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Boston 2006 Time Report

BOSTON – The 110th edition of the BAA Boston Marathon was one of the most vicious first 21km of the race in many a year.

The last few years have all been tactical affairs with no hint of brute physical exertion, however what was on display at this year’s Boston was awesome amongst the men. The halfway mark was reached in 62 minutes with a string of runners in contention, closely followed by athletes under 64 minutes and 65 minutes. A truly marked difference in comparison to a number of the past events.

The group at the front and thereabouts consisted of the USA‘s race favourite Meb Keflezighi accompanied by Alan Culpepper, Ben Maiyo (KEN), Deriba Merga (ETH), John Korir (KEN), defending champ Negussie (ETH), Timothy Cherigat (KEN, the winner in 2004), Wilson Onsare (KEN, 2nd in 2005), Robert Cheruiyot (winner in 2003), William Kiplagat and Kenjiro Jitsui (JPN).

The half split of 62 minutes, was largely due to Tanzania’s John Yuda, two time World Half  Bronze medalist, act of aggression after the field passed through 10k in 30:04, this after a 4:41 mile between the 5th and 6 mile. The tempo continued through 15k in 44:47 and on towards 21km.

The specific advice of Paul Tergat, the World Record holder – set in Berlin 2003, to Cheruiyot was to show patience, not to take the lead and to wait for his opportunity to attack. This he did to the letter T, not even the promptings of countryman, Maiyo, would get the tall strongly built athlete to go to the front. That is, not until he was ready to attack and when it happened it was decisive and victory assuring in its manner of strength and timing.

Cheruiyot went on to set-up a new course record winning time of 2:07:14, breaking Cosmos Ndeti’s long-standing record of 2:07:15. Maiyo held on for 2nd with Keflezighi 3rd. Encouraging for American hopes for the future was the 4th and 5th placing of 2 further Americans in Brian Sell and Culpepper, as well as the further 2 placing in the top 10 of Peter Gilmore 2:12:45 for 7th and Clint Verran 2:14:12 in 10th place.

For Sell; who had run a more cagey race, 4th spot and a Personal Best of 2:10:55 could prove to be the ‘watershed’ and springboard for the 1000’s of athletes out there in the States who can now see the proof that commitment and hardwork can achieve good results. Congrats Sell.

In the Women’s race, it was considered to be a formality between Japan’s Reiko Tosa and Latvia’s New York winner in 2005, Jelena Prokopcuka, as to who the title would go to. However, Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo proved to be more than a match for her more fancied rivals when she made her one and only decisive break, never allowing a hard chasing Prokopcuka to get back on even terms.

For Jeptoo, the victory spells the rise of Kenya’s next marathon star with considerations to replacing Catherine Ndereba as the East Africans next marathon Queen. Things were not all plain sailing for Jeptoo in reaching the shores of Boston, however once her passport problems were a thing of the past she could concentrate on the racing. The result says it all

For the Kenyans it spelled a double victory and it continued their dominance of this event which has become synonymous with Boston


Men’s Open:
Robert Cheruiyot (Kenya), 2:07:14

Women’s Open:
Rita Jeptoo (Kenya), 2:23:38

Men’s Masters:
Sammy Nyangincha (Kenya), 2:26:37

Women’s Masters:
Madina Biktagirova (Portugal), 2:30:06

Men’s Wheelchair:
Ernst Van Dyk (RSA), 1:25:29

Women’s Wheelchair:
Edith Hunkeler (USA), 1:43:42

For further reports and results view