was a little sore from the heat and the hills, but was in great spirits.
His nephew, Kyle Multner, ran with friend Rob Nash to raise money for Mass Eye & Ear and had strong success. Jason Hyland from Beverly, the former St. John’s Prep baseball all-star, finished in 4:37 running for Bay Cove Human Services.
Salem track coach Jimmy Guy also did a great job raising funds for the Martin Richard Foundation.
The youngest among the local finishers was 19-year-old Connor Cademartori of Beverly (a former standout on the Panthers soccer team) and he finished in 4:52. The oldest was Danvers’ Rafael Cuesta, who finished in 5:46:45 at age 65, and Harold Beard of Peabody completed the course at age 64.