Cramps on the legendary Newton Hills held back Mike Rogers in his bid to finish in the top 10 in his age group at Monday's Boston Marathon.
But the 65-year-old still turned in an impressive time of 3:41:03, good for 16th in the 65-69 age group. Rogers hit the halfway point in 1:43:38 and was still going strong until he hit the four hills between miles 17 and 21.
"I got cramps in my hamstrings," Rogers said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. "I had to walk a few steps and then go again."
Rogers, who ran a personal best 3:28:41 in California last December after finishing seventh in his age group in New York City in November, said he ended up walking for eight to 10 minutes on the hills.
The fastest Augusta area runner was Aiken's Mitch Mussetter, who ran the 26.2 miles in a blistering 2:55:40 and finished 966th overall out of nearly 27,000 entrants.
Mussetter said he ran a large portion of the race alongside Joan Benoit, the American marathoner who set a world record when she won in Boston in 1983.
He said the tailwind was a huge help, and he was trying not to go too fast in the first half, which he ran in 1:23:13.
"Everything was hurting really bad and my splits got a lot worse for the last 10K," said Mussetter. "I was in survival mode at the end."
Jeffery Travis, who graduated from North Augusta High School, ran his first Boston Marathon in 3:42:36. Even though it was about a half-hour slower than his qualifying time, he said that he was just happy to have the opportunity.
Augusta's Julius Lacerna said he wasn't concerned with anything other than finishing when he started, but after cruising through the first eight miles at about a 7:00 pace, he made an extra effort at the end of the race to finish in 3:09:33, just under the 3:10 qualifying time for Boston in 2012.
"It was an amazing experience," said Augusta's Ginger Chew, who ran her first Boston Marathon in 3:44:11. "The crowds are everything you hear they are."