The last time we saw Jason Hartmann in the race was about 16-17, when he let the pack go, focusing on getting to mile 21. That thoughtful approach, in the midst of marathon combat, gave Jason his best performance as a professional athlete, as he took fourth in the 2012 Boston Marathon, one that will be remembered for heat, heat, did I say heat?
Jon Gugula wrote this for us, and we hope you enjoy his appreciation for a young man, who has fought the good fight, and now, is showing that at 6-3, and 165 pounds, when Jason comes charging over the last couple miles, you better get out of the way…..
Hartmann Breaks Big
Boulder resident rebounds from disappointment with the biggest result of his career by Jon Gugala
“I am running for myself now,” says Jason Hartmann, 31, of Boulder, Colo., after his fourth place finish and top American spot at the 2012 Boston Marathon.
Sponsor-less, coach-less, and unsure if he’ll even stay in Colorado, Hartmann needed a good race. He broke big in Boston.
Originally from Grand Rapids, Mich., Hartmann played second fiddle in his prep career to the other in-state wunderkind, 2008 Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein. He was a three-time All-American at the University of Oregon in the 10,000m, but was injured most of his senior year. And though he’s had a respectable career as a professional, including a win at the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon (2:12:09) and the top American at the 2010 Chicago Marathon (2:11:06), Hartmann has yet to really distinguish himself from the rest of the other “good but not great” Americans.
Hartmann was hoping that break would come at the 2012 Olympic team trials in January, where he was a dark horse contender. He knew he had a shot, however long the odds, to make the team. But it didn’t happen. “It’s devastating to see your dreams whisked away, but you can’t let those things define you,” he says. “You have to get back up and keep living your life.”
It wasn’t long before Hartmann, who says that his poor result at the Houston trials wasn’t because of lack of training, was eying another race. It was Boston. “I felt like I needed Boston maybe as much as Boston needed me,” he says.
After other Americans would wither under the heat–almost 85 degrees at the finish–Hartmann was with the lead pack until mile 17 when the big moves were made. Patiently, meticulously, mercilessly he began moving through the carnage–the strategy of eventual winner Wesley Korir–to finish in his highest placing in a World Marathon Majors race ever.
“I was just focusing on getting to mile 21,” he says, staying within himself until the top of Heartbreak, then loosing the floodgates to see what was left. “I was motivated to beat people today.”
His result wasn’t because of any super-secret training; there were no hotsuits or treadmills in the sauna. “I don’t think anyone coming to this race could say they really prepared for the heat,” he says. “You just try to do the little things that matter in the end.”
Other top Americans include:
Tim Chichester, second (11th overall), 2:21:10
Sergio Reyes, third (12th overall), 2:22:06
Sheri Piers, first (10th overall), 2:41:55
Hilary Dionne, second (15th overall), 2:51:56
Shannon Miller, third (16th overall), 2:55:47