Competitors Bryan Huberty of Miami Beach and Bryan Sharkey of Miami are two of the fastest road racers in Florida.
On a rainy, windy 40-degree Monday in Boston, the two who occasionally train together and regularly aim to outrun each other formed a pact of sorts to help one another stay Boston strong during the world’s most famous marathon.
Running together for the first 17 miles and staying close for about 21 of the 26.2 miles, Huberty and Sharkey became the first and second finishers from Florida to complete the Boston Marathon.
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Among the field of 30,000 entrants who had to qualify with impressive times, Huberty finished 115th overall with a personal best of 2 hours 32 minutes 58 seconds.
Sixteen seconds later, Sharkey finished 120th in 2:33:14, also a personal best.
“I gave him a big hug,’’ said Sharkey, 27, who grew up in Pinecrest, ran for Princeton, represents Runner’s Depot and is the manager of retail operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. “We saw each other before the race started and said, ‘Let’s find each other and team up and run,’ because we had the same goal — both of our [personal records] were in the 2:36’s, and we wanted to break 2:35. Bryan and I and this pack of about 20 guys we ran with were rolling together.
“It was such a great feeling to help each other deteriorate the wind impact, and great to basically finish together.’’
Huberty, 36, moved to Miami Beach from Madison, Wisconsin, seven years ago. He represents Salming Running USA and works at Live Ultimate, a company that makes organic skincare and suncare products. Huberty also coaches cross-country and soccer at Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach.
Boston was Huberty’s 27th marathon in the past seven years.
“He’s beaten me a lot, and I’ve beaten him a lot,’’ Huberty said of Sharkey, who has completed four marathons. “It was nice to have someone I know there. He was a little aggressive at first, but if we hadn’t stayed with the pack we would have been by ourselves.
“I heard someone mention in the crowd, ‘Strength in numbers. Stay together!’ and that was true. When you’re by yourself, you start to lose your pace.’’
Two other South Floridians who know Huberty and Sharkey also completed Boston on Monday — Spencer West, 43, of Davie, in 3:07:41 and James Buchanan, 33, of Miami, in 2:49:35. They decided to team up as well.
“We ran together for almost 18 miles,’’ said West, a lawyer. “Then I started feeling my quads and hamstrings getting wobbly. When that happens, there’s not much you can do except keep going until the end.’’