April 17, 2006
It was a time for change at the 110th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17, 2006. At the second annual Race Directors’ Workshop on April 15th, Josh Nemzer, course coordinator, gave a presentation titled “The Boston Marathon – An Inside Look.” He explained the rationale for many of the 2006 changes and the negotiations that were made with the nine towns and communities on the course.
The first change was a new location for the Expo and packet pickup. It was moved from the Prudential Center to the more spacious World Trade Center near the Boston waterfront. Race directors were afforded a “sneak preview” 45 minutes before the 9 a.m. opening.
Because we were still in the packet pickup area at that time, I was the first person to get my race number and chip. I then proceeded to the next two tables for my T-shirt and bag. This layout of all the necessary things in close proximity made it easy for runners to get everything before they toured the Expo.
Change #2 was the offering of a two-wave start (blue and red). Because of this, quite a few things were different. The buses that took runners from Boston to Hopkinton left the Boston Common an hour later than other years. The waves left from separate areas, and the participants were transported to two different athletes villages near the Hopkinton High School.
To prevent runners from trespassing into residents’ yards, the walk from the villages to the starting line was on a fenced street that led directly to the corrals.
The wheelchair race that began at 11:25 a.m. was followed by the start of 100 elite women at 11:30 a.m. The elite men were at the front of the blue wave that had a noon start.
The next change was a later start time for the red wave. The slower qualifiers and the charity runners left at 12:30 p.m., and the course remained open until 6:30 p.m., instead of the usual 6:00 p.m.
Gun time was used for the results that involved prize money, but for the first time chips were used for the other official results.
A course change in the last mile of the race substituted an underpass for an overpass at the Massachusetts Turnpike. I remember this overpass hill from my nine previous Boston races, and I didn’t miss it at all!
The weather was perfect for running a marathon, and over 20,000 participants left Hopkinton in record time. A year ago it took me thirty minutes to get to the starting line, and this year I was there five minutes after the start of the red wave!
The 110th Boston Marathon was won by past winner Robert Cheruiyot, 27, who set a new course record (by one second) with his time of 2:07:14. Fellow Kenyan Benjamin Maiyo, 27, was second with a 2:08:21.
The Americans improved their performances at Boston. This year five of the first ten finishers represented the United States. Meb Keflezighi, 30, of San Diego, California, (a naturalized citizen originally from Eritrea) place third with a 2:09:56. He had the best American placement since Greg Meyer won the 1983 race in 2:09:00. That was the year I ran my first Boston Marathon, and I remember it well!
Close behind Meb were Brian Sell, 28, Rochester, Michigan, in fourth place (2:10:55) and Alan Culpepper, 33, Lafayette, Colorado, in fifth place (2:11:02).
The women’s race was the closest in Boston history. A pack of four became three on the Newton Hills. In the 23rd mile Rita Jeptoo, 25, of Kenya charged to the front and held her lead to win in 2:23:38. Close behind in 2:23:48 was Jelena Prokopcuka, 25, of Latvia and Reiko Tosa, 26, of Japan (2:24:11) for second and third places. The first American finisher, Emily Levan, 33, of Wiscasset, Maine, was the 13th woman overall with a time of 2:37:01.
Winning the wheelchair division for the sixth consecutive year was Ernst Van Dyk, 33, of South Africa. In a field of 21 athletes he led from the start to the finish. His time of 1:25:29 gave him a comfortable lead over Krige Schabort, 42, of Cedartown, Georgia,
(1:29:04) and Kelly Smith, 41, Langley, BC (1:29:34). Ernst holds the course record of 1:18:27 (2004).
Past winner (2004) Edith Hunkeler, 33 of Switzerland won the women’s wheelchair race with a 1:43:42. Diane Roy, 35, Hatley, PQ, Canada, (1:48:52) and Shirley Reill, 20 of Tucson, Arizona, (1:53:44) were second and third.
For the 25th time, 65 year old Dick Hoyt of Holland, MA, pushed his son Rick across the finish line in his wheelchair (3:43:27). Rick, 44, was born with cerebral palsy and has been pushed or pulled by his dad in more than 900 events including Ironman triathlons! He communicates through a special computer and tells the world that when he’s “running” he feels like his disability disappears.
“Team Hoyt” is an inspiration to many, and especially so to our friend Larry Herman of the Frederick (MD) Marathon. He has organized relay teams of 4-10 individuals who will push more than a dozen people in wheelchairs for the 26.2 miles of their April 23, 2006, race.
I usually don’t run two Boston Marathons in a row, but I felt the need to redeem myself. Last year, due to an injury, I ran/walked the first half and walked the second half. I watched timing mats and aid stations being dismantled, and no course officials could locate me when Lenore inquired as to my whereabouts. This year that problem could be averted by the addition of bar codes to all bibs.
Last year only a handful of stragglers were on the course by the time I finished (with a tilt to the right). I received a finishers medal for my time of 6:38:10 (starting line to finish line), but I hadn’t made the course cutoff time of 6:00:00. My name wasn’t listed on the official results, so I felt like I had a DNF.
Because I had a qualifying time for 2006, I felt that I had better use it while I had the chance. My race went fairly well, at least an hour faster than last year. I finished 19,516th of 19,688 with a chip time of 5:35:15. It was my 10th Boston Marathon, so I have had my share. If I never qualify to run another one, I can leave Boston with memories of a 3:04:25 in 1988, good enough for 7th in the 55-59M group and first Masters from the state of Washington.
It’s always a treat for Lenore and me to attend some of the festivities of a marathon weekend. A highlight this time was knowing most of the “Legends of the Boston Marathon” and hearing their presentations at the Saturday Expo. We’ve met Katherine Switzer and her husband Roger Robinson at several Victoria Marathons and emcee Bart Yasso and Amby Burfoot at Portland Marathons. Race director Dave McGillivray is a member of our 100 Marathon Club North America, and fellow Marathon Maniac Dick Beardsley has been the featured guest at our last two Yakima River Canyon Marathons. We were pleased that Dick wore his nametag with our YRCM logo on it!
Dan Ashworth from Ashworth Awards was one of the hosts of a Saturday party for race directors and others at Anthony’s Pier 4 near the World Trade Center Expo. During the race Lenore was able to watch the finishers from the Ashworth suite at the Lenox Hotel. In memory of his father, Douglas R. Ashworth who passed away in May of 2005, commemorative medallions with his likeness were presented by Dan. The inscription on the back says, “Failure is the first step to success, to be afraid to fail is to be afraid to succeed.”
The 110th running of the Boston Marathon (my 10th) is history. Thanks Dave McGillivray and the Boston Athletic Association for another great event. We liked the changes!
…………………………………..Written by Bob Dolphin
Edited, typed and distributed by Lenore Dolphin
MM = Marathon Maniac…….50S = 50 Stater…….100MC = 100 Marathon Club
1…2:07:14 Robert Cheruiyot, 27, Nandi, Kenya
2…2:08:21 Benjamin Maiyo, 27, Trans Nzoia, Kenya
3…2:09:56 Meb Keflezighi, 30, San Diego, CA
4…2:10:55 Brian Sell, 28, Rochester, MI
5…2:11:02 Alan Culpepper, 33, Lafayette, CO
24…1F…2:23:38 Rita Jeptoo, 25, Kabsabet, Kenya
25…2F…2:23:48 Jelena Prokopcuka, 25, Jurmala, Latvia
25…3F…2:24:11 Reiko Tosa, 26, Ehime, Japan
29…4F…2:25:28 Bruna Genovese, 29, V. Del Montello, Italy
32…5F…2:26:52 Kiyoko Shimahara, 32, Yamaguchi, Japan
2:31:09 Nik Southwell, 31, Victoria, BC
2:37:01 Emily Levan, 33, Wiscasset, ME
2:59:34 Claudette Augert, 42, Edmonton, AB
3:01:33 Gregg Walchli, 43, Seattle, WA, MM, 100MC
3:03:59 Mickey Allen, 50, Tacoma, WA, MM
3:04:38 Tony Phillippi, 44, Tacoma, WA, MM, 50S, 100MC
3:08:32 Rob Cowan, 45, Coto De Gaza, CA, MM
3:09:15 Ruben Contreras, 51, Stanwood, WA, MM
3:10:45 Andre Boulais, 44, Irvine, CA, MM
3:13:49 Tom Neuman, 50, Salt Lake City, UT, MM
3:21:28 Robert Bens, 45, Overland Park, KS, MM
3:22:09 Peggy Nelson-Panzer, 44, Aurora, CO, MM
3:24:05 Clay Hathorn, 45, Portland, OR, MM
3:25:15 Don Pattison, 48, Bartlett, IL, MM
3:26:22 Steve Supkoff, 40, North Bend, WA, MM
3:26:53 Jennifer Robinson, 30, Alexandria, VA
3:29:29 Laura Bleakley, 36, Rochester, NY, MM
3:33:46 Amy Yanni, 52, Rapid City, SD, MM
3:34:25 Marc Frommer, 53, Portland, OR, MM
3:35:16 Valerie Kilcoin, 48, Middletown, NY, MM
3:36:22 Gregory Roth, 52, Richmond, VA, MM
3:42:10 David Jones, 60, Seattle, WA, MM, 100MC
3:42:12 Pam Reed, 45, Tucson, AZ, 100MC
3:42:42 Andrea Hill, 23, Columbus, OH, MM
3:43:02 Steven Yee, 46, Renton, WA, MM, 100MC
3:43:27 Richard Hoyt, 65, Holland, MA
3:43:33 Keith Panzer, 47, Aurora, Co, MM
3:46:05 Edson Sanches, 56, New York, NY, 50S, 100MC
3:48:15 Janet Green, 52, Courtenay, BC, 100MC
3:52.33 Chris Warren, 38, Renton, WA, MM
3:57:00 Pete Nicholson, 46, Vancouver, WA, MM
3:57:13 Rick Holderness, 62, San Anselma, CA
3:58:51 Barbara Bumann, 52, Spokane, WA, MM
3:59:57 Gina Moore, 54, San Marcos, TX, 50S, 100MC
4:09:32 Bob Lehew, 63, Tulsa, OK, 50S, 100MC
4:10:05 Larry Phillips, 47, Lake Forest Park, WA
4:11:41 Nancy Elwess, 51, North Hero, VT
4:12:25 Gary Geuss, 48, Studio City, CA, MM
4:13:08 Rebecca Wright, 43, Manchester, CT, MM
4:13:54 Cheri Gillis, 53, Woodinville, WA, MM, 100MC
4:18:23 Jay Wind, 56, Arlington, VA, 100MC
4:19:59 Kimberly Ashworth, 35, North Attleboro, MA
4:36:15 David Dassey, 55, Los Angeles, CA, MM
4:45:12 Jim Bitgood, 60, Laurel, MD, MM
4:47:08 Richard Ervais, 46, New York, NY, MM
4:50:03 Andrew Moore, 38, Ambler, PA, MM
5:03:43 Don “The Rev” Kienz, 50, Exton, PA, MM
5:32:47 Larry Macon, 61, San Antonio, TX, MM, 50S, 100MC
5:35:15 Bob Dolphin, 76 Renton/Yakima, WA, MM, 50S, 100MC
5:38:14 Henry Rueden, 56, De Pere, WI, 50S, 100MC