Sean Linder figured his day was made before he even started the inaugural Onward Shay! Boise Marathon on Sunday.
“I could have left the starting line and gone home and been happy,” Linder said. “Because at the start I was standing next to (two-time Olympian) Nick Symmonds and (1968 Boston Marathon winner) Amby Burfoot.”
That was a good way for Linder to start the day, but he found an even better way to cap it: He was the overall winner of the marathon, finishing in 2 hours, 44 minutes, 43 seconds on a gray, rainy day.
“I loved the weather,” said Linder, a 43-year-old paralegal from Spokane. “I’m the type of person who gets really dehydrated when I run, and I think (the rain) helped keep me cool.”
Linder said his finishing time was just a few minutes off his personal record — which he set 12 years ago — and it was his first marathon win.
“I had no expectations,” he said. “I have no idea how far ahead (of the second-place finisher) I was. I never looked back.”
Rachael Powell didn’t look back, either. But she did see some terrain she wasn’t meant to see. Because of some confusion on the course, Powell figured she ran an extra 2 miles.
And she still was the overall women’s winner.
She joked afterward that her time of 3:33:09 wasn’t her fastest time in a marathon.
“But I did set a PR (personal record) for 28.2 miles,” she said.
Powell, a 36-year-old Boise office manager, took the mishap in stride.
“Nothing ever goes according to plan when you have four kids,” said Powell, who won the Famous Idaho Potato Marathon in May. “You’re always going 100 different directions.”
Race director Keith Hughes later heard about Powell’s on-course misadventure.
“We learned some things,” Hughes said. “The first time on a new course we don’t know what we don’t know about the course until we actually do it. So we learned a lot today on this one, but it’s been a super event, and I think all the athletes overall were super happy. I’m looking forward to Year Two.”