Apr 22, 2014, 1:57 PM EDT
Meb Keflezighi was an undoubted underdog going into the Boston Marathon. He needed plenty of things to go right to win. Taking nothing away from Keflezighi’s victory, his fellow top U.S. marathon runners played a small role.
LetsRun.com caught up with other top American finishers, who revealed how Keflezighi’s 2012 Olympic teammate, Ryan Hall, led the way in not taking charge in a chase group.
“Ryan Hall and I were running side by side, in front of the lead pack but not really pushing it, and Ryan just kept turning over to me, talking [to me and saying], ‘Hey don’t push the pace,'” said Nick Arciniaga, who finished seventh. “‘If they [non-American runners] want to let those guys go, they are going to have work to catch back up to them. We are not going to help them out with that at all. If we want an American to win, this is how it’s going to be done.’”
“It’s true. First it was Nick Arciniaga, then different American guys would go to the front [of the chase pack, after Meb and Josephat Boit had pulled away] and start pushing. I kept telling them not to, that we needed to give Meb as much space as possible. If the African guys were going to try to catch him, we weren’t going to do the work to help them. It wasn’t my day to win, as much as I wanted to. Meb winning was the next best thing and what the US needed.” Hall said he hadn’t talked to Meb about the tactic after the race. “I haven’t seen him since the race. I flew home right after the race. I don’t want to take anything away from his victory.”
The favorites going into Monday’s race were from Ethiopia and Kenya, the two dominant nations in men’s marathon running. Kenyan Wilson Chebet was the closest pursuer of Keflezighi, closing the gap to single-digit seconds over the final few miles, but Keflezighi held him off to win by 11 seconds.
Hall and the other Americans’ tactic, to not take the lead of the chase group, is similar to what is often seen in cycling stage rages such as the Tour de France. If a rider is leading on a breakaway, his teammates will not take turns doing the work at the front of a chase group.
Cycling is a bit different than major marathon running, where there are no “teams,” but, as Hall said, having another American win was the next best thing for any U.S. runner if he was not able to cross the finish line first.
Hall is the fastest U.S. marathon runner of all time, though his time, 2:04:58 from the 2011 Boston Marathon, does not count as an American record due to the point-to-point, net downhill course.
He finished 20th in 2:17:50 on Monday, his first completed marathon in more than two years after withdrawing before the 2013 Boston Marathon and 2012 and 2013 New York City Marathons due to injuries.
Mar 26, 2015, 10:14 AM EDT
Elizaveta Tuktamysheva landed a triple Axel in one of the greatest short programs of all time.
Mar 26, 2015, 10:01 AM EDT
The last time Canada won a World title in pairs was before the 2002 judging scandal.
Mar 25, 2015, 9:44 AM EDT
A slight improvement could mark the best U.S. pairs finishes since 2002.
Mar 25, 2015, 9:13 AM EDT
Bolt’s last appearance in New York produced his first world record.
Mar 25, 2015, 8:53 AM EDT
The Olympians could become the second U.S. ice dance couple to win a World Championship.
Mar 24, 2015, 5:15 PM EDT
The Olympic and World champion returns to the site of a bloody collision.
Mar 24, 2015, 10:11 AM EDT
Boston will not move forward with an Olympic bid if a majority of state and city residents don’t support it.
Mar 24, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT
Olympians Erin Hamlin, Chris Mazdzer star in an inside look at the sport.
Mar 24, 2015, 9:27 AM EDT
Tuesday marked 500 days out from the Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Mar 23, 2015, 5:50 PM EDT
Three U.S. women have a shot at the podium, and an American ice dance couple could win gold.
Mar 23, 2015, 2:22 PM EDT
Both skiers may look to branch out next season.
Mar 23, 2015, 1:28 PM EDT
Park tested positive for testosterone on Sept. 3.
Mar 23, 2015, 12:40 PM EDT
Plus, what’s at stake for U.S. skaters in Shanghai.
Mar 23, 2015, 11:14 AM EDT
The oldest competitor at USATF Masters Indoors wants to run a 100m at age 100 at the Penn Relays.
Mar 23, 2015, 9:02 AM EDT
Franklin hasn’t decided yet where she will train.
Mar 22, 2015, 9:56 AM EDT
Lindsey Vonn finished ahead of Mikaela Shiffrin.
Mar 22, 2015, 7:25 AM EDT
They will join the two best U.S. gymnasts of the last two years at a competition in Italy.
Mar 21, 2015, 7:46 PM EDT
“This is what I gave things up for, and the best part is it doesn’t even feel like I gave anything up,”
Mar 21, 2015, 1:02 PM EDT
His closest rival is sitting out the final race Sunday.
Mar 21, 2015, 11:37 AM EDT
Why Shiffrin is unlikely to give up the slalom crown for quite some time.
- U.S. women struggle, trail Russian brilliance after World Championships short program 1
- Canadians win World pairs title; best U.S. finish since 2011 0
- Usain Bolt to race individually in U.S. for first time since 2008 0
- Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir preview World Championships men’s, pairs events 0
- Boston 2024 calls for statewide referendum for Olympic bid 1
- U.S. would top 2016 Olympic medal standings in virtual projection 0
- Tara Lipinski, Johnny Weir preview World Championships women’s, ice dance events 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (60)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (39)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)