By Dan Guttenplan
---- — Many local runners were able to get across the finish line at the Boston Marathon yesterday before the race was called due to two explosions in Copley Square.
Steve Dowsett had Newburyport’s top finish in the Boston Marathon, posting a time of 2:52.48. Dowsett, a 25-year-old member of Whirlaway Running Club, finished in 1,050th place overall. He ran the first half marathon in 1:22:56 and brought it home in 1:29.54.
Dowsett has established himself as one of the top runners on the local circuit. He placed 30th overall in last year’s Yankee Homecoming 10-Mile Road Race in 58:28. He finished second at last year’s inaugural Flag Day Race.
Newburyport resident Maddy Hribar had the top finish among local women, placing 152nd among all females in 3:01.17. Hribar came close to negative-splitting the Boston Marathon, taking the race out in 1:29.44 before finishing in 1:31.33.
“I ran the best I could today,” Hribar posted on her dailymile.com page. “More importantly, my whole family and my team and friends are safe. I can not imagine what people are going through who are missing loved ones. Please pray for Boston.”
Newburyport’s Karen Durante placed sixth among 60- to 64-year-old women in a time of 3:35.20. Durante’s previous best time in Boston was 2011 when she ran it in 3:39.57. Yesterday was her 10th marathon. She posted her fastest marathon last year in Chicago in 3:23.54.
Two other Newburyport men broke the 3-hour mark yesterday — Curtis Moore (2:57.44) and Joe Gurczak (2:58.31). Moore, 32, is a four-time champion of the Race Around the World 2.4-mile race in Antartica. Gurczak, a Winner’s Circle Running Club member, had half marathon splits of 1:28:58 and 1:29.33. Gurczak’s training partner, Newburyport High and Winner’s Circle coach Mike McCormick, finished his 31st marathon in 3:34.34.
The Winner’s Circle Running Club bus had yet to return to Salisbury as of 9 p.m. last evening. It was delayed due to the evacuation of the Lenox Hotel in Boston. Typically, Winner’s Circle members rent a hotel room to shower and change clothes after the race, but yesterday the runners were left without a meeting spot when the hotel was evacuated. It took hours to coordinate a meeting spot for the runners and the bus driver. The bus didn’t leave Boston until close to 7:30 p.m.
The explosions in Boston occurred roughly 4 hours and 50 minutes after the sound of the gun in Hopkinton. Since many of the runners who raise money for charity cross the starting line roughly 30 minutes after the sound of the gun, those who ran the race under 4:20 seemed to finish, while those who ran slightly slower may have been rerouted before the finish. Newburyport’s Jennifer Shevlin was the final Newburyport runner to cross the finish line in a time of 4:18.43. She crossed at 2:42 in the afternoon — about eight minutes before the first reported distress call.
Newburyport’s Eric Bowden, Sharon Chase, Erin Connors, Alexandra Curry, Dale Granger-Eckert and Jennifer Sullivan all started the race, made it through the half-marathon checkpoint, but were unable to cross the finish line due to the stoppage of the race.
Paul Crochiere, 54, posted the fastest time of Amesbury residents, finishing in 3:00.21. Elizabeth Dollas, 36, was the top female in 3:19.55. Matt Solazzo, 31, completed his first Boston Marathon in 3:39.23.
“It was beautiful weather, great running conditions,” Solazzo said. “I ran Cape Cod in 2007, and this was a lot better. The crowds were unbelievable.”
Amesbury’s Kevin St. Onge, Elizabeth Van Hoven and Brian Zudeck trained, fundraised for the race and completed 99 percent of the race, but did not cross the finish line.
Only eight of the 10 runners from West Newbury who started the race made it through the finish line. Donald Dwight, 50, passed through the finish line at 2:45 p.m. in a time of 4:19.30.