Hope springs eternal on that little line across the road in Hopkinton. The hope that an American will win Boston. First time in a very long time that our US lads put 6 in the top 10. Jordan and Desi 3rd and 4th for our ladies. Nice.
Desi was sitting wide eyed on the floor of the auditorium at Washington University in 2003. Getting ready for our USA Marathon National Champs on the specially designed criterium course (designed by none other than Dave McGillivray). St. Louis would be the first time a crit course would be used for our Trials, Boston ’08 would be the second and now it has become standard. Back to Desi- and another Hanson teammate, Dot McMahon- sitting and waiting to be escorted out to the start line. Fourteen years ago and here they still are, Dot finished 14th in 2:36:28, Desi’s 2:25:06, 4th overall.
Grant Wintheiser was out for a run and to catch the finish. We watched as the diminutive one Kirui battled Galen Rupp over the last 10 kilometers. The announcers harping on Galen’s :52 last quarter mile closing speed, big threat to the little Kenyan. Grant and I agreed that was a silly comment. Closing speed is great for a mile, 5K, 10K, and just maybe a half marathon. Matters not in a marathon.
Have to say how proud I am of a few finishers. Jackie Freeman right at the top of the list. Her race splits over the last 5 miles something I have rarely seen at Boston. Getting faster at the end of the grueling race. Regrouping after a particularly bad stretch and shining all the way through. David Frost gets a nod. David is the global communications director for his company, big responsibilities with a lot of travel that would have cowed a lesser athlete from attempting my marathon training program. Frosty didn’t miss a beat or a workout en route to a nice 3:21. Cameron Cummings ran too, final long training run (3:09) for Lincoln in just a few weeks.
I’m already anxious for next year’s Boston. Also looking forward to this weekend’s London Marathon. Another of the IAAF Majors and one of the fastest courses in the world.
My advice to you marathoners: Focus on strength, not finishing speed.