Thomas Slicer hasn’t been a marathon runner all of his life. “I only started training for marathons last year,” he said. “Before that I was training for all of the shorter distance races.”
Mr. Slicer turns 28 in June, and he just finished his first Boston Marathon in April — the average age for male runners in that 26.2-mile run is 42. It’s the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events.
“There are so many inspiring stories that come out of the Boston Marathon,” he said. “The one I remember the most is when Jacob Russell pushed Patrick Dewey on a stroller. It was incredible.”
Mr. Slicer is from Oneonta and went to Oneonta High School, then on to SUNY Delhi. He trained for the Boston race in Oneonta.
“During the fall, I was trying to build up a solid foundation for my running,” he said. “I’d go five to ten miles a week, then go to thirty miles a week; around Christmas time I was running 70 miles a week.”
“February through March I was into big mileage, 80 to 90 miles a week for two weeks, then the third week I did 60, then back up to the big mileage,” he said.
“It was pretty intense.”
In April, before the Boston Marathon, he tapered back on his mileage to be rested for the big race.
Qualifying for the Boston Marathon isn’t easy.
“It depends on how badly you want it; you have to hit a qualifying time based on your age category,” Mr. Slicer said. “The 18-34 age group has to run a full marathon in under three hours.”
“I’ve run two full marathons so far; my first was Mohawk to Hudson in October,” he said. “That was an easier race, more downhill. I used that race to qualify for the Boston race. It was my debut marathon!”
“I was very proud to be in Boston, and I was pretty chilled about my approach the day of the race. The only thing I was counting on was putting in a good time.”
He ended the race at 2 hours 53 minutes.
“I didn’t think I was going to make it to the end,” he said.
Around mile 20, after what’s known as Heartbreak Hill, Mr. Slicer struggled. “The last five miles were extremely painful. My legs started to seize up and I found myself in a position where, if I stopped at that point, I’d need to get to a medical tent. I had to force myself to move the rest of the way. I felt like I was going to collapse when I finally got back to my car.”
“Even though I struggled at the end, it felt great when I crossed the finish line,” he said. “It took me three full days to recover; I literally slept for two straight days.”
Mr. Slicer has a lot of running ahead on his calendar.
“Next month I’ll do the Rat Snake Trail Run at Gilbert Lake State Park, then in July we go to Utica for the Boilermaker. September and throughout the fall, I’ll be in Albany for a half marathon, then back to the Mohawk to Hudson marathon.
“I have no plans on doing the Boston Marathon next year, but in November 2023 I plan on doing the New York City marathon,” Mr. Slicer said. “I will do Boston again, just not next year. I want to improve my marathon time before I do it again.”