With her husband, Jimmy Wills, by her side, Erin Beresini finishes her first Boston Marathon.
The third time was the charm for Redondo Beach triathlete Erin Beresini who, with her husband Jimmy Wills by her side, attained her goal of finishing the Boston Marathon on Monday.
An illness in 2012 and the bombings in 2013 prevented Beresini from crossing the finish line at the world’s oldest marathon, but Beresini, 30, battled through a bout of Achilles tendonitis this year to reach her goal.
“I took a lot of Advil,” Bereseni said after the race. “I’m so excited to go home a finisher. The entire weekend was so special. We went to Easter Mass and the Boston Marathon was part of the sermon and those running in the race the next day were asked to stand. It made me cry.”
Fittingly, Beresini’s time of 3 hours, 52.56 minutes was just ahead of Will’s mark of 3:52.57. Wills, 32, finished last year’s race in 3:27.12 before the bombs exploded.
“It was really neat running with Erin,” Wills said. “It meant so much to her to finish and be a part of that was something I’ll never forget. Obviously, the security was tighter this year. We couldn’t bring bags and there was an extra 10,000 runners, but the crowd was amazing and was much more supportive. We were cheered throughout the race and people we didn’t know would come up to us after the race and congratulate us.”
Beresini and Wills celebrated their finish with friend Robyn Dunn, 35, of Hermosa Beach who turned in a time of 3:47.54. Hermosa Beach resident and Club Ed running group member Renee Williams-Smith ran her first Boston Marathon last year. Her time qualified her for this year’s race and, after the tragedy in 2013, she was compelled to run again.
“I felt I needed to do it,” said Williams-Smith, a coach for Mira Costa’s girls cross country and track distance running teams. “It was an amazing experience. In all the races I’ve run in my career, I’ve never felt such support. At one point during the race when I stopped to tie my shoes, onlookers came over to help me tie them.”
Jimmy Wills, Erin Beresini and Robyn Dunn conquered the 118th Boston Marathon. Photo courtesy of Jimmy Wills
“My husband and I attended Easter Mass,” Williams-Smith said. “They handed out hand-knitted scarves to the runners. I was told there were 7,000 scarves sent to Boston from across the country.”
Runners from Hermosa Beach included: Peter Cannon (5:06.13), Michelle Habel (3:41.19), Steven Ludwig (4:52.54), Kathleen Munson (4:24.20), Keith Rozanski (4:58.42), Kerry Shanahan (4:21.08), and Emily Vaughn (3:23.48) and Williams-Smith (3:50.06). Finishers from Manhattan Beach included: Kevin Boyle (3:31.55), William Crader (3:28.34), Silvia Flint (4:59.42), Aviva Gat (3:37.58), Jon Hirshberg (4:01.11), Chuck Kaminski (3:48.05), Matt Knight (3:42.53), Eric Kutsenda (3:19.30), Thuy Le (4:50.42), James Locke (3:35.33), Kevin Lohner (4:07.22), Willis Longyear (3:01.23), David Louvet (2:59.47), Deborah Lynn (5:16.27), Mark Shalvarjian (3:07.50), Tami Shalvarjian (3:28.53), Zamir Siddiqi (5:08.28) and Patrick Sweeney (2:45.59). Redondo Beach runners completing the 26-mile, 385-yard course included: Darrel Folkert (4:09.37), Jacqueline Folkert (4:09.37), Joe Jeronimo (3:44.35), Steven Paulsen (4:39.40), Kirsten Retz (3:56.22), Michael Sevier (2:54.16), Kevin Sullivan (3:26.32) and William Weber (3:01.56).