Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Caroline Rotich Races to Boston Lore

Golden laurels and the champions cup - courtesy NYDaily news
Big day in Boston yesterday. Santa Fe local Caroline Rotich wins an epic duel down Boylston Street with Ethiopian Mare Dibaba, of Dibaba sister fame. Caroline's previous Boston best was 4th in 2011 (besting Kara Goucher). She also ran 4th at Chicago in 2012.

I wasn't even aware that Caroline was running yesterday. Monitoring the live feed I was first disappointed to see Flanagan fall off the lead pack at 1:45hr, then Desi broke at about 1:57hr. Both Americans no longer chasing podium spots. I then took a moment to review who the final three were: Dibaba, Deba, and Rotich. The first two easily recognizable, decorated Ethiopian runners. Spent a moment trying to place Rotich before snapping up in my chair in realization that I was watching Caroline. Holy hell, she was in the final selection at Boston. She could win this thing!

The pace accelerated at oh-shit underpass and Deba was out the back. Caroline lead the race out of the final turn onto Boylston where the finish line is suddenly wating in the distance - dangerously distant 500m off. Can't even imagine what that must be like. Dibaba moved first at about 350m, opening a little space - I cringed watching it unfold, frantically whispering encouragement and gesturing wildly from my desk. But the lead arrested, Dibaba couldn't open a break, a dramatic pause lingered over the two for several seconds, then Caroline moved all-in. The acceleration erased the small advantage and as she caught and moved past Dibaba the other runner's face creased with effort, her stride visibly strained, then she broke. Caroline ran free into open space, a giant grin on her face, the finishing tape a short 70m away. HUGE.

Caroline's winning bid, Dibaba implodes - courtesy of USAToday
Complete disbelief on my part as to what I'd just seen. Exhausted and elated, Caroline staggers around draped with a thin blanket, receiving a bear hug from one of the officials, then Bolton suddenly steps into the video feed to give Caroline a second hug and congratulations. This was happening at the finish line, at Boston, on Patriots Day. One of the most unreal things I've ever seen.

A friend and training partner of Caroline's watches the live feed of the final 500m
Posted by K. Hollingsworth Ryals on Monday, April 20, 2015
Every northern New Mexico runner yesterday morning
Originally posted by K. Hollingsworth Ryals, Monday, April 20, 2015

Today's Santa Fe New Mexican headline piece (Staci Matlock)
Today's Santa Fe Reporter feature piece (Julie Ann Grimm)
Today's Albuquerque Journal headline piece (Glen Rosales)
Today's Boston Herald feature piece (Steve Buckley)

Related Posts:
 - Luminaries on the Rail Trail (2011)
 - Caroline Rotich and the Santa Fe Elite Training Group (2011)
 - BOSTON! (2015)
 - Meb wins Boston (2014)

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...