TOPEKA (KSNT) – Topeka High School Assistant Principal Rob Hays returns back to the capital city from Boston, bringing home the bronze in his age group from the world’s oldest annual marathon.

With a final time of 2 hours, 45 minutes, and 41 seconds, the Topeka native not only set a personal record, but placed third in his age group.

With a final placement of 901 out of nearly 25000 competitors, the assistant principal is in the top 4% of runners that competed in the 2022 Boston Marathon.

“I’m very competitive, I enjoy competing – I mostly enjoy challenging myself,” Hays said. “Being able to run a personal best, being able to place third in my age group at the Boston Marathon, it’s gratifying, it means all the hard work I put in has paid off.”

The marathon runner is honored by the support he’s received from the Topeka community, including receiving a special send-off from his school on Thursday, and flying to Boston alongside close friends and family.

“I received a lot of positive energy from the support system I had.,” Hays said. “From my friends and my family to the people at Topeka High school, there was no doubt they were in the back of my mind and there was no doubt energy I derived from them.

Doing well in Boston not only means a lot for the marathon runner personally, but his promise to the community that has shown him so much support over the years.

“I told Topeka High, the students, the staff, the constituency, and Topeka Public Schools that I was representing them, and so I hope I did them proud,” Hays said. “I told them I would try, it was gratifying to have run as well as I did, and do well for everybody.” 

Looking forward, the marathon man isn’t slowing down anytime soon, already planning on running this upcoming weekend in the Top City Half Marathon. In addition to competing, he’s also co-directing an upcoming memorial 5K at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka on June 4.