The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

April 22, 2014

Local runners return to make statement

When he finished running the Boston Marathon a year ago, Mankato resident Clint Counsellor didn’t think there’d be any reason to go back for another race.

“I didn’t know if I would run another Boston,” the Mankato resident said in a phone interview afterward. “Last year was fun. But when the bombings happened, I just had to.”

Counsellor was back on the course on Monday and finished the race in 3 hours, 9 minutes, 20 seconds. But after what happened last year, his time was the least of his concerns.

“It was a fun day, a special day,” he said. “Last year, when you showed up, it was about past, personal accomplishments to get here. This year, it was about making a statement. ... You can push us, and we’re going to push back.”

About 14 Mankato-area residents were among the more than 35,000 runners registered for this year’s Boston Marathon.

Jim Kalina, a Mankato resident who finished in 3:27:03, was running Boston for the third year in a row. He said he, like so many other participants, didn’t get a chance to appreciate and enjoy last year’s run because of the bombings that took place not long after he finished.

“We didn’t get to celebrate,” he said. “Someone took that away from us.”

Monday was a warm day, especially for those who trained during this year’s miserable Minnesota winter, and that made setting personal records difficult. But the runners were hardly disappointed in the race, especially with an estimated 1 million onlookers who lined the course and cheered on the runners.

“Today was not about that at all,” Cindra Kamphoff, who finished in 3:16:49, said of her time. “I pretty much grinned the whole race. I just had a constant grin. We were so grateful, all of us who came out there, that we could feel that energy.”

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