About 200 runners from Western Massachusetts registered for the Boston Marathon this year. Record store owner Patrick Pezzati of Montague had dreamed of running Boston for years, but it took the shock of last year’s bombings to help him get his first qualifying time. To prepare for this year’s race, he says he ran 900 miles over the last 20 weeks.
“So about 45 miles a week,” Pezzati says. “I ran somewhere in the neighborhood of 60,000 vertical feet, 60,000 feet of climbing, which is really good training, and we have lots of hills in Western Mass.”
Pezzati, who’s 50, finished the marathon in three hours and 21 minutes — which he says was a bit slower than his goal; it was hotter than he’d hoped. But he says the crowd was jubilant, with a good showing from Western Massachusetts — and a spirit that he hadn’t seen before in the race.
“Something changed that will never change back,” Pezzati says. “There’s a sense of the spirit of the marathon that having the attack happen really kindled in people. I don’t think that’s going to go away anytime soon.”
Pezzati’s time qualifies him to run in next year’s marathon — which he definitely plans to do.
Correction: The original version of this story misspelled Pezzati’s last name.