Interestingly, Gebrselassie said he was pleased when the star-studded field pushed the pace through the first half of the race. Instead of settling into a small pack with Abdirahman, Gebrselassie took the early pace as an indication that it was time for him to pick it up. Then, apparently Abdirahman told him to, “Go.”
“What do you mean, ‘Go’?” Gebrselassie said during the post-race press conference. “He ask me to go, I am going to go.”
Gebrselassie never has ceased to amaze. At 34 he is showing no signs of slowing down or wrapping up a career that started in the early 1990s and came to the forefront during the 1996 Olympics when he won the 10,000 meters. It’s especially fascinating to see Geb make the easy transition to from middle distance guy to a marathoner, who isn’t afraid to mix it up two to three times a year.
But the most interesting part about the race was seeing Alan Culpepper finish in sixth place in 63:34 and Peter Gilmore run 65:06. Actually, any time Gilmore races it’s interesting. One reason is that he is amazingly consistent as shown in his top 10 finishes in some big city marathons. Most notably, Gilmore was the top American in the last New York City and Boston marathons by routinely posting times between 2:12 and 2:16.
Surely those times are not good enough to win too many big time races where Gebrselassie and guys gunning for world record or sub-2:07s times. But Gilmore doesn’t duck the big races, which should serve him well when he laces it up for the Olympic Marathon Trials on Nov. 3 in New York City.
The best part about Gilmore is that until this year he was running without a sponsor and had just quit his job to devote his time to running. In that regard Gilmore is living the dream of many wannabe running bums when he decided to see how good he can be. In fact, The New York Times chronicled his decision to quit his job to become a full-time runner.
Frankly, I’m jealous.
Here’s the week of July 30 to August 5:
Monday -- 20 miles in 2:12:13
This was a tough one. For one thing it was very, very humid again. For another thing I didn't get out until nearly 4 p.m. because I spent all morning and afternoon painting the new kid's new room.
Just so you know, painting is no fun.
Regardless, I stuck at it and cranked out the 20 and didn't really feel like quitting. I didn't feel like starting, but once I got going I was OK.
1st 5 - 33:46
2nd 5 - 32:53
3rd 5 - 33:19
4th 5 - 33:14
Tuesday -- 16 miles in 1:48:32
This one was a hilly recovery run. I started out slow and just let me body dictate the pace, however, I ran through the hills just so I didn't feel lazy. By the end of the run I felt like adding a little bit of pace to it and ended up turning it up a notch.
Either way, it was a decent run for what it was.
Wednesday -- 16 miles in 1:47:02
Felt pretty good, but slow during the second half. Actually, I was surprised at how strong my legs felt with the heat, sun and everything else. Either way, it was a pretty good run and effort over roughly the same course as yesterday.
Thursday -- 14 miles in 1:37:11
I think I ran longer than 14 miles, but I don't know how much so I just marked it an even 14... anyway, I went pretty damn slow on yet another hot day, but felt pretty good running during the second half. Perhaps I'm getting acclimated?
The secret, at least for me, seems to be running in the shade and into whatever breeze there is on the really hot days. At the same time I hit the hills on the hot ones. So far it works out OK.
Friday -- 16 miles in 1:48:30
I felt reasonably fast through the first half of the run and even the beginning of the second half, but the time indicated otherwise. Either way, I did pretty well with the heat -- probably my best day with it. However, after the run my right Achillies was a bit achy. That's definitely from doing hills and roads for four straight days. It's time to get back on the grass.
Saturday -- 15 miles in 1:38:55
Got back on the field today and I could tell the difference in my legs and ankles. Even though it was hot and sunny without much shade on the course, I ran a reasonably uptempo pace. Afterwards I felt like I was going to throw up but that had more to do with the heat than the effort.
1st 5 - 33:31.64
2nd 5 - 33:00.76
3rd 5 - 32:22.85
Either way, this was the best one of the week.
Sunday -- 5 miles in 31:58
Easy like Sunday morning.
That’s 102 miles for the week and my ninth straight week in triple digits… I went back and checked.