For the first time in 17 years, an American won the Boston Marathon. Not only did he win, but he did it in record time. Paul “Pasta Diablo” Mazzarelli, 45, of Lynn, MA surprised the world when he out-kicked Geoffry Mutai and Moses Mosof of Kenya to win the Boston Marathon’s 116th running.
Mazzarelli did not even qualify to get a number to run Boston. He got his number by joining Team Rickets and raising money for the cause.
“I decided to raise money for Rickets awareness. My great-great-grandfather had Rickets and the disease left him bow-legged. Because of it, he was never able to ride a horse and he was always running late,” Mazzarelli told reporters.
“I picked up my number on Saturday and it was number 16,453…my lucky number!” said the delighted runner. “I knew something good was going to happen.”
Mazzarelli didn’t start with the lead runners, but instead was placed in the rear of the Hopkinton pack.
“I had a slow start. I was pretty hung over from drinking last night and I didn’t sleep at all. At the starting line, I ate a five-pound bag of sugar and a couple of Honeybuns and I felt better.”
Mazzarelli says that he trained for three weeks for the race.
“I took the advice of a friend who told me that I had to ‘cardboard-load’ for the race. I ate cardboard boxes for two weeks before I realized I should have been ‘carbo-loading’ instead. I drank a lot of fluids, mostly Fuzzy Navels and beer. I sat in the steam room and walked on the treadmill down at the YMCA. My strategy was to step on the backs of every runners’ sneakers, giving them a ‘flat tire.’ I moved right through the pack. I gained a lot of ground with that move. I felt like Moses parting the Red Sea. I lost a little time in Framingham when I stopped at the Chicken House for a tray of Buffalo Wings. After that, I was good to go! I also pushed quite a few runners down. That pregnant lady in Wellesley fell hard! It’s her own fault. She shoulda been home in the kitchen anyhow.”
By the time Mazzarelli hit Heartbreak Hill, he was just six minutes behind the lead pack.
“As soon as I got over the top of Heartbreak Hill, my weight carried me down the other side. I picked up tremendous speed. I literally couldn’t stop if I wanted to. I was doing 35 when I went through Kenmore Square. When I came around Boylston Street and saw the finish line up ahead, I knew I had a chance to win. The crowd went CRAZY! I was really tired at that point, but everybody was yelling ‘USA! USA! USA!’ It was energizing.”
With little more than 400 feet to go, Mazzarelli quickly closed the gap on Mutai and Mosof. Mazzarelli hip-checked Mosof as he passed, causing the Kenyan to spill to the ground. Mazzarelli went on to beat Mutai by just three seconds.