There will be at least two Smith runners among the more than 20,000 who will compete in the 107th annual Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21. Karin George, vice president for advancement, and Burt Prokop, supervisor of the physical plant carpentry section, will both be running the legendary 26.2-mile race.
This will be the second Boston Marathon for George (her 18th over all) and the eleventh consecutive one for Prokop (his 36th over all).
Prokop probably wouldnt say so himself, but, according to George, Burt has to be one of the top male runners in New England and certainly one of the very top at the masters level.
Runners in the 26-mile, 385-yard Boston Marathon, the worlds oldest and one of the most prestigious, are assigned bib numbers based on qualifying times. (Runners must achieve a certain qualifying time within gender and age categories to run officially.) George ran a time of three hours and 33 minutes in another marathon, and her bib number of 11,426 puts her roughly in the middle of the Boston field.
Men have different time standards along with age brackets. Prokops bib number is 1258. He qualified with a time of 2:43 in the Philadelphia Marathon last November. Both recently ran in the Eastern States 20 miler, in which Prokop finished fifth.
Both runners have used the ITT for training, mostly during the winter. George is grateful that the facility is open to members of the community, she says. She was able to do some speed work and even some distance runs there with her training partners, who are not Smith employees.
Were very lucky here at Smith to have access to these excellent running facilities, says Prokop. All runners should be so lucky!
During the event, which begins at noon, you can track runners progress by entering their name on at www.bostonmarathon.com.