Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 04-11-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Cumberland Lincoln Edition Sports & Recreation valleybreeze.com @ APRIL 11-17, 2019 CUMBERLAND – It's hard to believe, but it's true: Hilary Dionne has been absent from the Boston Marathon since 2016. The former Cumberland High All-State runner, who had made a name for herself nationally by plac- ing among the top 25 female finish- ers and top eight American women at the legendary 26.2-mile race in five straight years (2012-16), did not answer the starter's gun the last two Aprils, but she will be back for next Monday's marathon. "I'm excited to be back out there this year," said the 33-year-old Dionne, who runs for the Craft Concept all-women racing team. "Last year, I was injured at this time, but I was training for it. The year before, I was intentionally not doing it. But I'm happy to be back. It's my favorite race." Dionne's reason for "intentionally not doing" the marathon in 2017 was understandable. She had ran in three marathons in 2016, the U.S. Olympic Trials that February in Los Angeles, Boston, and the New York City Marathon that November, and simply needed a break to cool her engines and "give myself a little breather," she noted. Before 2017 turned into 2018, Dionne finished third in the Hartford Half Marathon in 1:15:52 and fourth in the Philadelphia Marathon in 2:43:35. She had her sights set on a return to Boston last spring, but back woes forced her to pull out of the race. "Just the timing of it, it was too close to the race to be able to recover in time," said Dionne, who resides in Charlestown, Mass. "I was in the pool for probably six weeks and was back on the road by late April, but again, it was just too close." Dionne returned to the road racing circuit in time for last July's 50th run- ning of the Arnold Mills Road Race and became a five-time women's champion of the popular four-mile race by placing 13th overall in a time of 22:40.92. It was her second straight victory and fourth in the last five years. Dionne admitted after that race that she was easing her way back into running, but judging by her excellent performances in her last three long- distance races, it appears the former Dartmouth College standout is all the way back from her ailment and 100 percent ready for Boston. Last October, Dionne returned to Hartford for the half marathon and seized second place for the sec- ond time in three years in a time of 1:15:39 that was 80 seconds behind the women's champion. Less than two months later, Dionne was back on the mara- thon circuit, competing in the California International Marathon in Sacramento, and she claimed ninth place with a personal-best time of 2:33:03, which topped her previous PR of 2:34:45 at the Berlin Marathon in 2015. "It really felt great, coming back after being injured and frustrated," she admitted. "That was a really good confidence booster, just a reas- surance that I was able to get back into it." Dionne's last race was on March 17, when she competed in the New Bedford Half Marathon, one of the region's biggest (and hilliest) 13.1- mile races, and she took second place in 1:15:43 that was 59 seconds shy of the top female. As for her return to Boston? "I'd like to be competitive and try to put myself among the top 15," she added. "But I also want to enjoy it. I just had my best race ever in California, and I don't know if I can PR again, but I really want to put myself out there to have a good race and enjoy being on the course and (seeing) the crowds because that's always a fun day." For the second straight year, 26 runners from northern Rhode Island will take part in next week's race, and nine of them, including Dionne, are hailing from Cumberland. Two Cumberland runners who will continue their remarkable streaks of running in this marathon are 64-year-old Bill McGinnis, who will venture to Hopkinton for the 16th straight time, and 44-year-old Maria Chevalier, who will run in her 10th consecutive race. Both runners are members of the Wampanoag Road Runners. Running in his ninth straight mara- thon is former Cumberland High runner Jason Reilly. The 35-year-old runner, who lives in East Greenwich, has finished the race in under 2:40 in three of the last six years. Last year, while running on a rainy, windy day with temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s, Reilly clocked a time of 2:38:28 that was a minute shy of his Boston PR and was good for 114th place, marking the first time he's ever cracked the top 150. Reilly also ran in last October's Chicago Marathon and finished it in a time of 2:38:00. Joining Reilly in the first wave is Cumberland's Mike Muschiano, who will look to finish his fourth Boston Marathon in the last six years. Muschiano will have his sights set on breaking the three-hour mark – in 2017, he missed it by two seconds. Another Cumberland runner to keep an eye on is Ashley Glenn, who is running in Boston for the fifth time since 2013. After showing mod- est improvement in her last three races (going from 3:56:55 in 2013 to 3:54:06 in 2014 and 3:52:00 in 2016), she finished last year's race in 3:29:56. Lincoln will be well represented in the marathon by Ashley Jensen, a former standout runner at Mount Saint Charles Academy and Providence College who currently lives in Boston. Running in her first Boston Marathon last April, the 34-year-old Jensen, who has shined locally on the trail racing circuit, shook off a nasty fall less than a mile into the race to post a time of 2:58:37 that not only broke her personal-best clocking by nearly 19 minutes, but put her in 60th place out of the 11,604 female finishes. BREEZE PHOTO BY KAYLA PANU Former Cumberland High All-State runner HILARY DIONNE, shown crossing the finish line as the women's winner of last summer's Arnold Mills Road Race, will be running in next week's Boston Marathon for the first time in three years. From 2012-16, she had placed among the top 25 female finishers and top eighth American women at the leg- endary race. Dionne awaits return to Boston Back for first time since 2016, former CHS All-Stater seeks top-15 finish By ERIC BENEVIDES Valley Breeze Sports Editor sports@valleybreeze.com REALTOR ® Licensed in RI & MA Eric Brouillard PROPERTIES 261 Main St., Suite 201 North Smithfield Rhode Island 02896 ericbrouillard@remax.net www.McGeeSoldMyHouse.com Cell: 401-569-2725 Office: 401-356-1519 Stearns/McGee Team S STANLEY TREE Since 1986 • Professional High Quality Service At Reasonable Rates • Licensed Arborists • Serving RI & Nearby Mass. • Our Team Of Professionals Is Fully Equipped To Handle Your Job In A Safe Efficient Manner N. 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