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Boston's Still Best for Weston Marathoner

Josh Cohen has run marathons in many different cities. The Weston runner, however, has a special affinity for Boston.

Cohen will make his fourth trip to the Boston Marathon on April 18. This will be his 11th marathon overall and his third straight year at Boston. He finished in 3:20:25 last year, his best Boston time in three tries.

“I like the history of the race, the sophisticated crowd, the holiday atmosphere,’’ said Cohen, a 42-year-old bankruptcy and restructuring attorney with Day Pitney LLP in New Haven. “The festivities are enhanced by the enthusiasm of the crowd for their beloved Red Sox — it’s great that they have the game going on at the same time.”

Cohen’s first marathon was in 1999, when he ran in New York City. After a few years off from marathons (though not from running), he returned to the sport and now runs one or two marathons a year. In addition to New York and Boston, he has finished the Philadelphia Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., the Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis/St. Paul, the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati and the now-defunct Mystic Places Marathon. He is also on the board of directors for the New Haven Road Race, which puts on the Labor Day 20K and 5K races that are among the most popular running events in the state.

“Running in general is how I create time for myself,’’ Cohen said. “With a demanding job and a family, it’s important to have a bit of time carved out for yourself. The running community is a very supportive group. It’s part of my social interaction.”

Cohen often trains with a close friend or joins a group for longer runs on weekends. He likes to run different routes, through Westport, Redding, Easton, Southport and Weston. “Only occasionally have we gone farther than we intended,’’ Cohen said. The winter has been difficult for all runners, but Cohen believes he’s ready for the challenging 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston. He needs to run 3:15 or better to earn a return ticket for 2012.

“If the day is good, I’ll have a shot at it,’’ Cohen said. “The weather can always be a little strange for Boston. In 2009, we had a 30 mph headwind. If that’s the case again this year, then 3:15 won’t be in the cards. The best thing is, it’s always a lot of fun.”

Have you run the Boston Marathon? What has been your experience? Start the discussion below!

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