Triathlon Canada hall-of-famer and 11 x Ironman Champion Lisa Bentley won the masters 45-49 division of the Boston Marathon yesterday in a time of 2:47:47. Long known as a one of the fastest runners in triathlon, Bentley is proving she’s getting faster with every year, shaving three minutes off her time from last year. The inspiring superstar gave us the low down on her race.
TMC: How did the race feel? Were there any moments you had to dig into that iron will?
Lisa Bentley: I felt pretty good energy-wise all race. The first 5 km are always a “feeling out” time, wanting to “race,” but trying to hold back even though it feels easy. I settled in around 7 km and felt good. I ran strong looking forward to seeing my Powerbar friends at mile 17 and then the Saucony gang at mile 19. I was really looking forward to the Newton Hills and Heartbreak because my quads felt the best they’re ever felt—like I was really going to be able to kick that last 5 miles downhill to Boston. Then my feet started cramping like crazy and every foot strike was a toss between “Will I collapse?” or “Can my feet still spring?”
My feet are my weak link for sure so it’s no surprise. That was a big effort and a lot of forefoot running at a fast pace so my little feet just wanted a rest! With one mile to go, another master runner caught up to me and we each surged and my feet were cramping, but as we rounded onto Boylston, I just stopped listening to my feet and ran the best I could. I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to cross the line. It’s incredible to run 26 miles and then question whether you could finish out the last 0.2!
TMC: Did you nail your goal time?
LB: I had a goal of cracking 2:45 and I was on pace but it didn’t happen. Regardless, I am happy for sure, this is all a bonus for me, it really is just fun. Yes, there is always an external goal but they key goal is still putting one foot in front of the other and getting to the finish line. I feel blessed to still be racing. I never imagined that post-Ironman career, I would be having this much competitive fun!
TMC: How did you prepare differently than last year to shave off three minutes?
LB: I had a bit more time to prepare. Last year, I trained for about two and half months, and this year I started to focus on Boston in January. I also had some great running partners in Clermont, Florida over the winter who really pushed me and did long runs and intervals with me. I still only ran three to four days per week, so this might be my biggest limiter, but I do cross train with biking and swimming so it all helps.
TMC: What’s next for you?
LB: My focus switches to the athletes we coach at LBT Coaching–getting them ready for races and to qualify for Boston, Kona or Ironman 70.3 Worlds.
I would like to run a fall marathon, perhaps in Toronto. But things are so busy with our athletes training and racing in the summer so we’ll have to see. I would like to do a few shorter races but they have to work with our training days and training camps. I will still try to get that 2:45 though!
TMC: We’re certain you’ll get it Lisa! Congrats on yet another impressive win!