Jim Fraser: Vanier Psychology Teacher featured in Boston Newspaper

Jim Fraser (left) and his son Hunter


(From an article in "the Review" by Richard Mahoney)

ST-EUGENE - "We ran Boston."

Jim Fraser wraps up the interview with those three words and a smile.

Fraser has been recounting how he and his son, Hunter, completed the legendary Boston Marathon. They conquered the infamous Heartbreak Hill and finished in the top third in their respective divisions in the 107th edition of the Boston Marathon.

"It was nice to do the father-son thing. This was the first Boston Marathon for both of us," says Jim Fraser, a 63-year-old veteran triathlete who lives in St.-Eugene.

A Boston Marathon poster displayed in the Fraser house states that, "Everything that you can learn about yourself, you'll learn in 26.2 miles."

Jim Fraser completed the famous course in 4:02, while Hunter Fraser, who is 30 and lives in Toronto, had a time of 3:20. The winner finished in 2:06.

Jim Fraser is coming off his best year ever as a triathlete. Out of 12 events, he had nine firsts, two seconds and a third. At last year's worlds in Cancun, Mexico, he was second in his age group, second top Canadian and 16th overall.

But he wanted to run Boston, with his son, who took up long-distance running only a year ago. Both qualified, and were among the 26,000 who set out on the famed course.

"Runners are placed in corrals of 500 to 1000 according to their qualifying times," relates Fraser. Hunter was in the fast group, which included the Kenyans, who as expected, ran away from the pack.

"It took 13 to 14 minutes for us to get to the starting line," says Fraser. "A computer chip on your shoe triggers your time."

Heartbreak Hill is at Mile 20. "Boston is very hilly. Heartbreak Hill is not steep, but it's a mile long. Before that, there are a lot of hills that are much steeper. Early in the race, your legs get killed because there are a lot of downhill slopes. My quads are still stiff. You ruin your legs on the hills."

"Hunter passed two guys who were crawling. It's a premier performance. One guy stopped one hundred yards from the finish, and two aides took him across the finish line."

"It was an unbelievable experience. Spectators were lined up two to three deep. They were handing us water, bananas, orange slices, and they were cheering and cheering."

Fraser spent five months preparing for the run. "It's hard to train in winter. If I run it again, I would train for those hills. When I was training, it was minus-15 here. I was running 15 to 30 kilometers on the weekends. You got to do this," says Fraser. When he wasn't on the road, Fraser was cross-country skiing.

Based on the longevity of other marathoners, Fraser could be competing in distance runs for many more years. "The 1953 marathon winner was there. I recognized him. He's in his 70s and he passed me."

It turns out that the runner's world is small. "It was special to do this with my son. And my oldest childhood friend was there. The last time we ran together was in 1954. I hadn't seen him since high school. And we ran in Boston."