Saturday, November 3, 2007

Hall of fame

(Photo: NBC)

It turns out the online NBC video feed for the U.S. men's Olympic marathon trials was only available in the U.S. I tracked the race on Runner's World's "near-live" text feed, which is a surprisingly exciting way to follow a marathon with no video.

So my prediction was correct: Ryan Hall pulled off a superb victory, blasting ahead of the lead pack with a 4:32 18th mile and ramping up a merciless pace for the rest of the race to finish in 2:09:02. Hall broke the U.S. trials record by more than a minute.

What's more impressive is the fact that the trials course was in Central Park, a route that has almost no flat sections. I ran the NYC Marathon in 2000 and I'll never forgot those torturous rolling hills of Central Park leading to the finish. To run an entire marathon on those rolling hills in 2:09 is unimaginable.

Dathan Ritzenhein and Brian Sell also grabbed U.S. Olympic team spots, placing second and third in 2:11:07 and 2:11:40. Former world record holder Khalid Khannouchi took fourth place and could still go to Beijing as an alternate.

Tomorrow, it's the New York City Marathon. One year, I'd like to joggle this one.