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4/23/2014 2:00:00 AM
Reed Completes 25th Straight Boston Marathon
By Paula Roberts

Retired doctor, Stephen Reed, of Wiscasset, completed his 25th straight Boston Marathon on Patriots' Day. Reed has run in 21 percent of all Boston Marathons. He set a goal of running 25, years ago, and despite osteoarthritis in his hip that has plagued him for a couple of years, he battled the pain to achieve his goal.

"Twenty-five in a row. I am so happy. I achieved the objective. My time could matter less. It was hard as hell," Reed said. Reed finished in 30,485, and 489th for his age division. His time was 5:47.01.

Reed estimates less than 100 people have run 25 straight Boston Marathons. He wore a shirt that was embroidered front and back that it was his 25th in a row.

"What a crowd pleaser that was," he said. "People were just clamoring. It was neat. It provided a little diversion from the pain of the run. It was an euphoric experience. The finish line looked so great."

Reed said the most moving thing was "personally the crowd response to my t-shirt. I never envisioned there would be such an outpouring. The crowd was more impressive than the process of achieving it," he said.

"I just wanted to see if I could finish the thing with the hip and arthritis," Reed said. Reed also had to contend with an old foot problem.

The running of the Boston Marathon was the second largest in its 118-year history with 36,000 runners. The largest was for their 100th anniversary. "It was special after the situation from last year," he said. "I could not believe the crowd down there. Boston was just buzzing; there was so much going on. Everybody wanted to be a part of the celebration, retaking the city, and memorials to those killed and injured."

"I'm going to savor this last marathon. The security was unbelievable down there," Reed said.

"When you do 25 in a row at Boston, you do not have to qualify, you have qualified for life, but maybe enough is enough," Reed said. "It is a hard pill to swallow that you have to slow down. The fact that I could be there and finish my 25th in a row, was the coup d'grace.

"That is pretty special to me, too. You paid your dues now you can savor the results," Reed said.

"It is kind of unbelievable to me, too. Overall I feel good about it. I couldn't feel good until I crossed the finish line. I did some praying. There were a lot of other people praying for me, too.

"I'm obviously a very determined man. Determination doesn't always get the job done, you have to have some luck. Need some luck all through life. I complain about the hip thing, but it could have been something else. We need to be happy for what we have and not fret about what we don't have.

"The BAA did the right thing and counted last year's marathon," Reed said of the marathon getting cut short due to the bombings.

"At the end of race, a reporter wanted to talk about last year's marathon. I was pretty emotional with the crowd's hollers and hoots at finish line. When I put hands up in air at the finish line it was pretty emotional. Talk about memorable events in your lifetime," Reed said.

"It is probably my last one. I will try to keep the daily streak going," Reed said.

His running streak, of running at least three miles a day outside, every day, will hit 38 years in June. He now has his sights on reaching the 40-year mark.

"The daily streak means so much to me," Reed said. "It is such a part of me, to let that thing go. I would like to at least get to 40 years."

Other local finishers

Several area runners from, or with ties to Lincoln County, competed in the Boston Marathon.

Other finishers include:

Waldoboro native, Robert Gomez, of Portland, was the fourth Maine finisher to cross the finish line in Boston. Gomez finished 361st overall in a time of 2:40.36.

Wiscasset High School graduate Maryellen Buck, who had just crossed the finish line last year when the bomb went off, finished 7015 in a time of 3:22.15.

13,403: Emily Levan, formally of Wiscasset, in a time of 3:43.18

18,722: Blaine Fenderson, of Jefferson, in a time of 4:03.07. Fenderson was the 163rd Maine finisher.

30,079: Brandon Sodergren, formerly of Waldoboro, finished in 5:39.10. Sodergren ran with Run For Our Fallen Heroes (Maine) in memory of Alexander Arredondo, who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

30,782: Robert McArtor, of Southport, finished in 5:55.03, (141st age division) and was the 239th Maine runner.

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