Granite State pair back on track for Boston
Heidi Westover and Brandon Newbould are back.
Two of New Hampshire's top marathoners plan to return to the starting line in Hopkinton, Mass., on Monday morning for the 117th running of the Boston Marathon.
Both Westover, 32 and a fifth grade teacher from Walpole, and Newbould, 31 and a professional trombone player from Nottingham and a transplant from Alaska, have taken a break from Boston in recent years and are happy to be back and are looking for big days.
"I took a year off from teaching and I've been concentrating solely on running and it's gone extremely well," Westover said. "I'm excited for Monday. I've done some real long workouts on the treadmill and they've gone real well."
Westover was the top New Hampshire female finisher at Boston the two years she ran the race, in 2009 with a time of 2:43:11 and in 2010 (2:39:14).
Newbould was tops from the state in 2008 (2:32:51) and 2009 (2:33:27).
Each of them has run their personal best elsewhere, but if the conditions are good and things go well on Monday, look forward to lowering those marks.
Newbould ran a 2:25:03 at the Bay State Marathon in Lowell in 2010.
"I'd love to go in the low 2:20s," he said. "And the New Hampshire thing is a prideful goal. I want to defend that."
Westover spent nine weeks training in Boulder, Colo., with coach Brad Hanson and his team last summer and she's headed back to the North Charlestown Community School in late summer.
Before that, she too, wants to improve on her PR. She ran a 2:35:02 at the Vermont City Marathon in 2009.
"Anything under 2:35 is kind of the goal, but my workouts have definitely shown I'm extremely fit and ready to run under that time," Westover said.
She'd like to run well under it.
"You never know," Westover said. "It's a marathon and anything can happen to anybody. It's such a long race. I have to go with my own plan on how I'm going to attack the race. I want to run a real fast time and hopefully that can put me in better standing with the other athletes in the field. I think the field's real deep this year."
Newbould and Westover, who will start early with the elite women, lead the list of New Hampshire entrants in the Marathon.
Tim Perry, 29, a former University of New Hampshire runner now living in Nashua, was the top finisher from the state last year in 2:45:08 and he's entered again.
So are Alex Hall, 26, of Hanover (third in 2:52:37), Adrian Wong, 25, of Merrimack (fourth in 2:53:48) and Justin Patronick, 33, of Nashua (sixth in 3:00:34).
Christin Doneski of Hopkinton, the first female finisher from the state last year in 3:12:06, planned to run but injured her hamstring about a month ago and will sit the race out this year.
Carrie Hill, 32 of Kingston (second in 3:27:01) Diana Eisenhaure, 37, of Barrington (third in 3:32:10) and Nadine Palmer, 45, of Derry (fourth in 3:32:43) are entered.
Westover's time of 2:39:14 in 2010 was the fastest for a female from New Hampshire since Lynn Jennings, running out of Newmarket, ran 2:28:37 in 1999. It was also only the fourth time in records dating back to 1981 that a New Hampshire woman has been under 2:40.
Mainer Joan Benoit Samuelson, running out of Exeter at the time, holds the fastest time for a New Hampshire woman at Boston with a 2:30:16 in 1981. Karen Dunn of Durham ran a 2:33:35 in 1983.
Manchester's Ray Currier has the fastest men's time in record dating to 1974 with his 2:18:18 in 1978.