Ryan Hall takes fifth at Flora London Marathon


Jim Estes
Associate Director of LDR and Marketing
USA Track & Field

U.S. marathon phenom Ryan Hall (Big Bear Lake, Calif.) on Sunday ran 2:06:17 to finish fifth at the Flora London Marathon, the opening race of the 2008 World Marathon Majors series. Martin Lel (KEN) successfully defended his title running a new course record of 2:05:15, American Khalid Khannouchi's mark by 23 seconds. Hall's time makes him the second fastest American all-time for the marathon behind Khannouchi.

Running with the leaders on world record pace through half-way (1:02:13) Hall went through 25 km with Lel, Samuel Wanjiru (KEN) and Yonas Kifle (ERI) in 1:13:47, a pending U.S. record for the distance. Despite falling nine seconds behind the leaders at 30 km, Hall rallied to rejoin them at 35 km. The fast pace through the early stages seemed to take a toll as he began to fade to sixth. Over the last 2 km Hall rallied again to overtake Deriba Merga (ETH) for fifth and was just outkicked for fourth by two seconds by Emmanuel Mutai (KEN).

The Flora London Marathon will be available on-demand this Sunday at WCSN.com. Viewers in the U.S. and Canada can watch the free coverage of the 2008 event.