Thursday, November 01, 2007

Big Apple picking

7:50 AM - 8 miles, 1:00:00 - Tufts.
Easy does it on the grass before work. First 30 minutes solo, last half hour with Casey. Hilly as hell but the soft stuff was a welcome respite for the legs.

I'm heading down to the Big Apple with Hodgie-San tomorrow afternoon to catch the men's Olympic Marathon Trials on Saturday morning, so this will likely be the last you'll hear from me for a couple days.

So let's cut to the chase, who's gonna make the Olympic team?

Good question. I think a lot of guys have a good shot, and personally I'll be pulling for one of the dark horse, blue-collar types -- Brian Sell, Peter Gilmore, Jason Lehmkuhle, Fasil Bizuneh, etc. -- to pull through, but there's a handful of proven thoroughbreds -- Meb, Abdi, Alan Culpepper, Dan Browne -- who aren't making the trip to New York just to take a leisurely stroll through Central Park with 127 of their closest friends.

Don't forget about the pair of young studs -- Ritz and Ryan Hall -- who each only have one marathon under their belt, but are definitely two of the more talented, if not the most talented, guys in the field. Too inexperienced to win the big one? Perhaps, but way too talented not to be considered serious threats to actually pull it off.

Then there's a handful of unproven unknowns worth keeping in mind as well, including Josh Rohatinsky, James Carney, Ed Torres and Matt Gonzales, who have all been running well enough of late that they could really surprise some people. OK, a lot of people. It's not likely any of these fellas will actually make the team, but it's not entirely impossible either.

If one thing is for sure about the outcome of this race, it's that nothing is for sure. My gut feeling is that our Olympic marathon team will be made up of two of the established favorites, say Abdi and Alan Culpepper, and one relative long shot, let's call him Peter Gilmore.

Last, but certainly not least, there's a handful of guys with local ties -- Mike Smith, Terry Shea, Nate Jenkins, Marzuki Stevens, Ed Baker, Pat and Casey Moulton, Steve Meinelt and Matt Pelletier -- who I know are all primed and ready for a good race. I'll definitely be rooting for the members of this homegrown crew and I'm confident they'll do New England proud.

Hopefully I can join them in four years and do the same.

Quote of the Day

"Running sharpens the focus on life and intensifies the emotions. Is there any better reason to do anything?"
- Anton (Tony) Krupicka, trail running's "nature boy"

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