The fresh-faced college kid can go to the famed Boston Marathon for the first time. The 39-year-old mother of three has the chance to go for the third time in her life.
And both the Bozeman Marathon male and female overall winners have ties to the Boston Marathon’s bombing last April.
Holly Orrell, who won the Bozeman race in 3 hours, 13 minutes and 56 seconds on Saturday, was at a local restaurant in Boston on April 15. She was seated with her mother, Robyn, and daughter, Maddie, celebrating the completion of her second career Boston race.
Seconds after they ordered food, two explosions ripped through Boylston Street and set off four days of panic and terror in the Boston area and suburbs. The Orrells stayed in the restaurant during a brief lockdown, and none was physically affected by the bombings.
Orell — who was eighth at the 2012 Bozeman race and ninth on Saturday — waited until Friday to register for 2013’s race. It had nothing to do with the carnage last year in Boston; rather, it was good timing.
“I didn’t know if I was going to be in Bozeman,” Orrell said. “Yesterday, the stars all aligned and I decided ‘What the heck?’
“I figured I slept in on Friday, I missed my normal run, so I kind of was punishing myself, I guess.”
Nicholas Dorsett was inspired to run on Saturday by his older brother, Matthew. The elder Dorsett also ran the Boston race last April, and was unaffected by the bombing, according to Nicholas.
The 18-year-old freshman at Montana State University was looking to run a marathon prior to the cutoff date for Boston registration, which is today at 8 a.m., just in case he qualified.
“I just showed up and thought, ‘What the heck?’” Dorsett said. “I don’t know what to say about my finish considering this is my first marathon ever.”
The bar is set pretty high now for the former high school cross-country runner from Federal Way, Wash.
“Yeah, I like to push myself,” he said. “I’m very competitive.”
The pair was two of 709 runners who crossed the finish line during the marathon and half marathon in the event’s third year. The majority of runners were from Montana, but participants came from across the U.S. Bozeman Running Company owner Casey Jermyn called out destinations such as Jersey City, N.J.; San Diego; Albuquerque, N.M.; Raleigh, N.C.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Eagle River, Alaska, as various runners pushed through the finish.
Kirk Olson, one of two Floridians registered, was visiting Yellowstone National Park and decided it would be “a good Montana experience” to add to the adventure.
Jermyn received “tons of good feedback” from many he talked to afterward. One particular person remarked: “You just watch. This is only going to get bigger.”
“We had a lot of out-of-state participants,” Jermyn added. “We’ve had a few people who previously qualified for Boston who said they wanted to see if they could run a better time. All of the comments I heard from people who traveled from afar were complimentary.”
The Boston Marathon is April 21, 2014. For more information on the official qualifying standards, log on to http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/qualifying/qualifying-standards.aspx.
Gidal Kaiser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 582-2670. Follow him on Twitter @gidalkaiser.