Tyler Pake has participated in seven marathons, but his eighth one was special--and emotional. Pake ran the 2014 Boston Marathon on April 21 in memory of his running mentor.
Pake started running while attending East Carteret High School. He trained five or six days a week with a family friend named Sonny Hyman.
Pake says, "I started running with Sonny my senior year in high school. He was the Carteret County local legend, and I saw this guy who I thought was older at the time, running these races, so i figured it can't be that hard."
Pake says it was Sonny's bright spirit that kept him going. Sonny, always an inspiration to Pake, died less a week before the Boston Marathon. He was just 63 years old.
"I was upset," Pake says. "I didn't know if I was going to be able to run Boston mentally."
Pake says he knew Sonny would want him to run, so he did, with Sonny's name written on his arm.
During the race a fan Pake has never met started chanting Sonny's name. Pake says he was able to hold in his emotions until he crossed the finish line.
But then, Pake says, "When I got done with the race, I said out loud 'That's for you Sonny,' before I lost it emotionally.
Pake's goal was to finish the race in under 2 hours 50 minutes, and he did, in 2 hours 49 minutes 52 seconds, which is a personal record on a very "Sonny" kind of day.