Monday, April 20, 2015

Marathon thoughts

Since I'm not into "the twitter," and since I loved seeing my play-by-play texts of the Boston elite race last year, I figured I'd do a similar post this year.  Heck, it's not like I'm working this morning anyway!!

As I was watching the lead packs form and pass the first few miles, I set up my athlete tracker for my local running friends, plus 3 bloggers I read.

At mile 8, Deba took water from a non-elite water stop.  That was the first thing that made me count her out.  Desi is leading the women's pack at mile 8.

At 90 minutes into the race, all three American women were still in the mix heading into the Newton hills. 

At about 1:07, American Dathan pulled into the lead on the men's side.  Big surprise!  His first Boston. 

And at 1:36, American Desi was leading, and within about 5 minutes, Shalene was out of the lead pack, running 7 seconds back.  And Amy Hastings fell out near here as well, so down to one American woman. 

At 1:30 in the men's race, Meb and Dathan were both still in the lead pack. 

At 2:00 on the women's side, the crowd noise was incredible and Desi is still in the lead pack toward the very front. 

The big move in the women's race came at about 2:04 when Dibaba dropped the hammer.  3 women made the move with her, but then they eased up and back into a single pack.  And Desi was back into the front. 

And for the record, at 1:39 in the men's race, Meb was leading the pack.  He's so awesome.  Nearly double the age of some of the guys he's running with.  At 1:41, Tsegay took a gu, which was kind of fun to watch since the camera was in tight.  At this point, it's a men's pack of 10 with Dathan and Meb in there. 

At 2:09, there was another surge in the women's race.  Again, Dibaba and this time 2 women chasing her, and Desi just a few seconds back from them.  And then that move became the definitive one.  It developed into a women's lead pack of 3 (Dibaba, Deba and Rotich), and the chasers, led by Desi. 

At 1:45, after the hills, the men's race got a lot more intense.  Meb stayed in it, but Dathan was about 50 yards back within a minute.  The move was huge.  It looks like the pack is down to 7 or so.  5:24 pace for the mile with Heartbreak. 

At 2:16, Deba is leading the women's race, and the other two are right there with her. 

Then, at 1:50, Desisa made another surge for the men, separating it into a pack of 3, with Chebet just off their shoulders. 

At 1:51, they said Meb stopped.  He dropped off the back, bent over, maybe grabbed his hamstring or knee, and then started running again. 

At 2:20 in the women's race, it's still the pack of 3. 

Chebet worked his way back to the lead group of 3 at 1:53. 

2:21, the women are still a tight group of three. 

Eeeee, it's getting good!!!  These are tight packs so it's going to be a very exciting 5-10 minutes in each race. 

From 2008 through 2012, the women's margin was always 3 seconds or less.  Might be the same thing this year! 

At 2:23, the women started to spread out, Rotich is leading, Dibaba is on her heels, and Deba is back.  Then Dibaba makes the surge, both in sight of the finish line. 

Coming down the stretch, Deba was to the far right of the screen.

2:24:30 Rotich was SMILING!  That was it.  The moment everyone watching just knew.

The grin, then the surge, Rotich did it 2:24:55.  Dibaba second.  Deba third.  Desi Davila/Linden fourth!!!!!!  WOOOOO-HOOOO AMERICA!!!!!

Yow, somehow, tears.  I love seeing the winners get hugs from family and coaches.

During the women's finish, we missed the action in the men's race.  Desisa made his move and no one responded.  He opened it up to 15 meters and we didn't get to see it.  Tsegay stayed close, holding on to a secure second.  Then a bigger window to third, who seems to be Chebet.

Around this time Shalene Flanagan finished sixth. EDITED:  ninth.

2:01, Desisa and Tsegay are close still.  Desisa is looking a lot, so I don't think we can count on this order holding. 

The last few miles all 4:48 down to 4:37.  Yeah, that will spread out the pack! 

But that's it, at 2:03, Desisa surged again and Tsegay did not hold on.  He dropped a few seconds back.  Mile 25 just crossed.  2:04.  Desisa is holding his lead.  But he's turning around and looking over his shoulder, but he's got a lead of 7 seconds after a 4:55 last mile.  It could still get shaken up, but I think Desisa might be able to do this.  He just has to hold it together for a few more minutes. 

Yeah!  I hope he keeps this marathon medal.  I loved that he gave his 2013 medal back to Boston, it was such a nice gesture that year with all the pain.  But he deserves a Boston medal and win to keep for himself. 

2:06:30, Desisa seems to be alone.  2:07, took off his hat/headband.  Right on Hereford.  All alone.  Making the left onto Boylston!  He looks amazingly strong!  A surge on his own, no one chasing, but a surge.  2:08:15 and he's waving to the crowd.  Finally, a wide camera angle, he's definitely got it.  But it's going to be slower than Meb's time from last year.  Blowing kisses to the crowd!  He's so happy, I love it!!!  What an amazing athlete.  Wow! 

Crosses the line 2:09:17 it looked like.  Desisa wins!  Tsegay, another Ethiopian second.  Chebet third.  Dathan Ritzenheim not far back, definitely top 10.  Very impressive!  If he qualifies in Feb., I think this will be his fourth Olympics?  There's Meb.  Waving, blowing kisses, I love it!!!  He's my favorite by so much! 

EEEEEEeeeee!  Meb was right at the line with Dionne, female number 21, grabbed her hand as they crossed the line! 

There's Dibaba, celebrating her finish.

Official women's final results.

The winners (before Desisa was crowned).

Crowning Desisa with the laurel wreath. 

And then, the masses start coming through. 

I've got nearly two more hours of runner tracking to do.  Right now, my slowest friend at the race has a 3:54 predicted finish time, so I won't be getting up from the computer anytime soon! 
Such a wonderful marathon Monday! 


  1. Thank you for the play by play! I was swamped at work today - this was as close as I got to seeing a thing. You should announce races!

  2. That was awesome!! I was glued to it yesterday morning. That smile on Rotich's face lit up the screen and you're right I knew she was going to win it right then and there. I love Desisa's story. He's a class act. Meb is such a gracious competitor. He never ceases to amaze me with his genuine acts of outstanding sportsmanship. He is the athlete children should be looking up to.

    I'm inspired every marathon Monday. There were so many amazing stories of courage and determination. I hope all your friends had a great race despite the weather.

  3. Thanks for the recap! I had to go into a meeting and missed the whole last hour including both elit finishes. :-( But it was fun tracking my two friends after that.

  4. so exciting! i was out running a half marathon on my own in the spirit of marathon monday or i would have been glued to my computer screen as well