Ok, so I’m set up in front of my television, got my cup of coffee and ready to watch the Boston Marathon live! Here we go in real time…
The elite women have already started and are running conservatively. Kara Goucher’s right there in the lead pack of about 20 or so women. 27+ minutes in right now.
The men are toeing the line now and the favorites are 3-time winner Robert Cheruiyot, Evans Cheruiyot, Deriba Merga, and of course – our boy Ryan Hall.
And they’re off!
Men 00:58 – Ryan immediately pulls out to the front and sets the pace.
M 01:45 – Hall looks behind him as if to say “who’s coming with me?” I’m slightly concerned about his fast start on the downhill.
M 06:30 – Ryan’s still in the lead, followed by another runner, Robert Cheruiyot and the rest of the field. Ryan’s got home field advantage as many cries of “Go Ryan!” are heard. About 13 or so in the lead pack.
Women 41:32 – the 20 or so women in the lead pack are running fairly conservatively. Favorites Dire Tune and our own Kara Goucher are right there.
W 42:39 – Kara anticipates Tune about to pull away and moves right to the front of the pack. She does not.
M 16:00 – Ryan’s no longer in the front of the pack.
M 16:35 – The guys go for their first bottles.
M 19:00 – back from commercials and Ryan’s back in the lead. It’s showing that his 5K split was 14:33…holy crap! It’s now Hall, R. Cheruiyot, followed by E. Cheruiyot and Merga neck and neck, then the rest of the lead pack (I'm already tired of typing "Cheruiyot" at this point).
M 20:40 – the announcer states that the men are currently on 2:03 pace. Course record was set on 2006 by Robert Cheruiyot at 2:07:14. Something tells me whoever wins will likely break that today. Fast, fast start.
W 53:53 – Kara’s tucked in the middle of the lead pack. Looks like she’s holding back a lot. High hopes for her.
M 29:00 – announcer states that current temps are about 44-45 degrees. Very ideal temps.
M 29:28 – they pass the 10K mark. Wow. How long can they keep this pace up? Ryan’s still leading.
M 31:20 – Ryan ditches his arm warmers. The gloves come off next. Still in the lead, followed by Robert Cheruiyot, Merga and the rest.
W 1:03:43 – another American, Colleen De Reuck is currently running 2nd with Goucher right next to her. She’s the 2004 Trials Champ and get this – 45 years old!
M 39:00 – awesome shot of Hall passing Rick and Dick Hoyt. It appears he passes on a word of encouragement to them. It’s their 26th Boston Marathon. Great story. Hall’s still in the lead.
M 44:30 – no longer leading the pack, Ryan’s tucked in the middle with another runner and R. Cheruiyot leading the way.
W 1:14:20 – the women are now passing through Wellesley College to a host of screaming girls. It’s currently Bekele, Tune, and Goucher, respectively leading the lead pack.
(slight technical difficulties on my tivo for a few minutes..)
M 1:18:18 – E. Cheruiyot and another Kenyan tries to pull away. Robert Cheruiyot catches up as does Merga and a few others. Now Merga’s pushing the pace leading the way. Things are getting exciting. 11 men now remain in this lead pack. Ryan’s now in the back of the pack.
M 1:22:25 – Wow. It’s Merga, Molla and Rono now. The pack has broken up. Ryan Hall’s struggling and cannot keep up with the leaders. Darn it.
W 1:52:40 – Kara’s now leading the lead pack of the women.
M 1:27:00 – It’s still Merga, Molla and Rono. Still early, but looking like Robert Cheruyiot will not repeat and Hall will not be in contention for a spot on the podium. Not sure where he is right now.
M 1:29:00 – I was wrong, Hall’s now within sight again (albeit briefly), about 7 seconds behind the top two leaders now who are Merga and Rono. Merga’s still looking very strong in the lead.
M 1:31:00 – Things are getting really exciting now. Merga’s really pulling away from Rono and it is announced that Hall’s currently about 17 seconds behind and in 5th place.
W 2:00:00 – 10 women in the lead pack now with De Reuck leading, followed by Goucher and others. Coming up on Heartbreak Hill in Newton.
M 1:33:45 – It’s now Merga, Rono, Molla, Hall and Robert K. Cheruiyot (not to be confused with repeat winner, Robert Cheruiyot).
W 2:02:10 – Goucher tries to make a move and Tune responds immediately.
M 1:35:35 – Hall’s now in 3rd place now! Robert K. Cheruiyot is right behind with Molla losing steam. Can Hall catch Rono for 2nd??
W 2:05:22 – It’s still Goucher, Berkele and Tune in the lead pack of just 7 now. Goucher looks like she’s pushing right now. Face looks tight. Hope she can hold on! This is only her 2nd marathon. Incredible.
M 1:40:30 – Merga’s in Newton now (51 degrees) and still charging and maintaining his big lead. He won in Houston in January but this win would be so much bigger given the level of competition and size.
W 2:14:00 – Kara’s still in the lead with Berkele and Tune right on her heels. C’mon Kara – you can do it!
M 1:49:00 – Merga turns a corner and looks back. No one in sight yet. Barring a major blow up, this win is as good as his.
M 1:50:00 – Ryan’s still in a position to place, running side by side with Robert K. Cheruiyot.
W 2:18:30 – Women’s race has turned from a yawner for the first few miles, to the more exciting race of the day. The lead pack is now 5 with each woman in step with one another. 2 Kenyans, 2 Ethiopians…1 American.
W 2:20:58 – 2.2 miles to go. Tune and Goucher are neck and neck in the lead pack. Kara needs to rely on her track speed for the final kick. C’moooon Kara!
W 2:23:30 – Berkele’s been dropped and now it’s just Goucher, Tune and another in the lead pack of 3. Everyone’s cheering on Kara. I can hardly stand the excitement. Kara passes on the last bottle. Tune takes a quick sip.
W 2:25:55 – 25 mile mark hit! Still Goucher, Tune and Kosgei, respectively. Go Kara!
W 2:28:11 – Ooooh no. Kara’s fading a bit. She’s now running 3rd. Tune, Kosgei, Goucher.
W 2:29:29 – Kara’s gloves come off!
W 2:30:26 – Kara’s going to place 3rd. It’s between Tune and Kosgei. Tune’s pulling away now – now Kosgei!
W 2:32:15 – Kosgei wins by a hair! Oh no – Tune collapses at the finish. WOW. Incredible finish! Kara’s 3rd and looks disappointed. She’s now in tears with her husband Adam consoling her.
M 2:07::33 – Ryan’s in 3rd! Merga has the lead, Rono is #2. Go Ryan!
M 2:08:28 – Ryan’s making move for 2nd on Rono!
M 2:08:41 – Merga’s the winner! No record today as I'd thought, but great race nonetheless.
M 2:09:05 – Ryan’s trying so hard to catch Rono but he’s well behind. He will have to settle for 3rd.
M 2:09:40 – Ryan finishes and looks pretty winded. But he podiumed and is now embracing his wife Sara. Wow – 3rd place finishes for both Goucher and Hall. Amazing. So proud of both of them.
Incredible...what a race. Still catching my breath. Congrats to Merga and Ethiopia – couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
Both Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher gave their all and I am so proud of them. While neither got the win, it is still a great day for American distance running. We are on our way!