Townsend’s Brian Crane cruises through Kenmore Square en route to finishing his 29th straight Boston Marathon on Monday.	SUN/KRIS PISARIKSun staff
Townsend's Brian Crane cruises through Kenmore Square en route to finishing his 29th straight Boston Marathon on Monday. SUN/KRIS PISARIK

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

Thanks to Mother Nature, the times are nothing to brag about.

But due to strong intestinal fortitude, decades of experience -- and phenomenal crowd support -- the streaks are alive for six local runners who are members of the Boston Marathon's Quarter Century Club.

The locals survived the 26.2 mile journey despite temperatures which climbed into the upper 70s.

* Ronald Kmiec, 74, of Carlisle extended his consecutive Boston Marathon streak to 44 years in a time of 5 hours, 2 minutes and 24 seconds. Only three men have longer streaks.

* Gerard Ottaviano, 59, of Westford has now run 34 straight after a clocking of 4:25:47.

"What an awful day. I don't know what it was. All I know was I drank, and drank, and drank, and I was always thirsty," he said. "By mile 11 it became an exercise of fighting to stay on the course."

Ottaviano fought off painful cramps.

"Somehow it didn't get any worse," he said. "I willed myself to the finish line. This is the toughest one I've ever had to battle. It became bottom-line time. I said, 'I've got to finish this thing. I've got to put one foot in front of another.' "

* Scott Graham, 58, of Westford extended his streak to 31 with a finish of 4:22:47.

* Brian Crane, 52, of Townsend had the best finish of the local "streakers," crossing in 4:13:06 to push his streak to 29.

"I don't think I had a long training run over 40 degrees. At mile seven I was already going into survival mode. It was just too hot. I'm not going to make excuses.


Advertisement

But the people of New England ... you don't have the acclimation of running in that weather."

Crane said prior to the race he was looking to up his streak to 30 years and then decide if he wanted to continue.

Now?

"Talk to me in September," he said with a laugh. "I have five months of saying I'm not doing it anymore."

The former Chelmsford High cross country and track coach said the crowd support was one of the best he's ever experienced at Boston. Notably, he said he saw at least one of his former runners every other mile in the second half of the race, providing him a giant boost.

"That makes you feel great," he said.

* Steve Kanaracus, 72, of Lowell is now at No. 28 after a showing of 4:47:30.

* Michael Kent, 53, of Billerica has now run 26 in a row after crossing the finish line in 4:54:37.

Mother Nature did her best to stop the thousands of runners who tried to make their way from Hopkinton to Boston. Try as she may, though, the six local "streakers" had the last laugh.

The top local finisher was Christopher Kovalchick of Bedford, who finished in 2:53:45 to cross 812th overall.

Follow Barry Scanlon on Twitter@BarryScanlonSun