The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021

Vantage’s Knott runs the Boston Marathon

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

Mike Knott is able to cross one thing off his bucket list.

The Vantage Career Center High School Director reduced that list by one by running the most famous 26.2 mile race in the world – the Boston Marathon, which was held on Monday.

Vantage Career Center High School Director Mike Knott ran in the world famous Boston Marathon on Monday. Photos provided

“The experience was amazing,” Knott said. “The Boston Marathon is the world’s longest running marathon (125 years) and with that I think they take a lot of pride in the race. With most of the runners in the race having to qualify to run it, there was just a different energy during the race than you experience in most other races.”

Knott, who lives in the Delphos area with his wife Gina and three children, ages 6, 3, and 1, is no stranger to marathons. He’s run in nine of them, including the Glass City Marathon in Toledo in 2019, a race in which he churned out his best time, 2:57.17.

Knott’s days of marathon running date back to 2011, when he was coaching track at Fort Jennings High School.

“One of the seniors on that team actually talked me into running a marathon and I ran my first one in the fall of 2012 in Columbus,” Knott explained. “It took me three hours and 44 minutes to finish (8:34/mile). After I finished, I told my wife that I would never do that again.”

“Then, that next spring the bombings at the Boston Marathon happened and after that, I wanted to show support for the city of Boston and a sense of patriotism. I felt compelled to one day run Boston.”

Qualifying for Boston didn’t come easy, as it meant Knott would have to shave over 90 seconds per mile off his time to meet his age group’s qualifying stand of about three hours flat.

“In 2013 and 2014 I really started to focus on my nutrition and started working out consistently five to six days a week,” Knott said. “I ran three marathons during those two years and I was able to get my time down to around 3:15. However, I had a couple injuries and my wife and I had our first child in 2015, so it took me a while to recover and then adjust to fit training in while being a new parent. I got back to running consistently in 2016 and over the next couple of years built up a good base fitness level.”

“During the fall of 2018, I did a lot of research on training and nutrition and put together a good plan to train for the Glass City marathon in April of 2019 with the goal of running a personal best around 3:00. My training went well and I was able to run 2:57:17 in Toledo (6:46/mile).”

With a qualifying time in hand, Knott was set to run the April, 2020 Boston Marathon but like many other things it was canceled because of COVID-19. Instead, a virtual race was held and Knott ran in and around Delphos, but it wasn’t the same.

Fast forward to April of this year, when registration began for this year’s in-person race. At first, Knott thought he was out but he later learned otherwise.

“Normally the field size for the race is 30,000, but because of COVID the race committee decided to cut the field size down to 20,000,” Knott said. “As a result the cutoff qualifying time for each age group was lowered and I missed the cutoff by four seconds. So I was out and as a result, I took some time off running to rest and get in the best place mentally to start training again to try to qualify for a future race.”

Wearing Bib No. 3266, Mike Knott ran the 26.2 mile course from Hopkinton to Boston, Massachusetts.

“However, in early August I got an email from the BAA (Boston Athletic Association) saying that they would like to extend an invitation to those runners that just missed the cutoff by a few seconds for this year’s race, so with two months to go before the race I was back in.”

Knott admitted that he was excited but also worried about building up his fitness to marathon distance in such a short amount of time.

“Within those two months I was able to build up enough fitness to run 10 miles comfortably, so going into it I knew it would be a physical and mental challenge to complete the 26.2 mile course,” Knott said.

Knott ran the course, which starts in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and goes into Boston, in 4:03.59, putting him in 10,035th place. All the while, he was able to truly enjoy the experience and the atmosphere.

“Going into the race knowing that I wasn’t in the physical shape to run a great time actually gave me the chance to focus on soaking in the atmosphere and enjoying the trip,” Knott explained. “There was no pressure to perform at a certain level, the main goal was to just finish.”

“Boston was electric the entire weekend,” he continued. “The city takes a lot of pride in the marathon and you could tell they were excited to have the race back after a year off. Everywhere we went before the race, Bostonians would say ‘good luck’ and ‘we’re glad to have you back’ and then after the race everyone on the streets were telling you congratulations.”

“There were crowds lining the course the entire way cheering you on and top of that, the Red Sox were hosting Game No. 4 of their playoff series with Tampa Bay on race day, so when we ran past Fenway Park, the baseball fans were out in full force to cheer on the runners.”

As the runners approached the finish line, things became even more electric.

“During the final half mile you make a right turn onto Hereford St and then a left onto Boylston St. for the final stretch,” Knott said. “The energy and adrenaline in that last stretch was off the charts. It was an amazing feeling
to cross that finish line and complete a long time goal of mine.”

POSTED: 10/14/21 at 3:56 am. FILED UNDER: News