Lagat Runs 2:17 Debut Marathon in New York City
“My body felt hot and tired, but mostly it was my quads that were killing me. At that point, time is irrelevant. You just want to finish..."
By Cathal Dennehy, Runner's World
Plagued by cramping quads and calf muscles over the final miles, Bernard Lagat (right, PhotoRun.net) struggled to the finish of his debut marathon on Sunday in New York City, finishing 18th in 2:17:20. The time was five minutes off his goal of breaking fellow legend Meb Keflezighi’s U.S. Masters marathon record.
Lagat, 43, was a picture of pain afterward, but there was also much pride that he had pushed through to reach the finish.
“Oh, man, it was something out there,” he said. “I have more respect than ever for people who do this."
The moment he stopped running, Lagat was barely able to walk. The former world champion at 1500 and 5000 meters limped to the medical tent for treatment on his calf, which began to tighten after 21 miles.
Minutes later, Lagat had to be helped around by his son, Miika, and stairs were out of the question–Lagat instead took a freight elevator to reach the one-flight-up media center, where he reflected on an exhausting, educational experience.
“Shalane Flanagan told me to not think about anything the first half, so that’s what I did,” Lagat said. “Before I knew it, I was at the half and I was like, awesome.”
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