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Gunn’s daughter kept from finishing marathon

Published 12:45pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013



As a father and two-time participant, Ron Gunn was “very upset” as the Boston Marathon bombings ruined a festive Patriots Day Monday.


“I sure hope they continue marathons,” Gunn, five-time National Junior College Athletic Association Coach of the Year, said Tuesday. “(Canceling them) is what the terrorists want.”


Gunn came to Southwestern Michigan College in 1967 and built a Roadrunners powerhouse, including five national cross country championships and three national marathon titles.


Since retiring from SMC, Gunn, of Dowagiac, puts together travel trips with Stone Cairn Adventure Tours.


He took his daughter, Sarah, with him to Scotland, where she qualified for her first Boston Marathon in Edinburgh.


If his daughter, Sarah, 27, ran her usual pace, she might have been crossing the finish line instead of being a half-mile out when she was black-flagged (stopped).


“She was really upset she didn’t get to finish,” Gunn said.


That was until she grasped until grasping the enormity of the event. “Then she wasn’t disappointed at all, just very sympathetic,” Gunn said. “I feel sorry for all those people.”


Sarah, a runner since high school in Edwardsburg, lives in Brookline and is a graduate student at Tufts University in Boston.


“This is the biggest thing since 9/11,” Gunn said, calling her running time “a blessing in disguise.”


Slowed by an injury, he urged her to pursue a “spectator run and enjoy the course.”


With cell phone service gone and not knowing what was going on, Gunn said he was grateful for a text that reported Sarah and her mother, Beth, were safe.


 “There are a lot of great marathons, but Boston is No. 1. It’s a wonderful race. I’m a big fan of Boston,” said Gunn, who intends to take a tour there next year.

Dowagiac Daily News


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