Tired of the cold and snow, Cpl. Dave Shreeve Jr. moved to Naples from Traverse City, Mich., in 1989 to train in the tropics for the Boston Marathon.
Despite years of trying, Shreeve never qualified for the world’s oldest annual marathon _ until now.
On Monday Shreeve, along with his CCSO colleagues Sgt. Dan McDonald and Sgt. Paul Cabral, will run in the 113th Boston Marathon.
They will join 25,000 amateur and professional runners from around the world in the 26.2-mile run from Hopkinton center to Boylston Street.
“This will be my 24th or 25th marathon, but to run the Boston Marathon is like a kid being able to open his favorite Christmas present,” said Shreeve, who works in CCSO’s SHOCAP unit, which monitors serious habitual juvenile offenders.
McDonald, a triathlete who has run only one other marathon, said the Boston Marathon is an opportunity of a lifetime.
“It’s the granddaddy of all marathons,” said McDonald. “That’s the world series of marathons to finish that race.”
This year’s Boston Marathon will be the first for all three deputies.
“Paul’s even from Boston and has never had a chance to run it,” said McDonald, who works in the Crime Prevention Bureau.
It was thanks to another deputy’s chance meeting with a Boston police officer who was visiting Naples that McDonald, Cabral and Shreeve got their chance to run Boston.
Sgt. Ryan Allen had responded to a call from a winter visitor who needed assistance with an owl that was on his lanai. The visitor turned out to be Paul Rogers, a Boston police officer and vice president of the Boston Police Department Runners Club.
Rogers told Allen he was planning to move to Naples and wanted to know if CCSO had a runners club. Allen gave him McDonald’s number.
When he picked up the phone, McDonald, who’s on the board of directors of Gulf Coast Runners, said he figured Rogers was calling for information. Instead Rogers asked McDonald if he’d ever run the Boston Marathon. McDonald told him he hadn’t.
Rogers told McDonald that his department’s runners club had several waivers for the Boston Marathon which didn’t require runners to meet strict qualifying times that they were looking to give to prospective participants. That’s when Rogers offered him a slot in the 2009 marathon.
“I said I would love it,” McDonald recalled.
When Rogers asked McDonald if he knew anyone else who might want to run McDonald immediately thought of Shreeve and Cabral, both seasoned runners, who jumped at the opportunity.
“We got an e-mail in February saying you’re officially registered to run the Boston Marathon,” McDonald said.
From there the training began, with each man adopting his own regimen based on their level of experience.
Cabral, who works out of the sheriff’s Golden Gate Estates substation, left for Boston on Thursday. McDonald and Shreeve fly out Saturday.
“It’s going to be electrifying,” McDonald said.