Molly Seidel suffered her first running setback as a marathon runner when she dropped out of the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 18. In her Boston debut, the Olympic bronze medalist left the course between 25 and 30 km.
Seidel raced with the elite women’s lead pack until the 9-mile mark, where 2020 Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir dropped the pace with a 4:59 gap. The aggressive move split the leading pack considerably and Seidel was among the group of competitors who fell behind.
Halfway through the race, Seidel was in 11th place and was the best American ahead of Nell Rojas. But in the following kilometers, she started to slow down. His last lap time was 1:25:29 at 25K. She didn’t record a 30K split.
Boston is Seidel’s fifth marathon in about two years, which was highlighted by an incredible 26.2 run. The 27-year-old debuted with a second-place finish at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. She has finished sixth in London (2:25:13) in 2020. On a scorching day in Sapporo, Seidel won the olympic bronze medal at the Tokyo Games last summer.
Thirteen weeks later, she continued her historic Olympic run at the 2021 New York City Marathon, where she finished fourth in 2:24:42, the fastest time by an American on the course. The personal best was particularly impressive given that Seidel broke two ribs about a month before the race. At the post-race press conference, she did not share the cause of the injury, but said it was so painful she considered not racing at all.
“It was tough coming out of the Olympics and tough coming back mentally into that build,” she said after the race on Nov. 7, 2021. “I invested too much in that, I really want to do it. It means a lot to me to do it, no matter what it turns out to be.
Prior to the Boston Marathon, Seidel was considered a heavy favorite to step onto the podium. In addition to her accolades on the world stage, she arrived with more experience than most on the prestigious course.
Before moving to Flagstaff, Arizona last April, she lived in Boston for almost five years. At the April 15 Elite Athletes press conference, Seidel said she trained extensively at the Boston course after living in the Fenway neighborhood and regularly walking the course. She also babysat for a family in Wellesley and trained half way, running up Heartbreak Hill and back for around 14 miles.
Before the race, Seidel said The runner’s world that after some “hiccups” in his early training, including a hip impingement that halted his training for a few days, the last five weeks of his buildup in Boston have been “about as good as I would have could have hoped for”.
“You almost have to balance the marathon buildup you want with the marathon buildup you get,” Seidel said. “But I think we’re in a really good position now, not just for Boston, but for the world championships this summer, focusing on a lot of strength as we build for the rest of the year.”
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