Live blogging the Boston Marathon
by on Thursday, April 17, 2014  (160 comments)

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For those of you who can't watch the Boston Marathon live, I'll be watching the live stream and posting updates along the way. Check in on the comments of this post Monday morning and don't forget to refresh frequently to see the latest updates.

Elite women start at 9:32 Boston time (estimated finish around 11:55 Boston time)
Elite men start at 10:00 Boston time (estimated finish around 12:05 Boston time)

I will be home with my daughter so I'm not sure how frequently I'll be able to post updates but I'll do my best. If anyone else wants to chip in with updates, I always appreciate the help. Also, as always, live analysis and commentary/questions are very welcome.

I may offer a post-race analysis on another post later but it won't be right away.

As for my usual weekly blog post, it will probably be a day late. I don't want it to get lost in the shuffle of Boston Marathon coverage.

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160 comments
Ryan

I'll be online around 9:20-9:25 Boston time tomorrow morning with updates coming right here in the comments. If you can't view the live video or if you can but would like to read or share in some commentary/analysis, I hope you'll join me.

Also of note, I added a 5 minute auto refresh to this thread. Obviously, if you want more frequent updates to what's happening, just refresh in your browser. Otherwise, you'll get all the latest every 5 minutes.

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cesar

Almost game time!

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Ryan

Good morning! The live stream isn't up yet but it should be in about 7 minutes.

The weather in Hopkinton looks great for a marathon! 50 degrees right now and a slight breeze out of the south as the ladies are preparing to start. Highs later today will be in the upper 60s but the elites should be done before it gets past 60.

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Charlene

Whenever I am tracking runners in a race I feel as excited and nervous as if I am on the starting line. Glad they get to do the work for me.

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Ryan

Good morning Cesar and Charlene, it's good to have you here! Charlene, I love it! I definitely appreciate not having to do the work of a marathon. Talk about grueling.

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Ryan

Here we go! The stream is up and there are the elite ladies ready to start!

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cesar

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2014-boston-marathon-live-stream/ I am watching the coverage here!

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cesar

It seems that Shalane is going for it since the beginning!! Go get them!

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Ryan

And the ladies are off!

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Ryan

You can also see at http://watchlive.baa.org

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Ryan

Shalane setting the pace with all the favorites stalking her. Looks like Deba on her heels.

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cesar

It seems that Shalane is going for it since the beginning!! Go get them!

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cesar

Shalane is doing the right thing, if She wants to win She really has to go for it and clean the pack!

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Ryan

I'm not completely sure. She's being the rabbit right now. She's expending more energy than anyone else.

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cesar

5:11 first mile!! wow that is 2:15 estimated time, but I think the first mile is downhill!

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Ryan

Starts downhill. That pace won't hold.

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Ed

Keep the updates coming.

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cesar

5:11 first mile!! wow that is 2:15 estimated time, but I think the first mile is downhill!

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cesar

Shalane still in the front!! and the others african drafting behind.

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Ryan

Flanagan, Deba, Dibaba with a bit of a gap on the large chase group. Announcer says Linden 20 seconds back. He seems surprised, I'm not.

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Charlene

Hopefully she has prepared her quads for the downhills.

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Ryan

Shalane means business but can she keep it going? Looks like the gap has closed and we now have a lead pack of just over 10 runners.

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cesar

Too early in the race to surprise! but in my opinion if Shalane wants to win She has to let the least amount of people in the pack!

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Ryan

Shalane was an Olympic medalist on the track. She doesn't want 2:30 pace but there are a lot of better PRs here than hers.

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Charlene

Hartmann looks so out of place on the starting line.

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Ryan

He doesn't seem to fit in but he sure knows how to run from Hopkinton to Boston.

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Ryan

And the men are off! Let's see if they set the blistering pace the women did.

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Ryan

As he has in the past, Ryan Hall looks like he wants to be the rabbit.

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Charlene

Just saw Katie from Fond du lac start.

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cesar

The went out good!! Noted when Gebre took off his watch before going out?talk about racing?

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Charlene

32:42 for Shalane for 10k

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Ryan

You don't need a watch at Boston of all places. ;)

Shalane is blistering it. Just fear she may be making herself the rabbit/sacrificial lamb.

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cesar

The went out good!! Noted when Gebre took off his watch before going out?talk about racing?

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Charlene

32:42 for Shalane for 10k

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cesar

Wow still sub 2:20 pace for Shalane! Solid!

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Ryan

Meb at the front early? A bit surprising to me to be honest.

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Ryan

4:49 first mile.

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Ed

Looking at the men's race and I think the best posture and movement is coming from the guy with the red/white shirt, blue shorts and white socks.

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Ryan

Who's the red bib? Someone looking for some camera time I guess.

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Ryan

Ed, that would be Meb. He's always clean and efficient in my opinion.

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Ryan

Hall and Meb leading. Probably not a good strategy again, though.

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cesar

Meb has good mechanics!! He is one of my favorites for today's race! How much is Ryan Hall going to last in that pack? Honestly I dont know the training He did for this marathon like in past years!

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Ryan

At 3 miles, still 20+ runners in the lead men's pack. Looks like about 15:10.

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Charlene

Red Bib is an ultra runner #982. I put him on my tracking to see what happens to him.

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Ed

Meb and Hall out front - neat to see but it makes you wonder. 15:09 5k - dang that puts my speed (or lack thereof) into perspective.

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Ryan

Actually, that was the 5K sign. 15:09 officially it looks like. Makes more sense.

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Ed

Looks like Meb is trying to break that lead pack up a bit.

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cesar

That was a suicidal move?

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Ryan

Skeptical that the move from Meb was anything but creating separation for the aid station.

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Ryan

But Meb is holding the gap. A bit surprised by this.

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Ryan

I still count 22 in the men's lead pack just past 4 miles.

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Ryan

Suggestion: if you want to to the line, run at the gun. Don't snap a pic, then start your watch, then start running.

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Ryan

Shalane is leading a pack of 8 in the women's race.

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Ryan

Deba has been on Flanagan's heels the whole race. Watch out for her. Controlling from behind.

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Ryan

Flanagan still leading at mile 12. Deba still on her heels. Looks like still a pack of 8.

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cesar

Where is Meb?

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Ryan

Hall out front, Meb has been swallowed by the pack. Not sure if that was Meb I saw right in the back of the pack.

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Ryan

Announcer saying 7 runners in the lead women's pack but I still count 8. I fear Flanagan is making herself a rabbit, though.

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Ed

That was a great 2nd place race in the wheelchair division.

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Ryan

1:09:24 at the half for Flanagan.

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cesar

that is fast!

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Ryan

Oh, forget Hall leading. Couldn't see Meb because he's out front with one other runner!

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cesar

Meb gots guts!

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Ryan

Meb and Boit building a solid gap.

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cesar

Meb gots guts!

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Ed

I count eight in the lead pack as well.

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Ryan

Boit is gapping Meb now. Lead pack is a solid distance back.

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Ryan

Now Meb is battling back to stay right behind Boit.

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cesar

I hope the pack dont let these guys get too far away, can happen what happened to Tergat and Kiagora in New york 2006 when Dos Santos won.

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Charlene

Dear TV coverage,
More split screen Men's/Women's;
Less wheelchair/flagpoles/trees/scenic shots.

Thank you.

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Ryan

Winning wire to wire in a marathon is extremely difficult. Can Shalane actually do it?

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cesar

Is Shalane falling back or other gals sped up?

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Ryan

I think you saw some aid station dynamics.

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Ed

Shalan and Deba are indeed breaking that pack down in size - going to be six very soon.

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Charlene

With so many women in the lead pack I think it is maybe the only way she can win it. If it was a slow race she would have no chance to win it. It is a gamble.

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Ryan

But Shalane is doing all the work and I'm not sure if her fans should be troubled or not by the fact that she has a couple of times now allowed people to pull up even to her.

In the meantime, Boit and Meb are running shoulder to shoulder somewhere around the half.

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Ed

Why has Shalane moved to the other side of the road?

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cesar

Agree Shalane!

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Ed

Never mind.

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cesar

Charlene!!**

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Ryan

Can't even see the pack behind Meb and Boit.

Charlene, let's not forget Shalane is a track Olympic medalist and has a slower PR than many of the others. Her best shot could be a hard late charge. I'm not sure this is her best strategy but I'm sure she knows better than me what she can do.

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Ryan

Looks like Shalane was taking the tangent and the rest of the pack took the longer route. Shalane has run on this course a lot and knows it like the back of her hand.

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Ed

Meb is really giving it a go.

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Ryan

Meb and Boit working together to make sure it remains a 2 man race.

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Ryan

Meb trying to make it a one man race?

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Ed

Meb is really giving it a go.

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Ed

Wow is Meb pulling that lead open!

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cesar

Damn!! Those African women are hard to break!

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Ryan

Meb could learn from Shalane. Run the tangents!

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Ed

Did he go to early - though? There are a lot of miles remaining.

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Ryan

It's not a ridiculous pace but is he abusing his quads?

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cesar

Damn!! Those African women are hard to break!

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Charlene

Shalane is dropped :(

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Ryan

Flanagan is gone!

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cesar

Damn!! Those African women are hard to break!

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Ryan

3 Kenyans, 1 Ethiopian in the women's new lead pack and my fear for Flanagan seems to have been confirmed: she made herself the rabbit.

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Ed

Did Shalane drop out? I do not see her.

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Ed

Crap!

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Ryan

No matter how good you are, no matter how fit you are, you don't make yourself a rabbit with this kind of field. You won't win leading from the gun.

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Ryan

Now I see a lead pack of 5. Flanagan nowhere in sight.

Dibaba
Jeptoo
Sumgong
??? Green singlet (Ethiopia?)
Deba

That would actually make 3 Ethiopia, 2 Kenya

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Ryan

Melkamu is the other one.

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Ryan

Meb with a 1:12 lead over the pack. It's going to be hard for them to bridge that gap if he doesn't hit the wall.

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Ryan

Meb is making sure the others will have to fly through the final 10K in order to have a chance.

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Charlene

No possible way Shalane would have won anyway the way these women are surging now. The men are baffling me though. When is the chase pack gonna start chasing?

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Ed

Looks like Deba is done.

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Ed

Meb could be starting to hurt - he is dropping his head from time to time.

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Ryan

Someone is falling off the women's lead pack. Deba?

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Ryan

Meb's head is definitely dropping. Is it just a sign of effort or a sign of weakness?

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Ed

Jeptu made her move - looks like she has the win.

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Ryan

Jeptoo opening up the race.

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Ryan

Ed, there's still 20 minutes to go. I wouldn't call this the win but it is a decisive move.

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Ryan

Knowing Jeptoo, she's not backing off the rest of the way in. She didn't go until she knew she could carry it to the finish line.

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Ryan

Jeptoo is blowing this thing open! Now, it's looking like a victory lap.

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Ryan

Deba battled back into the pack but Jeptoo is in control. She would have to blow up to get caught.

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Ryan

Deba going for it but, unless something happens to Jeptoo, too little too late.

Jeptoo 4:47 for mile 24!

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Charlene

Shalane may not have done herself any favors today but she may have set the stage for one of the greatest marathons ever ran by a woman.

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Ryan

Jeptoo is clearly on her victory lap right now. It would take a disaster for her to get caught by Deba, who also seems to have a comfortable lead over third.

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Ryan

I think Meb's head was dropping due to the hills. Now, he again looks smooth and efficient. Did the other guys let him slip away? Is the former NYCM champion going to hold on and win his second major marathon?

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Charlene

Shalane may not have done herself any favors today but she may have set the stage for one of the greatest marathons ever ran by a woman.

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Ryan

Charlene, Shalane basically turned into a brilliant rabbit for Jeptoo. Sadly, of course, that's not what she wanted.

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Ryan

Jeptoo is your 2014 Boston Marathon champion in an unofficial 2:18:57.

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cesar

I think Meb is going to be caught!

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Ryan

Deba second in 2:19:59 unofficially.

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Ryan

Dibaba and Sumgong third and fourth.

Very fast times for the leading ladies.

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Ryan

Shalane coming into the finish now. 6th in a big PR of 2:22:02.

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Charlene

Amazing performance by Jeptoo but still a good finish for Shalane in at just over 2:22.

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Ryan

Charlene, I'd say not just a good finish. That's a 3+ minute PR. She'll be disappointed because it's all about the win for her but still a very solid run.

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Ed

Meb is hurting - he better dig deep.

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Ryan

Meb's form isn't breaking but his lead is shrinking. He's hurting. I want to believe he will hold on for the win but I'm not sure.

Meb! Run the tangents!

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Ryan

Wilson Chebet is gaining every step. Meb needs a strong finish.

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Ryan

Don't look back! Run like your life depends on it!

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Ryan

Meb still has a 24 second lead. Last mile, it was 25 seconds.

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Ryan

Meb's lead is 15 seconds. He needs to find something to hold on. Right now, as much as I want Meb to win, my money's on Chebet.

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Ryan

10 second lead.

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Ryan

My estimation is 8 seconds now.

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Ed

If Meb doesn't dig deep now he will be third.

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Ryan

Looks like the lead might be opening back up!

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Ryan

I can't get a good sightline on any landmark to get a clock on the lead. Is Meb opening it back up?

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Ryan

I think I just clocked a 7 second lead.

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Ryan

6 second lead.

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Ryan

Still a 6 second lead.

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Ryan

Can Chebet muster up a kick? If not, Meb might hold on yet.

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Ryan

Meb first to Hereford. First to Boylston. Kick!

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Ed

Oh hell yes!

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Ryan

Chebet looks done. Meb is going to win! I'm getting chills!

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Ryan

Chebet might not get second even.

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Ryan

2:08:36 for Meb to win unofficially!

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Ryan

Chebet held on for second. I missed who was third.

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cesar

Great!!! Meb champion!

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Charlene

Great win for Meb. A win at age 38 gives as all hope as Meb is one of the guys that I think for sure is is clean.

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Charlene

Hartmann and Hall are having very bad days.

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Ryan

Thank you to everyone who followed along and shared in the experience. Especially Cesar, Charlene and Ed. I took notes of what went well and what didn't and will improve this live blogging experience for future events. As for the experience of watching Meb run down Boylston, I don't know if we can improve upon that. I still have chills.

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Charlene

Hartmann and Hall are having very bad days.

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cesar

Its a pleasure to be here Ryan!! You all are very good people!

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Ed

I love hearing our National Anthem! Great job by Meb - he dug deep when he was hurting and pulled out a victory.

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Ryan

Dave Monti just reported Meb is the only American to win an Olympic marathon medal, Boston and New York. Quite the trifecta and, if he wasn't already, has to put him on the list of greatest American marathoners of all time.

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Charlene

I was hoping to go out for my run all inspired by Meb and the sight of a beautiful sunny race day in Boston but it is pouring rain here.

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Ryan

Meb is not giving up that laurel wreath. Love it!

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Ryan

I ran pre-race and was looking forward to celebrating with my daughter at the park after the race. Downpour here. We'll have to find another way to celebrate.

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Ryan

Thanks again to everyone. The technicals of the live blog will be improved for next time (Chicago/Berlin/NYCM? Not sure yet...) and I hope we can have half as thrilling of a race as Meb gave us.

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