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Demmel top Iowa finisher in Boston Marathon

April 25, 2011 - Mike Donahey
While marathon aficionados have been debating the significance of a record setting Boston Marathon last week, Marshalltown’s Luke Demmel was making marks of his own.

The 2008 MHS graduate and son of Veronica and Dr. Jim Demmel finished 95th overall. Demmel, 21, an Iowa State University student, completed the 26.2-mile distance in 2 hours, 30 minutes, 7 seconds. Among men, Demmel finished 79th and had the best time of any Iowan — male or female. Fellow long-distance runner Larry Walden of Marshalltown, himself a Boston Marathoner in past years, was impressed. “Luke’s time was outstanding,” Walden said. “He was competing against some of the best marathoners in the world. 14,057 men finished the race and Luke placed 79th. There were a total of 24,338 runners and he finished 95th overall.” Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya won the race with a time of 2 hours, 3 minutes and 2 seconds — an event record.

Demmel’s recipe for success in running it again? Training harder and faster than he did in preparing for Boston before. “I did a lot better this time,” he said matter-of-factly. Daily workouts of up to 10 miles with cohorts in a Ames running club were critical. Boston Marathon officials announced recently there would be a new registration process for the 2012 race. Faster qualifiers will be allowed to register first. Does that impact Demmel? Not at all. “My time was still 30 minutes faster than the qualifying time,” he said. Next up for Demmel is completing his junior year at ISU. Then he plans to work construction this summer for a firm either in Waterloo or Iowa City. However, his next running challenge will be competing in the Pikes Peak Marathon on Aug. 20 in Colorado Springs, Colo. Demmel competed last year running up the 13-miles plus mountain course and then down.


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