— FOX Sports Detroit reporter Justin White is headed home to Boston.
Not permanently, of course.
The Boston native ran the Detroit Free Press Marathon Sunday morning, hoping to qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon, which his father, Steve, ran six times.
Unlike the Detroit marathon, which accepts all runners, the Boston Marathon has qualifying times according to gender and age. At age 31, White needed to run the 26.2 miles in three hours and 10 minutes or less.
White accomplished his previous personal record time, 3:19:30, at the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon this past June.
Sunday morning under clear skies and 50-plus degree temperatures, White finished the course in 3:08:28, meaning a trip to Boston was in his future.
“Dream come true, honestly,” White said. “I couldn’t be more excited. It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”
The 115th Boston Marathon will be held April 18, 2011, on Patriots’ Day. Fortuitously, registration begins Monday morning at 9 a.m.
White, who said he never felt like quitting during the long race, demolished his previous best time by more than 11 minutes.
“I killed it,” White said. “I felt great. I felt really good. Early on it took me a little bit to get into a rhythm. Going over the bridge was definitely tougher than I thought it would be and it took me a little bit to recover from that, but between 10 and 20, we ran some really fast miles, sub-seven-minute miles. That was the key. We got to 20 and we were smart. Even at 24, it wasn’t for sure that it would happen.”
White, who had some cramping problems in his previous marathons, said he managed to avoid that this time.
“I was smart,” he said. “I stopped for water, I stopped for Gatorade, I stopped to take the goo packs. That was huge because I didn’t cramp up at all, not at all. Even the last one I had major cramps. So that was the difference.”
White said another difference was getting some help from his friend, Michael Discenna of Ferndale, who ran with him.
“He qualified for Boston back in June,” White said. “We trained together so he wanted to pace me, help me qualify. It was awesome. Even the last mile and a half, it wasn’t like a done deal. It was great.”
Before White registered for Boston, he had to do one thing — call his dad and tell him he was coming home.