Monday, April 18, 2011

Things I learned & thought while watching the 115th Boston Marathon...

Today was AWESOME!!  And I didn't even run.  Just think how much better it's going to be to actually RUN the Boston Marathon!  Ironman first, but then Boston.

Anyways, during my six solid hours of the Boston Marathon - listening to WBZ-TV radio and watching the live coverage both on Universal Sports and - I learned (and felt) a few things that I thought I'd share.  Please feel free to chime in with your own thoughts about the race.

In no specific order (Ok, there is an order.  The order I think of them and write them down)...

Rick & Dick Hoyt
- Shortly after the hand bicycle division left the starting line, I realized that Rick & Dick Hoyt were racing.  I had no idea that they were racing.  I still have been unable to find their time, but they certainly are an inspirational pair!!

Kara Goucher
- Kara Goucher, one of the U.S.'s hopefuls, took time off recently to give birth to Colt, her son.  And she went running the day she went into labor.  How many people even do normal exercise during their pregnancy let alone actually train?!  I love athletes!

-  Kara Goucher may have never been in position to be a real contender, but she got a PR and still vows to be back until she wins!  Read about it HERE.

Ryan Hall
- Did anyone catch the video of Ryan Hall's entrance to Boylston St. I believe from last year?  He started doing the airplane and running back and forth between the crowds.  Today's race showed the same personality - he's just out to have fun!

- Ryan Hall, the U.S. hopeful (and all around "happy guy") has a gluten intolerance.  Apparently diet issues side-tracked him a lot this year.

- Ryan Hall has published a book called "Running With Joy: My Journal to the Marathon."  After seeing how much fun this guy looked like he was having, I'm tempted to check this book out! 

Joan Samuelson
- Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time Boston Marathon Champion Joan Samuelson ran today!  And not only that, but she had originally geared for a 2:50 time!  I didn't catch the whole story, but I thought a training mishap or something kept her from being fully ready.  Either way, she ran with her daughter who was running her first Boston Marathon.  Anyone know how Joan or her daughter finished?

Men's Wheelchair Division Battle
- In the wheelchair division, Ernst van Dyke broke away early and looked to be an easy win.  Then out of nowhere, Fearnley cut through that lead like a hot knife through butter.  It was incredible to see how Fearnley put himself into contention - on an uphill no less - and then how Masazumi Soejima came out of nowhere in the last mile and ended up taking the win.  Goes to show you how it's anyone's race at any point in the game!

Desiree Daville
- Obviously, the final miles of the Women's race was thrilling!  But I can't say enough about how different Desiree Daville looked compared to the Kenyans Cherop and Kilel.  Daville looked like she was out for a short training run; perfect and relaxed.  Cherop and Kilel looked like they were Mrs. Potato Heads and their limbs may fall off with any footfall.  And after the finish line, it showed.  Both Cherop and Kilel needed assistance to walk.  Daville walked on her own without a problem.  Way to keep the pace up Daville!!  Check out the plan behind Daville's run today HERE

Geoffrey Mutai
- They talked about how Mutai, today's Men's winner in world record time, was self-coached.  If that's true, that's absolutely incredible!!

- As Mutai crossed the finish line, they announced the "new world record," but you may be interested to know that the Boston Marathon is not a certified course for international records.  Therefore, Mutai's time today is not technically acknowledged as a WORLD Record marathon time, but only a BOSTON marathon time.  Read about it HERE

Kim Smith
- Who else thought Kim Smith's pace out of the gate was going to be her downfall?  Everyone?  Who thought the same when she crossed the half-way point and was still increasing her lead?  No one?  I don't care what happened - injury or cramp - that girl's got balls!  She may look emaciated and have form that's hard to look at, but if it wasn't for whatever happened to her on the hills, she proved that she was a true contender!  Props goes out to her!  If anyone knows what the official word is on her injury, let me know.

1.  Any other thoughts you had while watching, listening to, or hearing about today's Boston Marathon?

2.  Do you plan to attempt qualifying for Boston in the future?
After tackling the Ironman, Boston is on my list (among many other things). 

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  


Shelby said...

It is an amazing race to see in person! It's like tail gating but for a marathon. I loved watching the wheelchair division. AMAZING!

Caroline said...

Boston cannot be on my list, for sure out of my league, but it is on my list to go SEE it,

I posted a great video from the marathon on my blog.

Coy Martinez said...

I followed a couple people...but it was a great day to watch records fall!

Kara is great isnt she!

I really wanna qualify. I'm about 30 minutes from it. Attainable.

Megan said...

I didn't follow it besides a few tweets and I never really cared too much about the ever so holy Boston. But after hearing some people's recaps, I ALMOST had the thought I should run a marathon...ALMOST. :)

danny said...

I should preface this with the fact that its extremely unlikely that I shall ever be pregnant. BUT I am told from many female recreational runners that a pregnant woman should be able to continue doing what they normally do through the majority of their pregnancy (not sure about Kara's jog on 'labor' day - probably a really slow jog which for her is like a walk).

The day before Boston, was the London Marathon where a young man named Emmanuel Mutai ran 28:44 from 30K to 40K enroute to an incredible win for him.

There are a lot of runners who claim "self-coaching" status (Ryan Hall is another), but at that level (or any level) it is awfully hard to be completely insulated from anyone. I think what they mean by 'self-coaching' is that they take full responsibility for their efforts (good or bad) - which is commendable.

Yes, there is a difference between 'world bests' and 'world records'. But as many people on Let's Run have attested running a marathon in 2:03 is not easy even if you're sky diving 26.2 miles in the air.

And as far as wind aided times. Not many runners (in the elite fields especially) set any personal best times. After the top four men, most of the men were off their PRs. And the women did not run a particularly fast race.

So, yeah, there you have it. A list of random thoughts from Boston.

My Boring Triathlon Blog said...

I'll qualify for Boston in about 20 years when my time will be 4:30 ha ha

Kristin said...

Id love to do Boston! My friend did it and did well 3:14. Great summary! I didn't get a chance to watch! :(

Tri-James said...

Kurt - it was a great race. Easily my hardest and slowest marathon (I did not have great training the past few months).

Rick & Dick Hoyt were there. Every one was patting them on the back as they pasted.

A super fast field (yeah I know). I tried to take the race nice and easy. Even though I was running 7:15's for the first few miles I got pasted by 1000's of people. It was hard to take the downhills slow to save the legs.

It was fantastic and exciting and humbling.

5 Miles 2 Empty said...

I dream of a BQ. Not sure if it will happen....

I heard Ryan Hall was self-coached as well, at least in this past year. You can check that out if you want. Pretty amazing if it's true!!

And Kim? Man it did hurt to watch, so stiff and rigid...not sure about her form or what others would say about it but man it looks like she needs to just relax.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

The Hoyts are a huge reason why I got into the sport of triathlon!! Such an inspiration!!!

I am not fast enough to even spend time thinking of Boston

Jenn @ A Runner's Road said...

I was able to see the Hoyt's at the Expo! What an inspiration to all.
Being a Bostonian, I would love to run the Boston Marathon one has a special place in our hearts!

Triathlon Benchwarmer said...

Boston is a pipe dream for me. The LA marathon seems more practical since it has no Qualifier and is downhill from Dodger Stadium to the beach! Lets get a few Tri's under the belt and maybe an Ironman 70.3 before I start any marathons.....

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

@ Shelby - It really is an amazing race to see in person!

@ Caroline - Spectating can sometimes be more fun than actually racing (plus you can drink in public!) And I loved the video!

@ Coy - Kara IS amazing. I didn't know much about distance runners, but now I certainly have a few to follow. And you can totally get a BQ!

@ Megan - Almost is one step closer to actually doing it! We'll keep widdling away at you. =P

@ Danny - I agree on the pregnancy bit; it's unlikely but wouldn't that be cool?! And yes, women can absolutely exercise throughout; I've heard of many people who have run 5ks, 10ks, or halfs while pregnant.

@ Peter - At least we always know that time is on our side (down the road).

@ James - You did AWESOME! And I don't know what I'd do when I passed the Hoyts; probably forget my name.

@ Amanda - Dreams are step one. I read an article where Ryan said he has coaches "on call" for questions, but he determines his training otherwise. I'd call that an inbetween.

@ Big Daddy - I couldn't agree with you more! The Hoyts are by far one of the most inspirational couple of people I've ever found.

@ Jenn - I'm quite jealous!