Meb Keflezighi leads veterans Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman

Sat, 14 Jan. 2012 - 12:54 a.m. MT
Credit: Dave Watt - American Running Association

Ryan Hall made sure right from the gun that this Mens' Olympic Marathon Trials would be an honest tough pace.  A first mile of 4:52 set the tone for the Mens' Field and soon there were a half dozen top contenders in the lead pack.  

Meb Keflezighi the 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist was right up there with Hall along with 3 time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman.  Abdi ever the smile on his face was the a wily veteran who had been injured for upwards of a year and a half over the past 2 years.  Could he hang up front and earn a 4th Olympic Team berth? He wore Bib #81; not a number for a top contender.

At the halfway mark it was down to 4 guys, all veterans and the best marathoners the U.S. has arguably produced: Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, Dathan Ritzenheim and the 10K and Half Marathon veteran Abdi Abdirahman.

Two miles to go produced the final drama.  Ritz was making a push from 4th but upfront it was Meb who managed to maintain the close-to 5 min mile pace.  As Meb turned the corner with 150m to go, he grabbed an American Flag from a course spectator and proudly cruised to the finish line America's Trials' Champion.

Ryan Hall was 21 seconds back in 2nd and then the smiling Abdi for the 3rd and final Olympic Team berth.

It was Dathan Ritzenheim who finished 8 seconds back in 4th who was visibly distraught in the not-so envious 4th place finish.  He too had run sub-2:10 but is now the Alternate.

Look for Ritz to earn a 10K berth this June in Eugene Oregon at the Track & Field Olympic Team Trials.

 



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