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Campbell’s Callinan reaches her Marathon goals on a memorable birthday

By Tom King - Staff Writer | Apr 17, 2018

Courtesy photo Campbell High School senior Caitlyn Callinan, the youngest Boston Marathon registered runner, poses with the race's oldest, 85-year-old Katherine Beiers, on Sunday. Calinan, who turned 18 Monday, finished in 3:49.

It was the happiest of birthdays Monday for Campbell High School senior distance running standout Caitlyn Callinan.

And perhaps physically the toughest.

Callinan reached her goal of finishing the Boston Marathon in under four hours, crossing the finish line in 3:49, with her grandfather, Wayne Gagne, there to greet her.

“It was great,” Callinan, who turned 18 and raised nearly $11,000 for the American Liver Foundation in honor of her grandfather, who suffers from liver disease. “It was absolutely freezing and the wind was was really hard toward the end.”

Gagne said he never had felt so cold and damp in his life, but seeing his granddaughter, who was the youngest official entrant, make her way toward the line was worth it.

“She looked great,” he said. “Above and beyond. It was something else. All the time she put in. What dedication. This was a day I’ll remember forever.”

Callinan had never run more than 21 miles, so when she hit the top of Heartbreak Hill at mile 21, she was struggling. “That’s when the wind picked up,” she said. “But I kept going. All I did was think of my grandfather.”

Callinan also got to start the race with her father, Steven Callinan, which originally wasn’t expected. A New Hampshire state trooper, he was running as part of that organization’s efforts to raise money for Kids vs. Cancer. He finished in 4:41.

Callinan was planning on staying home from school to recover on Tuesday. Sore, stiff, and exhausted?

“All of that,” she said.

But it was well worth it.


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