Four Thoughts on Women’s Race in Boston – Kiplagat Hopefully ‘Doing It the Right Way’, Hasay’s Debut for Her Mom a Smashing Success, Plus Updates on Favorites Cherono and Linden

April 17, 2017

BOSTON — Below we’ve got 4 thoughts on the 2017 women’s race at the Boston marathon. These same thoughts are also in our final Boston women’s race recap, but that story was updated thoughout the day, so we’re putting these in their own article as well.

*Women’s race recap with top results here

Quick Take #1: Edna Kiplagat Is One of the Most Accomplished Marathoners Ever and Hopefully ‘Doing it the Right Way’

Enda Kiplagat may end up winning the World Marathon Majors series title for the third time and its jackpot for the second time (she never received the money for winning the WMM in 2011 after Liliya Shobukhova’s title was stripped for doping). Regardless, Kiplagat is now one of the most credentialed marathoners ever with a New York win in 2010, World Championship wins in 2011 and 2013, a London win in 2014, and now a Boston win in 2017.

Pretty impressive.

Edna Kiplagat Wins Boston Edna Kiplagat Wins Boston

Kiplagat is coached by her husband Gilbert Koech (for a mini-profile on them from LRC click here). Jemima Sumgong’s positive drug test has cast some suspicion on Kenya runners coached by their husbands (Sumgong is coached by husband Noah Talam) and no doubt some want to extend that suspicion to Kiplagat. But one runner who was very outspoken against Sumgong, Desi Linden, had this to say about Kiplagat afterwards:, “She (Edna) deserves it. She’s been doing it the right way for years.”

That’s completely different than what Linden said about Sumgong, “I was more surprised in August that she was on the start line (at the Olympics),” Linden said. “I think there’s patterns, there’s trends, there’s people in groups that you’re just not surprised about. I think after we crossed the finish line, Amy [Cragg], Shalane [Flanagan] and I sat around and chatted about the race. I said it, like, ‘Within one year, we’ll all have bumped up two spots.’ There’s one. Pick your name for the other one. So no, I’m not surprised.”

Linden likely isn’t suspicious of Kiplagat as she’s been very good at the marathon for a really long time. Kiplagat won the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon in her second attempt at the 26.2-mile distance, won New York in her third, ran 2:20 in her fourth marathon in London and won Worlds in her 5th marathon – a stark contrast to Jemima Sumgong who didn’t break 2:28 until her 8th marathon.

Kiplagat has said of drug cheats, “they are thieves, stealing earnings from athletes, appearance fees from race organizers, and bonuses from sponsors.”

Shobukhova’s doping cost Kiplagat $500,000 as Kiplagat never was paid the $500,000 for winning the 2010-11 WMM Series as the money had already been given to Shobukhova when she was convicted of doping. However, she might win the 2016-17 Series title if Sumgong is banned. If Sumgong ends up being banned, Sumgong is ineligible to win the $500,000 prize. Kiplagat currently sits at #2 in the standings with 41 points, thanks to her runner-up showing in Chicago and her win today (1st place gets you 25 points, 2nd gets you 16 and third gets you 9 points), so she’d claim the prize.

However, if as part of its ban of Sumgong, WADA retroactively DQs Sumgong from the 2016 London Marathon, then Florence Kiplagat will be your champion. How so? Well Florence Kiplagat currently is third in the standings with 34 points, thanks to her 3rd place showing in London last year and win in Chicago. So if Sumgong got DQ’d from London, then Florence Kiplagat would move up to 2nd place there, which would mean she’d tie Edna Kiplagat with 41 points. But since Florence beat Edna head to head in Chicago, Florence would be the winner.

It’s so confusing, we think the Abbott World Marathon Majors might be best suited if they offered to split the prize and give both runners $250,000 right now. We imagine both Kiplagats would take it as a form of insurance.

Current World Marathon Majors Standings

1. Jemima Jelagat Sumgong KEN 50
2. Edna Kiplagat KEN 41
3. Florence Kiplagat KEN 34

Jordan On Her Way to 3rd Jordan On Her Way to 3rd

QT #2: Jordan Hasay, Who Was Thinking Of Her Deceased Mom Throughout, Had A Hugely Successful Debut 

After the race, an emotional Jordan Hasay dedicated this race to her mom, Teresa, who passed away unexpectedly last year due to undisclosed reasons at age 56.

“I know she (my mom) was out there running with me the whole time. She was the one who said I could be a great marathoner. She used to call me ‘Paula’ (after Paula Radcliffe). She’d say, ‘Good job, Paula,'” said Hasay after the race. Hasay said she kept telling herself “Good job Paula, good job Paula,” during today’s race, and Jordan wore Teresa’s engagement ring on her left hand. She grabbed all of her bottles from the left side of the road, so whenever she reached out with that hand, she got another reminder.

Hasay’s mom clearly was right about Jordan being a good marathoner as today Hasay ran the fastest debut ever by an American in the marathon.

Fastest Debuts By American Women
2:23:00 Hasay ’17 (Boston)
2:25:53 Goucher ’08 (New York)
2:26:58 Kastor ’01 (New York)
2:27:03 Cragg ’11 (LA)
2:27:10 Runyan ’02 (New York)

(It’s probably worth pointing out that Runyon and Cragg never ran faster than their debuts).

Hasay, who has a 4:07 1500 pb, has run one Boston Marathon and yet she’s already the 4th fastest American ever in Boston.

The 5 Fastest Americans In Boston
2:22:02 Flanagan, Shalane USA Boston 6 4/21/14
2:22:38 Linden, Desireé USA Boston 2 4/18/11
2:22:43 Benoit, Joan USA Boston 1 4/18/83
2:23:00 Hasay, Jordan USA Boston 3 4/17/17
2:23:54 Linden, Desireé USA Boston 9 4/21/14

Overall, Hasay took this race very seriously, but sometimes it’s okay to have some fun. Hasay wanted to recognize the fans but told herself to smile, not wave, as that wouldn’t throw off her running form. But she saw the mother of one of her high school teammates on the course — who was also close with Teresa — Jordan couldn’t resist.

“I waved at that point and I thought, oh dang it, I wasted energy,” Hasay said. “But it was neat to see her. Everything, I tried to use that as a positive because there were just so many things that reminded me of [my mom] and that kind of helped [me] get through all the different checkpoints of the race.”

As for Hasay’s remarkable 2:23:00 time, she was shooting for 2:25:00 but coach Alberto Salazar told her she could run anywhere from 2:23 to 2:25. If someone went out and tried to run 2:19 or 2:20 pace, Hasay would have backed off, but apart from some quad soreness on the early downhills, she felt comfortable hitting halfway in 1:12:33 and actually picked it up on the way in, running an outstanding 70:27 for her second half.

Hasay, who made the US World Championship team at 10,000 meters in 2013, did not rule out a return to the track, but expect her to focus on 26.2 miles from here on out.

“To be honest, I think I’m just leaning toward staying on the roads,” Hasay said.

MB: Jordan MF Hasay

QT #3: Desi Linden Comes Up Short in 4th

Linden led early Linden led early

Linden made no bones about it. Prior to the race, she said she wanted to win Boston and would be crushed if she didn’t. She finished fourth today but had some perspective. “I’ve come a long way. I finished 14th my first time here and now I’m disappointed with 4th… it’s a tough race to win and that’s what makes it so special,” she said.

On Edna Kiplagat, Desi was full of praise, “They were next level (the final miles)… I was running respectable the last 6 miles… She (Edna) deserves it. She’s been doing it the right way for years.”

On her future, Desi said, “I poured everything into this. Maybe this is my peak,” but said she’d go back and look at it as she can always find something to improve on.

QT #4: Boston Takes it Toll on Gladys Cherono

Gladys Cherono was our pre-race favorite coming in. She was the class of the field on paper having run two tremendous marathons in 2015. The questions were was she 100% healthy and how would she handle the difficult Boston course? She showed she was fit with her half marathon in Rome earlier this year, but the Boston course ended up doing her in. She was with the leaders until Kiplagat took off after 30k and then Cherono really struggled averaging 5:53 per mile from there to the finish. She did manage to  hold on to a 5th place finish in 2:27:20, but she was more than 5 minutes behind Kiplagat.

Talk about the race on our world famous fan forum / messageboard:

Men’s Recap: Geoffrey Kirui Outduels Galen Rupp Over Final 5 Miles To Win 2017 Boston Marathon A great run by Kirui to put back a stiff challenge from Rupp.

Kiplagat pulls away Kiplagat pulls away

Mile by Mile Splits


Mile 1: 5:55 Deba starts pushing after mile mark, then Baysa takes over just before mile 2
Mile 2: 5:36 (11:31) Baysa leading up front
Mile 3: 5:37 (17:08)
5K: 17:45 Baysa. 14 women in lead group. Deba and Linden sharing lead after 5k.
Mile 4: 5:32 (22:41) Linden takes lead to push pace but after pace increases, she backs off a little and lets Baysa take over again. But then Linden starts pushing again.
Mile 5: 5:44 (28:25) After seeing split, Linden starts pushing in earnest. Deba dropping off.
Mile 6: 5:21 (33:46) Fastest of the race
10K: 34:58 (17:13) They’ve picked it up and with Linden in front, they’re now on 2:27:32 pace. Lead pack is 13, Deba still there at the back. Linden still pushing, dumping water on her head at aid stations.
Mile 7: 5:35 (39:22) Linden still leading the way.
Mile 8: 5:27 (44:49) Still Linden
Mile 9: 5:20 (50:09) Linden leading. 2:26:05 marathon pace. Desi Linden is doing what she needs to do: upping the pace. Lead pack is stringing out with a couple women dropping off.
15K: 51:54 (16:57) 11 women in lead pack. Now dropping to 9 with Nukuri struggling to hold on as number 10. Deba and Baysa have both been dropped.
Mile 10: 5:26 (55:35) 10 women. Nukuri holding on at back.
Mile 11: 5:33 (1:01:09)
Mile 12: 5:17 (1:06:26) Chepkirui and Nukuri both dropped after mile 12.
20K: 1:08:59 (17:05) Aga dropping back and it’s down to seven.
Mile 13: 5:29 (1:11:55)
Half: 1:12:33 Hasay and Linden are the only women dumping water on top of their heads
Mile 14: 5:23 (1:17:18) Linden steps back, Kipketer now leading.
Mile 15: 5:39 (1:22:57) Kipketer, Hasay, Tsegay and Chelimo now pushing. Kiplagat and Cherono dropping behind, as is Linden
25K: 1:25:50 (17:51) Linden is three seconds off the back.
Mile 16: 5:13 (1:28:10) Lead group is six. Kipketer continuing to push. Gap to Linden is widening as they go on uphill over Rte 128 and approach Newton Hills. Similar to last year — Linden careful not to push too hard as they go up the hills. Kosgei now getting dropped too.
Hasay looking good as she’s part of a five-women lead pack as women enter Newton Hills. Linden was hanging back but now she’s basically caught them and is running on right side of the road. I know Linden paid close attention to 2016 race, where leaders were too aggressive right before the hills. Looks like she also wanted to be cautious.
Linden has now caught lead pack and it’s six women (Kipketer, Hasay, Cherono, CHelimo and Kiplagat).
Largest gap to Linden was probably around 9 seconds at 16 miles.
Mile 17: 5:32 (1:33:43) Hasay right there with the other five. As they run during mile 18, Linden now hanging back again letting a small gap form. Kipketer also falling off as Chelimo pushing up front. Linden now about 10 seconds back.
Mile 18: 5:29 (1:39:13) It’s Kiplagat and Chelimo leading, Hasay and CHerono tucked in behind and Kipketer, who was dropped earlier, just hanging on at the back. Linden is 10 seconds back.
30K: 1:42:40 (16:50) Linden 9 seconds off lead pack of five.
Mile 19: 5:22 (1:44:35) Kiplagat has taken off during mile 20 No one can answer. Chelimo second, Hasay third and Cherono 4th as they’re all strining out with gaps between each of them. Leaders totally strung out within a matter of minutes as she is finishing off Newton Hills.
1:45:50 Edna Kiplagat goes to the lead….
Mile 20: 5:01 (1:49:37) for Kiplagat UPHILL. Kiplagat’s lead is 12 seconds. What a move. Kiplaat just crushing the field.
Mile 21: 5:22 (1:54:59) but Kiplagat’s lead is only increasing
35K: 1:58:41 (16:01!!!)
KIplagat STOPS AT water station
Mile 22: 5:09 (2:00:04)
At 2:07 mark, Kiplagat leads by 48 seconds. No one in sight.
Mile 23: 5:04 (2:05:12) Kiplagat rolling everyone
Mile 24: 5:02 (2:10:15)
40K: 2:14:43 (16:02)
Mile 25: 5:17

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