Running in line with the 114 year-old Patriots’ Day tradition, pools of runners filled the intersection of Grove St. and West Main in Hopkinton this past Monday, tightening their laces and assuming their positions, to commence this year’s annual 26.2 mile Boston Marathon.
According to the organizers, this year’s marathon had 26,790 entries, several of which were MIT students, alumni, and community members.
Among the MIT entries were Course VIII (Physics) Ph.D. candidate, Jared J. Markowitz G, Course XVI (Aerospace Engineering) alum Eric Khatchadourian ’06, Assistant Dean for Student Activities Jed Wartman, and numerous other students.
Markowitz finished 47th overall and 42nd among the men, crossing the finishing line in only 2:27:16, ranking among the prestigious top fifty.
Khatchadourian finished 200th overall in the race, and Wartman ran the marathon to help raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
In the men’s category, Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya set a new course record for the marathon with his time of 2:05:52 — about a minute and a half ahead of the previous best runner. In the women’s category, Teyba Erkesso of Ethiopia claimed first place, crossing the finish line in 2:26:11.
Top American woman finisher, Paige Higgins, ranked 13th place, and the top American men finishers, Ryan Hall and Mebrahtom Keflezighi, ranked 4th and 5th place in the race, respectively.
Noting the beautiful weather, “It was a really fun race,” Markowitz said. “It was neat to have the crowd there — it was really exhilarating.”
Markowitz recalls his time at the race as being “a lot of fun,” especially when he passed the Old South Church — church bells ringing — and the iconic cowbells of bystanders towards the finish line, waving in the air.
This was Marakowitz’s second year running the marathon, and he says that compared to last year “I didn’t do much differently.”
“I just stayed healthy. You don’t miss any training time. When you train regularly, it’s pretty easy to get injured, and I was lucky that I didn’t get injured,” he said.
But “I was happy it was over since it was so painful,” he said.
As advice to other runners, Markowitz said: “First of all you should get good running shoes. Build up gradually. You should be able to run 20 miles eventually.”
Also participating in “Marathon Monday,” except this time on the sidelines, Kathleen A Kraines ’13 was one of the many MIT students who volunteered for the marathon by registering with a group of students at the Boston Marathon website.
“We just stood at the mile three mark. We stood there until the last runner of the marathon,” she said.
Another MIT graduate student who ran in this year’s marathon, Joe Robinson G, said, “I guess it really depends on what you are hoping to do. Some people just want to finish. Other people are really trying to finish with a high time.”
Robinson said that the Boston Marathon may be difficult to participate in, particularly for beginners, due to the time cut off requirements.
All of the contestants were required to qualify for standards set according to age groups; the constants had to meet the cut-off time with an official race time acquired at another race before being approved by the Boston Athletic Association to participate in the race.
According to Robinson, the BAA requires race times from other marathons within one-and-a-half years before registration.
This year’s marathon included runners, wheelchair competitors, and hand cyclists, featuring both elite and amateur athletes. The Boston Marathon began at Hopkinton and passed through both Wellesley and Boston College, and ended at Boston, by the Boston Public Library.
According to the marathon’s website, there is also a half-marathon that will be held in the fall of 2010, which Markowitz plans to run.