BOSTON -- Ethiopia's Deriba Merga overcame the disappointment of his Olympic fade to win the Boston Marathon on Monday, and Kenya's Salina Kosgei won the closest women's race in the 113-year history of the event while Americans took third in both races for the best U.S. finish since 1985.
Merga, who was passed in the last quarter-mile and finished fourth in Beijing, pulled away before Heartbreak Hill and won in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 42 seconds -- almost a full minute ahead of Kenya's Daniel Rono and American Ryan Hall.
Kosgei won a sprint with defending champion Dire Tune, trading the lead several times in the final blocks of Boylston Street before hitting the tape less than a stride ahead of the Ethiopian in 2:32:16. American Kara Goucher led the three as they crossed the MassPike into Kenmore Square with one mile to go, but she was outkicked down the stretch and finished nine seconds back.
The winners will take home $150,000, but Merga had to wait for his traditional laurel wreath: The women's pace was so slow and the men finished so fast that he crossed the finish line before Kosgei had a chance to climb the champion's podium.
My boss ran the race and it looked to be ok weather-wise if not for some strong wind. Not sure where last year's winner, Robert K. Cheruiyot of Kenya finished or if he ran.
They may have added it after you posted the link, but the story says near the end that Cheruiyot dropped out between 35 and 40k.
They wanted to win but both Hall and Goucher did well, I thought. Kara couldn't have done anything different with that slow pace...just wait and trust her kick. It's just two others had better ones. And many will question Hall's decision to lead the charge to a 14:30ish first 5k split, and they surely were when he seemed to be dying around 35k, but he battled back for third. The best from them is surely yet to come.
I biked the course early this morning, and then hung out around mile 24 for the rest of the day. Now I wish I had instead stayed at Copley to see that close finish for the women's race. I never cease to be amazed when I look at all the 5k splits from these elite runners.
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Originally posted by samoflangeI biked the course early this morning, and then hung out around mile 24 for the rest of the day. Now I wish I had instead stayed at Copley to see that close finish for the women's race. I never cease to be amazed when I look at all the 5k splits from these elite runners.
I hear that. I used to coach a kid in high school who now runs for BYU and is leaps and bounds better than when he was in high school. For instance, he recently PR'd with a 29:15 10k. On a flat track. If he was just a little bit faster, he might be qualifying for the D1 national championships. He said it was the closest he'd ever come to throwing up in a race.
Today, those guys ran the first 10k in 29:29. And then they ran 32.2 more kilometers. The top guys also ran the *last* 10k in 30 minutes and change.
I mean, these aren't the differences between elites and the layperson. For Americans, the step below elite marathoning is usually collegiate 5k and 10k running. They graduate and start doing halves and fulls. But the step up in insanity seems so drastic.
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