The marathon is a fickle mistress, yet, if one approaches the event with respect, focus and an attention to detail, one moves the needle higher on the success scale. The absolutely gutty race of Jordan Hasay makes her six foot six in my book. Jordan was made for the marathon, with her light build and her light stride. In the Chicago Marathon, Jordan Hasay literally played chicken with her aggressive racing. Up until halfway she was running 2:17-2:18 pace as Tirunesh Dibaba pushed the pace, but, perhaps not enough to get the course record.
Jordan Hasay broke the Course American Record of 2:21:21, held by Joan Benoit Samuelson since 1985. Jordan’s 2:20:57 makes her the fastest American women marathoner ever to race on the continent of North America (remember, Deena Kastor ran her 2:19 on the soil of Great Britain).
On the men’s side, Chris Derrick, a fine cross country runner and 10,000m runner, took 9th in his first marathon in 2:12:50. He had some issues with his drinks, perhaps too much carbos, but he got into the game, as Coach Jerry Schumacher suggested. At one point, Chris Derrick took the lead, after 30 kilometers. Then, after 35k, the race got moving and the pack of twelve that Chris Derrick lead dropped to four, then, to two, and finally to Galen Rupp.
Chris Derrick told the media that he learned from this first marathon, and will use that knowledge in his next venture over 26.2 miles. But before that, Chris will probably go after his 10,000m PB, set when he was twenty-one. Chris Derrick is a keen observer of all things athletics, he will run faster marathons and faster 10,000 meters.
I recall watching Chris Derrick win the multi lap Edinburgh Cross Country in Edinburgh, Scotland in January 2014. Derrick, in amazing shape, floated over the laps, pressing from early on and running well on a remarkably energy sapping course; with high grass, mud, creek crossing and a cool Scottish January day with the gods of cross country blowing wind the entire day. Derrick is a remarkable athlete, who has had his share of injuries.
Healthy now, Chris Derrick will take these lessons, hard won from the streets of Chicago, to plan his upcoming season and focus. We wish him well.
A wide ranging interview, and one of my favorites of the weekend.