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Honored residents recognized as race starters

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Featured

Boston Marathon 2022

Hopkinton’s Jack LeDuc announces the start at the 2022 race. PHOTO/JERRY SPAR

Since 2006, the Boston Athletic Association has entrusted the Hopkinton Marathon Committee with choosing starters for the non-elite waves of the Boston Marathon. This year’s starters include: Jack LeDuc (Wave 1), Tom Griffin (Wave 2), Paul Fitzgerald (Wave 3) and the team of Sharon Lisnow and Mary McQueeney (Wave 4).

LeDuc, a member of Hopkinton Marathon Committee, grew up in Hopkinton and has been a race volunteer for 43 years, including painting the start line for 37 years.

Standing on the starter’s podium is no surprise for LeDuc, who has been the longtime announcer for the start.

A six-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, LeDuc ran the Boston Marathon 15 times, from 1997 through 2011.

Griffin was a longtime police officer in Hopkinton. Raised in Natick, he moved to Hopkinton in 1972, and with his wife, Chris, raised two sons, Jamie and Sean.

He joined the Hopkinton Police Department in 1978 as a patrolman. He retired in 2016 but stayed on as a special police officer and then a traffic constable.

On marathon day, he has staffed roadblocks, worked security in the center of town, and served as a motorcycle escort.

“Other than being honored by such a role, what I am really looking forward to is seeing the runners cross the start line,” Griffin said. “In all my decades working this event, that is something I have never seen, except on the news after the race. I truly want to thank the Marathon Committee for this opportunity.”

Fitzgerald is a Dell EMC vice president of real estate and facilities who has assisted with the Boston Marathon since 1992.

When Fitzgerald started his Boston Marathon involvement, EMC was growing in the community and donated the use of its building parking while helping with staffing, security and traffic management. Fitzgerald still hosts a prerace law enforcement meeting and said he enjoys working with Dell to support the Michael Lisnow Respite Center, particularly during marathon time.

“The entire day is great,” said Fitzgerald, who grew up in South Weymouth and is a married father of five. “I love the excitement, as we have a lot of runners from Dell and seeing people and leaders from town … but I have always joked about firing the starting pistol!”

Lisnow and McQueeney are the founding directors of the Michael Lisnow Respite Center, a home away from home for children and adults with disabilities. The facility is on Main Street, a few blocks west of the start line.

This marks the Respite Center’s 26th year as a Boston Athletic Association charity organization.

Lisnow and McQueeney have run the Boston Marathon together six times. This year, 73 runners will run for the Michael’s Miracle team, raising funds for the center.

Lisnow figured out that the money raised for the center through Boston Marathon runners has covered 186,000 hours of services to individuals with disabilities, specifically for those who can’t afford the care otherwise.

On race morning, the runners will gather at the Respite Center for a team photo and to recognize the Hall of Famers, those who have raised more than $15,000 or run five Boston Marathons for the team. The group then will walk to the start together.

Most of the runners on Michael’s Miracle team will start in Wave 4, the wave that will be started by Lisnow and McQueeney.

After starting Wave 4 and cheering on all the runners, McQueeney and Lisnow plan to go to cheer at Mile 10 and then to the finish.

SUBHED: Veterans Shehata, Reed recognized

The Hopkinton Marathon Committee also honors veterans at the start of the Boston Marathon each year. The 2024 veterans to be honored both work for the Hopkinton Department of Public Works, which plays a large part in getting the town ready for hosting the start, day-of logistics and post-race cleanup.

Raymond Shehata has worked at the Hopkinton DPW for 11 years. He lives in Milford.

After growing up in Alexandria, Egypt, he moved to the U.S. in 1997 at age 19. Shehata’s mother and younger brother joined him in the U.S. in 2008.

He served in the U.S. Army for six years, including one tour in Iraq in 2009-10, when he worked in military intelligence.

Kerry Reed was appointed DPW director last July. She previously served on Hopkinton Conservation Commission for about 10 years.

A New Jersey native who has lived in Hopkinton about 12 years, she is a graduate of West Point and served as an engineer officer in the Army, stationed in Missouri, Washington, Korea and South Carolina. She mostly managed construction while also training new soldiers and ROTC cadets.

She and her husband, Scott, have two boys, 15-year-old Lucas and 13-year-old Grayson, who will be backpacking on the Appalachian Trail with the Boy Scouts the weekend of the Boston Marathon.

Reed said she has many fond memories of watching the start with her family and cheering on friends running, as well as Kenyan runners that her son was especially excited about after meeting them at Elmwood School.

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