This year's Boston Marathon was brutal. The unusually hot weather caused dehydration, heat exhaustion, and in some cases, heat stroke for some of the 2,000 runners. Amid those grueling temps, Kenya's Sharon Cherop emerged as the women's elite champion, who during a press conference shared what led to her victory on such a challenging day. While almost all of us will never finish a marathon with a time like Sharon's 2:31:50, we can benefit from her race-day tips.
Know the Course
Don't let race day be the first time you see the marathon course. When asked what led to her finish-line success, Sharon said knowing the course made all the difference. This was her second time running Boston, so she knew key places where she could afford to slow down or needed to speed up, and there were no surprises waiting for her around any corner, which allowed her to make that dash around the corner at the 600-meter mark before the finish. The specifics of the course also played out in her training. "Last year I realized there's more downhill than uphill. This time I was training more in downhill." Before heading to your destination, research the course online and make note of any elevation changes, winding paths, or road obstacles. Check forums to see what advice other runners offer about their own experiences there. Once you reach your destination, rent a car or sign up for a marathon tour to see the course up front. Driving the length of those 26.2 miles will provide you with a comfortable edge of knowing what to expect on race day.
See what other factors attributed to Sharon's winning success after the break!