Monday, April 16, 2012

Hot, Hot and Hotter at Oven-Baked Boston Marathon

No one ran as fast as they wanted to on Monday at the 116th Boston Marathon. It's hard to just finish when temperatures are in the 80s, but a tough bunch of Illinois runners did the Hopkinton-to-Boston run and survived to talk about it. Leading the way on the men's side from our state were three 31-year-olds, James Akita of Elmhurst in 2:38:27; Andy Derks of Aurora in 2:43:22; and Jacob Klaustermeier of Crystal Lake in 2:47:00. The top three Illinois women were Loryn Kromley, 28, of Chicago, in 3:17:37; Sanya Syrstad, 46, of Glen Ellyn, in 3:19:50; and Tammy Lifka, 41, also of Glen Ellyn, in 3:21:26. Forget the times. This was a survival contest. Special recognition is due Dave Walters, 56, of Lisle, who placed second in the M55-59 age group with a 2:54:17, and Nancy Rollins, 65, of Evanston, who was third in F65-69 with a 4:13:20. As I said, forget the times. You don't run a fast marathon on a tough course in those temperatures. Wesley Korir, the winner in 2:12:40, is a 29-year-old Kenyan with Chicago connections. You might remember him as the guy who placed fourth a few years ago at Chicago while running as an "ordinary" runner and not as an official elite. After some debate involving USATF rules, he was awarded prize money by Chicago race director Carey Pinkowski. A runner-up finish last year at Chicago and a few other wins, and the rest is history. Wesley is on top of the sport. Congratulations to all who ran Boston today. This was one for the history books.

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