5 Boston Marathon Predictions

Friday 5Ginger, here. I know it might disappoint some of you who pop over to Salty Running on Fridays looking for a list of 5 ridiculous things, 5 embarrassing things or 5 sexy thingsย slightly related to running. Or maybe you’re excited that this Friday 5 is one on the serious side. As Salty Running’s number one fan girl, I feel it is my job to bring you my Patriot’s Day predictions! In the spirit of the upcoming 2013 Boston Marathon, I bring you my Friday 5 Predictions for this year’s race.

1. Shalane is going to win. There’s been quite a buzz about Shalane running the Boston Marathon for the first time as she is a Massachusetts native who remembers watching the race as a little girl. This race is a homecoming of sorts for Flanagan and a victory would be the icing on the cake. The thing is, she has a legitimate shot at winning. She ran a fine tune up half marathon in New Orleans in February (68:31) and a strong solo effort 10k at Stanford a few weeks ago in 31:04. An American woman has not won the race since 1985. While many have come close in recent years, Shalane is the one that, on paper, has the best shot.

Shalane Flanagan
Will this be Shalane come Monday? (Photo credit: Run to Win)

2. But Kara has a shot, too. Ok, so my prediction is that Shalane will win the 2013 footrace. But as alternate ending per se, it wouldn’t surprise me if Kara (again) captured some of that Boston magic we see every year (see: Kara in 2009, Desi in 2011, and Jason Hartmann in 2012). Like Flanagan, Goucher also had a fine 10k race at Stanford two weeks ago, running faster than she expected in 31:46. When it comes to the marathon, you never know what can happen. Plus, it’s been a while since she’s had a breakthrough race, especially since joining Jerry Schumacher’s group.

Lead Women's Pack just before 24 miles
Kara in the lead pack at mile 24 of the 2009 Boston Marathon. (Photo credit: Mikenan1)

3. Barb Broad is going to win her age group (60-65) again. You might remember Barb from our interview with her last month. In it, she explained how she is running the Boston Marathon as a training run because she primarily focused her winter training on indoor track. My inside sources (me and Barb herself) have indicated that she has never done this little of a marathon build up. Given her recent success in which she set an Indoor American Record for the 800 meters (60-65 age group) at the US Indoor Masters Championships last month though, there’s no reason why she can’t run away with another age group win. And just for kicks, I wouldn’t be the least surprised if she actually PRs!

4. The US Men are going to do well. Fresh off a silver medal at the World Cross Country Championships, United States men’s distance running is back on the rise. And it’s not just a flash in the pan because last year Jason Hartmann finished fourth here and he’s back again to battle the international field. While Meb and Ryan Hall dropped out due to injury, there are many up and comers like Hartmann who have a shot. Also keep an eye out on Fernando Cabada. Runner’s World published an excellent article on him last week as he gets ready to take on the marathon. Cabada, a 2:11 marathoner, says he’s ready and could even see himself going 2:09. I’d like to see him go 2:09 but I’m placing my bets on Hartmann breaking that barrier. Don’t care about men’s running? Well maybe it’s time to start caring before the bandwagon takes off!

Jason Hartmann, 4th place & top U.S. finisher
This is what Jason Hartmann looks like. (Photo credit: BU Interactive News)

5. It’s not going to be super fast like it was in 2011 or super hot like it was in 2012. I think we will see just an average Patriot’s Day, with the men’s winner going 2:07 and Shalane (the women’s winner of course!) going 2:23.

Good luck to all of our loyal Salty fans running the Boston Marathon this year! Feel free to share your own predictions in the comments section, including those about your own performance!


I run and work as a mental health professional. I write about mindfulness, my own experiences with depression and anxiety, and the professional sport of running. I'm currently taking a break from competitive running, which means I'm brushing up on my swimming and yoga skills.

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  1. I think Shalane has a shot in the top 5, but I’m not sure about the win. I hope you’re right! I’m looking forward to the men’s race more because Hartmann has been looking really strong on his training runs, and Cabada is sponsored by Newton! Both guys are running very well! We will be watching in the office on Monday, which will be great! BAA is doing a live feed!

  2. I love this Friday 5! I am so excited to watch Boston this year. I hope you are correct with your first 4 predictions, but I tend to agree with Miss Zippy re the American women. Also, I agree that the weather is looking great for a fast race! Ideal temps and a nice little tail wind could equate to some fast times!

    Thanks for more info on the US men too. I hope they do great. I’ve been so disappointed watching Ryan, Meb and Abdi all have to drop out.

    To all running on Monday: have safe travels, be strong and enjoy Boston!

  3. I wish I was as confident as you in the American women. I think Shalane has the talent, but I don’t think she has perfected the distance yet. I think she will fade a bit at the end and will go around 3-4. Kara I don’t think is in top shape right now, so I’ll give her top 5-10.

    I think it will be a pretty fast day, overall, though–the temps are looking pretty perfect!