Hancock County runners brave weather for 122nd Boston Marathon

— Nine runners from Hancock County braved inclement weather Monday to cross the finish line at the 122nd running of the Boston Marathon.

A total of 29,978 runners registered for the race, and roughly 25,000 finished. Of those finishers, 151 were from Maine.

Bradford Eslin of Bucksport was the top local finisher with a time of 3 hours, 8 minutes, 16 seconds. That finish was good enough to give Eslin placements of 3,029th nationally and 17th among Maine runners.

The top female finisher locally was Bar Harbor’s Rebeccah Geib, who placed 46th in the state and 7,664th nationally. Geib crossed the finish line in 3:29:01.

Runners took extra precautions to ensure they were prepared for the weather. Wind gusts were as high as 25 mph during the race, and the temperature of 43 degrees combined with constant rain made conditions even less ideal.

“There were people wearing layers on top, fleece-lined tights or whatever else you could think of,” Bar Harbor’s Melissa Ossanna said. “It still didn’t seem like enough at times.”

As a result of the weather, which offered a stark contrast from last year’s bright, sunny day of 70 degrees throughout New England’s largest metropolitan area on race day, finishing times for runners of all abilities were among the highest they’ve been in decades,. The rain and cold in particular also put runners at risk of hypothermia.

“I’d dropped out from marathons twice in the past because of deep hypothermia, and I didn’t want that to happen again,” Ossanna said. “I was hoping to finish the race with a time that would qualify me for Boston again next year, but that was a hard goal for everybody out there with how nasty the weather was. … I was happy just to finish.”

Other local finishers were Henry Jao of Hancock, Margaret Stack of Blue Hill, Jim Newett and Andrew Tiemann of Ellsworth, Michael Westphal of Cranberry Isles and Elissa Haskell of Stonington. Ossanna said she and many of the other local runners received numerous messages of support before, during and after their journeys.

“We’re a tight-knit running community both here on the island and throughout Maine, really,” Ossanna said. “It was great to see how many people were supporting us and following us.”

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at [email protected]

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