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Local administrator runs for his health

It may have taken Mark Rice more than five hours to finish the 2016 Boston Marathon on Monday, but for the Atmore resident, running the race was about a lot more than himself.

“This is not about me,” Rice said. “This is about people who don’t exercise, who don’t do what they should do to improve their lives. We come up with excuses. We humans are remarkably good for coming up with excuses and not coming up with help.”

Rice said there are easy steps people can take to improve their health, like walking a quarter mile, then running 20 seconds straight while taking it slow.

Rice finished the Boston Marathon in 5 hours, 5 seconds. This was his eighth appearance in the race.

He ran in 2013, when the Boston Marathon bombings rocked the city in Massachusetts and the nation. As a result, the city declared the day the Boston Marathon is run as a holiday.

Rice said since the bombings, he’s had no reservations to run the Boston Marathon. In fact, his goal is to run it 10 times.

“We take risks in everything we do,” he said. “If somebody was going to attack, you don’t know where it is going to attack. It’s always a danger. I just don’t hesitate.”

Rice, 55, started running when he was 47, for his health.

Rice is the administrator for Atmore Vision Center and Monroeville Eye Care.

Aubrey Meador, of North Carolina, who has Atmore ties, finished the race in 3:34:56.