Boston Globe, April 19, 2005

The Boston Globe

Hopefuls put their best feet forward

Last Friday, the Globe featured six "Faces in the Crowd" among the field of 20,000-plus Boston Marathoners. Here is how Gary Brendel of Sterling, Jean Cote of New Bedford, Jeanne Guerin of Weston, Monique Maddy of Cambridge, Peter Salzberg of Franklin, and Laura Smith of Brighton fared yesterday:

Brendel, whose first wheelchair race was at age 15 on Long Island, didn't make his "fantasy time" of 1:40, but he did reach his goal of breaking two hours with 1:57:38. Brendel, 46, who works at MIT's Lincoln Laboratories in Lexington, finished a personal-best 14th in the men's wheelchair division and qualified for next year's Marathon. "I was really pleased, but exhausted, especially when I reached the hills in Newton," said Brendel, whose mentor is Boston's first wheelchair marathoner, Bob Hall. "I felt if I looked at the hills, that might have done me in, so I didn't and it worked."

Cote, 77, was participating in his seventh consecutive Marathon in the 70-and-over visually impaired category. He ran in memory of his wife, Adelina Jardin Cote, and finished in 5:09:18. "She passed away three years ago and her encouragement is what has kept me going," said Cote, a retired storekeeper. "She always waited for me to finish my training runs and had a towel in her hands for me." He said he was hampered yesterday by pain in his right thigh from the start of the race, and although he felt "embarrassed" by his time, he was satisfied because he finished. "The memory of my wife kept me going," he said. "This won't stop me from running, but I guess it's time for an MRI."

Guerin achieved her goal of breaking 3:40 with a time of 3:39:42, so it was a successful afternoon for the 43-year-old member of the Suburban Striders Running Club of Weston. "I'm pleased, considering the weather," Guerin said. "The quads kind of tightened up around Beacon Street, so I slowed down a bit, breathed more deeply and relaxed a little more. It seemed to work because at the end I didn't feel it as much. My structured training through the club definitely helped." Guerin, an operations manager at the Lab of Computer Science at Massachusetts General Hospital, qualified for Boston 2006.

It was a disappointing weekend for Maddy, 42, who had hoped to run in the women's elite field but had to drop out because of a foot injury. Maddy, the author of "Learning to Love Africa: My Journey from Africa to Harvard Business School and Back," picked up her race number Saturday, "but it was pretty clear to me on my run Friday morning that the chances were low I could compete at the level that I am accustomed to without putting myself out of commission for a while. So I decided that I should focus on recovery and on running the New York City Marathon this fall instead."

Salzberg, a Walpole Police lieutenant running as a member of the "Red and Blue Squad" to raise money through the American Liver Foundation's "Run For Research," raised around $4,000 and also met his personal challenge of finishing "with dignity." Salzberg, 42, who dropped out of last year's Marathon at Heartbreak Hill, completed the course in 5:17:21. He said the support of his wife, Julie, and training partner, Walpole Police detective Christopher Roy, was instrumental. Salzberg grew up in Walpole and has been a member of the police department for 18 years.

The headwind turned out to be beneficial for Smith, 23, a former state champion in the mile at Wachusett Regional High. "I kept pouring water on my arms and the breeze kept me cool," said Smith, who missed her goal of 3:10 (3:16:50) but qualified for next year's race in her first Boston run. Smith, who is completing a master's program at Boston College to become a nurse practitioner, was joined by former BC track teammates Maggie Guiney, who now lives in Wisconsin, and Erin Maloney, a graduate student at UConn. "My quads and hip flexors got really tight and I felt it after Heartbreak Hill," said Smith, "but I really perked up when I ran past BC, where I've spent many years."