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Here's who to keep an eye on at the Boston Marathon

April 20, 2014

If you’re looking to follow the Boston Marathon online today and keep track of the top residents from the Blackstone Valley, keep the numbers 319, 1991, and 5934 in mind.

They are the bib numbers that will be donned by Cumberland’s Jason Reilly, Pawtucket’s Brendan Doyle, and Cumberland’s Dave Constantino, who will be among the runners scattered in the first wave and looking to complete the 118th running of this legendary race in under three hours.

Reilly, 31, is appearing in this race for the fourth straight year, and he will be looking to better his fantastic finish of 2:37:27 from a year ago – a half-hour improvement from his 3:07:54 in 2012, that to his defense, came during that year’s infamous heatwave that saw temperatures hover in the high 80s.

Doyle, a 32-year-old Trooper for the Rhode Island State Police, will also be running in his fourth Boston Marathon, and not only does he want to break the three-hour mark for his second time, but he’s also looking to destroy his previous Boston PR of 2:55:35 (set in 2007).

“I think I’m in good enough shape to hit the low 2:40s, but we’ll see,” added Doyle, who will head to Hopkinton with 10 other members of the R.I. State Police and recently helped them raise $12,000 to Cops for Kids with Cancer.

“I had a couple of little minor injuries, but I didn’t miss too many days (of training),” added Doyle, who also won the Irish 5K in Pawtucket last month, “and I’m not one of those people that when it’s cold, I run on a treadmill.”

Joining Doyle’s R.I. State Police contingent is Lincoln’s Sean O’Hern, a 48-year-old Sergeant who, like Reilly, is running in his fourth straight race and overcame a difficult 2012 finish (3:50:49) to belt out a 3:11:43 last year that is his PR for this race.

As for the 44-year-old Constantino, this will mark his 10th straight Boston Marathon, with half of those finishes hovering between three hours and 3:10 and his Boston PR coming last year in the form of a solid 3:03:43.

“I always have a goal to do better every year,” he said, “but I’m just going to run it and do it for the victims [of last year’s terrorist attack]. What happened last year was just awful. It just blew me away. I’m still excited for this race, but at the same time, I’m still a little emotional about it.”

Constantino suffered a broken clavicle last July in a biking accident that put him out of action for two months, but he was quick to note that he’s not only “100 percent fully recovered” from that injury, but he also shed significant time during his swimming workouts.

“I feel very strong,” said Constantino. “I still want to break three hours, and there’s a good chance I can do it because my training went so well this year. I’m just going to wish for the best and go with the flow.”

Joining Constantino in making his 10th straight trip to Hopkinton is 59-year-old Cumberland native William McGinnis, who is regarded as one of the top Veterans Division runners in the state.

McGinnis has finished in under 3:29 in every race but 2012, and his time of 3:22:17 last year was his finest finish since 2007.

On the women’s side, Hilary Dionne, a native of Cumberland who currently resides in Charlestown, Mass. and runs for the Boston Athletic Association, is looking to finish among the top U.S. finishers for the third straight April and top the marathon PR of 2:39:34 she set in last year’s record.

The 28-year-old Dionne, who was a multiple All-State selection and a 2003 graduate of Cumberland High and an All-Ivy League standout at Dartmouth College, ran in her first Boston Marathon (and third overall) in 2012 and had a 2:51:56 time that was the 15th best in the women’s field.

Another local runner worth watching is Pawtucket’s Lindsay Anspach, who came out of nowhere in the past couple of years to become one of the area’s top local female runners. This will be her first Boston Marathon.

Anspach’s PR for a marathon is 3:51:53, but thanks to an excellent winter of training (that includes a 2:21:07 finish at last month’s Black Cat 20-Miler in Salem, Mass., she could very well be in line for a sub-3:30 finish.

Two other runners, both 39 and Cumberland residents, to look for are Kerri

Ramos, who dazzled in her Boston debut a year ago with a 3:29:43 time, and

Maria Chevalier, who is back for her fifth straight race, and like most of the local runners, fresh off a Boston PR from last year, finishing in 3:39:19.

Follow Eric Benevides on Twitter @EricBen24

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