Saturday, August 23, 2008

kenyan, samuel wansiru, wins gold and sets olympic record at record at marathon!

when the lead runners went out with a 4:41 first mile in the hot, 85 degree conditions, they were all-in and weren't holding anything back. the lead pack eventually dwindled down to a two-man race, and when sammy wansiru crossed the finish line 44 seconds ahead of jaouad gharib of Morocco, he had taken 3 minutes off the previous olympic marathon record. he also became the first kenyan to win a gold medal in the olympic marathon! wansiru's 2:06:32 was an even more spectacular accomplishment when viewed against the unrelentingly hot and sunny conditions he faced throughout the race!

dan ritzenhein and ryan hall finished 9th and 10th, respectively, but well out of medal contention. given the tough weather conditions, they had solid performances. that said, hall's 2:12:33 finish was well off the 2:09:02 he ran to win the united states trials last november and his 2:08:24 at the london marathon. the third member of the u.s. team, brian sell, finished in 22nd place with 2:16:07 (well-off the 2:11 he ran at the u.s. trials).

this was the first time in 32 years that 2 americans finished in the top ten at an olympic marathon! not since the 1976 olympic marathon in montreal, when frank shorter took 2nd and don kardong took 4th, have a pair of americans done this well!

check out the ny times coverage.
check out the san francisco chronicle coverage.


Meredith said...

Awesome race, shitty ass coverage from NBC. Commercials then they would break back to the marathon, show the front 2 or 3 guys, then go back to commercial. It was ridiculous. The race was incredible and FAST! They said the average winning time at an Olympic marathon is 2:12, so the Americans were right on par with that, too bad it was a crazy fast paced race for them. I cannot believe the pace they kept to the end.

rundangerously said...

in addition to the commericals, was it really necessary for nbc to spend all that time on the lunatic that attacked vanderlei de lima in the 2004 marathon?? why spend ANY time at ALL on him or his messed up life!!

rob said...

I agree that NBC spent way too much time on the piece about de Lima and the crazy Irish priest. They also cut away with a human interest story about Ryan Hall, and maybe one or two other little segments. It would have been nice if they could have started coverage at 7pm, and fit in that stuff before the race.

Hate to be a nit-picker, but it was a 4:41 opening mile, and the name of the top US finisher is Dathan Ritzenheim, not Dan.

rundangerously said...

rob, that not nit-picking, but just good catches! the 4:11 is a typo, but "dan" is me taking a liberty shortening his full name.

nbc definitely should have started the bdcst a few minutes earlier. same thing last weekend w/women's marathon. the coverage started right at the gun - both races went off w/out any pre-race commentary or preliminaries.