Hermiston’s Puzey Brothers continue ascent toward running legacy

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Jacob and Tommy Puzey
Puzey Brothers, Jacob and Tommy (Photo: Instagram)

Tommy and Jacob Puzey are two brothers who share a passion for running. On social media, they express their sheer love for the sport – and their respect and admiration for each other.

A pair of brothers who graduated from Hermiston High School padded their running resumes with exceptional performances at the Boston Marathon in April.

Tommy Rivers Puzey, 32, clocked an Olympic qualifying time of 2:18:20 and finished 16th overall. He lives at Flagstaff, Ariz. He was the ninth American male to finish in a field with six past champions and 17 Olympians.

Jacob Puzey, 34, ran 2:26:52 for 41st place. He lives in Calgary and was the first Canadian to cross the finish line.

More than 30,000 racers took off from Hopkinton to Copley Square under sunny skies April 17 in the 121st running of the Marathon. An especially strong field of Americans competed in the field, as it did not conflict with the Olympic Trials this year. Said Tommy on Instagram:

“I poured my whole soul out onto that course and yet somehow left feeling even more full of life and love and gratitude than before I toed the line. I am in such awe of the Boston community and unity that is born out of the collective struggle – a reciprocal, symbiotic relationship between runner and spectator. A transfer of energy. An exchange of power. The building of something great – the collective whole exceeding the strength of the sum of the individual parts. That is the power through which worlds are created, and by which the broken worlds are healed.

“Thank you Boston for inspiring me to push into realms, previously unknown to me, and for disassembling and redefining the preconceived boundaries of my own human potential.

“Such a fleeting gift to be alive and to have the ability to move.

“I hope to move freely for decades to come, but I see in my patients every day that nothing is guaranteed, and that not a single breath, or a single step, or the utterance of a single word should be taken for granted.

“Life can change; it can all be gone, in an instant. And for that I’ll run every race, and live every day, and speak every word as if it were my last.”

Jake Puzey, a former cross country runner and coach at Hermiston High School, was competing in his first Boston Marathon. He traveled back from Boston with his wife and baby. Said Puzey to a Canadian TV reporter:

“I wanted to take in the whole Boston experience. If you’re a runner and particularly a marathon runner, you are constantly asked if you’ve ever done the Boston Marathon.

“I ran my first marathon 13 years ago. I’ve always qualified but never been able to work out the logistics of getting all the way out there and running the event.

“It’s unlike any other race I’ve ever done. There are very few spots where there weren’t spectators. Lots of people, lots of energy. People that are there are there to run well and have a positive experience.”

Wrote Tommy on social media about his seeing his brother cross the finish:

“A moment later I see Jake charge across the line, sandwiched between Jorge Maravilla and Michael Wardian.

“Jake and I embrace. He has just run a 2:26 marathon off of less than 50 miles of running a week. A seemingly impossible feat for those who understand the process, and yet he diverts the attention to me.”

Wrote Jake on social media about his brother:

“The face you make when you realize your younger brother just ran the race of his life on the biggest stage in the running world & all he wants to do is take care of you.

“We hoped to run together for as long as possible. I was sweating before even warming up & started cramping less than 5K in, but figured if we fueled & paced adequately we’d be fine. When we approached water bottle stations we took turns picking them up & sharing the water so that we could stay cool & hydrated. He was kind enough to share his special water bottles with me as I didn’t have a recent enough marathon time to be considered “elite.” When he pulled away I wasn’t sad. I was proud. I wished I could accompany him, but was also grateful that he didn’t need me.

“He is no longer the little kid who used to tag along beside or behind me. He is a grown man, a seasoned veteran, a husband, a father, a doctor. He is intimately familiar with the human body & even more acquainted with the realms of pain. He has seen & experienced more than most, but rather than weigh him down he considers his experiences strengths. He is stronger because of them & better able to help those who are suffering.

“I have received a lot of praise & attention since Marathon Monday, but the hero of the day & the one who deserves the accolades is @tommy_rivs. I have never seen him so fit, so determined, so consistent & so resolute. He is no longer an honourable mention. He will be a factor in any race he runs. Monday was simply a glimpse of what the next three years before the 2020 Olympics will look like.”

Boston Marathon results

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