The Race As It Happened | Post-Race Recap | Race Photos | Complete Results
The Trials: Complete Qualifiers/Entrants List | The Course |
Olympics Trials Complete History
Profiles/Interviews: The Favorites | The Contenders | Khalid Khannouchi Interview | Up Close with Abdi | A chat with Meb
Extras: Video Coverage
USA Men's Olympic Team Trials - Race Coverage As It Happens
131 athletes checked in to start. The race started on schedule at 7:35AM. A mass went out... From the beginning, an unheralded runner, Michael Wardian of Alexandria VA (qualifying time 2:21:37) takes the lead. The field is not worried and lets him go. Mile one for Wardian: 5:21, Mile 2: 9:36 - the rest of the pack is back in 10:10.
At the 5K mark, Wardian continues to lead (16:20), with the rest of the pack 24 seconds back.
At 10K, Wardian leads 32:22, the remaining pack is 3 seconds back with twenty-two men in the following pack. Brian Sell and Kyle O'Brien - two members of the Hanson's team - seem to be holding the lead and controlling the race. Ryan Hall and Josh Rohatinsky are just behind. Throughout the race so far, Meb Keflezighi and Abdi Abdirahman have seemed strong and powerful.
The pack catches Wardian at 35 minutes. It seems that some of the leading athletes are talking - strategizing. Meb and Ryan Hall - two Running USA runners are speaking, Abdi and Fasil Bizuneh are talking. Soon afterwards, Bizuneh moves to the front of the pack.
At the 7 mile mark, Sell, Bizuneh and Dathan Ritzenhein are all in the lead - but the pack remains in tow.
Abdi runs a 4:56 split at mile 8 (41:27). Soon after, Abdi and Ryan Hall, Bizuneh, Ritzenhein and Keflezighi move ahead - they are away from the rest of the runners.
Browne starts to move up away from the second pack and gains on the leaders and Bizuneh falls back. While the runners reach for a water stop, Browne skips the water and that allows him to catch the others.
Back in the pack, Josh Cox moves away from the chase pack. Five minutes later, Khalid Khannouchi moves away from the chase pack, catches Cox and moves into fifth place. Either Khalid is too cautious, or he's the smartest in the group - running his own race, but keeping the lead group within range.
1:02:38 into the race, Ryan Hall, starts a move. Abdi stays in contact, and the others remain a bit behind. But Ryan is not getting away. He looks back and perhaps is surprised that everyone is still with him.
13 miles at 1:05:47 - a 4:46 split, set by Hall. Dathan Ritzenhein moves to the front and the group passes the Half-Marathon at 1:06:17. Khannouchi is 23 seconds back.
At 20K, Hall, Ritzenhein, Abdirahman, Keflezighi and Browne are still together (1:03:04). Khannouchi is 18 seconds back. Eight seconds behind Khannouchi is the rest of the chase pack with Brian Sell and Jason Lehmkuhle at the front of it. Sell begins to move from the pack with Lehmkuhle following.
Mile 14 (1:10:40, 4:53 split for this mile). We're probably able to predict that the race will be among the top 5 leaders and possibly the three runners who are away from the rest of the pack. These are the runners who have the strength and the heart.
Mile 15 (1:15:33, 4:53 split). The runners are remaining at 2:12 pace. We must comment at this moment that four of the runners are wearing Nike's bright yellow shirts - kind of garish, but it is easy for us and everyone to see the Nike team. Ryan Hall is wearing a bright blue Asics shirt. Hunting from the rear and starting to catch the leaders is Khalid Khannouchi in his anonymous, stealthy, New Balance Black shirt.
1:22:58 - the field crosses the finish line (for the third time of six on the loop course) and Alan Culpepper calls it a day, that's the end of the race for the defending champion. We've just heard from one of our reporters on the field that Ryan Shay has passed out on the course and is being given CPR - we can only hope that the report is exaggerated and that the 2003 USA Marathon Champion will be okay.
Mile 16 (1:20:32), Ryan Hall runs away, followed for a short while by Abdi and Meb. Mile 17 (1:25:28), Mile 18 (1:30:00) 4:32 split - this is Ryan Hall asserting himself. Dathan Ritzenhein is now alone in second place and third place seems to be between Meb Keflezighi and Dan Browne.
30K (1:32:57). Ryan Hall is leading by a lot and looks strong. Dathan Ritzenhein is 27 seconds behind. Dan Browne is 9 seconds behind Ritzenhein. Meb Keflezighi is three seconds behind Browne.
Abdi Abdirahman has dropped out!
Mile 18 - Dan Browne pulls to the side. He is having calf problems... He stretches and runs on, but it's clear that he's in some pain and seems like he's almost limping....
35K (1:47:25). Dathan Ritzenhein is alone in second place - 1:07 back now. Dan Browne is far back in third place (1:49:08). Brian Sell has been moving forward and is now in fourth place, just seven seconds behind Browne. Khalid Khannouchi is in fifth place, just ahead of Jason Lehmkuhle. Meb Keflezighi has fallen to seventh place and is now 41 seconds off of third place.
1:51:47 - Brian Sell has moved ahead of Dan Browne and Sell looks very, very strong.
We're watching these runners - and it seems now that this will be the final result and order. This is a marathon and anything can happen, but these front three - Hall, Ritzenhein and Sell - look so strong and the rest of the field is hurting....
More news - or should we say less news (and in this case a lack of news means something bad) - about Ryan Shay. We can see a number of sullen faces and tears and officials that are asked about Shay refuse to give any answer....
Peter Gilmore has dropped out. Gilmore, who is generally one of the most consistent and productive runners was sick for a number of days this week before the race with, we learn, almost no sleep for three days...
Mile 26 - Ryan Hall is waving to the crowds - he looks sooooooooo strong and he is just picking up the pace. He's not going for a win, he's going for an Olympic Trials record.... And he is alone with no one to challenge him.
Ryan Hall has smashed the Olympic Trials Record. And, on a tough course, Hall has made it look easy. Hall, blowing kisses to the crowd, waving his hands, finishes the Trials in 2:09:02, breaking the past record of 2:10:19. And his time - 2:09:02 could have been much faster if he had decided to run the last half mile instead of waving so much.
Dathan Ritzenhein finishes his second Marathon very differently than his first, this finish is strong in 2:11:06 - he will be the second man on the Olympic Team...
Brian Sell finishes third in 2:11:40 - a great race. Khalid Khannouchi comes in to be the first alternate, finishing in 2:12:33 - a great finish considering his recent injuries. And, following up on a strong season, Jason Lehmkuhle finishes in 2:12:54 to be the second alternate for the USA Olympic Team.
The Rest of the Top 10:
1. Ryan Hall - 2:09:02
2. Dathan Ritzenhein - 2:11:07
3. Brian Sell - 2:11:40
4. Khalid Khannouchi - 2:12:34
5. Jason Lehmkuhle - 2:12:54
6. Dan Browne - 2:13:23
7. Nathaniel Jenkins - 2:14:56
8. Meb Keflezighi - 2:15:09
9. Josh Rohatinsky - 2:15:22 (debut)
10. Jason Hartmann - 2:15:27
Asked by a commentator when his training for the Beijing Olympics would begin, Hall answered: "It began a long time ago when I ran my first 15 mile run around Big Bear Lake when I was 15..."
And the race is available to be viewed for free on the internet: