Local runners survive tough conditions in Boston
For the group of marathon runners from Windsor and Essex County who travelled to participate in the 2018 Boston Marathon it will be very memorable — but for all the wrong reasons.
“It was brutal. Absolutely brutal,” said George Drew, 53, of Windsor, who finished the 26-mile course he calls the Super Bowl of marathons in a time of three hours, 23 minutes and 13 seconds. That was in spite of headwinds from the east gusting at 50 to 80 kilometres per hour, a steady rain that varied from drizzle to ice pellets, and temperatures just above the freezing mark.
“This was like (huge) gusts with sleety big giant pelleting rain that felt like needles hitting your skin,” said Drew.
“It was just brutal. And the headwinds were unrelenting.” This was Drew’s fifth Boston Marathon, his first coming in 2013 when the tragic bombing occurred — something he said still crosses his mind.
For that first Boston Marathon, his wife and kids were there to cheer him on and headed toward the finish line where the bombers detonated their devices.
But rather than stay on that main street, Drew’s wife and kids went to an alley behind stores, and that’s where they were when the bombs went off.
On the weekend before the 2018 marathon, the family visited that alley, as well as a memorial at the bombing site.
“We stood there and just, we welled up, because I could have lost my wife and kids,” Drew said. As for Monday ’s marathon, Drew said the exhilaration of finishing was quickly met with a runners village — where finishers rest — he described as a “mud pit.” “Everyone looked just as miserable as I was. There was not a happy face in the crowd.” South Woodslee’s Rich Ditty, 50, finished with a time of 3:14:10. “I got it done,” said Ditty. “It was a tough one.”
Mike Aubin, 42, of Belle River, ran the marathon three weeks after meniscus surgery on his right knee and finished with a respectable time of 3:40:32.