Olympic Marathon Trials
January 14, 2012 by staff
Olympic Marathon Trials, There were no major upsets in the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials Saturday in terms of who made the Olympic team. The Eritrea-born Keflezighi ran 2:09:08, his best time ever, to hold off favored Ryan Hall by 22 seconds to win the race amid cool, clear, basically perfect marathon weather.
Hall, 29, set a withering 2:06 pace early in the race and led a small pack of leaders much of the way. But Keflezighi pulled away with about two miles to go and held the advantage the rest of the way.
Hall was considered the class of the field after having run 2:04:58 in Boston last April – the fastest marathon ever run by an American.
The third Olympic berth went to another veteran – 34-year-old Abdi Abdirahman, the Somalia-born runner who held off a strong finishing charge by Dathan Ritzhenhein, who was the top U.S. finisher (ninth) in the 2008 Olympic marathon.
Keflezighi, who will be 37 in May, is the oldest men’s Olympic trials champion.
The women’s race followed suit. The three who qualified for the Olympics were no surprise, but the order was.
Desiree Davila, who finished second in Boston last April with a blistering time of 2:22:38, was favored but finished second to Shalane Flanagan, whose winning time of 2:25:38 was a personal record by more than three minutes.
Third place went to Kara Goucher, who trains with Flanagan in Oregon.
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