2010 Boston Marathon Preview: Hall vs. Keflezighi

Boston Marathon, ING New York City Marathon, 2010 Boston Marathon

Ryan Hall hydrates during the 2009 ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 1. He finished fourth.

For the first time in years, the U.S. has two runners who could conceivably win Monday’s 114th running of the Boston Marathon: Meb Keflezighi and Ryan Hall. An American hasn’t won the race since Lisa Larsen Rainsberger in 1985 on the women’s side and Greg Meyer in 1983 on the men’s side.

The Boston Marathon is the oldest and most storied marathon in the world, and for good reason—it’s also the most exclusive. Runners must qualify for the race, a feat that only 10.4 percent of marathon finishers accomplish. On the professional side, it’s just as exclusive; a victory in Boston means a laurel wreath, a World Marathon Majors win and a place in history.

Keflezighi is the reigning New York City Marathon champion and an Olympic silver medalist. Hall is the fastest American marathoner, and hungry for his first major marathon win. He placed third in Boston and fourth in New York last year. Hall has the speed, but Keflezighi has the experience.

Both runners have been eyeing this win for some time. Keflezighi has been living on “Boston time” in California since April 11 according to his Twitter feed, and Hall has been in Boston for the last three weeks.

“I really hope Ryan and I go 1-2 at Boston,” Keflezighi told Running Times magazine. “Whichever one wins, I know the other will be happy for him.”

It’s certainly possible, but they’ll have to fend off reigning Boston champion Deriba Merga and Abderrahim Goumri, who has the fastest time of any runner in the field at 2:05:30. Goumri has a lot of second place finishes in London, New York and Chicago to his name. No doubt he’s ready for a win in his Boston Marathon debut. All together, it’s a fast men’s field with 14 runners boasting sub-2:10 best times.

On the women’s side, the U.S. doesn’t have any podium contenders; Rainsberger’s 25-year record is certain to go unchallenged. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be an exciting race. Ethiopia’s Dire Tune, the 2008 Boston champion, will once again battle Kenya’s Salina Kosgei, the reigning Boston champion, who beat Tune last year by one second.

The elite women start at 9:32 am in Hopkinton, Mass on Monday, April 19. The elite men and the rest of the field start at 10 am. The race will air at 9:30 a.m. ET on Universal Sports nationally and WBZ-TV in Boston.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


04 2010