Boston Marathon officials assessment of Monday’s 121st edition: Glowing.
“Remarkable,” said marathon race director Dave McGillivray. “I stared at my computer screen for one hour this morning and my critique document is still blank. Was it flawless? No. Was it as good as it gets? Absolutely, because of the BAA team and all of the volunteers that help make the marathon the special event that it is.
“There were no major issues throughout the course. No major issues at the Athletes Village. No major issues at the start. No major issues along the course. No major issues at the finish. You get the message.’’
Tom Grilk, the race’s executive director/chief executive officer, concurred, describing Monday’s marathon as “magnificent.”
“What I saw most were the smiles on the faces of all the runners, even those runners who wore grimaces moments before crossing the line,’’ said Grilk about the event which attracted 27,221 starters and 26,411 finishers (97 percent).
Grilk presented the BAA’s Patriots Award, given annually to the person who exhibits the qualities of being patriotic, philanthropic, inspirational, and fosters goodwill and sportsmanship, to 2014 Boston winner Meb Keflezighi. The Eritrea-born, naturalized American citizen rejuvenated the hopes of the city with his seminal victory one year following the terrorist bombings.
Moments after he finished in 13th place in 2:17:00 at age 41, running with the front pack into the Newton Hills, Keflezighi warmly greeted the family of bombing victim Martin Richard.
“Meb elevates us all,’’ said Grilk.
Guy Morse, 66, who directed the event from 1985-2010, established the Patriots Award and said Keflezighi was a fitting recipient.
Morse also called Monday’s event “magnificent.’
BAA president Joann Flaminio officially retired bib No. 261, which women’s marathon trailblazer Kathrine Switzer wore in her epic 1967 race. On Monday, the 70-year-old Switzer finished in 4:44:31. . . .
Newly crowned champions received facsimile placards of their monetary awards from the total prize package of $830,500 provided by principle sponsor John Hancock. Men’s and women’s winners Geoffrey Kirui (2:09:37) and Edna Kiplagat (2:21:52), both of Kenya, earned $150,000. Wheelchair division champs Martin Hug (1:18:04) and Manuela Schar (1:28:17), both of Switzerland, received $20,000 and $10,000 bonuses for course records. Hug also clinched the $50,000 offered by the Abbott World Major Marathon wheelchair series.
“I knew I was going fast but you never know what to expect. It’s still unbelievable that I broke 90 minutes. That’s unbelievable, ‘’ said Schar, who along with Hug, received a gold-plated, sapphire medal with the date 1887 (when the BAA was founded) for the record. . . .
Marathon medical director Chris Troyanos, who worked his 40th race, said personnel dealt with 2,596 medical encounters, 958 on the course and 1,638 at the finish area. Troyanos reported there were 79 transports to area hospital. Troyanos reported all are now doing well.
McGillivray completed his 45th marathon run after his day duties were concluded. McGillivray, 62, started at 5 p.m., finished at 9:10 p.m., and was greeted by family and friends, including former U.S. Olympic marathoners Joan Benoit Samuelson and Deena Kastor.
Earlier, McGillivray met his 22-year-old son, Max, who completed his first Boston run in 4:02 while representing the MR8 charity team.
The elder McGillivray said, “As Forrest Gump once said, ‘I’m pretty tired. I think I’ll go home now."