Today’s Boston Marathon will have a local connection as Darlington’s assistant head of school for academic resources Stefan Eady hits the pavement.

Eady recently decided that he finally hit his stride in terms of running, now in his mid-40s, and is ready to literally dive in feet first to the nation’s most famous marathon.

“Boston requires a pretty quick qualifying time from another marathon to enter, based on age and gender,” Eady said. “Until about two years ago I thought if I’d have to maintain my current pace into my 60s to ever be fast enough. Turns out 45 was the magic number.”

Eady doesn’t take lightly the opportunity to compete in a race like the Boston Marathon.

“It was some of the most intentional training I’d ever done and I’m excited to be this average runner able to participate in an event like Boston that really honors the sport of running,” Eady said.

Eady’s competitive racing experience has deep local roots, starting with an event familiar to a lot of area runners.

“My first organized ‘race’ was an Alumni Weekend 5K while I was a student at Berry College in the 90s,” said Eady. “Over the years I continued to run increasing distances until I ran my first marathon in 2007, the first year of the Georgia Marathon — now the Atlanta Marathon.”

With strict qualifications and a limited number of slots, Eady says the Boston Marathon is more of a victory lap for most runners like himself, so he will try and just soak it all in.

“I plan on enjoying every step along the way,” said Eady. “I love running and enjoy different experiences. I have run many distances up to 65 miles on trails and roads as well as relays and obstacle course races.”

Eady said he also enjoys leading pace groups within marathon runs. The 122-year-old race will be his 46th race of marathon length or longer, but it certainly won’t be his last.

“I am currently training for a pretty tough 64-mile trail race in Pennsylvania in June, so Boston has become a part of prepping for that event,” said Eady. “I will pace the Illinois Marathon two weeks after Boston and run a 31-mile trail race at Sweetwater State Park two weeks after that.

Visit the Boston Athletic Association website at baa.org/races/boston-marathon for more information about the Boston Marathon and to see today’s race results.

Roman Record editor

Blake Silvers is a member of the Rome News-Tribune editorial staff.