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De Castella and Kristiansen Win First Cash Prize

Monday, April 21, 1986

Men's Winner:Time:
1. R. de Castella, Australia2:07:51
2. A. Boileau, Canada2:11:15
3. O. Pizzolato,Italy 2:11:43
4. B. Rodgers, MA 2:13:36
5. A. Barrios, Mexico 2:14:09

Women's Results:Time:
1. L. Kristiansen, Norway2:24:55
2. C. Beurskens, Netherlands 2:27:35
3. L. Bussieres, Canada2:32:16
4. E. Palm, Sweden2:37:11
5. S. Keskitalo,Finland 2:33:18

From the Boston Globe, Tuesday, April 22, 1986


By Joe Concannon
Globe Staff

Even with the elements of prize money and some interesting personal- services contracts drawn up by John Hancock that lured a quality international field to yesterday's 90th Boston Marathon, the race ended up as a runaway one-man show for the fourth straight year and the fifth in the last seven.

Stepping to the front at the village green in Hopkinton and shedding the last vestiges of competition by the time he headed into the 16th mile in Wellesley, Australian Rob de Castella ran to history's third-fastest marathon in a performance that destroyed the field he left in his distant wake.

He crossed the new finish line by the Boston Public Library on Boylston Street in 2:07:51 to lower Alberto Salazar's Boston best of 2:08:52 by a minute and a second in a time that is third to the 2:07:12 run by Portugal's Carlos Lopes last April in Rotterdam and the 2:07:13 turned in by Great Britain's Steve Jones last October in Chicago.

De Castella, who has won marathons in Brisbane's Commonwealth Games, Rotterdam, Fukuoka and the inaugural world championship in Helsinki, became the third to join the sub-2:08 club. In the process, he also became the early favorite to be ranked as the world's best for 1986.

The performance earned him $60,000 and a new Mercedes-Benz. The cash breakdown reads: $30,000 for his victory, $25,000 for a course record and a cumulative $5,000 for a sub-2:10 time. The one-year personal-services contract he has with John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. was reported to be worth as much as $75,000, and it reportedly would be doubled if he won. With shoe- company bonuses thrown in, yesterday might have added up to in excess of $250,000 for de Castella.

Canada's Art Boileau, who has been a consistent performer on the world stage throughout de Castella's six-year reign as the world's most consistent marathoner, went past fading Arturo Barrios of Mexico in the final miles to finish second in 2:11:15. Italy's Orlando Pizzolato ran his typically controlled race to finish third in 2:11:43.

The first two Americans were Boston Billy and Boston Bobby. Bill Rodgers, running his 12th Boston at the age of 38, ran a glorious race to finish fourth (2:13:36), and Bobby Hodge moved from 15th place in the final 6 miles to place sixth in 2:14:50. Barrios, who had taken off in pursuit of de Castella heading into the Newton hills, split them up in a 2:14:09 debut marathon.

Norway's Ingrid Kristiansen, who broke Joan Benoit's world record when she ran 2:21:06 last year in London, experienced cramps but won her first Boston in 2:24:55. It was the ninth-fastest women's time, just one second slower than what countrywoman Grete Waitz ran in London on Sunday.

The crowds along the 26 miles 385 yards showed once again there is no greater marathon audience in size -- sorry, New York -- and enthusiasm. Even though there were pockets of drizzle as de Castella ran alone and a few showers after he finished, the humanity from Newton Lower Falls to the finish was an impressive wall of honor.

Not since Salazar and Dick Beardsley hooked up in an enthralling duel in 1982 -- when Salazar won by two seconds -- has there been a race through Cleveland Circle. Greg Meyer ran away in 1983, and Geoff Smith won by margins of 4:57 in 1984 and 5:07 -- the widest since 1937 -- in his solo jaunt a year ago.

''The conditions were good,'' said the 29-year-old de*Castella.*''I wasn't too concerned about splits, but the terrain varies so much. The first 6 miles are so fast. I was trying to run a sub-2:09, hoping to set a course record. I wasn't trying for a world record. The last 2 miles were pretty tough, but I guess you expect that.''

When he headed down the hills out of Hopkinton and into the countryside on this Patriots Day centerpiece, he took a sizable pack with him. The lead runners passed through the first mile in 4:37, and the pack of 11 at 7 miles included Boileau, Pizzolato, Meyer (12th, 2:17:29) and Japan's Kunimitsu Ito (10th, 2:17:02). Barrios, Rodgers and Hodge had yet to make their moves.

They passed through 11 miles in 53:34, and de Castella's running partner was Kenya's Joseph Kipsang. Barrios, who has had an overpowering three-race series on the recent roads that led several to predict he would win, was inexorably moving from the second 10 to third. When de Castella passed through the half-marathon in 1:03:38, Barrios was third.

''He'll begin the chase at 21 1/2,'' said coach/advisor Rich Castro on the press truck. ''He's right on Salazar's course-record splits.'' Barrios moved past Kipsang into second at the 25-kilometer mark as they headed out of Wellesley. He was within 31 seconds of the lead at the 16-mile mark, but the hills were still to come.

De*Castella,*a strength runner who had moved away from Ethiopia's Kebede Balcha on a long uphill stretch in his last marathon victory in Helsinki, hit the hills with a particular vengeance. ''I was trying to run the hills hard,'' de Castella said. ''I built them up in my mind, so when I got to them I'd be ready.

''I didn't see Barrios throughout the race. I was wondering where he was. I was a little worried. I was preparing myself to be challenged at any stage. By Barrios or Pizzolato. At no stage did I think I had the race won. I was surprised he (Barrios) and other runners ran relatively slow times.''

Barrios was 45 seconds behind by the time he reached the 18-mile mark on Commonwealth Avenue in the Newton hills, and he had perceptibly slowed down by the time he made it down the hill by Boston College at 21 miles.

''He said he felt comfortable through 23 miles,'' said Castro. ''In essence, he hit the wall at 24 miles. His big complaint was his thighs felt they were going to explode.''

Boileau, who had settled into third, went past Barrios to add this to his second in Montreal last fall. ''I knew after 22 miles no one was going to catch me,'' said the 28-year-old native of Edmonton, Alberta, who lives in Eugene, Ore., and is trained by Salazar's coach, Bill Dillenger. This was Boileau's personal best, beating his 2:11:30 Helsinki time (11th) by 15 seconds.

Pizzolato has won the last two New York City Marathons and was an impressive sixth in the World Cup in Hiroshima on this weekend last year. ''I'm not surprised by my race,'' he said. ''I thought I was able to run faster, but I wasn't able to run well on the downhills. The uphills were no problem. In the last few miles, I wasn't able to run at 100 percent.''

The electricity was provided by Rodgers, who caught Barrios in the final mile. He had burst onto the American scene with the first of his four Boston victories in 1975 and become the patron saint of the running boom that followed. Although this was the slowest of his eight completed Bostons since 1975, finishing fourth and being the first American in his 39th year made it a glittering achievement.

''I wasn't in the same race with Deke,'' said Rodgers, who was running his first Boston since 1983 (10th in 2:11:58). ''We had two races there. I started to feel a little better coming out of Wellesley into Newton Lower Falls. I didn't have my strength until then. And I do get psyched by the crowds.''

Hodge, who had finished third in 1979, has been one of New England's most consistent runners over the past decade, and he executed a game plan to perfection to let the area's running community know he's still around. ''I had to be realistic,'' said the Lowell native who resides in Hopkinton.

''My best time's 2:10. I was running at a comfortable pace. I went out realistically thinking 2:13. I went through the half in 1:06:40 and I felt real comfortable right there. I ran the hills strong.

''It went according to plan. I passed seven people in the last 6 miles. It's one of those times when the thing I thought could happen happened.''

This was de Castella's Boston, and with Jones forced to withdraw because of injury and Lopes also on the injury list, he reestablished himself as the world's best at this time.

''I was very impressed by what Steve Jones and Carlos Lopes were doing,'' said de*Castella,*who was third in Chicago each of the last two years.

''It made me realize the marathon is one of the toughest mental events. You have to be prepared to be out there by yourself. If you run against the course, it's you against the course. It's you against the clock. It's a tough course. I ran my best time, and that's very satisfying.''

The massive media attention the 90th Marathon received and the quality of its various fields backed up the contention that Boston is back. Without a Jones, a Geoff Smith or a Lopes to go with him, and the expected challenge of the rookie Barrios failing to materialize, de Castella's win by the margin of 3:24 showed the world that he, too, is back.


By Will McDonough
Globe Staff

He was all alone soon after it ended, and that was how David D'Alessandro wanted it. While others danced and celebrated the new Boston Marathon at his expense, he really didn't want to be out front. What he wanted, he had inside. Satisfaction.

David D'Alessandro was the real winner of Boston yesterday, and he didn't run a step. What he did was fight. He came out of his corporate office in the John Hancock Tower last July swinging, and he didn't stop punching until he had all of his ''opponents'' on the floor.

''One of the nice things about today,'' said D'Alessandro with a mocking smile, ''was the people I knew were detractors coming to tell me how great everything was. I wondered what they would be saying if everything didn't go the way it did. These were the people who wanted us to fall flat on our face, and I couldn't believe how many of those there were.''

To restore Boston to what it once was, D'Alessandro had to remove the crud that built up on the race over the years because of neglect. He had to catch up with Chicago and New York, who took over the American marathon world when the BAA pulled a Rip Van Winkle and decided it was right and everyone else was wrong. Why should they pay the stiffs who run the 26 miles for the enjoyment of all? They hadn't paid them for 89 years, so why should they start now?

That attitude was what David D'Alessandro took on when he went to his bosses at John Hancock and said, ''Let's take a look at this.'' They said yes, but only if they do it right. They wanted to go first class or not at all. They wanted to call all the shots or not call any.

''People really don't know how hard it was to clear away all of the debris around this race,'' said D'Alessandro. ''The press and public only got about 40 percent of it. There were a lot more things that went on behind the scenes. The politics of this thing were really something. Every time you turned around, someone was throwing another roadblock at you.''

D'Alessandro is deceptive because he is so young, only 35 years old. You don't find vice presidents in companies like John Hancock at that age, and those he had to overcome on the local scene underestimated his clout. They thought they were going in with some flyweight. They didn't know they were taking on a guy that wasn't going to pull any punches.

While the people who had run the race in the past, the BAA, were more concerned about how much the tab for the annual dinner of 35 would be, or whether you wanted steak or fish, D'Alessandro pulled out John Hancock's money and put it on the table. A cool $1.3 million before it was all over. Nowhere in the world of marathoning does anyone match those numbers. Numbers like that make people such as Rob de Castella and Ingrid Kristiansen all of a sudden decide they love April in Boston rather than in Paris or London.

''I wasn't worried about this race for the past eight days,'' said D'Alessandro two hours after de Castella streaked across the finish line in course-record time. ''I stopped worrying when Rob showed up in Boston. I felt a lot better when Ingrid got here. Today belonged to the athletes. We can't control the weather. We can put the race together and make it a first-class event. We did that. The rest is up to them, and when I had the two (winners) here, I knew things would happen.

''Hey, let's face it. Take out the people we (Hancock) brought here this year and what did you have? What would Boston have been without de Castella, Kristiansen, Bill Rodgers and the rest. We brought in half of the top 10 men and the top two women and they made the day. But that's what our plan was. That was our responsibility to this race, to put it back on top again.''

Luckily for Boston, John Hancock has a 10-year contract and D'Alessandro is young. With the help of Mayor Flynn, D'Alessandro should be able to get the Olympic Trials for the women here in 1988. Hopefully, after going through the whole cycle of putting the race together, it will be a little easier in the future now that the word will go out among the runners that Boston is the best again.

''You know what I was doing this morning?'' said D'Alessandro. ''Talking to agents about getting their runners next year. When Rob comes around the corner and into that last 600 yards to the finish line, I want a guy on each shoulder. With luck, it would have been Steve Jones this year. Same way in the women. It would have been nice to have Joan Benoit in the field, and we'll be looking forward to it next year.

''What I want to do, and what will make me feel real good about this, is get both world records, men and women, right here in Boston. That's where they belong. Then when we've got them both, we'll bring in the best in the world each year to go after them.''