Liz Borrett’s primary goal for the 2014 Boston Marathon was simply to cross the finish line.
The 75-year-old Kelowna woman did better than that on Monday, taking first place in the women’s 75 to 79 age group in four hours 22 minutes 35 seconds.
“I wasn’t as strong or quite as prepared as last year, but I still did pretty well, so I’m quite happy,” said Borrett, who began running 12 years ago. “I’m just fortunate to still be able to run at this stage of my life.”
Last year, in her first Boston Marathon, Borrett had the race of a lifetime, finishing in just a little over four hours, good enough for second place in the 70 to 74 age division.
But as was the case for all other competitors, the 2013 race was overshadowed by the bombings which killed three people and injured 260 others.
At this year’s race, Borrett said the atmosphere was second to none, as Bostonians and visitors alike came together to remember the events of a year ago and to celebrate and support the accomplishments of others.
“I saw everyone being so inclusive of the other runners, there was more support, more interaction than before, and you just felt you were part of something very special,” she said. “There were over a million spectators, the cheering was so loud if you wanted to listen to music, you never would have heard it. It was really energizing to be in the middle of that.
“I was fortunate to be able to run in it again,” she added, “the tragedy that happened last year was even more of a reason to support the event.”
And Borrett’s running season is far from over. She plans to run in four half marathons, before capping off the year with a trip to the New York Marathon in November.
Meanwhile, Borrett was one of nine Central Okanagan runners to complete the 118th annual race.
Kelowna’s Kit Darling, 30, was the top local finisher with a clocking of 3:33:34.
Results for other Kelowna and area runners were: Randall Myung, 51, finished in 3:34:16 and was 86th in his age division; Keith Parks, 53, 3:36:49; Jodi Cochrane, 39, 3:40: 27; Stacie Carrigan, 32, 3:41:12; Jeanne Parker, 50, 3:46:38; Jerry E. Murphy, 54, 3:51:24; and Stephanie Courcelles, 46, 4:09:49.