Runners will tell you that, when it comes to the Boston Marathon, the lower the number on the front of a shirt, the better the runner wearing it.
Of the dozens of Lexington residents lacing 'em up on Marathon Monday, the lowest number belongs to Pascal Marmier, a native of Switzerland who relocated to the United States 12 years ago and hasn't looked back.
Marmier came to Boston at the urging of his wife, Stephanie, who is a dual citizen. She wanted to "get me out of the place where I was born to study for a year in the US. We loved it so much that we've stayed in Boston for 12 years rather than one," Marmier said in an e-mail to Lexington Patch.
After a graduate program in business law, Marmier joined the team of swissnex Boston/Consulate of Switzerland. He became the Director/Swiss consul in 2008, the same year his family moved to Lexington, where his young sons, Lauric and Julian, attend the Bridge School.
Do you consider yourself a runner, and how did you become interested in running?
I was more of a biker back in Switzerland and discovered marathon running because we lived on Beacon Street in Brookline when we arrived. I was so amazed by the marathon race that I decided to train and started running pretty consistently since then. Running is now an integral part of my life and I never miss an occasion to run in new places that we visit. I also have my lunch time ritual where I go run along the Charles River. Nothing better to refresh your ideas.
Why the Boston Marathon?
Because it is nearby, lots of friends watching.. and it has a great reputation among runners. I always like the atmosphere and not having to travel.
Is this your first marathon? If not, what other marathons have you run and what is your favorite?
It will probably be my 8th marathon or so. I mostly run Boston but I have tried New York once and did not like it as much. I became very excited a couple years ago about mountain running and, did for example, a nice on in Switzerland where you run pretty much 22 miles uphill!
Are you running as a competitor, or for a charity? If a charity, which one and why?
Both! I qualified thanks to a great time last year (2:45), but I also run for Dana Farber because I want to help fight cancer and I am committed to raise fund for a very interesting research program.
Do you have any apprehensions as we're getting closer to Marathon Monday?
Always! Like every year, I get nervous, start worrying about eating well, sleeping, and like usual, I feel very tired the week before!
What will be the first thing you do after crossing the finish line?
Join the other runners of Dana-Farber to celebrate with family, friends, and get some massage and nice food there!