Dennis Lavoie prepares to run two marathons in six days

Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 12:21 PM EDT
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MADAWASKA, Maine (WAGM) - It will be quite an adventure for Madawaska’s Dennis Lavoie next week. On Monday he will compete in his second Boston Marathon. Lavoie said he will take what he learned last year into this years race.

Dennis Lavoie:” I was running an eight minute pace and that was pretty good. The four hills in Newton were a challenge especially Heartbreak Hill.”

Lavoie compete as a para-athlete because he has limited sight and hearing. He said that he went out a little fast last year because his group of about 50 started after the elite female athletes.

Lavoie:” I was in wide open space so I can just fly right down the hill. I end up running seven and a half minute pace for first mile.”

The Madawaska runner will have quite a week. He will run in two marathons on two continents in six days next week. After his race in Boston, he will fly to the United Kingdom to compete in the London Marathon on Sunday.

Lavoie:” London I am going to take it easy. I have two guide runners with me and I am going to enjoy the run. I am going to run more like a 9 or 10 minute pace and just bring my camera and take pictures.”

Lavoie just started marathoning in 2020 and London will be his fifth appearance in an Abbott World Marathon Major. He hopes to compete in the Tokyo Marathon in 2024 to earn his World Marathon medal. He said only about 12 thousand runners have competed in all six majors. In Boston Lavoie will be running for team vision.

Lavoie:” They raise money for the Massachusetts Association of the Blind and visually impaired. They support runners like me to run Boston.”

The weather in the St John valley has not been conducive to running outside so he spent the winter running on a treadmill.

Lavoie:” I just started running last week a couple of times and this week a couple of times. Most of my training is on my treadmill. It’s got video of Hearbreak Hills and Newton Hills. It has an incline of four to six percent It does it automatically.

Lavoie said that he will be taking in the sights and sounds of both marathons as he runs with his guide runner.

The Madawaska marathoner said that he has many fond memories of last years Boston from seeing a film crew following Adriane Haslet who was lost a leg in the Boston Bombing back in 2013. He said he also got very emotional when he entered Kenmore Square and saw the Citgo sign and that the turn onto Boylston and hearing the fans was another emotional moment that he didn’t want to end.

Lavoie:” The whole crowd cheering you on. You have your name on my bib. They are just screaming your name. It felt like Rocky the movie. It felt good that you were there. I was almost at the finish line, but I almost didn’t want to finish. Five months of training and race and it going to end. What is next. I am glad it was quite an experience.