Five Islanders finish Boston Marathon

A group of Islander men ran in the 112th Boston Marathon held on April 21, the day after the women’s marathon Olympic Trials qualifying race took place in the city. Islanders Ryan Rein, Brian Kennett, Michael Schreck Jr., Greg Larson, and Roger Larson all finished the 26.2-mile course. They range in age from 38 to 63.

Kevin Newman, 38, of Mercer Island was also entered in the race.

Rein, the youngest and fastest of the group completed the race in three hours, one minute. He “warmed up” for the Boston race by running in the Mercer Island Rotary Run in March, when he was the second Islander finisher behind winner Susan Empey. Rein, a Seattle attorney, said that Boston was his ninth marathon and his first Boston run. He was a bit disappointed by his time, adding that he began to cramp up with about eight miles to go after he began his run feeling the best ever in a race. He was hoping for a time of about two hours, 46 minutes. With a full-time job and two young children, Rein said he does most of his training on weekends and runs the loop around the Island early in the mornings.

University of Washington doctor and Island resident, Roger Larson, 63, said he runs marathons for the challenge and for “the fun of it.” He is a sports orthopedic surgeon at the University of Washington and a team physician for the Huskies. He completed the 26.2-mile race in Boston, his third straight, in four hours, 48 minutes.

Larson said the course in Boston routes the runners through many small towns on the way to the finish line in the big city. “Since it is Patriot’s Day [a holiday on the East Coast], many people are not working and instead are celebrating,” he explained. “People line the course from start to finish and are very encouraging.”

Larson has run four marathons since he turned 60, including three in Boston. In 2006, he ran the Athens Marathon in Greece. Larson explained that because he is a member of the AAMA (American Medical Athletic Association), which participates in a charitable way with the marathon, he does not need to have a qualifying time. He is planning to run in Boston again next year and will enter the lottery to race in the New York City Marathon this fall. He is also a mountain climber and will attempt to summit Mt. McKinley in Alaska this spring.

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for the Women’s Marathon was held the day before the Boston Marathon on April 20. Islander Susan Empey ran for a chance to qualify for the team to race in the Olympics in Beijing in August. A dozen or so family members accompanied her to the event. Empey, however, did not finish, as she was suffering by an injured hamstring. She had to drop out at mile 18. But it had to be the most inspiring DNF [did not finish] of her running career, she told an interviewer.

”As loopy as it sounds, the entire weekend really was a dream come true for me and an event I will never forget,” Empey said.

Team Iron Crew from Club Emerald recently competed in the Ironman Arizona in Tempe, Ariz. Iron Crew members Shawn LeProwse, Nancy Urner, Ginny Pietela, Kim Sharman and Foster Boone, trained together for five months under the direction of Pietela, an owner of Mercer Island’s Club Emerald. The triathlon, which consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run took place on April 13 in 96-degree heat and 35-mph winds. All five finished.

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