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On the Run

A teary-eyed Lederer uses crutch to complete Boston Marathon, keep streak alive


It’s tough enough getting through the Boston Marathon on two good legs.

Peter Lederer made the 26.2-mile run on practically one.

The Langhorne resident was diagnosed with a small fracture in his right hip a few weeks ago and it looked like his impressive streak of 20 consecutive Bostons was about to end.

Not to be deterred, Lederer employed the use of a single crutch/cane on Monday and got all the way to the finish line in six hours and 10 minutes.

Now that’s what you call determination. Lederer usually completes Boston in about three hours, so finishing in roughly twice that time was a bit humbling. The important thing was that he didn’t have any regrets over not trying and then wondering “what if?”

“I got it done,” he said with some relief in his voice during a telephone conversation from Boston.

Lederer had been using a pair of crutches in training but decided to go with a solitary “forearm crutch.”

He did a trial run with the single forearm device but there was no padding on the handle.

“So I got a pool noodle,” he said with a chuckle. “I taped the pool noodle over the top of the handle to make it a little easier on my hands.

“I progressed to the point where I felt like I only needed one.”

Fortunately, it all worked out.

“I felt OK,” he said. “Never felt any big pain. In the last three miles I had some discomfort. But nothing acute. There was never a spot where I thought I wasn’t going to make it.”

Doctors had advised Lederer not to do it, that it was a “terrible idea.”

“I said, ‘what if I crutch it?’ and he replied, ‘what are you, Terry Fox (the late Canadian legendary athlete who made it across Canada on one leg due to complications from cancer)? Well, you’re not Terry Fox.’”

In the end, it all worked out.

Now Lederer can put his eye back on reaching the coveted 25 in a row mark.

“The streak was most of it,” he said. “I was desperate to keep it going. The idea of a six-hour marathon was not something I wanted to have. But when I reached the finish line, I knew it was worth it. “The weather was great, the crowds loud. I must have had 20,000 yell at me because of that sign. I was teary-eyed at the finish line.”

Pereira achieves world marathon goal Last month, New Britain’s Nancy Smith ran the Tokyo Marathon to complete all six world major marathons.

On Monday, Newtown’s Tony Pereira picked up his Abbott World Marathon Majors six-star medal when he completed the Boston Marathon.

“Despite so many setbacks and injuries along this incredible journey, I never lost hope,” Pereira wrote on Facebook.

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