At this morning’s Elite Athletes press conference for the Boston Marathon, some of America’s fiercest competitors shared their pre-race training routines, how they felt going into Marathon Monday and what their goals were for this race.
“I’m ready as I can be,” stated Hansons-Brooks runner Shadrack Biwott when asked if he felt prepared for Monday’s race. For this event, Biwott is aiming for a podium finish, but also has a few other objectives in mind: “Just have fun out there, give the best, make sure that I don’t leave with regrets. That’s the goal.”
Nike Oregon Project runner Galen Rupp discussed his pre-race training, which included adding mileage to his runs as well as more speed work to improve on his performance. But he’s also cautious of doing what’s right for his body to ensure he’s running for years to come. “I’ve always taken a long-term approach in my career with running. Never do too much, too soon; not take risks that’ll lead to too many injuries that will really set you back over long periods of time,” stated Rupp.
Last year, Rupp finished second at Boston Marathon with a time of 2:09:58, only 21 seconds behind winner Geoffrey Kirui. This year, the American athlete just may have what it takes to not only podium again but to finish on top.
“This is a race that I never really understood it until I was here last year, just how special it is. I tell people all the time that this is the most fun,” shared Rupp. “The Olympics are the Olympics. … Outside of that, this is the most fun I’ve ever had at a race, anywhere in the world. I remember crossing the line vividly last year within five minutes seeing Alberto [Salazar] and just telling him, ‘I want to go back and try and win this race.’ There’s no bigger race in America than the Boston Marathon so to be able to win would be really special.”
On the women’s side, the elite field is stacked with amazing American runners. Last year’s NYC Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan can easily see another female American win at Boston. “I think the American women are dreaming exceptionally bigger because of the New York victory,” said Flanagan. “I think it helps us have a little more swagger, a little more confidence that what we’re doing is good enough, it validated our hard work and it gives everyone some hope, and hope is really powerful.”
Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project Runner Desiree Linden is also excited and ready for Patriot’s Day. This will be her sixth appearance on the iconic course and she’s feeling confident with the work she’s put in to get to where she’s at physically and mentally. “I think I’m in a good spot, maybe not exactly where I was last year but certainly not a step behind,” shared Linden. “I don’t think I’ve done anything necessarily to close the gap from last year, but had a little bit of a break last Fall, I took a marathon off. So I feel a little bit fresher and mentally rejuvenated.”
Rain is projected this year on Marathon Monday which was brought up many times when speaking with the athletes. But most argued that although it wasn’t ideal conditions they weren’t too worried that it would hinder their performance. “It’s going to be very much a marathoner’s day, which I’m a marathoner through and through. So just go out there and be competitive,” said Linden.
“Stay as warm as possible, just bring your buffer,” said Nike Oregon Project runner Jordan Hasay. “I feel like rain is better than heat so kind of enjoy it. I feel like any long run I’ve ever done where I’m completely soaked I’m just laughing.”
Having taken third in Boston before and now in Chicago, Hasay is back again at Heartbreak Hill to compete for a podium finish. Leading up to Boston, Hasay spent more time getting in longer distance runs to be prepared for Monday. “Basically we’re trying to do anything from 22 to 25 miles each week,” said Hasay. “So getting that in and it’s at various paces. Sometimes it’s easier to do, some are more at marathon pace. I really think that in training for a marathon, just be sure to get your long run in.”
But, when the race is over, the crowds have left and the winners have been announced, Linden’s first act will be to “go get a burger and a beer. It’s that simple.” We’ll be right there with you, Des.