I had a great outing all day first at the Boston marathon & then celebrated the birthday with dinner with friends.

Most amazing sight at the Boston marathon today - Richard Whitehead. Incredible trail-blazing 3:02 hour marathon run by this indomitable man!

You ask why 3:02 is trail-blazing when the winner Deriba Merga of Ethiopia did it in 2:08:42? Go see this pic.

Richard Whitehead Boston marathon 2009 by Rob React.

Please credit Rob Larsen with a link to Drunkenfist.com, if you use this picture anywhere

Another picture via Boston Globe

©Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

He was blazing by in sub 2.5 hours when I saw him at the 23-24 mile mark or so. It seems in 2008, Whitehead completed 4.5 marathons over a 6-week period in 3 continents -- achieving marathon on marathon personal best's of 3hrs 54m (Kilimanjaro), 3hrs 39m (Rome), 3hrs 36m (Georgia) and finally 3hrs 22m (London). Seems he broke the 3 hr barrier recently at the 2009 Rome marathon in March, improving on his 2008 time of 3:38.59!

Also check out Rick Ball.

P.S. More stride-by-stride updates and pictures through boston.com. [Sorry no pictures from me as I forgot to take my camera but I am hoping Boston.com's Big Picture site will have some gems soon!]

Listed below are the top 10 men and women. (Notice the odd man out in top 10! :) Ryan Hall's third place was the best finish by an American since Meb Keflezighi's third in 2006. His Olympic marathon teammate Brian Sell of Woodbury, Pa., finished second among Americans, in 14th place with a time of 2:16:31. Patrick Rizzo of Rochester Hill, Mich., was the third US finisher, right behind Sell in 15th with a time of 2:17:05.)

Slow race today because of strong headwind, btw.

Here are the official times for the top 10 men's finishers:
1. Deriba Merga of Ethiopia, 2:08:42
2. Daniel Rono of Kenya, 2:09:32
3. Ryan Hall of Mammouth Lakes, Calif., 2:09:40
4. Tekeste Kebede of Ethiopia, 2:09:49
5. Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya, 2:10:06
6. Gashaw Asfaw of Ethiopia, 2:10:44
7. Solomon Molla of Ethiopia, 2:12:02
8. Evans Cheruiyot of Kenya, 2:12:45
9. Stephen Kiogora of Kenya, 2:13:00
10. Timothy Cherigat of Kenya, 2:13:04

Salina Kosgei, 32, of El Marakwet, Kenya, captured the women's crown in the 113th Boston Marathon, edging defending champion Dire Tune, 23, of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia by less than two seconds. Kara Goucher, 30, of Portland, Oregon, finished third, several seconds after Tune. The 2:32:16 time posted by women's winner Salina Kosgei of Kenya was the slowest time recorded by a woman in Boston since monetary prizes started in 1986.

The top 10 finishes in the women's division:
1. Salina Kosgei, 32, of Kenya: 2:32:16
2. Dire Tune, 23, of Ethiopia: 2:32:17
3. Kara Goucher, 30, of Oregon: 2:32:25
4. Bezunesh Bekele, 26, of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: 2:33:08
5. Helena Kirop, 32, of Kapenguria, Kenya: 2:33:24
6. Lidiya Grigoryeva, 35, of Cheboksary, Russia: 2:34:20
7. Atsede Habtamu, 21, of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: 2:35:34
8. Colleen De Reuck, 45, of Boulder, Colorado: 2:35:37. With this finish, De Reuck won the women's Masters Division.
9. Alice Timbilili, 26, of Moiben, Kenya: 2:36:25
10. Alina Ivanova, 40, of Cheboksary, Russia: 2:36:50

Notable: A third American, Sheri Piers, 37, of Falmouth, Maine (Joan Benoit's town) finished in 11th place with a time of 2:37:04.

Last but not least...here are the times for the wheelchair races:

MEN
Ernst Van Dyk of South Africa, 1:33:29
Masazumi Soejima of Japan, 1:36:57
WOMEN
Wakako Tsuchida of Japan, 1:54:37
Diane Roy of Quebec, 2:01:27

I believe Van Dyk (who was miles ahead of the guy who came 2nd when they passed by us at the 23-24 mile mark) has been winning the wheelchair race for many years!

South African Ernst Van Dyk breezed to his record eighth win in the men's wheelchair race of Boston Marathon. Van Dyk led from the first mile Tuesday and finished in 1 hour, 33 minutes and 29 seconds. Van Dyk extended his own record for victories in the men's wheelchair division and matched women's wheelchair racer Jean Driscoll's record for most Boston Marathon victories ever. Van Dyk has won eight of the last nine Boston Marathons, with his only loss during the streak coming in 2007. His easy victory was also the slowest of his eight wins. His previous slowest time was 1 hour, 28 minutes and 32 seconds.

P.P.S. Found some more amazing pictures through the boston.com website. Might as well share them here!

Stan Vancelette, 72, finished his 33d consecutive Boston Marathon.
Stan Vancelette, 72, finished his 33d consecutive Boston Marathon.
(© Globe Staff/Matthew J. Lee)

And then there was this amazing guy!

Forty-eight-year-old Paul Gaunt, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, completed the Boston Marathon.
Forty-eight-year-old Paul Gaunt, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, completed the Boston Marathon.
(© Globe Staff/Matthew J. Lee)

Btw, there were MANY such army kids.... all had huge heavy bagpacks on their back. Impressive!

With full packs and in boots, members of the US Army crossed the finish line.
With full packs and in boots, members of the US Army crossed the finish line.
(© AP Photo)

I did not see this woman but that's pretty amazing too!

Leslie Nordin of Hingham wore a blindfold as part of her fundraising effort for Perkins School for the Blind, as well as her son Sawyer. She was guided by her husband Dayron. Family members said Nordin raised $30,000.
Leslie Nordin of Hingham wore a blindfold as part of her fundraising effort for Perkins School for the Blind, as well as her son Sawyer. She was guided by her husband Dayron. Family members said Nordin raised $30,000.(©  Globe Staff/John Blanding)

Btw, after all these awe-inspiring pictures, you can now go enjoy some funny scenes from the marathon too.

And flickr has lotsa pictures, of course..
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"Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds." - Orison Swett Marden

"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination." - Tommy Lasorda 

"The only good luck many great men ever had was being born with the ability and determination to overcome bad luck." Channing Pollock

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