If all goes well,
Kelley will need about five hours to complete Boston this year, but no matter
how long he's out there, loyal fans of the race never leave until they have
escorted him home. The winner runs Boston in about 2:08 these days, but the
race isn't official for thousands of spectators until Kelley crosses the finish
amateur, Kelley doesn't begrudge today's top runners the prize money and
endorsements they get. "In my day you ran Boston for a medal and a bowl of
beef stew," he says. "That's the way it was, and I was happy to do it.
Now things are different, and I think it's wonderful.
to me that the older you grow, the better they take care of you, and I guess
it's true. But I don't feel old. I'm 83 and I have a beautiful wife and I'm
healthy. That's the greatest reward."
On April 15, Kelley
will claim his special spot in Hopkinton and add another page to a remarkable
r�sum�. "I'll do my best to finish, but if I don't make it, I won't
apologize to anybody," he says. "I'll try to get by on my experience. I
think I have enough of that."