Here are my predictions for the 2017 Boston Marathon. Message me if I have any of your stats wrong, I relied on the World Wide Web for most of the data.
- Colin McQuade – The top spot for Boston this year is a tough call. While Dan is an obvious contender, I am going to predict that Colin will defend his title as the top NB marathoner at Boston. Colin ran a huge PB in the half marathon in Tracadie last year in a time of 1:17, which predicts a 2:42 marathon. He was the fastest New Brunswicker at Boston last year, where he ran 2:48 in the heat. I think Colin is more than capable of going under 2:40. He is one of the most focused and even paced runners I have ever met, and has not yet reached his fullest potential, achieving marathon PBs every year since he debuted in 2013.
- Daniel Leblanc – Dan is a very strong contender to be the top marathoner at Boston this year after his breakthrough year in 2016 where he ran an amazing 1:14 half and 2:48 marathon, both in Fredericton. If conditions are good, I have NO doubt that Dan will run under 2:40 and get a marathon PB by close to 10 minutes.
- Nathaniel Couture – In the 2015 Boston Marathon, Nat had the best negative split out of all the NB runners. In 2016, he ran 2:50 in Boston, and then just a few weeks later 2:48 in Fredericton. His ultramarathon experience will again help him this year to be a contender for the top three spots for NB. Nat is also going into Boston with the fastest qualifying time. Plus he is training with one of NB’s fastest marathoners, Ryan O’Shea!
- Greg McCann – Greg has run Boston the past two years. In 2015, he finished in 2:52. In 2016, he ran the first half at a pace well under 3 hours, but ended up running 3:26 on a warm day. He later ran 2:57 this past summer at Marathon by the Sea, which is a solid time on a hilly course. I think he will go under 2:50 this year and will also be a contender for the top three NB spots.
- Evan Doucet - Disclaimer, I am biased as this is my hubby. Evan ran 3:01 in his debut marathon in Moncton in 2015, with plans to go under 3 hours in Boston, his second marathon. Evan is in great shape, but I have inside info that he has been out from road running since early March as he has an upper body injury from playing hockey. He has since maintained his training in the pool, so I am sure he will still have a great race and go under 3 hours, if we can get him back on the road!
- Mathieu Fortin – Mathieu is an up and comer in the marathon. In 2016, he ran 3:03 in Fredericton and then 3:04 in Moncton in tough conditions, after running 3:14 in 2015. I think Mathieu will sneak under 3 hours in Boston.
- Rene Arsenault – Rene is a consistent marathoner, in fact it looks like he has improved his marathon time by one minute every year for the past 4 years: (2013) - 3:10 Fredericton, (2014) - 3:09 in PEI, (2015) - 3:08 in Quebec, (2016) - 3:07 in Fredericton. Based on this progression, I am predicting a 3:06 performance!
- Sylvain Arsenault – While not new to the running circuit, Sylvain is new to running marathons, having debuted in 2015 at the Moncton Marathon in 3:05. He ran the Moncton marathon again in 2016, finishing in 3:12. In March of this year, he won the Tracadie half in 1:26:18, which predicts a marathon time that is just seconds under 3 hours. I think he will run sub 3:10 in his first big city marathon and has the potential to run much faster.
- Yanick Tremblay - Yanick is an experienced runner, including big city marathons such as Boston and New York. In 2016, Yanick ran 3:15 in Boston and 3:04 in Moncton; again both events had challenging weather. In 2015, he ran 3:08 in Boston, which is consistent with his time on this course in previous years. I think he will run around 3:08 this year.
- Dean Mercer – Dean is another experienced marathoner, having run four marathons last year alone! His best marathon time in 2015 was 3:08, and in 2016 it was 3:08 again. I think he is going to three-peat and run another 3:08 in Boston.
Other contenders - Marc Gallant, Steve Dohaney, and Pascal Hudon all have really good chances of being in the top ten with BQs between 3:06-3:08.
Notable mentions: Rejean Chiasson, a New Brunswicker who currently resides in Ontario and the NB Marathon record holder (2:17:48), will be the top NB native. Rejean is returning to competitive racing after having not raced or trained for a marathon in five years. I think he will break the men’s 30-39 marathon record set by Olympian Joel Bourgeois (2:30:04) by around 10 minutes. Alex Coffin is another notable mention. Normally I would have placed him as a top contender, but he has been busy with a new job and has not had the opportunity to get in the training this year. He has an impressive 2:35:02 marathon PB and extensive road running experience that spans four decades, and could easily get into the top ten.
- Shelley Doucet – Now would I be a competitor if I did not go for the top spot? JJ. I have had a strong and consistent training block for Boston and am hoping to break the NB marathon record for women, which is 2:47:26. The record was set in Boston by the legendary Paula Keating in 2011.
- Paula Keating – Paula has extensive racing experience and amazing pacing talent, especially in the marathon distance. I predict that she will go under 3 hours, as she has done numerous times in the past, and lower her own NB age group record for W50-59, which is 2:59:25. I also predict that she will win her age group, which is quite a feat at a race that draws the best in the world.
- Joanne Reynolds – Joanne’s last marathon was in 2015, where she was the NB champion at the Fredericton Marathon, running an impressive 3:08. Later that year she ran 3:09 at Baystate. I think Joanne has the potential to go under 3:05.
- Marcie Holland – Marcie was awarded RunNB’s Up and Coming Runner of the Year for women in 2015 and had another great year in 2016, running PBs in every distance, including a sub 1:30 half marathon and a 3:16 marathon in Toronto (with almost 100% humidity). I have insider information, as she is my sister, on how hard she trains and know how fit she is. If the conditions are good, she will go under 3:10.
- Corrine Fournier – Corrine was awarded RunNB’s Up and Coming Runner of the Year for women in 2016. A major highlight for Corrine in 2016 was being crowned the NB champion at the Fredericton Marathon running 3:23, which is almost an hour faster than her 4:16 marathon in 2013. She has been training hard with a strong group of runners in Halifax and is fit for a great race!
- Annie Pellerin – Annie has been running marathons since 2007 and has participated in 5 Ironman races since 2010. Her PB was set in Boston in 2015, where she ran 3:25. In 2016, she ran 3:35 despite running for fun, and then a few weeks later ran the Fredericton Marathon in 3:25 (just 21 seconds off her PB). I predict Annie will PB and run sub 3:20 in Boston this year.
- Jessica Kennedy – Jessica has run Boston the past 5 years with a range in times from 3:24 (2014) to 3:57 (2012). I think she will go under 3:24 in Boston, and likely even under her PB of 3:22 (set in Toronto in 2015). Jessica and Annie will be close!
- Mary Kate Wedge – Mary Kate is an up and comer. She ran 3:28 at the Fredericton marathon last year, and 3:41 at the PEI marathon in 2015. It looks like this is Mary Kate’s third marathon - I anticipate she will run somewhere around 3:25.
- Maryro Mendez – Maryro is the most dedicated and passionate runner I know. She is also very experienced in the marathon, having run several marathons since 2011, including big city races like Boston, London, New York, Berlin, Miami, and Philly. Over the winter, she ran a 1:41 half in London, England, and is currently in the best shape of her life. I have no doubt that she will run faster than her marathon PB, which is 3:34 and even dip under 3:30.
- Brenda Guitard - Brenda is a marathon veteran who also has the potential to finish higher up; however, she is in a later corral that may hold her back (as her BQ was obtained at Boston last year, when she ran 3:45 in the heat). She has a history of fast times on the Boston course, including 3:13 in 2014 and 3:14 in 2015. Brenda is a consistent pacer like Paula and is very experienced in running marathons, especially Boston.
Notable mention: Heather Suttie would have made it in my top five picks, but rumour has it she is no longer running Boston in 2017. Heather ran a 3:20 marathon last Fall in Toronto, after having finished third in the marathon provincial championship in Fredericton last May, with a time of 3:25.