Monday, April 19, 2010

Boston Marathon On Patriot Days Men Race

Welcome to the 114th running of the BAA Boston Marathon. A chilly day, with temperatures in the 40s and a blustery wind from the north, is greeting the 25,000 or so runners who are assembling in Hopkinton, getting ready for the start. The elite men's race will get going at 10am and will be loaded with all the drama that has come to be traditional at the world's oldest annually held marathon.

Last year's winner, Deriba Merga (ETH), is back to defend his title, but he is by no means an overwhelming favorite to repeat. The fastest man in the field, with a PR of 2:05:30, is Abderrahim Gourmi (MAR), who placed second in Chicago last fall and who has also notched second place finishes in London and New York (twice). Tekeste Kebede (ETH), fourth last year, is also back, having scored a PR of 2:07:52 in taking second in Fukuoka in December, while Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, fifth here last year, and Evans Cheruiyot, eighth last year and the winner in Chicago in 2008, will also be on the starting line.

Without question, though, American attention is focused entirely on Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezighi. It was Hall who stormed to victory in the US Olympic Marathon Trial in November 2007 and followed that with a 2:06:17 fifth place finish in London in 2008, the second fastest time in history by an American. In Boston last year, Hall battled through some tough closing miles to place third (2:09:40), commenting soon thereafter, "I'll be back next year to take another swing at it."

A prospective US winner in Boston is something to get excited about. But with Keflezighi in the field, American hopes are doubled. The Olympic silver medalist from Athens in 2004, Keflezighi proved that US marathoning is seriously back in the big time by taking the title at the ING New York City Marathon last November in a time of 2:09:15, a new PR. Reportedly, Keflezighi's training was interrupted earlier this year by a knee injury, though he appears on this morning's starting line back to full health and strength.

Hall and and Keflezighi are both realistic contenders to take the Boston laurel wreath. The last American man to do so was Greg Meyer in 1983.

Other US hopes rest with Jason Lehmkuhle, Antonio Vega and Josh Rohatinsky, the latter seventh here last year.

The men's wheelchair race began at 9:17am. Always a thriller, this year's race holds special significance. Should South Africa's Ernst Van Dyk prevail this year, as he did from 2001 to 2006 and in 2008 and 2009, he will become the winningest competitor in Boston Marathon history with nine titles to his credit, one more than the celebrated Jean Driscoll. Van Dyk has already surged into the lead from the gun.

Check back shortly for more updates from the 114th BAA Boston Marathon.

The 114th Boston Marathon start times are as follows:

9:00 a.m. Mobility Impaired Division
9:17 a.m. Push-Rim Wheelchair Division
9:22 a.m. Handcycles
9:32 a.m. Elite Women
10:00 a.m. Elite Men & Wave 1
10:30 a.m. Wave 2

Jim O'Brien will provide continuous live coverage of the Men's Race beginning at 9:00 a.m.

perihal:

"Men's Race Day"
- Boston Athletic Association: 2010 Boston Marathon -- Race Commentary (lihat di Google Wikipinggir)

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