114th Boston Marathon; Faces in the crowd.

Byline: John Conceison

Jay Stock

Hopedale - No. 3540

Every Monday morning for the past six years, Jay Stock takes the short drive to Hopkinton to put in a day's work. He'll make the commute again tomorrow, yet he hopes his day's work ends within three hours in Boston.

A year ago at this time, a marathon wasn't on his radar. Heck, he hadn't even run any race since before the turn of the century.

But through miles and miles of training over the last 10 months and inspiration from a legend, the 28-year-old systems engineer at EMC is qualified for Boston and in the best shape of his life.

Stock, a cross-country co-captain at Hopedale High as a senior in 1999, didn't even start running again until a couple of winters ago, when he found he needed better conditioning for snowboarding. Only last June 12 did he enter a race, a 5K in Milford, where he surprised himself by placing eighth in 19:43.

The following Monday, he found himself running with TriValley Roadrunners John Dumont and Larry Olsen, the legendary road racer/coach from whom Stock bought his first pair of running shoes as a seventh-grader. Two nights after that, Stock was running a speed workout with Olsen. The rigorous routine was under way.

At the end of June, Stock took in a 5-miler in the West Hill Dam trail series and finished in 34:58. The series' next race the following month, he lowered that time by nearly a minute and a half. Marathon was now on the mind, with October 18 circled on the calendar for Bay State in Lowell, with the goal of 3:10 to qualify for Boston.

"I felt great until...

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