Posted by: Joe English | April 20, 2009

Races — Merga and Kosgei win Boston Marathon; Goucher and Hall both third

2009 Boston Marathon

2009 Boston Marathon

In a day of two very different paces, and of high expectations for American runners, the 2009 Boston Marathon proved to be a very exciting race. Deriba Merga and Selena Kosgei take the victories, as Americans Kara Goucher and Ryan Hall both take third place.

In the men’s race, American Ryan Hall set a blistering pace in the early miles, but it was Ethiopia’s Deriba Merga who pushed away in the Newton Hills to take a solo victory in 2:08:41. Ryan Hall was not able to meet the elevated pace in the move over the hills, but he held on and was clawing his way back late into the race. In the final mile, he was at a near sprint to challenge for second place. He finished in a strong third place in 2:09:40.

In the women’s race, the pace was slow through the early miles, with no one appearing to want to lead. Kara Goucher sat in the middle of the pack for much of the race, waiting for a time to take over. On Heartbreak Hill, she pushed up the pace along with Dire Tune, and the two began to drive the pace down. The lead pack quickly dropped to seven women, then five, then it was just three.

Coming onto Boylston Street, it was Tune and Selena Kosgei fighting it out at the front, with Goucher just off to their left. It almost looked like Goucher was trying a sneak attack to surprise the two, but she didn’t have quite enough in the end to overtake them.

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