Ryan Hall finishes seventh in marathon debut at Flora London Marathon


Jim Estes
LDR Programs Manager
USA Track & Field

LONDON - Running in the most competitive men's marathon field ever, Ryan Hall (Big Bear Lake, Calif.), made his marathon debut in style, finishing seventh at the Flora London Marathon in a time of 2:08:24. Hall's time was the fastest debut marathon for an American man by 1:16.

In a field that included multiple Olympic medalists and the current World Record holder, Hall not only ran with the leaders for more than 23 miles but was brave enough to take a turn at the lead before World Marathon champion Jaouad Gharib (MAR) made a bid to break away. As the leaders sped along the Victoria Embankment next to the Thames River, Hall fell off the pace but would hold on to run the fifth fastest marathon ever for a U.S. man.

Moving into the final mile, World Record holder Paul Tergat (KEN) and 2005 ING New York City champion Hendrick Ramaala (RSA) slipped from the lead pack with Gharib fading soon after, as Abderrahim Goumri (MAR), defending champion Felix Limo (KEN) and 2005 champion Martin Lel (KEN), raced towards the finish.

Rounding the final turn at Buckingham Palace, Lel kicked to his second London title in three years, running 2:07:41. Goumri was second in 2:07:44 and Limo took third in 2:07:47, while Gharib held on to finish fourth in 2:07:54 and Ramaala and Tergat were fifth and sixth in 2:07:56 and 2:08:06 respectively.

Hall's time also makes him the second fastest U.S. man all-time and positions him among the favorites for the title at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Men's Marathon, which will be hosted by the New York Road Runners on November 3.