Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Boston Marathon

Initial thought here: this is arguably the most famous road race/marathon and potential sporting event in the WORLD but it has no presenting sponsor?  I know John Hancock has been involved for the past 27 years but I couldn't have told you that. I feel like there's something missing here. I digress (my education pops up frequently in these matters)...

Yesterday morning nearly 22,500 runners took off for the 116th running of the Boston Marathon.  It's a 26.2 mile, slightly downhill...uhhh...run.  Different waves of racers started between 9:30 and 10:30am and the men's winner was Wesley Korir, a University of Louisville alum! and the 19th Kenyan winner the past 22 years, with a time of 2 hours, 12 minutes and 40 seconds.  Kenya's Sharon Cherop won the women's in 2 hours, 31 minutes and 50 seconds.  Korir's time was the slowest time since 1985!  The main factor for the slow day? The heat. It was in the 80s for the majority of the race and nearly 2,000 participants needed some sort of medical attention with over 100 going to the hospital.

Only a year removed from a perfect running day in the 2011 race and the fastest marathon ever recorded by Geoffrey Mutai (2 hours, 3 minutes and 2 seconds), Mutai didn't even finish the race thanks to the heat.  In a race as grueling as a marathon, why in the world is it starting so late in the day?  I understand it's been planned for a year in advance but I think the people would understand if you moved up the race an hour or 2.  When most people started it was a pleasant 70 degrees but by the time they finished, it was nearly 90.  Ouch.

The best time from any American came from Jason Hartmann, 31, who finished in fourth place with a time of 2:14:31, nearly two minutes shy of the men's winner, Wesley Korir from Kenya.  He was a six-time All American at the University of Oregon and is a two-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials competitor.

The top female American was Sheri Piers, who finished in 10th place with a time of 2:41:55, nearly 10 minutes behind the women's winner, Sharon Cherop from Kenya. Piers is 40 years old! HEY-OO!

The Boston Marathon hasn't produced a men's winner from USA since Greg Meyer in 1983, and the last women’s champion from USA was Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach in 1985.

Famous Athletes Participating
Former New England Patriot Tedy Bruschi completed his first ever marathon for his charity Tedy's Team and piling up a list of physical achievements including climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro last year!  As a leader on those Super Bowl winning teams, Bruschi battled heart injuries late in his career and inspires many today.

One of the most famous US women's soccer players in history Kristine Lilly (for Boston's Children Hospital) finished her first marathon as well.  She's the only woman to have competed in 5 World Cups and the oldest to score a goal in the Cup.