Off the top of my head I know that Santa Fe's Vin Kelley will be running, Andy Winnegar is running, whom else? In the elite field I know that Olympian Shalane Flanagan will be seeking the first win by an American (male or female) in 30yrs. In the men's elite field the entirety of last year's US Olympic team has dropped due to injuries, Meb, Hall, Abdi. Not so inspiring fellas. Course record holder Geoffrey Mutai returns to reignite the magic of his 2011 season.
When thinking of Boston the two legends that immediately come to mind are Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit. The other members of American Marathoning royalty - Frank Shorter, Meb Keflezighi, Deena Drossin - they are Olympic heroes, not revered for specific glory in America's most storied race. Alberto Salazar was a hero of New York and the chase for the world record. Boston Billy and Joanie were heroes of Boston, the peoples' race and the fabric of 116 years of American running history. And Joanie, as she's affectionately known, was a Boston hero, an Olympic pioneer and gold medalist, and a world record holder. She touched them all. She held the American record for twenty years and still holds the American Olympic record 30yrs after running to gold in the first ever women's Olympic Marathon. She's my favorite, and it's her I that I think of when I think of the best of American marathoning. And as it so happens Joanie is running on Monday, her talent only marginally eroded by time and miles.
Cheers to all the New Mexican runners heading east with shoes tied to their luggage, digital watches strapped to wrists, and electric expectations of being part of the Boston experience.
Joanie and the 1984 LA Olympic Games
Boston Related Posts:
- Boston! (2012)
- Boston Fills Up Slower than Expected
- Boston Race Report - 2010