When she’s racing, even Kate Landau’s bad days are better than most runner’s wildest dreams.
For 10 miles early Monday, the 40-year-old Tacoma woman felt so overwhelmed by the 70 degree temperatures she considered dropping out of the Boston Marathon.
She didn’t. Instead, less than a year after running her first marathon, Landau finished second in the women’s masters division (40 years and older).
“It was not a good race or a smart race,” Landau said by phone shortly after crossing the finish line. “It was not a dig-deep race. It was a survival race.”
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Landau, a single mom and physician assistant in MultiCare’s vascular surgery department, finished America’s most prestigious marathon in 2 hours, 40 minutes, 2 seconds. Landau, a member of the Tacoma City Running Club, was 21st among female runners.
2:40:02 Kate Landau’s time in Monday’s Boston Marathon.
Only professional runner Dot McMahan, 40, of Michigan, was faster in the masters division. McMahan, the 2013 25 kilometer national champion, finished in 2:36:28.
Landau entered the race with a goal of finishing in 2:36:00, but that goal was quickly replaced by a new one: finishing.
Landau, one of three runners from Washington state in the elite field, went out with the lead pack not realizing how much distance they put between themselves and the second group.
She said she started too fast, then dropped back and spent most of the race running alone.
“The heat was all I could think about,” Landau said. Washington’s gloomy winter didn’t prepare her for Boston’s heat. She said her warmest runs since last year have been indoors on a treadmill.
Landau grew up in New York and was an all-America runner at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., so she had friends and family along the course rooting for her Monday.
“There were times where I didn’t know if my body could take it,” she said. “But I didn’t want to disappoint the people who were cheering for me.”
It was not a good race or a smart race. It was not a dig-deep race. It was a survival race.
Kate Landau, on battling the heat to finish second in the women’s masters division at the 2017 Boston Marathon.
She returned to running 15 years later and ran in her first marathon in May. She won the Tacoma City Marathon in record time. In October, she won the Portland Marathon, shattering the women’s masters record and posting the second best time ever by woman.
Monday morning, she was the first of 88 South Sound residents (54 men and 34 women) to cross the finish line. She was the first woman and third runner from the state to finish.
Seattle’s Uli Steidl, 45, was the fastest runner from Washington, finishing in 2:38:06. Steidl twice won Boston’s masters division. Last summer, he made the fastest known roundtrip to the summit of Mount Rainier (4:24:30).
Landau’s second-place finish is the best performance by a South Sound athlete at the Boston Marathon since Puyallup’s Jim Martinson won the wheelchair division in 1981.