Former Glen Rose High School athlete Jason Wallace was one face among more than 30,000 who started the 121st Boston Marathon Monday.
The 42-year-old Wallace knew he wasn’t one of the world’s elite runners with a chance to win, but was thrilled to finish the race in his first try. He was entered in the division for men ages 40-44.
Wallace finished in 4:02, battling difficult conditions that sidelined some of the competitors with leg cramps and dehydration.
“Well I didn't set any speed records,” Wallace stated in an email to the Glen Rose Reporter. “I just wanted to run it under 4 hours and and enjoy the sights. I did in 4:02 so close enough.
“It was awful hot by marathon standards. I have not seen that many get leg cramps and even have to be carried off. You have to remember, nearly everyone that ran yesterday has run a race fast enough to qualify.
“It was an awesome race. The entire course was lined with true fanatics with signs and cheering like you were the first runner that came by. I heard there were over 500,000 spectators lining the course.”
Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya won the race in 2:09.37, and Galen Rupp of the United States was the runner-up with a time of 2:09.58.
Wallace, a 1993 GRHS graduate, was on the cross country and track teams in school as well as playing baseball and football for the Tigers. He has lived in Huntsville since 1999 and works as a procurement forester for Georgia Pacific. He is a member of the Seven Hills Running Club there, as is his girlfriend, Jill Blake. She, along with Wallace’s mother Shelley Starnes and stepfather Terry Starnes joined him on the trip. Blake ran in a 5K run in Boston on Saturday.
Wallace said that the often-cited “runner’s high” keeps him going on the running trail. And, of course, qualifying for the Boston event is a dream for most runners.
“I am very happy I got to run this race,” Wallace said. “It is funny how you wonder why you are putting yourself through (this) while running them, yet you want to sign up for another run once you are finished.”
On Tuesday, Wallace said they were headed to a tour Boston’s Sam Adams brewery and a zoo. On Saturday they attended a Boston Red Sox baseball game at historic Fenway Park.