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2018 Boston Marathon: Cold, rain and wind are the “best conditions” for some runners like Signiant’s Kevin Haggerty

Signiant is headquartered just outside of Boston, with DevOps, Development and Support located in Ottawa. Like many local companies, Signiant treats “Marathon Monday” as a near-sacred holiday. Many of us head to the Boston Marathon course to watch and cheer, and one of us even runs it.

Despite the cool temperatures, wind and constant rain, the 2018 Boston Marathon was one of Signiant DevOps Engineer Kevin Haggerty’s best Boston finishes. His fifth year running Boston, he hopes to make a string of ten. After running ten Boston marathons in a row, those who make the qualifying time in subsequent years are guaranteed a spot rather than competing for a limited number.

I mean, it’s only ten years straight. You got this, Kevin.

Kevin as DevOps Engineer / Kevin as Ottawa Winter Runner

Turns out a lot of people had good races in this year’s miserable weather, including elite men’s winner Yuki Kawauchi, a Japanese high school administration who famously refuses corporate sponsorship so he can keep his job working at the school.

“I am freezing cold right now, but when I was running these were the best conditions I could have possibly run in,” Kawauchi told WBZ-TV after the race. “It’s the best crowd support I’ve ever had anywhere in the world. Thank you, Boston.”

Then there was the women’s elite winner, Desiree Linden, who I got to see closing in on the finish line like a boss. With water visibly pouring off her shoes, I assumed it was the worst weather to run in. And I’m not alone. Kevin has fielded a lot of questions about how difficult it must have been to run in constant near-freezing rain and high winds.

“I actually felt really good,” said Kevin. “About 15k in I even thought I might beat my personal best that I set during another cold Boston Marathon (2015) or at least go sub three hours, but unfortunately a gastro emergency stop held me up.”

In fact, more runners finished the marathon this year (about 95%) compared to years past (about 90%) when it was too hot for many runners but relatively pleasant out for bystanders. As Kevin recounted:

“After training all winter, heat tends to be a greater threat for a lot of Boston Marathon runners, especially for an Ottawa native like me.”

Kevin Haggerty 2018 Boston Marathon

Though fewer in number this year, the people who braved the weather to encourage friends, family and complete strangers were determined to uplift. Kevin was sporting a Signiant shirt, but the marketing message didn’t quite communicate to the crowd. Throughout the 26.2 miles, Kevin heard a repeated cheer in response: “We don’t think you’re fast, we know you’re fast!” Like Kawauchi said, Boston has the best crowd in the world.

 

 

Ah well, marketing fail, but marathon victory. Congratulations, Kevin! Here’s to the next five years.

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