April 18, 2005
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
Perhaps no other marathon in the world has the
mystique and prestige of the Boston Marathon. Its roots go back to 1897, the
year after the first modern marathon was held at the first Olympic Games at
Athens, Greece, in 1896. Ever since then, the race has grown in importance to
runners, especially to marathoners who make it a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage
to run Boston or to those who once they have experienced the run, revisit it
Including the April 18, 2005, running of the event, I have run it nine
times between 1983 and 2005. I qualify for the race most years, but I savor
the experience more if I return to Boston every two to three years. When I
first started running marathons, my times fell far short of a 3:20 qualifying
time for a 51 year old male.
Like many runners wishing to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I shopped
around for one with cool weather and few hills. The Third Olympic Marathon
held in February at St. Louis was a cool weather marathon that helped me reach
my goal. In 1982 I ran a 3:36:43 there and improved my personal record by 17
minutes, so I had hopes for better times to come. The following year at the
same event I ran a 3:17:51 for a new PR and was "Boston Bound."
Two months later in cool rain, I ran my first Boston Marathon on April 18,
1983, in a time of 3:36:35. I remember that a hamstring cramp in the Newton
Hills had to be massaged and walked off in order to return to running. Shortly
after I finished, Johnny Kelly, the patriarch and two-time winner at Boston,
crossed the finish line. It was a thrill to see him!
That was the year that Greg Meyer won with a 2:09:00. He was the last U.S.
citizen to win the Boston Marathon. 1983 was also the year that Joan Benoit
set a women's world record with a time of 2:22:43.
This year my homing instinct to run Boston coincided with that of our
friend Ed Driver's recently acquired qualifying time. Both of us had qualified
last October at the Royal Victoria Marathon with times so close that our
Boston bib numbers were one digit apart!
The Drivers from Palm Desert, California, joined the Dolphins from Renton
& Yakima, Washington, for a weekend in New England. We arrived at packet
pickup early on Saturday morning. It was there that we said, "Hi,"
to Rich Benyo of Marathon and Beyond and visited briefly with Rick Nealis,
Marine Corps Marathon Race Director, as we waited for the doors to open.
At the Expo is was exciting to see Bruce Quam from Steilacoom wearing a Yakima River Canyon Marathon
2004 participant shirt. During our two visits to the Expo, we had a chance to
visit others from "home" (Bill Barmore, Dale Shoup and Gene Morris)
and to chat with Dick Beardsley and Jan Seeley at the Marathon and Beyond
booth, Les Wright at his Lake Tahoe Marathon booth, Rick Nealis and everyone
at the Marine Corps Marathon Booth.
Next, we attended the first annual Race Directors' Conference where we met
John Elliott, president of the famous MarathonGuide.com, for the first time.
The panel and speakers were interesting, but the highlight of the afternoon
was the presentation by Dave McGillivry, Boston Marathon race director.
He discussed many of the problems and challenges that are faced in staging
this point-to-point race through the towns as the 20,453 runners would share a
32 foot wide state highway on their 26.2 mile trek to downtown Boston. This
marathon is a historical event that is committed to the present course route
and format. If it weren't for tradition, who would begin a marathon at NOON?
On race day, we were scheduled to ride a bus that left the Boston Common
between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. for the Hopkinton staging area known as
"Athletes Village." While waiting for the noon start, there was
plenty of opportunity to have refreshments, listen to music and to visit with
It was there that we met Tony Phillippi, one of the Marathon Maniac
Founders from Tacoma, who told us that he was going "all out" on his
run. He kept his word and finished with a 3:07:36, a great time on a warm day
on a tough, hilly course.
When Ed and I reported to our roped-off corral #16, we found our friend
Jack Swanson from Spokane and Dick Johnson from Gig Harbor. The corral system
permitted the wheelchair athletes to start first at 11:25 a.m. and the elite
women to leave at 11:31 a.m. The elite men lined up between the starting line
and corral #1 to ensure an unimpeded start. Everyone else was ranked by
We were so far back that we didn't hear the starting cannon's booming
sound. As we walked, halted, and walked some more, it took me 18 minutes and
40 seconds to reach the starting line timing mat.
My run followed a familiar pattern of the last six months. I ran for four
miles and then added some walking on the hills. I ran less and walked more as
time passed until by the 15th mile, my lateral tilt to the right forced me to
continuously walk the Newton Hills and the remainder of the course.
When I reached the finish line in 6:38:10, I tilted quite a bit from
pushing the pace. The next thing I knew was that I was being whisked to the
nearby medical tent in a wheelchair. After a drink of Gatorade and a little
rest, I was given a finisher's medal and released.
It was then that I learned who had won the marathon. For the men, it was
Hailu Negussie of Ethiopia who ran a 2:11:45. He was followed by two Kenyans,
Wilson Onsare (2:12:21) and Benson Cherono (2:12:48). In fourth place was Alan
Culpepper of Colorado (2:13:39), with the best finishing time by an American
since 2001 and the best finishing position since 1987.
Another Kenyan, Catherine Ndereba, won her fourth Boston Marathon with a
time of 2:25:15. Elfenesh Alemu of Ethiopia came in second (2:27:03), and
Bruna Genovese of Italy ran a 2:29:51 for third place.
Congratulations to Gunhild Swanson, 60, of Spokane for winning the Women's
Seniors Division (ages 60 and over) in a time of 3:44:43. She had a three
minute and forty-one second lead over Cheiko Tanaka of Japan. Gunhild recently
broke the record for the 60-64F Division at the Yakima River Canyon Marathon
on April 2, 2005, with a 3:38:19!
Congratulations to another good friend Gina Moore, a flight attendant from
Dallas, Texas, who ran her 100th career marathon at Boston. She ran her first
marathon in 1998, so it took her only seven years to reach her 100 marathon
goal and become eligible to join the 100 Marathon Club North America.
In addition to Gina this club gained another new member, Boston's race
director Dave McGillivry. He traditionally runs the Boston Marathon between
5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on race day and completed his 118th marathon on April
18th. Welcome to these two new members!
This year's Boston Marathon was the 25th anniversary of the infamous finish
of Rosie Ruiz. She jumped into the race near the end of the course and crossed
the finish line as the apparent women's winner. The real winner, Jacqueline
Gareau of Canada, finished in 2:34:28 to modest applause. After it was
confirmed that Rosie Ruiz was a fraud, Jacqueline was given her due awards and
a place in the record books.
The finish line glory that she had been cheated of in 1980 was given to her
this year. She ran the last 100 yards to the finish line to receive a long
overdue winner's reception of cheers, a wreath, a medal and of hearing her
national anthem, "Oh, Canada." She commented that the 100 yards she
ran this year was Rosie's distance 25 years ago!
It was another great Boston Marathon weekend. I've qualified for the 2006
Boston Marathon, but at this time I don't plan to return so soon. While I'm
waiting for my running to return to "normal," I'm back to setting
Boston Marathon goals again like I did in 1981.
The Marathon Maniacs were well represented at the Boston Marathon with at
least 34 members participating. This is almost one-fourth of the membership,
and this demonstrates how talented and dedicated they are to marathoning. The
following is a list of Maniacs who were in the Boston Marathon on April 18,
Written by Bob Dolphin
2:57:21 Gary Allen, 48, Cranberry Island, ME
3:47:41 Laura Bleakley, 35, Vacaville, CA
3:07:51 Andre Boulais, 43, Irvine, CA
3:19:05 Alicia Britt, 42, Seattle, WA
4:22:47 Kevin Brosi, 50, Flower Mound, TX
3:59:10 Barb Bumann, 51, Spokane, WA
3:23:22 Ruben Contreras, 50, Stanwood, WA
4:23:22 Tom Detore, 57, Unadilla, NE
6:38:10 Bob Dolphin, 75, Renton/Yakima, WA
3:31:42 Marc Frommer, 52, Portland, OR
3:22:49 Eric Gierke, 41, Shoreline, WA
3:30:50 Al Harman, 43, Vancouver, BC
4:18:20 Christine Humble, 51, Scottsdale, AZ
4:07:45 Ron Knecht, 61, Sun River, OR
3:14:31 Mike Lavague-Manty, 38, Ann Arbor, MI
3:43:09 Mark Looi, 44, Issaquah, WA
5:37:37 Larry Macon, 60, San Antonio, TX
3:37:58 Chris Marr, 50, Spokane, WA
Franklin Mason, SC
4:05:36 Don Mukai, 56, Bellevue, WA
3:56:30 Keith Panzer, 46, Aurora, CO
3:07:36 Tony Phillippi, 43, Tacoma, WA
4:14:58 David Reid, 57, Crestline, CA
Rian Rosenthal, WA
3:59:04 Greg Roth, 51, Richmond, VA
3:58:25 Dale Shoup, 57, Edmonds, WA
3:42:49 Lorne Sundby, 40, St. Albert, AB
3:44:43 Gunhild Swanson, 60, Spokane Valley, WA
4:57:54 Jack Swanson, 71, Spokane Valley, WA
3:10:44 Annie Thiessen, 34, Tacoma, WA
5:20:07 Cathy Troise, 59, Seneca Falls, NY
3:12:32 Gregg Walchli, 42, Seattle, WA
3:46:00 Amy Yanni, 51, Rapid City, SD
3:33:37 Steven Yee, 45, Renton, WA