by Dennis Dalman
Sartell will be well represented at the April 21 Boston Marathon when nine Sartell people and a former Sartell resident run in the event, including a group of seven women friends.
The friends are Shannan Houghton, Erin Lemke, Lilliana Lucas, Dawn Michaud, Laura Nordby, Aly Parker and Jill Smith.
Most of them live in the Celebration neighborhood of Sartell and have been running together for years.
One of them, Lucas, is a dentist who moved to Austin, Texas last year after selling her pediatric-dentistry business to a partner and another dentist.
Nordby completed last year’s Boston Marathon and fortunately was not running toward the finish line when two bombs exploded, killing four people and injuring dozens of others.
The others from Sartell who will run in the Boston Marathon are Megan Rose, Curt Karolus and Dave Schwartz.
Lemke said two of the group’s husbands, including her own (Chad) will also go to the marathon. The other is Pat, who is Michaud’s husband. Those four will leave on Sunday. The other women in their group will leave earlier, Saturday.
“We’re very excited,” said Lemke, who will be a first-timer at the Boston Marathon. She qualified for it last year at the local Wobegon Marathon.
“Our group,” she said, “is so excited to go and be a part of it and also to commemorate the ones who died and were injured a year ago. This race will be a tribute to them.”
Last year, Lemke spearheaded a T-shirt fundraiser for Boston One Fund, a nationwide fundraiser to help victims of the marathon bombings and their families. She and members of the St. Cloud River Runners sold the T-shirts at the Earth Day Run in St. Cloud and raised about $1,000 for the fund.
Lemke, who is now a stay-at-home mom, began running when she and her family moved to Sartell from Rosemount seven years ago.
“This is a big running community for such a city that’s not so large,” she said. “It has such a high level of runners, bikers, walkers. So many people are so active here in so many ways.”
Lemkes’ children (Jessica, a seventh-grader, and Jacob, a fifth-grader, both at Sartell Middle School) will stay at their grandparents in St. Cloud during the marathon.