Tallulah man starts with elites

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 15, 2002

[04/15/02]When Tallulah resident Alfred McClodden ran in the Boston Marathon last year, he was humbled to be running with some the world’s best marathoners.

This year, he’ll start the race with them, and he plans on beating more than a few.

McClodden, who has run 53 marathons in 35 states over the last 21/2 years, was to have started today’s marathon with the first group of 2,000 runners. The group will include many of the world’s best. Nearly 18,000 runners will compete, and all must have run a qualifying time in the past year.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“A lot of people would be happy just to make it, but to get in that first corral is just an honor,” McClodden, 34, said.

Although he’ll start with the elite runners, McClodden doesn’t expect to finish with them. His seed time is 2 hours, 55 minutes, nearly 45 minutes slower than the typical winning times.

McClodden is seeded No. 1,921, well back in the pack, but he said he can finish in the top 1,000. Last year, he was seeded behind 3,800 other runners but finished 1,506th. That has him feeling confident this year.

McClodden said that last year he got caught in traffic and was slowed down by other runners.

Other lessons learned from last year, like cutting back on his training schedule and arriving early to rest, will also help.

“This year I’m just hoping I can run smart. That’s the biggest thing you want to do with Boston …,” McClodden said. “Just find a pace to stay with and be comfortable … If I can do that, I’ll be all right.”

No matter where he finishes, McClodden said he plans to make it an annual trip.

“I think it’ll be hard for me not to run it every year now, because something happened to me when I ran it. It gets in your blood,” he said. “Once you run Boston, every other marathon is just a replica of what Boston is … .”