Alaska makes a strong showing at the Boston Marathon
As the 122nd Boston Marathon took off in heavy rain Monday, Jerry Ross and his brigade from the Anchorage Endurance Project did just that: they endured.
The Alaskans felt right at home, 4,500 miles from Anchorage. They would have preferred better weather than the downpour, accompanied by wind and temperatures in the 40s, but it's nothing they hadn't seen before.
"I think the prevailing feeling was 'This is going to set other people back more than it's going to set us back,'" Ross said from Boston after the race. "And so as a result we're running for place as opposed to running for time, and I think we had a relatively strong showing."
The group's Laura Fox had a particularly great race, finishing as the Alaskans' top woman in 3 hours, 1 minute, and 16 seconds. That was good for 94th place overall among the women -- and captured a personal best for Fox, shaving six minutes off last year's race where she had a slight tailwind and warmer temperatures. Even more remarkable is that Fox is a biker.
"For her to finish 94th primarily on biking fitness, we're always telling her, 'Hey, focus on running; you can break three (hours),'" Ross said. "Today was a sub-three effort, no doubt -- we all kind of hang our hats on that."
Ross coaches along with Todd List, but on Monday, the teacher showed everyone how it's done. Ross finished in 2 hours, 43 minutes and 33 seconds.
About 18 Alaskans ran the marathon with Ross's group, among nearly 50 to do so overall.
Michigan's Desiree Linden became the first American to win the women's elite division in 33 years, with Japanese runner Yuki Kawauchi breaking a three-decade drought for his country on the men's side.
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