Wow, wow, wow! That's all I can say about the way things shook out! As heartbreaking as that had to have been for Kara Goucher to finish third by such a narrow margin, she ran with a huge amount of heart and dedication, keeping herself right in the thick of things until the very end. She was in outstanding company in the front pack, and to have the whole thing come down to a footrace in the last mile with nine seconds between three women-you can't ask for a better race than that.
And how about Ryan Hall?!? I was almost embarrassed to admit that I've had a pretty lukewarm opinion of the guy, and while I didn't wish him failure, or a bad race, I wasn't really there with bells on, waiting with baited breath to see how he'd do. At the Beijing games, it seemed like he just sort of sat back and wasn't hungry or desperate to to get in the mix. He's just always seemed a little boring, too. Not that he has to be an arrogant or overly confident jerk to be appreciated-Deena Kastor is as soft-spoken and humble as they come, but her desire to win and do well always comes through in her quiet way. He just never seemed to come across as having a killer instinct to race to the top of his abilities.
So, I never could have imagined that he'd go out front immediately at a blistering pace (risky! almost certain to backfire!), drop off the lead pack and appear ready to fade off into the sunset (well, yes...I figured he couldn't hold that pace for long), and then, HOLY COW! Here he comes. He fights his way back and claws his way onto the podium, looking strong, hungry, and fighting for that spot. He looked like he genuinely believed he could win, and like he was going to fight as hard as he could in the final miles. So, go Ryan-he never gave up or counted himself out, and honestly, I don't know if he'd have been in position to place if he hadn't put himself out there as a pacesetter early on.
Besides that elite race, my virtual training partners ran great out there! I'm SO proud of the BQ thread group ladies-betaboo, HikerGirl, BarbBQ, MichiganMama and EatDrinkRunWoman! That was the most fun I've had in a long time...watching the elite race unfold on Universal Sports, watching our ladies do their thing, as well as trying to keep tabs on that huge spread sheet with many of the other RWOL people. There was a forumite named irunforbeer who won the over-50 bracket (I need to find out what beer he drinks! ;) ).
Then there was Boulder-based FORTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD (45!!!!) Colleen de Reuck who ran with the lead women for much of the race, finishing eight overall. I was rooting for her the whole way, both as a fellow Coloradan and because she was showing how age does not have to be a limiting factor. She obviously trained to the best of her abilities and proved that you can go a long way when you work hard. And our one local guy who ran (the only local representation...we usually have a small handful there) appears to have finished around 2:50, yet another solid race for a guy who does everything from 5k's to marathons, on both roads and trails!
It was just a thrilling morning of racing, and I'm so glad I knocked out all of my chores and "must-do's" for the week over the weekend so I could follow all the action this morning. So, now I've got exactly 52 weeks to make sure I stay healthy, train consistently and well, and show up ready to make my own memories. Congratulations to all who finished the 113th Boston Marathon!