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Constantino recalls hot day at Boston Marathon

April 17, 2012

Cumberland's David Constantino (24), shown leading the pack at the start of last year's Arnold Mills Road Race, settled for a 3:14:56 time at Monday's Boston Marathon, well below the 3:04:46 he ran last year.

Dave Constantino has been competing in marathons for a decade, and when it came down to recalling the hottest ones he has run, the Cumberland resident didn’t hesitate to bring up the 26.2-mile adventure he encountered on Monday at the Boston Marathon.
“That was probably the hottest marathon I have ever done out of the 10 years I have been competing,” Constantino said on Tuesday morning while he was “recuperating” at Scarborough Beach. “That was unbelievable. It was a tough one. It was a tough one for everybody.”
Constantino, who was running in his eighth straight Boston Marathon, posted a 3:04:46 time in last year’s race and had his sights set on breaking the three-hour barrier. At the half marathon mark, his time hit 1:28:32, but shortly after the 25K (15.3 miles) mark, he was slowing down to eight-minute miles. He ended up with a 3:14:56 time.
“It was 84 degrees when the gun went off,” he reported. “By the time we got into Copley Square [in Boston], it was almost 90. I actually drank one cup of water and dumped one cup on top of me every mile just to keep cool. That’s how hot it was.
“I knew I wasn’t going to fulfill my goal. There was no way because it was too hot and I didn’t want to push it too hard because I didn’t want to suffer from heat stroke because I know what that’s like. But I stuck it out. I didn’t want to give up. I just kept going and going and going, and finally I got there at the finish line.
Constantino, who placed third overall in a 3:07:13 time in his last marathon, the New Hampshire Marathon last Oct. 1 in Bristol, N.H., went to Boston with four of his friends from the Triathlon Club of New England, including Pawtucket’s Robert Lux.
Constantino, Lux (3:49:07), and the rest of their group finished the race, but there were others who never saw the final stretch on Boylston Street.
Of the 22,480 runners that answered the starter’s gun, close to 1,000 were unable to deal with the heat and finish the race. The volunteers who worked the water and Gatorade stops did so at a frantic pace, and the medical tents lined up along the course were also filled with activity.
“There was one poor girl who passed out after Heartbreak Hill and they had to carry her away,” said Constantino. “When I hit Heartbreak Hill, there were a few people struggling up that. Even myself -- I ran up the hill, not fast, but I got up there, but a lot of people walked and they were really hurting.”
Actually, 26,556 runners were signed up for the race, but two days before it, the Boston Athletic Association implemented a deferment option, giving those who didn’t wish to brave the heat and start the race an opportunity to register for next year’s marathon.
“That was never in my mind,” offered Constantino. “I know it was an option, and I’m surprised they actually gave that option, but I was going to run this. This was my eighth consecutive race and I didn’t want to miss it. I said ‘I’m going to stick it out. I’m not going to let the heat stop me.’ ”

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