2008 Boston, Version 112, Update 3-How the Race Developed


Please look at this picture. No, Joan Samuelson has not become an advocate for the NRA. At the start on Monday, Joan was trying to start the race and gun did not go off. So, two guns being better than one, and Victor Sailer, our intrepid photographer caught this and I could not resist!

So, for the geeks, here is how the race developed. I hope you enjoy. I am going to take a break now, grab some coffee and a walk, and then write a bit tonight. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

112 th BAA Boston Marathon
April 21, 2008
Boston, MA
Media Center


Welcome to the 112th Running of the BAA Boston Marathon

Welcome to the 112th running of the Boston Marathon! I have no idea how the BAA is doing it, as they presented a most amazing Women's Olympic Trials marathon on Sunday! I can not still say enough about yesterday's race! Great performances by Deena Kastor, Magdelena Lewy Boulet and Blake Russell and the 133 other finishers in the 2008 Olympic Trials!

The three grand marshals for todays' marathon are Deena Kastor, Magdelena Lewy Boulet and Blake Russell! BAA's Jack Fleming announced that during yesterday's press conference-a very nice touch to a tremendous event on Sunday!

Women Elite, Miles 1-half

Well, the women's elite race is off! 2007 BAA champion, Lidiya Grigoyeva is in the lead pack, with Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia, an ING New York Champion in 2005-2006, Rita JIptoo, BAA Boston Champion of 2006, Nuta Olaru of Romania, Bruna Genovese of Italy, Tola Guta Robe of Ethiopia, Dire Tune of Ethiopia, Alevtina Biktimirova of Russia and Magdaline Chemjor of Kenya.

This front pack hit the mile in 5:23, two miles in 10:59, three miles and 5 kilometers passed in 17:09. The pack is very conservative, and no one seems to be falling off the pace. Prokopcuka took the lead early, but the lead has been shared by Nuta Olaru and Bruna Genovese of Italy.

Media Center announcer, Dave Murphy noted that the elite women's race was " pedestrian." That about covers it. The temperature at the start was 53 degrees and the temperature now is sixty degrees. Ten women in the lead pack.

The women's pack hit four miles in 22:15, five miles in 28:09, six miles in 33:39 and the 10k in 34:50 with Askale Tafa Magarsa from Ethiopia in the lead. The rest of the pack, Tune, Biktimirova, Prokopcuka, Olaru, Chemjor, Jeptoo are all there. No changes so far, the women are grabbing their water, and watching each other.

Seven miles was hit in 39:13, eighth miles in 45:03, nine miles in 50:43, and 15k in 52:33. Olaru Nuta of Ethiopia and Magdaline Chemjor of Kenya are in the lead. Rita Jeptoo is right behind them, Grigoryeva is in the midle of the pack, with Prokopcuka in the back of the pack of ten. Ten miles was hit by the pack in 56:20, about a 2:25 pace.

Someone makes a move, and the Kenyan women go to the front, and slow it down. This is obviously going to be a very, very tactical race. Watch how the elite women hit the hills....Eleven miles was hit in 60:37, twelve miles in 1:08:15 and 20 kilometers in 1:10:47. At the half marathon, hit in 1:14:45, the pack was still together.

Men Elite, Miles 1-half marathon

The elite race of the men's race started slow, with a pack of Robert K. Cheruiyot, three- time winner of BAA Boston, World Majors' Champion as well, Abderrahime Bouraamdane of Morocco, James Mwangi Macharia of Kenya, James Kwambai of Kenya, Kasime Adillo of Ethiopia, Khalid El Boumlili of Morocco, Gashaw Asfaw of Ethiopia, Lawrence Saina of Kenya, Christopher Cheboiboch of Kenya and Tesfaye Girma of Ethiopia.

Face it, this is Robert K. Cheruiyot's race to win or loose. I had dinner with Robert after Chicago and the gentleness and quiet candor of Robert hide a man of tremendous strength, and a man who is at the top his game. He has won B of A Chicago in 2006, he won Bosotn in 2003, 2006 and 2007-he has run Boston five times, finished four. He has also won fourth at ING New York in 2005, and fourth in B of A Chicago in 2007. Mr. Cheruiyot's course record here is 2:07:14.

" Consider this quote from Robert in the media guide: " I have had much succes on the Boston course because the more competitive and difficult a race is, the more I commit myself to do my best."

So, the gang of ten, with Cheruiyot and Bouramdane are the real players in this crowd. The mile was hit in a sleepy 5:16, two miles in 10:18, three miles in 15:11, and five kilometers in 15:40, A 5:04 pace. Lawrence Saina of Kenya leads, with Cheruiyot and Bouraamdane and the pack 0f 25 right there.

The second five kilometers got the the guys focused, going from 4:59 miles to 4:43. Four miles was hit in 19:54, five miles in 24:39, six miles in 29:19, and ten kilometers in 30:20. So negative splits, 15:40 to 14:40. Lawrence Saina of Kenya continues to lead, with 21 in the pack. No one is getting dropped so far.

Seven miles was lead in 33:51 and eight miles in 38:45 with Lawrence Saina continuing to lead a crowd of 21 runners at a swift, but not insane 4:50 per mile pace.

It was at this time that Robert K. Cheruiyot reminded the field who was boss. Robert took the lead during the eighth mile and pass nine in the lead, in 4:45 per mile pace, with mile 9 hit in 43:30, with 21 runners still in the pack. Mile ten, passed in 48:22, at a 4:52 mile pace, dropped the pack to fourteen, and the race was on...

Khalid El Boumlilli of Morocco took the lead and passed the eleventh mile in 53:14, with the pack of fourteen, and the pack had to deal with the winds changing, to the east, forcing the runners to race a bit.

Robert Cheruiyot took the lead over at the twelfth mile, hit in 57:55, 13 miles in 1:02:36 and the half way in 1:02:50. Two miles in 4:41 per mile thinned the pack, and now it was down to El Boumlilli, Macharia, Adillo, Bouramdane, Asfaw and James Kwambai of Kenya.

The race was on, as the 5k was hit in 15:40, then 14:40, then 14:44, then 14:53. The pack of nine at the halfway will be the top performers today.

Women Elite, Halfway to Finish

Magdaline Chemjor took the lead at thirteen miles, passed in 1:14:04 and the half hit in 1:14:45. Chemjor lead the pack at fourteen miles as well, which they pack passed in 1:19:59, a 5:43 pace. It was at this time that Jelena Prokopcuka of Latvia made her bid, pushing the pace through fifteen miles, hit in 1:25:45. But Prokopcuka did not drop anyone but herself.

Alevtina Biktimorova of Russia took the lead and started to drop the pace, and the pack, and Prokkopcuka and Magarsa as well as Genovese dropped off the back. Biktimorova hit sixteen miles in 1:30:55, a 5:41 pace, then she ran a 5:38 mile, hitting seventeen in 1:36:29.

Alevtina Bikitmorova broke the pack, it was now her, Diret Tune, Rita Jeptoo as the rest of the pack fell farther and farther back. Biktimorova kept leading, hitting 18 miles in 1:41:15, nineteen miles in 1:47:11 and twenty miles was passed with Alevtina still in the lead, in 1: 52:34.

At this time Bitkimirova kept pushing, with Dire Tune and Rita Jeptoo on her shoulders. The pack of seven was down to three. Biktimorova had put the hammer down, running 25 to 30 kilometers in 16:47, 30 to 35 kilometers in 16:34.

21 miles was hit in 1:58:09, run in 5:37 mile pace, 22 miles was hit in 2:08:29, a 5:08 mile, an the race was down to Alevtina Biktimorova of Russia and Dire Tune of Ethiopia..

and then, there were two......

The 5:08 mile, the fastest of the race, was followed by a 5:12, as Tune and Biktimorova switched leads several times as they hit 23 miles. The race was too close to predict. Both women looked good, Biktimorova runs more like a classically trained track athlete and Tune runs with her arms up high, but very, very relaxed.

It is at this time, that the race became very, interesting. What tactics would each runner take? One was a very short distance racer ( Biktimorova had run 800 meters) and the other was a classically trained Ethiopian middle distance runner.

Twenty four miles was passed in 2:13:41 and Tune and Biktimorova were running neck and neck. There would be a move by Tune, responded by a move from Biktimorova. After two miles of this, it seemed that both athletes held if off until there was a final sprint for the finish.

Dire Tune and Alevtina Biktimorova are together, running as hard as they can. They have already raced twenty four miles. The crowds are huge, and the cheering and the screaming are very loud. But, Tune and Bkitimorova are focused just on each other. Who has a shorter kick? Who has a longer kick?

Twenty five miles was hit at 2:20:13, and Tune and Biktimirova were together. Back and forth the two runners went. In the media room, it seemed on the screens that both runners were tired, but were holding one last push. Tune made the first move, and Biktimorova dug right back. Tune made another move about six hundred meters out, and Biktimorova made a huge move, but Tune responded.

With about four hundred meters to go, Dire Tune made her final move and Alevtina Biktimorova tried to respond, but could not. The space did not get much wider, but you could see it on their faces. Dire Tune was in front, Alevtina Biktimorova was just behind, and that how they finished.

The battle that Tune and Biktimorova was a historic race! The closest race in the history of Boston for women!

After the race, Dire Tune noted, " I am very happy to win in Boston. " A nice understatement from our new twenty two year old star.

Alevtina Biktimorova of Russia, all of 25 noted that she was hoping to win. Watch these two reprise their 2008 battle again!

Top Ten:
1. Dire Tune, Ethiopia, 2:25:25
2. Alevtina Biktimorova, Russia, 2:25:27
3. Rita Jeptoo, Kenya, 2:26:34
4. Jelena Prokopcuka, Latvia, 2:28:12
5. Askale Tafa Magarsa, Ethiopia, 2:29:48
6. Bruna Genovese, Italy, 2:30:52
7. Nuta Olaru, Romania, 2:33:56
8. Robe Tola Guta, Ethiopia, 2:34:57
9. Lidiya Grigoryeva, Russia, 2:35:37
10. Stephanie Hood, Canada, 2:44:44

Men Elite, Halfway to Finish

Robert K. Cheruiyot continued to dominate the lead pack, hitting fourteen miles in 1:07:19, and fifteen miles in 1:12:11, with the 25 kilometer mark hit in 1:14:42. Tefsaye Girma, Timothy Cherigat, Kasime Adillo, James Kwambia, James Koskei were all in the pack following Cheruiyot, but he was in complete control.

Sixteen miles was hit in 1:16:49 by Cheruiyot, a 4:38 pace. James Kwambai, Abderrahime Bouramdane, Kasime Adillo, Tesfaye Girma were still in the pack.

Cheruiyot continued to unwind consistent miles, hitting the seventeenth in 1:21:41, a 4:52 mile, and hitting eighteen in 1:26:33, another 4:52 mile. Cheruiyot did not look strained, but his arms were pumping, as he started up the Newton hills.

During the eighteenth mile, the pack dropped to Bouramdane and Adillo after Cheruiyot.

It was at this time that Robert K. Cheruiyot took off. Using a 4:37 mile, Cheruiyot powered away from the final two, and had a hundred meter lead by the time he hit nineteen miles in 1:31:10, three seconds ahead of the course record!

Cheruiyot looked magnifiscent as he moved through twenty miles, now seven seconds ahead, hit in 1:36:10. Seven were back over one hundred meters. Cheruiyot was serious about wanting a fourth victory and he was running like a man on a mission.

The miles in twenty and twenty-one, passed at five minute pace, and 5:16 pace, pushed the record chance out of the realm of reality. " You must have competition to run under 2:07, " noted Robert after the race.

Running strong, Robert K. Cheruiyot ran like the champion he is, hitting 22 miles in 1:46:16, then 23 miles in 1:51:16, and finally, 24 miles in 1:56:18. The five minute mile pace he ran was giving him a fast race, and building his lead, it just was not going to give him a record.

Cheruiyot looked strong as he went on to Beacon Street, then Cleveland circle. He hit twenty-five miles in 2:01:29, and surprised move than a few fans with how close he was to the womens elite race, which had just sent through.

Robert K. Cheruiyot protected his lead, which moved to one minute, eighteen seconds by the finish, taking his fourth title in 2:07:46, after having broken the race open at nineteen miles. Abderrahime Bouramdane, of Morrocco took second in 2:09:04, having run a smart race. His countrymen, Khalid El Boumlili ran 2:10:35 for third, running a strong second half, and picking up the fallen first pack.

In fourth place, Gashaw Asfaw of Ethiopia ran 2:10:47 after having gone out with the front pack. Kasime Adillo of Ethiopia made it two Ethiopians in the top five with his 2:12:24. In sixth place, Timothy Cherigat ran 2:14:13, with Christopher Cheboibacht of Kenya ran 2:14:47 for seventh place and , James Kwambai in eighth place in 2:15:52, James Koskei in ninth in 2:16;07 and Nicholas Arciniaga of Rochester, Michigan, a Brooks Hanson teammember, who ran the smartest race of the pack, running a 1:07 first half and a 1:09 second, hitting the finish in 2:16:13.

In the field today were Greg Meyer, 1983 winner, running with his children and Amby Burfoot, 1968 winner, who runs every five years in honor of his win. Amby looked great after running his race, and his comments are perfect ending for this report:

" The day was gorgeous. It was sunny and dry with a cooling east wind. Towards the end of the race, I had a thought, that it was completely inconcievable that anyone could win a race of this magnitude. And if I had actually won this race, then I have truly lived a very lucky life."

Enough said, as 25,000 runners continue to complete their dreams, finishing the 112th BAA Boston Marathon.

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