Saturday, August 23, 2008

Day 10 of the Olympics-Men's Marathon

6:50 pm--It's hard to say goodbye, but we want to thank all of you who have clicked your mouse to this web site for live blogging of the Olympic track & field and marathon competition over the last ten days.

If any of you have any feedback on how we can do this better, please fire away using the comments section.

Again, thanks to all those who helped us in Beijing and in Seattle--we think we got everyone in Beijing on our day 9 post.

6:43 pm--
Kebede 3rd & Menga 4th. Lel will finish 5th. Ritzenhein and Hall are in the stadium, 9th and 10th. 2:11:59 for Ritzenhein. Hall 2:12:33. Sell 22nd, 2:16:07.

6:40 pm--
Wanjiru wins in 2:06:32, crushing the Olympic record of 2:09:21. Gharib 2:07:16.

6:34 pm--
Wanjiru has an 18 second lead at 40k, crossed in 1:59:55, a last 5k of 15:18!

He is running a 2:06:30 projected final time! For the conditions, this is phenomenal! Ritz is 9th in 2:04:50, and Hall one place back in 2:05:30.

6:28 pm--
Wanjiru has opened up a 5 second lead on Gharib!

In case you have not noticed, Wanjiru is on sub 2:06 pace! Merga is now 45 seconds down!

6:24 pm--
And now it's Merga in trouble! Wanjiru starts to put the hammer down!

Sell was 1:50:27 in 20th, a last 5k of 16:17.

6:18 pm--
At 35 k, it's the group of 3 at 1:44:37, with the last 5k in 15:44, with a bit of an incline in that last stretch, according to the TV pictures. Gharib is actually 1 second back of Merga & Wanjiru.

For whatever odd reason, the Beijing website spells Wanjiru as Wansiru.
Meanwhile, Ritz & Hall are 10th and 11th now in 1:48:23 & 1:48:33, 16:24 & 15:58 respectively.

6:15 pm--
Parker writes, "Wanjiru, Merga and Gharib are still the lead pack of three, and all three appear to be suffering from the heat and the pace. Gharib's head is back and he's still lagging behind Merga and Wanjiru."

6:10 pm--
Ritz is in 10th at 1:31:47; Hall goes through 30k at 1:32:35 for 13th; and Sell 1:34:10 in 18th. Last 5k-Ritz 15:50; Hall 15:52; Sell 15:40!

6:02 pm--
Gharib looks like he's about to get dropped; meanwhile, the world feed showed Luke Kibet stopping to stretch. Is he done?

30 k will be crossed in 1:29:13 with Merga and Wanjiru leading; Gharib gets back in it and is 4 seconds down; Lel is 9 seconds down, and Kifle 15 seconds behind.

Last kilometer covered in 15:15.

5:53 pm--
Splits for the Americans: Ritz 1:15:57 (11); Hall 1:16:43 (15); Sell 1:18:30 (31). The last 5k was 15:27 for Ritz, 16:15 for Hall, and 17:26 for Sell.

5:47 pm--
The gang of five remains the same at 25k, crossed in 1:13:58, or 14:48 for the last 5k.

5:40 pm--
Amby from Runner's World writes, "Merga from Ethiopia has run 2:06:38. Kifle from Eritrea has run 2:07:34. Gharib from Morocco is a veteran marathoner who won the World Championships in 2003 and 2005 and has run many fast Londons. Best time of 2:07:04 four years ago.

Now the Ethiopian Merga is surging! What do these guys think this is, a tempo run in the park?"

5:36 pm--The half-marathon was covered by the gang of five in 1:02:34. That's 2:05:08 pace if you are keeping score at home!

BTW, Sell went thru 20k at 1:02:44. about 2:12 pace.

Ritz was 12th at 1:03.54, and Hall 18th at 1:04:29.

5:30 pm--
American Ryan Hall is running strongly but he's picking up stragglers so far. We will be coming up on 20k, and its down to five, at 59:10. Group is still the same suspects.

Ritz is in 13th at 60:30, Hall 18th in 61:04.

5:25 pm--Just as soon as we write, the group's now down to five! The pack at 53 minutes is Wanjiru, Lel, Kifle, Merga and Gharib. "After their brief rest after the 10km split, the pace is scorching again. This is the kind of pace we would expect to see at 30km or 35km at a major city marathon", writes Parker.

Amby Burfoot writes, "
What we have here is a replay of London last April, with the 3 top London finishers in the lead pack. But Ryan Hall is missing. He was 5th at London, but ran with this pack essentially all the way.

Wanjiru ran his first marathon last December, a 2:06:39. Then he followed up at London with a 2:05:24. That left him 9 seconds behind his teammate Martin Lel, who's running with him now. Lel has won his last 3 marathons, all majors, London-NY-London."

5:17 pm--
Coming up on 15k, and the group of eight will go through in 44:36. Yonas Kifle and Yared Asmeron of Eritrea is in that lead group, along with Deribu Mergu of Ethiopia and Jaouab Gharib of Morocco. dos Santos of Brazil and Viktor Rothlin of Switzerland are about 16 seconds back. These guys are on 2:06 pace.

Ritz is 35 seconds back at 45:11, with Hall at 45;32, about 2:07 pace.

Martinez is getting dropped; Parker says he's a good barometer of the pack right now; his position indicates how much pressure is being applied in the front. Goumri and Kebede of Ethiopia. It's seven in the lead pack now.

The seven (sorry, we miscounted earlier) are Wanjiru, Lel, Kibet, Asmerom, Kifle, Gharib, and Merga.

5:03 pm--
Martinez of Spain leads the group of eight at 29:25 through 10k. Dathan's 33 seconds down at 29:58, with Hall at 30:11. Sell is at 31:23.

These guys are rolling...are these guys gonna come back when the weather gets hotter?

By the way, if you're on the west coast and want to watch it live on the internet, go to:, then click on the "Online TV..." box. Select Sport TV > Italy - Rai Sport - Beijing Olympics - 600 kb.

Note that if you're using a Mac, it only works with Firefox as your browser.

4:55 pm--
A group of eight are leading, including Wanjiru and Martin Lel from Kenya. Also world champion Luke Kibet, the reigning world champ is up there. Kibet replaced Robert Cheruiyot who was injured before the Olympics.

Amby Burfoot of Runner's World writes, "
The leaders are running something like 2:06 pace now. I doubt they can hold that. I think Hall and coach Terrence Mahon calculated that this is not a 2:06 day, and Hall is running the pace he hopes to maintain to the end. About 2:10 pace. Just guessing".

4:50 pm--
Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya leads through 5k at 14;53, which is an honest pace. Ritz was clocked at 15:00, with Hall at 15:04.

4:35 pm--
We'll also refer you to's blog as can catch it here...

Here's a list of folks to watch with their lifetime marathon PR.
  • Martin Lel, Kenya, 2:05:15
  • Sammy Wanjiru, Kenya, 2:05:24
  • Abderrahim Goumri, Morocco, 2:05:30
  • Ryan Hall, U.S., 2:06:17
  • Deriba Merga, Ethiopia, 2:06:38
  • Tsegay Kebede, Ethiopia, 2:06:40
  • Jaouad Gharib, Morocco, 2:07:02
  • Atsushi Sato, Japan, 2:07:13
  • Mbarak Shami, Qatar (born Richard Yatich, Kenya), 2:07:19
  • Viktor Rothlin, Switzerland, 2:07:23
  • Gusida Shentema, Ethiopia, 2:07:34
  • Luke Kibet, Kenya, 2:08:52
  • Brian Sell, U.S., 2:10:47
  • Dathan Ritzenhein, U.S., 2:11:07
If you are looking for the USA runners, they are wearing the white jerseys instead of the blue the rest of the US track team has worn, or the red jerseys the 4 x 400 relay teams wore last night.

The marathon will begin at Tian'anmen Square and end at the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest.

The route will pass Tiantan (Temple of Heaven), Yongding Gate, Zhongguancun, Peking University and Tsinghua University, then work its way to the Bird's Nest.

4:20 pm--Ni hao! This is the final live blog of the Olympic track & field competition--the men's marathon.

Team USA will line up Ryan Hall (c), Dathan Ritzenhein (r) & Brian Sell (l) this morning.

The start list should be posted shortly on

For those of you watching on the east coast, NBC is airing the marathon live. We will also drop in on the IAAF's blog for updates as well...their blog is here...

At the moment, the temperature is around 72 degrees.

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