Journey to marathon started at finish line

TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – Good coffee is like a marathon.  It can take a lot of preparation to get there, but the finish is always worth it.

This year, Joe Reiser is hoping to get a taste of both.

As the owner of Winans, it was coffee that brought Joe to Boston last year for a specialty coffee conference.

He stayed for the marathon to watch friends race.

“It was unbelievable the level of support the crowd gives to each runner,” Joe says. “You would think they were all their brother or sister.”

Joe and his wife Laurie were at the finish line for more than three hours, taking pictures and video. They left just 40 minutes before the bombs went off.

“We didn’t realize how close we were until we got home and started looking at the flags that were in those pictures,” Joe says.

When Joe and his wife returned home, they set up a run to raise money for the victims.

They ended up donating nearly $3,000 to the family of two brothers injured in the bombings.

“At that point, I decided I’m running this race,” Joe says.

Making the marathon field is something you have to pour yourself into.

“The training and getting a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon is not an easy venture especially when you’re 49-years-old and have never run a marathon,” Joe says.

Joe tried but came up short.

But then the marathon offered invites through an essay contest for those profoundly impacted by the bombings.

Joe was one of those chosen.

“Part of me when I first got the acceptance I said I can’t do this because I haven’t earned it, but my friends that have run this race said absolutely not, you earned it,” Joe says. “You go run it.”

So now he’s training for the run of a lifetime.

He says he doesn’t know how he’ll feel running the marathon, but like that coffee, you can bet he’ll drink it all in.

“You have visions of crossing that finish line,” Joe says.

The marathon is set for April 21.

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