Congratulations to our club member Brian Morin, who is ranked 85th in the World Marathon Majors age group rankings and has been invited to run at the 2020 World Major Marathons Age Group World Championship held at the London Marathon in April!
I am a 56-year-old member of the Central Maine Striders. I decided at the age of 48 to start running road races again. After over 20 years of not racing I decided to skip 5k and 10k distances and train for a marathon. You might as well go big, I told myself.
The Maine Marathon in 2011 was supposed to be my one and done, except I was not done. I made every mistake possible, starting with jumping into the marathon without racing a 5k or 10k. After finishing my first marathon I had another goal: run the Boston Marathon. I ran Boston in 2012 as a charity runner for Tufts. Boston 2012 was 90 degrees and I did not run the time that I wanted. Naturally, I ran Sugarloaf 6 weeks later aiming to qualify for Boston. I missed my Boston qualifying time by 43 seconds. After Sugarloaf I started doing track workouts with the Striders. I have to give the Cotes [Patrick and Tracey] credit for my rapid decrease in race times. They told me that I had the potential to run faster. That fall I ran the MDI marathon 15 minutes faster than Sugarloaf and earned a Boston qualifying time for 2014. We were spectating near the finish line in Boston in 2013 and fortunately left before the bombs went off.
Boston 2014 was great. I ran my best Boston time which was 8 minutes faster than MDI. When I lived in Boston for 7 years going to school, I never dreamed that I would be able to actually run the Boston Marathon. The only running I did back then was running through Harvard Yard to catch the bus. In 2018 I was taken into a medical tent at Boston with hypothermia with 2 miles to go. My wife Jacky started asking me about the other world major marathons, and if I would like to run them. That was all the incentive that I needed.
I ran Chicago in 2018, and even though it started pouring with 6 miles to go I ran a good time. I decided to start my profile on the Abbott World Major Marathons website. Boston and Chicago done, 4 more to go.
I entered the London and Berlin marathon raffle entries in 2018 with no luck. I decided to run the New York City Marathon in 2019 and entered the London and Berlin lotteries again. New York went well, but the lotteries did not. Ten days after running New York I received an email inviting me to participate in the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon – Abbott World Major Marathons Wanda Age Group World Championship. I thought the email was a joke, but it was real. I did not know about the World Major Marathon age rankings, or that the inaugural championship would be held at the 2020 London Marathon. My Chicago 2018 and Boston 2019 times put me at 85th in the WMM age group rankings and 25th in the USA. My wife told me not to get a big head saying, “Someone is number one and it isn’t you!”
I will skip Boston this year and run London. After London I will keep trying to get in to Berlin and Tokyo. I want to thank all of my Strider friends for helping me to become a better runner. I am very fortunate to have a supportive family.