Lost behind the big story of Meb Keflezighi's historic win at the 118th Boston Marathon were successes by several other Americans.
Nick Arciniaga and Jeff Eggleston ran together for much of the race and finished seventh and eighth, respectively, in 2:11:47 and 2:11:57.
"I felt great during the race," said Arciniaga, who set his personal record of 2:11:30 in Boston in 2011. "I was smiling and having a good time."
Indeed, he, Eggleston and Ryan Hall were content to ride along with a pack of some two dozen runners, including most of the pre-race East African favorites, as Keflezighi and Josphat Boit ran on ahead, unchallenged.
Some sort of chase effort eventually took shape around 12 miles, but it was short-lived and unsuccessful.
"They got away, but we caught most of them by halfway," Arciniaga said. "Going up the hills we were catching guys every mile, and they didn't seem to put up any kind of fight."
Eggleston, the top American finisher at the 2013 IAAF World Championships marathon in Moscow, lowered his PR from Chicago 2012 by five seconds, and felt getting under the 2:12 barrier was important.
"Up until last year I've kind of been a journeyman marathoner, running four or five a year," Eggleston said. "For New York and this race, I dedicated four or five months of specific training, trying to follow the lifestyle of a professional runner."
The 29-year-old Eggleston, based in Boulder, Colo., adds his own twist to that training: He's self-coached and doesn't train with a group, doing most of his workouts paced by his girlfriend on her bike.
"That seems to work for me," he said.
Both runners plan to race on the domestic road circuit this summer before running fall marathons, with Arciniaga tossing in a run at Grandma's Marathon in two months before defending his TCM title.
"I seem to run well in Minnesota, so I'll keep going back there," Arciniaga said.
"I think I'm making steady progress," says Eggleston. "I think Nick and I can be right there in the mix for the [Olympic] marathon trials in 2016."
After Arciniaga and Eggleston, Boit (11th, 2:12:52) was next among Americans, followed by Craig Leon (12th, 2:14:28), Mike Morgan (13th, 2:14:40), Adbi Abdirahman (16th, 2:16:06), Brett Gotcher (16th, 2:17:16), Scott Macpherson (19th, 2:17:46) and Hall (20th, 2:17:50).