FAIRFIELD — They begin together at the starting line, then the race is on.
Robert and Patrice Horan are marathon runners and have run multiple races together, including recently finishing the Boston Marathon – again.
Patrice, 53, got the best of Robert, 52, in this one, finishing in 3 hours, 38 minutes, 41 seconds, besting Robert’s time of 3:41:06.
Married since 2001, the couple’s love of running marathons took different paths over the years.
“He started running after I started doing marathons,” Patrice said. “I’ve always been a runner. I put in a lot of miles every week. It was recreational. I signed up for (my first marathon) in 2000, the California International Marathon in Sacramento.
Robert started running back in high school, then, after meeting Patrice, took up running marathons with her.
“I used to run in high school, cross-country, and was fine (at it),” Robert said. “My wife was a recreational runner and a mother of five and now a grandmother of five. She won the 2010 CIM for age group (Women’s 50). She’s finished first in all kinds of races.”
This was the second time the pair ran in Boston, with Robert setting out to run a personal best, but it didn’t turn out that way.
“We did run together (for a little bit),” Robert said. “I was in the second wave, she was in the third. We didn’t start until about 11 o’clock. I was trying to run for a personal record.
“At 13 miles, I thought I could get it. At the 20th mile, it was my hamstring. At 22 or 23 miles, it full-on cramped. I stretched, walked and then kept on going. She ended up passing me. I just cruised on in.”
Added Patrice, “We start together but it doesn’t stay that way. I went by him at the 23-mile mark. He had a cramp in his leg. I knew something was wrong.”
“I told her one time at my first half-marathon in 2008, I said that was the last time she was going to beat me. She’s done it twice since.”
Patrice just enjoys having her husband do something with her that she loves.
“I love it,” Patrice said. “I love that he does it with me.”
Boston has been the pair’s favorite marathon so far, but they would like to venture out and do other ones, too.
“I hope to keep doing it,” Patrice said. “We’re signed up for Boston next year. We want to do a couple a year. Sometime, we would like to do one in Europe.”
“I think we would like to do a run in a foreign country, go see other parts of the country and the world,” he said. “Our inspiration is our health. It’s a lifetime thing. We want to be a good example for everyone.”
A good example for each other, as well.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.