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Colorado Springs runner Scott Nagelkerke aims for sub-2:25 at the Boston Marathon

Scott Nagelkerke, 29, of Colorado Springs hopes to run under 2 hours, 25 minutes in the Boston Marathon on Monday. Nagelkerke qualified for Boston in his first - and only- marathon attempt.

VIDEO: Scott Nagelkerke's track workout

Scott Nagelkerke entered his first - and to this point only - marathon at the suggestion of some old college buddies.

It all sounded like a good idea, break away from Colorado Springs in the cold heart of January and catch some rays in Phoenix at the 2010 P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Marathon.

"We were just going out to have some fun, nothing serious," said Nagelkerke. "I'd never done a marathon before, and I thought, 'why not?'"

And then the fun trip turned into something special. Nagelkerke finished 22nd overall with a time of 2 hours, 33 minutes, and qualified for the most famous foot race in the world.

On Monday, he'll step to the starting line of the Boston Marathon. Nagelkerke's qualifying time is the fastest among all non-elite Colorado Springs-area runners. The Army's Joseph Chirlee, a Kenyan-born elite, is the fastest.

Striding along with light, strong steps on Wednesday, Nagelkerke put the final touches on his conditioning - some 1,000, 400 and 200 repeats - at the Cheyenne Mountain High School track.

Next stop, Beantown. But no pressure. Nagelkerke, a 29-year-old retail manager at Colorado Cyclist, insists he's running for fun.

"I like to run as hard as I can, but it's all for fun," he said. "If I run great, then great. But if I don't, it's no big deal. But I am pretty competitive."

He'll wear bib No. 172 at Boston and he looks forward to lining up just behind the elite field. There will be thousands and thousands of runners following behind him.
"Being up front is good because I won't have worry about passing a lot of people," he said.
Nagelkerke ran at Western State College in Gunnison and is a three-time NCAA Div. II national champion at 5,000 meters, with a personal best of 13:48. He was part of three national champion cross country teams at Western State.

He's hoping for a 2:25 or better in Boston. Based on last year's results, that would put him among the top 40 finishers.

"I was on pace for a 2:27 (in Phoenix) and hurt myself and sort of walked and ran the rest of the way," Nagelkerke said. "So I'll be really happy with something under 2:25 in Boston."

Though he has only one experience at racing 26.2, he does have a game plan.

"The marathon is so long and daunting ... you don't want to go out too hard," he said. "But if you go too slow, it's hard to make up time. I'd like to try for sub-5:30 miles. If I can do that, I'll hit my goal time."

He says his real advantage comes from his wife, Boulder Running Company/adidas runner Alisha Williams (left), who recently finished eight in the U.S. 15K championships.

"She is the real reason why I'm still running," he said. "I help her out all year with track workouts and tempo runs," he said. "So I have my own training partner I live with. She is super fit, so there is no waiting around, that's for sure."

The couple lives in the Cheyenne Canon area. Scott said he often runs in the Stratton Open Space, up The Chutes trail to Gold Camp Road to Buckhorn trail and Captain Jacks and home. He said runs like that should prepare him for Boston's famous "Heartbreak Hill."

"Everybody from Colorado who has done Boston says those hills aren't bad," Nagelkerke said. "But when you talk to people from other states, all they say is how hilly Boston is."

Oh, and don't challenge him to a race up the Manitou Incline. He knocks it off in about 18 minutes flat.

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Replies to This Discussion

What an inspiration! Best of luck (and hard work) to you, Scott! Make CS proud!
Nice work Scott! Give 'em hell!


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