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Marathons

Marathons (228)

he Boston Marathon is true rite of Spring. This year, the weather looked to be horrific early on, but as RunBlogRun senior writer David Hunter noted, prior to the race: "Thunder claps at 7:00 AM in Back Bay. Strong rain. Windshield wipers on at full speed. Had hooded slicker on. But pants got soacked during ten minute walk to Copley Plaza Hotel. Looks Like rain stopped in Hopkinton and Ashland. Temp in 60's. Meaningful tailwind.Could get to 70 later in the day. Much better than '18. Miserable 90 minutes ago. But looks improving now."

David Hunter's text was prescient. The weather gods showed their might, and then, gave the 34,000 plus marathoners a glorious day to PB!

David did the features, as he has done today. Unfortunately, with a stomach bug, I attempted to watch from lovely Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, but the streaming had some issues. I followed off the Boston Marathon application, which was quite good.

But nothing filled in the picture until David's piece arrived. Another wonderful day in Boston! Thinking of my friends in the Charlesmark and the Lenox, as well as 34,000 friends of running.

April 15th, 2019

Patriots' Day

Boston, Massachusetts

WomanStart-Boston19.JPGWomen's start, 2019 B.A.A. Boston Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Unfurling a bold race plan, Ethiopian Worknesh Degefa - a Boston first-timer whose only prior exposure to the historic race course was limited to her viewing of last year's Patriots' Day broadcast - threw the gauntlet down shortly after the 5 kilometer mark, broke away from the lead pack, and held on over the final miles to capture the laurel wreath in the 123rd running of the B.A.A. Marathon.

Weather is always a consideration in the marathon. Fear of another meteorological nightmare similar to last year's horrid weather conditions was anticipated as late as Monday's dawn. But the rain ultimately subsided before the start as the race got under way under humid conditions and with temperatures in the low 60's.

Hall_SaraH-Boston19.JPGSara Hall took an early lead, photo by PhotoRun.net

After an opening 5K led by American Sara Hall in 17:34, Degefa dropped in a subtle but effective surge and crept away from the early lead pack of maybe two dozen athletes. It started as a sneaky tactic reminiscent of Joan Benoit's early break in the '84 Olympic Marathon. The move, unanswered by her competitors, quickly gave the Ethiopian a 35 meter lead. When Degefa crossed 10K in 33:58 the lead had increased to 50 meters ahead of the chase pack led by 2012 Boston champion Sharon Cherop and Worknesh's Ethiopian countrywoman Mare Dibaba. When Degefa, who rang up a PR of 2:17:41 in finishing 2nd in January's Dubai Marathon, continued to crank consecutive sub-5:20 miles the lead had grown to 1:24 when the leader reached 15 kilometers in 50:21.

Degefa_WorkneshLeds-Boston19.JPG

Worknesh Degefa built a sizable lead, 5k to 15k, photo by PhotoRun.net

Clearly in command and pulling away, the frontrunner was looking strong, was on 2:21 pace, and was cheered wildly by a legion of enthusiastic young women as she passed by Wellesley College. Degefa had maintained her race pace as she hit 20 kilometers in 66:59, ballooning her advantage to nearly 2½ minutes before being greeted by the coeds. The chase pack, which at times looked confused or uninterested, was headed up by wily veteran Edna Kiplagat and included game Americans Jordan Hasay and Desi Linden. The chase pack's earlier indecisiveness had permitted this gap. When would this world-class group attempt to rectify that lapse in judgement?

When the leader's brash strategy pushed her past halfway in 1:10:40, her margin over the field remained essentially the same. The chase pack of nine - which included prior champions Kiplagat and Cherop - showed little interest in aggressively chipping away at Degefa's lead. At 25K passed by Degefa in 1:23:43, just before the steep downhill into Lower Newton Falls, the Ethiopian's lead had been pushed out to 2:43. Was the chase pack waving the white flag? Was the race for the wreath essentially over?

Degefa_Worknesh-Boston19.JPGWorknesh Degefa dominated Boston in 2019, photo by PhotoRun.net

As the race headed toward the Newton hills, several attempts by different athletes to rally pack enthusiasm to set sail after the leader failed to get traction. In the 18th mile when the leader made the dramatic right turn at the Newton Fire Station, the question was: "Would the Boston novice conquer the hills? Or would the hills conquer her?"

Initially, Degefa seemed unfazed by the early inclines and indeed upped her lead over her pursuers to 2:59 as she passed 30K in 1:40:48. Less that eight race course miles remained. Time was running out for her challengers.

Kiplagat_Edna-Boston19.JPGEdna Kiplagat chased Degafa all the way to the finish, photo by PhotoRun.net

But then Edna Kiplagat - with has captured World Marathon Majors victories in Boston, London and New York as well as two World Championship marathon gold medals - started to roll. Easily leaving the chase pack behind, the 39-year-old veteran dramatically quickened her pace and the chase was underway. Could one of the most decorated marathoners of all time- down almost 3 minutes - catch Degefa? Was their enough time? Even though Kiplagat could not see Degefa, it was clear that the Kenyan was cutting into the leader's advantage. Racing by Boston College, the two athletes, still separated, flew down toward Cleveland Circle for the last 4 mile grind to the finish. Before Degefa reached Fenway Park, the long straight stretch allowed her to see the slowing athlete she was chasing.

Hasay_Jordan-Boston19.JPGJordan Hasay, taking 3rd, after rebuilding after injurry set back, in 2:25.20, photo by PhotoRun.net

At 40K, just before Kenmore Square, Kiplagat was only 68 seconds behind. But it was too little to late. At the finish line, and after Edna's valiant effort, Degefa crossed first in 2:23:31. Kiplagat finished 42 seconds later, crossing second in 2:24:13. USA's Jordan Hasay, showing no ill effects from the heal problems that sidelined her for all of 2018, rallied over the final miles to get up for 3rd - and earn a 2020 Olympic marathon qualifying standard - by finishing in 2:25:20.

Flanagan_LindsayHigh5-Boston19.JPGLindsay Flanagan gives U.S. three women in top 10 in Boston! photo by PhotoRun.net

Defending champion Linden clocked 2:27:00 to finish 5th It was the 35-year-old two-time Olympian's 5th top-5 finish on Patriots' Day and, as was the case with Hasay, her top-10 placing earned her the Olympic standard as well. 29-year-old American Lindsay Flanagan [9th in 2:30:07] also earned an Olympic qualifier and gave the USA women 3 finishers in the top 10.

Linden_Desi-Boston19.JPGDes Linden, the 2018 champion, taking 5th, in 2:27.00, photo by PhotoRun.net

After the race, the winner was asked about her early race surge which resulted in a full-blown breakaway. "My coach told me I have speed and I shouldn't be afraid to go for it. So I did," offered Workness Degefa through an interpreter. Edna Kiplagat expressed remorse of not going after the eventual winner earlier. Hasay showed joy and relief at her race today which further affirmed that her lingering heel injury is fully healed, that she's once again podium-worthy, and that she has an Olympic qualifier in hand. Desiree Linden, who was candid in the weeks leading up to the race of her goal to successfully defend her title, was gracious in defeat and even was able to inject a little humor about her 5th place finish today. Referencing her earlier Patriot Day finishes of 1st, 2nd, 4th [twice!], 8th, 18th and now 5th, Linden quipped "I was hoping to finish 3rd so I could have a complete [podium} set." / Dave Hunter /

 

In one of the most exciting finishes in Boston Marathon history, three men took the famous turn on Hereford Street in tandem, setting the stage for a memorable sprint down Boylston Street. The 123rd Boston Marathon would turn out to be a kicker’s classic, as Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono edged Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa by two seconds at the line, 2:07:57 to 2:07:59, using every ounce of energy to break the tape. Kenneth Kipkemoi finished third in 2:08:07.

BOSTON, MA (12-April) – Due to inclement weather forecasted for April 15, the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), organizers of the Boston Marathon, has announced changes to ensure the safety of participants in this year’s Boston Marathon.

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 11, 2019 – NBC Sports presents live coverage of the 123rd annual Boston Marathon this Monday, April 15, at 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN, as Desiree Linden aims to become the first American in nearly four decades to win back-to-back Boston Marathons (Bill Rodgers, 1978-80). Coverage will be streamed live on NBC Sports Gold’s “Track and Field Pass” commercial-free.

- London Marathon Events Ltd documentary released on Saturday 13 April

- Premiere screening at 19:00 on YouTube and Facebook

Marathon world record holder and reigning Virgin Money London Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge gives a fascinating and unique insight into his training camp in Kenya in a short film premiering on Saturday night.

Nancy Kiprop produced the outstanding performance of the 36th Vienna City Marathon when she broke the women’s course record by over a minute and a half in running 2:22:12 and for good measure also became the first woman to win three VCM titles. Kiprop led a Kenyan clean sweep of the podium with all three women setting personal bests. Angela Tanui was runner-up in 2:25:37 and Maurine Chepkemoi third with 2:26:16.

Debutant Silas Mwetich won the 29th HAJ Hannover Marathon while Racheal Mutgaa took the race, breaking the course record. Kenya’s Mwetich ran his marathon debut in fine weather conditions and surprisingly won the race in 2:09:37. Fellow-Kenyan Hosea Kipkemboi was second with 2:10:40, Ethiopia’s Debas Alebachew Wale took third place in 2:10:57. Last year’s winner Seboka Negusse of Ethiopia, one of the favourites, dropped out at the 35k mark.

Past Olympic champions Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda and Kenya's Ezekiel Kemboi are the latest star names added to the field of the Haspa Marathon Hamburg on 28 April.

Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Justin Turner and Los Angeles Angels First Baseman Albert Pujols Featured as Honorary Starters for 34th Annual Stadium to the Sea Race for Charitable Causes - LOS ANGELES (March 18, 2019) – The 2019 edition of the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon returns Sunday, March 24. Continuing the Marathon’s mission to build stronger communities by providing life-changing programs and services to youth and adults of all ages, race organizer Conqur Endurance Group is thrilled to announce this year’s roster of race week activities for participating athletes and eager spectators waiting along the scenic course.

This year, more than 24,000 registered runners from countries around the world will start the challenging and enriching journey from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier.

“Each year, we aim to continue providing our runners with empowering and memorable experiences that extend beyond the iconic Stadium to the Sea race course,” stated Tracey Russell, Chief Executive of Conqur Endurance Group. “The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon is a fixture within the Los Angeles community providing participants of all ages the opportunity to experience a great Los Angeles event while also enabling them to contribute to a host of amazing charitable causes.”

Race Weekend Kickoff Media Event: 
Ceremony with Elite Professional Runners and Students Run LA (SRLA) at Griffith Park

On Friday, March 22nd, Conqur Endurance Group will hold a ceremonial Race weekend kickoff event at Griffith Park. Tracey Russell will cut the ceremonial ribbon which will be held on one end by the Elite Runners and on the other end by Los Angeles County students currently participating in the Students Run LA (SRLA) program. SRLA representatives will also receive a commemorative plaque congratulating them on 30 years of forever changing the lives of more than 63,000 Greater Los Angeles area students.

Approximately 3,200 SRLA student runners will take part in the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon again this year, along with their adult leaders.

Attending media will also have an opportunity to learn about the elite field competing for the $100,000 prize purse. The two-time Los Angeles Marathon Champion Weldon Kirui (KEN) will return to defend his title over the Stadium to the Sea course against a deep international field, including 2008 and 2012 Olympian Juan Luis Barrios (Mexico). The women’s professional field is headlined by Taylor Ward, who finished 7th and was the 2nd American at the 2018 Chicago Marathon, and the Bronze Medalist at the 2018 Xterra World Trail Half Marathon Championship. Breakout interview opportunities will be available with each of the attending professional athletes.

Pre-Race Entertainment at the Health & Fitness Expo:

Returning once again with over 120 vendors and a host of world-class brands, the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon Health & Fitness Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center will take place on Friday, March 22nd and Saturday, March 23rd. The Health and Fitness Expo is free and open to the public. Hours are 10am – 7pm on Friday and 9am – 5pm on Saturday. 

Fun for the Whole Family at the LA BIG 5K:

The 2019 LA BIG 5K and LA 1/2K Kids Run at Dodger Stadium will kick-off the final leg of the running season on Saturday, March 23rd, where an expected 4500 athletes will take part in the family-focused race through Elysian Park and finishing at the iconic Dodger Stadium.

Few spots remain for the LA 1/2K Kids Run, a quarter mile run for kids between the recommended ages of 3-8. Participating children will receive a race bib, T-shirt, medal (made from rubber to be kids’ safe) and goody bag provided by Big 5. Entry fee in the LA 1/2K Kids Run is $15 and walk-up registration is available on Saturday morning until the race reaches capacity.

Marathon Sunday:

For this first time in the 34-year marathon race history, the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon will welcome two honorary race starters. Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star third baseman Justin Turner will be joined by Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols at the start line at Dodger Stadium.  Serving as honorary starters and race ambassadors, Turner and Pujols will sound the horn and send the 24,000 registered participants in this year’s Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon on their 26.2-mile journey to the finish line in Santa Monica.

For more information about the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon and race weekend activities, please visit www.lamarathon.com and follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @lamarathon for more updates. Tune into the live stream of the race at KTLA.com and LAMarathon.com.

 

About Conqur Endurance Group

Conqur Endurance Group, a subsidiary of McCourt LP, creates world-class experiences that ignite passion in athletes and connect communities through the transformative power of sport. The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon is among the largest marathons in the country with 24,000 participants, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of spectators. The “Stadium to the Sea” course, starting at Dodger Stadium and finishing near the Santa Monica Pier, is one of the most scenic in the world, taking runners on a tour of Los Angeles past every major landmark. In addition to the marquee event, Conqur Endurance Group produces the Pasadena Half Marathon & 5K at the Rose Bowl, the Santa Monica Classic 5K/10K and the LA BIG 5K. Conqur also owns and operates one of the largest marathon training programs in the U.S., the LA Road Runners. Through official charity programs and strategic partnerships, Conqur supports dozens of nonprofit partners; the most notable being Students Run LA, one of the foremost nonprofit youth running programs in the nation. For more information, please visit www.goconqur.com.

By Mark Winitz - NAPA, Calif.—March 3, 2019—Approximately 4,000 eager competitors lined up at the start of the 41st annual Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon (NVM) and inaugural Half Marathon under mild temperatures in the upper 40s that rose into the 50s mid race. In the traditional 26.2-mile full marathon race that traverses the length of the scenic Napa Valley wine producing region, Sam Long, 23, of Boulder, Colo. and Liza Reichert, 31, of Los Altos Hills, Calif. secured the overall victories. Chandler Kemp, 29, (Stanford, Calif.) and Samantha Diaz, 27, (Jackson, Wyo.) emerged as champions of the accompanying 13.1-mile half marathon event.

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