By Arnie Leshin
It was a tight downhill start, there was rain in the morning, heat and humidity in the afternoon, and plenty of support along the way.
For Rita Vigil, it was her third marathon, but her first time running in the heralded Boston Marathon, and she was so happy to get this chance, she didn’t take long to set her sights on next year’s 26.2 event.
“I had a real good time,” said the Capital High head cross country and track and field coach. “But I haven’t qualified for next year, so I’m going to have to find another marathon by the Sept. 14 deadline. But my husband, Tim, has qualified to Boston, and intends to run it.”
Tim. who assists Rita with the Jaguar programs, is well prepared. He has already turned in a qualifying time of 2:57.35 at the Duke City Marathon in Albuquerque. But this was Rita’s turn to make her way through the streets and be cheered on by the crowds.
“Tim went from point to point to track me down,” she said, “and that was really special. Next year could find us both running the course.”
Rita’s personal-best is 3:41.17, but the mixed weather conditions on this day didn’t help the approximate 30,000 entries. If you were a starter with the elite runners, you took off in the rain. If you began with the rest of the pack nearly an hour and 50 minutes later, the precipitation was replaced by the sun and temperatures soared to the mid 70s.
But the coach did turn in a 4:04.27, not far from the qualifying time, and a return trip is her goal.
“The crowds were great,” she said, “very friendly, and the trip itself was great, and the city of Boston was real nice, so it all turned out into a neat weekend.”
She added that water was most important, and that she drank a lot of it along the way.
And that the security was evident, especially at the start and finish four years after the tragic terrorist bombing at the finish line.
Her two previous marathons were in the White Rock in Dallas, Tex., and the Duke City, but this one was the nationally televised event that brings the most attention.