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2010 Boston Marathon - The Women
Salina Kosgei |
Dire Tune |
Catherine Ndereba |
Madai Perez |
Lidiya Grigoryeva |
Salina Kosgei (Kenya)
Salina Kosgei, the 2009 defending champion of the Boston Marathon, won last year's event in onane epic sprint to the finish showdown beating defending champion Dire Tune to win by a margin of less than a second.
Kosgei has a history of top finishes from major marathons to her name including victories at the 2004 Paris Marathon, 2005 Prague Marathon, 2006 Singapore Marathon and top 5 performances at London (2007-4th place, 2008-4th place), Berlin (2006-2nd place), Tokyo (2008-2nd place), New York City (2005-4th place, 2009-5th place). While expectations were high for a follow-up performance at the 2009 New York City Marathon, Kosgei took a tumble at mile 4 and developedan injury as a result of her fall and faded at mile 19, before recovering slightly to finish in 5th place in a 2:31:53. The injury forced Kosgei to take time off after the New York City Maarathon and it is questionable whether she will be at 100% for the Boston Marathon, but we will not know until race day what she is capable of.
While Kosgei may not be listed as the favorite by many handicappers, as the defending champion she must be respected and no one can know what will happen on race day.
Dire Tune (Ethiopia)
Over the past five years of her marathon career, Dire Tune has proven to be one of the strongest 20-something distance runners; continuing the tradition of other Ethiopian women that has included Derartu Tulu, Berhane Adere and Gete Wami. Tune has proven herself in the most competitive fields and accumulated victories in Hong Kong, Houston and Boston. She is also the youngest champion of the Boston Marathon (2:25:25) at age 23, just three months after winning the 2008 Houston Marathon in a course record time of 2:24:40.
At 25, Tune returns to Boston seeking redemption. She was edged out of a second win at the 2009 race by Salina Kosgei in the narrowest margin of victory (less than one second) ever seen in the women's marathon at Boston. In 2008 Tune experienced the opposite result as she won by way of a finishing sprint as she dueled to the wire with Russian Alevtina Biktimirova (RUS), prevailing by two seconds.
In 2010, Tune will not hesitate as she tries to regain her title. Her 2010 has started well with a 3rd place at World's Best 10K (31:40) and two strong finishes at the Abu Dhabi and Ras al Khaimah Half-Marathons. Tune will contribute to the fierce competitors in the depth of the 2010 Boston women's field, and many will list her as the favorite going into the race.
Catherine Ndereba (Kenya) - WITHDRAWN
photo: Olivier Morin/AFP
After missing the 2006 through 2009 editions of the Boston Marathon, Catherine Ndereba returns to where she first debuted in the 26.2 distance and to a course she has mastered taking victory four times in six starts at the Boston Marathon. Ndereba is one of the greatest distance runners in the world. This former marathon world record holder was the first woman to break the 2:19 barrier and remains one of the only two women in the world capable of that feat. Her personal best - a 2:18:47 from the 2001 Chicago Marathon - remains the standing African record despite the dearth of amazing distance runners from the continent.
At 37, Ndereba has a noteworthy resume - four wins of the Boston Marathon, two wins of the Chicago Marathon, two silver medals from the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and three medals (two gold and one silver) from the World Championships from 2003 through 2007 to name a few. It is no surprise that she earned the nickname "Catherine the Great".
Although this top Kenyan athlete has not won a marathon since the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, the silver medal from the 2008 Beijing Games, the 5th place at the 2008 New York City Marathon, the victory f the Philadelphia Distance Run (Half-Marathon - 69:43) and the 3rd place finish at the inaugural 2009 Yokihama Marathon (2:29:13) are proof that Ndereba can still take on the best competitors in the world. Her return to the field will bring excitement to the women's race.
Madai Perez (Mexico)
Mexican national record holder Madai Perez, returns to the Boston Marathon field looking for her first marathon win. Coached by marathon legend and fellow compatriot German Silva, Perez finished 3rd at the 2007 Boston Marathon (2:30:16) in challenging weather conditions. Although Perez has yet to win a marathon, her accolades include a 2nd place at the 2004 Rotterdam Marathon (2:27:08) and 4th place at the 2006 Chicago Marathon (2:22:59 PR).
Fresh off a personal best half-marathon finish at the 2010 New York City Half-Marathon (69:45), Perez who had taken a year-and-a-half off to have a baby should have confidence in her fitness levels to take on the 2010 Boston Marathon field.
Lidiya Grigoryeva (Russia)
Top Russian marathoner Lidiya Grigoryeva may not be a household name despite six career wins dating back to 1998. Her resume, punctuated by victories of the 2006 Los Angeles Marathon (2:25:10 PR), the 2007 Boston Marathon in challenging Nor'easter conditions and the 2008 Chicago Marathon, is proof that this veteran athlete can handle any course in any condition.
At the 2009 Chicago Marathon Grigoryeva ran an impressive 3rd place (2:26:47), her second fastest marathon finish ever. Perhaps, we have more to see from Grigoryeva as she races her fourth consecutive Boston race.
Teyiba Erkesso (Ethiopia)
Ethiopian Teyiba Erkesso began her running career as a top cross country runner. Following her first attempt at the distance at the dangerous hot 2007 Chicago Marathon which ended in a DNF, her transition to marathons has been successful with two wins of the Houston Marathon, setting course records in 2:24:18 (2009) and 2:23:53 (2010) and a 4th place at the 2009 Chicago Marathon.
Erkesso is a dark-horse in this field. She will be racing some tough competition on a course that is not the fast, flat courses she is accustomed to; but she has fastest, most recent marathon finish in the field and has run faster than Dire Tune's fastest finish at the 2008 Houston Marathon (2:24:40).