Robert McArtor’s legs were tiring on Heartbreak Hill in Monday’s Boston Marathon, and it was warmer than ideal, but the energy of the crowd carried him and other runners onward, the 75-year-old Southport man said.
“Crossing that finish line was the thrill of a lifetime,” he said by phone from the Boston-Portland Downeaster run. The train was taking him and wife Linda home to Maine on Tuesday, April 22, the day after the race. He was still feeling the race in his legs, but didn’t mind.
“The leg pain is temporary. The memories are for a lifetime,” the physician said.
He’d run the Boston Marathon once before, in 1995. That time was wonderful, also, because the Boston race is the holy grail for avid runners, he said. This time, with the added significance of the first running since last year’s bombings, he said the city’s mood was electric all weekend, and particularly on race day. “It was amazing to be a part of that ... I felt privileged and honored.
“The day yesterday was nothing short of magical.”
There was a sense of healing at the race, he said.
Another of Monday’s runners, former Wiscasset resident Emily LeVan, said she passed many “Boston strong” signs along the race.
“It was special to be a part of the event, and see the huge amount of support among the runners and the crowds,” she said, back home in Vermont Tuesday afternoon.
In her Wiscasset years, LeVan was twice the top U.S. female finisher in the Boston Marathon. Now she runs for enjoyment, not competition, so this year’s race didn’t carry the pressure of her past Boston races, she said.
Her time was three hours and 43 minutes.
McArtor finished in five hours and 45 minutes, just over an hour longer than it took him on the cooler, gray day of the 1995 race. His time Monday was about 30 minutes longer than he had expected it to take him.
“It just gave me more time to enjoy the crowd,” he said.