It’s Boston weekend and here is some of the best reading I have done as I get ready to watch Monday’s race.
Sarah Sellers was the surprise of 2018 when the practically unknown nurse anesthetist finished second to Des Linden while running only her second marathon (!!!). In Sarah Sellers and the Craziest Schedule in Running the NYT takes us through Sarah’s demanding schedule (120 mile weeks while working 30 hours at her job) and her goals for Monday, 2020, and beyond.
SI’s Previewing the 2019 Boston Marathon: Who Are the Top Contenders looks at the strengths and weaknesses of this year’s elite field. Given that the weather is again looking cold, wet, and windy, predictions are hard, but I will go out on a limb. I’m looking for Edna Kiplagat and Geoffrey Kirui to win the women’s and men’s races respectively with Jordan Hasay breaking out for the American women after an injury-filled 2018. Jared Ward battled injuries in 2017 after his 2016 Olympic games but looked strong in New York last year. He is gunning for a sub-2:10:00 and with the new marathon standard for Olympic qualification has plenty to run hard for. Des and Yuki will both finish top-5, but neither repeats.
Mario Fraioli’s The Morning Shakeout is one of my favorite weekly running destinations. His newsletter covers several topics this week but he shares a few thoughts on this year’s race.
Des was long one of my favorite runners before she broke the tape in Boston last year. In The Champ Wants to Win Again Runner’s World covers what the whirlwind year has been like since her Boston win. She’s crossed the country doing interviews and appearances, changed coaches, placed sixth at New York, and has zero running commitments beyond Monday.
The course in Boston is as much a star as any of the runners. Wired, in How the Boston Marathon Messes With Runners to Slow Them Down, details how Boston’s course, which with its net downhill should lead to fast racing times, actually beats runners up and slows them down significantly compared to other major races.
Finally, Jared Ward is one of the US men’s elite runners I have been following closely since he made the 2016 Olympic team. Described as the running nerd, Ward is a marathoner, professor, and usually rocks a pretty epic ‘stache. In 26 Things You May Not Know About Me Ward gives us some quick insight into his life and passions outside of running.