The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Weekend Preview

This coming weekend is a big one for marathoning, with the USA men's Olympic Trials on Saturday and the almost-an-afterthought New York City race on Sunday.

The start of the trials will be on NBC's Today Show at 7:35 AM and the network will have a half-hour recap show at 2:00 PM. Live online coverage will be at

Sunday's New York City marathon will be live ONLY online; outside the US you can get it for free at WCSN, but in the states you must shell out $5 to MediaZone. NBC will have highlights from 3:00 to 4:00 PM that afternoon. Too bad; some of my earliest memories of track & field were from watching the NYC marathon--to this day, when I'm running in a city park in rainy weather, I still imagine I'm Rod Dixon.

Previews? There are tons. Among the best is, surprisingly, Runner's World (the print mag is little more than craven Yuppie bootlicking, but their website is decent). Other good previews are at NBC Sports, Let's Run, New York Road Runners, and of course T&FN's headlines section has links to just about every other media source. (Yes, USATF has a trials site, but don't bother.)

In a race like the trials, third is as good as first and fourth is as good as last. Who will those three be? I'm terrible at predicting, but I will say that a dark horse always comes through. I'll be shocked if it comes down to only the four favorites (Abdirahman, Hall, Keflezighi and Sell) going for the three spots.

In the one Trials race I saw live (Columbus '92), favorites Steve Spence and Ed Eyestone came through. The dark horse was Bob Kempainen, who was running just the second marathon of his career. If I were to pick one, I'd go with Josh Rohatinsky, who doesn't have the benefit of any marathon experience at all (and only has a single half-marathon to his credit).

The New York City marathon is so devoid of top US men's talent that a friend of mine with a 2:57 PR is seeded 536th out of nearly 40,000 entrants. But the women's race should be a doozy. You've got World Marathon Majors players Gete Wami, Jelena Prokopcuka, Catherine "The Great" Ndereba, and Lidiya Grigoryeva. The inaugural women's crown will come down to Wami and Prokopcuka, but even more interesting is the return of Paula Radcliffe, who has never been beaten in a marathon.

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