The light, chilling rain splattered down on the pavement as Bill Rodgers and his wife, Ellen, eased their way through the lingering Boston Marathon crowd in Cleveland Circle at 3:45 yesterday afternoon. Out on the course a steady stream of runners turned down Beacon street for the final four miles of the race.

“Jack,” shouted Rodgers as he spotted newscaster Jack Hynes amid the group, but there was no response as Hynes kept going, onward to the finish. His mission accomplished with a record Boston run, Rodgers was walking slowly up Chestnut Hill Avenue toward his store.

First, a few runners noticed him, all but stopping and shouting out, “Great race, Bill.” By now, the word was out and before he reached the entrance to his basement store, the spectators had turned their backs on the runners, applauding the Marathon Man on his journey home.

Read on…