Monday, April 20, 2009

Reflections on Boston

No, I was not in Boston for the marathon today, but as a new member of the marathon community, definitely followed the events of the day.  While I cannot give a point-by-point commentary on the race (like Melissa's American Idol critiques), this will have to do.
Did I think both Americans (Kara Goucher and Ryan Hall) were going to win?  
No.  An American hasn't won the marathon (for either sex) since the mid 80s.  Since then, the winners have been primarily from Kenya, Ethiopia, and Russia.  However, when Kara took the lead at the 20 mile mark, I started to think that there was a chance for her to win.  I was so excited about it, but Salina Kosgei and Dire Tune pulled away and Kara received 3rd place.  I didn't really see as much as a chance for Ryan Hall, even though he placed third too, just because he was about a minute off the pace.
What did I think about Kara Goucher's post-race reaction?
If you didn't see the press conference after, here's a summary: Kara was very choked up when giving her answers, and while she tried to smile and maintain her composure, it was quite evident that she was in a lot of emotional (and physical, I'm sure) pain.  Moreover, I'm sure that pain increased when Salina joined the conference as well and they sat side-by-side answering questions from the press.  
I was very choked up watching Kara give her answers.  I'm normally not that into sports, but since this is something I do participate in, I was really hurting for her.  All that pressure, all that build up, everyone proclaiming that this was the year for an American winner, and then to take 3rd.  Now, placing 3rd in Boston is still quite an honor, but not when your country was hoping you would win.  However, Kara is only 30, so she still has a few years to win this.  This was also her Boston debut - maybe she just needs another race on this course.
But we must all move on...

Of course, feeling inspired, I did a brief 4 mile run around campus this afternoon.  Not much to write about, but my thoughts were on today's events and runners.

It is my intention to be in the 2010 Boston Marathon.  I think that is why I was so excited about it today, because I hope to be there next year.  12 minutes to slice off my time, and then I will be there.  A lot of work will need to be done between now and then, but that's the dream.  Yes, there are those who go to Boston to win, but for most, it's the ability to get there that is what counts.  This is the Olympics for the regular marathoner, and I want to be there.  Here's hoping...

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