Marathon: Threepeat and Repeat

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, July 1995

Marathon: Threepeat and Repeat
By Todd Balf (with Martin Dugard and Alison Osius)

Cosmas Ndeti got a foothold in the record books last April when he became one of three runners in history to win the Boston Marathon, the country's oldest, three consecutive times. Of course, some say that the 25-year-old from Kenya's Kamba tribe didn't officially arrive as a Beantown hero until a few nights later, when, at the halftime celebration during the Celtics' last regular season game in the soon-to-be razed Boston Garden, he was announced to the cheering throngs in the same breath with Larry Bird and Bill Russell. "Boston is all that matters," says Ndeti, whose intuitive and rest-heavy approach to training has made him an enigma in his sport. Fittingly, he took control of the race on fabled Heartbreak Hill, dropping countryman Moses Tanui with a demonic stare and expanding the gap on the pounding descent to Cleveland Circle. Ndeti's time of 2:09:22, well off the tailwind-aided course record he set a year ago, was a minute faster than that of runner-up Tanui. In the women's race, course record holder Uta Pippig of Germany also repeated, losing Elana Meyer near mile 23 and coasting in with a time of 2:25:11.

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