The Grandmaster Returns!

by EJN Comments (0) Articles, Racing

Mary-Lynn Currier will be on the line for the Vermont City Marathon yet again this year. Even at the age of 51 she’s still a force to be reckoned with by the youngsters in their 40’s (and a whole lot of open runners too). One look at her race highlights below and it’s no surprise that she should be in the mix for the top masters crown.

Town: Burlington, Connecticut
Originally from: West Hartford, CT
College & Year: Ithaca College, 1986
Occupation: Math Interventionist Teacher
Recent Race Highlights:

  • 1st Place female overall Rotary 5K
  • 1st Place female overall Avon 5K Road Race 18:56
  • 1st Place Master Female, Vermont City Marathon past 2 years
  • 3rd Place Overall female grandmaster Boston Marathon 2:59
  • 1st Place female Master Hartford Marathon 2013 2:58
  • 1st Place Master female Fairfield 1/2 marathon 2014 1:25
  • 1st Place Master female New Haven 20K nationals

Marathon PR: 2:35 in 1998 at Boston Marathon
Half Marathon PR: 1:15 in 1998 at New Bedford 1/2 Marathon
Other Racing Highlights:

  • 5 time Olympic Marathon Qualifier
  • Placed in Olympic Trials in top 20 in 1996, 2:37 time
  • 1st American Finisher Boston Marathon 1998, 2:35 PR
  • World Cup Marathon Championship USA team 1995
  • World Championship USA team 1999
  • Ohme Hochi Marathon USA team 1997, placed 7th in world there

Mary-Lynn’s success goes back quite far and occurs on some big stages. She definitely has one of the more impressive resumés of anyone in the field. Here’s our interview with Mary-Lynn, one of the pre-race masters favorites:

How have you been racing so far in 2015?

I have only run one race this year: the Boston Marathon. It was awful weather and I had surgery that week so my time was slower than I was in shape for. I will run a 5K next week, then the Vermont Marathon. The snow stopped a lot of racing in the early part of the year.

What was the surgery? Why would you go through something as grueling as a marathon just after surgery?!

The surgery was a heart monitor implant, and I trained all winter in subzero temperatures and lots of snow, so I planned on running Boston before knowing I needed this surgery. I wanted to feel like myself again running the marathon. This one wasn’t for time. It was a finisher medal for bravery and courage, and feeling alive again! I needed to know that despite it all I could still be me!

Over the years, have you been a high mileage runner, or maybe lower mileage with a higher intensity?

High mileage, but I have picked up a track intensity workout once a week or a 5K race in the past 3 years.

What’s your biggest strength as a runner?

The marathon and 1/2 marathon, distance.

Do you have a nickname?

In High School it was ” Mighty Mouse”

Would you consider using one involving ‘Grandmaster’ in some fashion?

I don’t have on now but I fit in with the “much older now, but still runnin’, against the wind” song.

Do you just focus on the bodies near you or are always thinking about where other masters runners might be?

I run within myself and hope to come in ahead of other grandmaster finishers and place in the top 10 in most marathons still.

What’s most challenging about VCM?

The hill at around 18 miles into town and sometimes the weather. Actually it is the 5 hour drive each way that is more challenging to me than the race.

Just how far back does your masters dominance go at VCM? How do you like your chances this year?

I was the second overall finisher in the marathon when I turned 40 so I was the first master all these years I have run there since. If there isn’t competition around 3 hours for the master’s division, then I could very well win the master’s division again even though I am no longer a master in age. I am a grandmaster now and I have the age group course record. My best winning finish in Vermont was 2:46 or 2:42 in the 90’s when I first won the marathon. If I get rest and good weather, I could break the record again this year.

Go-to post marathon meal (celebration mode)?

No, I have a long 5 hour ride home and a son to get back to. I usually leave after the awards. It would be nice when I run well to celebrate, but I am a responsible, single mom, and my son is my priority.

Lastly, with all the impressive entries on your running resume, what’s your proudest accomplishment?

My proudest accomplishment is quad-fold including running and finishing 1st American in the Boston Marathon with a Personal Best time of 2:35 in 1998, running in the World Cup Marathon Championships in Athens, Greece for the USA team, and running in the World Open Marathon Championships for the USA team in Seville, Spain where we finished 5th in the world and Japan’s Ohme Hochi Marathon for the USA, where I finished 7th in the world overall as an individual, my highest ranking world race.

Man, that is one badass Grandmaster. With her speed, a nickname like Grandmaster Flash is highly appropriate. But that name has obviously already been taken. There’s got to be another variation that works. Good luck to Mary-Lynn as she gears up for another run at an event that she has absolutely dominated over the years.VCM RVT_logo_horizontal_NEWcolor

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