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Active Expert: Bruce Hildenbrand

1 Post tagged with the marathon tag

You would think that a year which saw Alberto Salazar'a 25-year old

US men's marathon record was broken would be considered a positive one

for marathoning, but Mother Nature showed us who is boss and big time.


It all started at the granddaddy of them all, Boston, where weathermen

were predicting torrential rains, heavy winds and temperatures in the

30's which almost called organizers to cancel the event something never

before done in the 111-years runners have run, jogged and trudged from

Hopkington to Bean Town.  Thankfully, the weather on race day mellowed

enough to hold a successful, if not a bit chilly, event.


Lest we all forget that you can't fool Mother Nature, the Chicago Marathon

saw weather at the other end of the spectrum as sweltering heat plagued the

event resulting in the death of one runner and forcing organizers to cancel

the race after three-and-a-half hours.  Of the 45,000 runners registered,

10,000 failed to start and an additional 10,000 were prevented from finishing

due to the premature course closure.


Technology shared the stage with the weather in December's Honolulu Marathon

as the event scoring system left 3500 runners wondering just how they did.

Heavy rains played havoc with the electrical generators used to power the

timing systems.  Also, the scoring chip used to track each runner failed in

numerous cases some because of damage while attaching the chip to the

athlete's shoes others when runners failed to realize that the chip had to

be removed from the their race bib and attached to their running shoes.


Add to that the tragic death of up-and-coming star Ryan Shay at the US

Olympic Marathon trials in November and you can see why 2007 was a year

that many endurance runners and race organizers would rather forget.  The

silver lining in this tumultuous year has to be Ryan Hall's US record

2:08:24 set in London.  That's 4:54 per mile for 26.2 miles and means that

the US might just be closing the gap to the Kenyans and Ethiopians.


What's in store for 2008?  Hopefully, Ma Nature will give us a bit of a

break.  As we all look to Bejing and the 2008 Olympics, it's the man-made

smog blanketing China's capital city that has runners worried.  For those

of us who will be going for personal bests on US soil, have no fear; Lance

Armstrong recently announced he will be running the Boston Marathon.  That's

good enough for me to be positive about what's ahead!



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