Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

"I got my tickets and bib number 12174."

That was Brian Cole's response when asked if he still planned to run in the 113th annual Boston Marathon on April 20.

Cole, 46, qualified for the Boston event back in October by running a time of 3 hours, 29 minutes, 57 seconds at the 26.2-mile St. George Marathon in St. George, Utah.

Cole said the St. George time was his fastest time in four marathons he has entered. But, since that time, he hasn't had much success in preparing for Boston.

During the winter months, minor leg injuries and weather problems prevented Cole from working out as much as he would have liked. More recently, lingering health problems have curtailed his workouts.

"It's virtually impossible to train for a marathon in April if you live in Baker City, Oregon," he said. "The weather hasn't been very cooperative.

"I'll be happy to finish in around four hours in Boston," he said.

Cole said to qualify for the Boston race a runner has to meet a qualifying time on a qualifying course. And, the time has to be 3 hours, 30 minutes or less.

Cole is the second Baker runner to qualify for the Boston race. Steve Williams ran in the event in 2006.

Cole has been running since July 2006.

"I got the bug during a family vacation in July 2006 and ran in the Portland Marathon that year. I've just stuck with it since then."

Cole said he has no visions of competing in the front group of runners in Boston.

"I'm mainly just doing it for the experience," he said.

The Boston race is limited to 25,000 runners. Competition will begin at 9 a.m. EDT April 20. Cole's section of the race will begin at about 10:30 a.m. EDT (7:30 a.m. Baker City time).

More information is available at