Thursday, April 19, 2012

Runner/Skier Glenn Randall Makes Waves at Boston

Former cross country skier--2008 NCAA champion at 10K--and Dartmouth grad Glenn created a minor firestorm when he took the lead for nearly 6 miles at Monday's Boston Marathon. With temperatures in the 80s at the start, the lead pack including 2:03 marathoner Moses Mosrop and many of the world's, best ran a conservative pace at about 5:00 per mile, or 2:11 pace. Still fast but compared to last year's 2:03, that's very controlled.

Apparently Randall, who ran a debut of 2:20 last fall in Chicago didn't get the memo and he went out at 2:06 pace and forged a big lead in the early miles. He faded badly, running more than 8:00/mile at the end to finish 61st in 2:37.

A flurry of personal attacks on internet message boards has ensued. And runners, most much-much slower, have lambasted Randall for his bold start, one piece tri-suit, and possibility of just doing it for the publicity maybe sponsorship from Powerbar because he was wearing a logo.

Whatever. After days of speculation he has been interviewed on LetsRun and written in his own blog. He actually felt that he was holding back!

I've never run Boston but for decades have heard that it's easy to go too fast over the first 6 or 8 miles. So if he was really going for time on a hot day, a 5:15 or 5:20 pace would have been much more rational. But Randall is a guy, not unlike a lot of Kenyans and some American legends (Gerry Lindgren comes to mind) who doesn't seem to think about pacing and limits, just go out hard and seeing what's there.

I say to each their own. And I'll look forward to seeing how this young (25) runner develops. He may not become a world beater, but certainly 2:14+/- marathon seems to be within his reach.

That said, Randall has been mentioned in this blog, March 30, 2009!

And it looked like Glenn Randall of Dartmouth would be out of the picture early as he broke a pole in the first lap and fell way behind. By the 2nd or 3rd lap Randall caught up and even led the group for a while. But things seemed as expected, with Babikov biding his time while teammate Stephan Kuhn did much of the early work, leading the tight pack of skiers through the hilly course....

Meanwhile the college kid Glenn Randall had worked his way up to the Bronze medal position for 3rd, picking off Team USA members one by one over the final laps.

So he actually took the lead against Olympians after breaking his pole. Fell back and then came on strong at the end. And now you have 4 hr marathoners and other assorted hobby joggers and experts (armchair and otherwise) calling him stupid.

So I'll close with a parody of one of the most famous Winston Churchill exchanges,

Hobby Jogger: Glenn Randall ran stupid!
Randall: I may not have run my best but there will be a day that I will run faster, maybe much faster, while you will still be slow.


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