Boston Marathon Profile – Ron Lipka
By Jeff Slovin, Contributing Writer
Ron Lipka, 36, from Northborough and running his 12th marathon
How many marathons have you run? How many times have you run Boston?
I’ve run 11 marathons, and this is my third Boston Marathon.
If you ran Boston last year, what was your experience with what happened?
Last year I had planned to stay in Boston after the race and celebrate with friends, but I left early instead because of what we were seeing and hearing on TV. At that time, the magnitude of the situation hadn’t really sunk in, so we were wise to play it safe and leave early. On our drive out of the city, I had never seen so many police cars and ambulances in one concentrated area – that image will be burned in my memory forever. I was very fortunate to escape unscathed, and my heart goes out to all those affected by the tragic events that occurred that day.
Why are you running Boston this year? What does it mean to you?
Of all the running race options, I love to train for and race the marathon distance. Since I live in the Boston area and this marathon is the pinnacle of the sport, it’s a no-brainer for me to continue to race Boston every year as long as I’m healthy and excited for the training. Running is a passion of mine, so I also hope that I can inspire a few others to follow their passions, whatever they may be.
Do you expect any of the recently announced new procedures for this year to affect your race?
The no bag policy could make things logistically challenging if it’s a cold start this year. I may have to finally part with some old, ratty clothes that should’ve been thrown out years ago.
Do you have an interesting marathon related story you wish to share?
I ran the Surf City marathon with my brother a few years back, which was his first marathon. He was not very prepared for the race. He hadn’t run any shorter distance races leading up to the marathon, and his longest run ever was 16 miles. He started out the race way too fast and inevitably slowed down, but he was determined to keep up with a guy that had “Scott” handwritten on the back of his shirt. He battled it out with Scott for a few miles, trading off the lead, until he finally succumbed and Scott sailed off into the distance. As the race continued on, he really started to suffer in the final miles, alternating between jogging and walking, debating whether to stop altogether or continue on. Finally he got the lift he needed to finish the race. He saw another runner pass him that also had a handwritten name on her back, which read “Scott’s Mom.” Thanks to Scott’s Mom, he eventually finished his first marathon!
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