Clanton runner completes Boston MarathonBy Emily Etheredge Published 2:59pm Thursday, April 24, 2014
As Clanton runner Cecil Pavey crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon Monday, he not only had support from Chilton County but from 1 million spectators in Boston.
“It was phenomenal,” Pavey said. “There was so much energy from everyone. There would be times I would be running and I would take my hat off and start spinning it, and when I would do that, everyone in the crowd would cheer.”
Pavey, 66, placed 132 out of 765 runners in his age group of males ages 65-69.
“It is very easy to start off running too fast at the beginning,” Pavey said. “There is so much energy from the crowd, and there is a tendency to get ahead of yourself. I was running a speed that was too fast. When I got to ‘heartbreak hill’ I had depleted most of my energy so I had to slow down a bit.”
Pavey’s overall time for the 26.2-mile run was 4 hours, 7 minutes and 50 seconds.
“It was not my slowest marathon but it was not my fastest either,” Pavey said. “For me, it was all about the journey.”
Pavey qualified to run in the Boston Marathon after finishing the Mercedes Marathon in Birmingham in February.
Pavey learned he qualified to run in the 118th Boston Marathon through a postcard sent to him in the mail.
The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon with an average of 20,000 participants from all over the world participating each year.
This year, Meb Keflezighi became the first American male to win the Boston Marathon since 1983.
Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo became the seventh three time female winner of the race.
“I met people from all over the world,” Pavey said. “There were some people from the Philippines, people from Canada, and you would see signs in the crowd that were written in Japanese. The other neat thing was people were holding up slices of oranges for the runners and toward the end of the race people were passing out popsicles to the runners. The spectators really build you up.”
Those cheering on Pavey from Chilton County were able to track his progress on a website.
“I had my cell phone with me, but I only sent one text message,” Pavey said. “It was to my wife Sally who was waiting for me to text her, and I only sent one word, ‘slowing’ but I misspelled the one word to say ‘sllowing’,” Pavey laughingly said.
The morning of the race, Pavey woke up around 3:30 a.m. and ate four bananas before his run.
“I didn’t want to put anything in me that was too heavy,” he said.
After finishing the marathon, Pavey said he indulged in a Cadbury egg that his wife had waiting for him.
“I had denied myself the ability to eat one prior to the race,” Pavey said.
Now, Pavey said he will rest his body for the next couple of weeks and then start his daily morning runs through Clanton.
“I am setting my eyes on a race in Talladega, and I want to do another marathon this fall,” Pavey said. “I will also run several 5Ks.”
Pavey said he is thankful for the support he received from people in Chilton County including the Chilton Runners who held a prayer group for Pavey before he left for Boston.
The group also held a run at 5:15 a.m. at Goosepond Park on April 16 to show support for Pavey.
“The support everyone has shown has been incredible,” Pavey said. “I received texts, e-mails and Facebook messages from so many people, and it was great.”
Pavey said he had no fears or concerns after the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013.
“As I was running, I would see the military or National Guard, and they would be standing not facing the runners,” Pavey said. “They were doing an excellent job. Any time I could get their attention I would thank them.
It made me proud that they would come out and volunteer their service to stand while we run a race. It was truly an overwhelming feeling.”