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North Haven SportsBeat: Boston Marathon Tales

A cancer survivor, heart attack victim, lawyer and a father of four discuss their experiences at this week's Boston Marathon.

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 Michael Dolan was in state Superior Court in New Haven at 9 a.m. Tuesday preparing for one of his many cases.

The lawyer from Hamden was back on the job less than 24 hours after running an impressive 3:03:25 in the Boston Marathon, where the temperatures reached the upper 80's.

"It was a real challenge," Dolan said. "I ran the event in '04 and it was really hot back then, too. I wanted to break three hours. Maybe I'll do that next time."

Dolan, 44, who was the first male to finish from the area, took a break from running on Tuesday, but he still walked about a mile before he had to go to work, "My legs are a little sore, but I don't feel too bad. It was a great race and Boston did a great job supporting the race," he said.

At 21, Nicholas Sykes was the youngest of the 10 runners from New Canaan who completed the marathon.

Currently a student-athlete at Clemson University, Sykes turned in a stellar timeof 3:17:09. 

"Overall, I was happy with the race," said Sykes, a 2009 graduate of . It was definitely the most fun I've had of any of the three maratons I've run. The crowd supportwas amazing.I  think most of the times were up to 30 minutes off of what people had done during training. It was really hot and the affected the times." 

Sykes didn't get much time to rest and recover from his run in the Boston Marathon, he had to catch a 10 a.m. flight from LaGuarida Airport on Tuesday. "My legs were definitely sore, but overall, I felt pretty good. It was a great experience."

Cathy Bradley of had a much tougher day than Dolan. The 64-year old runner who had completed the Boston Marathon two other times, knew she'd have to battle much more than the hilly course.

"It was really, really tough," said Bradley, who is a cancer survivor. "I had to step back and put things in perspective because of the heat. At mile 13, I started to get the chills and knew that was hypothermia setting in. I really had to worry about staying focused."

Bradley had plenty of people around her to make sure that happened. She had "Team Bradley", which consisted of her two sons, Frank and Charles, and her friend from Fairfield, Katina Wolfe.

"Katina took the red-eye from San Diego and then drove from the airport to Boston," said Bradley, who is president and owner of Prindle Hill Construction in Orange. "I got to mile 13 and there she was with a big smile on her face. She called ahead to my sons to tell them what I needed."

Bradley requested club soda and Frank, 30, was there at mile 20 to provide her with it. At mile 23, Charles, 26, made sure that Mom had extra socks, Motrin, and vitamin water.

"It was a total team effort and a great experience," she said. "The last 13 miles was a dog, but when I turned that corner and saw the (finishing) banner, I got that extra kick. I felt great today."

Bradley battled through the heat and exhaustion to finish in 7:08:35.

The Boston Marathon was toughest test of . The 71-year old Ridgefield man was competing in his first 26.2 mile event since suffering a heart attack while playing field hockey in Scotland last July.

"It was an emotional moment for me," said Deiters, who has completed 26 marathons in his career. "I'm very grateful that I had the opportunity to run. This was a celebration of being revived and the great medical treatment I received in Scotland and here in Connecticut."

Deiters lost eight pounds during the race despite stopping at every water station on the course. In the oppressive heat, Deiters was naturally concerned about his heart rate going into the danger zone.

"I was definitely worried," he said. "I talked to my cardiologist before the race and he cautioned me not to exceed my limits. I was careful and I checked my heart rate constantly. I will not run again when there is a forecast as hot as it was, but I'm elated that I finished and I had no pain or soreness when I woke up on Tuesday."

Deiters finished the race in 5:37:51, marking the third time time he's completed the Boston Marathon in his career, but the first one of his "second life."

Jack McDonald of Cheshire ran the Boston Marathon in 1980 with his two brothers. He returned 32 years later to watch his four sons compete in the race, "I call the Boston Marathon, 'The Cathedral of Sports', it's truly an amazing experience," said McDonald, who is the athletic director at QuinnipiacUniversity. "I wanted my sons to share a similar experience that I had."

All of the McDonald boys, (Jim, Jack, Brian, Dave) attended Cheshire High School. Brian was the only one who didn't finish the marathon, dropping out at mile 18 because of the heat. Still, the day made for a memorable experience for Jack had his wife, Linda.

"It's something that I'll never forget," McDonald said. "Any time you can watch your children compete in such a sports spectacle like the Boston Marathon, it's really special. It was a great day for us."

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