Todd Michaud, left, who ran the Boston Marathon last year and plans to run it again this year again, trains with a group of friends in Sabattus Wednesday night. Running down Main Street from left to right are, Michaud, Steve Dubois, Shawn Vincent, and Wil Mendoza. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

SABATTUS — The Sabattus Recreation Running Club sometimes gathers upward of 20 people each Wednesday for its weekly runs. This year, the running club will have three participants running in the Boston Marathon.

Jon Mennealy, Todd Michaud and Stacy Adams have qualified for the 2018 marathon, which will take place Monday. Mennealy, the rec club orchestrator, will be running in the legendary race for the first time.

Mennealy ran his first 26.2-mile race at the 2016 Maine Marathon and qualified for Boston the same day. A meniscus injury two weeks ago in his knee has hampered his preparation, but Mennealy is ready for the experience, however he can enjoy it, and has gotten great advice from his fellow runners.

“I have referred to (Todd) for all kinds of advice,” Mennealy said. “The running community is great. It’s not like competition, where they don’t want to tell you anything. I learned from my two previous marathons. I won’t be anywhere close to that for a time, but I am going to go and have some fun. I have never been down to run one or see one so this is it.”

Boston will be the third marathon of Mennealy’s career, while Michaud will be running in his 18th marathon on Monday, all since 2014. Michaud qualified last year at his first Boston Marathon, an experience that will be used to improve on his time of 3 hours, 17 minutes.


“If it’s a pretty good rain (Monday) it might put a damper on things, literally,” Michaud said. “I am just looking to better last year’s time, basically. It’s not a matter of beating anybody, it’s about competing with yourself. What can I do to maybe get 3:15 or 3:14 this year? Train a little bit differently and push a little harder. I know what the course has now.”

Michaud got into running in 2012 and looked to run his first marathon by age 40. While it was pushed back to 41, Michaud went on to run 16 marathons in three years.

“Ran my first marathon in 2014 on a whim,” Michaud said. “I just decided to run the Mount Desert Island marathon. I didn’t train, just ran and thought it was pretty cool.”

During marathons, Michaud helps out those who want to push themselves.

“I also do some pacing, too,” Michaud said. “That’s a lot of fun. I pace the 3:40 group so if they want to run that time I hold up a sign and they follow with me. I have helped some people qualify for Boston and it’s pretty rewarding.”

“If you see a few people at the end finish with his group, they’re hurting but they’re smiling,” Mennealy said.


The group’s last Boston participant is Adams, who, as Mennealy puts it, “is a tough competitor.”

Adams had previously qualified for Boston but the qualification line was moved, pushing her outside the group.

“She had just made the qualifying time to begin with, so when they moved it she got bumped out,” Mennealy said. “She went and ran Sugarloaf and ran with a vengeance. She made it by 11 minutes, so that’s a big enough cushion.”

The rec club runs every Wednesday, sometimes 4 miles, sometimes longer runs upward of 17. The club also puts on 5-kilometer races during the summer, including a Blackjack 5k and a Prediction 5k.

In the Blackjack 5k, runners pick up two cards during the race and at the end, if they have blackjack, they win a prize. In the Prediction race, participants guess what they think their time will be and at the end line up according to how close they were to their predictions to get a prize.

Mennealy encourages all levels of runners to come out and join them for a run.


“If you want to run for your health, great,” Mennealy said. “If you want to do competitive running, we have many people who do a lot of races. If you want to advance, we are here.”

On Monday, they will be there — in Boston, that is — continuing to expand upon their passion.

Jon Mennealy left and Todd Michaud waits for others to arrive in a parking lot in Sabattus prior to a training run Wednesday evening. Both ran the Boston Marathon last year. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Jon Mennealy, left, and Todd Michaud wait for others to arrive in a parking lot in Sabattus prior to a training run Wednesday evening. Both ran the Boston Marathon last year. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

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