Dionne dazzles in return to Boston

Dionne dazzles in return to Boston

Hilary Dionne
Former CHS All-Stater finishes 18th in women’s field with time of 2:36.21

BOSTON – Hilary Dionne’s return to the Boston Marathon turned out to be a sensational one.

Back at the legendary 26.2-mile race for the first time in three years, the former Cumberland High All-State runner produced a 2:36:21 time that her second-best clocking in her six career tours from Hopkinton to Boston, Mass.

More importantly, she took 18th place in the women’s field and was the eighth fastest American to cross the finish line.

From 2012-16, the 33-year-old runner, who lives in Charlestown, Mass., consistently placed among the top 25 female finishers and top eight American women. Her best finish was 15th place in the 2012 and 2015 races, and she was thrilled with her performance.

“I was very happy with it,” reported Dionne, who had turned in a personal-best time of 2:33:03 at the California International Marathon in Sacramento last Dec. 2. “I felt strong, and I was enjoying the energy from the crowds and being back out there for the first time since 2016. It was a competitive field; top 20 was my goal, and I executed what I set out to do.”

Cumberland was again well represented at this race, with several runners turning in outstanding times, but unfortunately for Lincoln native Ashley Jensen, the lone runner from her town in the field, she didn’t close to duplicating her performance in her third straight Boston Marathon last year.

As a matter of fact, the 34-year-old Jensen, who is a former standout runner at Mount Saint Charles Academy and Providence College, didn’t finish the race and ending up calling it a day at the 17-mile mark.

“I just had an off day,” confessed Jensen, who was the 60th female finisher in last year’s race in a personal-best time of 2:58:37. “My legs – my quads especially – were heavy and burning from mile 4 or 5. I actually walked off the course at mile 10.3 when I saw a friend from high school and asked her to drive me home.”

“She convinced me to get back out there, so after 5-7 minutes, I jumped back in where I dropped, but I still felt awful,” she added. “Right at the (Newton) fire station on Commonwealth Avenue, I dropped out. I figured I’d put in a long run, and I’ll be back out there for a marathon in the next two months versus finishing and having to recover and not run another marathon until the fall. My training was all there for a low 2:50 time, so I’ll be back at it.”

In the men’s field, the top Cumberland runners were once again 36-year-old Jason Reilly, who posted a time of 2:52:40, and 33-year-old Mike Muschiano, who was right behind him in 2:54:05.

Reilly, who was a former Cumberland High runner, was running in his ninth straight Boston Marathon, endured an off-race and ran his second slowest time during his streak Reilly had finished the marathon in under 2:40 in three of the last six years, as well as last October’s Chicago Marathon in 2:38:00.

Muschiano, meanwhile, finished his fourth Boston Marathon in the last six years in style by cracking the three-hour mark for the first time in this race. In 2017, Muschiano missed breaking three hour by just two seconds.

The two longest Boston Marathon streaks in northern Rhode Island continued on Monday by two Cumberland residents and members of the Wampanoag Road Runners, as 64-year-old Bill McGinnis completed his 16th consecutive marathon and 44-year-old Maria Chevalier ran in her 10th straight. McGinnis finished in a time of 4:18:20, and Chevalier crossed the finish line in 3:46:33 for her best time since 2015.

Two more Cumberland runners also finished the race in under 4½ hours, as 39-year-old Jodie Corvello posted a time of 4:06:34 and 36-year-old Laura Doherty ended up at 4:25:36.

Cumberland’s Bill McGinnis, left, and Maria Chevalier, who both run for the Wampanoag Road Runners, pose for a picture with their medals after Monday’s race. McGinnis, who ran in the marathon for the 16th straight year, posted a 4:18:20 time, and Chevalier, who participated in her 10th consecutive race, finished in 3:46:33. (Breeze photo by Eric Benevides)