MOUNT VERNON — Two runners with Knox County connections are safe and were unaffected by explosions on Monday while competing in the 2013 Boston Marathon. Competing in the race were Nate Winters, a 2012 graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University, and Jace Wolford, a current MVNU junior.
Winters and Wolford had already completed running the race and were heading home when they heard news of the blasts.
“We left about five or 10 minutes before the explosions, and our friends started calling us,” said Winters. “We weren’t there, fortunately. We’re definitely blessed.”
Winters and Wolford were both able to complete the grueling marathon. “It wasn’t my best time. It was decent. I hadn’t trained much for this one. But I’m happy with my time,” said Winters after finishing the race in 3:07:58, good for a pace of 7:10 per mile for. “It was good weather, so that was nice.”
Not quite as satisfied with his finish was Wolford. “It was alright. It wasn’t how I planned. I wasn’t necessarily pleased, but it was a great day for it,” he said, as he finished the 26.2-mile race at 3:18:54, good for a pace of 7:35 per mile. Wolford added that it was about 58 degrees for the race. While they were drinking Gatorade all day and stopping at nearly every stop, Winters and Wolford both went through a couple cramping spells.
But all in all, it was a positive experience for both runners. “I’ve never been in a race where the people are so supportive,” said Wolford. “There were so many people encouraging you and yelling stuff for you, even if they didn’t know you.”
Currently coaching the MVNU cross country team is Chip Wilson, who was unable to attend Monday’s race but kept in contact with the runners throughout the day.
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