Wow! There was SO much going on in relation to this race. I don’t even know where to start. Let’s start with my predictions:
In the men’s race, I predicted Ritz, Meb and Jared Ward. Notably, I made my prediction before Rupp was in; however, I wouldn’t have included him, regardless. More on Rupp later. In the women’s race, I predicted Shalane, Desi and Deena, with Maegan Krifchin as a darkhorse. Obviously, I made my prediction before Deena decided not to start. I did pretty well – picking four out of six isn’t half bad.
Here are the results:
1) Galen Rupp 2:11:12
2) Meb Keflezighi 2:12:20
3) Jared Ward 2:13:00
4) Luke Puskedra 2:14:12
1) Amy Cragg 2:28:20
2) Desi Linden 2:28:54
3) Shalane Flanagan 2:29:19
4) Kara Goucher 2:30:24
The top three are on the Olympic Team – the fourth place finisher is an alternate.
Full results with splits are available here.
The Men’s Race
First, let’s mention Galen Rupp. The guy is still shrouded in controversy. While he ran an impressive race, the doping allegations have not been resolved. Is there another shoe to drop here? Probably.
Second, Meb Keflezighi. What can you really say at this point? Meb may be the only person in America that could get approved for the Supreme Court right now. This guy is as good as it gets, not just as an athlete, but as a human being. Desi summed it up perfectly in the post-race press conference: “He’s what we strive to be. We’re super blessed to have him.”
Third, Jared Ward. This was not surprising to me. Ward ran the L.A. Marathon in March and finished 3rd in 2:12:56 on a hot day. The conditions were about the same on Saturday (if not a little cooler), and I figured a similar time would get the job done. Bingo. Ward ran just four seconds slower and snagged the third spot without a real challenge.
– There was an awkward moment in the post-race press conference. Meb talked about how Rupp was crowding him during the race. You can check it out here.
– Dathan Ritzenhein dropped out around mile 20 because of cramps. I think this shocked everyone, including myself. Will Ritz still try and qualify in the 10,000m or will he stick to marathons? Only time will tell.
– the qualifying time for the marathon was 2:19:00; however, in the hot conditions on Saturday, only 19 men ran under 2:19:00 (in fact, only 19 men ran under 2:20:00). 60 men dropped out at some point during the race.
The Women’s Race
First, Amy Cragg. This was a brilliant run for Amy. She broke away early with Shalane and she appeared to be locked in the whole way. In fact, she negative split the marathon, even as she was slowing for Shalane and battling the heat. There really is nothing bad to say about this performance.
Second, Desi Linden. Along with Jared Ward, Desi ran the smartest race of the top finishers. While the announcers were trying to stir up drama about how far back she was, Desi was perfectly executing a calculated plan. Did her “slow” start cost her the win? Maybe. Who knows? Who cares? The point was to qualify for Rio and she nailed it. Desi also ran a negative split.
Third, Shalane. I’m not going to lie. That hurt to watch. As I was watching, I kept saying “She’s going to collapse. She’s going to collapse. She’s going to collapse.” And she did. Fortunately, it was after she crossed the finish line. Shalane did not run a negative split (although she was surprisingly close). She’s also lucky the race was not any longer, because I’m not sure she would have made it. My goodness, though, that woman is tough. And she’s heading to Rio.
Fourth, speaking of tough, how about Kara Goucher?! Who thought Kara was going to do this well? If you said that you did, you’re probably lying. It was really a remarkable performance. The problem is that she came in fourth. Where does that leave her? Does she take a shot in the 10,000m? We’ll see. I know this much – after the race, Kara took a minute to unload on Nike, and if you haven’t seen the video yet, it’s definitely worth a watch.
– the qualifying time for the marathon was 2:45:00; however, in the hot conditions on Saturday, only 40 women ran under 2:45:00. 48 women dropped out at some point during the race.
Did you watch the race? What did you think?