122nd annual event

Eight Midcoast runners tackle historic Boston Marathon

Knox, Waldo county residents among 186 Maine participants
By Mark Haskell | Apr 11, 2018

Boston, Mass. — The 122nd running of the Boston Marathon — arguably the most famous 26.2-mile race in the world — is around the corner for anxious runners and spectators.

And eight Midcoast residents will lace up their running shoes — or, perhaps, in some cases as has happened in the past, take off their shoes and socks to make the journey barefoot — to pound the pavement at the storied Patriots’ Day event on Monday, April 16.

The known registered Midcoast runners are: Shawn Rumery, 32, Searsmont; Linwood Downs, 56, Lincolnville; Steve Cartwright, 66, Tenants Harbor; Jala Jamison Tooley, 38, Camden; Kenneth Wich, 55, Belfast; John Priestley, 60, Rockport; Katherine Collins, 47, Winterport; and Ellen Spring, 65, Thomaston

There are 186 runners from Maine — 99 men and 87 women — set to participate in the event.

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 listed to have registered to participate this year, but that does not mean that they will.

This will be Cartwright’s second year in a row running the Boston Marathon, though he also has run the Sugarloaf Marathon, the Mount Desert Island Marathon and the Maine Coast Marathon in the past. He qualified for the marathon by virtue of his time in last year’s MDI Marathon.

“Running the Boston [Marathon] with people from all over the world, working hard for a goal and achieving it, feeling the high of being part of a great race, these are some of the reasons I’m going for it for a second time,” he said. “Running to the finish last spring with Theresa Withee from Hope was agony and ecstacy all at once. She gave me a jellybean for cramps or I never would have made it.”

Of course, Cartwright, who is well-known locally for running races barefoot, plans to do so again at the Boston Marathon. Withee also is a barefoot runner.

Spring, at age 65, still has plenty of “spring” in her step, as she is set to participate in the marathon for the 24th consecutive year and 27th overall.

She is past the point in her running career that she has a time from a previous race that would qualify her, though she continues to participate for charity as a member of the American Liver Foundation.

For the last two years, Spring finished in over six hours, thus, she has no “official” finishing time in those races as they turn off the official timer after that span of time. “I did get the finisher’s medal though,” she said.

And her love for the event — and running in general — has not wavered.

“I still love doing the race, even though my times have become slower,” she said. “The whole atmosphere is exciting with the crowds, the expo, the joy of being in Boston and running for a very deserving cause. Three friends, Megan Thrill, Sarah Andrus and Carol Manley, will be joining me there and having a Pepsi, chips and a pizza when I get back to the hotel room, which really helps.”

For Tooley, this will be her first year running Boston after coming up short in her efforts to qualify the past three years with her participation in other marathons.

She qualified for the marathon by virtue of her time in the Sugarloaf Marathon last May, where she finished in three hours, 34 minutes and 47 seconds.

“The past couple years I switched up my training plan and it’s made me faster,” she said. “It’s proof that perseverance [and] determination pays off. I kind of have a never-give-up-attitude and Boston has been on my bucket list as the runner’s mecca. If you’re a runner and people hear you run marathons people say, ‘Have you done Boston?’ That’s the question everybody asks because that’s what most people associate marathon with.”

Runners who want to comment for this story or tell their story after running this year's event can call or email Mark Haskell.

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Staff Profile

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 iced coffee, cargo shorts, spending time with friends and family and suffers no longer after his beloved Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

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

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