Citizen Staff Writer
By BRYAN LEE
The famous “Heartbreak Hill” was a heartening experience yesterday for Cheri Blauwet.
The former University of Arizona athlete used it to break away from the competition and win her second straight Boston Marathon women’s wheelchair title.
She won by an overwhelming margin of 3 minutes and 8 seconds over Canadian Diane Roy. Blauwet’s time was 1:45:47 compared to 1:39:53 last year. Shirley Reilly, 19, a UA student, finished fourth with a time of 1:58:45.
“We had strong headwinds,” Blauwet said in a phone interview yesterday. “But my strategy was perfect.”
Blauwet broke away from Roy and Sandra Graf at the beginning of Mile 17. She couldn’t wait to get there.
“Climbing is my strength and I knew Diane is not a real good climber,” Blauwet, 24, said. “When we got there, they both fell away. … I guess climbing takes a special skill. A specific body type.”
In March Blauwet won her third straight Los Angeles Marathon. She also won the gold medal at the Athens, Greece, Paralympic Games 800-meter event last September, along with bronze medals in the 5,000 meters and marathon.
A 2002 graduate of UA, Blauwet is a medical student at Stanford. She competed for the Wildcats in adaptive athletics for five years.
Yesterday was her third Boston Marathon. She finished second in 2003.
• Thirty-eight local athletes, including ultra runner Pam Reed, completed the marathon, including three wheelchair competitors.
Kacey McAllister, 19, had the best wheelchair time and placed ninth in the men’s race at 1:42:34. Tyler Byers was 10th in 2:46.37.
Reed, 44, who ran 300 miles in 80 nonstop hours last month, completed yet another epic story. She clocked 3:25:02 Sunday in the London Marathon for 90th place in her age division, then competed yesterday, “falling off” after a trans-Atlantic flight to 4:24:58.
Alan Hoogasian, 20, had the best local time at 2:44:00 for 116th place in the 18-39 age division.
Lisa Salgado, 42, had the top women’s time (3:41:38) and placed 123rd in the Women’s Masters.
• List of local finishers, Page 2C.