In case you didn’t see the trails on delayed network TV coverage, you missed a great and exciting display of American marathoning excellence. I’m still here in Houston, where the trials took place, buzzing about yesterday’s events: the fastest USA Marathon Trials ever for both the men and the women, run in perfect race conditions on a three-loop copurse designed to mimic some of the expected London Olympic Marathon course.
Meb Keflezighi, a previous Olympic silver medalist and NYC Marathon winner – but supposedly over the hill – shocked many “experts” by setting a new PR of 2:09:08 while winning the men’s race, at the supposedly old age of 36.
Ryan Hall, the winner of the last men’s Olympic marathon trials in 2007 in NYC, placed second, and Abdi Abdirahman qualified for his fourth Olympic Games. Dathan Ritzenhein, who has been on the 2008 Olympic marathon squad, finished fourth, and is the first alternate. All four finished in under 2:10 – a strong showing that positions the US as a medal threat in London this August.
Shalane Flanagan showed that she is the new queen of American women’s marathoning, as she set a PR of 2:25:38. She was followed closely by Desiree Davila and previous Olympian Kara Goucher. Amy Hastings was fourth, and is the first alternate. All of these women beat the previous Olympic Trials record.
Now bring on London and the rest of the world!
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