Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ryan Hall - On His Way To Beijing Olympics

NEW YORK - Ryan Hall, his blond hair tousled, his fists pumping in the air, thoroughly enjoyed himself the last few miles of the U.S. men's Olympic marathon trials in Central Park Saturday morning.

Hall, of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., pulled away from the pack in the 17th mile and kept going, striding along easily and finishing in 2:09:02, breaking the trials record of 2:10:19 set by Tony Sandoval in 1980.

"When you run a 2:08 in your first marathon and then you run a 2:09 waving at the crowd for 2 miles ... the guy could have run 2:08:30 today," said Alan Culpepper, a 2004 Olympic marathoner who dropped out at Mile 16 Saturday. "It wasn't an easy course. I think it shows he is a medal contender, definitely."

Hall, runner-up Dathan Ritzenhein of Eugene, Ore. (2:11:07), and third-place finisher Brian Sell of Rochester Hills, Mich. (2:11:40), will represent the U.S. Aug. 24 in Beijing in the Olympic marathon.

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