Former Buchanan resident runs at ChicagoPublished 9:06am Wednesday, October 14, 2009
By KATHIE HEMPEL
Niles Daily Star
BUCHANAN – Kirk Lawrence, 39, a graduate of Buchanan High School in 1988, made an impressive showing in the 2009 Chicago Marathon on Sunday.
His grandmother Stella Proud was on hand to see her grandson run the final yards across the finish line.
Proud, who has been battling cancer, was determined to see Lawrence in the race. “He is one very special boy,” she said. “I am just so proud of him.”
Lawrence, who is currently finishing his THD studies in Sociology and Economics at the University of California at Riverside California, began running several years ago as part of a fitness regime. This was his fourth marathon.
In both 2007 and 2008 he participated in the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. Then in January 2009 at 38 years of age, Lawrence qualified for the most notable of all, the Boston Marathon, at P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Arizona with a time of 3 hours 13 minutes 20 seconds (3:13:20) placing 280 in a field of 6,444 who actually finished the race. He did this with a pace of 7:23 per mile.
For the Chicago Marathon 45,000 runners had registered. Of those 34,792 actually began the race with 33,419 finishing. Lawrence’s time was 3:14:17, according to the chip that runs the course with each marathoner, placing him in the top six percent.
It also means that for the second time this year, Lawrence has qualified for the Boston Marathon.
The qualifying time for that event for men 35-39 is 3 hours and 15 minutes.
With a sore knee and hamstring going into Sunday’s event, Lawrence had said he would be satisfied if he finished with a 3:30 time. In a race measured in seconds, he surpassed that goal handily.
“Kirk has always seen what he wants and goes after it. When he makes up his mind he is very focused,” said his Mom, Pam Edwards of Florida.
A marathon is 26.6 miles. Sunday’s race was won by Kenyan Samuel Wanjira, who took home $75,000 for being the winner and an additional $100,000 for beating the 10 year course record of 2:05:42 by a single second.
The Chicago Marathon began in 1977, when 4,200 runners began the race and only 2,128 finished. That year the winning time was 2:17:52.