Wow! That about sums up my reaction to the Olympic Marathon Trials women’s race! I willingly admit that I was unable to refrain from checking Twitter for updates on both the men’s and women’s races. I just couldn’t hold out until 3pm (thanks NBC for making us wait 6 hours to watch the race!).
The women’s race had a really stacked field, and viewers were not disappointed. Although the women got off to a slower start, an eventual lead pack consisted of Desiree Davila, Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher and Amy Hastings.
Very late in the race Flanagan was able to break away from Desi Davila and take first place with a record-breaking 2:25:38 (also a new PR!). Davila finished second in 2:25:55 and Goucher in third at 2:26:06. Shalane has had a lot of success this past year on the track and her speed clearly showed in the last mile of the race. Incidentally, Flanagan and Goucher are now team mates. How cool is it that they get to train for the Olympics together?
I am very happy to report that Wendy Thomas finished her debut marathon (yes it was her first!) in the 12th spot with a time of 2:34:25. That’s a pretty impressive time for a first marathon- go Wendy!
The men’s race pretty much went as predicted with Meb Keflezighi (2:09:08) and Ryan Hall (2:09.30) taking the number one and two spots. Although Meb barely missed breaking the Trials record for the marathon, he succeeded in becoming the first man to win both the Olympic Trials Marathon and the New York City Marathon. He also became the oldest man to win the Trials at age 36 (he’s also a father runner to 3 girls).
The heartbreaker in this race was Dathan Ritzenhein. He ran such a great race. He was with the lead pack for quite a while and dropped off towards the end. Trailing a clearly faltering Abdi Abdirahman for the third spot, he surged at the end and barely missed taking the third qualifying spot. You could see the tears and frustration on his face as he crossed the finish line and realized how close he was to making it to the Olympics. I was almost in tears myself—I can only imagine what that might feel like.
I really enjoyed getting to watch the Olympic Marathon Trials on national television–I just wish NBC hadn’t decided to air it so much later. There was way too much time for spoilers! Go Team USA!