What It’s Like To Lead The Boston Marathon

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Apr. 20, 2012

One relatively unknown American led the famous race for 9 kilometers.

At the beginning of the Boston Marathon on Monday, announcers were scrambling to find out something regarding the men’s leader.

He wasn’t a Kenyan and he wasn’t a well-known American, either.

This mystery runner happened to be Glenn Randall, a former Dartmouth cross-country standout. Randall didn’t just lead the race for the first mile, he set a fast pace all the way to the 9K mark.

He ended up fading to 60th place with 2:37:13.

“[I felt I] should’ve let loose a little more. I was physically holding back and I wasn’t flowing,” Randall recalled. “Then all of a sudden, I was all alone. I really wasn’t going that fast. Last year I would’ve been way off the back. At 9K I started feeling pretty bad and had a rough last 20 miles.”

Randall contends that he’s always been an aggressive racer.

“During every good race of my life, I’ve been aggressive,” he noted. “People thought I was being stupid, but I live by the sword and I die by the sword.  Sometimes it doesn’t work out. I’m at peace with this. It’s not always going to be your day.”

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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