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Memories of Boston Marathon fuel Dulaney High’s Chad Boyle’s running passion

Chad Boyle coached 23 years at Dulaney High and led the boys cross country teams to state titles in 2015 and 2016 and the girls to a state championship in 2001. He has run the Boston Marathon three times.
Chad Boyle coached 23 years at Dulaney High and led the boys cross country teams to state titles in 2015 and 2016 and the girls to a state championship in 2001. He has run the Boston Marathon three times. (File photo/2015)

Dulaney High’s Chad Boyle retired from coaching track and field and cross country after the 2019 outdoor track season ended.

Boyle, who coached for 23 years, is a dedicated runner who planned to run the marathon on Oct. 17 at the Baltimore Running Festival and the Boston Marathon for the fourth time on April 20.

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He didn’t get to run in either race. He tore the meniscus in his knee in early August and had to adjust his training.

“Once I got injured in August and I had to take three weeks off and once I was able to run normally around Labor Day, just my fitness wasn’t where I wanted it to be,” said Boyle, who was named the acting athletic director at Dulaney for the 2019-2020 school year. “I was just like, ‘I’ll run Boston, no problem.”

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Then the coronavirus pandemic hit and sports all over the world were shut down.

He was on schedule to race in the historic race which was not officially postponed until March. It has been rescheduled for Monday, Sept. 14.

“That is the frustrating thing for a lot of people because they didn’t announce a cancellation until late March,” he said. “I know I did a 20-miler on March 15th, and I think it was that following week around St. Patrick’s Day that they pulled the plug.”

Boyle first ran the Boston Marathon in 2017 and did it the following two years.

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“Anyone who has done it can tell you there is just no comparison just how that city treats that race,” Boyle said. “The communities around that city, there is nothing like it. The first time I experienced it, you can’t put it into words how enthusiastic the people of the Boston Metropolitan Area are.”

Boyle clocked three hours and five minutes in his first marathon and soaked up the energy when he ran past Fenway Park.

“Typically, when I’m running by Fenway, the game is just getting over,” he said. “Fenway is about a mile and a half from the finish, so you get a lot of people camping out there. They set that up perfectly.”

In 2108, in wind, heavy rain and temperatures in the 30s and 40s, he ran 2:51.03.

“It was awful weather,” said Boyle, who finished in 2:54.59 last year on a humid day. “I was hoping to be somewhere around that (this year).”

Although it won’t be nearly the same, Boyle plans to take part in a virtual race for a good cause.

He will run in the Live Give Run Virtual Race Challenge sponsored by Charm City Run.

Runners have until April 30 to sign up for a 5K ($5), 10K ($10) or half marathon ($13.10.) and the race date will be announced after that. Participants can run in their neighborhood, favorite trail or on a treadmill.

“Some races give some of the proceeds to charity and some of the proceeds go to the people putting on the race, but this virtual run all the proceeds are split between the University of Maryland Medical Center and the Maryland Food Bank,” Boyle said. “They do a nice job giving back to the community which I thought was especially commendable because a lot of businesses are really hurting right now not being able to open.”

Boyle isn’t quite sure where or what distance he will run.

“I run around Dulaney so much, I don’t run around my home neighborhood, but I have been forced to now,” said the UMBC graduate.

When he does run in his Hunt Valley neighborhood, he has more company.

“I do run in the neighborhood from time to time and I’ll be honest I never see anybody and now a lot of people are running or walking,” he said. “I’m biased, for me that’s a great thing.”

When he’s not running, he continues to hold online classes and teach Government.

“Whatever profession you are in, you are just so used to interacting with people and being able to go over to a student and say, ‘Hey, you are looking at it this way, but how about looking at it this way.’” he said. “I think Baltimore County has done a fantastic job to be honest.”

As acting athletic director, Boyle has been working on winter sports schedules and ways to honor the spring senior athletes if they never get back to school.

“We are going to put out accolades to all the seniors on the spring teams,” Boyle said.

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