Americans Nick Arciniaga, Jason Hartmann Hope for Boston Marathon Success

By David Monti
April 13, 2012
(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

BOSTON (13-Apr) -- For Nick Arciniaga and Jason Hartmann, Monday's 116th Boston Marathon will be the culmination of two unique journeys that began at the finish of January's United States Olympic Marathon Trials. After crossing the finish in eighth and 32nd place, respectively, Arciniaga and Hartmann embarked on separate roads that led to Hopkinton, were Monday's race will begin.

Arciniaga's story starts with his 2:11:56 finish at the Trials, a time the 28-year-old was pleasantly surprised with given a less than ideal training period before the race. With lingering hip troubles soon resolved, Arciniaga recovered from the Trials eager to start another marathon build up.

"I was itching to run another marathon because I feel like I didn't run up to my maximum potential," said Arciniaga. "My legs were feeling pretty good [after the Trials]."

Having the Boston Marathon in his sights even before the January Trials, Boston seemed like a perfect fit for Arciniaga. After all, he was the top American here in 2008 when he finished tenth in 2:16:13.

"I was really eager to get back out here," he said.

In 2008, the Flagstaff-based Arciniaga ran alone for most of the race, learning to run within himself and pick off those who fell from the lead pack one by one. The same strategy will be used on Monday, as he plans to shy away from the East Africans who tend to push during the early downhills coming out of Hopkinton.

Nick Arciniaga Jason Hartmann
Nick Arciniaga and Jason Hartman prior to the
2012 Boston Marathon (photo by Jane Monti)

"If they end up running 1:04:30 [for the first half], that's pretty much my goal. If they go out in that, I'll be more than happy to run with them for as long as possible," Arciniaga said with a laugh, hinting that that is highly unlikely.

For Hartmann, 31, the road to Boston came with many bumps and challenges. After having an off day at the Trials --finishing in a disappointing 2:16:44, well back in the field-- he decided to look towards Boston as a potential rebound event.

"The disappointment of not making the Olympic team, and putting everything into that day and it not working out, it's heartbreaking. You can either look at that experience and be depressed, and let it effect me, or you can move forward and focus on something else. Boston allowed me to do that, and focus on something else," Hartmann said. "It's [still] in the back of my mind, [but] it allows me to be motivated."

Training in Boulder, Hartmann has chosen to refocus his career, aiming to regain the enjoyment he once had in the sport. Allowing more time to recover and creating a stress free training environment, Hartmann explained that he has still done everything possible in preparation for Monday's race.

"The Trials is such a stressful thing, it's all in, all your chips on red, black, or green. I would say I've tried to take the pressure away, having fun with [training] and bringing the purity of running back," he said.

For Monday, Hartmann plans to use a strategy similar to Arciniaga's, running his own pace and letting those who fade come back.

"There will be opportunities to compete. For me, the best strategy is to be patient early on. If you're going backwards, it's hard to compete," he said.

If both Hartmann and Arciniaga find themselves running alongside one another during Monday's race, the two Americans will push each other to run faster, the latter said.

"We haven't discussed it," Arciniaga noted. "But with me and Jason, it's kind of unspoken. We will try to work together if we are next to each other."

More Boston:
8 Days to Glory Series: LRC 
Geoffrey Mutai Returns to Boston, Can He Recreate the Magic of 2011?
*LRC 8 Days For Glory - A Kenyan Flavored Preview Of The Upcoming Men's Marathon World Record Assault

LRC: Friday's Press Conference Highlights: Mutai Set to Defend, Wesley Korir Ready to Challenge, Americans Arciniaga and Hartmann Ready
Women: Defending Champ Caroline Kilel And NYC Champ Dado Try and Recreate Drama of Last 4 Years
*Full Boston Pro Fields

Boston on the Boards: Brutal Weather for Boston
*Boston Questions Thread--course, racing, pre-race planning

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