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Penn College Sophomore Completes Boston Marathon

Jeffrey J. FahertyLast November, Jeffrey J.Faherty, a sophomore at Pennsylvania College of Technology, ran his first marathon ever in Harrisburg . Today, he’s savoring the moment of running in and completing the Boston Marathon. Faherty covered the 26.2-mile course in 3 hours, 22 minutes April 21.

“It was incredible,” Faherty said of the experience.

“My seeding number was 4,244 (of more than 25,000 runners), so I was a little more than 4,000 back from the start. And when we went over crests of hills, just to see all of the heads out in front just bobbing and filling the road, and seeing all of the spectators on the sides cheering you on “¦ You really can’t explain it. It was such an incredible feeling,” he continued.

“Around mile 25, that’s when it all came down. To realize that I was almost there (at the finish line). My parents were somewhere around the finish and I was looking for them the last mile or so, then once I saw them, it just brought everything together for me. To get across the finish line and think that I had just completed the Boston Marathon, it was just such a spectacular feeling,” Faherty said.

A landscape/nursery technology student from Sussex , N.J., Faherty qualified for the 12th running of Boston with a time of 3:07:46 in Harrisburg . Although his time wasn’t as good at Boston ( 3:22 -plus), he was satisfied.

“I know I definitely could have ran better. I was hoping for somewhere between 3:10 and 3:15 . I don’t know if it was the excitement of the weekend, plus I think I started to get a little bit sick on Sunday and that might have hurt my performance, but I’m still quite pleased with my time,” he said.

About 20 miles into the race runners hit Heartbreak Hill, which takes a heavy toll on many.

“Heartbreak Hll wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was a long, gradual uphill. Because of where it is in the race it hurts you a little bit, but overall it wasn’t too, too bad,” Faherty said.

“I’m really proud of him,” said Mike Paulhamus, Faherty’s cross-country coach at Penn College . “You wouldn’t believe this guy’s schedule. He has classes, runs to stay in shape and has a part-time job with FedEx. From what I gather, he doesn’t get very much sleep. He’s a remarkable kid. He’s done well.”

Robert Cheruiyot, the record-holder from Kenya , captured his fourth Boston Marathon crown this year in 2:07:46 , the sixth-fastest-ever run. Also in the field were Lance Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France bicycle winner, and astronaut Sunita Williams.

Between now and his return to Penn College in the fall, Faherty said he plans on a few shorter races. He would like to return to Harrisburg in November and better his time there, but his first priority is competing with his college teammates in conference, and hopefully, national competition.

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