Tuesday, April 27, 2010


As Drew mentioned before, MDRA coach and Lydiard guru Nobby Hasizume not only went to Boston but also got some great access to the elite runners, allowing for these pictures posted here.

But wait, there's more.  Here's more about Nobby's trip to Boston, in his own words.

It was a perfect day at Boston.  It had been raining ever since I arrived on Friday.  It doesn’t happen often that somewhere else is colder than Minnesota!  They were even talking about possible snow flurry Friday night!  The rain stopped by Sunday evening.  As we walked out of Runner’s World party, the only concern I had was the wind.  At 10:00PM, the flag around downtown Boston was whipping around pretty hard…  

Next day, I took a train from where I was staying, Newbury Port, to North Station.  A beautiful clear sky and the sun was shining.  At Copley, I spotted the Hanson brothers, Kevin and Keith.  I call them “Boston Wind God” because when Reiko Tosa ran it in 2006, he gave us the chart of marathon course, divided into each 5-mile segment with projected wind of the day.  “10 miles an hour tail wind coming from about 45 degrees angle.  But when you start to go up the Heartbreak Hill, it’ll be almost directly from behind…,” they said. 

My main concern for this year’s race was on 2 runners; Jason Lehmkuhle and Paige Higgins.  Jason has been running very well in the past few years.  With the strong wind on his back, I thought he might even flirt with 2:10 barrier.  Likewise, Paige is trying to break 2:30 barrier.  Paige’s coach, Greg McMillan, and her father were driving along the course to check her out and I was following her progress from the media room at Copley.  A few miles to go, she was running 15thplace and catching up other runners fast and she was the first American woman.  Excited, I rushed outside with a camera.  I positioned myself about 300m to the finish.  I looked up the big screen and saw the men’s leader, Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, the younger.  It says: “One mile to go” and the clock shows 2:01…I had to double-look – that’s sub-2:06 pace!  Nobody’s going to run 2:05 on Boston course!!  

Then I realized that I was too busy checking Paige’s split times and forgot to check Jason’s split.  “Maybe he’s going for sub 2:10…” was my thought.  In the end, he was 9th overall, the third American behind Ryan Hall (4th) and Meb Keflezighi (5th) in 2:12:24 – 30 seconds PR.  At the finish, he was completely spent.  With the power of Media Pass, I dashed to him past the finish gate for high-five.  He could barely lift his hand.  That’s how it should be – good on him!  Congratulations, Jason!! 

Paige couldn’t break 2:30 barrier either but was the first American female and 13th overall, passing a few more in the final mile (the last one on Boylestone).  After having to forgoing Boston due to a knee injury last year; and a DNF at LA Marathon mere month ago, it was a nice redemption for her.  Congratulations to her as well. 

A few years back, when they had the US Cross Country Championships in Boulder, CO, Jason was asking Steve Hoag how to run Boston.  “You’re ready for a breakthrough,” Hoag said to Jason.  It wasn’t meant to be at Boston then but his breakthrough came in NY when he finished 5th behind the former world record holder, Khalid Khannouchi at the US Olympic Trial.  He carried on and PR-ed at Boston.  But, at the same time, couldn’t help but give even more respect to Steve Hoag’s 2:11:54, yet another 30 seconds up from Jason’s time, when he chased down “Boston Billy”, Bill Rodgers in 1975, 35 years ago!  So here’s a big congratulations to Steve Hoag as well. 

1 comment:

Chad said...

Nice recap, Nobby.