If you were watching the Boston Marathon coverage on television, you probably noticed an amateur runner wearing a green singlet and bright red bib sprinting his way to the lead of the men’s race. The announcers had to quickly look up his name, Derek Yorek, before making their only slightly condescending remarks.
That @derekyorek guy is going to be “carrying a piano soon” according to Frank Shorter. Got his minute. I’m sure he’ll say it was worth it.
— Jumbo Heroes (@jumboheroes) April 20, 2015
As odd as he looked out there, aggressively pumping his arms to remain in front of the most elite runners in the world, he’s actually no slouch himself. According to the OutRival Racing website, Derek Yorek has been a professional triathlete since 2009. Furthermore, as a student athlete at Adams State College in Colorado, he was a standout runner, earning All American honors three times. According to Derek, his personal best in the 10k is an impressive 29:37.
So why did he do this? “I’ve always been a bit of a showman” said Derek, a Fort Worth, TX resident. According to Derek, this was his first and only Boston Marathon and he had planned this stunt in the days leading up to the race.
Based on his research, he told his friends that he thought he could lead the race for around 3 miles. Because the pace was unusually fast from the start, he only led for what he believes to be around 2.5 kilometers (1.55 miles). Reactions online were mixed. Some felt that he was an attention seeking idiot who had no business being there interfering with the top professionals. Others, including most of his friends and family, thought is was fantastic.
Derek said he was sure to avoid getting in the way and that he has no regrets despite the pain he felt for the remainder of the race.
“I’ve got 2 little girls at home that got to see their daddy on national television.”
According to his GPS watch, his time for the first mile was 4:27, very close to his max speed for that distance. Click below to hear more about his tactics and motivation.
The full interview will be available on this week’s episode of TRS Radio.
Note: Last year this author offered $1000 to anyone who would pull off a stunt like this whilst wearing his branded merchandise. The offer stands for next year.
Here are his final results: