I, like many, was really hoping for an American victory in Boston today. However, watching a relative unknown blister the course on a windy day and smash the Boston record by 82 seconds was almost as thrilling.
Standing on the corner of Exeter and Boylston, I had the great vantage point to watch in awe as one of the best marathon performances of all time was run. To run a 2:05:52, on a day with a headwind that rippled shirts and blew back hair on Boston’s notoriously difficult course, Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot was amazing to watch. I was fortunate enough to catch the first 16 miles of the race on television before heading down to the infamous Bolyston Street finish to watch the amazing. When I left, Ryan Hall (my pre-race pick to win) had fallen back to over a half a minute from the pack, so I was excited receive a text on my way to the race to hear he was back in the lead.
Which leads back to my first paragraph. It is nice to not only be disappointed but a little surprised when Americans are not in the hunt for major marathon titles anymore. A chapter in my second book I am currently working on talks about how far American Distance running has come in the past five years. It may be reaching a little bit to predict Boston wins, but Meb Keflezighi’s win in New York last year showed Americans are back.
So the U.S. finished 4th and 5th. Not first and second as I hoped. But Ryan Hall’s fourth place finish and time of 2:08:41 marks the fastest time ever for an American in Boston. Seeing him cruise down Boylston Street just barely missing catching last year’s champion Deriba Merga for his second straight third place finish at Boston was enthralling. The crowd was hyped with clueless spectators and avid races fans alike cheering for a plethora of competitors.
I rarely get to watch marathons, and when I am in Boston for the race, I am almost always here to run it. But today was worth sitting on the sidelines. I just hope I am here again when the U.S. wins.