By David Fleet
Goodrich- On April 15, village residents Leo and Leah Foley will join more than 30,000 runners in the 123rd Boston Marathon.
The 2019 Boston Marathon will be the second for Leah and Leo, who have compiled a stellar running career spanning more than two decades.
Their paths first crossed when in 2008 while running for the same team in the 270 mile Great Lakes Relay. They married in 2012 following Leo’s 2011 proposal to Leah on the course of the Brookise Way Half Marathon race in Rochester. She was the second fastest woman in the 13.1 mile race. They moved from Clarkston to Goodrich in 2015 the same year their first child James was born.
“Leo and I do not competitive with each other,” she laughed. “He’s faster but I don’t slow him down when we run together.”
The couple will fly to Boston on April 13 and join two of Leo’s brothers along with a sister in law for the 26.2 mile race.
Leah, 42, is a Clarkston native and 1995 Clarkston High School graduate who attended the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. After taking a few years off running she took on the Chicago Marathon in 2005 and 2006.
“When I moved back to Michigan from Chicago in 2008 I became more serious about running,” said Leah.
In 2010 she ran her first Boston Marathon with a time of 3:11.
“Every runner wants to run Boston,” she said. “I ran that first Boston race with a friend and I was pretty relaxed.”
Leah qualified for the 2019 Boston Marathon at the 2018 Walt Disney World Marathon with a time of 3:11.
The 2019 Boston Marathon will be her tenth marathon after completing the Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati Flying Pig and Boston.
Leo Foley is a Fenton native and 2000 graduate of Powers Catholic High School.
“I started running as a freshman in high school and that continued through college,” said Leo, 37, who attended Aquinas College and competed in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics events.
In 2006, Leo ran his first marathon in Kiawah Island, SC, and finished thrid with a time of 2:38. He would go on to participate in 30 marathons over the next decade with a personal record in the Grand Rapids Marthon at 2:30.
“When I was in the 20s and 30s I’d like to run about 90 miles per week,” he said. “Now that I’m a little older it’s about 60 miles a week and some time on the bike.”
Leo currently serves as Head Coach of the Flint Powers Girls Cross Country Team.
“Boston is an iconic marathon,” he said. “For Leah and I it’s a race. However the rest of the week in Boston is a fun date for us.”