Ryan Hall links up with legendary coach

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
HallAP Photo/Steven SenneRyan Hall has been self-coached recently, but is now teaming up with legendary coach Jack Daniels.
Ryan Hall, the fastest American marathoner ever, is putting his trust in coach Jack Daniels after a phase of faith-based self-coaching.

“Jack has already played an influential role in my development as a runner as well as hundreds and thousands of others and I am confident he can help me get back to my full potential as a marathon runner,” Hall wrote on his official website.

“With the Olympic Trials just a year and a half away it’s time to start making progress towards my main goal as an athlete, to return to the Olympics and be at my very best there. This is something that has eluded me the last two Olympics but I am hopeful and expectant for the next years ahead with Jack’s guidance.”

Once named “World’s Best Coach” by Runner’s World Magazine, Daniels is has also advised running greats such as Jim Ryun and Joan Benoit Samuelson.

Hall finished 20th at the 2014 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:17:50. It was his first marathon finished since a second-place showing at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Hall dropped out of the 2012 Olympic marathon at the 11-mile mark due to a hamstring injury. Before its cancellation, Hall also withdrew from the 2012 New York City Marathon due to injury, and 2013 saw him scratched from the Boston and New York City marathons.

Hall was also previously coached by Terrence Mahon while with the Mammoth Track Club. Under Mahon, Hall set the American record for fastest debut marathon by running 2:08:24 at the 2007 London Marathon.

Months after leaving Mammoth, Hall ran his third consecutive Boston Marathon and finished fourth with the fastest marathon time ever by an American in 2:04:58, although American records are not recognized on the Boston course due to the point-to-point layout and overall elevation drop. A strong tailwind also contributed to the fast times in 2011.

Most recently, Hall finished 13th at the Suja Rock N’ Roll San Diego Half-Marathon in 62:53. The 31-year-old has not announced any plans for a fall marathon.

Kipsang, other NYC elites by the numbers

September, 10, 2014
Sep 10
Wilson KipsangAP Photo/Sang TanWilson Kipsang set the world marathon record last fall and makes his NYC debut in November.
As if a star-studded American field wasn't enough, the 2014 TSC New York City Marathon has added men's world record holder Wilson Kipsang to its Nov. 2 lineup.

The New York Road Runners finalized their elite athlete field with the announcement of Olympic medalists and past NYC champions from around the world.

“We’re proud to welcome Wilson, a world-renowned marathon icon; Buzunesh Deba, the ultimate running ambassador for our City; and an unparalleled field to “get their New York on” with every stride they take through the City’s five boroughs, as they lead runners from Staten Island to Central Park,” NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg said in a press release.

Last fall, Kipsang set the world record of 2:03:23 in Berlin. Earlier this year he won the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon in a course-record time of 2:04.27. The addition of Kipsang threatens two-time defending New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai’s goal of winning his third consecutive New York City Marathon.

2010 NYC champion Gebre Gebremariam is also entered in the field.

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NYC American elites by the numbers

September, 8, 2014
Sep 8
Meb KeflezighiAP Photo/Charles KrupaMeb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon in April and will take on New York in November.
The New York Road Runners announced their American elite lineup for the 2014 New York City Marathon on Nov. 2.

Olympians Kara Goucher and Desiree Linden (formerly Davila) headline the women’s field, while Boston rematches await on the men’s side.

“Kara, Desi, and Ryan (Vail) are, along with Meb (Keflezighi), some of America’s most established and adored distance runners,” NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg said in a press release. “As they lead the way through the City’s five boroughs and diverse running communities on Marathon Day, we’re sure they’ll inspire not only the 50,000-plus runners following in their footsteps, but the next generation of great American marathoners as well.”

Goucher has been sidelined by injuries since the 2013 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships. New York will be her first marathon since a sixth place finish at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

“Since I ran my first marathon in New York City in 2008, I have wanted to go back and run again,” Goucher said in a press release. “I am so excited after a year of injuries and changes that my return to ‘marathoning’ happens here. New York City is a very special place for me, as I was born in Queens. I have always loved the city, and I have felt a special connection since running my first marathon there.”

Linden is also on the mend after an injury forced her off the course at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. She was fifth at the 2013 Berlin Marathon and 10th at 2014 Boston Marathon.

The women’s field is rounded out by American record holder Deena Kastor, 2008 Olympian Blake Russell, 2013 USA Marathon champion Anne Bersagel and 2:28 marathoner Lauren Kleppin.

In addition to Kefezighi, the New York City Marathon has reunited several of the top American men from April’s Boston Marathon. Nick Arciniaga of Flagstaff, Ariz., was seventh in Bostonand Josphat Boit was 11th with a personal best of 2:12:52.

Nike Oregon Project runner Luke Puskedra will make his marathon debut. He previously represented the United States at the 2012 IAAF Half-Marathon Championships. Working with three-time New York City Marathon champion Alberto Salazar helps as his eyes may be set on the marathon for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

New York by the numbers:

3 - Kara Goucher made her marathon debut with a third place finish at the 2008 New York City Marathon. Her time of 2:25:53 is the fastest time by an American woman on the course.

2:20 - Minutes and seconds that separate Meb Kefezighi and Vail, the top American at the 2013 New York City Marathon. Vail set a personal best of 2:10:57 at the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon.

7 - There are seven American women entered in the race with personal bests of 2:30 or lower. This is a first for the New York City Marathon.

8 - Nick Arciniaga’s sixth-best marathon performance was an eighth place finish at the 2009 New York City Marathon. In 2013, he ran 2:13:11 for the win at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, where he out-kicked Josphat Boit for the U.S. National Title.

10 - Desi Linden (formerly Davila) rose to prominence with her second place finish at the 2011 Boston Marathon. She made the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, but did not finish the marathon in London due to a stress fracture in her femur. This is her New York City debut after a 10th place finish in April’s Boston Marathon.

41 - American record holder Deena Kastor is still competitive at the age of 41. She won half-marathons in March and April.

Impressive elite field for Chicago Marathon

September, 4, 2014
Sep 4
Kenenisa BekeleAP Photo/Michel EulerKenenisa Bekele broke the course record in Paris this year and wants to do the same in Chicago.
Course records and the history books may be in danger on Oct. 12 in Chicago.

Race organizers for the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon have announced their full elite field, featuring five men who have run under 2:06 and three women who have run under 2:23.

The field is headlined by Kenenisa Bekele, world record holder at 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters on the track. Reminiscent of his days at IAAF World Championship meets, Bekele will face off against Eliud Kipchoge, against whom Bekele holds the upper hand with nine wins over the Kenyan.

Another challenger to watch will be Sammy Kitawara, who finished fourth in his marathon debut in Chicago in 2012. Kitawara's experience could benefit him given that 2014 marks the third time he will run the flat 26.2-mile course through the Windy City.

"I am coming back to Chicago for the third time. Chicago is a nice city and it has a good sports atmosphere. I will try to run the race of my life this year, and if God gives me the strength, my target is to run 2:04:28,” Kitawara said in a press release.

Bernard Koech of Kenya has the second-fastest personal best of the field with his 2:04:53 from the 2013 Dubai Marathon. A fast background may be beneficial for Koech, because Bekele has already stated he wants to challenge the course record and world record on race day.

The American field is a bit deeper compared to last year’s race, which included Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein and Matt Tegenkamp. Craig Leon (2:13:52 personal best) finished 12th at this year’s Boston Marathon and will head this year’s American contingent along with Bobby Curtis (2:13:24) and Mike Morgan (2:14:22).

Matt Llano of Team Run Flagstaff has a lofty goal of breaking Ryan Hall’s American marathon debut record of 2:08:24.

On the women’s side Rita Jeptoo looks to defend her crown against Florence Kiplagat. Jeptoo and Kiplagat are the only women in the field who have cracked the 2:20 barrier. Jemima Sumgong, Jeptoo’s training partner, looks to be the next challenger with her personal best of 2:20:48.

Jeptoo could cement herself as one of the best marathoners in history with a third sub-2:20 performance. Only Paula Radcliffe and Catherine N’Dereba have accomplished that feat.

Amy Hastings leads the American side with her 2:27:03 personal best. The 30-year-old skipped running a spring marathon after fighting pain to a 20th place finish at the 2013 ING New York City Marathon.

A rising star to watch will be Becky Wade of Houston, Texas, who made her marathon debut in grand fashion by winning the 2013 California International Marathon and recently inked a professional contract with Asics. Former Olympian Lia Uhl will be making her own debut after being a spectator for the 2013 edition of the race.

Rock 'n' Roll Philly boasts stacked field

September, 3, 2014
Sep 3
Dathan RitzenheinAP Photo/Charlie RiedelDathan Ritzenhein has run for the U.S. on the world stage and will take on the world's best in Philly.
Race organizers for the 2014 Rock N’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon have assembled one of the deepest fields of the fall, including several marathon champions and Olympians.

“Philadelphia is one of the most famous half-marathons in the U.S. and we have a world-class field to match a world-class event,” Elite athlete coordinator Matthew Turnbull said.

Dathan Ritzenhein headlines the American field. The three-time Olympian makes a return to the roads after an injury forced him to withdraw from April’s Boston Marathon. Ritzenhein did not race on the track this summer, and in Philadelphia he will be challenged by 2014 Boston Marathon surprise Jeffrey Eggleston.

Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai will also use this race as a tuneup with his sights are set on a three-peat in the New York City Marathon in November.

Kara Goucher, also returning from injury, leads the field of American women. This will be her first long-distance race since leaving her Nike training group and inking a deal with Oiselle and Sketchers. Goucher's toughest challenger will Deena Kastor, the fastest American woman ever over 13.1 miles, who is looking to extend her road-racing career.

Here’s a look at the field by the numbers:

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