Where Your Dreams Become Reality
2008 Boston Marathon Predictions
Predicting marathons is hard to begin with. Predicting marathons without going to the pre-race press conference is even harder. But we'll give out our best shot. Click here for Boston's press release on the field.
Men's Race: Cheruiyot Again
In terms of A teamers. The lists starts with 3-time champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot who is looking for his 3rd straight Boston win and 4th overall. We will say one thing. He's an overwhelming favorite. Based on credentials alone, he's the class of the field and there are few guys in the field that even have a chance of beating him.
Additionally, it seems as if his training has been going well. He ran 60:50 at Lisbon last month. The time itself isn't all that fast as he's run as fast as 59:21 there in 2005, but it's important to realize that it's fast enough. The years that he ran really fast in Lisbon, he didn't win in Boston. Last year, he ran 60:38 in Lisbon and then took down Boston. Expect him to do the same this year.
Giving him more confidence should be the fact that he trains with London winner Martin Lel.
Who has the credentials to beat Cheruiyot?
If you are good enough to win Chicago, then you certainly are good enough to win Boston. Thus Patrick Ivuti, who won in the Chicago heat wave last fall has to be considered a big-time challenger. Small problem. He pulled out of Boston on Friday with malaria. So Ivuti, a former 5k runner, with PRs of 13:03, 27:05, 59:27, 2:07:46 is out. He was in good shape as he ran a 57:20 for 20k on March 9th. He was the one guy we could see beating Cheruiyot and with him gone, it leaves us really searching for challengers.
Robert Cheruiyot and Crew
Photo by redryderent
Last year's runner-up James Kwambai is a guy that can't be taken lightly. 2nd in Boston and 5th in New York, he is a consistent racer. We also know he's in pretty good shape as he equaled his half-marathon pr in February with a 60:22 clocking. But he's only got a 2:10:22 pb.
Stephen Kiogora, the 2006 New York City runner-up is a guy who likely could be top 10 but is unlikely to win. He was 3rd in Boston last year (2:14:47) and 7th in NYC (2:13:41). But his pr is only 2:09:21 and 2:09 guys are guys that win marathons like Las Vegas - not Boston. By the way, Kiogora did win Vegas in 2005.
There are ton of other guys in the field. Very hard to separate them. We sort of list them in order of being most likely to make some noise.
LetsRun.com Picks: 1) Cheruiyot. 2) Kwambai. A watered down field sees history repeat itself. We refuse to pick farther down as it's too hard to figure out as the field is so weak. Too bad Ryan Hall didn't run Boston as he could have coasted to 2nd if he could handle the hills.
And to show how we think the focus on time is overemphasized in marathons, guess what Cheruiyot's PB is. This guy was the first World Marathon Majors champ, winning Boston twice and NY.... Had time to think? Only 2:07:14.
Photo by Paul Keleher
Unlike the men's race, the women's race seems to have a ton of fairly evenly matched people. See notes on them below.
LetsRun.com Picks: We're hesitant to pick people (Magarsa) who are running their 2nd marathons of the year (Berhane Adere bombed in London after running Dubai), but clearly on the women's side, it can be done as Gete Wami showed in NY (2nd after running Berlin a month earlier) last fall. Nonetheless, it's time for Prokupcuka to come out on top in Boston.
1) Prokopcuka 2) Magarsa 3) Tune 4) Jeptoo