With last year’s Olympic trio of Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, and Abdi Abdirahman all scratched from the Boston Marathon due to fitness or illness, Jason Hartmann, who was fourth here last year, will be the top American hope to end the three-decade domestic drought on Monday. Not that he’s feeling the burden of expectation.
“I’m just here to compete, that’s really all I’m here to do,” said the 32-year-old University of Oregon grad, whose personal best of 2:11:06 was set in Chicago three years ago. “That’s all outside stuff that’s out of my control, so the only thing I can focus on is myself. I don’t really pay attention to the noise. The race will be what it will be at the end of the day.”
While Hartmann says he’s happy with his preparation, he understands how much depends on the day, especially on Boston’s trapdoor layout.
“You never know,” he said. “I like to think of the marathon as like a big prize fight. Anything can happen. You can train perfectly for it and be hit by an uppercut and get knocked out.”
A bit of advice
Fernando Cabada, the only other elite American in the men’s field and a Boston rookie, got a bit of wisdom from Bill Rodgers, the four-time champ who dropped out atop Heartbreak Hill in his debut 40 years ago.
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