The Week That Was in Running (+ Boston Marathon Monday), April 8 – 15, 2019
April 18, 2019
Past editions of the Week That Was can be found here.
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.”
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|
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.
(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?
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)
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
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].”
Indoor Marathon World Record Falls
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.
Greg Meyer Regains His American 10-Mile Record
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.
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
- LRC Editorial Boston:
The People’s ‘Olympics’The Elitist Marathon Did you know that for the first time in history Boston has banned the amateur runners from competing with the pros?
LRC Kenyan 5,000m Runner Cyrus Rutto Suspended For ABP Violation – What Does It Mean For The Sport And For His Coach Patrick Sang? The 13:03 runner, who is coached by Patrick Sang, has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit. Up until this year, no East African had ever been hit with an ABP violation but he’s #2 on the year. *MB: Another Kenyan Charged With Doping
- Excerpt From Book By Brad Stulberg And Steve Magness Called, “The Passion Paradox: A Guide To Going All In, Finding Success, And Discovering The Benefits Of An Unbalanced Life”
*MB: Sports Illustrated Article RE: Shalane Flanagan, Going “All-In,” Tradeoffs associated with running.
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.