Lamar Port Arthur’s Bruce Hodge shares Boston Marathon experience; “It’s really an incredible sight”

Published 3:50 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2023

When Bruce Hodge was a little boy, he would have to ride a bicycle to keep up with his father during his regular runs.

Now, Hodge is setting his own pace, one that got him to the 127th running of the Boston Marathon.

Hodge, who is dual credit success coordinator for Lamar State College Port Arthur, recently made his third trip to one of the biggest marathons in the country. Counting a virtual marathon in 2020, where he ran locally, Hodge has participated in four of the Boston Athletic Association’s annual events.

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“I never really considered running the Boston Marathon, but as a running nerd, it’s something I eventually decided I wanted to do,” Hodge said. “I had been a runner my whole life but until I got into my 30s and 40s, I wasn’t really serious about it. Then I met some people and we run together and through that, I set some personal goals for myself.”

The Boston Marathon starts in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and finished 26.2 miles later at the finish line in Boston.

“It’s really an incredible sight,” he said. “It’s Patriot’s Day in Boston, so it’s a big holiday. Everyone is out supporting all the runners all along the route. I thought because it was raining that there would be fewer of the local residents out but that wasn’t the case at all.”

Hodge said reaching a pinnacle marathon like Boston’s is a matter of discipline and patience.

“It took several years just to learn how to run a marathon,” he said. “You have to figure out what training plan works and then just stay dedicated to reaching the qualifying time to get into Boston.”

Hodge ran his best-ever Boston time of 3 hours, 14 minutes, 21 seconds in the 2023 event, nearly five minutes faster than his 2022 time (3:19:21) and almost two minutes faster than his 2021 time (3:16:39).

“Just about anyone can run a marathon,” he said. “You don’t have to qualify for every marathon. You can pay to be in some, like the Chevron Houston event. You stick to your training and then you get in there and run it, or walk it, it doesn’t matter. The main thing is to set your goals and then get out there and go for it.”

Hodge is married to Celine, a French teacher at Nederland High School. Together, they have a son, 7-year-old Max.

“He likes to get out there with me and try to keep up,” he said. “I’d like to see him get into running, and I’m sure he will someday.

“When I was a kid, I would ride a bike to try to keep up with my dad when he ran. I didn’t really get into running until I was older and started running with my dad. It would be a lot of fun to have Max one day run with me