ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Kevin Brinegar accomplished one of his life's goals Monday. The 32-year-old Fairbanks man managed to finish among the top 100 in the Boston Marathon.
But he wasn't quite sure whether to celebrate.
''It's one of those things,'' Brinegar said, ''when you finish a marathon, you're kind of in a different mental state. You're not really coherent.''
Brinegar finished 81st among men and 89th overall in Tuesday's Boston Marathon, topping all Alaskans and cracking the top 100 in a 26.2-mile race that featured more than 14,000 finishers.
Brinegar finished with a time of 2 hours, 33 minutes and 42 seconds. His previous best for a marathon was 2:35:15, and his previous highest Boston Marathon finish was last year's 124th. He has run the event seven times, improving in each race. But, until this year, he always fell short of the top 100.
''This was one of the big goals,'' Brinegar, 32, said. ''This feels pretty good.''
Kenya's Rodgers Rop won the race in 2:09:02. The top American finisher was Keith Dowling of Reston, Va. in 15th with a time of 2:13:28.
Two Fairbanks men joined Brinegar in the top 200 -- Mike Kramer, who finished in 167th place with a time of 2:40:05 and Wayde Leder who came in at 169th overall and 28th in the men's masters division at 2:40:11.
Anchorage's top finisher was John Clark, who placed 1,222nd with a time of 3:02:30.
Wasilla's Lachelle Croteau was the top Alaskan woman.
She finished 352nd at 3:24:09, nosing out Eagle River's Anne Williams, who finished in 353rd place with the same time.
Brinegar, a health coordinator at a Head Start program and a cross-country and track coach at Lathrop High, said the key to shooting into the top 100 was all about the fluids.
''I was able to stay on top of my hydration,'' Brinegar said. ''And that really helped.''
He didn't have much of a choice.
''Last year, his big mistake was not taking enough fluid,'' explained Andy Holland, Brinegar's friend and fellow Fairbanksan who finished 499th in 2:52:12. ''This year, we encouraged, cajoled and threatened him about the consequences of not taking enough fluid.''
The payoff was the top-100 finish and a special day for all.
''It was wonderful to watch him,'' Holland said.
Also wonderful to watch was Leder, a 44-year-old electrician whose first Boston Marathon experience was magical.
Typically, a runner tries to avoid any physical contact other than feet hitting ground. Leder took a different approach, and he said it made him faster.
''There were little kids standing on the side of the road, putting their hands out,'' Leder explained. ''I'd dodge over and give them a slap and the crowd would go crazy. I just kept feeding on that. For 26 miles, they lined the course and they cheer like you are in the lead. It's just unbelievable.
''I probably slapped 2,000 hands. And I had no time to think about how I felt.''
Leder must have felt pretty good -- he knocked eight minutes off his previous marathon best.
''I hate to say I'm disappointed, but my fantasy goal was to break 2:40,'' Leder said with a laugh. ''I guess it's a Godsend. I have to come back.''
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