NBers at the 112th Boston Marathon
5th Annual
2008 Boston Predictions

Gilles's Picks / Hans Picks / Bruce's Picks / Alex's Picks / Daryl's Picks

Gilles's Pick
Gilles Gautreau - Rothesay, NB
Gilles

It’s that time of year again when self proclaimed running aficionado predict how NB Boston Qualifiers will stack up against each other. This year the usual line up of Hans Laltoo of Moncton, Daryl Steeves of Rothesay, and myself, Gilles Gautreau of Rothesay will give our two cents worth on which NBer will shine in Boston. Alex Coffin of Saint John and Bruce Guitard of Saint John are our new rookie pickers. We are still in search of a female to offset this all male panel.

After four years of posting the Boston Picks on the RunNB website, I realize it’s like predicting which colour gum you’re going to get when you put a quarter in the gumball machine. That said, Hans, Darryl, Bruce and I will try predicting which New Brunswickers will fair better and who to watch out for in the 112th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2008.

The purpose of our picks is to highlight some of NB’s possible front runners. We realize everyone has trained hard for Boston and RunNB want to wish all 67 runners who will represent Team NB.

I personnaly hope that everyone can back with a personal best,

Gilles Gautreau

MEN
1. Dean Strowbridge (1957) – On paper, this Saint John area runner is highly favoured in finishing ahead of the other 36 NB male running Boston. Dean doesn’t have the most marathon experience but he makes up in speed plus an excellent marathon preparation. If Dean’s nagging injury can be kept in control and the weather on Patriot Day are favourable, Dean could run a sub-2:50, a Personal Best.
2. Michael Coyne (1703) – This St. Stephen native has been running incredibly well in 2007-08. The 57 years old Coyne has run a half marathon in 1:20:36 in January and a 2:51:38 marathon last September.. According to Michael, his training for Boston this winter has been un-interrupted by the nice weather in Florida or injuries. I predict no one his age or older will finish ahead of Coyne. A sub-2:55 from this Grand-Master should be a sure bet. Age graded, Coyne is not far behind the NB Running Legends such as Joel Bourgeois and Patty Blanchard.
3. John Herron (2264) – This is John’s six consecutive Boston Marathon. The thing that distinguish John is how consistently he has ranked among the Top 5 finishers. A sub-2:55 is in his reach if all goes well.
4. Mike Davis (3070) – This Fredericton athlete (cyclist, duathlete) take all sporting challenge serious and will not be going to Boston for site seeing. Mike is not a seasoned marathoner but has been cyclying competively for many years. If stars line up, Mike could be a spoiler and upset any of the top three picks.
5. Bruce Rosvall (4107) – This unasuming runner is notorious for his solid performance in Boston. Bruce is not known for blazing speed. I believe what sets Bruce apart from other marathoner is his strenght in the second half of the marathon. The Rothesay runner only gets in the zone after 25K. Watchout for Bruce to sweep one or two top four if they falter in the slightest.

Herron, Davis and I won’t count Rosvall out, can all rival for 2nd place, I predict we will likely see at least one surprise performance between 2nd and 5th position.

6. Darrell Travis (8932) – The Hampton runner is entering his 11th consecutive Boston Marathon. Being one of my running partner, I have confidence that Darrell is ready to run in the 3:05 neighborhood. This year, Darrell’s fitness, health and experience are syncronized which could bring him close to his former glory days like 2002 when he ran 2:59:17 and was top NBer in Boston. One obstacle for Travis is that he will have nearly 4000 runners to pass before he no longer feels like he's running faster than the traffic.
7. Todd Lambert (6638) – Not knowing much about Todd’s winter training, I’ll go from my intuition that the disipled Saint John runner/triathlete will be as prepared as can be a father of a young family with a hectic career. If conditions are good, I predict Todd will better his first marathon time of 3:14:27
8. Jamie Smith (6166) - This endurance junkies has been competing for over twenty years and has been in many big events. The Frederictonian is tough competitor who give everything he has. If Jamie had a good winter training, his 3:12:57 in MBTS could easily be converted to a 3:02:00 if Boston is friendly.
9. Steve Lohnes (5559) – The Hampton runner has been training hard all winter preparing for Boston. If all goes well on April 21rst, Steve could better his 3:11:04 head wind time in October’s KV Challenge.
10. Sean Moore (5918) – I have to admit, I don’t know much about Sean Moore other than he ran 3:12:08 in Toronto in 2007.

I predict a tight race between Lohnes, Smith, Lambert and Travis. Let's not count out Moore "The Mystery Man"

Most likely to upset a Top 10 Pick:

Bob Forbes – This 54 year old Riverview runner is simply inspirational. Less than a year after suffering a heart attack in 2006, Bob runs a personal best of 3:16:28 in Boston, placing him 8th among Nbers.
Rumours tell me that Dave Dallaire and Robert Leblanc both of Moncton be ready to run his their best ever marathon time. According to my source in Moncton, Patrick O'Brien was possibly fitter than Dave and Robert but a recent injury may slow him down.
Jim Miller of Saint John could run 3:10 or better if his effort is properly distributed.

WOMEN
I predict a close & exiting competition between the top five women. This year again, NB's will see many of our female's arrive in Boston ready to give their best. Unfortunately, I know very little about their winter marathon training and/or injuries so my prediction are based on watching them race over the years plus time previously achieved.

1. Johanne Bellavance - Like the men's pick, Johanne running credentials stand a notch ahead of the rest. If her preperation this winter was solid, this ex-UNB cross country runner should be NB's first female finisher at the 112th Boston Marathon. The Fredericton runner ran a respectable 3:14:53 marathon in 2006.
2. April Lambert - This Saint John athlete ran out of steam at 37km mark at MBTS which caused her to go from 2nd to 5th position in the female ranks. I believe April will learn from her first marathon of last September and ensure that she finish strong in Boston.
3. Krista McCluskey - In my opinion, this Saint Johner has possibly the most natural talent as runner. As a mother of young children, Krista marathon training is certainly a challenge. If Krista had a good winter of running, we could see her run a sub-3:20.
4. Micheline Drisdelle - This Moncton runner is one tough competitor. The worst the conditions, the better she fair. Micheline may not have the most leg speed of her group competitor but I'd put her ahead of the class in determination (guts). My source in Moncton said she had a fairly good winter preparting for Boston. I predict she will better her 3:28 she ran last year in Boston.
5. Allyson Macdonald - The Fredericton runner had a respectable performance at MBTS (3:29:38), a course that has big hills late in the run similar to Boston.
6. Sarah Zuidhof - The 30 year old from Fredericton will be in the same corral as three other NB women (Drisdelle, Macdonald & Leblanc). Her time is in the same neigborhood as the other three, so my predictions are really just guess.
7. Lisa Leblanc - An other Moncton runner who puts her heart in everytime she lines up to the start. My source indicated that her training has gone well and past injuries have been kept at bay.
8. Rachel Fox - Since I don't have any stat or know the Moncton runner, I only have her bib number to base my prediction.
9. Alexis Juurlink - The 28 year old Grand-Digue runner
10. Vicki Woods - The Quispamsis runner participated in a number of runs in 2007. Vicki is committed to running and her marathon training this winter should result in a sub-3:40 this year in Boston.

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

Hans's Picks
Hans Laltoo - Moncton, NB
Hans

Well it’s that time of year again. After an especially tough winter, spring is in the air and our thoughts turn to…. The Boston Marathon! The 112th edition of the world’s most famous marathon takes place on April 21st. Training was definitely more challenging this winter with the severe conditions, nevertheless New Brunswick marathoners are a hardy bunch and were out in the adverse weather getting in the miles. This year 68 NBer’s are registered and as per recent tradition, the following are my Boston picks for 2008.

MEN
1. Dean Strowbridge - Dean is a relative newcomer to the marathon. However he is no newcomer to running fast! He has been training hard and progressively lowering his times at all distances in the past few years. He qualified with an impressive 2:54 at the KV Challenge marathon and no doubt will be looking to lower his pb in Boston.
2. Michael Coyne - aka “The Ageless Wonder”. This runner proves that age is merely a number. His performances would be impressive at any age, but when you consider that he’s 57, his times are truly amazing. He is a national age-group ace.
3. John Herron - John makes Boston his feature marathon of the year and prepares accordingly. Last years wind and rain affected John’s time, however he showed his mettle with a 2:57 in New York in November.
4. Bruce Rosvall - Bruce is no longer an unknown on the NB running scene anymore. Two years ago he shocked the local running community with a 2:55 in Boston. The word is he is training well this winter and after running the Legs for Literacy marathon last November, he should be able to handle anything Mother Nature throws at him.
5. Mike Davis - A remarkable all-round athlete who has overcome serious medical challenges to post some impressive times. He qualified with a 3:02 in Philadelphia.
6. Todd Lambert - This Saint John runner is used to hills, and running a 3:14 on the tough KV course should bode well for the hills of Boston.
7. Steve Lohnes - On track to show his 3:10 in Sugarloaf was no fluke.
8. James Smith - Showed true toughness in Saint John on the challenging “Marathon-by-the-Sea” course.
9. Bob Forbes - Bob has trained like a man possessed. He ran three marathons last year, including windy Boston and Moncton. If he gets a decent day and stays healthy, he can surprise some people.
10. Sean Moore - His young legs took him to a 3:12 on the fast Toronto-Waterfront course.

Other Notables—Some other runners who can easily post a top ten finish include:

John Dallaire - As fit as I have seen him. A disciplined runner who knows how to get the job done..
Robert Leblanc - Also very fit. A pb is very possible for this veteran.
Pat O’Brien - This guy ran a pb in the hell that was “Legs’…..”Chuck” takes no prisoners!
Darrell Travis - running his 12th consecutive Boston, he knows the course and has experienced all the conditions.
Jim Miller and John Culligan also should do well.

WOMEN
1.Joanne Bellavance - An outstanding former collegiate runner, she has a very impressive qualifying time of 3:14 from the Marine Corps marathon. Reports are that she is running well.
2.Krista McCluskey - A relatively new runner, but one blessed with loads of talent and determination.
3. Micheline Drisdelle - A Boston veteran who is as tough as nails!
4. Allyson MacDonald - She trains hard and races hard.
5.April Lambert - A very capable runner who has both speed and endurance. Her husband Todd is also a top pick.
6. Lisa Leblanc- Healthy and running well. Has potential to move up.

Other Notables - Sarah Zuidhof, Rachel Fox, Alexis Juurlink.

Kudos to first time qualifiers Brian Lowe and Larry Peacocke, and to all the New Brunswick contingent…..Best of luck in Boston!!

Bruce's Picks
Bruce Guitard - Saint John, NB

Guitard the Superstars Predictions

MEN
1. Dean Strowbridge - Some call him Dean "Superman" Strowbridge, and it suits him well. Continuiously flying faster in every distance over the last few years I select Dean as my top pic. One of the most consistent and modest runners you will ever meet in NB. More of a short distance runner, and shying away from the Marathon, Dean left it all out there at the Marathon distance last year, he proved he could take on that challenge as well. This will be Dean's 2nd time on the Beantown course, and not that he needs the luck, you will certainly see him wearing his lucky San Fransico 49ers hat on backwards.
2. Michael Coyne - You want someone with patience, discpline and runs a consistent pace from Mile 1 to Mile 26 in NB, well Coyne is the one ! He brings tones of experience to the start line, and has been the first NB'er back to Boylestin Ave. before. Running a 2:51 at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon last year, Coyne could suprise us all again and take top spot again.
3. John Herron - Changing his routine of only running 1 marathon a year, by taking NYC this year, will change how well Herron does in Boston this year. He can describe the course to you, mile for mile. John is a very smart runner, and clocking a sub 3 will not be suprising.
4 Mike Davis - Even though it's his first time running Boston, once the gun goes you would think he's run the course before. A very succesful multisport athlete, Davis bring tones of race experience to the start line. Running in only his second Marathon, and what that says in writting compared to what Davis do on Patriots day, is 2 different things all together. sub 3 is not out of reach, and he has potential to suprise on April 21st.
5. Bruce Rosvall - A few years ago some were saying "Who is this Rosvall Guy?" now you see him run as many as 3 to 4 marathon's a year. Bruce had one of those magical runs as the 2nd NBer across the line in 2006, in a time of 2:55. Not breaking the sub 3 mark since than, Rosvall may be out to prove he can suprise and do it again.

WOMEN
1. Krista McCluskey - It would seem like it was just last winter that McCluskey was training for her first Marathon. I was on a run with her and she said "I hope I qualify for Boston". Long story short, she did and was the first Woman NB'er across the line in Boston the next year. She has certainly raised lots of eyebrows with her natural running ability. With more experience in her running shoes now, she will have a big edge.
2. Micheline Drisdelle - A proven competitor Drisdelle will certainly be prepared for Beantown. One of the rising athlete on the women's side of the run circuit, Drisdelle has accomplished a lot in a short time. We could call her Micheline the "hurricane" Drisdelle after her strong 2nd place showing in the infamous “hurricane” Bluenose marathon of 2005. I except McCluskey and Drisdelle to live it all out there until the last mile.
3. Sarah Zuidhof - Running a 3:29 in Fredericton last year, she brings that experience into to Boston as a Rookie. This is Sarah's chance to experience the "big show" of long distance running and show everyone what's she got.
4. Allyson MacDonald - If she brings the energy she had at last years Marathon By the Sea, look out Boston !! This multisport athlete brings determination to Boston with her. Another rookie to Boston, but don't let that stop her to suprise.
5. April Lambert - Lambert always show's up to give nothing less than her best and aims to get ahead of the next person in front of her. The 3rd rookie in my top 5 this year and eventhough she is listed as #5, keep an eye on Lambert on race day Monday. She will certainly be ready for Heartbreak hill and every hill before that, with her training in hilly Saint John, NB.

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. Steve Lohnes, Sean Moore, James Smith, Todd Lambert, Michael Baldwin, John Culligan, Bob Forbes, Bernie Doucet, James Miller, and Susan Ryan

Other mentions inlude: our Ironmen of New Brunswick, making another return to Boston this year. Alain Caron and Roger Levesque who between them have run hundreds of marathons, sometimes 1 weekend after another.

Darrell Travis keeping his Boston streak alive at 12 in a row.
Joe Burke finally gets his opportunity and could suprise in his age group. He has trained hard this winter. He heads into Boston this year, after not attending last year due to an injury that held him back.
Lisa Leblanc - SMILLY has hopefully put some past injuries behind her and is ready to take Boston on again !!
Rachel Fox - The NB "IronWOMAN" certainly know's what mental toughness after competing in Lake Placid last year, finishing in a time of just under 14 hours. This will be a short day for her compared to Lake Placid.

And a shoot out to our Lady Hamption "Marathon" River Runners GO LADIES !

Lisa Bettle
Olivia Donovan
Barb MacMackin
Barbara Reid

Good luck and Bonne Chance to all Runners !!

Alex's Picks
Alex Coffin - Saint John, NB

MEN
1. Dean Strowbridge - He has been hurt but he is going to pull out the "eye of the tiger".
2. John Herron- Will be waiting in the wings for Dean to blow a tire.
3. Michael Coyne- Could easily be #1... Will medal for 50-59.
4. Todd Lambert- All around athlete should be under 3 hours.
5. Bruce Rosvall- Runs like a butterfly, stings like a bee....
6. Steve Lohnes- This is his year. I'm predicting a PB!
7. Darrel Travis- Cagey Veteran could break top 5 easily.
8. Mike Davis- "Bike Man" will finish strong.
9. James Miller- Joe Burke says 3:20
10. Alain Caron- Joe threatened me if I didn't rank him but Alain's the man

WOMEN
1. Nathalie Arsenault- Has the "eye of the tigress"
2. Michelline Drisdelle- Will be watching for Nathalie to falter in the hills
3. April Lambert- Will rebound from Marathon by the Sea
4. Allyson MacDonald- She knows how to win so the top 3 could be in trouble....
5. Sarah Zuidhof- A great matchup between Sarah and Allyson for top Frederictonian
6. Alexis Juurlink- Has borrowed some "Sylvio Mojo"
7. Krista McCluskey- I'm taking the pressure off as she might not run but could be #1
7. Rachel Fox- A surprise #5 with a PB!
8. Joanne Bellavance- Will just miss beating Rachel
9. Susan Ryan- A jump to #5 could come easily on a nice day
10. Margot Rankin- I'm predicting a fast finish!

The top age group performances will be Michael Coyne and Joe Burke

Daryl's Picks
Daryl Steeves - Rothesay, NB
Daryl Steeves

I don’t know if there has ever been a tougher year, this one is a real crap shoot but here goes:

Women
1. Joanne Belevance, if she is healthy will be tough to beat. Her University running experience and a great Marine Corps result makes her the odds on favourite going in. However, it is not a lock; the rest of this field is tough!
2. Krista McClusky is probably the most naturally gifted female runner in the province right now. However, rumours of an injury may drop her down the list. Only the finish line will tell the tale on this one.
3. April Lambert could be the surprise performance of the day. It takes a strong heart, a smart head and a prepared body and April has it all. She has a proven track record at the middle distances and I think this will be her breakthrough endurance event. She just needs to believe!
4. Micheline Drisdelle is truly the energizer bunny, she just keeps going and going. She is determined and has the goods to make it pay off. Having one Boston under her belt will be a real asset!
5. Allyson MacDonald has shown she can deliver. Even with her great record, I still believe her best marathon is yet to come. If she shows up at the start line healthy, she will show up at the finish line with a PB.

The next 5 are tough to predict but I will be watching for: Sarah Zuidhof, Rachel Fox, Nathalie Arsenault, Lisa Leblanc and Susan Ryan.

Men
1. Dean Strowbridge
has earned his nick name of Superman. He has brought himself along very nicely over the last few years and this should be the culmination of his efforts. He is a well rounded runner with speed, endurance and toughness. Race day should be good to dean this year!
2. Michael Coyne had me eating my words last year; I won’t make that mistake again. Michael seems immune to the aging process. He has a ton of experience and in the big races that is worth its’ weight in gold. I’m counting on him to stay solid throughout the race with enough in the take to shed runners in the last 6 miles.
3. John Heron may be a little off his game with less training than he would like, but I don’t think that is a real issue. John has such a strong base, he really won’t need miles of training to be strong, in fact it might make him stronger.
4. Todd Lambert is looking very good and I think has the opportunity to edge out Mike Davis but it will take a perfect race. Todd is healthy and strong right now and has a great base, I’m expecting some impressive running from him in Boston.
5. Mike Davis is tough, no doubt about it. As a matter of fact, I think on any given day he could be in the top 3 but for now number 5 spot is my best guess. This would be my shakiest guess because he is so tough, anything can happen.

From the rest of the pack there are 5 guys who could easily pop up to the top 5: Bruce Rosvall, Steve Lohnes, Jamie Smith, Sean Moore, and just because I can’t write a top ten Boston without him, Darrell Travis, I would take him for my team in any race in any place!

 

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

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