Will American-born runners top either podium for the first time since the 1980s?
There’s something special about the Boston Marathon. Maybe it’s the pain of Heartbreak Hill and how it’s managed to crush even the most gifted runners over the past 121 years. Maybe it’s the triumph of women, once barred from the race, gliding across the finish line. Maybe it’s because the race is a symbol of strength, a haven where both Boston and the running community banded together to support one another after 2013’s bombing.
Or perhaps it’s because it’s a marquee sporting event you can watch on a Monday at the office, alongside the traditional Red Sox day game that accompanies it.
Either way, the Boston Marathon may be the most-watched race in America and definitely one of the greatest days of the year for distance running. The 2018 version will be the latest in a chain of memorable events, but could take on legendary status if Galen Rupp runs the race of his life Monday.
Rupp finished the 2017 Marathon in second place, just 21 seconds behind winner Geoffrey Kirui. He followed that up with a win at the Chicago Marathon the following October, and now he’ll face tremendous expectations in Massachusetts. It’s been four years since an American has won the Boston Marathon (Meb Keflezighi) and 35 since an American-born runner men’s race (Greg Meyer). A victory Monday would cement Rupp’s status as one of the greatest long distance runners in the nation’s history.
He’ll have to fend off Kirui, the world’s No. 1 ranked marathoner, and the rest of a stacked field. 2:07 times are common among this year’s top 10 entrants, but they may be forced to fall back and watch the American and Kenyan duel in their rematch of last year’s thriller.
On the women’s side, another …read more