Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Patriots' Day. The third Monday in April. Known to Bostonians as "Marathon Day". The 114th running of the Boston Marathon was Monday, April 19, 2010. This is the world's oldest annual marathon. It is arguably the most prestigious of all foot races. Sure, New York, Chicago, Berlin, and London are all unique in their own ways. But there is only one Boston.

It is the only annual major American marathon that requires a qualifying time. As such, it is often thought of as an "Olympics for the people". Qualifying is not easy, but it is attainable for most runners. If you talk to a distance runner for any amount of time, you will likely hear the term "BQ". Boston Qualifying times are generally considered a mark of excellence. Even competing in the event is a noteworthy accomplishment.

The results are available and searchable at the Boston Marathon website. To my knowledge, there were no Limestone County finishers in the 2010 Boston Marathon. However, there were 65 finishers from the state of Alabama. Three of the top four Alabama finishers were from the Huntsville area, Tim Vinson, Todd White, and Dink Taylor.

Tim ran an amazing 2:41:20, which is a marathon PR for him. Todd ran a 2:49:52, an impressive sub 2:50. Dink, a local running legend and owner of Fleet Feet in Huntsvile, ran yet another sub 3:00:00 marathon with a 2:57:32.

The overall winner was Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya in a course record smashing 2:05:52. Cheruiyot ran a 4:36 22nd mile, a 4:44 23rd mile, and a 4:36 24th mile mostly alongside Deriba Merga of Ethiopia. That blistering 24th mile put some distance between him and Merga. Merga then dropped to 3rd place behind fellow Ethiopian Tekeste Kebede. Read the full story at http://www.baa.org/BostonMarathon/2010Story.asp.

The top American finisher was Ryan Hall in 2:08:41 which was good for 4th overall. Hall led for much of the first half but fell off the pace early in the second half. Hall missed standing on the podium by a mere 2 seconds as he was unable to overtake Merga despite a strong surge in the final 10k. You can read Ryan's recap at http://ryanhall.competitor.com/.

The women's race was decided by 3 seconds, marking the 3rd consecutive year that the women's race was decided by 3 seconds or less. Teyba Erkesso of Ethiopia faded in the final miles, but was able to hold off surging Tatyana Pushkareva of Russia. Erkesso ran 2:26:11 while Pushkareva was close behind with a 2:26:14. There was also a tight race for the final podium spot as Salina Kosgei of Kenya finished in 2:28:35, one second ahead of Waynishet Girma of Ethiopia. The top American female was Paige Higgins in 2:36:00.

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