Undergrads Join More Than 20,000 Marathoners

E. MICHELLE Metallidis

Amidst a sea of shiny silver space blankets, runners of all ages gulped water and gnoshed on fruit and energy bars as they recuperated from their 26.2 mile trek from Hopkinton, Mass. to the heart of downtown Boston for yesterday’s 107th running of the Boston Marathon.

Some looked exhausted and others seemed energized, but all declared satisfaction after completing the course.

“It was amazing, one of the best things I’ve ever done,” said Megan A. Crowley ’05. “The crowd carried me through so much. I kept on getting the chills from all the excitement,”

Tom C. Gilmore ’06 also ran in the marathon after months of training with friend Jay Gierak ’06.

“We decorated T-shirts with our names and our school name and just got tons of responses,” he said.

Talk of resting pulse rates, negative splits, aching feet and where to eat flooded the crowd.

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“What’s one more mile after 26?” one runner responded to his wife’s requests to go shopping after the race.

And while some family members had post-race plans, most fans were content to watch and cheer for the runners.

“This is like a 26-mile street party,” said Rick Gunzi, a Michigan resident who has run four Boston Marathons and 18 marathons overall.

After years of experience, he was coaching friend Lori Bush to achieve her “PR,” or personal record, in this marathon.

“It was great,” Bush said, “We ran together with some other friends and were telling stories the whole way. It was a social experience.”

And Gunzi was rewarded with a different sort of PR today, too—over eight hugs and a kiss at Wellesley.

He shared the secret to his success.

“I had two beers, Sam Adams, at the 18th mile,” Gunzi said.

Cigar in hand, he added, “My goal is to run Boston every year that I can. Boston gets more into the marathon than anyone. There are billboards, signs, advertisements everywhere. The crowd is unbroken, people nonstop.”

Several other runners echoed praises for the crowd.