Cherono vs Desisa, the final strides, photo by PhotoRun
Lawrence Cherono, photo by PhotoRun
The nightmare for an elite athlete is to have to battle athletes at the very end of the marathon. By 24-25 miles, the athlete is feeling a) exhausted, b) grumpy and c) see a and b. To muster up a kick is something that should not be for the squeamish. NBC announcer Craig Masback noted such when he worried out loud about Lelisa Desisa and his hamstrings. None the less, Cherono and Desisa battled, for 580 meters, beforer Desisa, the 2018 NYC champion, and 2013, and 2015 Boston champion, knew his race was lost.
Just how close was the race? Well, the closest since 1988, thirty-one years ago.
Lawrence Cherono takes Boston over Lelisa Desisa, photo by PhotoRun
Cherono in close finish over Desisa
BOSTON (USA, Apr 15): Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono outsprinted Ethiopia’s former two-time champion Lelisa Desisa in one of the closest ever finishes in the Boston Marathon, 2:07:57 (64:29/63:28) to 2:07:59. Kenneth Kipkemoi finished third in 2:08:07 with fellow Kenyans Felix Kandie (2:08:54) and Geoffrey Kirui (2:08:55) rounding out the top five. Scott Fauble was the top US finisher in seventh in a 2:09:09 PB with 2016 Olympian Jared Ward eighth in a 2:09:25 PB. Reigning champion Yuki Kawauchi dropped off the pace in the early stages and was a distant 17th in 2:16:19 with former winner Lemi Berhanu from Ethiopia was a notable non-finisher. By contrast Worknesh Degefa from Ethiopia broke away before the 10K checkpoint and even though her three minute-plus lead was cut down to less than one minute at the finish, Degefa emerged victorious in 2:23:31 (70:40/72:51) ahead of former two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat from Kenya (2:24:13) with Jordan Hasay making the podium once again in third (2:25:20) in her first marathon since Chicago 2017. Reigning champion Desiree Linden was fifth in 2:27:00, one place ahead of former winner Caroline Rotich from Kenya in 2:28:27.