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Marathon hopefuls weather storms

To borrow – and twist – the motto of the United States Postal Service, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom nor cars, dangerous dogs, snow removal equipment or any snowbanks up to their eyeballs will keep these runners from training for the 119th running of the Boston Marathon.Training for a marathon is arduous even under ideal conditions. For local runners planning to run the Boston Marathon this year, the training conditions have been as far from ideal as Hopkinton is to Boston.For North Shore runners looking for a personal best over the 26.2 miles, runners trying to help their favorite charities by pounding the pavement or others who just want to be part of the group that will leave Hopkinton early on April 20, to participate in one of – if not the – premiere athletic events in the world, well, the snow and the cold have been very tough, to say the least, when it comes to training. But the dedicated diehards are getting their miles in. Or trying to.For Suzanne Winchester, a Lynn resident who will be running Boston to raise money for Miles For Miracles, which helps children being treated at Boston Children?s Hospital, this will be her fifth marathon. She?s been bundling up and hitting the road for months.?It?s been hard to run in Lynn these last few weeks, certainly,” Winchester said. “Sometimes I get in the car and drive over to Nahant, just because there are fewer cars on the road over there.?You see the snow pounding down, piled up on the roads. I?m just grateful that I have a chance to help the kids over at Boston Children?s.”Keith Shields, who lives in Jamaica Plain but attended North Shore Community College, is prepping for his 17th consecutive marathon. Snow is just snow, he said, and you have to deal with it.?When the weather gets bad, cold, wet, rain, you can go to the Y and hit the treadmill,” Shields said. “The only problem with that is that the treadmill gets old really quick. There?s nothing like being outside and running.?There have been a couple of times when I said, forget it, I?m not running outside. And I?ve got to go to the Y, and the Y is closed. So, run outside, deal with it.”Brian Conville, a native of Swampscott, now lives – and trains – in Chicago.?My fiancee and I came home two years ago to see relatives, and we were at the marathon finish line, just about 45 minutes before the bombs went off,” Conville said. “Needless to say, that day made me want to do something, run Boston. The weather in Chicago hasn?t been much better than it?s been in Boston. I?ve been training and I?m excited to run to raise money to fight multiple sclerosis.”Marblehead?s Amy Livermore is preparing for her second Boston Marathon, and she has dodged her share of cars and snow the past few weeks. Livermore is running to raise funds for The Plummer Home in Salem.?I?m doing as much as I can, training outdoors when I can, training indoors when I can?t get outdoors,” she said. “I trained last winter for my first marathon, and last winter was a breeze compared to this one.”Winchester put her winter training in perspective.?I?m running because I enjoy it, certainly,” she said. “But I?m really running for the kids, some who can?t get up, go outside and run. If I can help them, great. The snow will melt.”

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