NBers at the 111th Boston Marathon

4th Annual
2007 Boston Predictions

"THE NBers ARE COMMING" This year, more New Brunswickers (84) will participate in the historical Boston Marathon. For the forth annual, RunNB's Boston Predictions will include Hans "The Butcher" Laltoo, Daryl "Everyones Coach" Steeves and myself, Gilles "Watch From The Sideline" Gautreau.

The intent of the predictions is purely for entertain purposes and possibly to inform participants and/or anyone watching the Boston Marathon. Hans, Daryl & I don't want to undermine or put pressure on anyone. In fact, I personally hope the ones I overlooked will prove me wrong (they usually do) and the ones I rated highly will meet the challenge.

Hans lives in the Moncton area and Daryl and I live and run in the Saint John area.  Thus our predictions could be biased by our knowledge of the runners in our areas. 

We hope you'll all enjoy our Predictions and that all your training for the Boston Marathon comes true.

Gilles Gautreau

Gilles's Pick
Gilles

MEN
1. Todd Price - Todd ran three solid marathons in 2006 (Boston, Saint John and New York) where one was faster than the next. In addition Todd's ascension to this year's top pick, is due to his methodical approach to training. This winter's harsh condition has not deterred him from his goal to run his best time ever. In past Boston Predictions, Todd has felt he was under-rated. His training schedule combined with his 2006 results means he can no longer be considered an underdog.
2. Alex Coffin - A second place ranking will not sit well with Coffin. This guy is on the comeback trail after a so-so 2006 running season. Alex has proven me wrong once already this year in the Hypothermic Half in Saint John where he out dueled Price for first place. The Saint John runner has prepared well for Boston and will be ready to run competitively for the entire distance. Knowing Alex, being ranked second will be one more incentive to prove he's the top dog.
3. Murray Simpson
- The third pick goes to the Hanwell runner because of his impressive 2:50:49 run in last summer's Marathon By The Sea. Murray was second only to Coffin in the 2003 Boston Marathon. If his training this winter was not interrupted by the harsh weather or, injuries. Murray should be worthy of holding the third spot.
4. John Herron - The Bloomfield runner is going into Boston with lots of muscle memory. This will be five Boston's in a row, so the Newton Hills will not scare this 42 year old runner. There's nothing fancy about John's running except, he has an uncanny way to maximize his performances each time he lines up at the start.
5. Bruce Guitard - This is the "New Guy" on Block. Guitard "The Superstar" is probably the most improved of the Top NB runners. In preparation for Boston, Bruce has carefully followed the marathon plan of his coach Daryl Steeves. The one disadvantage for Guitard is that he's going into Boston as a rookie. The Saint John runner has a bright future in distance running and has the potential to surprise on April 16th.
6. Michael Coyne - This 56 year old St. Stephen runner was the Top NB finisher in Boston in 2006. During the winter of 2006, Michael had the pleasure of training and racing in Florida for the four months leading to the marathon. This winter Michael was back teaching in Newfoundland where training is much more difficult. This is the leading reason the Elite Master Runner is not ranked higher for 2007. That said, the St. Stephen runner could surprise us all again and be a top finisher.
7. Bruce Rosvall - After the 2006 Boston results were in, the big question on the mind of many of NB's running community was "Who is this Rosvall Guy?" - Last year, Bruce had one of those magical runs with a time of 2:55:14 finishing as the 2nd NBer. A seventh place ranking for the Rothesay runner is not a demotion or is it saying he can't repeat his time from last year - but it does say that Bruce is in fast company.
8. Hector Leblanc - What this Moncton runner lacks in running talent, he makes up in heart & determination. Hector's has shown in several races in 2005 and 2006 that he gives his "all" each time he shows up to race. If Hector can solve his muscle cramp problems in the 2nd half of the marathon, we should see him run a PB (Personal Best) for the 26.2 miles. A recent 15k run with Hector indicates a sub-3:10 if all goes well.
9. Mathieu Bourque - Mathieu's ninth position is based upon the Dieppe runner's 3:04:00 time in the Ottawa Marathon. A source says that had struggled with an injury but still managed to run in several road races in 2006.
10. Robert Vinet- With 16 races just in NB during the 2006 season, Vinet decided to get serious. The Fredericton runner is the type of person that will go into Boston prepared and ready to perform his best. The tenth position is the hardest to pick because you leave out many runners who are worthy of being in the select group. Each year, runners who were overlooked, end up finishing as "Top Ten Finisher" and proving that the marathon is not an easy event to predict.


WOMEN
Without the appropriate knowledge on the NB female's Boston preparations, my comments are briefer and based on observations and results from RunNB Road races.

  • Diane Sharpe of Fredericton is an impressive 48 year old who is always placing in the top 3 in RunNB Road Races.
  • Arlene Harrigan of Grand Bay-Westfield is another 48 year old, whose running accomplishments come from gutsy effort and hard work.
  • Krista McCluskey of Saint John is relatively young to the sport, but nevertheless has raised lots of eyebrows with her natural running ability.
  • Lisa Leblanc of Moncton is back in Boston for a 2nd year and for those who know her, can attest to her dedication to training.
  • Micheline Drisdelle of Moncton had her marathon debut with a gutsy 2nd place finish in the 2005 Blue Nose Marathon during hurricane conditions.

Other Notables: Saint John area runners who could be in a position to crack the top 10 include: John Russell, whose approach to running is methodical and disciplined - should see it payoff in Boston. Darrell Travis is running his 11th consecutive Boston Marathon, so this Hampton runner knows how to pace the course to earn the best possible result. A 3:10 marathon is possible for Travis - an amazing feat after the doctor who removed his colon in December 2004 told him point-blank: "I don't think you'll ever run another marathon." Jim Miller is another Saint John residence whose been around the "marathon block" and will not miss a beat running Heartbreak Hill.

Runners in Moncton such as Kevin Publicover, Michel Frenette, John Dallaire and Robert E. Leblanc have all been to Boston and will look to improve from previous years.

Some of the Top Picks may be wise to keep an eye on David Macleod of Fredericton who is going to Boston with lots of road racing experience.

Hats off to Alain Caron of Charlo and Roger Levesque of Balmoral. Alain will be running his 144th marathon and his 15th Boston Marathon. Roger has also run over 100 marathons and lined up in over a dozen Bostons.

Bonne chance à tous les coureurs du N.-B. qui participeront a la 111e édition du Marathon de Boston!

Hans's Picks  
Hans

Once again, New Brunswick participation in the historic Boston Marathon is at a record level. Just 5 years ago, there were only 21 NB’ers running Boston. In contrast, the 111’th edition in 2007 will see 84 athletes at the starting line in Hopkington. This is a testament to the growth in marathoning and the dedication and commitment of New Brunswick runners. You are to be commended.

As has been the tradition in recent years, the following are my Boston picks for 2007. This year’s field, as well as being very large, is also very deep, with many excellent runners. This makes the task of ranking particularly difficult.

MEN
1. Alex Coffin - Alex ran a solid 2:50 marathon in November in Moncton by himself, and from all reports he has been training well. Recently, he ran a 1:17 half in Ontario, so he has the wheels. He’s an experienced marathoner and a Boston veteran. If Alex sticks to his race plan, he should have an excellent result.
2. Todd Price - This guy has made a huge improvement in his fitness and endurance as apparent from his 2:46 in NewYork. He could very easily be first overall.
3. Murray Simpson - A consistently good runner who never seems to have an off day. He ran a 2:50 on a tough Saint John course last year and is very steady.
4. Michael Coyne - What can you say about this amazing runner? He was the fastest NB’er in last year’s Boston, coming off a year of quality training in Florida. I like his tactics in the marathon – he usually runs a negative split. His patience and discipline could well be rewarded on race day with the top spot.
5. John Herron - John runs one marathon a year – Boston, and he comes well prepared. He’s an experienced veteran and I look for a solid sub 3 hr result from him.
6. Bruce Guitard - This runner is a rising star on the NB road racing scene. He has improved greatly in a short time culminating in a 2:58 in the Kennebecasis marathon.
7. Bruce Rosvall - Bruce was perhaps the biggest surprise in last year’s Boston, running a big p.b. of 2:55. I’m not sure how his training has gone this winter, but certainly no-one will be surprised to see him do well here.
8. Hector LeBlanc - This is one tough hombre. He seems to handle everything thrown his way. Hector has put in lots of tough miles in adverse conditions this winter, and barring some unfortunate injury or weather, he should perform well.
9. Mathieu Bourque - Matt ran an excellent 3:04 last year in Ottawa. Unfortunately he ran into some injury problems later in the year which curtailed his running. He is back and training hard for his first Boston. Based on his 1:27 Hypothermic half in Moncton he should be well prepared.
10. John Russell - John has run some solid marathons in the past. This year he’s looking to run one in Boston.
11. John Culligan - a solid runner with a 3:07 in Rimouski. He’s looking forward to a great Boston.

WOMEN
1. Arlene Harrigan – consistent marathoner and Boston veteran.
2. Diane Sharpe – loads of marathon experience and a solid runner.
3. Lisa LeBlanc – gutsy runner who gives it her all.  Ran a solid p.b. in Moncton in November.  Unfortunately she has had some injury problems this winter which affected her training.
4. Micheline Drisdelle – a runner who has accomplished a lot in a short time.  Mentally very tough as evidenced by a strong showing in the infamous “hurricane” Bluenose marathon of 2005.
5. Amelia Beaney – a very capable runner whose experience will serve her well.

Others to watch: Krista McClusky, Tania Cormier, Nathalie Arsenault, Kim Buck, Ellen Forhan.

Other notables: Look for these runners to have solid runs and any of them could place in the top tier depending on the many factors that can affect marathon performance. Robert Vinet, David MacLeod, Kevin Publicover, John Dallaire, Jim Miller, Bob Forbes, Robert LeBlanc.

And let’s not forget the Ironmen of New Brunswick. Alain Caron and Roger Levesque who between them have run hundreds of marathons.

Best of luck to all the New Brunswick runners!

Daryl's Picks  
Daryl Steeves

MEN
1. Alex Coffin - A tough call between Alex and Todd. I think Alex has the edge on experience, a big plus in Boston and he is doing some monster miles.
2. Todd Price - Could be number 1, he is tough and learning to be patient, he won't give Alex any chance to rest.
3. Murray Simpson - A solid runner, he just might be the person to win if Alex and Todd push each other too much.
4. John Herron - This guy is a smart runner. I think Bruce has youth on his side but John's experience will give him that slight edge.
5. Bruce Guitard - Bruce has been constantly improving, this will be his chance to show he can run with the big dogs and I say he will!
6. Bruce Rosvall - A runner to be respected but maybe not in his best shape but don't count him out, he's tough.
7. Michael Coyne - Michael is an icon but eventually the clock ticks for all of us and at 56 he may lose a step or two to the younger guys.
8. Mathieu Bourque - I don't know Mathieu well but at 30 years of age his young legs will be an advantage. He has been running well and I think his best runs are ahead of him.
9. Robert Vinet - A real student of running, watch for him to put his knowledge to his best advantage, a smart runner.
10. John Culligan - He got here the old fashion way, he earned it with hard work.


WOMEN
1. Krista McCluskey - Although she needs more experience, her raw talent and young legs will give her a big edge.
2. Arlene Harrigan - Like on the men's side, another tough call. Arlene and Diane are about as close as you can get, the same age, similar competition results etc. However, I'm going with Arlene based on her faster half last season.
3. Diane Sharpe - A tough runner with a great record, she will definetly be right there with Arlene.
4. Lisa LeBlanc - Lisa could move up from here but with her slightly slower half-marathon times, I think her number 4 ranking is right on.
5. Tania Cormier - With a 3:31 under her belt and 27 year old legs, she will be tough!
6. Natalie Arsenault - It's hard not to be impressed with her 3:33 in Moncton, a very recent result!
7. Amelia Maxwell-Beaney - A strong runner but she will need to be sharp to get ahead of Tania and Natalie. I certainly don't rule that out!
8. Ellen Forham - She goes into Boston ranked 8th and I think that is where she will come out!
9. Lisa Anne Frigault - Had a great half-marathon in Moncton setting her up for a good Boston!
10. Sue Ryan - Sue is a smart tough runner with improving times. Look for her to move up a few spots in Boston.

Other intersting things to watch for:
Darrell Travis keeping his Boston steak alive
Alain Caron keeping his Marathon streak alive
Claudio Krickler and Richard Steele showing age is just a number
Jean Barry making a mark in her age group
Joe Burke making a serious mark in his age group if he is healthy
John Russell knocking on the door of the NB top 10

All NB Runners making us PROUD!

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

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