NBers at the 110th 2006 Boston Marathon

Hans & Daryl Picks

For the third year, RunNB present a Crystal Ball of how 60 New Brunswickers participating in the historical Boston Marathon will fair. One change in this years Predictions is Daryl Steeves will join Hans replacing Gilles who'll be running his fist Boston.

The intent of the predictions is purely for amusement purposes and a fun way to add interest for anyone participating or watching the Boston Marathon. Hans & Daryl don't want to undermine or put pressure on anyone. In fact, we personally hope the ones that have been overlooked will prove them wrong and the ones rated highly will meet the challenge.

Hans lives in the Moncton area and Daryl lives and run/coach in the Saint John area.  Thus their predictions could be biased by their knowledge of the runners in their areas.  We invite someone from Fredericton , Northern NB and/or someone with knowlege of our female runners .

Hans and Daryl wish everyone the best of luck in Boston.

Hans's Pick  

The 2006 edition of The Boston Marathon will see the largest contingent of NB'ers participating in history. Some 60 runners qualified in various marathons for the chance to get to the starting line in Hopkington on April 17 th . In keeping with the tradition established in the past few years, the following are my Boston Picks for 2006.

1. Gilles Gautreau - This veteran runner is in a class by himself in terms of running excellence over the years. Considering Gilles' age, you realize what a tremendous athlete he is to be competing at the top levels for so long. If Gilles has any shortcomings it is a relative lack of experience at the marathon distance, this will be only his third marathon overall. Nevertheless, I would have to give Gilles the nod as the number one pick this year.

2. Jacques Gautreau - Jacques has been training very hard and his work ethic has been paying huge dividends in terms of faster times and improved fitness. If older brother Gilles falters in any way, look for Jacques to claim the number one spot. Jacques is an experienced marathoner as well as a Boston veteran. These factors as well as younger legs could make for a breakthrough victory over big brother.

3. Taylor Gray - I don't know much about this runner but he ran an outstanding qualifying time of 2:53 in Toronto . He should do well.

4. Michael Coyne. Like a fine wine, Michael keeps improving with age. This St. Stephen native and Newfoundland resident, has been proving that Father Time need not exact a toll from all runners. Michael has been on sabbatical in Florida this year and his training has benefited from the Florida sunshine versus a St.John's winter. His last three marathons have all been under 3 hours, culminating in a 2:55 at the Walt Disney marathon in January. He usually runs negative splits in his marathons so I look for a great run in Boston .

5. Todd Price - From all reports, Todd is putting in lots of quality miles. He is dedicated and looking to improve on a 3:00 in Boston last year. Experience should help him.

6. Jean-Guy Gautreau - Jean-Guy is in the best shape of his life. His will-power is legendary, and he thrives in conditions that crush lesser runners. Hence his nickname…”The Terminator”. If conditions are less than ideal, and guys start wilting in the heat, look for this guy to move up the list.

7. John Herron - John may be small in stature, but he is a bigtime runner. Unfortunately he has had some health issues in the past eight months or so. However from all recent reports, he has put those behind him and is running well. He should improve on his time from last year.

8. Mike Leblanc- Again a runner that I am not familiar with. He has a very impressive 2:57 from Kentville last fall.

9.Hector Leblanc - Hector is a very determined runner. He comes to distance running from a football background and his mental toughness is remarkable. I wouldn't be surprised to see him better his 3:11 pb in Boston .

10. Bruce Rosvall - He ran a 3:12 at The KV Challenge last year under tough conditions. That bodes well for Boston .

11. Darrell Travis - An amazing veteran runner. Depending on how he's feeling, Darrell is certainly capable of an outstanding run.

Other Notables: any of these runners are capable of a top ten finish depending on the day: Glen Millican, Peter McGregor, John Dallaire. Robert Leblanc, Jean Landry, Roger Oullette, Kevin Publicover. And let us not overlook Roya MacDonald, she is quite capable of surprising a number of the guys. Best of luck to all the New Brunswick runners!

Daryl's Picks

Last year, we had a banner season for running and it is no more evident than in the record number of New Brunswickers who have qualified for the April 17 Boston Marathon. This year, 60 runners from around the Picture Province will make their way to Bean Town for the big event.

Believe me, this is no rag-tag group of runners, there is some real depth on the list. On the men's side, watch for the name Gautreau to weigh in large. Gilles Gautreau of Rothesay, the Godfather of the running mafia in New Brunswick is the top qualifier for the province.

Little brother Jacques of Dieppe qualified in the No. 2 spot and in at the No. 10 spot is brother Jean-Guy of Moncton. Gilles is looking good and a 2:48 or better is well within his grasp. However, Jacques has been running very well and won't give Gilles a minute's rest on the 26.2 mile course. Jean-Guy may not challenge for top spot but is a solid bet for the top ten.

Outside of the 'family' we have some great young talent. A relatively unknown 23-year-old from Fredericton could be the spoiler for the Gautreau gang. Taylor Gray ran an amazing race in Toronto last year to qualify with a fast 2:53 marathon. With his young legs, he could be a real threat.

Now, at the other end of the age spectrum but just as likely to bring some excitement to the race is
Mike Coyne of St. Stephen.  Despite the fact Mike is 55 years old, he is a serious threat on any given day.  And considering that he has been in Florida all winter, his training opportunites would have been excellent for a spring marathon.  I'm not picking him to be top three ( my guess is #5) but he will be a clear winner of the over 50 crowd!

Another couple of the new generation runners could also have a great day in Boston. Todd Price of Quispamsis and Dean Strowbridge of Saint John have both qualified in the top 10 and have yet to run their best runs.

Let's not forget the tried and true runners from around the province.

Darrell Travis of Hampton owns Boston. He knows it inside-out and has been a solid fixture there for years. Bloomfield's John Herron has some real potential to bounce back from some bad breaks over the past running season and this could be his return event. Word on the street is that Bruce Rosvall of Rothesay and Jean Landry of Grand-Barachois have been looking strong in training and both have the experience to make the top 12 among N.B. runners.

Rounding out the dirty dozen is likely to be Fredericton's Michael LeBlanc (a real threat for top 3),
Rob Bourque of Moncton, David Gauthier of Saint John and Hector LeBlanc of Moncton. Ironman Earle Burrows of Grand Bay-Westfield has a strong base and has yet to run his best marathon so keep an eye on him in the final results.

On the women's side, we have fewer qualifiers this year but the quality is excellent. Leading the way is a fine young runner from Cape Tormentine.

At 27,
Roya MacDonald is the youngest female running under the New Brunswick flag. She qualified in Quebec City with an impressive 3:19 marathon. If anyone can give her a race it will be the Canadian Ironman age-group champion from Grand Bay-Westfield - Gina Spear- Burrows, who has talent, experience and a great work ethic. Although she gives up 13 years to MacDonald, those are 13 years of experience and conditioning that will make her one to watch. Her running pal and fellow citizen of Grand Bay-Westfield, Arlene Harrigan is making her debut at Boston and with the second-fastest qualifying time should have a great run. Although she doesn't have a ton of marathon experience, she has run for several years at other distances and knows how to race.

Congratulations to all the qualifiers, I wish we had space to tell you about each and every one. This is truly one of those times where just getting to be there is an honour.

Join us right here each week through the running season to keep up-to-date with the running and endurance sport scene.

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Historical Boston Results: 2001 / 2002 / 2003 / 2004 / 2005

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