Monday, April 14, 2008

Ryan Hall Answers The Call & Yankee Hex Over?

Ryan Hall is aiming for a place on the podium in Beijing after shaving just
over two minutes from his personal best time in the London Marathon on

Hall's time of 2 hours, 6 minutes, 17 seconds was the third-fastest by an
American. The 25-year-old made his marathon debut at London last April and won
the U.S men's Olympic marathon trials in December in New York to earn a place in

Hall finished fifth Sunday, behind three Kenyans and a Moroccan.

"I really learned a lot out in the race today, more than I learnt in the
first two," Hall told The Associated Press. "It was a great

Martin Lel won his third London Marathon in four years with a course record
time of 2:05:15 and Hall was among a group at world record pace until the last
six miles when their speed was slowed by rain.Sammy Wanjiru and Abderrahim
Goumri were second and third, also with personal bests. It was first time the
top three in a marathon finished under 2:06.

"It was really challenging, both mentally and physically," Hall said. "It
was the uneven pace that made it a real challenge for me because I'm more a
rhythm runner. It was encouraging because Beijing is probably not going to be
very even."

Hall was part of the leading pack that clocked 1:01:12 at the halfway mark,
but he was unable to deal with the surging pace and dropped back at 18

"When they pulled away, they made a pretty hard move and honestly, I just
couldn't go with it," Hall said. "It was tough at that point to just not bag it
(quit), but going out as fast as we did meant I knew I was on schedule for a
good time if I could manage a good second half of the race.

"I just tried to stay positive, which is difficult when you're blown out
the back."
Hall made up nine seconds and rejoined the group by the 21st mile
before he was left behind again by Lel, Wanjiru and Goumri.

"He did a really good job of damage control of not falling apart when he
lost top three for good," Hall's coach Terence Mahon said. "He still kept his
head on and tried to run as fast as he could."
Khalid Khannouchi holds the
two fastest times for an American overall — 2:05:38 to take the 2002 London
Marathon, which was the previous course record, and 2:05:56 to win in Chicago in
the same year. Mahon doesn't expect those times to stand too much

"He's jumped a bunch of steps on this learning curve," Mahon said. "He's
always had a belief that he can medal (in Beijing). Getting this bit more of
experience, it will help both him and I fine-tune his program."

Hall admitted he was tempted to drop out at 23 miles when he began passing
women competitors who were walking.

"Those last miles were very difficult," he said. "The marathon's weird, the
sensation you feel during the race. It's almost like an outer-body experience. I
feel I can go faster, but my legs just won't go."

This was Hall's last big race before he goes to his first Olympic Games,
and he's now beaten several of the men he'll likely line up against in Beijing —
including defending champion Stefano Baldini, world champion Luke Kibet and
former London Marathon winner Felix Limo.

"It gave me a lot of confidence that I can be competitive and I'm
definitely motivated," Hall said.

"I'm really happy with how things went today but there's little bit of
As well as training, Hall will be also cheering on his wife
Sara, a distance runner who is bidding to make the U.S. track team for the

"She's been so close so often to qualifying," Hall said. "To have her
nail it at the trials, I'll be more excited for her than I was in New York for

...And in other (STRANGER) news:

It appears as though Gino's attempt at Jinxing the Yankees has been thwarted, when construction workers were able to identify the area where he worked. From there, they spent $50K and drilled through 5 feet of concrete, to dig up the now-infamous Ortiz Red Sox shirt.

I'm no Yankee fan but....what a dope! This guy (Gino Casto-whatevahh) is going to possibly face jail time for this. He could have done far more constructive things with his bury a replica of a World Series Championship Trophy....under Citi Field!!!


bryan said...

Amazing race by Hall. Really gutsy.

You can see video and get cool stats about it at this lens:

There are also trivia, polls, interviews, a biography, etc.

DGA said...

Do they have a Hall of Fame for Marathon runners? I am not kidding, this is a real question.

Alex Gonzalez said...

Yes there is. It is located in Utica, New York. Here is the official website: