BOSTON — Cramps didn’t stop Gary Lake from finishing his final Boston Marathon.
The 67-year-old from Honor fought through a painful final eight miles to finish in just over five hours.
“I started cramping at about the 18-mile mark,” Lake said.
He said he was within reasonable distance of his goals prior to that, but a little behind what he wanted.
“I usually take anti-cramping pills at about 14 miles,” Lake said. “I did this time, too. But then they hit at 18, and I tried taking more, but it was too late. Once they hit, there’s not much you can do about it.
“At about 10 miles, which is where I usually get a pretty good idea of how my pace is, I was close. But at about the half-marathon (distance), I had slipped a bit.”
He finished in 5:04:01. Not his best time in four Boston Marathons, but still far better than last year, when he wasn’t able to finish due to the terrorist attacks at the race’s finish line.
As one of the estimated 6,000 runners who weren’t able to finish the race due to the explosions, Lake was informed that he would not have to meet the race time requirement this time around, although he still did when he placed second in his age category at the Detroit Marathon.
Runners are given priority in registration based upon how much they beat the qualifying time. Out of about 37,000 people who signed up for the race, he was given number 24646.
While the race itself brings in many runners, Lake said the Boston spectators are just as big a draw for many of the racers.
“The people at this race are just so great,” Lake said. “People who live right along the route come out and cheer everybody on.”