Running in 30 pounds of firefighting gear, James Gefke finished the 115th Boston Marathon on Monday in 4 hours, 18 minutes, and 29 seconds.
Gefke, of Glendale, added the extra burden to honor of John Harrington, a fellow firefighter who was killed in a crash while biking to his station house in May 2004. In Harrington's memory, Gefke ran to raise money for the Wisconsin Burn Survivor's Network.
During his training, Gefke told a local TV outlet: "He always pushed me to do things I probably wouldn't have otherwise done on my own while he was still here. He instilled a lot of confidence in me for a lot of things that I've been able to accomplish in my life."
Remarkably, the 4:18:02 was just two minutes slower than the median marathon time for men in 2010. Boston was Gefke's 5th marathon, and he beat his goal of averaging 10 minutes per mile. (Click here for a photo of Gefke on the course).
Nick End, another runner with ties to the North Shore, also put on a noteworthy performance on a near-perfect day in Boston. The 2002 Shorewood High School graduate was 31st overall, running a 2:22:30.
End ran for Carnegie Mellon University and now lives in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Kyle Fraser, of Milwaukee, had the best time of the local runners tackling the Newton Hills. The 30-year-old finished in 2:37:37
Marek Kotrly, a police officer in Brookfield, was a few minutes behind Fraser. The 39-year-old ran an impressive 2:40:10.
Rick Stefanovic, of Milwaukee, proved that 12 days of training is plenty for a Boston Marathon effort. The veteran broke his left ankle in December, and finished his 20th run down Boylston St. in 3:25:19, less than two weeks after being cleared to start running again.
He trained on an elliptical machine and stationary bike while recuperating.
Also of note, Aaron Hunnel, of Appleton, reached the finish line with a time of 4:22:29. Hunnel, a staff sergeant in the Wisconsin National Guard, earned his ticket to Boston a year ago by running a marathon at Camp Adder, in Iraq.
Front of the pack: With ideal temperatures and a brisk tail wind, it was a day for record-setting fast times.
Geoffrey Mutai, of Kenya, ran the fastest marathon in the world to win the $150,000 winners' prize.
His 2:03:01 (unofficial) carved nearly three minutes out of the course record set by Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot in 2010. Mutai had a tail wind and near perfect conditions, plus the challenge presented by fellow Kenyan Moses Mosop over the final miles.
Because of the significant downhill on the Boston course, Mutai’s time will not be recognized as the world record. That remains the 2:03:59 set by Haile Gebrselassie in the 2008 Berlin Marathon.
Ryan Hall ran near the lead for much of the race, and finished fourth, to lead the U.S. contingent. His 2:04:58 (unofficial) is the fastest marathon for a U.S. runner. His pace was 4 minutes 46 seconds per mile.
Desiree Davila, from the Michigan-based Hansons-Brooks squad, led in the final miles but lost her battle with Caroline Kilel at the finish. Davila finished second, one of the strongest showings by a U.S. woman in decades.
Kilel, of Kenya, finished in 2:22:36, with Davila two seconds behind.