Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Thoughts on the 2009 Boston Marathon

Yesterday was the 113th running of the Boston Marathon, a race I've completed 5 times. I got to watch it sporadically on universalsports.com.

MY COMMENTS: Deciding to "run his own race", I was shocked to see Ryan Hall take the lead so early- clearly a major tactical error that just might have cost him a victory. I also noticed that Ryan, despite his extremely fluid running form, carries his arms slightly lower than optimal.

On the women's side, 4 Americans found themselves leading the pack through mile 10, including 45 year old Colleen De Reuck, who ran a fabulous race finishing 8th in 2 hr 35 min 37 sec.

The women's finish was amazing. Kara Goucher made a courageous move to break up the pack of 7-8 women with 5-6 miles to go, dropping all but 2. Finishing 3rd, she will be rehashing that decision, thinking perhaps it would have been wiser to draft a few more miles, especially into a headwind. My bet is the overwhelming crowd support had something to do with that. All in all, a good day for the top Americans.

The Hansen-Brooks team, led by Olympian Brian Sell's 14th place finish in 2hr 16:31, placed 5 of their runners in the top 20. I am sure they are disappointed in their times, and Sell (4th in 2006) definitely hoped to finish higher ("I shouldn't even get free shoes.")

I searched the results for 4-time winner Bill Rodgers, and discovered he finished in 4hr 06 min 49 sec, or 9 min 25 sec per mile. Ouch!

Go to flotrack.org for all the interviews!

Top 10 Men
1. Deriba Merga ETH 2:08:42
2. Daniel Rono KEN 2:09:32
3. Ryan Hall USA 2:09:40
4. Tekeste Kebede ETH 2:09:49
5. Robert Cheruiyot KEN 2:10:06
6. Gashaw Asfaw ETH 2:10:44
7. Solomon Molia ETH 2:12:02
8. Evans Cheruiyot KEN 2:12:45
9. Stephen Kiogora KEN 2:13:00
10. Timothy Cherigat KEN 2:13:04

Top 10 Women

1. Salina Kosgei KEN 2:32:16
2. Dire Tune ETH 2:32:17
3. Kara Goucher USA 2:32:25
4. Bezunesh Bekele ETH 2:33:08
5. Helena Kirop KEN 2:33:24
6. Lidiya Grigoryeva RUS 2:34:20
7. Atsede Habtamu ETH 2:35:34
8. Colleen S. De Reuck USA 2:35:37
9. Alice Timbilili KEN 2:36:25
10. Alina Ivanova RUS 2:36:50

In my age group (55-59) 3rd place was 2 hr 56 min 08 sec, and 10th was 3hr 05 min 26 sec. (I ran 2hr 55 min 10 sec at Napa Valley). No doubt the wind was a factor, but a top 10 finish would not have been impossible. Maybe next year!

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