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Sunday, November 05, 2006

New York City Marathon

The New York race holds special meaning to me. The first race I ever remember seeing on TV, when I was 12 years old, was the classic 1983 duel between Rod Dixon and Geoff Smith. For years afterwards I imagined I was Dixon every time I ran through the local city park on a cool fall day. I still do sometimes.

Unfortunately, the traditional live TV coverage has now become a 1-hour afternoon highlight reel. And NBC missed the highlights. Defending champ Jelena Prokopcuka broke away early and was never challenged, so there really wasn' much to show there. But the men's race was really interesting and they completely shortchanged us.

A relative unknown, Brazilian Marilson Gomes dos Santos, took the lead just after 30k. We didn't get to see him in the lead until the 26th mile. They did give us quite a bit of Lance Armstrong coverage; I'll admit I was hoping he'd die and not beat my PR (3:09:05), but he held on for 2:59:36. As if I needed any more motivation to break 3 hours...

Who is Gomes dos Santos? He won the big Sao Silvestre road race last New Year's Eve, beating some big names while doing it. He broke two national track records (5k and 10k) last summer, and has been a top-ten finisher in other major races (World Championships, Chicago, Paris). Ken Young's world rankings put him 5th among race entrants. So he wasn't really an unknown, but not on the announcers' short list.

As far as the World Marathon Majors standings go, New York was almost a non-factor on the men's side. On the women's side, however, Prokopcuka took a strong lead (she was the Boston runner-up earlier this year).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


You really need a faster PR!

Work on getting that down!