Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot Runs 2:05:52 In Boston!!!
The 21-Year-Old Puts Up A Time Most Never Thought They'd See In Boston, As Women's Race Features Thrilling Finish Yet Again
April 19, 2010
21-year-old Kenyan Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot put on a show for the ages as he captured 2010 Boston marathon by obliterating the course record and winning in a time that many probably thought they'd never see in Boston - 2:05:52. Cheruiyot pulled away from the 2009 champion, Deriba Merga, with about 2.5 miles to go to take the title, as the two had waged an epic battle over the 2nd half of the course. Ethiopian Tekeste Kebede ended up 2nd in a new PR of 2:07:23 (previous PR 2:07:52) as Merga, who is known for his go-for-broke style of racing, faded to third in the final mile in 2:08:39.
Merga was 33 seconds up on Kebede at 35k and still 12 seconds up at 40k but ended up 76 seconds down as he covered the last 2.2 km at 6:02 mile pace.
Americans Do Well
The two American hopes for victory, Meb Keflezighi and Ryan Hall, both performed well. Neither challenged for victory, but Hall ran the fastest time by an American on the Boston course (2:08:41) to finish fourth as Merga just held him off in the sprint for home. 2:08:41 is a time that is actually faster than last year's winning time of 2:08:42 and a time that would have won all but 8 Boston marathons. Keflezighi, who stayed with the lead pack longer than Hall (Meb lost contact with the leaders between 25k and 30k, whereas Hall lost contact between halfway and 25k), ended up fifth in 2:09:26. Keflezighi was on PR pace for the entire race but struggled at the end and just missed his 2:09:15 PR that he set in winning New York last fall.
The men's pace was fast from the start, as Ryan Hall led the first few miles and the lead group went through halfway in 63:27. But amazingly, the 2nd half, which included the Newton Hills, was run much faster by the 21-year-old Cheruiyot, who ripped it in 62:25. He got rid of Merga at the 1:53 mark and the rest was simply a race against the clock. Cheruiyot pushed all the way to the end, as it was clear he knew a special time was possible.
When the race was over, one couldn't help but think that an American man may never win Boston again.
Two other Americans did finish in the top 15. Jason Lehmkuhle was 9th in 2:12:24 and Antonio Vega 12th in 2:13:47.
Women's Race - Another Nail Biter In The End
The women's race lacked drama for virtually the entire affair, but in the end it ended up being unbelievably exciting. After a pedestrian first 20k of 1:11:22 (2:30:33 pace), the pace was bound to get going much faster. Just prior to halfway (1:14:52), things got going and soon Ethiopia's Teyba Erkesso had a huge lead. At 30k, she was 1:19 up on Russia's Tatyana Pushkareva. At 35k, the lead was still 1:05, but the last 7.2k would get very interesting. At 40k, the lead was down to 15 seconds and the sprint for home was thrilling. But Erkesso was able to find the energy to barely make it to the finish line in front. She won in 2:26:11 as Pushkareva settled for 2nd in 2:26:14, marking the 3rd straight year the women's race in Boston had been decided by 3 seconds or less. Erkesso's 2nd half was run in a quick 71:19.
Defending champ Salina Kosgei was third in 2:28:35.
Notable DNFs included 2008 women's champ Dire Tune and LetsRun.com men's favorite Abderrahim Goumri (who made it just 25k), as well as American hope Josh Rohatinsky. Tune and Goumri didn't get 30k splits whereas Rohatinsky didn't get to 25k.
Top 10 Finishers Were As Follows:
*Intermediate Splits here
Antonio Vega of the US was 12th in 2:13:47.
Editor's Note: This is a quick recap of the race. Check back later for full coverage.