Jason Lehmkuhle is 9th, Antonio Vega Places 12th in Personal Bests at Boston Marathon
Team USA Minnesota Press Release
Minneapolis/St. Paul - April 19, 2010 - Team USA Minnesota's Jason Lehmkuhle finished in ninth place and Antonio Vega was 12th at the Boston Marathon today, with both running personal best times. Lehmkuhle crossed the finish line in 2:12:24 (his previous best was 2:12:54) and Vega's time was 2:13:47 (previous was 2:15:45). The two were also the third and fourth Americans in the race, respectively.
Also competing at Boston on a day with sunny skies, cool temperatures in the 50s and a slight breeze, was Michelle Frey who finished 23rd in the women's race with a time of 2:42:38.
The 114th Boston marked Lehmkuhle's second appearance at the storied event, having first run the race from Hopkinton to Boston in 2007 when it was held in freezing rain and steady 15-to-20 mph winds. During that race Lehmkuhle cramped up in his legs, tried to drop out at the 24-mile mark and then did a walk/jog to the finish line for a disappointing time of 2:38:05. Since that time, he placed fifth at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in what was his personal best of 2:12:54, and then 10th at last fall's ING New York City Marathon.
"You couldn't have asked for much more in terms of the weather for today's race," said Lehmkuhle. "My last experience in Boston was totally different so this day was a pleasant departure from that experience. Overall, I am really pleased with my race and how I managed my energy. I felt I was also significantly better prepared than my last go around here in 2007 because we made it a real priority to do a lot of training on hills that closely simulate Boston.
"Antonio and I ran together in lock step through 22 or 23 miles. It definitely helped to have him there. We also were running with a small handful of guys which was good because it keeps you engaged, particularly during the last 10k where it gets really difficult. This time I had no cramps or injury issues out on the course. I won't tell you that I ran springy the last couple of miles but I certainly felt like I was out there competing the whole way through the line.
"The only thing I would do over again was to go out a little slower than we did. I should know better having been here before but the downhills at the start are deceptive. The hills make 4:50 pace feel like 5:10." The two teammates went through the half marathon point in 1:04:54. Lehmkuhle averaged 5:03 per mile in the race and Vega ended up with 5:06 per mile due to a slowdown over the last 5k.
Lehmkuhle said he plans to take a couple of weeks off from running to let himself fully recover. "Then Dennis (Barker) and I will map out a plan for the rest of the year, which will definitely include a fall marathon," he said.
Vega, who was running just his third marathon and first appearance at Boston, posted almost 2 minutes better in the 26.2-mile distance than he did at last fall's Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.
"The race went out pretty fast in the beginning and we were just trying to put the brakes on," said Vega. "Early on it was hard to hold back and I was getting antsy to pick it up. I'm glad Jason was there with me because his experience definitely helped me keep on pace. We worked off one another. The downhills were a lot more difficult than I anticipated. By 10 miles in, my legs were hurting a bit already. I need to be able to hold it together a little bit longer and get through that last 5k. I was definitely pretty tired by the end.
"But I'm happy with my race because I got a PR out of it. The crowds were just incredible with wall-to-wall people after the half way point. I enjoyed myself out there and I'm looking forward to my next marathon. I certainly plan to give the distance another shot in the fall."