Fabled, historic 26.2-mile course

Fifteen Midcoast runners registered for 121st Boston Marathon

Journey for those who can participate will begin April 17
By Mark Haskell | Apr 05, 2017

Boston, Mass. — The 121st Boston Marathon, arguably the most famous 26.2-mile race in the world, rapidly approaches for runners and fans.

And as is typically the case, the Midcoast will be well represented in the Patriots’ Day event, which will be on Monday, April 17.

The known registered Midcoast runners for Boston are Charles W. Arrigoni, 55, Winterport; Steve Cartwright, 65, Tenants Harbor; Katherine Collins, 46, Winterport; Barbara Daggett 47, Thomaston; C. Douglas Johnstone, 68, Camden; Kathy Kangas, 51, Camden; Scott Layton, 41, Rockport; Jason Mann, 36, North Haven; Emily McDevitt, 52, Camden; John Priestley, 59, Rockport; Seana Roubinek, 49, Rockport; Sarah Scordino, 33, Rockport; Ellen Spring, 64, Thomaston; Theresa Withee, 50, Hope; and Tuesdi Woodworth, 55, Searsmont.

The historic race, hosted and sponsored by the Boston Athletic Association, begins in Hopkinton and ends on Boylston Street.

Most who participate in the Boston Marathon had to reach a qualifying standard for their age and gender in the calendar year leading up to the event. However, others can participate through other means, such as with charity groups, for example.

Others may qualify for Boston but choose not to participate or simply could not register for the race. So the locals listed above are only the ones registered to participate this year, but that does not mean that they will.

Several of the local runners who can participate this year are veterans of the event, which usually draws more than 30,000 participants. This year, there will be 228 Maine runners, including 129 men and 99 women.

Mann qualified for the event by virtue of a strong showing at the Chicago Marathon in October. However, he suffered a knee injury during training and has yet to decide if he will participate.

“I’ve missed now a fair amount of training,” he said. “I was hoping to run a personal best, but I think that’s probably out the window. If I’m healthy enough to go, I’ve always wanted to run the race, so I’ll go and run and just try and do my best. But I don’t want to make anything worse at this point.”

If he does participate in Boston, it will be his third marathon, having also participated in the New York Marathon.

“I’ve always wanted to run Boston and never run it,” he said. “I went to school in Boston and we used to go every year and watch it. There are lots of great races and both New York and Chicago [marathons] were awesome and really exciting to be a part of, but Boston is just so historic.”

For McDevitt, who originally is from Presque Isle, it will be her third time running Boston, having also participated in the event in 2000 and 2014. It will be her ninth career marathon, having run New York, Chicago and Sugarloaf marathons, among others.

McDevitt, who now spends most of her time running off road as a member of Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine, has a few different reasons for transitioning back to the pavement to run in Boston.

“My friend said she wanted to break four hours and I said, ‘You know what, I’ll go with you,’ ” said McDevitt, who also is running as part of the Crow Athletics. “So that’s my singular goal for Boston.

“Most people look at it as the Holy Grail [of running], but that’s not what it is for me. I’m super excited to be there with my friend and the camaraderie of getting her over that finish line in under four hours is going to be awesome."

She is also planning to run in honor her father, George Higgins, an avid marathon runner who passed away a few days after last year’s Boston Marathon.

“It’s pretty powerful for me in that regard,” she said. “I’m really running it for him and everything it meant to him and me and our shared love of running and marathons.”

Cartwright is a longtime runner who often gains notoriety for his preference of running races in his bare feet. Now, Cartwright’s feet will feel the flat surfaces of the city streets in Beantown for the first time — at least in a racing capacity.

He said he is “thrilled” to be participating in the historic event, though admitted some apprehension of the large crowds.

“I’m not really a crowd person that likes to be among tens of thousands of people,” he said. “But I’m ready to give it a whirl. I may just do it once, and that in itself is an accomplishment.”

Cartwright has run “I think half a dozen” marathons in the past such as the Sugarloaf Marathon, the Mount Desert Island Marathon and the Maine Coast Marathon — the latter of which earned him his qualifying time — but this will be his first time running the historic Boston Marathon.

Cartwright added that for him “running is therapy.”

“I’m not one to go chasing marathons across the country,” he said. “But this is a really special one. And there is that sense of history. The 121st running of the Boston Marathon and to be part of it. It’s kind of like going to the launching of a famous boat or something.”

For Daggett, another avid area runner, this will also be her first foray into the historic event. She earned her qualifying time at the 2015 Maine Marathon.

Daggett has been a veterinarian for 22 years — the last 15 of which she has practiced at the Rockland Animal Hospital.

“It’s surreal,” she said of running in Boston. “I still can’t believe it. I don’t think I’ll believe it until I’m there.”

Roubinek is running in her second Boston Marathon — and seventh overall — as she previously ran as a charity runner in 2014. Her first was the MDI marathon in 2002.

She admittedly has did not qualify either this year or 2014 as she is a self-described “back of the packer” and her body is “built for endurance rather than speed.”

She is running for 261 Fearless, founded by Katherine Switzer, who is the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon as a registered runner in 1967. Switzer, now 70, will also run the race and “has over 100 runners on her charity team this year,” said Roubinek.

Her goal is to simply finish the race as she is currently undergoing chemotherapy. Roubinek was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011 and this is the third time the cancer has resurfaced and second time in the last 18 months.

For Midcoast runners who want to contribute to this prerace story, or talk about their experience at this year's marathon, email Mark Haskell at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.

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Mark Haskell
Associate Sports Director
594-4401, ext. 116
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. Haskell has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School. He has won multiple Maine Press Association awards for writing and photography.

Mark loves the Boston Red Sox, iced coffee, cargo shorts and time with friends and family.

He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn, his sons Beckett and Austin and daughter Lila.

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