Monday, April 20, 2009

0 Days to Boston Marathon: Podium Finishes

What a race! At least I can say that about the televised portion that I was watching on Universal Sports this morning. The final stretches down Boylston Street literally had me staring dumbfounded at the screen, watching and wondering who might pull ahead and when and how it would happen. Would it be a year for the Americans? Would Kara Goucher be the first American woman to win since 1985? Would Ryan Hall live up to the hype and beat the favored Robert K. Cheruiyot?

Talk about a lot of surprises among the men and women. Between Colleen De Reuck, 45, leading the women's elite pack early on to Kara Goucher making a break and pulling a four-pack toward the finish, I'm wondering who can take the race. Is Goucher holding out or is a surprise awaiting her on Boylston? Unfortunately it was the latter and I felt so awful when Dire Tune and Salina Kosgei pushed ahead and Goucher couldn't counter--oh how I was hoping she'd coming sprinting by at even more blistering speed--and I felt worse when I saw the disappointment on Goucher's face after she crossed the line and was being consoled by her husband. So close and yet so far in such a closely contested race--the top three were only seconds apart with Kosgei topping Tune by one second and Goucher only eight seconds back.

As for the men, I have to admit I didn't see much aside from Ryan Hall leading near the beginning and then Deriba Merga, the eventual winner, pulling away from the pack and striding into Boston. Hall was only 22 seconds back at one point--and running with Robert Cheruiyot--but from the camera angle it looked like there was no catching Merga. Merga looked so at ease running those sub-five minute miles as he won the race. And try as he might, Hall couldn't catch second-place Daniel Rono, but he did take third. It's amazing how they were able to motor toward the finish line with intense winds blowing right at them, and make those paces look so effortless.

Want to see how the final miles of the marathon unfolded? Check out this youtube video from user71323.

To view results, check out this list of top finishers. And cheers to Goucher and Hall for putting up two great finishes for the home crowd--and Liz too! Photo grabbed from Boston Marathon and Photo Run. Posted by Kate

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