Cheruiyot (The Younger) Smashes Boston Marathon CR

Cheruiyot Crushes Course Record at 114th Boston
Erkesso women’s champion; Hall, Keflezighi,
Lehmkuhle 4th, 5th, 9th

By Parker Morse, Running
USA wire

BOSTON – (April 19, 2010) – Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot
of Kenya ran 2:05:52 to smash the previous course record at the B.A.A. Boston
on Monday, chipping a minute and twenty-two seconds off the former
record of 2:07:14 held by Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (no relation).
Americans Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezighi finished fourth and fifth,
respectively, in 2:08:41 and 2:09:26. Teyba Erkesso of Ethiopia was the
women’s champion in 2:26:11 at the 114th edition of the storied 26.2 mile road

Hall, who explained afterward that his intention was to “Have
fun and run free,” took the pace for many of the early miles, leading the pack
in the early downhill running out of Hopkinton (reaching five miles in 23:38)
and returning to the front at twelve miles, where the 2008 Olympian cupped his
ears to ask the cheering Wellesley women to turn up the volume. The pack reached
the half-marathon in 1:03:25 with Hall still in the lead, and it was at that
point that defending champion Deriba Merga of Ethiopia and Cheruiyot led
the race-winning breakaway.

Cheruiyot, 21, whose name similarity with four-time champion
and previous course record holder Kipkoech now surpasses the two John Kelleys as
the most confusing pairs of names in Boston history, explained that his strategy
followed a conversation he’d had with his namesake in February.

“He told me to stay in the group,” said Cheruiyot, “but when
they went too slowly, to move. If anyone went with me, stay behind them.”

Cheruiyot was also favoring sore hamstrings, which led him to
leave most of the climbing work to Merga. Once the course had passed the last
peak, Cheruiyot blasted away from Merga and set off in pursuit of the

“I wanted to improve my time from last year, when I ran 2:10
and placed 5th,” said Cheruiyot who earned $175,000 ($150,000 for the win and
$25,000 course record bonus). “At 38K, I saw I would have the course record, so
I pushed. I did not change my training from last year, but this time I knew the

Merga, whose racing between his 2009 victory and today had
been largely forgettable, professed to be in good shape today. “I was going for
the win,” he said. “I’m very disappointed.”

After Cheruiyot dropped him, Merga was passed by his
countryman Tekeste Kebede, who took second in 2:07:23, now the
fifth-fastest time on the Boston list. Merga finished third in 2:08:39, just two
seconds ahead of Hall.

Hall, whose 2:08:41 is now the fastest time ever run by an
American at Boston, professed to be pleased with his result and that of his
Mammoth Track Club teammate Keflezighi. “I think it was a good time for us,” he
told reporters after the race. “There’s something to knowing the course. John
Hancock brought us out earlier this year, and we camped out in Waltham and
trained on the course all the time. I learned a lot from guys like Bill Rodgers
and Greg Meyer who trained on the course all the time” before winning in

Hall added, “My coach at Stanford used to ask me, ‘Where does
the big elephant sit? It sits wherever it wants to.’ I wanted to run like the
big elephant. I was able to take the lead when I wanted it and sit back when I
needed to.

“It was good to feel like I wasn’t alone, having Meb out
there. It takes time to reach those 2:05s, and I think mine’s still in front of

“We ran our hearts out,” said Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic
Marathon silver medalist. “I cried afterward. It’s wonderful to be back. We
train to be the best. Last time I was here, Robert Cheruiyot ran a course
record, and another Robert Cheruiyot did today.”

“Through the fire station I was feeling pretty good,” added
the two-time Olympian. “I was trying to make up ground on the downhills, but it
was tough. With about four miles to go I started to tie up. We have a few more
years, and we’re going to try again.”

“The wind was a factor, so I tried to tuck in and stay out of
it. We went through in 1:03 and I felt pretty good.”

Hall’s next marathon will be in Chicago this fall, while
Keflezighi will return to New York, where he is the defending champion. Joining
Hall and Keflezighi in the top 10 was Team USA Minnesota’s Jason
, who was 9th in 2:12:24 (a personal best).

Erkesso, 27, took the lead before the halfway mark and
dropped her last pursuer, 2008 race champion Dire Tune, a few miles
later. Running solo through the second half, Erkesso, the 2009-10 Chevron
Houston Marathon champion, built a lead that at times exceeded two minutes. In
the closing miles, however, Russian Tatyana Pushkareva nibbled away at
Erkesso’s lead until the two were within ten seconds in the final mile.
Pushkareva closed to within three seconds of Erkesso at the line, and the
winning margin of 2:26:11 to 2:26:14 was the third-smallest in Boston women’s
history. (The smallest, 1 and 2 seconds, came in 2009 and 2008,

Defending women’s champion Salina Kosgei was third in
2:28:35, while the top American woman was Paige Higgins of Flagstaff, AZ,
who ran 2:36:00 to place 13th.

114th Boston Marathon
Marathon Major
Boston, MA, Monday, April 19, 2010

1) Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (KEN), 2:05:52*,
2) Tekeste Kebede (ETH), 2:07:23, $75,000
3) Deriba Merga (ETH),
2:08:39, $40,000
4) Ryan Hall (USA / CA), 2:08:41, $25,000
5) Meb
Keflezighi (USA / CA), 2:09:26, $15,000
6) Gashaw Asfaw (ETH), 2:10:53,
7) John Komen (KEN), 2:11:48, $9000
8) Moses Kigen Kipkosgei
(KEN), 2:12:04, $7400
9) Jason Lehmkuhle (USA / MN), 2:12:24, $5700
Alejandro Suarez (MEX), 2:12:33, $4200
11) Cutbert Nyasango (ZIM), 2:12:40,
12) Antonio Vega (USA / MN), 2:13:47, $2100
13) Elijah Keitany
(KEN), 2:14:48, $1800
14) Stephen Kiogora (KEN), 2:14:50, $1700
15) Chala
Dechase (ETH), 2:14:57, $1500
*course record (previous record, 2:07:14,
Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot (KEN), 2006)

1) Teyba Erkesso (ETH), 2:26:11, $150,000
Tatyana Pushkareva (RUS), 2:26:14, $75,000
3) Salina Kosgei (KEN), 2:28:35,
4) Waynishet Girma (ETH), 2:28:36, $25,000
5) Bruna Genovese
(ITA), 2:29:12, $15,000
6) Lidiya Grigoryeva (RUS), 2:30:31, $12,000
Yurika Nakamura (JPN), 2:30:40, $9000
8) Weiwei Sun (CHN), 2:31:14,
9) Nailya Yulamanova (RUS), 2:31:48, $5700
10) Albina
Mayorova-Ivanova (RUS), 2:31:55, $4200
11) Agnes Kiprop (KEN), 2:33:21,
12) Koren Yal (ETH), 2:33:48, $2100
13) Paige Higgins (USA / AZ),
2:36:00, $1800
14) Madai Perez (MEX), 2:36:04, $1700
15) Meseret Legese
(ETH), 2:37:00, $1500

Full race results, photos and more at:

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