Back home in San Diego now after another memorable Boston Marathon week. I flew back on the same flight as Marathon Grand Marshall and 2014 champion Meb Keflezighi who carried a Gronk-signed New England Patriots football helmet along with the good wishes of dozens of blue-jacket clad marathon finishers.
During the long, cross country trip I chatted with row-mate Elisa Wiggins, a native San Diegan and Brown University grad who was dealing with some dire quads after Monday’s race.
But I also had a chance to reflect on what we had witnessed in the 123rd running of the world’s most famous long-distance race.
As in all sports, there is a mighty fine line between winning and losing in marathoning. In Monday’s 123rd Boston Marathon men’s race, the difference between first and second – officially two seconds,but that’s not the way it looked, more later – 2:07:57 for champion Lawrence Cherono of Kenya and 2:07:59 for runner up Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia. A difference of 0.0002% over a 128-minute span.
Nobody I’ve talked to saw anything close to a two-second spread.
“They were still shoulder-to-shoulder with 10 meters left,” said Gianni Demadonna, the manager of decisive women’s winner Worknesh Degefa.
It makes no difference. Time was secondary. Cherono clearly won as Desisa slumped in his final stride, knowing his cause was lost.
So, did Cherono win, or Desisa lose? (more…)