Boston Marathon: The Afternoon Aftermath
The elites have won the prize money. Gatorade residue already has the streets sticky, and decomposing papers cups are being swept away by the hundreds of thousands. You're working all day and can't follow the news. What the heck happened?
Men's Elite Race: Ryan Hall started the race leading the pack just like last year. By 15k he was no longer in the lead pack, as the group around him pushed forward. Meb Keflezighi stayed with the leaders, while Hall rejoined the pack in the 11th mile. He couldn't keep up, though, once the famous hills really started in Newton. By mile 18, the lead pack was down to Deriba Merga and Robert Cheruiyot. As the race neared the finish, Cheruiyot was closing in on course record time as Hall was in fourth, followed by Keflezighi. Robert Cheruiyot won in a course record time of 2:05:52.
Women's Elite Race: Yurika Nakamura of Japan led the women's pack on and off through the half, at which point the pack dwindled to two: Teyba Erkesso and Koren Yal. Shortly after, Erkesso held the lead alone, heading up Heartbreak Hill with no one on her tail. With a mile left, Erkesso had 14 seconds on her nearest competitor Tatyana Pushkareva, a margin that was cut to three seconds by the finish, but Erkesso still and won in a time of 2:26:11.
The rest of the crowd: The weather a few days out looked great - a high of 52 F might sound like terrible weather to wear shorts to most, but it is great for an endurance event. The day's high of 58 F wasn't seen until the late afternoon, when the course was closing. Showers the past few days left the ground soggy, which doesn't matter once you're running on the roads, but can mean wet feet for 26.2 miles if you misstep at the start.
Other Stuff: The marathon had an economic boost to the city of Boston of about $122 Million...Abdellah Falil of Morocco had to pull out of the marathon at the last minute because of repeated flight cancellations. He and roughly 600 other competitors experienced travel trouble due to volcanic ash from the recent events in Iceland...Antonio Vega, this year's winner of the USA Half Marathon in January finished in 12th place with a time of 2:13:47...Michelle Frey finished her second Boston Marathon in 2:42:38. Although she didn't quite manage the "A" qualifying time for the Olympic Trials that she was aiming for, this time was good for #23 among the women.