2016 BOSTON MARATHON
On Patriot’s Day, April 18th, the SDTC’s Boston Group of 46 runners took off with the starting gun in the 120th version of the famed Boston Marathon, this year celebrating “50 Years of Women at Boston”. It was in 1966 that San Diego’s own Roberta Gibb quietly slipped into the race and became the first woman to complete the world’s oldest continually run road race.
As is often the case with the Boston Marathon, the most difficult obstacle this year was not the Newton hills but the weather. Unanticipated heat at the start in Hopkinton had runners waiting for hours in the hot sun and pouring water over their heads before the gun went off. By the 10 mile mark, the low humidity had salty racing singlets pasted to bodies but the thought of cooling ocean breezes ahead gave hope of relief. It wasn’t to be however as those on-shore winds and increasing humidity then reversed the effects and caused chills and cramps when none had ever been experienced previously. Paces slowed, water stations became crowded and 8.3% of all race participants (2,490) made visits to the medical tents, including some of our SDTC runners. Even the winning, elite runner’s times were the second worst in the last twenty five years.
In spite of the conditions, the Bostonians still managed to persevere and if maybe not reaching their intended goals, they came close enough to call it a “PR effort”. Still, about half of the group finished with a time that re-qualified them for the 2017 Boston Marathon and a fourth of them ran a legitimate PR. The top 4 men were led again this year by Fasil Tadesse with his PR 2:51 followed closely by Rashaad Forehand at 2:56:06, Pat McBride with a PR 2:56:38 and Jeremy Crossley with a 2:56:51. Only 45 seconds separated these three in a race with 30,000 runners! The women were led by Erica Schoeller with a 3:07, followed closely by Sarah Jerotz with a 3:08 and Lisa Ryan with her 3:10, all with a re-qualifying effort. The “Special Category” award goes to Natasha Bliss who, at 26 weeks into her pregnancy, ran the 26 miles in a 4:24, losing a close one to her “baby bump”. In the Team Divisions, the SDTC scored 8th in the Women’s Masters out of 59 teams, 10th of 74 teams in the Men’s Masters, 11th of 59 teams in the Women’s Open and 40th of 68 teams in the Men’s Open. These were all great showings in the first year the SDTC entered the team competitions. Watch out for next year!
As is always the case with Boston, performances are only a part of the total Boston “experience”, a sentiment expressed by all who look forward to making a return trip. Next Tuesday at the track, Paul will take some time to acknowledge these runners and have them share their experiences with all of you so plan on being there and catching the Boston fever that might spur you on to your own BQ.