If he had been racing somewhere else, Danny Docherty might have given up. His left hamstring cramped so badly in the final miles of Sunday’s Twin Cities Marathon that he wasn’t sure how he was going to make it to the finish line.
He found the elixir he needed when he reached Summit Avenue, where a hometown crowd roared for the St. Paul native. “I was dying,” Docherty said. “They rallied me through the last 5k. Seeing people I knew, it just kept me going.”
That home-state support helped put two Minnesotans on the podium Sunday. Docherty, who now lives in Richfield, finished third in the men’s race. Dakotah Lindwurm, a St. Francis native who lives in Burnsville, was second in the women’s race.
Docherty and Lindwurm train with Team USA Minnesota, a group of professional distance runners based in Minneapolis. In their first Twin Cities Marathon, both held the lead for part of the race, and both experienced the crowd support that delights competitors from many states and countries. Lindwurm recorded a personal-best time of 2 hours, 32 minutes, 49 seconds, while Docherty also set a personal record of 2:15:55.
“I can’t even tell you how many times I heard my name from friends and family,” Lindwurm said. “My grandma, my parents, my husband are here. People I’ve seen running. People who I have no idea who they are.
“They were all cheering for me, which was so amazing. It’s great to have that home-field advantage, and I can’t thank them enough.”
Docherty, a graduate of Cretin-Derham Hall, grew up near Mile 24 of the course. He said he always has wanted to run the Twin Cities Marathon, and the timing was right this year. Docherty made his debut at the distance at the Houston Marathon in January, placing 18th in 2:18:27.
It was “kind of surreal” coming up Summit Avenue, he said, and the crowd helped boost him when he began cramping after running a little too fast in the early going.
“I moved into third [place] at the 25th mile, and I was thankful to be there at the finish,” Docherty said. “If I was out there on my own, it wouldn’t have been the same.”
Lindwurm was fourth at Grandma’s Marathon last summer in her first 26.2-mile race. She led the women’s field Sunday for several miles before giving way to winner Julia Kohnen near the 23-mile mark.
That ended Lindwurm’s bid to become the first Minnesota woman to win the Twin Cities Marathon since Minnetonka’s Janis Klecker in 1992. It didn’t spoil her day.
“I still had a really great race. I have no disappointment,” she said. “I hope we brought home some pride for the Minnesota running community.”