2012 Winners slowed by heat; Kenyan Boston Marathon dominance continues

Michael Santo's picture

Runners were warmed about oppressive heat, which could have been dangerous, but that didn't stop the winners, although times appeared to be heat-slowed.

Wesley Korir won the Boston Marathon on Monday, a year after Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest marathon in history, at 2 hours, 3 minutes, and 2 seconds. This time, Korir won in a heat-slowed unofficial time of 2 hours, 12 minutes, 40 seconds. Mutai ran in the race, but dropped out after 18 miles, suffering from heat-relatedcramps as temperatures crept into the 80s during the 26.2 mile run.

On the women's side of things, Sharon Cherop won the race in a sprint at the finish, completing a Kenyan sweep. Even if she hadn't outsprinted Jemima Jelagat Sumgong it would have been a sweep, as she is a fellow Kenyan. Cherop won in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 31 minutes, 50 seconds.

This was the fifth consecutive year that the women's race finished in a sprint down the final portion down Boylston Street. Kenyans have dominated recent Boston Marathons. Korir was is 19th Kenyan men's winner in the last 22 years. Meanwhile, Cherop is the third Kenyan women's winner in the past five years.

The registered field was almost 27,000, but when the race started on Monday, only a total of 22,426 runners started the race in Hopkinton, with race organizers warning of temperatures expected to be as high as 84 by the time the last of the participants finished the Boston Marathon. Many of the no-shows are expected to take race organizers up on their offer for a deferment into the 2013 Boston Marathon.

The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) offered a limited deferment in 2010, when the Icelandic volcano eruption halted air traffic in Europe. That occurrence prevented about 300 runners from making it to Boston.

The male wheelchair racers didn't see affected by the heat. Canadian Joshua Cassidy won the men's wheelchair race in a time of 1 hour, 18 minutes, and 25 seconds, a time that is the fastest in history. American Shirley Reilly of Arizona edged out Japan's Wakako Tsuchida during, you guessed it, a sprint to the finish in the women's wheelchair division. Reilly's time was 1 hour, 37 minutes, and 36 seconds, just one second ahead of Tsuchida.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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