Local runners get ready to lace up for Boston Marathon

Rick Blair of Boardman and Jenn Polkovitch of Canfield are just two of the runners from the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys

Rick Blair, of Boardman, trains with friends ahead of the Boston Marathon.


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WYTV) – Excitement is building Sunday night for the Boston Marathon on Monday. Over 30,000 people will run in the race and at least 18 of them live in the Valley.

The finish line is on Boylston Street, which already has thousands of sightseers taking pictures.

The last preparations, like getting television cameras in position and bringing in trucks with the medals and supplies, are underway.

There is a police officer every few feet to keep things running, but also to keep an eye on things.

Rick Blair, of Boardman, had some of his friends from home join him for a warm-up run. He can’t wait to head about 20 miles west for the start of the marathon.

“It’s the most prestigious marathon out there. I think just the history of it and the event itself is such a big deal.”

Temperatures were in the 40s Sunday morning outside of their hotel in Cambridge, which is a lot warmer than the freezing days Blair spent training in Ohio.

He is running to raise money for The Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley.

“It changes lives. It changes lives every day in a long-term manner. There are incredible success stories,” he said.

Blair started with a goal to raise $5,000, but quickly surpassed it. Donations have reached almost $29,000.

Canfield’s Jenn Polkovitch is also at the marathon with her husband, Matt, and their children. This is her fifth marathon.Jenn Polkovitch, of Canfield, prepares to run in the Boston Marathon.

“I’ve always dreamt that I would be here, I just never thought it would come true,” she said. “Now that I am here, it’s just pure amazement.”

This will be the 120th running of the Boston Marathon and Polkovitch holds it in high esteem.

“It’s the big one. Everybody that runs marathons wants to get to Boston if they can.”

Jenn Polkovitch, of Canfield, prepares to run in the Boston Marathon.Her brother and mom, Laurie Armstrong, also came to cheer her on.

“I come in to Ohio from Washington State often to take part and cheer,” Armstrong said. “We are proud of her.”

Polkovitch had a t-shirt made to show off her hometown. It says, “Just Another Runner From YTown.”

She also has a plan to make it through the tough 26-mile run.

“I am just going to run it and take every mile one by one, and every time I see that mile marker, just count them down in my head.”

Here is a list of local Boston Marathon runners:

  • John Armstrong of Grove City
  • Evan Avery of Grove City
  • Stella Balzli of New Castle
  • Ralph Barnhart of Canfield
  • Scott Bartholomew of Mercer
  • Stephen Begezda of Poland
  • Richard Blair of Boardman
  • Jonathan Bolha of Austintown
  • Tom Cavicchi of Grove City
  • Mark Courtney of Grove City
  • Jeffrey Geiss of East Palestine
  • Kimberly Hohman of Grove City
  • Sandra Manley of Youngstown
  • Jenn Polkovitch of Canfield
  • Erik Reed of East Liverpool
  • Christine Russo of Canfield
  • Caitlin Snyder of Grove City
  • Jacob Smith of Greenville

Local runners prepare for the Boston Marathon.

Local runners prepare for the Boston Marathon.

Local runners prepare for the Boston Marathon.

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