When I logged into the BAA website today, about 30 K into the women’s race, I was surprised to see the leaderboard. Lots of names you’d expect to find on there, of course… but perhaps not in the order you’d expect. Furthermore, there were several fresh names. As I checked in periodically over the next hour, I saw two interesting things:
- the same scenario was playing out in the Men’s field
- a lot of the big names in the women had either slowed down or dropped out entirely.
Indeed, there’s not a single sub-2:10 finish. There are 4 men and just 1 woman of East-African descent who came in top-10 for their respective fields; there were 8 and 1 respectively at the halfway mark. Even more surprising is the fact that there were seven gentlemen and four women in the top-10 at the halfway mark who didn’t finish. A Japanese gentleman and an American lady won the race, the first time in nearly 30+ years!; only two men got OTQ status for the US, and even so under the B standard (I think.)
I’d heard/read about the headwind and the rain, and how miserable it was going to be to run this race. Indeed, I had some experience of these conditions as a spectator for Boston ’15, but this year sounds worse. But this year seems to have been a more stringent filter, only letting those pass who were thoroughly prepared to endure. Indeed there are such inspiring stories: A 2nd time marathoner who was the female runner-up! Regional elites who beat olympians from other countries! My cousin Neil paced nearly evenly en route to a 2:55 finish!
There was a lot of attrition out there and I knew I was passing people as the race went on. – Daniel Vassallo (the 10th place finisher.)
This is great stuff. Maybe my chance to fame is just grinding it out… winning the war of attrition, as Daniel called it. And perhaps I need to be less of wimp when negotiating this ceaseless drizzle of the Pacific Northwest…