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The Boston Globe


Ben Beach didn’t finish, and it may have been a good thing

Ben Beach was coming through Natick Monday when he felt an Achilles’ tendon give way. “I haven’t had an Achilles’ problem in 35 years,” the 63-year-old Maryland resident said by telephone Tuesday. The timing undoubtedly was lousy but Beach was determined to cross the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street while the clock still was running.

Beach is the Marathon’s “streaker laureate,” having completed more consecutive Patriots Day runs here — 45 since 1968 — than any other active runner. Had he finished his 46th he would have broken the global record for all marathons that he shares with Neil Weygandt, who finally gave up the chase last year. But when the race was stopped immediately after two bombs went off near the finish line Beach was stranded on Beacon Street just before Kenmore Square and never made it to Boylston.

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