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Tutor 78th in N.Y. Marathon

By Joshua E. Gewolb, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

After graduating from Harvard almost eight years ago, Timothy C. Harte '90 decided to give up competitive running for good.

Harte, former captain of the men's track team, said he wanted to put more emphasis on his interests in Russian poetry and Soviet cinema.

But this ex-track star, now a Kirkland House tutor and a third-year graduate student in Slavic languages and literatures, could not resist the sport he had pursued since junior high.

In 1996, inspired by the 100th anniversary of the Boston Marathon, Harte decided to take his sneakers out of the closet and take up marathon running.

And Sunday, he finished 78th out of 30,463 runners in the New York City Marathon, completing the race in two hours, 35 minutes and 17 seconds. This was the best finish by any runner from New England and one of the 25 best finishes by an American.

"I was ecstatic," Harte said. "I was planning to run [the marathon] about that fast but I was worried that I wouldn't be able to do it."

The race, 26.2 miles in length, wound through all five boroughs of drizzly New York City, following crowd-lined streets bedecked with balloons and banners.

Harte said that the race, which began on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, started slowly for him.

"The start was a little frustrating because there were a lot of people," Harte said. "For some reason I got caught behind a lot of people.... I was feeling a little tight."

But after a few miles, Harte said, he was able to escape the crowd.

He said the highlight of his race came at mile 15, after he crossed the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan. "I could say that the most amazing part of the race...was running off the Queensboro Bridge onto First Avenue," he said. "I was running almost alone with loads of people all around on both sides of the street."

Harte said he found the experience exhilarating.

"To be the center of attention in a city like New York was amazing," he said.

Harte said he felt good as he crossed the finish line, located in a former sheep meadow in Central Park.

"This was the first marathon I've run where I actually felt halfway decent at the end," he said.

In his previous two marathons, Harte said he went out too fast and "died" at the end.

"I had fairly even splits," he said, referring to the fact that his times on each mile deviated little from his 5:55 per mile average.

Harte attributed his performance to a rigorous training program. He said his training regimen is centered around daily 10-mile runs.

Harte said he also jogs between two and three hours a day on weekends, runs mile repetitions with the Boston Athletic Association on Tuesdays and runs up and down hills on Thursdays.

Harte lamented, however, that the New York Marathon is not characterized by the same pure focus on running that characterizes Boston Athletic Association events like the Boston Marathon.

"There was rampant commercialism," he said. "Too many Nike signs all over the place.

Harte said he found the experience exhilarating.

"To be the center of attention in a city like New York was amazing," he said.

Harte said he felt good as he crossed the finish line, located in a former sheep meadow in Central Park.

"This was the first marathon I've run where I actually felt halfway decent at the end," he said.

In his previous two marathons, Harte said he went out too fast and "died" at the end.

"I had fairly even splits," he said, referring to the fact that his times on each mile deviated little from his 5:55 per mile average.

Harte attributed his performance to a rigorous training program. He said his training regimen is centered around daily 10-mile runs.

Harte said he also jogs between two and three hours a day on weekends, runs mile repetitions with the Boston Athletic Association on Tuesdays and runs up and down hills on Thursdays.

Harte lamented, however, that the New York Marathon is not characterized by the same pure focus on running that characterizes Boston Athletic Association events like the Boston Marathon.

"There was rampant commercialism," he said. "Too many Nike signs all over the place.

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