2011 Boston Marathon Men's Post-Race Reaction From Geoffrey Mutai, Ryan Hall And Moses Mosop
By Tom Davis and Jess Barton, Letsrun.com
April 18, 2011
After covering the first half of the race in a blazing 1:01:58, Geoffrey Mutai closed in a 1:01:04 to finish in a world best time of 2:03:02, but since the Boston Marathon course has a downhill elevation change, the time will not count as a world record. (We'll discuss the men's splits and the effect of the wind the rest of this week, but wanted to point out the stunning performance by Geoffrey Mutai from 30k to 35k, which includes Heartbreak Hill. Mutai blew open the race here and ran this 5k, the most difficult on the course, in 14:11. Amazing.)
Mutai: World's Fastest Time A "Gift From God," Didn't Feel Wind
"I've been dreaming to come to Boston for many years," said a happy Mutai, who trains at altitude near Eldoret and used to run a total of 32 kilometers a day (Editor's note: we're still trying to confirm this figure) starting at age 10 to get to and from school. "I prepared myself well in cross-country, so I was okay, I was number five in cross-country (at the World Championships)," said Mutai. "I was not coming to break the world record, but I see this as a gift from god. I'm happy."
The tailwind was a much-talked-about factor at the press conference, but Mutai and the other runners did not think it was much of a factor: "For me, I never noticed anything about wind, but it was on our back so it was not such a big wind."
The hills of Boston did not faze Mutai: "For me, if you come to the place where I am training, it is on hills." Mutai has been training not just for the marathon, but for cross-country and track races as well and he attributes this to his finishing strength. "10,000 track, cross-country, that is where I have been preparing myself, to reach that level you have to prepare yourself well. When Geb (Haile Gebrselassie) was winning, he was running cross-country and all those races. You must be patient."
Like all of the other competitors, Mutai enjoyed the cheering from the crowds, saying, "It was like I was running on a track, because everywhere there was cheering."
Mutai has known about the Boston Marathon for a long time. "When you say Boston in Kenya, everyone knows Boston," said Mutai, who says he was personally inspired by Robert Cheruiyot's multiple wins at Boston.
Ryan Hall Pleased: "I am running 2:04
pace and I can't even see the leaders."
The race not only produced the fastest marathon times ever run but also the fastest American time ever run, with Ryan Hall finishing in fourth place in a time of 2:04:58. Hall led at many times of the race and contributed to the fast halfway mark. "I guess you never plan to go out in under 62 minutes for a marathon, so my plan was just to run my own rhythm," said Hall, who had a parasite that contributed to his subpar performances earlier in the year. "I was just having a good time, I was just enjoying the streets, I love Boston, I feel like I should move here. I feel like a home town boy."
Hall was excited about his fast splits throughout the race, at one point thinking, "I am running 2:04 pace and I can't even see the leaders." At some points in the race, Hall dropped off the front and at some points he was in the lead; about this Hall said, "The guys got away from me a couple times, but having run this race, I have learned to trust myself, and when guys get away I can come back, I learned from last year that I have to stay closer. I really wanted to be in the race going into Newton. I was excited about where I was at; I was excited about my splits. I knew we were in for a special day out there."
Mosop's Debut A Huge Success
Moses Mosop finished in a close second place in 2:03:06 in his debut marathon. He and Mutai provided spectators with a race for the ages the last few miles. "For me today I was expecting maybe a best time I will run 2:07 or 2:08," said Mosop. "But today I was surprised when I ran 2:03." (See: So does Moses Mosop's 2:03:06 debut record make it officially impossible to beat the fastest debutant ever record?)
When asked about his back and forth battle with Mutai at the end, Mosop said, "When I caught him, it was a fast time for me. At something like 1k (to go) I tried to go, but for me I was feeling fully tired."
Praise For Ryan Hall
Moses, Mutai, and third place finisher (and NYC Champ) Gebregziabher Gebremariam all thanked Hall for pushing the pace throughout the race. And they attributed his efforts to running such a fast time in the absence of pacers. "You need pace makers," said Mutai. "But today you see in the first half, Hall was leading, so without Hall I think we would not make it, he help us a lot, he push it, he push it all the time, he was like a pace maker."
Geoffrey Mutai And Ryan Hall Post-Race Videos
More: *Wejo Speaks: Desiree Davila At The 2011 Boston Marathon
*Women's Post-Race Reaction
*Video Highlights Of 2011 Boston Marathon
*Tailwind Helps Deliver Breathless Times In 2011 Boston Marathon
*New York Times Recap Of Thrilling 2011 Boston Marathon New York Times
*Alberto Salazar: "We're knocking on the door. Sooner or later we're going to win." www.oregonlive.com
*Kara Goucher PRs, Vows Return bostonmarathon.runnersworld.com