The 122nd Boston Marathon is almost here. It’s one of the biggest weekends for the running community and so we decided to get the whole dang CITIUS MAG crew together in our Slack channel to discuss who we think is going to win the men’s and women’s elite races.
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Here’s what our panel of “experts” had to say:
Stephen Kersh (Staff Writer): My women’s pick to win is Molly Huddle. She races with so much conviction and, at times, it’s downright disrespectful to her competitors who she goads into believing they can compete with her. There will come a point in the race where Molly decides it’s time to drop the gauntlet and while some woman may follow her move, none will match it. My pick to win the men’s race is Galen Rupp, which is really too bad. In a time where we it’s difficult to trust in the legitimacy of any performance, Rupp somehow manages to make it even more difficult. In my heart, though, Nobert Kigen walks away with the victory.
Nicole Bush (Staff Writer, co-host of Running Things Considered): Des, Shalane and Molly all tie and have to do a run-off at a later date. No one wins the men’s race.
Kevin Liao (Staff Writer): Rupp will face several top tier competitors, notably defending champ Geoffrey Kirui and Dubai course record holder Tamirat Tola, but the American appears to be firing on all cylinders. Since his runner-up Boston finish a year ago, Rupp won Chicago and yet nearly set the U.S. half marathon record a month ago. He knows the Boston course well. This is his time. For the women, I’ll go with Edna Kiplagat: There’s been so much talk about an American winner that I think we’re overlooking the quality of the international field: Mergia, Kiplagat, Deba and Daska. I’m putting my money on Kiplagat. She clearly has the credentials (two-time world champion, three-time marathon major champ) and experience in Boston (she’s the defending champ). The question is whether, at age 37, she has any gas left in the tank. I’m counting on the fact she has at least one good marathon left.
Pat Price (Staff Writer): Shalane replicates her New York City Marathon win with a 23.1-mile sit and then a 3.1-mile kick that will send Hasay and the rest of the chase pack to Dr. Phil’s couch. Rupp’s 9th hat change finally puts the Kenyans on notice and then he runs cool to victory despite a ton of pollen and massholes interfering with his perfect form.
Jesse Squire (Staff Writer): I’m with Huddle. It’s rare for a rookie marathoner to run a great race, but she’s not a rookie any more. Given how she performed in her first marathon and her recent form, I think she has the total package. For the men? Tamirat Tola. Why? Because no one else is picking him. If he doesn’t win, no one will remember I chose him. If he does, I’ll never stop reminding everyone.
Thoms Heynk (Contributor, co-host of Running Things Considered): Shalane gets a Boston Marathon qualifier for 2019. Rupp wins the men’s race because sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.
Kyle Klosinski (Video Guy): I’d like to see Shalane win in front of a home crowd and I’d like to get another “Fuck Yes” from her. On the men’s side, I’m going with Geoffrey Kirui. He’s been on a roll all year and is going make Rupp work before defending his title.
Ammar Moussa (Staff Writer): Everyone wants to rock with the American. Sure, they’re great. But…..they’re right. Molly Huddle is about to prove she’s the greatest. She’s the Kobe Bryant of distance running. Lelisa Desisa is my pick on the men’s side. A man that has won two past Boston marathons and finished 2nd? I take his experience over all the altitude tents and hollowed-out books in the world. (EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS IS NOT TRUE. NOT SURE WHERE AMMAR GOT THIS INFORMATION)
Evan Schwartz (Contributor, 1609 Podcast co-host): The way Edna Kiplagat pulled away from the field last year was a thing of beauty. I want to see an American woman bring home some history but my gut is saying Edna will glide over the last 5K to victory. With one Boston under Galen Rupp’s belt I think he knows what’s coming on the course better than last year. Weather pending, it could shake up to be a tactical last 10K and I’ll tip my hat (or many hats) to Rupp.
Alexandra Sizemore (Contributor, 1609 Podcast co-host): I’m going all in on the Molly Huddle Hype Train. She’s coming off of an American record in the half in Houston, and while others in the field do have the advantage with course experience, I think Huddle is going to grind them down for the win. I think Kirui can get the repeat win, but Rupp will keep it close up until the end.
For Chris Chavez and Scott Olberding‘s picks, check out our Lane 9 column tomorrow. Chris will also be revealing his picks alongside friends of the MAG David Melly and Dana Giordano on the CITIUS MAG Bell Lap, our preview show. It will be available on our Facebook page so go like that and in podcast form. Subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts today.
Stay tuned for details on a prediction contest from The Mercury Mile.