2012 Boston Marathon Women's Preview: Caroline Kilel Tries to Defend Against NYC Champ Dado
April 14, 2012
Two seconds, three seconds, one second, two seconds. Those are the margins of victory on the women's side at the last four Boston Marathons. While the incredible course records on the men's side have gotten a lot of attention, the women's races have had tremendous drama.
Before we discuss this year's race let us pause one second to let you watch the end of last year's race. American Desiree Davila came oh so close to winning.
(We've got it set to start at the final straightaway. Wish the announcing captured the drama a bit more).
Caroline Kilel is back to defend her title and will have her hands full. She won't be challenged by Desiree who made the Olympic team in January and is running Sunday's BAA 5k in preparation for the Olympics.
Before discussing the challengers let's look at Kilel's accomplishments. She won last year in super favorable conditions in 2:22:36. Her next best marathon is nearly a minute slower 2:23:25. That type of runner usually isn't good enough to win a World Marathon Major. The good news for Kilel is that type of run may be good enough to win this year.
Since Boston Kilel got sixth at the ING New York City Marathon. She started 2012 with an impressive 1:08:28 at the Houston half in January and then a month later ran 1:11:21 in windy conditions at the RAK half. If the RAK half result was an anomaly then Kilel appears to be in good form heading into Boston.
Sharon Cherop was right on Kilel and Davila's heels last year heading down the final stretch. She finished 3rd and showed she can run well on the difficult Boston course. She went after the record prize money at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon ($250,000 for 1st place) in January and finished 7th in 2:22:39. Dubai was only 2.5 months ago so the question is how has Cherop recovered from then?
Caroline Rotich did well here last year as she was fourth, after winning the NYC Half Marathon. This year she was 8th at the NYC half and we don't see her winning.
Rita Jeptoo is a former Boston champ from 2006 and has been third and fourth in Boston so she does well on the course. Her best years appear to be behind her as 2006 and 2007 were her best results.
The newcomer to Boston who we expect to challenge Kilel is ING New York City Champ Firehiwot Dado. Dado ran 2:23:15 to win in New York and followed that up with a win at last month's New York City Half Marathon. So she is in good form.
Right on Dado's heels at New York was Buzunesh Deba who was four seconds back. Deba got a lot of publicity for the fact she trains in New York City. Prior to New York she ran a 2:23 to win in San Diego. The only question mark on Deba is her 2012 fitness. She has not raced at all this year.
As for the other new comers to Boston, Ashu Kasim of Ethiopia has the best pr and is coming off a 2:23:09 win in the Xiamen International Marathon the first week of January.
Agnes Kiprop of Kenya was second in the Frankfurt Marathon last fall in 2:23:54 and followed that up with a very impressive 1:07:22 half marathon in Rome in February. That would mean she was in the best shape of her life but winning here is still a step up.
Georgina Rono has only run one marathon under 2:30, a nice 2:24:33 to win in Eindhoven last year. She followed that up with a second at the RAK half marathon earlier this year.
No one stands out in this field. Because of their major wins Rotich and Dado have to be the favorites. Cherop, Kasim or even the in form Kiprop could contend.
Hopefully the incredible drama of the last few years continues.
1) Dado 1) Rotich 2) Kiprop We love the name Firehiwot and usually would lean to her over Rotich. But at yesterday's press conference Firehiwot mentioned a slight foot injury she got last week. She said it is feeling better and she is not worried about it. Then why mention it? No way she wins if she's not 100%.
We're updating our prediction as Deba not Dado is the one with the injury. We'll go with what we originally had. 1) Dado 2) Rotich 3) Kiprop Hopefully the string of close races continues.
Pro Field From BAA
Caroline Kilel Kenya 2:22:36 (Boston, 2011)
Sharon Cherop Kenya 2:22:39 (Dubai, 2012)
Ashu Kasim Ethiopia 2:23:09 (Xiamen, China, 2012)
Firehiwot Dado Ethiopia 2:23:15 (New York City, 2011)
Buzunesh Deba Ethiopia 2:23:19 (New York City, 2011)
Rita Jeptoo Kenya 2:23:38 (Boston, 2006)
Agnes Kiprop Kenya 2:23:54 (Frankfurt, 2011)
Caroline Rotich Kenya 2:24:26 (Boston, 2011)
Georgina Rono Kenya 2:24:33 (Eindhoven, 2011) CR
Alevtina Biktimirova Russia 2:25:12 (Frankfurt, 2005)
Genet Getaneh Ethiopia 2:25:57 (Amsterdam, 2011)
Diana Chepkemoi Sigei Kenya 2:26:53 (Dubai, 2011)
Jemima Jelagat Sumgong Kenya 2:28:32 (Castellon, 2011)
Nadezdha Leonteva Russia 2:31:57 (Moscow, 2011)
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