By Adam Eisenbarth
If you want a Boston Cream donut, Bob Podritske can serve you one at his Ponoka Tim Hortons restaurant; if you want to see someone run a Boston Marathon, well he can do that too.
Podritske has been running marathons for 16 years and next year he’ll participate in the famous Boston event.
He qualified for the event in Edmonton on Aug. 16.
The Ponoka racer is excited but he’s not nervous about the challenge. He sees it as just another race.
“It’s actually not a hard marathon. I’ve raced some really hard ones with some tough hills. It’s just that it’s the Boston Marathon and it is so well-promoted, that’s why it’s such a big deal.”
The big marathon doesn’t have Podritske shying away from the goal he sets for himself in every race. He is looking to finish in the top 10 per cent.
He won’t be alone for the marathon as several friends from Western Canada will also participate in the event, and while he calls them good friends, he won’t feel bad crossing the finish line ahead of them.
“Oh ya, I’ve got to beat them all. It’s a competition.”
Though this is Podritske’s first time in the Boston Marathon, he has had several opportunities to participate in the race, with a qualifying race held in Edmonton.
“There are a number of qualifiers in North America for the Boston Marathon and Edmonton is one. I needed three hours and 35 minutes to qualify and I finished at 3:19. I qualify every time. It’s just it was such a huge cost every year with the hotels and everyone jacking up their prices for the marathon.”
But this time around was different.
As he gets older, Podritske thought he’d better jump on the opportunity to compete in some of the big name races.
“I thought I’m not going to be racing too much longer so I’d better do the big ones while I still can.”
Podritske doesn’t need to train anymore for the marathons. He runs one a month and he will also compete in Whitefish, Victoria, Las Vegas and New York.
The 52-year-old racer is used to running a strong race and qualifying for the Boston Marathon but he was especially pleased with by how much he beat the qualifying time.
“The big thing for me was that I beat the qualifying time by 16 minutes. That’s what I’m really proud of.”
Podritske doesn’t know if this will be a one-time trip to Boston for the marathon but he is sure to enjoy the opportunity to race in one of the most famous marathons in the world.
The 2010 Boston Marathon will be held April 19.