Torrential Rain, Strong Winds
BY CLAY SHAW
BOSTON, MA--Kudos to the Boston Marathon, held April 16, for holding it in about as bad as weather as can be without snow or ice. A big congratulations to all the participants, volunteers, and other brave souls. The weather decimated the invited elite fields, and made for some interesting new heroes to our sport. For Karen and I, we watched the elite women battle through brutal rain, cold, and wind in the Boston Marathon press room. We ventured out in fowl-weather gear and protected our camera. We turned our backs to the prevailing weather coming in from the east. The runners were running straight into it most of the way on the point-to-point course.
Desiree Linden of Michigan, played it smart and was the easy victor in 2:39:54, Desi wore a Brooks jacket for the entire race. Everyone else from the lead group at the half either dropped out or faded badly. Shalane Flanagan, the 2017 NYC Champ, was the next from the early lead group in 7th (2:46:31), and 2017 defending champ Edna Kiplagat was 9th in 2:47:14. Another prerace favorite, Molly Huddle was 16th in 2:50:28.
From the second group of elites came surprises as Sarah Sellers of Tucson, AZ took second in 2:44:04. Krista Duchene a Masters runner from Brantford, Ontario, Canada took third in 2:44:20. Rachel Hyland of Andover, MA was 4th in 2:44:39. Jessica Chichester of Brooklyn, NY who started with the men at 10am was 5th in 2:45:23. By rule she and the others would not be prize money eligible. The BAA chose to award Chichester and the other 10am starters (who placed), the prizes after some consideration.
The men's marathon was volatile as well as Yuki Kawauchi of Japan, a prolific marathoner won in 2:15:58. The horrid conditions didn't seem to bother Kawauchi as he broke from the pack to take the lead early, fell back into the pack again repeatedly. Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya, the 2017 champ, was second in 2:18:23. Shadrack Biwott from Folsom, CA was third in 2:18:35. Kirui and Stephen Sambu (14th) were the only Kenyan elites to finish, and none of the Ethiopians finished. Only five men broke 2:20 in the awful conditions.
With several regional events being canceled in recent times, many on fears of a possible bad weather day, I must applaud the BAA for doing the right thing.
Editor's Note: I'm right there with you, Clay. And thank you to Clay and Karen for braving the torrential rain at this year's Boston Marathon.
Top 15 Men
1 2:15:58 Yuki Kawauchi JPN
1 2:39:54 Desiree Linden MI