Todd McDaniel has blisters on both his feet, his legs are sore, and he’s pretty sure he’s going to lose a couple of toenails.
Still, you won’t hear him complaining about his first Boston Marathon.
“It was worth it,” said McDaniel, a resident of Frankfort and the head cross country and track coach at Georgetown College.
“I’d easily say it’s the hardest running I’ve ever had to do,” he added. “The marathon itself, it has hills and everyone talks about Heartbreak Hill and there’s the hill before that.
“But what made it tough I’m 100 percent sure was the weather.”
The Boston Marathon started with temperatures in the mid 70s Monday morning. The temperatures climbed to the mid 80s and the high 80s by the time the last runner crossed the finish line.
McDaniel finished 759th overall out of 27,000 runners with a time of 3 hours, 5 minutes and 28 seconds over the 26.2-mile course.
He was running with Michael Clemons of Louisville, a former runner at Georgetown that McDaniel had coached at the school.
“We were running on pace at the half,” McDaniel said. “Then we split up because he wanted to slow down. He felt the heat before I did.
“I stopped at every water stop, and that was the biggest part of it, slowing down to stay hydrated. There were signs the whole way saying ‘heat warning,’ ‘slow pace,’ ‘don’t run what you planned to run.’
“We were running what we wanted,” he added. “We were at 1:27 for the first half, but after that we had to slow down so much.”
The Boston Marathon was the fourth marathon McDaniel has run, and he was the only Frankfort resident who ran the marathon Monday. He qualified for the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:04.52 in a marathon in December 2010 that was run on a flat course in 50-degree weather.
McDaniel and Clemons had a goal of finishing the marathon under three hours.
“We were looking at 2:50 to 2:55,” McDaniel said, “but to be about 10 minutes off that, I’m pretty happy with that.”
Despite the heat, McDaniel was determined to finish the race.
“I’m pretty stubborn when it comes to the way I race,” he said, “but there were times I’d see a medical tent and just want to jump in there. I’d be in the shade and I’d get water, but every time I’d put that out of my mind and keep going past it.”
Part of the motivation was the fans.
“I don’t think there was any part of the race where there weren’t fans on the course,” McDaniel said. “When you ran past houses the people who lived in the neighborhood would be out, but when you ran in the city there was a wall of people cheering.
“I’ve never experienced something like that for sure.”
That support included water stops set up by fans.
“There were little kids with cups of water,” McDaniel said. “You’d grab those, and there were sponges, ice, all kinds of stuff on the course.
“A couple of times I grabbed an ice bag and put it on my neck, and Michael and I would pass it back and forth to each other. Then we’d pass it someone who didn’t get a bag of ice.
“Everyone out there was trying to help each other try and finish. I talked to people who had run in 10 and 14 of these, and they said this was their slowest Boston Marathon.”
McDaniel will be taking it a little easier in the coming weeks. He plans to run in some 5K races over the summer, and he’ll participate in the Bourbon Chase.
Next up is an event McDaniel and his friends call the Derby Try on Derby Day in Switzer. It consists of two miles of kayaking, a 17-mile bicycle ride and a 5K or five-mile run.
“There’ll probably be four or five us for that,” McDaniel said. “Most people have other plans for the Derby.”