Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Well, it’s the morning after Boston – is there a pill for that? I followed a handful of people on-line and it wasn’t pretty. It looks like most people ran at least 8 minutes slower during the second half of the race. I haven’t talked to anyone yet and have only read one race report, so I’m not positive what happened. While it wasn’t 85 and sunny like last year, it was 70 and sunny at the start – less than ideal.

I “ran” last year in those miserable conditions and I’ve said if I knew how to get back to Boston, I’d have dropped out around mile 8. I ended up running 3:50, which was 52 minutes slower than my qualifying time. I wonder what that record is. The “nice” thing about running so slow is that I recovered a lot quicker than normal. As a result, I was able to apply my marathon base to a summer full of short races and ended up running my best times since college. So if Boston didn’t live up to your expectations, there could be a silver lining.

I watched OLN’s coverage last night. Are you telling me there’s not a U.S. distance runner with a communications degree or the desire to commentate? Instead we have a long jumper (Carol Lewis), high jumper (Dwight Stone) and Lewis Johnson. I’m not sure Mr. Johnson’s background, but I’d venture a guess that it’s not distance running. Here are some observations:

4-5 miles into the race, eventually women’s winner, Catherine Ndereba, is about a minute behind the leaders and Carol thought the race was over. I think anyone who’s run a marathon, let alone on the Boston course, would know that a minute with 20+ miles to go is nothing.

Early in the women’s race Carol said something like “the weather is picture perfect today, you couldn’t ask for anything better.” Then her very next sentence is “The runners probably wish it were 10 degrees cooler.” Well, which is it? I guess it was perfect for sitting on your ass, but too hot to be running.

Throughout the race I kept wondering why Ndereba was wearing that black headband that covered her ears. It looked more like a winter headband than a sweatband. After she won, I figured out why. It was to protect her head from the laurel wreath that they present to the winners. Why didn’t they just place a crown of thorns on her head?

Note to the BAA: these runners have tiny heads. You might want to scale back the size of the wreaths a little. It was more like a necklace for the men’s winner.

Anyone see when they introduced us to the top elite runners? It was like when they introduce the starters for Monday Night Football. They showed each runner standing around in the same John Hancock turtleneck and BAA jacket as they gave a little bio of them. Well, they showed the runners face for about half a second, then the camera start zooming in and moving from left to right and up and down. It was very annoying. Just hold the camera still.

It was nice to see Alan Culpepper crack the top-5. I knew his results from following on-line. If I hadn’t, I’d have been more upset by OLN’s coverage. Is it that hard to mention the top Americans a few times over the course of 2 hours?

Okay, this is probably too long of an entry already. I'll just close by saying I ran an easy 5 miles with strides this morning and my legs felt much better. I have a hard workout planned with my team this evening too.


kemibe said...

Let's see, almost no splits, a complete lack of awareness of Ndereba's perennial strategy, calling Negussie's decisive move with about ten minutes of running remaining a bad idea, etc., etc.

I know people rip on these same announcers after every track meet, but the marathon is an even more difficult chore for them -- an utterly foreign concept to everyone in the OLN booth yesterday. Lewis couldn't ably cover a checkers match between retarded children (nor could she beat them at their own game) and the others were happily in a fog. Easily the worst coverage of Boston I've ever observed; when I lived up there I could watch it on one of the local stations, which always do a good job.

Chad Austin said...


Maybe you should consider a career in commentating. If you speak as well as you write, I'd pay to watch.

How's the book selling? I gotta get a copy soon.


Alison said...

Why is it only now that I'm hearing everyone's Boston horror stories? (Just kidding, I already know the answer.) I guess it's good to know that I'm not the only one.

It was in the mid-80s in MA yesterday, so I guess we're lucky that the marathon was on Monday.

I hope your cold goes away soon.