Today marked the 115th running of one the most elite, historic, and coveted marathons….Boston! This is the marathons of all marathons. They host 25,000 runners and report over 500,000 spectators! What?! That’s just nuts.
What’s even more nuts is that you have to qualify to even run this race AND they fill up all their spots. I’m sure many of you have heard the drama by now about the future qualification standards. Due to the increasing number of marathoners and the increasing number of qualifiers, not only are you going to have to qualify but then you still aren’t even guaranteed a spot.
I know a couple of people who are guaranteed a spot though- Kara Goucher, Desi Davila, and Ryan Hall- all Americans who had an amazing showing today. Go USA! Unfortunately the damn race isn’t televised in Memphis so Keith and I were glued to our computers for the last 30 minutes or so- checking twitter and facebook every few seconds so we were able to keep up with the play by plays. Amazing!
At the 20k (12.4 miles) split, Ryan Hall was pushing the pace and leading the group of elites by 1 second. Seconds are everything when you’re this fast. Mile 18, Ryan continues to hold the lead. Ryan crosses the 30k split at 1:28:22. This is a 4:44 pace, people!! It was infectious. The buzz was that Ryan Hall was looking good and potentially looking at taking the win. This is a huge deal for anyone, but especially an American. By mile 20, Ryan started to fall behind. Mutai, Kenyay, exploded to a commanding lead. Ryan fell back about 6 places at this point but don’t think it’s over here. Mutai was getting closed in on by Mosop, another Kenyan. This was a true foot race. At mile 22, it was reported that Mosop was only 5 strides behind Mutai. What I would give to see this coverage!! Mosop takes the lead and starts to pull away. At this point we’re hearing that Ryan is just under a minute behind. That’s too much time to make up when you’re basically being shot out of a cannon. At mile 24, Mosop and Mutai are sprinting to the finish and running a 4:25 split. No, you’re not reading this wrong- 4 minutes and 25 seconds to run a mile. Mutai pulled ahead and won with a 2:03:02 – 4:41 pace!! He also smoked the course record of 2:05:52. Mosep came in only 4 seconds later for the 2nd place finish and Ryan Hall broke the American record and came in 4th with a 2:04:58. Unbelievable!
The women’s race was just as exciting. Kara Goucher was certainly not expected to win but she definitely wanted to have a good showing. She had a baby only 7 months ago and this was her post baby marathon debut. She was definitely my favorite and the one I was rooting for the most but I’ll go with any US win. Kara was dropped by the leaderboard around mile 16 but still had them in her sights. Kim Smith, New Zealand was leading the group at mile 17 by 30 seconds but Rotich and Kilel, both Kenyan’s, had separated from the pack and were gaining on her. The pack overtook Smith just under mile 19, as she had stopped and shaken out some issues going on with her right leg but she continued to run. USA still had a contender at this point, Desiree Davila, but there hadn’t really been much mention of her at this point and Kara had fallen back to 8th place. At the 30k split, Kilel and Rotich blaze by at 1:41:49. Cherop, Smith, Tune, Timbilili on their heels at 1:41:50. Again, 1 second!! Davila surged and took the lead after mile 20. She and Kalil took turns (not because they’re nice 😉 ) leading the pack. Davila was leading at mile 23 with 2:05:21 but Kilel and Timbilili, another Kenyay, were taking over. Davila made her move over the final stretch but it was close. She and Kalil continued to alternate lead and in the final 100 meters or so, Kalil overtook her and surged to the finish. Kalil won with a 2:22:36 (5:26 pace!!) and Davila (USA) came in 2nd with a 2:22:38. Heartbroken with a 2 second loss but thrilled with her overall time. Kara Goucher regained some space and finished in 5th with a 2:24:52.
With all the PR’s out there on the course today and even broken records, the 1 record that is not going to hold up is the world record. Technically, Mutai’s finish of 2:03:02 is the fastest marathon EVER run…i mean ever, as in ever in the whole world…it doesn’t actually count as the record breaker because Boston is not a world record qualifying course. Seems crazy doesn’t it. It has something to do with the elevation at the start and finish of a race and Boston’s is too skewed apparently. Oh well, he still knows he one fast bad ass! As for Ryan Hall, this was too a PR for him and technically the American record- i’m guessing this won’t hold up either but i’m not sure. Today was also a PR for Davila and Goucher. Fun stuff going on out there on that course today.
Seems like a good day for PR’s. Guessing i should’ve run it too 😉