February 13, 2016

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Eric Coffman first Kentuckian to finish at Boston

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 22, 2003

For the second year in a row, a Coffman was the first Kentuckian to finish the Boston Marathon.

A year ago it was Don Coffman of Frankfort. On Monday it was Eric Coffman, Don’s son, who’s an attorney in Lexington.

“It was hot and windy,” Eric Coffman said, “not good conditions. I finished pretty well overall. It was a pretty good run. Unfortunately Dad didn’t get to come. He was injured about a month ago, and he was in place to do pretty well.”

Eric Coffman, 35, finished 71st overall in 2 hours, 40 minutes and 39 seconds over the 26-mile, 385-yard course. His time was good enough for 47th place in the men’s 18-39 age group.

“That’s like a marker,” Coffman said. “To finish in the top 100 at the Boston Marathon is pretty elite company. My time’s not what I’d have liked, but the conditions slowed everyone down substantially. It was a day not to look at your watch but to focus on how many people you could beat.”

That’s just what Coffman did. He ran with Benny McIntosh, a training partner and former cross country runner for the University of Kentucky, for about 10 miles.

“He wasn’t feeling that well,” Coffman said, “and after 10 miles I went on alone. Then at 17 miles I came up on another guy I knew. I ran against him in high school. He’s from Fort Thomas, and I knew he was the first Kentuckian I’d seen.

“I asked how he was doing, and he said ‘I’m done,'” he added. “At this point, once I passed him I knew I was the top Kentuckian. I went another mile and there was an official calling out places and he said I was 98th. I knew I was in the top 100, and I focused on catching as many people as I could, and I finished 71st. I’m pretty happy with that.”

For more on this story, see the latest State Journal.