The heat was on at the 2012 Boston Marathon on Monday, but the elite runners persevered.
Despite the high temperatures, the Americans put on a good showing this year, as five of the top 15 men finishers and four of the top 15 women finishers were from the USA.
A year ago, only three Americans (one male, two females) finished close to that high, so it's great to see the runners from USA improving as a whole.
The best time from any American came from Jason Hartmann, who finished in fourth place with a time of 2:14:31, nearly two minutes shy of the men's winner, Wesley Korir from Kenya.
Hartmann was born in Boulder, Colorado and is 31 years old. He was a six-time All American at the University of Oregon and is a two-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials competitor.
The top female American at the 2012 Boston Marathon came from Sheri Piers, who finished in 10th place with a time of 2:41:55, nearly 10 minutes behind the women's winner, Sharon Cherop from Kenya.
Piers is 40 years old and hails from Falmouth, Maine. Her 10th-place finish should be a great motivator for many. No matter your age, you too can compete at a high level if you continuously work to get better.
While the American runners did better than last year, they still have a ways to go to get back to the top.
The Boston Marathon hasn't produced a men's winner from USA since Greg Meyer in 1983, and that last women’s champion from USA was Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach in 1985.