The RackBoston Marathon 2013 Liveblog: Desisa and Jeptoo Win for Ethiopia and Kenya
Keep pace with Boston's 117th annual marathon here — track runners' progress and watch the leaders as they tackle one of history's toughest races.
Refresh the page for the latest race updates from the 117th Boston Marathon, 2013. The most recent updates are at the top.
Looks like Kenya and Ethiopia pulled through for the trophies, not surprisingly. However, if you scroll back through this blog you’ll see how back-and-forth (and exciting) this race really was:
Dulce Felix, who led the women forever, was completely left in the dust, and Watson, who moved on the men’s pack, didn’t even finish in the top 10. The USA came heartbreakingly close to the top three in both Men’s and Women’s, but couldn’t quite snag it. Both Jason Hartmann and Shalane Flanagan finished fourth (often dubbed “worst” place, for less recognition). And just about every country racing led at some point, which shows the Boston Marathon should not be underestimated. Our take? That’s why they call it a marathon — today’s race was far from boring.
That wraps the live blog, thanks for joining us. Let us know what you thought about the marathon: Did your winner-predictions come true?
Insane last 400 meters for the Men’s Chase Pack: Lelisa Desisa makes his move just after the last turn, striding out with a short lead across the line, winning the Men’s Elite in 2:10:22. Kogo and Gebremariam, close behind, take second and third in 2:10:27 and 2:10:28, respectively. Fourth place for USA, Hartmann comes barreling in less than two minutes later at 2:12:12.
Micah Kogo (KEN), Gebremariam and Lelisa Desisa (ETH) lead the men’s pack, striding past Fenway Park. Kogo, his first Boston Marathon debut with such tough international competition, holds his own. They have less than a mile to go and no one has tried to make a move yet. One last turn and it's clear to the finish. Get your stopwatch for the last 400 meters of the race, it's going to be tight.
Jeptoo looks strong — arms pumping and a shorter stride — as she barrels through the last mile and crosses the finish line for a final time of 2:26:25 (5:35 average per mile). This is her second Boston Marathon win (first in 2006). Meseret Hailu (ETH) took second at 2:26:58, and Sharon Cherop (KEN) took third at 2:27:31. Flanagan, who just couldn’t manage to catch up, snagged fourth for USA. Total spanking on the last three miles from Jeptoo.
Dulce Felix is a no go. Whether the pack decided to kick it in or she lost momentum, she won’t get to the finish line first. As harsh as it sounds, she’ll be a footnote to the race, after her long lead. Flanagan is still in the picture but she drops back as the Women’s Chase Pack pushes through the last three miles and passes Dulce Felix. Rita Jeptoo (KEN) out front, currently.
The lead pack of the Men’s Elite is now five at mile 21 — so far, loping along at 5 minute mile pace, giving the behind-runners a chance to kick it in. The finish is a toss up at this point.
Men’s Elite race explodes. Dickson Chumba (KEN) decides he can break things open with a quicker pace and pushes through the first of Newton Hills with Raji Assefa (ETH) hot on his heels. The 11-man pack is now down to Chumba and Assefa, the remaining runners scatter all over the road — contrary to typical marathon strategy. Our thoughts? This is turning out to be one of the best Boston Marathons ever. No one’s predictions are coming to fruition. Surprising. Crazy.
Watson (CAN) leads the Men’s Elite but the 11-runner pack reels him in. (FYI: A Canadian Man hasn’t won Boston since 1977.) Hartmann catches up to the lead pack after getting caught behind, and if he maintains his pace it'll be a personal best. If he hangs in there, he might give USA a shot at the W.
Dulce Felix overtook Caballero minutes ago and is increasing the gap between her and the pack — her lead is currently 1:18. She’s on hill three of the four Newton Hills, with Heartbreak Hill (the steepest) still to go. She took two looks over her shoulder, the second being a look of disbelief that she's alone out there. It’s starting to look like she might take the Boston Marathon… she’ll have to really blow up to not win this race. The rest of the pack has to run 12 seconds faster per mile to catch and beat Dulce Felix.
Men’s Elite breakaway field includes nine runners, all jockeying for position but running steady and sticking together, so far. Fernando Cabada favors his right foot — it looks like he's sore. The men pass the halfway point and this strong start set up a foundation for an exciting second half. The infamous Newton Hills (16-mile mark) could be an ideal place to put some distance between the leaders and the pack. Newton Hills is the place to do it, and every runner knows it.
Caballero kills it for Women’s Elite. She pulls away from the pack and there’s a 32 second gap between her and the rest of the runners. Doubt she can keep it up because it’s a tough mental game to race alone. She maintains the lead but Ana Dulce Felix (POR) makes a solo move hot on her heels with just a 10 second gap. Caballero’s pace drops steadily to 5:25, and then climbs to 5:38. She looks like she's losing her momentum.
Geb Gebremariam and Wesley Korir push the Men’s Elite leaders out front at a comfortable pace, hydrating and looking strong.
Hiroyuki Yamamoto from Japan wins the wheelchair race in 1:25:33. Kota Hokinoue (JPN) finishes two minutes later in 1:27:12. Ernst F. Van Dyk (RSA) takes third in 1:27:13.
As expected, Geb Gebremariam (ETH), Markos Geneti (ETH), and Wesley Korir (KEN) take the Men’s Elite lead.
Jason Hartmann (USA), Robin Watson (Canada), and Fernando Cabada (USA) are leading the Men’s Elite. Surprising to see two Americans pushing the pace, this is a marathon to watch for sure. Women’s Elite Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan, along with seven other women, close the gap to the leaders. Runners spread out from one side of the pavement to the other, (this never happens), possibly thanks to zero head wind.
The Women’s Elite race is turning out super weird. At mile 8 the leaders clock 45:54 — pace at 5:36 with Sigei of Kenya and Caballero of Columbia out front. Everyone seems to be running her own race. Individuals in the pack might start closing the gap to the leaders, but it’s dangerous mental ground to get stuck in no man’s land between the two groups.
Last year’s 41 fastest marathoners were ALL Kenyan or Ethiopian. Anything could happen, but it’s safe bet the win will go to one of these two countries for the Men’s Elite. Men's Elite average a slow 5 minutes per mile.
The Men's Elite and Wave 1 are off. Viewing Tip: If the runner has his name on his bib, he’s a serious contender for a win. Inspired to try your first marathon? Check out our marathon training tips — who knows, you could be one of these guys.
Less than four minutes until the gun for Men's Elite and Wave 1... here we go. Stream the race live here.
Women’s Elite are underway and set up for a tactical race. The pack kick off with a super slow first mile at just 6:05 (if continued, this would finish at a slow 2:39:00). No one seems to want to take the lead. Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher (USA favorites) run side-by-side, and at this pace, it’ll be a fast second 13 miles for everyone.
Women’s Elite runners are just eleven minutes away from their 9:32 a.m. gun. It’ll be a tight race with a strong pack that could push any country through the ribbon first. There are approximately 27,000 runners in Hopkinton waiting for the start, including 13 pro women who have already scored a marathon under 2:26:30. Here are the two runners to watch as they jockey for position:
Shalane Flanagan, 31 (USA)
This Oregonian has Olympic and World Cross Country bronze medals under her belt, and a half-marathon PR in her Boston build-up. If she can stick with the leaders through the second 13 miles, she’s America’s best chance for a win (a first since 1983).
Tirfi Tsegaye, 28 (Ethiopia)
Tsegaye is the strongest link in Ethiopia’s team: she has two wins and a second place in the last three marathons she ran. Most significantly, she bagged Dubai in January against tough international competition.
As racers make final preparations for Boston’s 117th annual Marathon, we’re getting more and more stoked as the race clock ticks down to the starting gun. This ultra-hilly course is one of America’s toughest marathons, and it attracts over half a million spectators making it New England’s most viewed sporting event. This means you better be watching — even if you’re just streaming it at your desk (don’t worry, we won’t tell your boss).
Here’s why this year's marathon will be more exciting than ever:
Remember last year’s ridiculous and unprecedented heat wave? Well, Boston allowed 2012’s racers the chance to push back their bibs to 2013, and some 2,200 racers took up the offer. Smart move. Today, temps will hit the cool low 50s, with partly cloudy skies and low winds — ideal running weather. Plus, for the favorite Kenyans and Ethiopians, it will be a full five-on-five team surge to the finish line at Copley Square… IF they decide to run together. This is major first for both, who have only had two or three Elite contenders at a time in previous marathons.
Men's Elite Favorites to Watch:
Ethiopia’s Geb Gebremariam (who ran alone last year), and Kenya’s Wesley Korir, both are counting on their teams to beat each other, and both are aware that running in a pack, as opposed to cruising solo, takes the competition to the next level. “It will be a challenge for us Kenyans,” Wesley Korir told Boston.com. “How are we going to run? Are we going to run as individuals or as a team? I was telling the guys, I have run with Ethiopians and every time there are more than three you have to be careful.” Only time will tell. If the USA wins, it'll likely be Meb Keflezigh from California: the first American in 27 years to win the New York City ING Marathon.
Check out a course map here. Runners will start on Main Street in Hopkinton and finish near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square, in Boston. If you're watching a televised broadcast, bibs are color coded: red for Elite and Wave 1, white for Wave 2, and blue for Wave 3. Elite Women take off at 9:32 a.m. followed by Elite Men and Wave 1 at 10:00 a.m. Ready? So are we: two hours and counting until the gun for Men's Elite...
Patty Hodapp, Endurance and Gear Editor for MF.com will live blog the 117th Boston Marathon, which kicks off today at 9:30 a.m. ET. Refresh the page for the latest race updates, and let us know what you think on Twitter and Facebook.