Employee Spotlight: At 61, Rick Lesser runs the Boston Marathon in 3:50
Eastern Mountain Sports Store Planning Manager, Rick Lesser completed the Boston Marathon yesterday afternoon but the journey began in 2009. “I was coming up on my 60th birthday,” Rick explained “and I figured I should probably run one more marathon before it’s too late. No stranger to 5K and 10K races here in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire, Rick hadn’t run a marathon since he completed the Pittsburgh Marathon in 2000. He started approaching his daily, lunch-hour runs with Eastern Mountain Sports Web Manager Gary Merrifield with new intensity and then signed up for the 2009 Clarence Demar Marathon in Keene, NH. “I had a decent race there and I ended up qualifying for the 2010 Boston Marathon but it was completely sold out. Fortunately, a qualification lasts for 18 months so I was able to get in this year.”
Rick didn’t just get in, he got after it. 3:50:30 is a solid time for anyone who works for a living, much less a 61-year old grandfather of three, but Rick was surprisingly understated about his time. “I was hoping for 3:37,” he says. “That’s what I ran in
Pittsburgh in ’00 on an 85 degree day that was the exact opposite of the perfect conditions we had yesterday.” Rick shakes his head slightly before adding: “I was doing great until I got over Heartbreak Hill.” Cramps in both hamstrings cost Rick about 5 minutes of stretching and walking time before he was able to continue running. “If not for that, I probably would have beaten my personal best time,” he says. High expectations? Absolutely, but that’s what we love about Rick who’s 10-year Eastern Mountain Sports career has been defined by meeting all kinds of critical deadlines.
Around the office, Rick’s dedication to year-round training earned him a place in this Techwick video we shot earlier this year-look for him at the :28 mark.
I mention to Rick that I’ll be featuring this video in this blog post and his eyes instantly widen: “Ahhh,” he says somewhat sheepishly. “I didn’t wear Techwick yesterday. I wore the brightest shirt and shorts I own so my kids could find me in the crowd .” In my humble opinion, that’s a pretty solid excuse…for this year at least, because while 3:50:30 may have been a disappointing time for Rick Lesser, it’s good enough to qualify him for the 2012 Boston Marathon. I ask Rick if he’s up for the challenge. When he stops laughing, he says: “If you had asked me yesterday, I would have said no way, but one one day later, I can say that it was a truly great experience. I’ll need some more motivation than I have right now, but I could be up for another one.”