One of our ScotlandGolfTour2011.com and IrelandGolfTour2015.com golfers, Mike McNeill, completed the Boston Marathon this past weekend with his daughter Sydney.
It was Mike’s seventh Boston Marathon and his personal best time of 3:23 which was good for 12th place of 55 New Brunswick runners.
13357, McNeill Mike G, 52, M, Riverview, NB, CAN
Here is a short piece from local paper leading up to the race…
“Speaking of fast, the McNeill. family of Riverview has made the journey. The harder Mike McNeill lives, the less he trains but the faster he gets. The man defies science. I think the Leafs should draft him.
This year he has bride Dr. Jeannie McNeill and family in tow. Medical attention will likely not be required; she is married to a medical wonder. Daughter Sydney is in her first Boston and only second marathon. At age 24 she qualified with a 3:27. Watch her in the years ahead if not today.”
Here is the story as told to Sean Hatchard of the Moncton Times & Transcript…
Mike McNeill had more than enough reasons to enjoy the Boston Marathon yesterday.
McNeill, a 52-year-old from Riverview, posted the top time among Metro Moncton runners in the 118th running of the venerable marathon, finishing the 42.2-kilometre course in three hours 23 minutes 29 seconds.
More important than his showing, McNeill also shared the experience with his 24-year-old daughter, Sydney, who ran her first Boston Marathon.
It was a special day in Boston for McNeill, his daughter and so many others.
More than 32,000 people crossed the starting line at the marathon in a powerful show of defiance a year after the deadly bombing.
The two pressure-cooker bombs that went off near the end of the course last year killed three people and wounded more than 260 in a hellish spectacle of torn limbs, smoke and broken glass.
The runners this time hit the streets under extraordinary security that included a battery of surveillance cameras, more than 90 bomb-sniffing dogs and officers posted on roofs.
As runners continued to drag themselves across the finish line in the late afternoon, more than six hours into the race, state emergency officials reported no security threats other than some unattended bags.
“It was just fantastic. I’m going to say that Boston was strong today,” said McNeill, who ran his seventh Boston Marathon yesterday.
“This city was all about getting over last year and moving on and showing that everybody was supported – the athletes, the city and the victims.
“You couldn’t beat the atmosphere. Between all the people that were supporting us along the way and all the volunteers, everybody was supporting the race.”
McNeill had completed the course last year about 30 minutes before the bombings. He was relaxing at a cocktail bar a few blocks away when he heard the news.
Upon completing the race yesterday, his thoughts were with those who were closer to last year’s tragedy.
“I think of runners like Lyn Young (of Moncton), who was 100 metres from the finish line last year and witnessed the bomb and was turned back, and she came back this year. I came back to support her and others who were more directly affected”McNeill said.
“It still gives you a little tingle – I don’t know what it is.This past week there was a lot of news on it … it’s still in your mind.
“The city did a fantastic job.All the security that was in place was very visible, but it still ran extremely efficient. For everybody who supported the race, it was almost like,‘You’re not going take us down with terrorism’”
McNeill said the Boston course presents a difficult challenge, unlike any other marathon.
“I always try to enjoy the race and do the best I can, period. I did the best I could today,”he said.
“The Boston track is a grueling track. I just want to go out and enjoy the day, and enjoy the camaraderie between our group of runners. We’re all secretly competitive. You want to cheer on your buddy, but we’re always competitive to the end”
Having his daughter along for the ride yesterday made it extra special for McNeill. Sydney finished just her second marathon in 4:05:38.
“For her to be able to participate in Boston, it’s an honour and it was a lot of fun for me,”said McNeill.“She’s very independent. I gave her the choice at the start –‘Do you want to run with daddy or do you want to run by yourself?’She said, ‘I’ll do my own thing,’and I said,‘Cool,I’ll see you at the end’”
Vincent Merriam of Caraquet was the top New Brunswick finisher. Merriam, 35, placed 1,442nd overall in 2:54:39. Brenda Guitard of Saint John was the top female New Brunswick runner in a time of 3:13:19.
In all, 55 New Brunswickers completed the marathon. The Metro Moncton contingent also included Hans Laltoo of Moncton (3:26:09), John Dallaire of Moncton (3:30:53), Pat O’Brien of Moncton (3:30:54), Jessica Kennedy of Dieppe (3:36:30), Darrell Wilkins of Moncton (3:36:56), Kraig Colpitts of Moncton (3:38:03), Robert Forbes of Riverview (3:41:31), Robin Drummond of Moncton (3:45.10), Nicole Barrieau of Moncton (3:51:41),Richard Bennett of Dieppe (3:51:54), Larry Peacocke of Moncton (4:06:35), Susan Edgett of Moncton (4:08:37), Lyn Young of Moncton (4:22:16), Rejeanne Belliveau of Moncton (4:35:58) and Richard Steele of Moncton (5:01:59).
Among other New Brunswickers were Sandrine Caron of Pointe-A-Tom, near Tracadie-Sheila (3:44:41), Lori Singleton of Miramichi (3:51:19), Nathalie Carrier of Beresford (3:54:27),Maurice Vienneau of Note-Dame (4:46:03) and Albenie Losier of Losier Settlement, near Tracadie-Sheila (5:34:04).
Meb Keflezighi became the first American in 31 years to win the men’s race in 2:08:37. Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo won the women’s race in a course-record 2:18:57, defending the title she won last year.