MARQUETTE - Painful cramps during the last mile couldn't stop Matthew Paullin from winning the men's marathon at the Marquette Marathon on Saturday morning.
More than 600 people gathered at Presque Isle Park to participate in the 26.2-mile marathon, 13.2-mile half marathon and team relays.
Paullin, 30, of Berea, Ohio, came across the finish line in 2 hours, 44 minutes, 17.2 seconds.
A number of the runners at the mass start of the Marquette Marathon men’s marathon set their watches while establishing their pace at Presque Isle Park in Marquette on Saturday morning. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
"I was cramping up pretty bad the whole last mile," Paullin said. "I was just trying to work it out and it was a great feeling (to cross the finish line)."
Paullin said he decided to do this event because it was one of the last marathons in the country he could run to qualify for the Boston Marathon in April.
"I've never been to Boston before so (my wife and I) are going to take a couple of days and see the town," Paullin said. "I've always wanted to do the Boston Marathon, so I've qualified today."
To qualify in his age group for the Boston Marathon, Paullin had to finish in under 3:05. Paullin said he ran with his old college roommate, who also qualified for Boston. They both ran track at Youngstown State University.
"So April 2013 my wife and I and Jeremy Riehm and his girlfriend will all be going to Boston," Paullin said. "So it's pretty neat."
This is Paullin's sixth full marathon and he said he was running this one for his dad, who passed away last year.
Christin Mishica, 23, of Hancock finished first overall in the female division of the marathon in 3:13:28.9. Mishica said she ran as a sort of family event. Her mother ran the marathon with her and her sisters ran the half marathon.
"It was a good day and I was feeling pretty good," Mishica said. "This was actually the first time I did a marathon so I didn't really have any expectations. I just kind of went out there and went for it."
Mishica graduated in the spring from Michigan Tech University where she ran track and skied. She said her training from track and skiing prepared her for Saturday.
"You do a lot of distance training because they are an endurance sport," Mishica said. "I've had a bit more longer runs but I've always trained quite a bit so it wasn't too hard to prepare (for this race)."
Mishica said she really didn't have a strategy going into the marathon so she started out pretty slow. She said she didn't want to begin too fast because she's made that mistake before when she became tired before she was halfway done.
"I was ready to be done at about mile 24, so I was just kind of just pushing it through the last few (miles)," Mishica said. "I knew I could do it so it was just a matter of getting across the line in one piece."
Nicola Emery came in second in the female division of the marathon in 3:13:43.3 with Jenny Vance not far behind her in 3:18:20.7. Jacob Nye came in second in the male division of the marathon in 2:47:35.1 and Griffin Bohannon third in 2:48:12.3.
Half marathon winner for the female division was Alison Gross in 1:33:17.7, followed by Angela Eagling in 1:36:39 and Brittney Genal in 1:39:44.6. For the male division Tracy Lokken won in 1:14:33.5, then Asa Kelly in 1:19:27.6 and Chad Bollman in 1:21:41.1.
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243. Her email address is photos@miningjournal. net.