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Islanders ready to run today’s Boston Marathon

Islanders are in Boston for today’s marathon. From left are Samuel Peterson, Jocelyn Peterson, Amber Spriggs, Francis Fagan, Pam Power-McKenna, Mike Peterson and Stan Chaisson.
Islanders are in Boston for today’s marathon. From left are Samuel Peterson, Jocelyn Peterson, Amber Spriggs, Francis Fagan, Pam Power-McKenna, Mike Peterson and Stan Chaisson. - Submitted

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Charlottetown marathon runner Mike Peterson is looking forward to experiencing the vibe around Boston today.

Peterson, along with his wife Jocelyn Peterson and Charlottetown runners Stan Chaisson and Amber Spriggs, travelled together to the United States to participate in the Boston Marathon.

This won’t be a first for Peterson and company, as they have all had their shot at running the famed marathon in the past – Chaisson will participate in his sixth race and Spriggs in her third.

This will be the fourth time the Petersons have participated in the race, but their first in several years.

“We actually haven’t run (it) since 2012,” Mike said. “We took a little break and just did some other marathons. Our kids ski race, so it’s hard to train in the winter and be ready for a spring marathon, so this is our first time in six years.”

Peterson said the 2012 marathon was dubbed “the hot year” by participants, as temperatures soared above 32 C.

Because of the heat, participants were given the option to differ racing for one year and have guaranteed entry into the 2013 race. About 6,000 people deferred, but not the Petersons.

“Jocelyn and I just said, ‘Ah the heck with it, let’s just run together’. We just kind of ran together and dumped water on each other and kept each other cool and it was good.”

This year’s forecast is on the other end of the spectrum, something Peterson isn’t excited about.

“It’s horrible,” Mike said Friday night en route to Boston.

“The current forecast is 40 mm of rain and what looks like a headwind,” he said, adding there’s not much to do to prepare for such conditions.

“You hope the forecast changes,” he said laughing. “For us, after training in a P.E.I. winter, I’m hoping that we can stomach it.”

Mike said the thing he’s most looking forward to is being around the action.

“I just love how the city embraces the marathon. The vibe is just amazing. There’s an electric feeling all around Boston.”

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Boston bombings, a tragedy that took three lives and injured hundreds more.

Peterson said he’s interested to see what the city does to commemorate the occasion.

“I think the whole Boston Strong thing has really been embraced since the bombing,” he said, referring to the slogan created following the bombings.

Each year, the marathon brings the city together with a show of support, and Peterson doesn’t expect anything different this time around.

“I think it will be even better, to be honest. I think the whole city has just bonded even more,” he said. “I think it’s going to be fantastic, I’m really looking forward to the whole feeling of the marathon. It should be great.”

Entry list

A look at the Islanders on the entry list to run Monday’s Boston Marathon.

Runner                    Hometown

Beverley Walsh        Stratford

Chris Matters           Charlottetown

Michael Peterson     Charlottetown

Lora Kemp                 Montague

Pam Power McKenna Charlottetown

Paul Burnley               Summerside

Grace Dawson           Charlottetown

Natalie Chaisson       Montague

Stan Chaisson            Charlottetown

Amber Spriggs           Charlottetown

Scott Clark                 Summerside

Blair McQuaid           Tracadie Cross

Charlotte Gardiner     Summerside

John Bowser             Summerside

Shawn Shea             Stratford

Paul Dalton               St. Edward

Jocelyn Peterson     Charlottetown

Leanne Vessey       Charlottetown

Did you know?

Atop his division

Charlottetown’s Francis Fagan won his division of the Boston Athletic Association five-kilometre race Saturday.

He completed the course in 22:23, ahead of East Yorkshire’s Graham Naylor (22:28) and Bernard McGourty of Wesmont, Ill., (22:41). Fagan’s time was tops in the men’s 65-69 age category, which included 101 entries.

Ethiopia’s Gebrhiwet Hagos won the overall race in 13:42.

Boston Marathon fun facts:

– Established by the Boston Athletic Association in 1897.

– Is the oldest and fastest marathon in the United States.

– About 500,000 spectators line the marathon course each year.

– Women were excluded from the race until 1972.

– Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to officially run the race in 1967, at which time an organizer tried to pull her off the course for being female.

– Last year, 30,074 participants took part in the marathon.

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