Emotions run high as Modesto-area runners complete Boston Marathon

jsilva@modbee.comApril 21, 2014 

— Modesto’s Karen Lozano couldn’t hold in the emotion. As she neared completion of the Boston Marathon on Monday, approaching the turn onto famed Boylston Street, she became overwhelmed.

“I had a mini-breakdown,” said Lozano, 55. “Once I saw Boylston I started thinking about what happened last year and I started choking up and I couldn’t breath.”

But Lozano gathered herself and finished her second Boston Marathon in 4 hours, 36 minutes, 42 seconds.

It was not a personal record, but it was the culmination of an emotional journey for the co-director of the Modesto Marathon.

“I first watched my husband do it, then I wanted to do it,” she said. “Then I ran it. I thought it was insane and crazy then. The people are lining the streets and yelling.

“This time there was way more people. The streets were just lined. It was very festive, positive, uplifting and emotional.”

Turlock’s Toxie Burriss, 49, ran with his good friend Chris Hodges, a former Modesto resident who now lives in Texas. The two also ran together in the 2007 race.

“We decided we would run it for fun,” Burriss said. “We talked the whole way, stopped and got a kiss from our wives and took some selfies as we were running. It was fun.

“The people (in Boston) were great, they were so nice. We must have high-fived a thousand people. We just had a good time.”

Lozano said security was clearly present, but “not overkill,” she said.

The heat also played a factor on her slower-than-usual time. But, she said, “I was there for the atmosphere.”

“Once we got going it was a mass of people all screaming and cheering,” Lozano said. “I put my name on my shirt. They shout your name for 26 miles.”

Salida’s Vicky King, unable to finish the race last year because of the bombings, completed her journey on Monday, finishing in just over 4 hours, 11 minutes.

Other local finishers included: Alex Shoob, Modesto, 4:04:41; James Notaro, Oakdale, 2:57:15; Jared Jeffries, Turlock, 3:14:48; Janice Kesterson, Oakdale, 3:50:48; Sue McAdams, Oakdale, 4:02:58; and Tom Burchell, Oakdale, 3:33:23.

Burriss said the crowd was enthusiastic every mile of the race.

“We’d wave to the crowd and they would just roar,” he said.

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