Re-cap of the racing this past weekend
Well, since I highlighted some races from this past weekend, I feel I should also give you the results. I pointed out four athletes in particular who were running either the full or half marathon at either Houston or Rock ‘n Roll Arizona, and I would say three of them did well.
Although Shalane Flanagan’s 69:41 debut half marathon (making her the 5th fastest in US history) is getting most of the publicity, I think the best performance of the weekend was Brett Gotcher’s 2:10:35 debut marathon (4th fastest US debut marathon time).
In Arizona, Deena Kastor ran 69:43 to win the half marathon and more importantly show she may be over the hump after over a year of fighting injuries. The men’s race saw Ryan Hall come in 2nd (you know you are good when it’s news that you didn’t win) with a rather lackluster (for him) time of 1:04:08, over a minute behind winner Simon Bairu’s 1:02:47. We probably won’t know if this was just a bump in the road for Hall or if this is a sign of not-so-good things to come until the Boston Marathon in April.
There was some indoor track action of note as well. In New Mexico, Shannon Rowbury won the mile in 4:34. She called this a “rust buster” race, as it was her first competitive race since the 5th Avenue Mile in New York last September. Look for Shannon in an indoor meet in Boston and then back in New Mexico for the USA Indoor Championships later this season.
Also getting some news from New Mexico is Galen Rupp. Much like Hall, Rupp has superstart status so that it’s a big deal if he doesn’t win. In Rupp’s case, it was an 800 meter race (not Rupp’s specialty) and rumor is that he was sick. Rupp went out in 54 for the first lap but could only muster a 60 for the second lap and was beat by Raffi Cotte, 1:54.25 to 1:54.71. Who is Raffi Cotte? He’s apparently a freshman walk-on for the University of New Mexico, who now has a great story to one day tell his grandkids, “one day back in 2010 your grandpa beat this guy named Galen Rupp!”