Austin’s Cindy Saiter finishing the 126th Boston Marathon and running the hills of the Mid South 50K

Longtime Austin runner Cindy Saiter was the fifth Austin woman to cross the line at the 126th Boston Marathon on April 18. Saiter, 51, an attorney at Scott, Douglass & McConnico for the past 25 years, has simply refused to slow down. An experienced marathoner, she ran almost completely even splits, hitting the first half in 1:39:32 and finishing in a highly respectable 3:21:43.

“Another amazing race in Boston,” she said. “The biggest crowds I have ever experienced. My goal was to improve on my last marathon from two and a half years ago. And I did. But I made it harder than I needed to. And it was HARD.”

“It was around 45-50 degrees at the start, so conditions were good. I was pretty consistent, but I had to dig a little deeper,” said Saiter. “I’m pretty happy with it. I haven’t run a marathon since Seattle two years ago where I ran 3:21:55.”

Headed into Boston, Saiter tried something she’d never done before. In March, she ran her first ultra, the Mid South 50K in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

“It was all on gravel roads and supper hilly,” said Saiter. “The elevation gain at Mid South was 2,500 feet, while Boston’s elevation gain was 932 feet. I really think it helped me in Boston. I had so much fun at Mid South and ended up finishing second overall.”

Saiter ran her first Boston in 1995 and has competed in the race six or seven times now.

“The first time I ran it, I didn’t appreciate the challenges” she said. “The next time I ran was the 100th edition. My first mile was a 10-minute mile because of the crowd, but I ran a 3:10, my best time, mainly because I was forced to go slow because of the crowd.

“That was my first year at Scott, Douglass & McConnico, and I had just started that week so I was pretty worried about taking time off to run a marathon,” added Saiter, who is now a partner in the firm. “But as it turns out, one of the partners had circled my name in the results on the Austin American Statesman sports page in recognition and left it at my desk. So they totally respected it!”

Overall, Austin was well represented at this year’s Boston Marathon. Close to 125 men and women competed in the race. Richard Ho, a relative newcomer to Austin, ran a speedy 2:25:27 to top the Austin mens’ list, while Ryan Wojdyla, who ran track and cross country for Western Illinois University, was not far behind Ho in a fine 2:30:28 for second in the Austin mens’ field. Eli Decker, a former All American for Colby College in Maine, rounded out the top five Austin guys with a 2:35:44. A total of 19 Austin runners broke the three-hour barrier.

Jennifer Rivera-Vega, who works for Tik-Tok in Austin, was the first Austin woman to cross the line, posting a 3:10:01. Katie Graff wasn’t too far behind, nailing a 3:10:50. All told, an amazing 36 Austin women ducked under four hours!

Upcoming Races: Saturday, May 7 at 8:00 a.m., the Cinco De Mayo 5K/10K Run in downtown Lockhart. Saturday, May 14 at 8:00 a.m., the 12 Fox Beer Co. 5K Beer Run at 4700 W Fitzhugh Road in Dripping Springs. Saturday, May 21 at 6:30 a.m., the Front Porch Days Half Marathon/10K/5K/3K/1K at Negley Elementary in Kyle.