THE 118th BOSTON MARATHON
It is unfortunate that it took an act of extreme violence to put a spotlight on our sport. With that being said, this year’s Boston will be special. Not only that, a premium elite field, a cloudy day, moderate temperatures and a SSW wind will make for fast running. Here are a few athletes to watch:
All eyes will be on Ryan Hall. He hasn’t finished a marathon in a long time. However, he claims to be in great shape and injury-free. While nobody can discount what Hall has already accomplished, this will be a defining moment in his career. Who is going to show up for the race – the Ryan Hall who ran under 2:05 in Boston in 2011 or the Ryan Hall who has struggled to finish races for the last several years? I’m betting on the former. In the past, Hall has been impulsive at Boston. However, he is older now (and presumably smarter). He will be in the mix late and I expect him to snag a podium spot.
Meb ran a 1:01:23 half in Houston in January and a 1:02:53 half in NYC in March. You can count on Meb giving a 110% effort and he will run a typical Meb race. In other words, don’t expect him to go out with the lead pack and don’t expect any 14:30 5k splits in the middle of his race. With that being said, he will be solid, and even at 38 years young, he still has a shot at being the top American.
There are 15 women in the race who have run a faster marathon than Flanagan – she needs it to be a strategic race. If the women’s race goes out at 2:20/2:21 marathon pace, which is possible, Flanagan will have to make a really quick decision: Go or stay back. As Mo Farah learned in London, when you elect to stay back, you just might become a spectator.
Shalane has taken the weight of the world on her shoulders with this one. She needs to be smart and stay focused. Her 10,000m/half marathon speed is comparable to the other women in the race. If she is in the mix late, she will have a legitimate shot at a podium spot.
Mike Wardian just turned 40 and will be competing in the Masters Division at Boston. Mike is best known for… well, I guess it depends who you ask. He has a 2:17 marathon PR. He has run 6:42 for 100 kilometers. He is a former world record holder for the marathon while pushing a jogging stroller (2:42:21). He is a former world record holder for the treadmill marathon (2:23:58). He is also a former world record holder for the marathon while dressed as a superhero (Spiderman: 2:34:56).
Better yet, check out his racing schedule from March 2008:
March 2: 2:55:05 USA 50-K Championships
March 9: 2:34:46 Lower Potomac River Marathon
March 15: 2:24:55 Shamrock Marathon
March 29: 2:24:59 SunTrust National Marathon
March 30: 2:29:49 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon
Dick and Rick Hoyt have done over 1100 races together. They ran their first Boston Marathon in 1981. Dick is now 73 years old and he has said this will be his last Boston. The goal this year is to finish. Rick isn’t done yet. He will complete in more Bostons with another member of Team Hoyt. Rick said, “[His decision] was not surprising at all. My dad is getting older. My dad has meant a lot to me because he was always willing to push me and never said no.” Team Hoyt is as tied to Boston as Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit Samuelson. Even when they’re not at the starting line together, they will always be part of the race.
Sure, it’s not exactly Boulder or Flagstaff, but Central New York can run! Here are five local guys headed to Boston:
Jared Burdick Bib No. 43
Fred Joslyn Bib No. 105
Chris Raulli Bib No. 213
Nick Bedbury Bib No. 272
Juan Martinez Bib No. 464
Could Syracuse/CNY put five guys in the top 150? Stranger things have happened!
There is still time to enter my Boston Marathon Prize Giveaway!!
Do you know people racing on Monday?
Have a great weekend!!