Monday, April 20, 2009

Kara Goucher 3rd at Boston Marathon

Kara Goucher made the race, but Salina Kosgei won it.

Kosgei edged defending champion Dire Tune of Ethiopia for the women's title at the 113th Boston Marathon today, in the closest women's finish in event history.

Goucher, a Duluth native, finished 3rd, after pushing the pace in the late-going and challenging for the win in the race's final mile.

Kosgei, a Kenyan, ran 2:32:16, Tune ran 2:32:17, Goucher ran 2:32:25.

After a dawdling early pace -- the leaders split 10K in 37:06 and crossed the half-way stripe at 1:18:12 -- Goucher led a hammering drive to the finish after cresting Heartbreak Hill in the race's 22nd mile. The University of Colorado alum's charge winnowed the lead pack to three, but Goucher couldn't match the fleet African pair in the homestretch.

"I'm proud of what I did," Goucher said holding back tears, according to a USA Track and Field media release.

Describing the support she received from family, friends, her coach, Alberto Salazar, and her sponsor, Nike, she said: "I wanted it so much for them. I'm proud of how I did, and I raced the best I could. I just wanted to be the one who won for everybody."

Goucher matched her finished place from last fall's New York City Marathon, where she debuted in 2:25:53.

"I don't enter a race I don't think I can win," Goucher said, according to the Running USA Wire. "No one expects more of me than I do. I felt better than I did in New York, but the other women were just better at the end."

Two-time Grandma's Marathon women's champ Mary Akor finished 13th in 2:41:09.

Deriba Merga of Ethiopia won the men's race in 2:08:42, American Ryan Hall was 3rd in 2:09:40.

Recommended Links ...

The Duluth News-Tribune has THIS Associated Press report on the race.

There's video of Goucher at the post-race media conference HERE.

Parker Morse, for the IAAF, has an in-depth story on both the men's and women's races HERE.

Photo by Victor Sailer/Photo Run.

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