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Moran to run Boston Marathon

Staff writer

Mike Moran of rural Marion will run in the Boston Marathon Monday.

Moran, counselor at Hillsboro Elementary School, has always been a runner.

“It’s just a lot of fun,” he said.

Moran ran his first marathon five years ago in Chicago with family in the area cheering him on.

“I knew I’d run a marathon,” Moran said. “I was worn out.”

He qualified for the 113th Boston Marathon by completing the Heart of Wichita Marathon Oct. 19 in a time of 3:48:23. He won the 60-and-older division of the race.

Moran said he waited until 2008 to attempt to qualify because the required qualifying time is slower for those 60 or older.

Modern marathons, which are a bit more than 26 miles long, began with the first modern Olympics in 1896 at Athens, Greece.

The Boston Marathon is the biggest marathon in the world, Moran said. Its importance is similar to the Masters in golf, with one important difference — anyone can qualify to run in Boston.

“I feel really blessed, fortunate, and honored to run in it,” Moran said.

Moran is training with a 16-week program from Runners’ World magazine. Two weeks before the race, his time running decreases to allow him to regain energy for the race. Marathon training takes a lot of time and energy, even forcing lifestyle changes.

Moran said he was in better shape for the Wichita marathon because he was injured for part of the training for Boston.

“If I could be around four hours in Boston, I’d be happy,” he said.

The course in Boston is challenging. The first half of the race is generally downhill, which can hurt runners’ quadriceps if they are overeager.

About 17 miles into the race, runners reach Heartbreak Hill, a gradual two-mile incline. It is especially difficult because by the 17th mile, runners have exhausted their energy reserves.

“Miles 17 to 22 are a real mental struggle,” Moran said.

Moran will leave for Boston Thursday after school. He will return April 23.

He will start with wave two at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time — 9:30 a.m. Central time. Anyone interested in tracking his progress can log on to the Boston Marathon’s Web site, www.bostonmarathon.org. Input his bib number, 18703, and his registered name, Mike C. Moran.

Last modified April 16, 2009

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