Rissinger sets personal-best time in Boston Marathon

By on April 18, 2018
Lititz’s Emma Rissinger is shown with her finisher’s medal after com - pleting the 122nd Boston Marathon on Monday

Lititz’s Emma Rissinger is shown with her finisher’s medal after completing the 122nd Boston Marathon on Monday.

Emma Rissinger’s competitive nature has been a friend in her athletic career.

A 2012 graduate of Warwick High School, she was named NFHCA All-Region and All-State First-Team as a senior field hockey player, then went on to play at the University of Maryland, helping the Terrapins win their first-ever Big Ten championship.

On Monday, Rissinger’s drive came out again when she placed 6,591st overall in 3:25:05 in the prestigious Boston Marathon.

That shattered her personal-record (PR) by more than two minutes, a feat made even more special when considering the cold and rainy conditions in which she — and the other 25,745 runners — competed.

“Even with the weather, I loved it,” the 24-year-old Rissinger said. “I had a goal going into it, but then with the weather, I was kinda just running for fun and I ended up PRing anyway, so I was really happy.”

Boston was her third 26.2-miler, having also completed Steamtown in 3:28:34 in October and the Pittsburgh Marathon in 3:27:49 last May.

Up until Monday, her finish in the Steel City represented her personal-best.

“My A-goal was — if the weather was perfect and all — trying to get, like, 3:22,” said Rissinger, who was accompanied to Boston by her parents, Troy and Robyn. “But 3:25 was my goal that I knew was reachable and that I could definitely do.”

It helped that she was well-prepared, not only with the cold-weather training she had done with her dad, but also on the hills.

Newton’s Heartbreak Hill, a steep half-mile uphill at mile 20, didn’t even faze her.

“I didn’t even know Heartbreak Hill happened until I got to the top and there was a big balloon-type thing that said, ‘Heartbreak Hill is over,’” she recalled. “I trained with my dad, and every other Tuesday, we did Briar Hill in Rothsville. It’s a super, steep long hill and we’d increase (our reps). We started at four and every other week, we went up by one, so by the end we were doing eight of those. Heartbreak Hill, compared to that, I was like, ‘I didn’t even know it happened.’”

For much of the 26.2 miles, starting in Hopkinton and ending on Boylston Street, people lined the course holding up signs and cheering on the runners. The downpour, which postponed the Red Sox vs. Orioles game at Fenway Park, didn’t do much to deter the crowd, which saw Desiree Linden become the first American to win the women’s race since 1985.

“With the weather being so bad, I was like, ‘Well, probably not as many people will come out,’” Rissinger said, “but it was still really cool and there were tons of people on the course.”

Rissinger was used to seeing tons of people in the bleachers when she played field hockey at Warwick and the University of Maryland. Although running can be a lonely sport, Rissinger has adapted.

“This is the first time I’ve ever done an individual-type sport,” she said. “Field hockey is a team sport and you always had people to push you, and I feel like running is really different. I’m a very competitive person, so I’m competitive with myself and I always want to beat my time. It’s less of outside people pushing you and and having to do it internally.”

Rissinger looks forward to getting another opportunity to push herself next year in Boston.

“I definitely want to do Boston again,” she said. “I will absolutely go next year. It was a really awesome experience.”

In addition to Rissinger, other local finishers in the Boston Marathon were:

  • Lititz 38-year-old Michael Monaghan, who finished 2,077th in 3:01:43;
  • Lititz 26-year-old Kaitlyn Oliver, of the F&M Track Club, who finished 5,989th in 3:22:46;
  • Lititz 56-year-old Mike Wege, who finished 8,141st in 3:30:38;
  • Lancaster 35-year-old Brooke Magni, a Warwick grad who finished 8,229th in 3:30:59;
  • Lititz 21-year-old Erin Steinweg, who finished 13,604th in 3:50:45;
  • Lititz 49-year-old Garry Dubbs, who finished 14,221st in 3:53:08.

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