Sunday, June 30, 2024

Masters Athletes at the Major Marathons- Tokyo through London 2024

June 3, 2024 It is time to catch up with Masters athletes who compete in the Major Marathons. With no USATF Masters Marathon Championships, the Major Marathons are the showcase for Masters Marathoners (along with a few non-Major, but prestigious and/or regionally important marathons, like Grandma's, L.A., and CIM). The last post on Marathoners was for the US Olympic Trials in Orlando. Before that, in my article posted last October 4th, I covered New York 2022 through Chicago 2023. Berlin 2023 was covered on November 15th. In this article I focus on the marathons since the US Olympic Marathon Trials: Tokyo on March 3, 2024; Boston on April 15, 2024; and London on April 21, 2024.My focus, as usual, is primarily on celebrating the Masters Marathoners. Note: In most cases I report the age division podium; I restrict coverage to the top finishers. Tokyo reports individual single year ages, such as 62, for example,  so I can easily calculate an age grading Performance Level Percentage PLP. I report PLP's of 70% or higher. Because Boston and London only report 5-year age divisions, 60-64, for example, I cannot easily compute a PLP.

TOKYO MARATHON  March 3, 2024 The Tokyo course is flat and fast, similar to Berlin, Chicago and London. With temperatures in the 40's Fahrenheit under cloudy skies with just moderate winds in the morning, it was a good day for a marathon. Marathoners who were still running in the afternoon faced temps in the low 50's but that is still good. With this race just a month after the US Olympic Marathon Trials, the top American open marathoners were not present. The one exception was Betsy Saina who withdrew from the Trials Marathon after Mile 20. This would be a chance to take advantage of the fitness that was not enough in Orlando. Saina did well, finishing fifth in 2:19:17. Saina stayed with the leaders through the 15K but started to lose contact between 15 Km and 20 km. Sutume Asefa Kebede from Ethiopia pulled away from Kenya's Rosemary Wanjiru in the last two kilometers to win 2:15:55 to 2:16:14. Kebede's teammate, Amane Beriso Shankule captured the bronze in 2:16:58 ahead of Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, who finished 4th in 2:18:05. 
No top US men entered.

Lined Up for Start of 2024 Tokyo Marathon Photo Credit-Tokyo Marathon-GALLERY 2024

MASTERS. The same calculation took out many of the top US marathoners from the 40-44 and even the 45-49 division. It is probably true that fewer Americans have run at Tokyo than at Berlin and London. The numbers have increased since it became recognized more formally as one of the Abbot World Majors and the emphasis on getting all six stars of the Abbott World Marathon Majors. In fact, unlike world and national Masters championships, one cannot assume that Masters athletes entered in the competition are, necessarily, trying to compete for their age division podium. In some cases, an athlete may simply want to finish the race to earn that last Marathon major. That is perhaps the case for more American entrants in Tokyo than in any of the other six.

Women Meghann Featherstun 40, who finished 9th in this division at Berlin last September in 2:49:55, was the top US finisher, 13th in the division at 2:53:58 AG = 78.94%. 
Meghann Featherstun competing at the Boston Marathon Photo

Natasha Bliss 43 finished 5th in this division at the Chicago Marathon in 2022 with a 2:51:53 effort. Her best effort in terms of placement was the 2023 New York City Marathon where her 2:55:13 landed her on the podium with the 40-44 third place. claimed the 2nd American spot. She trailed Featherstun in Berlin by about three minutes. It was much the same here as Bliss was the 2nd American, 17th overall in 2:56:02 79.59%. Some may recall that Bliss was one of the lynchpins of the San Diego Track Club that took the Women's 40 and up title at the 2022 Club Cross Championships in San Francisco. Erin Genova 44 finished 22nd at 2:58:36 79.16%.
Meghann Featherstun 13th 2:53:58     Natasha Bliss 17th 2:56:02     Erin Genova 22nd 2:58:36

Men David Cisewski 42 finished 24th in this division at the 2022 Berlin Marathon with a 2:32:39. He ran considerably faster in Tokyo, clocking 2:27:45 86.26% to finish 11th in the division. Cisewski also helped his team, West Valley Track Club to the 2023 USATF Club Cross Country Championships by finishing 3rd overall in the 40+ race. 
David Cisewski heads for the Finish Line and third place in the Masters 40+ race at the 2023 USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Tallahassee FL Photo Credit: Michael Scott

In October 2022, Derek Berube 41 finished 89th in M40 at London with a 2:41:35. Six months later he finished 61st M40, cracking 2:40 with a 2:38:39:at Boston. Berube continued his trend toward faster times, clocking 2:36:01 81.03% to finish 30th here at Tokyo. No other Americans cracked the top 50 in this division.
David Cisewski 11th 2:27:45     Derek Berube 30th 2:36:01
Men Meng Zhao 49 was the first M45 finisher at Boston in 2022 with a 2:32:31. He did not fare as well in Berlin five months later, finishing 34th at 2:37:39. Tokyo was a step in the right direction, especially at age 49; Zhao clocked 2:36:33 86.34% to place 15th in the division. David Sewell 47 ran at Berlin in fall 2021, finishing 23rd in the division at 2:42:13. The following spring he ran at Boston, finishing 56th with a 2:47:34. In fall of 2022 at London, Sewell was once again well under 2:45, clocking 2:42:57 to finish 58th in the division. Sewell could still not keep pace with Zhao but, at 20th, had his best age division finish and a sub-2:40 at 2:39:07 83.50%, his fastest time among his recent tries. Ronald Balaban 47, who has no results listed in Athlinks, was more aggressive than Sewell. Eight seconds faster of Zhao at the 10K, he was twenty seconds faster at the halfway mark, in 1:17:04. But Zhao went almost a minute and a half faster over the next nine kilometers; Zhao was faster at 30 Km, 1:50:36 to 1:51:42, and Sewell went from 2:10 slower at the half marathon to just 55 seconds slower than Balaban. Balaban wound up as 3rd American and 28th in the division at 2:41:57 82.04%.
Meng Zhao 15th 2:36:33     David Sewell 20th 2:39:07     Ronald Balaban 28th 2:41:57

Women In October 2021, Shari Costanzo 48 ran 3:12:50, finishing 52nd in this division at London. In September 2022, she ran much faster at Berlin, finishing 18th in the division in 3:02:12 78.87%. She split the difference here in Tokyo, stopping the clock at 3:06:56 for a 26th place finish. Michelle Andres 47 finished 283rd in this division in Boston off a 3:29:34 effort in 2023. She ran considerably faster in Chicago last October; her 3:22:23 earned her a 145th place finish. Tokyo represented yet another step up in Andres's marathon efforts. She started out aggressively, running her first 10K over 40 seconds faster than Costanzo. But Costanzo was only four seconds slower at the halfway point, in 1:32:31 and was almost 40 seconds faster at the 30 Km mark. Andres finished 30th in the division at 3:07:57 77.53%, running over 14 minutes faster than her outing at Chicago last fall and over 20 minutes faster than her 2023 Boston effort. The third American to finish was Shuying Wu who finished 40th at 3:11:59 75.08%. The only other major marathon for her in Athlinks is a virtual 3:11:37 for London in October 2020. Her Tokyo time shows that virtual effort in 2020 was well within her reach.
Shari Costanzo 26th 3:06:56     Michelle Andres 30th 3:07:57     Shuying Wu 40th 3:11:59

Women Only one American made the top fifty finishers, Deike Peters 54. Like Wu, her only recent major marathon result in Athlinks is a virtual effort; Peters did a virtual run for Boston in September 2020. But it was, apparently, not a serious effort as her time was well over 4 hours and 30 minutes. At Tokyo, by contrast, Peters raced to a 3:17:11 80.66%, finishing 36th in the division.
Deike Peters 36th 3:17:11

Men David Campos Rocha 52 and Paul White 51 engaged in quite a duel to be first American. Listed in Athlinks as David Campos, he finished 29th at the October 2022 London Marathon in 2:46:54, and followed that with a 27th place finish in 2:44:42 at Chicago in October 2023. White finished 90th in this division at the 2023 Boston Marathon in 2:56:52. In April 2023, a 50-54 year old Paul White, plausibly this same one who ran in Tokyo, clocked 2:56:52 to finish 90th at Boston. In October 2022, Paul White ran 2:41:28 to finish 10th at the London Marathon. Whether they knew it or not, they started within a second of each other. White went out aggressively at better than 2:40 marathon pace, zooming over the 10 K mat at 37:49, almost two minutes faster than Campos. White was still at 2:40 pace when he crossed the 30 Km mat at 1:54:10, three minutes ahead of Campos. But then Campos started to reel him in, cutting White's lead to a minute and 40 seconds by the 35K mat. By the time they passed 40K, Campos enjoyed an 18 second lead and was pulling away. Campos was first American in 2:43:29 84.88%, finishing 20th in the division. White was second American, finishing 26th at 2:44:52 83.42%. There are no marathon results in Athlinks for Quy Nguyen 52. Nonetheless, he was able to navigate the course, finishing 61st in Tokyo in 2:50:42 81.29%.
David Campos (Rocha) 20th 2:43:29     Paul White 26th 2:44:52     Quy Nguyen 61st 2:50:42

55-59 Men In fall 2021, emerging from the covid pandemic, Tom Bourdi 55, ran Berlin, Boston and New York in 3:11:22, 3:04:08, and 2:59:57. The next year he ran Boston in April and Berlin, Chicago and New York in the fall, clocking 2:49:19, 2:57:42, and 3:07:07. In April of 2023 he ran Boston in 2:59:18 and, in October, Chicago in 2:55:56. That December he ran his fastest recent marathon with a 2:48:34 at the CIM [California International Marathon], known as a comparatively fast, overall downhill marathon. His best Age Division finishing place in those majors was his 15th place in 2021 at New York. At his last two majors in 2023, he did not break the top 100 in 50-54. Bourdi must have been looking forward to his new age division. Perhaps the CIM gave him confidence that he could train his legs to run a flat marathon in a similar time as his CIM. In any case, Bourdi went out in 39:00 for his first 10K and crossed the halfway mat in 1:22:41. He would slow in the second half but still had enough to almost match his CIM time. He ran 2:48:47 84.47% to finish 10th in the division. The other top finishers in Tokyo were Evan Seigerman 56 and Jian Zhang 55. Seigerman has been almost as devoted to marathon majors as Bourdi has. In 2021, Seigerman ran 3:10:15 at Boston, followed by 2:59:15 at New York, earning an 11th  place in 50-54. Seigerman's fitness apparently took a hit between then and fall 2022, when he ran 3:02:46 at London in October and 3:13:06 at New York a month later. To be fair, they did have record heat at New York for the 2022 race; the weather in London was good though. Seigerman was back under three hours at London in April 2023 with a 2:59:14. Seven months later in New York he was a few ticks over 3 hours, finishing 13th in 3:00:16. He finished 19 seconds behind Zhang at that marathon. But it turns out that is the mid-50's Jian Zhang from Canada. It can be tricky; there is a Jian Zhang from Canada who is a few years older than the American Zhang and runs about as fast. In Chicago in 2023, for example, the Zhang from the USA ran 2:57:32 to finish 51st in 55-59 while the Canadian Zhang ran 2:59:06 to finish 66th in 55-59. Both Seigerman and Zhang kept a steady pace, going out slower than Bourdi. Seigerman crossed the halfway mat in 1:26:50 while Zhang crossed it at 1:28:31. The gap between them stayed about the same over the second half. Seigerman was the second American to finish, clocking 2:56:03 81.72% for 25th in the division. Zhang finished at 2:57:49 80.18% in 36th place.
Tom Bourdi 10th 2:48:47     Evan Seigerman 25th 2:56:03     Jian Zhang 36th 2:57:49

Marathoners on the Streets of Tokyo 2024 Photo Credit-Tokyo Marathon-GALLERY 2024

Women Kelly Willis 56 was the fastest American to the 10 Km mat, hitting that split in 46:55, over a half minute faster than Josephine Weeden 55 and Yanan Yang at 47:30 and 47:41` respectively. 
Like many others, Willis has been splurging on major marathons after the pandemic. She ran London and New York in fall 2021. Her 3:09:28 at London left her in 17th place in 50-54. At New York she finished 4th in the same division with a 3:13:20 effort. Willis ran Berlin and Boston the next fall and in 2023 ran Boston and London in the spring and Chicago and New York in the fall. Apart from London 2021, Willis's efforts fell mostly in the 3:16 to 3:24 range. Her most recent Marathon before Tokyo was New York where she ran 3:24:07, not her fastest, but that was good for 3rd place in the division. Weeden ran in a number of marathons in 2021 and 2022 but none really stand out before April 2023 when she clocked 3:33:47 at Boston, finishing far back in 50-54 but was learning to run a faster marathon. After aging up to 55-59, Weeden won her division at the Akron Marathon at 3:23:42. Weeden ran slower at Houston in January 2024, two months before this race but her 3:30:22 was good for 2nd place in the division at an important marathon. Tokyo would be her first major marathon test since turning 55. Yang ran Chicago in October 2022, finishing just outside the top hundred in 50-54 at 3:41:02. In November of 2023 she ran faster at New York; her 3:35:49 got her into the top 25 in her new 55-59 age division. Perhaps she started to dream bigger. Tokyo would be her first overseas major marathon.

By the halfway point, Weeden and Yang, both with 1:40:26 splits, were over a half minute ahead of Willis. Yang pulled away in the second half, first American and 19th in the division at 3:20:28 80.39%.
Josephine Weeden heading for a first-place finish at the Canal Corridor 100 Mile Run Photo Credit:

Weeden finished 32nd at 3:24:43 78.72%, with Willis 36th at 3:25:24 79.52%
Yanan Yang 19th 3:20:28     Josephine Weeden 32nd 3:24:43     Kelly Willis 36th 3:25:24

60-64 Women Anne Hughes 62 ran away with this one. Almost three minutes faster than the second American at the 10K, she stretched that differential to nearly eight minutes by the end of the race. Hughes's fastest marathon since the pandemic before Tokyo had been her 3:21:26 tenth place effort at Chicago in 2023. Her 3:27:52 85.48% was not as fast as her Chicago marathon but she moved up, finishing sixth in the 60-64 division. The race between Jill Ireland 62 and Susan Miller 62 to finish as 2nd American was not close until the very end. Ireland ran a 3:27:10 at London 2021, finishing 7th in 60-64. Her 3:39:08 at Boston 18 months later saw her just outside the top 30. Miller's four major post-Covid Pandemic marathons have been a bit slower, in the 3:40 - 3:44 range, often achieving a division place in the 20's. The 2023 New York City represented a breakthrough for Miller. She broke 3:40 and almost finished in the top ten. Her 3:39:43 earned her the 11th spot in the division. Ireland was two and a half minutes ahead of Miller at the halfway point, in 1:43:32. By the end, Miller had closed to within 18 seconds, finishing third American and 16th overall in 3:36:00 82.21%. Ireland's 3:35:42 82.38% landed her in 15th overall as 2nd American to finish.
Anne Hughes 6th 3:27:52     Jill Ireland 15th 3:35:42     Susan Miller 16th 3:36:00

Men James Angel 62 was the top American by far. A regular at the Boston Marathon, Angel did not come close to breaking three hours at either the October 2021 or the April 2022 marathons. In April 2023, he did break three hours; his 2:58:32 was good for seventh place at Boston. Faster than his compatriots by over 6 minutes when he crossed the halfway mat at 1:28:36; Angel finished over 13 minutes faster. Angel's 2:57:54 85.59% was good for 8th place overall. No other Americans cracked the top 50.
James Angel 8th 2:57:54

65-69 Men It was a similar story for M65. Michael Brosilow 66 led Americans to the finish by a good margin. From October 3, 2021 to November 5, 2023, Brosilow ran in eight marathon majors-Berlin; Boston (3 times); Chicago, London, New York City (twice). Once he aged up to 65 before Boston in 2022, he finished in the top 5 every year at each of those major marathons, except for Chicago when he was 8th. His best time in those events was his 3:01:54 in Boston in October 2021 when he ran 3:01:54, finishing eighth in M60. His best overall performance was probably at Boston in April 2023, running 3:07:02 and finishing 3rd at Boston. 
Michael Brosilow turning onto Boylston Street at the 2015 Boston Marathon Photo Credit:

His two NYC performances netted 3rd and 5th place finishes in the division. Brosilow ran true to form, passing the halfway point at 1:28:36, he was minutes behind his two main rivals for the top prize, from Japan and China, but was over three minutes ahead of the other Americans. His 2:57:54 83.50% led all Americans and earned a podium spot at 3rd in the division. Gary La Pado 67 clocked 3:24:47 at Boston in April 2023 to take 25th in 65-69. He followed that in October with a 3:20:01 at Chicago, earning him a 16th spot in 65-69. Mark Momerak 66 has run Berlin, Boston and London since the end of the pandemic. His best times and top placements were his 3:25:19 at Berlin 2022 for 14th place and his 3:25:10 at London 2023 for 11th. La Pado finished 10th in the division on his 3:21:54 79.28%. Momerak's 3:26:38 76.67% earned a 17th place finish.
Michael Brosilow 3rd 2:57:54     Gary LaPado 10th 3:21:54     Mark Momerak 17th 3:26:38

Women This division enjoyed the best American showing among the fully contested divisions. For a division that included Joan Samuelson 67, that was, perhaps, not entirely surprising. The surprising thing to the casual spectator was that Samuelson was not the top American. Leslie Cohen 68 runs many marathons. Her two most recent majors were Boston in April 2023 when she finished 2nd in 65-69 with a 3:28:56 effort. Six months later in Chicago, she clocked 3:27:27 to finish 5th in this division. Samuelson won the division at London in October 2022 with a 3:20:20. But Samuelson's main goal in Tokyo was to finish and earn her sixth star for the Abbott World Marathon Majors. Samuelson is the grande dame of American road running and is a goodwill ambassador for the sport wherever she goes. That she did not cross the starting line until well over three minutes after the starting gun went off perhaps signifies that her focus was on finishing not on competing for a win. Cohen, by contrast, crossed the start line just 46 seconds after the gun fired. Cohen and Samuelson both ran well-paced races. Although she did not threaten the first-place finisher, Cohen crossed the halfway mat in 1:44:53 on her way to a 3:32:09 91.84% and 2nd place in the division. 
Leslie Cohen competing in the London Marathon Photo Credit:

Samuelson had a halfway split of 1:46:47 on her way to a 3:38:37 86.35% and 4th place. Nancy Smith 67 ran a fine race as well. Her 3:41:09 86.71% earned her 6th place in the division. Other Americans finishing in the top twenty included Paula Beatty 68 10th 3:49:10 85.02%Karen Hulbert 68 13th 3:59:06 81.49%; and Yvonne Robinson 67 14th 3:59:06 80.20%.
Leslie Cohen 2nd 3:32:09     Joan Samuelson 4th 3:38:37     Nancy Smith 6th 3:41:09

70-74 Women Lorraine Bubar was the top American entrant. Bubar finished sixth at London 2022 at 4:23:28, and 4th at Berlin 2022 with a 4:19:56. She was competing against Penelope Jarvis of great britain and Kazuko Toyoshima of Japan. Although I use the word, competing, I should be clear that they started at different times. Jarvis started 4:35 after the starting gun; Bubar crossed the starting line 11:52 after the gun fired; and Toyoshima 15:44 after the starting gun. Bubar had the third fastest time to the 10 Km mat but had the fastest time of the three at the halfway point, 2:01:05 to 2:02:11 for Toyoshima and 2:02:55 for Jarvis. At 30 Km Bubar still had the fastest time; at 2:54:19, Bubar was 1:26 faster than Jarvis and 2:06 faster than Toyoshima. Jarvis made the catch between 30 and 35 km, with Toyoshima catching Bubar between 35 Km and 40 km. In the end it was Jarvis with the win at 4:09:19, Toyoshima second at 4:12:18 and Bubar third at 4:15:43 80.06%. Cristine Everett was second American at 4:54:26 70.72%, finishing 11th in the division. No other Americans finished in the top 50.
Lorraine Bubar 3rd 4:15:43     Cristine Everett 11th 4:54:26

Men Martin Keibel 72 had a shot at the podium. He finished third in this division at London in October 2021 with a 3:23:06. Although he ran a similar time at the Philadelphia Marathon seven weeks later, Keibel does not appear to have run any other major marathons since London. Two Japanese runners, Yoishiaki Oishi and Michio Yamamoto, crossed the start line about 15 seconds before Keibel did. They set a brisk pace, with Oishi hitting the 10 Km split in 43:15 and the half marathon split at 1:33:26, with Yamamoto just 19 seconds back. Keibel had started more conservatively, crossing the halfway point in 1:37:08. Yamamoto passed his compatriot and started setting the pace at he 30 Km mark. Keibel was 4 minutes behind Oishi at that point. But he kept closer to his pace than Oishi and made the catch in the final two kilometers, edging Oishi for 2nd place by 47 seconds in 3:16:46 85.89%
Martin Keibel ready for another race--Photo Credit-Martin keibel

Primarily a marathoner, Eduardo Matsuo 71, also raced for the Ann Arbor Track Club at USATF Masters Championships when in the 65-69 division in 2017 and 2018. His most recent 'marathon major' efforts were a 3:36:06 at Boston in April '23, finishing 7th in M70, and a 3:40:07 at Berlin in September '23, claiming 8th in 70-74. Here, in Tokyo, he was the second American finisher at 3:39:28 76.08%, earning a tenth-place finish. Barry Wellman 72 finished 16th at 3:46:54 74.48%.
Martin Keibel 2nd 3:16:46      Eduardo Matsuo 10th 3:39:28     Barry Wellman 16th 3:46:54

75-79 Men Nam Soo Kim 76 broke four hours at Chicago in 2015, finishing 19th in M65. Here, he finished 28th at 4:58:47 . Gopalkrushna Patel 78 was 2nd American, 38th in the division at 5:12:48. William Salazar finished 39th in M75 at 5:17:18.
Nam Soo Kim 19th 4:58:47     Gopalkrushna Patel 38th 5:12:48     William Salazar 39th 5:17:18

Women No Americans were among the twelve finishers in this division.

80-84 Women Hansi Rigney 82 and Mary Jo Brinkman 82 were the only two finishers in this division. Rigney would be tough to beat in any case. Rigney finished 2nd in 80+ at the Boston Marathon in April 2023 with a 5:07:42 and followed that in September with a 5:07:30 win in the 80+ division in Berlin. Here, in Tokyo, Rigney broke 5 hours, clocking 4:55:25 89.39% in capturing the win. Brinkman, though not in Rigney's orbit, is a solid marathoner. She won the 80+ division at Berlin in 2022 with a 5:36:47 effort and was 2nd at Chicago the next autumn in 7:03. 
Hansi Rigney in her Boston Marathon gear-Photo Credit Monterey Herald

Here in Tokyo, Rigney's 6:23:53 was good for 2nd place.
Hansi Rigney 1st 4:55:25      Mary Jo Brinkman 2nd 6:23:53

Men All but one of the seventeen finishers in this age division were from Japan. The lone exception hailed from Brazil. Sukeyuki Kumei finished 2nd in 4:20:33. He would try for a second consecutive Major Marathon podium finish in Boston six weeks later.

BOSTON MARATHON April 15 2024 Six weeks and one day after Tokyo, the 128th running of the Boston Marathon took place. Boston is anything but flat and fast. It is net downhill, falling over 140 meters from Hopkinton to Boston. But, in most years, Boston is not fast. Sometimes that is due to the weather; it can be too hot. It can also be too cold, too rainy and/or too much headwind. The course can also deceive the unwary runner. The first fifteen miles are downhill, with no significant uphill's. From just after Mile 16 to just after Mile 20, the athletes traverse the Newton Hills including the infamous 'Heartbreak Hill.' Every once in a while, the weather is good and, instead of facing the usual headwind, the wind is from the west, the temperatures are in the upper 40's and low 50's and the runners fly through the course. In 2011, Ryan Hall ran the fastest time ever by an American, 2:04:58. The course is not record eligible because of the 3 meter-plus drop per kilometer and the point-to-point nature (which allows a tailwind to aid times). But many runners consider Boston the ultimate test of a marathoner and the toughest course. It is certainly the most famous!

Boston 2024--A Day to Celebrate Meb's 2014 Win Photo Credit: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images

2024 will be remembered as one of the 'warm' years. It was not 'killer warm' but certainly warmer than marathoners like. It hit 60F already before the leading wave had finished half of the course and rose eventually into the mid 60's before many of the Masters Marathoners were finished. For the older divisions it surpassed 70F before race's end. On the other hand, it was not terribly humid with relative humidity falling from upper 60's % at the start to lower 50's by noontime. The dewpoint throughout the race was about 48F. And there was a moderate tailwind, at 5-10 mph during most of the race. 
Finish Line Shot at the 2024 Boston Marathon Photo Credit: Jessica Rinaldi/Boston Globe staff

It was a day when it was possible to get into trouble, especially for those who are sensitive to the heat. But it was also possible to run a good time if an athlete adapted well to the warm conditions. Note: With no individual single-year ages reported for athletes in the Boston Marathon results, it is not feasible to report age grade PLP's.

The top Americans in the Men's Open Race included C.J. Alberston and Elkanah Kibet who had finished 5th and 4th, respectively at the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando. The top women included Emma Bates, who was unable to compete in Orlando, and Sara Hall who finished 5th at the trials. Des Linden, who finished outside the top ten at the trials, fared better at Boston. 
From left: Emma Bates, Des Linden, and Sara Hall celebrate each others' accomplishment after crossing the finish line at Boston 2024 Photo Credit: Jessica Rinaldi/Boston Globe staff

In the Men's race, Sisay Lemma put in a surge between 5K and 10K that no one matched. Lemma grew the 25 second lead at the 10K to a 2:49 lead by the 30 Km mark. Then it was just a question of whether he could hold on as the chase pack cut into his lead over the final 12 kilometers. In the end he had the win at 2:06:17, with Mohamed Esa 41 seconds back in second and Evans Chebet third at 2:07:22. 
Sisay Lemma celebrates his Boston Marathon 2024 Win Photo Credit: Paul Rutherford/Getty Images

At the halfway point, Elkanah Kibet was the top American but almost three minutes off of Lemma's pace and a good minute behind the main chase pack. Albertson was playing it more conservatively, 37 seconds behind Kibet. By the 30 Km mat, Albertson enjoyed a lead of half a minute on Kibet but was still 1:41 behind the main chase pack. By 23 Miles, Albertson had moved into the end of the top ten, with Kibet 1:36 behind him. By 40K, Albertson had moved into 9th place at 2:03:01 and was surging. He finished 7th in 2:09:53, the top American. Kibet claimed the 2nd American spot at 14th in 2:12:32. Ryan Eiler moved up well in the latter stages of the race to finish third American, 15th overall, in 2:14:22. Presumably Connor Mantz and Clayton Young become the favorites, after their Olympic dreams unfold in Paris, for the Marathon at the 2025 World Championships in Tokyo. This result cements Albertson's status as a top contender, along with Zach Panning, who set the early pace at the Trials only to see Albertson pass him in the final stages.

In the Women's Open race there was a large lead pack  the first 25K, including the eventual podium of Hellen Obiri, Sharon Lokedi, and Edna Kiplagat, in that order, and Bates and Hall. Linden was just 5 seconds back after having been as many as 53 seconds behind in the early miles. Approaching 30k, Bates bravely moved to the front, holding a three second lead over the others, with Hall now ten seconds behind that pack. The pack soon swallowed Bates who stayed in the lead pack, though, for another couple of miles. By Mile 21, Bates was 16 seconds off the lead pack in 13th place, with Hall another half minute back and Linden another half minute behind Hall. Bates closed well, moving up to finish 12th at 2:27:14. Hall was 15th at 2:27:58, with Linden 16th at 2:28:27. Interestingly, Jenny Simpson who had to withdraw without finishing the Marathon Trials, was the fourth American, finishing 18th in 2:31:39. That proved she had made the basic transition from being one of the top Milers on the planet to being a solid marathoner. Will she be able to take the next step? It will be fascinating to watch it play out. Presumably she, along with Bates, is now aiming at the Tokyo World Championships in September of 2025. And, of course, the three qualifiers for the Olympic Marathon Trials, Fiona O'Keefe, Emily Sisson, and Dakotah Lindwurm will also be in contention. As those fireworks played out up ahead, the Masters athletes contended for age division podiums.

40-44 Men Elkanah Kibet lined up with the Elite Field. So did Primoz Kobe, of Slovenia, and Miguel Morone, Brazil. Tyler Butterfield, Joel Conn, and Prescott Leach were in the elite field as well. Sam Morse was not, but it only took him six seconds to cross the starting line after the gun sounded. Those six seconds, luckily, were not a difference-maker. Kibet was contending for the Open Championship; he had the fastest time, of course, at 2:12:32. 
Elkanah Kibet, with the Mid-Race Lead at Boston 2019 Photo Credit: AP photo/Steven Senne

Kobe was not as fast as Kibet but was still well ahead of the other M40 athletes in the field; he was 2nd in the division at 2:14:56. Leach finished 3rd in this division at Boston 2023 with a 2:23:44 effort. This past February he was 71st (of 150 men) at the US Olympic Marathon Trials in 2:21:07. Leach built on those recent efforts, hitting the halfway point with a lead of over a minute on all other Americans and was even 22 seconds ahead of Brazil's Morone, who would eventually struggle in the second half, falling from 4th to 6th. Except for the first 10K, Leach, Conn, Morse and Butterfield all ran very consistently over the entire race. Leach's place on the podium was never threatened; he was the 3rd M40 finisher and 2nd American in 2:19:50, almost two minutes ahead of Conn. Five years ago Conn ran 2:27:41 at Chicago as a 35 year old. Since then he had run many marathons including a 2:20:16 at Grandma's in 2023. But this was his first Marathon Major as a Masters athlete. His 2:21:35 brought him home fourth overall and third American. Morse was fifth at 2:22:21. Conn and Morse had passed Morone after 35K. Morone finished 6th at 2:24:27, with Butterfield, who comes out of an Ironman/triathlon background into marathons, seventh at 2:26:56.
Top three Americans:
Elkanah Kibet 1st 2:12:32     Prescott Leach 3rd 2:19:50     Joel Conn 4th 2:21:35

Women Interestingly enough, on the Women's side the entire podium consisted of Elite-celebrity marathoners who finished in the top 20 overall: Edna Kiplagat 3rd, Sara Hall AZ 15th, and Desiree (Des) Linden MI 16th. Hall and Linden were the top two Americans. 
Sara Hall closed fast to claim 2nd at the 2020 Virgin London Marathon Photo Credit: Bob Martin

Who was the third to join them as top 3 Americans? The candidates included Kassi Harmon UTMindy Mammen VA and Gina Rouse TN. Mammon seems relatively new to marathons and this was her first Marathon Major. The first recent marathon I find is Sprouts Mesa, just before the pandemic in February 2020 when, at age 36 she finished 3rd overall   in 2:41:54. In June 2023 she clocked 2:41:48 in winning the Utah Valley Marathon. She completed her third Western Marathon, finishing third at age 39, at St George UT, in 2:43:11. Those are fast times but none of those courses are record eligible. All have a substantial downhill drop so the times may not translate to other courses. Mammen's only recent marathon appears to be Grandma's in June 2023; her 2:44:01 left her in 8th place for the 35-39 group. Rouse, in contrast, has been a regular at Boston. In October 2021, she finished 4th in 40-44 at 2:41:19, and followed that in April 2022 with another near podium performance at Boston, 4th in 2:42:54. Her 2:22:46 the following year at Boston left her in 6th place in 40-44. All three of these would be the top three non-celebrity American Marathoners in 40-44 at Boston. But only one could claim to be among the top three American 40-44 women finishing the 2024 Boston Marathon. Though not celebrities, all three started with the gun. Rouse zipped out of the start, hitting the 10K mark in 36:26. Harmon and Mammen started more conservatively. They were together, over a minute and a half back in 38:08. Rouse passed the halfway point in 1:18:33, 2:40 ahead of Harmon, with Mammen another 16 seconds back. Over the next 8.9K, Harmon started making inroads on Rouse's lead, taking over a minute back. By the time they cleared the Newton Hills, it was Rouse at 2:14:14, with Harmon just 6 seconds back and Mammen another fourteen. Harmon made the catch slightly thereafter and had over two minutes on Rouse by the 35K mat. Mammen caught and passed but did not drop Rouse. Harmon went on to finish 3rd American, 5th overall in 2:46:32, proving she can run well on the flat as well as downhill. Despite Rouse falling over a minute behind Mammen at the 40K mat, she was able to recover and finish 4th American in 5th place at 2:51:16, with Mammen 39 seconds back.
Sara Hall 2nd 2:27:58     Des Linden 3rd 2:28:27     Kassi Harmon 5th 2:3:46:32

45-49 Women Amy Crain CA had no trouble nailing down the win. Crain had run a 2:55:02 Marathon at Boston in April 2023 to finish 16th in 40-44.' She celebrated her new division with a win! Crain, by the way, can also run a pretty fair Road Mile. A month and a few days after this race, Crain earned the 45-49 bronze medal at the 2024 USATF 1 Mile Championships in Danville CA with a 5:48.2. 
Amy Crain finishes her 45-49 Bronze Medal performance at the 2024 National Masters Road Mile Championships in Danville CA Photo Credit: Strava Post-Megan Syal

In this race in Tokyo, Crain enjoyed a lead of over two minutes at the halfway point and still had a 2-minute lead at 30K, But Lisa Roberts North Carolina started cutting into Crain's lead after that, reducing it to 15 seconds by the time Crain crossed the finish line, winning in 2:57:18. The second-place finish was a nice improvement over her most recent Marthon Major. Roberts had finished 7th in 40-44 at New York in November 2022 at 2:58:21. Sworupa Khadka NY kept pace with Roberts for the first 10 K, but then let her slip away. Three international runners finished between Roberts and her. Khadka was third American, 6th overall in 3:00:27. Khadka just missed enjoying her third sub-3 performance at a Major Marathon in the last few years; Khadka ran 2:55:45 at Boston in 2022 and 2:59:43 at London in 2023.
Amy Crain 1st 2:57:18     Lisa Roberts 2nd 2:57:33     Sworupa Khadka 6th 3:00:27

Men Steven Lawrence MI ran both Chicago and Boston in both 2022 and 2023. His fastest outing was Chicago 2022 with a 2:23:09 when he finished 2nd 40-44. The following year his time at Chicago was 2:25:51 but it was a winning 45-49 time. In April of that year, he had won 45-49 in Boston as well, clocking 2:28:40. He surged to a minute and a half lead in the first 10K and was never headed. Lawrence took the 45-49 win in 2:27:04. Ed Baker MA, unlike most of the other top competitors, has not run a ton of marathons in the last few years. In fact, the most recent results I find for him include a 33:37 40-44 win at the Beach to Beacon 10Km last August, a 4th place finish in the Masters Men's 10 Km race at Club Cross in Tallahassee and a 1:11:32 fourth place at the New Bedford Half Marathon this March.

Ed Baker left on his way to a 4th Place Masters finish at the 2023 USATF Club Cross Country Championships Photo Credit: Michael Scott

Baker went out a bit too fast, probably. He hit the 10 K at 34:49 and the Half marathon at 1:13:50. But Baker did not run into any serious trouble. Baker had a 4:15 second lead on the 3rd American in the race at the 30K. That shrunk to a 1:33 differential by the finish. Still, if this is his first major marathon in the last few years, it was an impressive performance. Baker was 2nd overall and 2nd American at 2:32:18. Sam Ives MN ran 2:40:02 to finish 60th in M40 at Boston in 2022. Ives ran much better this time and achieved the negative split that so many at Boston aim for but so few achieve. That helped him take chunks out of Baker's lead. In the end, Ives was still a minute and half back in 2:33:52, the 3rd American and 4th overall. In 2023, Wayne Blas West Virginia finished 4th 45-49 at Boston at 2:32:59, 2nd at Chicago in 2:29:38, and 2nd at New York in 2:33:46. Running slightly faster than his New York pace, Blas slowed after 30K, and Ives was able to pick him off. But to go 4th, 2nd, 2nd, and 4th American/5th overall at four successive Major Marathons is a very nice accomplishment!
Steven Lawrence 1st 2:27:04     Ed Baker 2nd 2:32:18     Sam Ives 4th 2:33:52

50-54 Men Gamini Sugathadasa NV ran the December 2022 CIM in 2:40:39 to finish 2nd in M50 and followed that two months later with an M50 win at 2:43:00 in the mesa marathon. Both are considered fast Marathons so the times are taken with a grain of salt. But he also ran Boston that spring, clocking 2:39:50 to finish 7th in M50. His main competition came from two international athletes. One, V Foley, went out fast, clocking 34:52 at the 10K and 1:15:24 at the Half. The other, C. Martins, adopted a more measured approach but was still 19 seconds ahead of Sugathadasa at the Half. Rico Portalatin ME was two seconds ahead of Martins at the Half Marathon but would struggle late in the race. Portalin ran Boston in October of 2021 and April 2023. He finished 2nd M50 in 2021 at 2:40:30. He ran 1:19 faster at Boston in 2023 but finished 6th. He also enjoyed a 7th place finish at 2022 in 2:40:28. He ran into trouble at 2023 Chicago, finishing well back in 41st. Tony Schollum CA was a very solid 1:21:00 at the halfway point. He was looking to improve on his 27th place finish at Boston in 2023 with a 2:48:12.
2:48:12 2023 Bos 27th.
Sugathadasa was able to cut Martins' lead to 7 seconds over the Newton Hills. He made the catch shortly after and had a minute on Martins at the 40K mat. Sugathadasa made inroads on Foley's lead after the 30K point but was still over three minutes back at the Newton Hills. Foley had done well with the hills but that took a toll. Sugathadasa was able to pass Foley in the final 2K to take the 50-54 win in 2:39:57. Portalatin actually grew his lead over Martins by 18 seconds from the halfway point to the 35K point. But that is where his struggles began. His 21:49 5K to the 40K mark not only allowed Martins to  pass and move away but it allowed Schollum to draw within striking distance, just 1:17 back. Schollum was able to pass in the final 2 km, finishing 2nd American, in 4th overall at 2:44:17. Portalatin held on to edge Stephen Thoma CO by just 6 seconds, finishing as 3rd American and 5th overall in 2:45:34. Thoma was 6th.
Gamini Sugathadasa 1st 2:39:57     Tony Schollum 4th 2:44:17     Rico Portalatin 5th 2:45:34

Women It appears that Boston was Jenifer Martin's NJ first Major Marathon, at least in the last few years. She won the 50-54 division of the 2022 Philadelphia Marathon in 2:59:32. Martin was in the 10:00 wave but it was almost a full seven minutes after the gun went off that she crossed the starting line. She was the fastest division runner in the early going. She crossed the 10K point in 41:51 and was two minutes faster to the halfway point, at 1:29:12, than her closest rival. Dyan Simon WA and Katsue Heginbotham MA both started in the 10:25 wave, Simon crossing the start line a few seconds after the gun sounded and Heginbotham 1:18 later. Simon finished 6th in 45-49 at 2018 Chicago in 3:08:01. Five years later she won 50-54 in 3:17:33 at New York. Heginbotham finished 4th in 50-54 at New York 2022 at 3:09:22 and a year later finished 3rd at 3:13:17. She finished 6th at Boston 2023 in 3:11:02. Her time at Chicago that fall was just 27 seconds slower than her Boston time, but she finished outside the top 20 there. Simon did a good job of staying cautious at the start, hitting her 10K at 43:40, or 3:04 marathon pace. When she crossed the halfway point at 1:32:08, Simon was on pace for a 3:04 but was almost 3 minutes slower than Martin to that point. Heginbotham was not in close sight of Simon but adopted a similar pace, hitting the 10K four seconds faster and the halfway point a half minute slower. Iris Klein WA started in the 10:40 wave, over a minute after the horn. Klein finished 6th in 45-49 at both London in October 2021 and Boston the following April, both sub-3's at 2:5436 and 2:58:54 respectively. She finished higher, 4th in 45-49 at 2023 New York but with a 3:06:49. Klein carried a faster pace in the early going, 42:55 at the 10K and 1:31:16 at the half, good if aiming for a sub-3:04. Martin was never threatened carrying a pace ensuring her a three minute or more lead at each checkpoint. She claimed the division title in 2:54:45, over three minutes faster than her closest competitor. Although Simon was almost a minute slower to the half marathon point, she had passed Klein by the 30K mark and pulled away, claiming the second spot in 2:58:03, a good minute and a half ahead of Klein. Heginbotham, a minute and a half behind Klein at the halfway point, closed to within 30 seconds by the time they emerged from the Newton Hills. But Klein recovered and lost no more time to Heginbotham. In fact, in the last two kilometers, Klein added 48 seconds to her margin. To win the division at your first Major Marathon (at least in recent years) was the cherry on top for Martin. Simon could not duplicate her win at New York but finishing 2nd at Boston is nothing to sneeze at. Klein was a little aggressive with her early pacing and it may have paid off. In any case, her third-place finish improved on her 4th place in New York 2023.
Jenifer Martin 1st 3:04:59     Dyan Simon 2nd 3:08:12     Iris Klein 3rd 3:09:38

Lisa Veneziano closes off her spectacular, record-breaking 12 Km win in Highlands NC Photo Credit: Jason Timochko

55-59 Women Lisa Veneziano MI is in the unenviable position of being two years younger than Jenny Hitchings. By the time Veneziano is ready to break a few records in a new age division, Hitchings has blasted them out of sight. Veneziano does own one American Record for women 55-59, the 12 Km. But she is a talented runner at every distance from the Mile to the Marathon. She runs Boston regularly and other American marathons like Detroit, Indy's Monumental, and Wilmington NC. In her last three Boston Marathon's she finished 2nd 55-59 in 2021 at 2:58:23; 1st in 2022 at 3:05:04 (into a biting headwind); and 1st in 2023 at 2:57:38 despite a strong wind out of the east. Veneziano started at a very sustainable 42:03 for the first 10K. That is roughly 2:57:30 pace. She picked things up slightly between there and the halfway point, clocking 1:28:19, on pace for just 2 seconds slower than her eventual winning time. At that point she had a minute and 24 seconds on her closest international rival, and over 3 minutes on her closest American rival. By the 30K point, those margins had increased to 4 minutes and 8 minutes respectively. 
There was no stopping Veneziano as she cruised to a win in 2:56:36, achieving a two second negative split! Chunhua Liu WA started in the same wave as Veneziano, crossing the start line just 24 seconds behind her. Patty Monge CA was also in that wave although it took her an additional two minutes to get across the start line. Denise Robson, from Canada, was also in the wave although closer to the front; she crossed the start line 46 seconds before Veneziano. Liu has run Boston each of the last three years as well as London and New York in 2022. Boston 2023 was her fastest at 3:14:42; her 12th place in 50-54 was the best of those 5 except that she did the same at Boston 2021. This would be her first Boston Marathon in her new 55-59 division. Monge also ran at Boston those three years, plus Chicago in 2023. Her best of those four marathons, in every respect, was 2022 in Boston. Her 3:11:05 landed her in 5th place 55-59. Robson finished first in 50-54 at the 2022 Boston Marathon, her winning time, 2:57:39, was over 7 minutes faster than Veneziano on that tough day. Later that year, Robson ran a half minute faster at Indy's Monumental Marathon. Robson was the fastest to the 10K point at 41:59, four seconds faster than Veneziano, sixteen and nineteen seconds faster than Liu and Monge respectively. By the halfway point, Veneziano was in control with a 1:24 wedge on Robson, a gap that would steadily grow larger until it was well over 15 minutes by the finish. Robson stayed well ahead of the other two Americans through the 35K point where she was 3 and a half minutes faster to that point than Liu and four and a half faster than Monge. But that was where her marathon fell apart, as they sometimes do. By 40K, Robson was a minute slower than Liu and just a minute faster than Monge. Liu claimed 2nd in 3:13:45, with Monge edging Robson for third at 3:15:59. Robson struggled to the finish, fourth at 3:16:03. Veneziano enjoyed her third straight division win at Boston. Liu had her fastest Major Marathon yet and her highest division finish. Monge did not match her fastest Boston but did have her highest division finish. Robson will not have such good memories of Boston 2024 but will, no doubt, bounce back.
Lisa Veneziano 1st 2:56:36     Chunhua Liu 2nd 3:13:45     Patty Monge 3rd 3:15:59

Men M. Liangwu, an international competitor, started closest to the front of the 10 AM wave, crossing the start just 15 seconds after the gun sounded. He justified that start by zipping past the 10K mark at 35:50, the halfway point at 1:17:28, cruising to victory in 2:41:29 with a victory margin of just under 4 minutes. Douglas Baldwin MN was the top American, Liangwu's closest pursuer. Baldwin won the 55-59 division at Boston in 2021 with a 2:47:48; a year later he took 5th in 2:47:09. Starting a half minute behind Liangwiu, the two probably never saw each other during the race. Baldwin hit the 10K at 38:14, with a 19 second lead on his closest pursuer, but already 2:24 slower than Langwiu. R. Johnson, another international competitor, was Baldwin's closest pursuer through 30K, but gave way to John Karry TX, the second American, over the Newton Hills. After finishing outside the top 90 in M50 at Boston 2022 with a 2:58:33, and outside the top 40 in M50 at 2023 Boston in 2:53:07, Karry must have been looking forward to competing in M55.  Despite his best efforts, Karry never got within three minutes of Baldwin, finishing 2nd American, 3rd overall in 2:48:38. The new age division worked as Karry finished 3rd overall and enjoyed a time that was more than three minutes faster than in 2023. Despite a strong finish by David Putney NY, Ryan Shrum GA was able to finish 3rd American, 6th overall in 2:51:30, 45 seconds ahead of Putney. Shrum had his best prior Boston finish in 2022 when he clocked 2:51:44 to finish 30th in M50. This effort was 14 seconds faster and netted him a much higher age division placement at 6th. Shrum also runs for the Chattanooga Track Club, helping them to 7th place in M50+ at the 2023 USATF Club Cross Country championships in Tallahassee and to a 2nd place finish at 2023 Cross Nationals in Richmond VA. This was Baldwin's fastest M55 time at Boston. He would have preferred an overall win but was pleased, no doubt, to be first American at Boston as he was in 2021 when he took the overall win as well.
Douglas Baldwin 2nd 2:45:25     John Karry 3rd 2:48:38     Ryan Shrum 5th 2:51:30

60-64 Men Rick Lee NJ races a lot, and at distances from ultramarathons down to 4 x 400-meter relays. He is the reigning American Record holder at 50 Km 3:31:44 and 50 Miles 6:27:30. He won the M60 division at Boston in 2021 2:49:29, 2022 2:47:58, and 2023 2:46:36. He has finished on the M60 podium at both Chicago and New York but does not have a win yet. In a six-week span last year, Lee finished 2nd at Berlin, Chicago and New York in succession, with times ranging from 2:48:17 to 2:55:18! 
Rick Lee closing in on His 60-64 Win at the 2022 USATF Masters Half Marathon Championships in Syracuse NY Photo courtesy of the Syracuse Half Marathon

Lee got off to a good start, hitting the 10K in 38:02, but by the halfway point, an international runner, F. Vilela, moved ahead on time by 14 seconds. Lee was never threatened by any other runners in the race but he did not have the legs on this day to catch Vilela, who took the win in 2:48:45. Lee missed his overall 4-peat at Boston but still had the 4-peat as first American, clocking 2:52:05. Craig Person CO, like Lee and Vilela, started in the 10:00 wave but had to worry about two runners who started in the 10:25 wave, an international runner, John Tidd, and Mike Schorr AL. Tidd got out faster than Person; his times at the 10K and halfway left him a half minute and then 46 seconds to the good. But Person did a better job after that, pulling to within two seconds by the time they cleared the Newton Hills. Person finished 2nd American and third overall in 2:55:16, over two minutes ahead of Tidd. That was a nice improvement on placement as he had finished outside the top ten in M55 at Boston in 2021 and 2023. Schorr did a nice job out of the 10:25 wave, finishing third American and 5th overall in 2:57:33.
Rick Lee 2nd 2:52:23     Craig Person 3rd 2:55:16     Mike Schorr 5th 2:57:33

Women Sally Gibbs, an international runner was fastest off the mark, passing the 10k mark in 40:38, two minutes faster than her 60-64 rivals. She kept that advantage through 30K, but Dolores Valencia CA started to whittle it down, thereafter, shrinking it to 1:14 over the Newton Hills. Valencia made the catch, on time, between 35K and 40K, going from 51 seconds slower to over three minutes faster. Valencia claimed the win in 3:11:06. Valencia's best recent finish at Boston was in 2022 when she finished 4th in 55-59 at 3:08:31. She also finished 4th at Chicago in 2023 with a 3:09:56 effort. Yong-Son Basta CT was almost two minutes behind Valencia and over 4 minutes behind Gibbs at the 30K mark. But, like Valencia, Basta was able to pass, on time, between 35K and 40K moving ahead by 19 seconds. Basta finished 2nd in 3:14:42, over three minutes ahead of Gibbs. Basta, in the last three years, has improved her time by 8 minutes, and moved up from a 13th W55 finish in 2021 to a 7th place finish in 2023   Kris Huff GA battled an international runner, Maria Coetzee, for 4th place. Huff had the better start and was a half-minute faster to the halfway point. But by 30K, Coetzee was only one second slower! Huff got the gap up to 16 seconds over the Newton Hills. Coetzee was able to take six seconds out of that gap by the 40K mark. But Huff finished strong to claim 4th in 3:19:52, 27 seconds ahead of Coetzee. Huff is a mainstay of the Atlanta Track Club's W50+ team; in this Grand Prix season she has helped her team to 4th place at Club Cross in Tallahassee and to 3rd at Cross Nationals in Richmond, VA. 
Kris Huff, dressed for freezing temperatures, helps her Atlanta Track Club team onto the 60+ podium at the 2024 USATF Masters Cross Country Championships in Richmond VA in January 2024 Photo Credit: Michael Scott

Huff is also a Boston regular. She has run every available Boston Marathon since 2012 when she finished 11th in W45. In the last three years, Huff has finished 21st, 14th and 23rd; she took advantage of her new age division this year by running her fastest time since 2015 to move into the top 5! Valencia also took full advantage of her new age division; coming away with an age division win at Boston is special.
Dolores Valencia 1st 3:11:06     Yong-son Basta 2nd 3:14:42     Kriss Huff 4th 3:19:52

65-69 Women Becky Backstrom WA started in the 10:00 wave, Gwen Jacobson MN in the 10:25 wave; Leslie Cohen CA and Erica Rubenstein MD  began three seconds apart in the 10:50 wave. Backstrom finished third at Boston in October 2021 with a 3:29:58. For her fall 2022 Major, Backstrom crossed the pond to Berlin and came back with a 65-69 win in 3:23:31. In spring, 2023, at Boston, Backstrom tried to replicate her Berlin feat but came up a bit short, finishing third in 3:30:13. She had the same luck at Chicago last fall with a 3:23:12 for third place in 65-69. Jacobson won the 60-64 division at Boston in 2021 with a 3:23:08 and finished 3rd in 2023 with a 3:19:51. She added a 3rd place finish at Berlin in 2022 at 3:21:18 and, in 2023, won the 65-69 division in New York with a 3:19:15. Whether that was the highlight of the fall from Jacobson's viewpoint or not, it should also be mentioned that she finished 2nd to an international runner at Chicago but broke the American Marathon Record for Women 65-69 with her 3:16:04. Cohen races often; she has had two major marathon binges. On October7, October 11, and November 7th, in 2021, she ran London, Boston and New York, finishing 1st, 2nd and 1st in that order, the fastest time of the three in New York, 3:32:46. After finishing 2nd in Boston that next spring at 3:33:40, she was ready for a different major marathon binge in the fall. On September 25th, October 2nd, and November 6th, Cohen finished 4th, 4th, and 1st W65, in that order. Her fastest of the three was a 3:29:14 at Berlin. In 2023 she ran Boston in the spring and Chicago and New York in the fall, finishing 2nd, 5th and 4th in W65. As noted above, she finished 2nd at Tokyo this year, shortly before Boston. Rubenstein was a regular top ten finisher in 60-64 at Boston and New York, from 2021 until she aged up into 65-69 in 2023. Her top finish was 5th place at New York in 2022 with a 3:44:07, ironically, her slowest time among those five major marathons. In October 2023 she enjoyed a 4th place finish in 65-69 at Chicago with 3:24:18 and moved onto the 65-69 podium at New York in November with 3:32:18. Perhaps hungriest of these four for another podium finish, Rubenstein was fastest to the 10K mark with a 45:41. Jacobson was 24 seconds slower, followed by Backstrom at 47:21 and Cohen with a more cautious start 1:23 behind Backstrom. That was still the order at the halfway point; Rubenstein's 1:37:55 gave her 2 minutes on Jacobson, three on Backstrom and 5 on Cohen. Backstrom passed Jacobson between the Half Marathon and 30K marks and took up the chase after Rubenstein. Rubenstein demonstrated good staying power. Even after the Newton hills, she still had almost two minutes on Backstrom. Cohen had moved ahead of Jacobson. This would not be a repeat of Jacobson's virtuoso performance at Chicago. Backstrom cracked off her 8th 5K in 24:49 to catch Rubenstein and build a minute lead on her. Backstrom enjoyed the win in 3:26:13 with Rubenstein second at 3:28:04. Cohen secured the final podium spot at 3:33:59, with Jacobson a few ticks over a half minute slower. It was Backstrom's first 65-69 Major Marathon win on her home soil. Rubenstein enjoyed her 2nd consecutive Major Marathon 2nd place finish.
Becky Backstrom 1st 3:26:13     Erica Rubenstein 2nd 3:28:04     Leslie Cohen 3rd 3:33:59

Men A Canadian, Paul Huyer, ran away with this division. Four minutes ahead of the closest American runner at the half, he was almost 14 minutes up by the time he crossed the finish line at 2:58:27. Michael Brosilow IL, Jeff Lindsey MO, and Dave Walters were the Americans, along with another international runner, Benny Milnitki, who were pursuing Huyer. Coming out of the Pandemic, Brosilow got his major marathons started with London; he finished 41st in M60 at 3:15:59. He had not been outside of the top ten in the 7 major marathons he ran between then and New York in 2023. His fastest was Boston in 2021, at 3:01:54. His best placements were 3rd place finishes at Boston 2022, NYC 2022, and Boston 2023. He also finished 4th in Berlin 2022. Lindsey was less active with marathons in that same period, running 2:57:57 in Indianapolis and finishing 6th at 2023 Boston in 3:08:45. Walters was King of the M65 Major Marathoners. winning at Boston 2021 in 2:52:53 and at New York a month later in 2:55:42. The next year he finished 2nd at Boston but won in London at 2:56:45 and New Yorkj at 3:04:24. He picked up another Boston win in April 2023 at 3:01:22. Chicago, that fall, in his home state was, ironically, his only finish off the podium, in 4th at 2:59:42. Lindsey and Walters were in the 10 AM wave; Brosilow and Milnitki in the 10:25 wave. Milnitki was fastest to the 10K mark at 42:09, 1:15 ahead of Lindsey and a whopping three minutes up on Walters, with another 23 seconds back to Brosilow. The order was the same at the halfway point, but the gaps were bigger. Indeed, nothing much changed until they came out of the Newton Hills and were into the final five miles. At 35K, Milnitki was still 2 minutes ahead of Lindsey; Walters was now the better part of three minutes behind Milnitki, but only a half minute behind Lindsey. Walters had saved the best for last. 
Dave Walters posing for a shot in front of Big Ben on one of his London Marathon jaunts Photo Credit:

By the 40K mat, Walters had passed Lindsey and was less than a half minute slower than Milnitki. Brosilow, too, was rolling, hitting the 40K mark 5 seconds slower than Lindsey. In the end, Walters was first American, second overall in 3:12:01, a good fifty seconds ahead of Milnitki, who finished 3rd overall. Brosilow got past Lindsey, finishing 2nd American in 4th place overall. Lindsey was third American, fifth overall in 3:17:14.
Dave Walters 2nd 3:12:01     Michael Brosilow 4th 3:15:19     Jeff Lindsey 5th 3:17:14

70-74 Men John Woodnutt, an international runner, got out fastest by 19 seconds, at 47:21 to the 10K, and held that gap through the halfway point. But by the 30K mark, the margin was over a minute. He won the division by over 4 minutes in 3:26:59. Sandy Rutledge NS Can started two minutes ahead of  Ockle Johnson NH but Johnson maintained the faster initial pace. Johnson was a half-minute faster to the 10K mark and to the halfway mark. Johnson had finished 18th M65 at Boston in 2021, 20th in 2022 and 34th in 2023; his fastest time was 3:26:30 in 2022. He was looking forward to competing against 70-year-olds and had made a good start. But that was the 'high water' mark for Johnson. Johnson was only 8 seconds faster to 30K and was a minute slower to the end of the Newton Hills. Rutledge captured 2nd at 3:31:38 with over two minutes to spare. Johnson had started a few minutes after 10:30, 
James Linn PA twenty minutes later, and John Hieb CA still another twenty minutes. Yet they were all pretty close in terms of net time. Linn had no previous major marathons, at least in the last few years. He has been active in USATF Masters Championships, winning M70 at the 2023 Masters 12 Km Championships and finishing 2nd M70 at the 2024 Masters 5 Km Championships in 19:43. Hieb, in contrast, had finished 3rd in M70 at Boston in both 2022 and 2023, hitting 3:27:37 in 2022 and 3:27:39 the next year. Johnson was one second faster to 10K than Hieb, with Linn a minute slower. 
Jim Linn hammers it home for the 70-74 win at the 2024 USATF Masters 12 Km Championship sin Highlands, NJ Photo Credit: Jason Timochko

At the halfway point, Johnson was a half-minute faster than Hieb and two minutes faster than Linn.  But Hieb was only 7 seconds slower to 30K than Johnson, and passed him, in terms of net time, over the Newton Hills, emerging with a time a half minute less than Johnson. Linn, meanwhile, was also closing in on net time. By the time Linn came out of the Newton Hills, at 2:49:05, his time was only 41 seconds slower than Hieb and 8 seconds slower than Johnson. At 35K, Linn actually had a faster time, 2:55:11, than Johnson, by two seconds, although still a half minute slower than Hieb. With the hills behind them and the end only 2K away, Johnson had recovered and put a half minute between his time and Linn's. Linn, in the meantime had moved to 12 seconds up on Hieb. Johnson finished 2nd American, 3rd overall in 3:33:59. Linn was second American, 4th overall, at 3:35:57. Hieb, despite slowing towards the end, had another fine performance at Boston, finishing 5th M70 at 3:36:11.
Ockle Johnson 3rd 3:33:59     James Linn 4th 3:35:57     John Hieb 5th 3:36:11

Women Dawn Ebbetts NH has run other marathons in the last few years but no major marathons. Yuko Gordon, a British runner, had won the 2023 London Marathon in 3:28:20 and the 2023 Berlin Marathon in   3:32:16. Gordon started 5 minutes ahead of Ebbetts and, in the early going, carried a faster pace, hitting the 10K in 49:45 and the half marathon point at 1:49:38. Her time was almost two minutes ahead of the time Ebbetts would post at that same point. But the momentum started to shift; Ebbetts's time at 30K was only 1:21 slower than the 2:38:47 posted by Gordon. By the time both were finished with the Newton Hills, Ebbetts had the faster times. 

Her 3:07:26 at 35K was fifty seconds faster than Gordon's time at the same point. The momentum shifted again! Gordon regained her rhythm and closed to within 17 seconds of Ebbetts's time at the 40K. But that was her last gasp. At the finish, Ebbets claimed 2nd overall, and first American, at 3:46:02, a good 38 seconds ahead of Gordon. Therese Christo NY and Suzanne Koonce CA were the other two top Americans. Christo had finished 5th, 11th, and 8th in 65-69 at the 2021, '22, and '23 Boston Marathons; her best time was the 3:44:07 in 2023. Koonce finished 6th, 8th and then 6th again, in W70, at the London 2021, Boston 2022 and Boston 2023 marathons, with times from 4:04:17 to 4:21:09. 
Suzanne Koonce at the 2023 Comrades Marathon in South Africa Photo posted on Facebook-RaceRaves

In October 2023, she cracked four hours at Chicago, finishing 2nd W70 in 3:57:05. Christo had her best showing yet in terms of placement, with a 3rd W70 here in Boston 2024. Her 4:06:44 was almost four minutes faster than Koonce's 4th place finishing time.
Dawn Ebbets 1st 3:46:02     Therese Christo 3rd 4:06:44     Suzanne Koonce 4th 4:10:21

75-79 Women Mary Harris PA had the fastest time to the halfway point, 2:18:33. Gayle Robinson BC CAN was 1:27 slower. Kathryn Parks WA was a half-minute slower than Robinson but almost 8 minutes ahead of the next American, Patty Hung CA. This is, apparently, Harris's first marathon since the pandemic. In 2018, she finished 11th in 70-74 at Boston in 4:53:54. Robinson ran Boston in 2017-18-19 finishing 37th in 65-69 and then 8th and 20th in 70-74; her best time was 4:35:33 in 2017. She had run in some half marathons since the pandemic but this would be her first marathon.
Parks has run in Boston the last three years, improving her time and place each year, from 5:39:40 for 28th in 70-74 in 2021 to 4:27:20 and 8th place 70-74 in 2023. Hung competed in the last three Boston marathons with her highest placement a 75-79 4th place in 2022 and her fastest time that same year at 5:08:03. She finished 8th in 2021 and 9th in 2023, her time that year at 5:40:37. 
Harris ran into trouble between the half marathon and 30K mark when her pace slowed by three minutes per mile. She maintained that slower pace through the 30K mark and did not speed up again until the stretch from the end of the Newton Hills to the 35K mark. During that time, she surrendered the lead, on time, to Robinson, who held it all the way to the finish. Robinson claimed the win with a 5:02:55 performance. Harris also fell behind Parks, who was 9 minutes ahead of Harris at 35K. After that point, Harris was taking 4-minute chunks out of that lead every mile. Harris's recovery allowed her to claim the status of first American and 2nd overall in 5:20:13. Parks finished 3rd overall 13 minutes later. Hung was third American, 4th overall in 5:51:05.
Mary Harris 2nd 5:02:55     Kathryn Parks 3rd 5:20:13     Patty Hung 4th 5:51:05

Men Although he would say he has lost a lot in the last few years, Gene Dykes PA, is still the fastest marathoner in this division and probably in the next younger one too. In October 2023, he set the American 75-79 Marathon record at Chicago, winning in 3:17:01. He still holds the 70-74 American record at 2:55:22. Two weeks before Chicago he tried for the American record at Berlin. Although he won the division, his 3:18:23 was not fast enough to get the record. In the midst of all that he won some ultras and some USATF National Road and Cross Country Championships; last summer he won some championships on the track. You get the idea. 
Gene Dykes crossing the finish line at the 2018 Jacksonville Marathon-It is the fastest Marathon run on a record-eligible course by a 70-74 year old Photo Credit:

Dykes has won often at Boston and this one was no exception. At 46:23, Dykes was four minutes ahead of his closest rival at the 10K. Ten minutes ahead at the halfway point, Dykes sped to victory in 3:17:07, winning the division by well over 30 minutes. The closest runner was an international runner, Martin Fluckiger, who was just as far ahead of everyone else at the 10K as Dykes was ahead of him. Seven minutes ahead at the halfway point, he did lose some ground on the back half. But Fluckiger took 2nd overall in 3:54:22. No one was within five minutes. There was more back and forth between four rivals for the overall third place finish and to be among top three Americans. Canadian, Ercole Guidi, finished 134th at Boston in 2022 on 4:45:45. Guidi moved up a hundred places, finishing 34th at Chicago in 2023 with a 4:05:55. He would move up even mor ein his new age division. William Harrison MA ran 4:13:10 to finish 2nd M75 at Boston in 2021. Hai Jung Jeong is an international runner who last competed at Boston in 2009 in the M60 division; he finished 119th in 3:46:37. That equates, roughly, to a 4:30 effort 15 years later. Chris Sim CA has run the Revel Big Bear Marathon a couple of times, but this would, apparently, be his first major marathon experience. Jeong was fastest of these to the 10K in 54:25, two minutes ahead of Sim and more than three minutes faster than Guidi. Harrison was another minute back. Jeong pushed his lead over Sim to 5 minutes by the halfway point. Guidi was then within a half-minute of Sim. By the time they left the Newton Hills, Sim was just a minute behind Jeong. But Guidi now had Sim in his sights, just 5 seconds separating the two. Both Sim and Guidi had passed Jeong by the 35K mark, but Sim was still holding onto a one second lead over Guidi. It changed dramatically over the next 5K as Guidi passed Sim and opened a 44 second gap by 40K. But the final 2K nearly saw a complete reversal as Sim took a 24 second chunk out of Guidi's lead. Guidi held tough though, claiming 3rd overall in 4:13:52. Sim was 4th overall and 2nd American in 4:14:12, with Jeong 5th overall in 4:19:19. Harrison finished 6th overall in 4:20:29, and 3rd American.
Gene Dykes 3:28:43     Martin Fluckiger 3:54:22     Ercole Guidi 4:13:52

80-84 Men Frank Bright LAChristopher Gould NC, Myung Joon Kim CA, and Sukeyuki Kumei, an international runner, would compete for the 80+ win. Kim was the favorite. After finishing in the top six in M75 at London in 2021 and Boston in 2022, in 4:03:48 and 4:12:56, Kim moved up to the 80+ division and found himself at the top of the pile. He ran a second faster in 2023 than in 2022 to achieve the win. He got his second consecutive win at a Major Marathon with his 4:21:34 effort at Chicago last October. Bright finished 4th M75 at Boston in 2021 and 25th M75 in 2022, running 4:24:26 in 2021 and 5:01:57 in 2022. Despite running into difficulty just before the 35 K point, Bright moved up to finish 3rd M80 in 2023, clocking 5:36:15 at Boston.  Gould was not well known as a Marathoner; this would, apparently, be his first major marathon. A month before, Gould got the kinks out with an 80+ win in 1:57:29 at the VHB Half marathon in Cary NC.  Kumei was even more of a wild card. Although, as noted, Kumei had finished 2nd at Tokyo six weeks earlier in 4:20:33. If Kim was at the top of his game for Boston, though, he would still be the favorite. As it turned out, Kim was not able to match his prior two Boston efforts. Kumei was fastest to the 10K point at 55:33, already four minutes ahead of Kim. Kumei added another half minute to his lead by the halfway point. Kumei worked the final margin up to just under ten minutes. Kumei had the victory in 4:20:49. Kim's string of M80 wins at major marathons stopped at two. But finishing in the top two at three consecutive Major Marathons is a remarkable achievement, nonetheless. Although their starting times were almost a half-minute apart, Bright and Gould were quite close, on net time, over the first half of the course. Gould was 7 seconds faster to the 10K, and 8 seconds faster to the halfway point. But that is where Gould started to pull away on net time. Gould was six minutes faster to the 30K point and finished 3rd overall, 2nd American in 4:36:36. Bright was 3rd American, finishing 4th overall in 4:48:48. Gould making the podium at what appears to be his first major marathon, is admirable to say the least! And Bright enjoyed his 2nd consecutive finish among the top 3 Americans in his division at Boston.
Myung Joon Kim 2nd 4:30:30     Christopher Gould 3rd 4:36:36     Frank Bright 4th 3:20:30

Women The last two years had seen spirited competition between Hansi Rigney CA and Helen Sabourin, out of British Columbia in Canada. with Sabourin taking the win by just three minutes and change. There were no fireworks this time. Carol Wright ID had competed here in October 2021, finishing 6th in 75-79 in 5:27:18. This time she had the M80 division to herself, taking the win in 5:54:31.
Carol Wright 1st 5:27:18

LONDON MARATHON April 21, 2024

With London happening just six days after the Trials there were few athletes who ran both. As a result there were comparatively fewer Americans at London this year. But those who made the trip sometimes reaped a very nice reward. No American women took part in the Elite race. Brian Shrader was the only Men's elite entrant from the USA. He went home with a Top Ten finish in 2:10:50. The battle for the win came down, reliably, to Kenyans and Ethiopians. In the Men's Elite race, Alexander Munyao Kenya wore #2 but finished 1st in 2:04:01; 
Alexander Munyao takes the Men's title at the 2024 TCS London Marathon Photo Credit:

the decorated long distance runner and marathoner, Kenenisa Bekele Ethiopia wore #1 and finished 2nd, just 14 seconds behind Munyao. In the Women's race it was Peres Jepchirchir Kenya 
Peres Jepchirchir wins the 2024 TCS London Marathon in a Women-only World Record time Photo Credit:

outlasting Tigst Assefa Ethiopia to win by 7 seconds in a women-only world record time of 2:16:16.

London Marathon 2024-Runners in Mass Participation Race -Photo Credit:

Among the Masters competitors, Jeannie Rice OH was going after her own 75-79 World Record set in Chicago last October.
Note: Like Boston, London does not report individual ages, just 5-year age division; hence I report no age grade PLP's.

In M40, M45, and M80+, there were no Americans in the top 25. 
50-54 Chris Lepine finished 25th in 2:43:11. 
Chris Lepine 25th

55-59 Robert Ashby who ran for the Belfast Harriers team, made a much bigger splash in M55, winning the division in 2:38:29. Ashby improved on his 8th place finish at Boston in 2022 at 2:40:02.
Running an almost even split, hitting the halfway point in 1:19:08, he was just 52 seconds ahead of his closest rival. He built that to almost four minutes by the time he crossed the finish line with the win.
Robert Ashby 1st 2:38:29 

60-64 Frank McElvey ran 2:58:12 to finish 8th. 
Frank McElvey 8th

65-69 Alex Silverman ran 3:18:19 to finish 16th. He was outdone by Jeff Young, who was fastest over the first half in 1:23:37 but struggled after 30K. Young saw the eventual winner pass him between 35K and 40K and the eventual second place finisher pass him in the final two kilometers. Still, a 2:59:53 for a 3rd place finish at the London Marathon is nothing to sneeze at. 
Jeff Young training for the 2015 Boston Marathon Photo Credit: Anchorage Daily News 

This appeared to be Young's first road marathon since the end of the Covid pandemic; he apparently ran a number of times before that. He has run longer distances on the trails and has some tri's in his background in the last few years. 
Jeff Young 3rd 2:59:53     Alex Silverman 16th 3:18:19

70-74 Two Americans finished in the top 25. Lee Maxson ran 3:51:31 to finish 22nd. Steven Plakas carried a faster pace, finishing 8th in 3:43:11.
Steve Plakas 8th    Lee Maxson 22nd 

75-79 Jerry Egge ran 5:09:04 to finish 25th in 75-79. 
Jerry Egge 25th 

In W50 there were no Americans in the top 25. 

40-44 Meghann Featherstun clocked 2:53:43 to finish 21st, just 5 seconds behind Ashley Paulson, 20th at 2:53:38. Melissa Perlman negative split the race, breaking into the top ten in the second half of the race. 
Melissa Perlman finished 2nd in the 2024 Ft Lauderdale Half Marathon, her tune up race for Boston Photo Credit: Melissa Perlman

Her 1:23:09/2:44:57 performance landed her in 8th place.
Melissa Perlman 8th place     Ashley Paulson 20th     Meghann Featherstun 21st 

45-49 Laura Heintz's 3:01:05 brought her a 19th place finish. Shannon Bueker's  sub-3 hour effort  led to a top ten finish. Her 2:57:07 earned Bueker an 8th place finish. 
Shannon Bueker left runs through Natick on her way to an 8th place 45-49 finish at the 2024 Boston Marathon Photo Credit:

Christa Collins ran even faster, with a 2:53:38 for 6th place in the division. Collins moved up from her 10th place finish at Boston in 2022 and her 16th in Berlin in the same year.
Christa Collins 6th 2:53:38     Shannon Bueker 8th     Laura Heintz 19th

55-59 Locky Trachsel, the winner in New York 2022 in 3:02:40, made her trip to compete in London's 55-59 division worthwhile. She was third at the halfway point in 1:29:51; she held everyone else at bay as she worked her way up into 2nd by the finish. 
Locky Trachsel-Boston Marathon 2016-Photo Credit:

Her second-place time was 2:59:17!
Locky Trachsel 2nd 2:59:17

60-64 Alma Delia Arredondo ran 3:35:27 to finish 13th. Sarah Gibb ran 18 seconds faster, finishing 11th at 3:35:09. Catharine Ellingsen ran 3:30:19, fast enough to crack into the top ten at 8th place.
Catharine Ellingsen 8th      Sarah Gibb 11th     Alma Delia Arredondo 13th

65-69 Deborah Lazaroff finished 20th in 4:07:25. Deborah Dyer ran 4:04:12 to finish 15th. Theresa Burst and Mary Faria finished 13th and 12th respectively on their 4:00:24 and 3:58:49 efforts.
Mary Faria 12th     Theresa Burst 13th     Deborah Dyer 15th

70-74 Five Americans finished in the top 25, with two finishing on the podium. Marsha Deere finished 25th in 5:03:38. Carolyn Canada cracked the 5-hour barrier to record a 22nd place finish in 4:54:11. Candace Gibson's 4:46:34 earned her a top-20 finish in 19th place. Diane Peterson was sixth fastest to the halfway point but made steady progress after that, passing one of her rivals before 30K, a second one right before 40K, and the last in the final two kilometers. Her 3:56:05 netted her a 3rd place finish. In 2023, Peterson finished 32nd in 65-69 at Boston; 7th at Berlin; and 6th at New York. Getting onto the podium in London was a big step up.  Grace Wasielewski did even better. Fastest to the halfway point, only Jooy Radford Great Britain was close, just 24 seconds back. But Wasielewski increased the gap to over 3 minutes by 30K and cruised home the victor in 3:43:03, enjoying a winning margin of 5:31.
Grace Wasielewski cheered on by her daughter at her 109th marathon Photo Credit: Grace Wasielewski

Wasielewski was 2nd at Berlin last fall and 2nd in 65-69 at Chicago; this was a nice improvement in place.
Grace Wasielewski 1st 3:43:03     Diane Peterson 3rd 3:56:05     Candace Gibson 19th

75-79 Six Americans were among the 20 competitors, with one winning the race and setting a World Record. Nena Shaheed finished 18th in 7:07:00. Brenda Toriyama broke the 6-hour barrier, clocking 5:57:44 for a 14th place finish. Sara Dutton and Que Pham finished 12th and 11th respectively at 5:53:52 and 5:42:08. Donavee Cote cracked the top ten, just, with her 5:33:32. 

But Jeannie Rice outdid them all. She was the star of the show, not only for this division but for the entire American Masters contingent! She won by a ton, and she broke her own World 75-79 Record! Rice hit the halfway point in 1:44:06, 15 minutes faster than her closest rival. 
Jeannie Rice running in a local 5K in Naples FL a few weeks after her WR Marathon in London Photo posted by J Rice on Strava

She poured it on from there, winning in 3:33:27, a minute and 5 seconds under the world record she set last October in Chicago.
Jeannie Rice 1st 3:33:27     Donavee Cote 10th     Que Pham 11th

80+ One of the five competitors in this division was an American, Tamerra Buckhanan. In third place at the halfway point in 2:57:06, she was 17 minutes out of first but just a minute and a half behind the 2nd place athlete, Patricia Gibson Great Britain. She had a lead of almost 5 minutes over the 4th place runner. By 25K, Buckhanan was in second, arriving four minutes faster than Gibson. Buckhanan was 18 minutes out of first but took away all but 7 minutes of that by the time she crossed the finish line at 5:59:53 in 2nd place. Buckhanan finished 7th in Berlin and 9th at Chicago last fall. How cool was that to move up onto the podium in London!
Tamerra Buckhanan 2nd 5:59:53

That's it for the first three major marathons in 2024. Next up will be Berlin, Chicago and New York--who will dominate the Masters Age Groups? It will be fascinating to see!