The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 21, 2014

Area runners have strong showing in Boston Marathon

Pittsburg man turns in fourth fastest time among Kansans

Scott Cichon is such a fan of the Boston Marathon, he almost wishes that he had stayed home and watched it on television.

If he had, Cichon would have witnessed 38-year-old Meb Keflezighi become the first American man to win the Boston Marathon since Greg Meyer in 1983.

But Cichon also would have missed out on so much more.

The 28-year-old from Pittsburg, Kan., turned in a personal-best time of 2 hours, 43 minutes and 34 seconds on Monday at the Boston Marathon. He finished with the fourth fastest time among Kansans and turned in the best time out of nine area competitors.

Keflezighi’s win comes after three people were killed and 260 others were injured during last year’s Boston Marathon.

“To have an American win and someone his age win, there’s definitely an underdog story to it,” Cichon said. “It’s even more fitting based on what happened last year. He was an immigrant to came here when he was about 7 years old. He’s someone from a foreign soil who wanted to be an American, and he has so much pride for his country. It couldn’t be more fitting.

“I almost wish I didn’t run, so I could have watched it. But I taped it, so I’ll watch it on the replay.”

Cichon led a strong showing for area participants.

Joplin’s Nathan Sicher, 33, finished with a time of 2:59.31. Other Joplin competitors included Ken Schramm (3:03.04), Andrew Webb (3:11.46), Jenna Mutz (3:18.06), Ashleigh Beyersdorfer (4:06.14) and Shaun Steele (4:21.43). Carl Junction residents Kathy Wrensch and Tobias Teeter finished in 3:54.52 and 4:50.31, respectively.

Cichon, a teacher and coach at St. Mary’s-Colgan, raced in a school tank top and shorts with the pattern of the American flag.

“It was one of those things that hit me,” Cichon said. “I was shopping for shoes online in December, and I saw those shorts. I thought, ‘I have to wear those.’ I didn’t tell anybody in my family until the day of the race so they’d be surprised.”

Ironically, Cichon ran almost the entire race with another person wearing the same shorts. Justin Wood, who is from New York, finished only six seconds behind Cichon.

“We got a lot of ‘USA’ chants,” Cichon said. “I’m sure everyone thought we were friends. I hadn’t met him before today.”

Cichon said it was rewarding experience to compete after last year’s tragedy.

“I was expecting a mix of emotions,” he said. “I thought there would be a lot of pride and joy but also sadness. From my perspective, it was really all pride and joy. The attitude came from the fans cheering and their enthusiasm ... I think the run was very uplifting.”

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