The rain kept coming down, and Scott Mindel’s target time kept going up.
On a nasty, raw, windy day that produced slow times across the board, the former Shenendehowa High star finished the 122nd Boston Marathon in 2:32:48, his slowest time in four attempts.
The 31-year-old Mindel said before the race that he was in shape to approach 2:20, but because of the weather forecast, he tempered that expectation. His target time continued to undergo revision with each passing mile over the course of the last six miles of the 26.2-mile race.
Near the end, “I was doing everything I could not to walk,” Mindel said Monday afternoon. “For most of the race, I thought I could be around 2:27, 2:28. With 10k to go, I said, ‘Alright, let’s get under 2:28.’ Then with two miles left, I was thinking hopefully I’d be under 2:32. The last mile, I was just trying to get under 2:33, and then I could see the clock.”
Mindel was passed by a few runners in the closing miles, but managed to hang on for 30th place overall.
While running with some others he recognized whose pace he was familiar with, Mindel took it out a little faster than he wanted to at the start, which, besides the weather, probably cost him at the end of the race, he said.
Mindel hit the half marathon in 1:12:03 and was still maintaining a 5:30 mile pace, but that number steadily moved up in the second half.
“It wasn’t too bad in the first 10k, but I could tell I strained a little too much,” he said. “I actually held it together for 20 miles, but the last three or four, especially the last two, were hard. That’s where you get into Brookline. It was raining the whole time, but it turned into a downpour there, and there was a strong headwind.”
It helped that the crowds of fans on the sidelines, although thinner than usual, still turned out once the field got into the towns along the route.
“Wellesley was not as crazy as it usually is, but they were still out there screaming,” Mindel said. “And there was still a ton of fans at the finish.”
He passed a tiring runner right before the finish line and found out later that he was in the top 30.
A long, miserable day was finally over, and it took about 25 minutes for him to reach his father, Mark, his wife Sasha and her mother.
“I was just ecstatic to be done, but as bad as I felt, walking around after was probably the best I’ve felt after,” he said.
Dan Larson of Queensbury finished the race in 4:37:43 to run his streak to 43 straight finishes, one of the longest current streaks. The 66-year-old started the 1975 race, but dropped out with a 102 fever.
John Geesler, 59, of St. Johnsville also maintained his streak, pushing it to 31 straight finishes with a time of 4:26:04.