ELITES, DEBUTS, HISTORY, WEATHER, AND MORE. If you don’t follow marathon racing as a spectator, you may not realize that there are some compelling reasons to watch this year’s Boston Marathon.
While the US participants are not top favorites in either the men’s or women’s races, they are talented athletes that might pull off a surprise. The Competitor.com article, “Could an American Win the Boston Marathon This Year?” by Toni Reavis identifies who’s who in this classic as well as possible difficulties that may sideline some runners.
She also provided a historical perspective that gives Americans an emotional reason to view the men’s race; to honor Meb Keflezighi’s career. This is the Eritrean-born US champion’s last year of competition, and thus his last Boston Marathon. Reavis’ article relates how Meb gave Americans the gift of a Boston victory in 2014, the first running of the event following the 2013 terrorist bombing. The last US win, by Greg Meyer, had occurred in 1983. Can Meb do it again at age 41?
The article also identifies that 2017 will be the Boston debut for 2016 Olympian and bronze medal winner Galen Rupp and for the American woman, Jordan Hasay. To learn the specifics on 10 of the US Elite Team members running Boston, there’s an article from MassLive.com with details.
Other Boston Marathon–related news not in this piece, involves Katherine Switzer. Fifty years ago she became the first woman to finish the race wearing a bib, number 261. She had entered without clearly identifying her gender and a race official had unsuccessfully tried to eject her from the course. A Runner’s World article by Amanda Loudin describes Switzer’s lifelong work as “an advocate for women’s rights in sports” and her plans to return to Boston this year wearing the same number, at age 70! I’ll be looking for her.
What if you wish to watch the Marathon but are not familiar with the international marathon “stars” in this race? Need a scorecard to help follow the leaders when they separate from the pack? The Boston Globe has listings of the women’s and men’s elite field runners by personal best, including the marathon at which it was accomplished and finish time, as well as their country. The Kenyans will be challenged by Ethiopians, other African nation elites, and North and South Americans. Rose Chelimo from Bahrain will be at the starting line. Per the men’s list, Japan’s Suguru Osako from the Oregon Project will debut on Monday.
To help you plan, the race schedule, tidbits of information, and “How to Watch” was published April 10 on sportingnews.com. Elite women will start at 9:32am and elite men at 10am. Mobility challenged and wheelchair competitors will be sent off before the elites. Additional waves will follow the elites.
Weather watchers can get a prediction made several days before the event and historical facts on weather conditions from a local Boston CBS News affiliate forecast.
If, as a runner, you have never “watched” the Boston Marathon, consider viewing this year. You might find inspiration, experience thrills, celebrate sport, or enjoy a spring tradition in doing so.
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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