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April 15. 2013 10:53PM

Newbould, Varanka lead Granite Staters in Boston Marathon

Racers and race officials look for loved ones after multiple explosions near the 117th Boston Marathon finish line in Boston, Massachusetts April 15, 2013. Two explosions hit the Boston Marathon as runners crossed the finish line on Monday, killing at least two people and injuring 23 on a day when tens of thousands of people pack the streets to watch one of the world's best known marathons. (REUTERS/Neal Hamberg)

BOSTON - A short time before the explosions took place at the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, Nottingham's Brandon Newbould and Amherst's Alexandra Varanka finished their race as the top New Hampshire male and female finisher.

It marks the third time Newbould finished as the overall Granite State winner, his last one coming in 2009. His time Monday was 2:17.56, good for 133rd place in the marathon.

Varanka was the top female in New Hampshire for the second time in three years. Her time Monday was 2:45:25.

Hours later after the explosions, Newbould's mood was understandably subdued. "I was in my room resting (at Copley Plaza) when I heard explosions. When I learned what happened, I felt horrible."

Moments after they finished, each had a different story to tell about their run.

Newbould said he ran his fastest Boston Marathon Monday, but said the 26.2-mile run was not easy.

"Because I was in better shape than previous (Boston) marathons, I pushed myself harder," said Newbould, "So at mile 17, I started to feel sick. I even had to stop for 30 seconds and vomit."

Newbould was proud of his accomplishment as New Hampshire's top runner. "I'm very honored to represent the state of New Hampshire at the race," he said.

Newbould battled Portsmouth's Andrew Huebner, who was the second New Hampshire runner to cross the finish line, in 2:19:12. Newbould and Huebner swapped leads until mile 20 when Newbould forged ahead for good.

Walpole's Heidi Westover was considered the top female favorite from the Granite State.

But she dropped out halfway through the race.

Varanka said she finished four minutes faster than her 2011 time. "I'm thrilled to be the top New Hampshire female," she said. "I felt great all day and had a good run."

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