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Wednesday, 18 April 2018 13:52


No one deserved to be the first American woman to win Boston since another Michigander Lisa Larsen Weidenbach in 1985 than Desiree Linden. She has placed well here in each of her races including her second place finish by two seconds in 2011. Desi's first trip here in 2007 had conditions nearly as bad as today. But today's weather of near freezing temperatures, strong headwinds and periods of torrential rain and even hail led every athlete on the course to the ultimate test.
I have been attending this marathon for forty years and today's weather was absolutely the worst ever imagined. The professional women started off at 9:32am and the first mile was passed in 6:24. A huge pack held together for many miles as no one was particularly keen on taking the lead although Bezunesh Deba and Mamitu Daska took the lead several times then came back to the pack.
Published in Marathons
Des Linden is a unique athletic archetype in our American running culture. Well liked, with a self-deprecating sense of humor, keen observation skills and a work ethic surpassed by only Joan Benoit Samuelson in her heyday, Linden took all of those skills and built a win today in Boston yesterday. Her win was the result of a combination of her skills and her desire.
A digression.
The 1968 Olympic decathlon champ, Bill Toomey, gave me the following theory. The one who wins an athletic competition is the one who covets the event the most. In 1968, Toomey practiced the high jump in the rain in Santa Barbara, telling himself that it might rain in Mexico City. Sure enough, it did. His vault poles were lost in transist, but that was another story.
Des Linden has run five Boston marathons. That experience helped her in her sixth Boston marathon. She had ground out some serious miles and workouts. She had run some cold, long runs in Michigan, and she probably had some runs that beat her utp more than Boston in 2018. Perhaps most of all, Linden coveted this race—his crazy race from Hopkinton to Boston—more than anyone else in the elite field.
David Hunter gets that across as he builds the argument that Linden put all of her talents together to win the 2018 Boston Marathon. When later asked if his athlete could have won Boston if it had been better conditions, Coach Kevin Hanson, the zen master of coaching, noted, “But the conditions were not better.” Enough said.
Published in Marathons
By Larry Eder 
For me, the 2017 Boston Marathon, with the heat, humidity and wind, was still one of the finest races in the event’s storied history. Americans had two women and six men in the top ten in each elite race. 30,000 runners battled heat, humidity and wind on April 17, 2017.
Edna KIplagat and Geoffrey Kirui showed that running for the first time on the course does not dampen your chance of running well through the towns around Boston.
Here are five things I learned from observing the 2017 Boston Marathon.
1. Edna Kiplagat is formidable, at the age of 38. 
When will we learn? Carlos Lopes won the 1984 Olympic marathon at the age of 36. Jack Foster took the 1974 Commonwealth Games silver medal in the marathon at the age of 41. Age is in our minds. Edna Kiplagat trained well, and she sensed the time to break the field, charging uphill between miles 19 and 20, and running 5:22, an astounding mile uphill. Kiplagat won the 2013 World Championships in hot Moscow, so the warm weather in Boston didn’t hurt her.
Published in Marathons