DuChene, Coolsaet, Cassidy record top 10s at Boston Marathon

BOSTON – University of Guelph graduate Krista DuChene, who trains with Guelph’s Speed River Track and Field Club, placed third in the women’s category of Monday’s Boston Marathon.

DuChene finished with a time of two hours, 44 minutes and 20 seconds and was four minutes and 26 seconds behind the winner, Desiree Linden of the U.S., and 16 seconds behind second-place finisher Sarah Sellers of the U.S.

An all-star varsity women’s hockey player during her four years at the U of G from the 1996-97 to 1999-2000 seasons, DuChene said before the race that she’d be thinking of both her family and the people of Humboldt, Sask., during the marathon.

DuChene gained seven places in the final seven kilometres of the race as she kept to a fairly consistent pace.

Reid Coolsaet of the Speed River club was top Canadian in the men’s category as he was ninth in 2:25:02 in his first Boston Marathon. He finished 9:04 behind the winner, Yuki Kawauchi of Japan.

“I don’t feel as though I ran particularly well today,” Coolsaet tweeted. “However, I survived better than most and am happy that I kept moving forward despite feeling awful.”

Kawauchi had an up-and-down race. He led after 5K, but was 20th and almost two minutes behind after 15K. He worked his way back to the lead by 25K, but fell back after that and was second, just over a minute and a half behind Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya after 35K. Kirui, the defending champion, struggled after that and eventually finished second, 2:25 behind.

Coolsaet was in the top 20 throughout the race. He was 20th at the midway point and steadily moved up after that as he was 17th at 25K, 15th at 30K and 10th at 40K.

“That was rough and absolute carnage,” Coolsaet said in an Instagram post. “I felt great through 15km and was running in a good pack with 5 other guys. I faded off that pack after 25km. By 30km my legs weren’t working properly and I started to shuffle.

“By 35km I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to run the last 7km. However, no one was passing me and every once in a while I’d overtake someone. My energy was good but my legs were dead (hammys, quads and calves). It no longer felt as though I was racing as I was moving slower than a long run.

“When I crossed the line I was just happy it was over but pretty bummed that I was so slow. 5 minutes later someone told me I was ninth and that put a smile on my face. Top 10 was my main goal. As rough as I felt apparently many guys fared worse.”

Josh Cassidy of Guelph finished sixth in the men’s wheelchair class.

A former winner of the event, Cassidy completed the distance in 1:57:07 and that left him 10 minutes and 41 seconds behind the victorious Marcel Hug of Switzerland who won for the fourth consecutive year.

“Toughest conditions ever faced at this #BostonMarathon. 4 degrees, below zero with windchill.,” Cassidy posted on Instagram. “Speaking of wind.. 40km hour gusting winds- headwind.. the WHOLE way, with a down pour of freezing rain.”

Cassidy, a winner of three medals at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto in 2015, won the men’s wheelchair class of the Boston Marathon in 2012 in the then world-record time of 1:18.25. Hug beat that mark by 22 seconds last year.

This year’s times were the slowest in 30 years and coldest in 30 years.

“Feeling very well prepared, but these are uncertain conditions!,” Cassidy said on Instagram. “Off the start was shocked as I was passed on the Long steep downhill again by many (I need a lighter aero chair!).. was about 14th at the bottom 5km then worked my way back up to 6th, one by one. That’s all I had, last few kms body shut down but I’m proud. You never know what’s going to happen in rain, and no one knew what to expect today.”

Cassidy was 12th after 5K, seventh after 15K and sixth after 20K, a position he kept throughout the remainder of the race.

Eric Gillis of the Speed River club, a former Olympian and a former training partner for Coolsaet, ran in the top 30 until dropping out before 30K. He had been as high as 20th, a position he held at 15K.

“What a run by @kristaduchene, 3rd in Boston!! And 9th for @ReidCoolsaet, way to go guys!!..,” Gillis tweeted. “I’m good, got cold DNFd, warm now.”

Several other locals competed in the event.

Elizabeth Waywell of Guelph won the women’s 60-64 class. She finished in 3:25:52 and was 44 seconds ahead of runner-up Becky Backstrom of the U.S.

Twins Lydia and Nadine Frost, both former University of Guelph Gryphon runners, finished 42 seconds apart. Lydia was 137th overall in the women’s category at 3:04:16 and Nadine was 151st overall. Lydia lives in Guelph while Nadine has returned to Ottawa, her hometown.

Vision-impaired runner Jason Dunkerley, a former U of G student, finished in 3:13.58.

Of the other Guelphites in the race, Jonathan Krashinsky finished in 3:28:10, Stephen Kilburn in 3:35:07, Mariusz Rozanski in 3:38:47, Phil Martin in 3:49:54, Stefan Gudmundson in 4:14:36 and 71-year-old Stanley Bunston in 5:20:24.

Guelph Sports Journal


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