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Former Boston marathon champion back in the running Mattapoisett When the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon finish line last year, Geoff Smith was only a few blocks away. He had left the finish line after spending a few hours there, as he does most years. It a familiar spot for him, having won the race in back to back years in 1984 and 1985. A 25 year resident of Mattapoisett, Smith knew he had to run the race this year. Although training setbacks prevented him from running in Boston this year, Smith has used this momentum to try and change the culture of the sport he loves and return it to the days when it wasn just about health and wellness, and more about the enjoyment of running fast and racing hard. In 2011, Smith createdThe Sightings, a race management company with fellow runner Michael Keogh both are former Olympians for the United Kingdom, with Smith running at the 1980 and 1984 Games. The first race they put on was a Santa Run in New Bedford in 2011, which boasted 1500 participantsafter Smith personally distributed over 15,000 flyers nike magista around the area. Hoping to grow the company, Smith will be running a series of races this year, based on races that were popular during his heyday in the 80s. The first of these races will be the the Hat 10k in Wareham on June 7. Smith said he wanted to revive the race because he is good friends with Pennie Decas, the original race director. Decas created the race in 1980 and over the years, it raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Cooley Anemia research, of which her son Harry died from at the age of 16. Smith said he remembered Decas enthusiasm for the race. had a very bubbly drive it was a great event she put on, he said. Back when the race was attracting hundreds of runners in the 80s, Smith was busy winning races all over the world. A 3:55 miler, he owns many course records from New Bedford to Bermuda and elsewhere. Both of his Boston Marathon victories were by over five minutes and his time in 1984 would put him in the top five nearly every year since. He would have been nine seconds behind last year winner. the first time was spectacular, he said, noting that he ran a 2:10 marathon out in front on a cold day with wind, rain, making it all the more difficult. But what Smith sees as the crowning moment of his career was his first victory at a major nike 60 degree wedge race the European Cross Country Championships as a member of the British National Firefighter team in Paris, 1975. can still hear the crowds, and of course they were speaking French, Smith said. Then a novice to running, that victory fueled his passion for the sport, though he continued to be a firefighter and would train and work around the clock. In 1979, he ran a world leading time in the 10,000 meter run, all while he was still working at the fire department and paying for his own shoes. Smith said hewas a firefighter from the time he left school at 16, and then he came to America at 26 to become a student athlete at Providence College in 1980. After a fall during normal training run in 1990 destroyed his hip, Smith career as a world class athlete was over. went from being the top five in the world to not being able to run again, he said. At first, he didn believe the doctors, but by Christmas he knew that he would never be the same runner. At the start of the next year, Smith, who had an MBA from Providence, became a stockbroker at Merril Lynch, which he did for the next ten years. never really liked it, he said. After that he became a special education teacher in New Bedford and spent a year nike shoes like vans teaching at the Sippican School. But now, at the age of 60, he said it time for another change. see the people I ran with in the 70s and 80s have businesses or are working with Nike or Reebok, he said. ten years are up. It time for something new. with the Harry the Hat race, Smith will participate in the Legends Half Marathon in Hyannis on May 4, where people will get the chance to run alongside and chat with Smith and Steve Jones, former world record holder for the marathon. The race will benefit the families of the two Boston firefighters who died in the nine alarm fire last month. get to meet and talk with us and learn how to run fast, Smith said. In addition to the races, Smith is planning on starting a series of night races and training sessions in June to get runners moving fast, like when the scene was at its most vibrant in the early 80s. is fixated on running long, he said. can run faster and you get more out of it for doing less. years ago when the world best athletes fought it out on a cold morning in Boston, there was no one faster.