2018 was a year for the record books (literally and figuratively). This year, the pros made history–an American woman won Boston and a Kenyan man crushed the marathon world record. But exciting things were happening farther back in the pack as well, with new moms, high school students and some speedy sub-elites also making headlines. We’re excited for what 2019 has in store for the running community, but first check out our favorite moments from the past 12 months.
Desi and Yuki win Boston in a deluge. Cold rain and blustery wind couldn’t stop Desi Linden from breaking the tape and becoming the first American woman to win in 33 years. But the race’s runner-up was even more of a surprise; Sarah Sellers, a full time nurse anesthetist from Arizona beat out plenty of elites including Shalane Flanagan and Edna Kiplagat. Yuki Kawauchi crossed the finish line first for the men, becoming the first Japanese winner of the Boston Marathon since 1987.
British ultrarunner Sophie Power breastfeeds during the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) and makes headlines. The UTMB is a 170-kilometer (nearly 106-miles) race through Europe’s tallest peaks. Power was three months postpartum when she toed the line, and like many new moms, she had to figure out her new normal. She was without a pump or her baby for the first 16 hours of the race, so she hand-expressed milk to relieve pressure. A photographer later captured an iconic image of Power nursing and pumping at an aid station on the course. Way to go, Mama!
The year of the podcast. Whether you craved a lighthearted chat or a deep dive into a topic like body image, there were so many running shows to choose from this year. Some of our favorites include Mario Fraioli’s “The Morning Shake Out,” Lindsey Hein’s “I’ll Have Another,” Alison Feller’s “Ali on the Run Show,” Tina Muir’s “Running for Real” and Kelly Robert’s “Run, Selfie, Repeat.” Queue up your playlist, and we guarantee you’ll never be bored on a run again.
Boston changes qualifying times. Continuing the trend of recent years, runners had to be 4:52 minutes faster than their qualifying time to gain acceptance to the 2019 event. Over 7,000 qualifying runners were shut out, and as a response, the Boston Athletic Association decided to lower 2020 qualifying times by 5 minutes across all age groups. Many runners were bummed to hear the news, but others are hopeful that a BQ will now guarantee entrance into the race.
Eliud Kipchoge crushes marathon record in Berlin. Breaking the tape in 2:01:39, Kipchoge bested the world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds (the largest amount in 40 years). Last year, Kipchoge ran 2:00:25 in Nike’s Breaking2 marathon, but that was ineligible for the world record by IAAF standards.
Doc saves runner’s life at NYCM, finishes marathon. Dr. Theodore Strange, an internal and geriatric care doctor from Staten Island, was on pace to run 4:30 at his 25th NYC Marathon when he encountered a runner in distress. Kristina Elfering, a 41-year-old civil engineer, collapsed near mile 16 due to a clot in one of her arteries. Fortunately, Strange stopped to assist. He performed CPR and administered four shocks with an AED machine. Strange stayed on the scene for close to half an hour, but once Elfering was transported to a local hospital, he resumed running and eventually finished in 5:16.
99 (!) women make Olympic Trials B Standard at CIM. These women aren’t elites, but their work ethic and sub-2:45 finish times are still just as inspiring. The depth of the field and the women’s willingness to help each other also speaks to a broader trend in distance running. In the past few years, women runners have made headlines for training together and pushing each other to be better (See: Des waiting for Shalane near the porta potty in Boston).
Teen runner Katelyn Tuohy takes high school running scene by storm. Tuohy started her winning streak when she set a national indoor record for girls in the 5,000 meters with a time of 15:37.12. She later broke the 3,200-meters outdoor record with a time of 9:47.88 and reset the national outdoor mile record in a time of 4:33.87. In the fall, Tuohy ran 16:06.87 at the Ocean State Invitational and earned the record for the fastest 5K run on grass. She capped off the year with the NY State Class A title in November. Can you imagine doing all of that while also doing homework?!