Thursday, April 23, 2009
The Great American Race
Ask any Marathoner which Marathon they must want to run, and the answer will nearly always be Boston. Boston has achieved mythic status among runners. Heartbreak Hill is part of our common everyday language.
Boston is also a race where Americans have not fared well. Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach was the last American to win the race. That was in 1985. Marathoning today is a sport dominated by the great African runners from Kenya and Ethiopia. The majority of "America's" competitive Marathoners the last decade have been immigrants from Morocco and other countries in Africa. America is a long-way from the great Duel in the Sun on the streets of Boston.
The future is looking up. There is a great new crop of American Marathoners and this years Boston Marathon headlined that hope. Ryan Hall, the new wunderkid of running, finished 3rd. Kara Goucher finished 3rd in the women's race and led the lead pack up until mile 25. It was a great day for American distance running and a sign of brighter days to come.