Ed Thomas, 53, of Sioux Falls
Marathon history: Since June 2010, he’s run 11 marathons, a 50-miler and a 50K, plus a bunch of half-marathons He qualified in 2011 with a 3:21 in Sioux Falls
On going to Boston: “My primary goal is to just to beat last year’s time. My secondary goal is to qualify again – 3:30. I’m old. That’s the great thing about getting older, your qualifying times get easier.”
Pre-race food: “Before any big race, the night before I have to have a pizza. Usually it’s a whole medium pizza. Like eight slices. It’s almost become a superstition.”
Ed Thomas has been consistent in his training this winter. He hasn’t’ missed a single scheduled workout. Add the confidence of solid training and the experience of having run one Boston Marathon before, and he’s ready for April 15.
Still, the course itself offers its own challenges, as he discovered last year.
“I just don’t want to get too overconfident about it. You know marathons, anything can happen. I’ve felt super great in quite a few marathons and thought I was gong to PR and then boom,” Thomas says. “One thing we have to do is just trust the training.”
Last year, Thomas ran Boston for the first time, and tanked at mile 23. This year, he’s focused on hill work. He’s run his share of repeats on Minnesota Avenue and 57th Street. And his share of rural runs – heading out with a tail wind and calling for a ride two hours later. He’s upped his mileage and done more long runs, but he’s done them at a slower pace. Boston isn’t his only goal this year – he’s also running two 100-milers.
“I’m doing Leadville in August, and then three weeks later doing the Superior (100-miler),” Thomas says. “We’ll see if I’m alive after that.”
He’s been busy analyzing his race from last year – a day so hot that the Boston Athletic Association offered heat waivers to registered runners. While the heat played a part in his day, he also thinks he expended too much energy weaving around people on the course. “I did a lot of zig-zagging,” Thomas says. “No matter what, this year I’m going to stick to my path. That would have saved me a couple minutes at least last year.”