Edna Kiplagat Gets Her Green Card, Greg Meyer Gets His 10-Mile Record Back, Jordan Hasay Is Back, and an Indoor Marathon World Record

The Week That Was in Running (+ Boston Marathon Monday), April 8 – 15, 2019

By LetsRun.com
April 18, 2019

Past editions of the Week That Was can be found here.

Questions, comments, or a tip? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us, or post on our forum.

(If you want to know what happened in the 2019 Boston Marathon, all of our coverage is here or you can listen to our podcast here or on your favorite podcast player).

Quote of the Week (that wasn’t quote of the day)

2019 Boston Marathon champ Lawrence Cherono on whether he expected to win the 3-way sprint for the title:

“Not really, because personally, I am sorry for saying [this], but to me, I’m poor at finishing races.”

Article continues below player.

We guess a decent amount of self-doubt can be a good thing as Cherono also won in a sprint finish at the 2017 Amsterdam Marathon (2:05:07). You can watch the finish of that race, which ends on the track, below:

Stat of the Week

20 – number of Americans that have broken 2:10:00 in the marathon now that Jared Ward and Scott Fauble have done it (according to Tilastopaja.eu).

9 – number of Americans who have broken 2:09:00.

4 – number of Americans who have broken 2:08:00.

2 – number of Americans who have broken 2:06:00.

Want to know how those numbers compare to Kenya and Ethiopia? See the chart below.

Sub- 2:06:00 Sub- 2:08:00 Sub- 2:09:00 Sub- 2:10:00
Ethiopia 40 91 126 187
Kenya 47 205 325 456
USA 2 4 9 20

Email of the Week

Before Boston last week, we started a messageboard discussion asking whether you all agreed with the assertion made by Wired editor Nicholas Thompson that Boston is a bad course to PR on: MB: Wired‘s Nicholas Thompson on Boston: “It’s a terrible course if you want a personal best.” Agree or Disagree?

We started the thread because we didn’t necessarily agree with the assertion. How fast Boston runs depends very much on the weather — after all, it can’t be forgotten that a man once ran 2:03:02 on Boston when the world record was 2:03:59. And that 2:03 on Boston didn’t stun us; in fact, we basically predicted it would happen if they ran fast from the gun.

Well after the race, we got an email from Thompson (we always internally say it’s nice to get an email from a person with their own Wikipedia page). And guess what? He wrote in to tell us that he PR’d on the course.

Here’s his email.

1) Thank you for posting my article! It got some very nice feedback on the boards, and, hilariously, despite my argument I made, I ended up finishing the race today in a personal best of 2:34.

2) I love the Boston Marathon but please keep hammering the powers-that-be on the insane policy of starting the elite men two minutes ahead. Not only does it stink for the sub-elites, and make the race feel less democratic, it made the splits harder to follow since all the official timing clocks were set at the elite time. It’s hard enough to keep your head straight the last couple of miles of a race, but then you also have to deduct two minutes from every 5K and mile marker? It seemed absurd…

(If you want to hear an interview we did with  Stephen VanGampleare, the “men’s open” winner of the Boston Marathon (he won the race between everyone who started 2 minutes behind the pros) it’s in this weeks podcast here or you can just listen to that segment here. )

Thompson, whose previous PR was 2:38:23 from 2018 Chicago, ran 2:34:27 in Boston.

That’s pretty darn impressive for a 43-year-old who told us in another email that he mainly trains by running the five miles from his apartment to work and then back again each day.

In our podcast this week, we also debated who was the best “celebrity” runner in Boston: Thompson, legend Joan Benoit Samuelson, NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson, 71-year-old Gene Dykes, or convicted murderer Markelle Taylor who qualified for Boston while in prison?


MB: Wired’s Nicholas Thompson on Boston: “It’s a terrible course if you want a personal best.” Agree or Disagree
*Wired: How the Boston Marathon Messes With Runners to Slow Them Down

Comparing The 2000 Boston Finish To 2019

In our Boston men’s recap, we noted that this year’s finish was the closest since 2000, when Kenya’s Elijah Lagat and Ethiopia’s Gezahegne Abera were credited with the same time (Lagat won in 2:09:47).

We decided to refresh our memories and take a look at the 2000 Boston finish to see how it compared to this year’s finish.

The 2019 and 2000 Boston finishers were eerily similar.

In both races, there were three men running together battling for the title in the final 800 meters. Both races were riveting, but after comparing the finishes of both races, we say ignore the margin of victory: the 2019 finish was more exciting.

In 2000, eventual winner Lagat went from third to first in the final 400 but the actual finish wasn’t as dramatic as this year’s race as he took the lead with almost 200 meters remaining (28 seconds from the finish line) and never gave it up. In this year’s race, the victory was still in doubt until the final strides.

The 2019 race also featured a faster final mile and 600 meters.* The final mile this year was officially 4:29 versus an unofficial 4:42 in 2000. Once they turned left onto Boylston Street, it took them 1:31 to finish in 2019, versus 1:33 in 2000. Lastly, this year’s race was much faster. 2:09:47 won in 2000 versus 2:07:57 in 2019.

*We’ve always heard it’s 600 meters to the finish once you make the turn onto Boylston, but it must be a little shorter than that if they’re running it in 1:31.

Compare the finishes for yourself.

The Final 600 of 2019 Boston

The Final 600 of 2000 Boston

Comparing The Finishes of the
2000 and 2019 Boston Marathons
Last time 3 abreast Winner takes lead Final “600”  Final mile Winning time
2000  70 seconds from finish 28 seconds from finish 1:33 4:42 2:09:47
2019 1:50 from finish In final strides 1:31^ 4:29 2:07:57

^The camera angle switched and they showed them turning left onto Boylston twice, once 1:31 from the finish and once 1:29 from the finish.

Jordan Hasay Excels Again At The Marathon (x 3)

Jordan Hasay in Boston 2019

One of the bigger American storylines in Boston was the great run put up by Jordan Hasay. After a washout 2018 campaign, she ran 2:25:20 to finish third in her first marathon since 2017 Chicago. 2019 Boston was Hasay’s third marathon of her career and all three have gone well as she’s finished third in all three.

We decided it would be fun to compare how Hasay did in her first three career marathons to how the four other Americans who have broken 2:22:00 in their careers did in their first three. Hasay results are the most impressive, but it’s hard to compare across different eras so if you want to say Joan Benoit Samuelson‘s first three races were better, go ahead.

Speaking of Samuelson, if you are a baseball fan, you might want to get yourself to Portland, Maine, on May 15 as the Portland Sea Dogs are giving out 1,000 Joan Benoit Samuelson bobbleheads.

Deena Kastor’s First 3 Marathons (2:19:36 pb)
2001 – 2:26:58 – 7th in NYC
2002 – 2:26:53 – 6th in Chicago
2003 – 2:21:16 – 3rd in London

Jordan Hasay’s First 3 Marathon (2:20:57 pb)
2017 – 2:23:00 – 3rd in Boston
2017 – 2:20:57 – 3rd in Chicago
2019 – 2:25:20 – 3rd in Boston

Shalane Flanagan’s First 3 Marathons (2:21:14 pb)
2010 – 2:28:40 – 2nd in NYC
2012 – 2:25:38 – 1st in Olympic Trials in Houston
2012 – 2:25:51 – 9th in Olympics in London

Joan Benoit Samuelson’s First 3 Marathons* (2:21:21 pb)
1979 – 2:35:15 – 1st in Boston
1980 – 2:31:23 – 1st in Auckland
1981 – 2:30:16 – 3rd in Boston
*Joanie also ran a 2:50:54 marathon in Bermuda before Boston in 1979 as a training run.

Amy Cragg’s First 3 Marathons (2:21:42 pb)
2011 – 2:27:03 – 2nd in LA
2012 – 2:27:17 – 4th in Olympic Trials in Houston
2012 – DNF in Yokohama

More: LRC Jordan Hasay Sends Message With 3rd-Place Finish At 2019 Boston Marathon, But The Best May Be Yet To Come 
*MB: Joan Benoit Samuelson gets her own bobblehead (pic)

Edna Kiplagat has relocated to Colorado

One thing we learned last weekend is that Edna Kiplagat of Kenya — the 2017 Boston champion and 2019 runner-up — has permanently relocated to the United States, where she and her family have settled in Longmont, Colorado, just outside of Boulder. In previous years, Kiplagat had spent time training in Boulder prior to the NYC Marathon, where they have some friends and where Kiplagat’s agent Brendan Reilly is based.

Reilly said that the move was primarily motivated by Kiplagat’s children, ensuring that they received the best education possible. Kiplagat’s husband/coach Gilbert Koech told us that the entire family received their green cards (which Reilly said required a lengthy process). Kiplagat doesn’t have any immediate plans to become a US citizen, and considering she is 39 years old, the chances of her ever competing for the US look to be close to zero.

“We have not yet decided [whether to pursue citizenship] because it is upon my kids to decide,” Koech said. “Later we can decide, if they like the place, maybe they become [US citizens].”

Discussion: Edna Kiplagat Has Her Green Card, King Ches Doesn’t. If Cheserek were a basketball player would he have his green card?

Indoor Marathon World Record Falls

CJ Albertson world record

On Saturday of last week, the indoor marathon was held in the Armory in New York for the fourth straight year. The official name of the race this year was the Columbia University Irving Medical Center & New York Presbyterian Indoor Marathon. That is a mouthful!

A world indoor record was set in the men’s race as CJ Albertson ran 2:17:59.4, closing it out with a 30.8 final 200 (Stephanie Pezzullo won the women’s race in 2:42:11.3). Albertson picked up $7,000 for his efforts ($3,000 for the win and $4,000 for the record, which was previously held by Malcolm Richards at 2:19:02).

Albertson was in a battle for 24 miles of the race with Richards and Andrew Lemoncello. Richards finished second in  2:18:47.9 (ahead of his old world record) and Lemoncello got third in 2:20:04.5.

It was a good weekend for the Albetson family as his wife Chelsey Albertson was second in the women’s race in 2:54:26.5 and she picked up $2,000 (only 2 women started and finished the race).

After the race, we started thinking, $7,000 is a lot for a lot of African athletes. What if they moved the race to the Saturday after the Boston Marathon — how fast could an elite double back and run it five days after Boston? It would be interesting to see how someone who had never run on an indoor track would do. It might go terribly for them.

CJ’s run got some coverage on local TV in California.

MB: How fast could a pro double back from Boston to the indoor marathon if it was 5 days after Boston?

Greg Meyer Regains His American 10-Mile Record

Embed from Getty Images

Last week, we talked about how Stanley Kebenei broke Greg Meyer‘s 46:13 American 10-mile record that had stood since 1983, but noted that Meyer still had a sliver of hope as some messageboarders thought the course was short. Well, it turns out the messageboarders were correct.

Race organizers quickly determined that due to a misplaced cone, this year’s course — which was altered due to construction — was 240 feet short. As a result, Kebenei’s American record was wiped out.

But instead of ripping the race organizers, we want to praise them.

Unlike the Abu Dhabi Marathon organizers, who stalled for months and then never publicly issued a press release admitting their race was short (which the IAAF has confirmed), Cherry Blossom a) immediately figured out the course was short and b) still paid out Kebenei his $10,000 AR bonus.

Now, we know what many of you are thinking: would he have broken the AR if the course was the proper length?

Well, if he ran the extra 240 feet at the same pace that he averaged for the entire race, it would have taken him 12.60 seconds, but you need to add a little bit to factor in that he’s going to slow down a tiny bit if the race is longer. So he very well might have tied it.

MB: Cherry Blossom course short?

France’s Clemence Calvin Gets Doping Suspension Lifted By Court, Runs National Record 2 Days Later

Last week was a crazy one for France’s Clemence Calvin. On Wednesday, she was provisionally suspended by French anti-doping for refusing to take a drug test while training in Morocco on March 27. On Friday evening, she got the suspension temporarily lifted by a high court in France, which said she hadn’t had ample chance to defend herself (Calvin claims the drug testers in Morocco presented themselves as police officers and were violent).

On Sunday, Calvin ran a national record of 2:23:41 to place 4th at the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris in a race that was won by former world 1500 indoor champ Gelete Burka in 2:22:47.

More: MB:Clemence Calvin – who allegedly refused a doping test in Morocco last month but got a court order to stay her doping ban – sets new French NR of 2:23:41 in Paris
*MB: Nice range: 3:58 1500 runner Gelete Burka – the former world indoor 1500 champ – wins Paris Marathon in 2:22:47
*French 2:26 Marathoner Clemence Calvin Suspended For “Obstructing A Doping Test” In Morocco 

Recommended Reads

To see our favorite reads from other weeks, go here.

Quotes Of The Day And Last Week’s Home Pages

To see the quotes of the day from last week or last week’s home page or any home page, go to our archive page.

Got a tip, question or comment? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us or post in our forum.

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