BOSTON — Mount Vernon High School and Wright State University graduate Megan Feasel ran a 3:40 in this week’s running of the 2012 Boston Marathon.
Feasel, who is currently the assistant director at the student recreation center at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, finished in the top nine percent of runners. Not bad for her first time at marathoning’s signature event.
Temperatures during the race reached 91 degrees in downtown Boston, about 35 degrees warmer than average for the time of year. The rising heat forced many runners to alter strategies, and even caused marathon organizers to recommend that first-time runners skip this year’s event.
“I had to completely change my race strategy,” said Feasel. “I was hoping to run 3:18-3:20 but knew that wasn’t going to happen in 91 degree temperatures.”
For Feasel, who qualified for Boston at last year’s Miami Marathon and trained in the sweltering humidity of the Georgia lowlands, the hilly Boston course provided a new set of challenges.
“That course is very tough and all uphill — or at least 85 percent uphill,” said Feasel. “Then, you add 91 degrees to that. I was very pleased with a 3:40, especially not having to stop or receive medical attention.”
For many, the heat was too much and several runners succumbed.
“There were people collapsing at mile No. 4,” said Feasel. “You can imagine as the race progressed how scary it got.”
Feasel who had her parents from Mount Vernon with her, was overwhelmed by the support she has received from family and friends in Ohio and elsewhere.
“I am very pleased with (my performance) especially since I was racing against the top runners in the world,” said Feasel. “It was a phenomenal race and there was so much support from the crowds which helped. Thanks for tracking me and cheering for me from Ohio.”
Sharon Cherop, of Kenya, won the women’s portion of the race with a time of 2:31:50. Wesley Korir, also of Kenya, finished with a time of 2:12:40 to win the overall race. Due to the heat, both times were about 10 minutes slower than the world’s best times of a year ago.