Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mike Kinney competes in Boston Marathon

I got a call from Karen Leonardi about a week ago and she mentioned that she read about Mike Kinney competing in the Boston Marathon for the first time in the local paper. I started searching on the Times Leader and Citizen's Voice websites and found the article below. I'll post the link here too, but I expect it will age off their system sooner or later, so I'll include the article in below from the Citizen's Voice, April 16th edition written by Matt Engel.

Area runners to compete in Monday’s Boston Marathon

They face the challenge of surviving the infamous Heartbreak Hill, a series of inclines that culminate at the 20-mile mark. Most agree that they can’t afford to start the event too fast, saving their energy for the final seven miles or so.

Running her first Boston Marathon is a challenge for former Hanover Area track and cross country standout Theresa Dennis-Jacob.

Dennis-Jacob, 25, resides in East Stroudsburg, where she works as a civil engineer for LTS Builders in Shawnee-on-the-Delaware. Her mom, Theresa, and husband, Adam, will accompany her to Boston to cheer her on.

"I’m ready for the hills and I’ve been training on them here in the Poconos,” she said earlier this week. "I have to look out for the fast downhills and then Heartbreak Hill."

Heartbreak Hill takes runners near the Boston College campus. It’s known that this segment of the marathon will make or break participants. After Heartbreak Hill, the pack moves swiftly for the final 6.2 miles along a gradual downhill towards downtown Boston.

“I’m not really going for a fast time,” said Dennis-Jacob, who starred in track and cross country at Bucknell, making All-Patriot League honors four times. “I just want to finish. I haven’t set any high goals."

This will be her second marathon overall. She did well last December at the Kiawah Island, S.C. Marathon, near Charleston, finishing 26.2 miles in 3:36. She met the Boston qualifying standard for her age group by four minutes. “I had a good pace going for the first 20 miles, then I encountered stomach problems,” she recalled.

“I’m looking forward to Boston. I’d love to do a 3:10, or run a seven-minute pace."

Dennis-Jacob was a two-time District 2 champ in track at Hanover in the two-mile. She was on the 1998 Hanover Area girls’ cross country team that won the Class AA state title.

Another newcomer to Beantown is Wilkes-Barre’s Mike Kinney, 47. He qualified last fall with a 3:23.45 at Scranton’s Steamtown Marathon, almost seven minutes under the standard.

“It’s been a childhood dream of mine to run Boston, ever since watching Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers do so well up there,” said Kinney, who is studying plumbing and heating at Luzerne County Community College.

Kinney has logged many miles in recent months under the guidance of Chris Wadas, assistant track and cross country coach at College Misericordia.

“I started training for Boston in mid-December, running 50 miles a week,” said Kinney. “I’ve tapered down to 40, 35, and 30. I’ve talked to some top area runners who’ve been up there, like Bernie Popson, Vince Wojnar, Mike Rawls and Patty Phillips. I’ve even watched tapes of the last two Bostons."

Kinney plans to start slow and take it easy on the downhills. “I’m very excited about Boston,” he added. “I want to finish, and maybe do it in 3:20 or 3:30. I came out too fast at Steamtown and I’ve learned from my mistakes."

Mountain Top’s Greg Bassham, 47, qualified for Boston for the first time last December by running a 3:20.41 in Jacksonville, Fla. He’s chairman of the philosophy department at King’s College.

“It’s all about timing of the hills,” said Bassham. “I’m ready. I’ve trained since December and I’m shooting for a personal best of under 3:20. It’ll be an experience of a lifetime."

One local female who’s very familiar with Boston is Hanover Township’s Patty Phillips, 51. She’s competing in her ninth Boston and 20th marathon overall. She ran a 4:00.16 at Steamtown last fall to qualify by just under five minutes.

“I feel really healthy and I want to finish in four hours flat,” said Phillips, who works at Dundee Gardens. “I’ll take it easy early. The crowd support is great up there. Heartbreak Hill comes at a bad spot. I’m just going to enjoy it. You don’t shoot for a personal best or to win. You’re treated like a celebrity and get to meet people from all over the world."

Myron Sidloski, 55, of Dallas, is running Boston for the 15th time. His personal best was back in 1988, 3:08.07. He qualified by running a 3:31.10 in March of 2005 at the Shamrock Virginia Beach Marathon.

“The noon starting time is a disadvantage,” said Sidloski, an administrator for PrimeMed PC, a primary physician health care organization in Scranton. “The weather could be warm by then. But I’m shooting for a 3:45. The first five miles are very narrow and your pace will be slow. Runners must be careful not to pick it up too fast at five miles. Boston’s a lot of fun and the crowds are nothing like you’ve ever seen."

Others competing from the Wyoming Valley are Joe Boris, 26, Tom McDade, 49, and Holly Waters, 27, all of Wilkes-Barre, and Laflin’s John Weiss, 43.

In searching in Google on the text string "Kinney Boston Marathon", I see he finished too!

5427, Michael J. Kinney, Wilkes-Barre, 3:31:30.

That's not bad for an 'old' guy!!!