The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New York City Marathon recap

1. Martin Lel (Kenya), 2:09:04
2. Abderrahim Goumri (Morocco), 2:09:16
3. Hendrick Ramaala (South Africa), 2:11:25
4. Stefano Baldini (Italy) 2:11:58
5. James Kwambai (Kenya) 2:12:

1. Paula Radcliffe (UK), 2:23:09
2. Gete Wami (Ethiopia), 2:23:32
3. Jelena Prokopcuka (Latvia), 2:26:13
4. Lidiya Grigoryeva (Russia) 2:28:37
5. Catherine Ndereba (Kenya) , 2:29:08

Full results

Details? Read 'em here:
AP story
IAAF story
ABC News
Race Results Weekly

My thoughts on the New York City marathon...

While NBC did a pretty good job with their 1-hour race recap, it's just not enough. I remember back when ABC did live coverage of the whole thing, and not only did it make marathoning look cool as hell, it made Brooklyn look like an awesome place to live. Kudos to them for pioneering a rather simple innovation--showing splits for each of the previous five miles all at once. Maybe we can get lap splits like this on the track...

When Gete Wami was tracking Paula Radcliffe all the way through Central Park, I thought "We've seen this before--this will be fairly decisive when it comes". Then Wami stepped on the accelerator and...nothing happened. She ran out of gas and Radcliffe destroyed her. Coming on the heels of a long layoff, Radcliffe has now pretty much removed all doubt as to who is the greatest female marathoner of all time.

In preparation for next summer's Olympics, today's race is both a good and a bad sign for Radcliffe. While she raced very well, she also reaffirmed that she is mentally incapable of allowing anyone to run in front of her for even a few steps, and I think that inability to wait and hold back was her undoing in Athens. In a big-city invitational, there are only a few other superstars and pretenders are almost completely absent. In Radcliffe's single Worlds victory, the field was a bit thin and the weather didn't penalize an agressive start. But in Beijing, every good runner will be there and the conditions will kill off anyone who runs the first part of the race foolishly. For that race I wouldn't put down a wager on Radlciffe unless I got 20-1 odds, and I'd take even money on her DNF-ing again.

World Marathon Majors champs:
Men, Robert Cheruyiot (80 pts)
Women, Gete Wami (80 pts)

Did the series accomplish its goals? Without it, Wami would not have doubled back from Berlin, and today's women's race would have been anything but a race. I also think the emphasis on competition rather than time allowed Boston and New York to do away with rabbits (as the courses aren't time-friendly anyway) which in turn created far more interesting finishes. Yeah, I think the five major marathons definitely raised their profiles and professional marathoning as well.

No comments: