Patiently doling out effort over the full marathon course, Scott Fauble became the top American man at the 2022 Boston Marathon. He placed seventh in 2:08:52, a personal best by 17 seconds. Fauble was also the top American in 2019, when he also finished seventh (and also set a PR).
Fauble was one of more than 30 men up front in the opening miles. Then, he recounted at the postrace press conference, someone surged after the 8-kilometer mark. “I didn’t go with that,” Fauble said. “If these guys are going to run 2:06, good for them. I felt like a lot of them [would come back] once the hills started.”
Kibet and Albertson were part of the 20-strong lead pack that passed the half marathon mark in 1:03:24. Both were often at the front of that pack.
Fauble, in contrast, was 22nd at halfway in 1:04:26. He moved up through the field after that, first gradually, then suddenly, from 15th at 35 kilometers to 10th at 40 kilometers to 7th by the finish line. “It was, Catch someone, five hard steps, put him away, catch someone, five hard steps, put him away,” Fauble said.
Today’s was Fauble’s best race since his strong Boston showing in 2019. Pegged as a top contender to make the 2020 Olympic marathon team, he placed 12th at the Trials, more than two minutes behind the team spots. Fauble finished 13th, in 2:13:47, at Boston last October. In December, he went public with the news that he had left his long-time team, Northern Arizona Elite, and sponsor, Hoka. Fauble is now coached by Joe Bosshard, husband of Olympic steeplechase medalist Emma Coburn. He raced today in Nikes.
Kibet also had a spectacular day. His 2:09:07 took more than two minutes off the 2:11:15 then-PR he ran to place 4th at New York City in November. Kibet is slated to make his third marathon world championships appearance in July, by which time he will be 39. Kibet fits his training around full-time work as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Albertson was bittersweet about lowering his personal best by 55 seconds (and running 1:21 faster than he did at Boston in October). A ferociously hard trainer, he told Runner’s World before the race that two weeks ago he averaged 5:00 per mile (2:11 marathon) for 22 miles on a hilly course. Eight days ago, he said, he averaged 4:50 pace for 15 miles. He thought he was ready to run 2:06 on a great day.
That dream ended after the lead pack took the steep downhill after Heartbreak Hill. Albertson, who calls himself the best downhill runner in the world, started to suffer from calf cramps. He went from fronting the pack at 21 miles to being alone in 14th at 35K, just .7 miles later. His final mile took 5:21; Fauble covered that stretch in 4:56.
“It was really disappointing, but it was one step closer to where I want to be,” Albertson said about his race. “I can figure out what wrong and why my legs weren’t there. I’ll be back.”
Colin Bennie, who was the top American at the 2021 edition, held last October, placed 19th in 2:12:08. Other Americans in the top 20 were Matthew McDonald, 14th in 2:10:35 (a PR); Reed Fischer, 16th in 2:10:54 (also a PR); and Mick Iacofano, 17th in 2:11:48.