Martha’s Vineyard will be represented by four Islanders in Monday’s Boston Marathon — Marylee Schroeder of West Tisbury, Katrina Delgadillo of Oak Bluffs, and Tisbury residents Chantal Desgagne and Robert Rippcondi. The four runners have logged hundreds of miles on Island roads this winter to prepare for the 26.2-mile course. With strong winds and rain predicted for Monday, the Islanders should feel right at home. The group will be taking the same boat on Saturday to pick up their numbers for the race.
Marylee Schroeder is running in her 15th Boston Marathon. Her 3:51 time in last year’s race automatically qualified her for this year. “Training has been going pretty well; the temperatures weren’t too bad this winter,” she told The Times. “I had two bad slips on ice, one where I hit my head pretty hard, but that’s part of training of the Vineyard.”
Schroeder is the treasurer for the regional high school and the Up-Island School District, and wife of Joe Schroeder, MVRHS cross-country and track coach. She often trained in the early morning with Chantal Desgagne and Katrina Delgadillo. “We ran up-Island most of the time, so we hit more hills,” she said. Schroeder said she’s kept a close eye on the weather. “The rain forecast keeps increasing, but the temperature is supposed to be in the mid-50s, which is ideal,” she said. “We’ll have a headwind heading into Boston. That’s just more incentive to run faster.”
Schroeder said she hopes to run the marathon under 3:45.
Katrina Delgadillo, communications director for Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, is running in her 14th marathon. Her time in the last Martha’s Vineyard Marathon qualified her for Monday’s race.
“I’ve been going on especially long runs lately, and I feel pretty good,” she said. “The weather this winter wasn’t too bad, but this spring has been brutal.” Delgadillo said she didn’t have a specific goal in mind for her time. “If the wind and rain are as bad they say, I just want to get through it one piece.”
Chantal Desgagne is running in her fourth Boston marathon. She said her training with Schroeder and Delgadillo went well this winter. However, a few weeks ago, she suffered a stress fracture in her foot. “I’m wearing a boot right now, but I’m still going to give it a try,” she said. “Going uphill is hard, so we’ll see what happens. I trained so hard, there’s no way I’m not going to try it. I eat, sleep, and live for the marathon.”
Retired banker Robert Rippcondi is running in his seventh Boston Marathon. Like Delgadillo, he also qualified in last spring’s Martha’s Vineyard Marathon.
“I’ve been logging 50 miles a week, mixing it up with long runs and speed work,” he said. Rippcondi said he added more downhill training to his regimen this year. “I ran Boston two years ago and I’d forgotten how important downhill training is,” he said. “I did a lot more hill training in places like Indian Hill Road and the hills of Gay Head.”
Monday won’t be the first marathon he’s run in inclement conditions. “In 2012 I ran in the Sacramento Marathon, and it was brutal, I wasn’t prepared,” he said. To prepare for Monday, Rippcondi will have a waterproof windbreaker and a second pair of shoes. He’ll also wear a poncho, a clear one for security reasons, until his group leaves the starting line in Hopkinton.
Rippcondi said he has one prerace superstition. “I have my lucky John Kelley bobblehead; I give it a shake the night before,” he said. Kelley ran the Boston Marathon 61 times, and won it twice.
Rippcondi hopes to beat 3:50, which will qualify him for the 2019 Boston Marathon.