Chris Grange is a quiet, unassuming guy, according to friends.
But as he neared the finish line of Monday’s Boston Marathon, with a few dozen family members and friends waiting, the Methuen man pumped his fist every bit at powerful as Tiger Woods after winning a major golf tournament.
“It was exciting,” said Grange, who ran an impressive time of 2:44:28 in his first ever attempt at the 26.2-mile distance.
“It was an amazing day, unbelievable. People were cheering you on the entire way. It was so loud. For that to be my first one is amazing.”
Grange was a very good runner at Central Catholic and UMass Lowell for about a year and a half. But his father, Doug, got very sick and all of sudden running wasn’t as important to him.
“When we was sick in 2002, it just didn’t seem worth it to me, putting in the work,” said Grange. “I just decided to stop running competitively.”
It wasn’t until about two years ago that Grange came back to the sport, picking up the pace each month.
“I don’t know why I took so much time off,” said Grange, who was an Eagle-Tribune All-Star cross country runner for Central in 2000. “I started doing a little bit of running with no plans to get serious, just to get in shape again. I kept adding up the mileage and about a year ago joined Winner’s Circle (in Amesbury) and that pushed me to another level.”
There was also another reason Grange started thinking about finally running the Boston Marathon. His dad was a marathoner and had done Boston three times. In fact, hisw dad had a marathon personal best of 2:39.
“He was pretty good,” said Grange. “That was probably in the back of my mind a little bit.”