Boston Marathon 2012: Why Geoffrey Mutai Will Break 2-Hour Mark
When we last saw Geoffrey Mutai, he was finishing the 2011 marathon season with a record performance in the New York Marathon.
As reported by The New York Times, Mutai ran the New York Marathon, the fifth and last of the World Major Marathons, in just two hours, five minutes and six seconds. It was a new course record, and it's even more impressive than it seems at first glance once you consider the hilly nature of the New York Marathon.
On Monday, the 30-year-old Mutai will be back in action in the Boston Marathon, the very site of his greatest career achievement.
Last April, Mutai ran the Boston Marathon (see ESPNBoston.com) in two hours, three minutes and two seconds. It is the fastest marathon time ever recorded.
Unfortunately for Mutai, his record performance in last year's Boston Marathon doesn't count. The course is too downhill, and he was aided by winds that gusted up to 21 miles per hour.
Mutai can't do much about whether or not the course counts as official, but the signs point toward him putting up another remarkable time when the race is run on Monday.
The over/under is set at two hours. I'm going under.
It helps that the weather will be in Mutai's favor. Weather.com says it's going to be nice and sunny on race day, and the winds are expected to blow at roughly 14 miles per hour. Things won't be too dissimilar from the way they were a year ago.
Will Geoffrey Mutai break the two-hour mark in the Boston Marathon?
Mutai also has incentive to run fast.
According to BBC Sport, Mutai has not been guaranteed a chance to compete for Kenya in the marathon at the 2012 Olympic Games. He's on a short list of six runners, but only three will be chosen for the Kenyan marathon team.
The Kenyan team will be selected in late April, so now is a perfect time for Mutai to put on a show and prove beyond a doubt that he deserves a spot on the three-man roster.
It's pretty much a foregone conclusion that Mutai will earn a spot on the roster even if he doesn't break the two-hour mark. He's going to finish right around the two-hour mark, and there are only a handful of marathoners in the world who can take something like that for granted.
Mutai is one of them.
Regardless of his Olympic standing, Mutai is heading to Boston with a score to settle. The Times noted that he was motivated to train harder after he learned that his record-setting performance in Boston last year wasn't actually a record-setting performance. He'll look to grab headlines again, and the best way for him to do that is by beating the time he posted last year.
Add it all up, and the odds are pretty good that Mutai will run the first sub-two-hour marathon ever recorded.
Pheidippides would be proud.
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