Monday April 17, 2017
As promised, I am providing a recap of today’s running of The 121st Boston Marathon. For those of you who have not seen or heard of the results, please refrain from reading any further!
But first, in honor of the race, Carrie and I took in an early morning run in our Boston Strong shirts as we looked forward to a good run and an exciting race!!
I have to add that a we were running, a police car was driving behind us and the officer was playing the Rocky theme on his loudspeaker! This was so cool and he gave us a wave as he drove by. This was so inspiring to us and I felt a little get up and go at that point :).
Ok..so first off, why am I so intrigued with the Boston Marathon?
Boston has always held a close place in my heart as far back as 1995 . It was then when I came across the July issue of Runner’s World in a store. I glanced at the cover and there it was in plain view…Boston or Bust! I thought to myself, how cool would it be to run in the 100th Boston Marathon.. a bit naive looking back at it with virtually no training experience but hell it was fun!
I still have that issue….
……as well as the following year’s April 1996 100th Boston Marathon Collector’s Issue!
I had never run a Marathon up to this point but this one intrigued me. I had no idea on how to train and the race was a wake up call as I finished with a disappointing 4:29:18…OUCH!!! My first attempt at Boston was not even close. When I look back at it, I really only began road racing around 1990 in Tucson and just got my feet wet with 5K’s and 10 K’s but never the 26.2!
Although I have never qualified for the race, I made one final attempt 5 years later when I was probably at tip-top shape and ran a 3:39:11, still outside of the 3:10 qualifying time…But for a brief 15-16 miles I was within reach :). Regardless of not qualifying, I have always regarded the Boston Marathon as the Granddaddy of them. The race is steeped with tradition, stories, and uniqueness being the ONLY Marathon where you have to qualify in order to have the chance to see if you register for the prestigious race…the only other Marathon where you have to qualify is the Olympics. I’m a runner and I have a HUGE amount of respect for those who put in the training and earn their way to Boston!
The Boston Marathon is always held on the 3rd Monday of April better known as Patriots Day, a celebrated Holiday in Boston. It is also the world’s oldest Marathon. It’s seen its fair share of great moments and unfortunately in recent years some horrific times as well. But through it all, the running community both near and far come out each year to show their support for the city of Boston! Can you argue the point that New York or Chicago ranks near the top of U.S. Marathons? Sure, you’re entitled to it, but show me the longevity of a race with so much history and support year after year.. NONE compares in my mind!
There is so much history behind the race that I could write an entire blog about it from its first race in 1896 to the present… but I’ll spare you the details :).
Recap of Boston 2017….
If you missed my prediction on the previous blog, I had predicted the top 3 overall finishers for both the Men and Women as well as the top 3 U.S. finishers. Take a look at how I did and judge for yourself. Also, click on Boston Marathon for full coverage and highlights of the race.
Men Country Women Country
1st– Wilson Chebet Kenya 1st– Desi Linden U.S.
2nd– Yemane Tsegay Ethiopia 2nd– Gladys Cherono Kenya
3rd– Galen Rupp U.S. 3rd– Brigid Kosgei Kenya
1st– Galen Rupp 1st– Desi Linden
2nd– Meb Keflezighi 2nd– Jordan Hasay
3rd– Jared Ward 3rd– Lindsay Flanagan
Men Country Women Country
1st– Geoffrey Kirui Kenya 1st– Edna Kiplagat Kenya
2nd– Galen Rupp U.S.A. 2nd– Rose Chelimo Bahrain
3rd– Osaka Suguru Japan 3rd– Jordan Hasay U.S.A.
1st– Galen Rupp 1st- Jordan Hasay
2nd– Shadrack Biwott 2nd- Desi Linden
3rd– Abdi Abdirahman 3rd- Lindsey Flanagan
As you can I was off a bit on the Men’s side for both the Overall and the U.S.A. however, I fared a little better with the Women’s U.S.A. finishers with the 1st and 2nd place finishers in reversed order.
My thoughts on the race. Like most of the Marathons I have witnessed on tv, the race is usually slow to buildup in the beginning. Let’s face it, it’s a Marathon and the runners are strategists on the course. This means biding your time and running your race.
In the early miles, the pace of the women were somewhat slow even with a tailwind and a large pack around 20 was running strong. The men too had a large pack and running in similar fashion.
I was hopeful the U.S. would have a great showing and that the Galen Rupp for the men and Desi Linden would make it on the podium if not win their respective race.
In the end, Galen did in fact claim 2nd place with a 2:09:58 finish while Desi finished 4th overall with a 2:25:06 performance. This was only Galen’s 3rd ever Marathon coming off of his Marathon Olympic Trials and a Bronze medal performance at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. Rupp had indicated that he wanted to win the race and be the best Marathoner ever! There is no doubt Galen who recently switched to the Marathon has a bright future ahead of him.
For Desi, this was somewhat of a disappointing race for her. Like Galen, Desi put it out there that her goal was to win Boston point-blank. As some of you may know, back in 2011 Desi had that outstanding performance in Boston with an exciting finish down Boylston Street which would eventually result in a very close 2nd place finish. She was outkicked in the end but never gave up.
Carrie and I have had the great privilege to have met Desi several years ago while out on a run at South Mountain. She just exudes confidence and a “I know what I want” mentality that you can’t help but fall love with her tenacity and fight to be the best competitor in the sport. I’m not sure what her future holds and if this was in fact her last Boston Marathon. After today’s race, you could almost get a sense that this was her last Boston. She said she did everything she could and that the other runner’s were just better. I’m sure she will talk things over with her coach and see what is best for her. I hope we she continues to compete for a few more years.
As far as goodbye’s are concerned, Meb Keflezighi ran his final Boston Marathon and is closing out his illustrious career with the New York City Marathon later this November. New York will be Meb’s 26th Marathon which is how he wanted to go out. Today Meb finished 13th against a stacked field. The chances of him winning was slim but you can never count him out. Meb is another runner we got a chance to meet back in October at the Chicago Marathon as our friend CB had surprised us by setting up a lunch with his brother and a few of his entourage. That was an exciting time for Carrie and I and to be able to sit next to him and talk to him about anything was so down to earth!
I can honestly say that Meb cares for the sport and his fans more than anything. He has to be one of the best ambassadors for running and extremely grateful to everyone who has supported him. Today was an emotional day for Meb as he crossed the finish line one last time in Boston..the emotions became apparent with each wave and tear running down his face.
For some running is just that…running. To me and other runners who follow the elites throughout their career, it’s as if you know them to some extent and want them to succeed on every level. Over the last several years there has been a surge in the sport of running and the talent has picked up for the Americans.
Sure the Kenyans and Ethiopians have ruled distance running for so many years, but look at what our veterans have done over the past 5 years as well as the up and comers like Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay. I’m excited for what the future holds for our young rising stars and in the next Olympics. There are so many runners who have started to make the transition from the track, short to middle distance, and the Marathon.
Today was an example of the that uprise. 6 out of the top 10 men or 8 out of 13 were from the United States!!! This is an incredible stat and I strongly believe that we will continue to see our stocks rise.
I can go on and on and write a novel (as if this isn’t one 🙂 but I wanted to point out that the future looks great for the U.S. in distant running.
So now the sport will transition to outdoor track season and the famous Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon to be held May 26-27th as well as The Diamond League events that showcases 14 track events from May to September around the world!
As you can see, there is a lot coming up to be excited for and we are looking forward to it. It was an exciting day to watch the Boston Marathon with so many emotional storylines that played out on the course.
Congratulations to all of the participants who had the courage to follow their dreams and earn their right to race in Boston. Also, congrats to all of our friends here in Phoenix. The list would go well beyond 20 names. We are so proud of you and the sacrifices you made to put in the time to train with your busy schedules. Well, you made it happen!!! Thank you on many levels… you are an inspiration to so many of us!