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Ryan Hall and Samuel Wanjiru Running 2008 London Marathon
By David Monti
(c) 2008 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
January 7, 2007

Race director David Bedford has beefed up his already robust field for the 2008 Flora London Marathon by adding two of the sport's most promising marathon stars: Ryan Hall of Big Bear Lake, Calif., and Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya.  The 28th edition of the race is scheduled for Sunday, April 13.

Hall, 25, is coming off of a dramatic victory at the USA Olympic Team Trials - Men's Marathon held in New York City last November.  The former Stanford University star ran a brilliant race, saving his strength during the first half of the hilly, five-loop course in Central Park before unleashing a seemingly effortless 62:45 for the second half.  His finish time of 2:09:02 was a Trials record, despite the fact that he lost at least half a minute in the final miles celebrating his victory.  Hall also ran 2:08:24 at London in his debut last April, a USA debut record.

Wanjiru, the world record holder for the half-marathon, made his marathon debut a memorable one with his course record 2:06:39 at Fukuoka last month.  The 21 year-old, who runs for the Japanese Toyota Kyushu corporate team, must be considered a favorite for victory in London, despite his relative lace of experience at the distance.  He was the #10-ranked marathoner in the Race Results Weekly marathoner rankings for 2007.

"I am delighted that these two highly talented young marathon runners will be part of the London Marathon story in 2008," Bedford said through a media release.  "We have assembled one of the best ever fields for the race this year and the competition will be as fierce as ever, but I am sure Sammy and Ryan will be among the main contenders as the athletes approach the finish line in The Mall."

By virtue of winning the Trials race, Hall has already been selected for his country's Olympic team.   Kenya has not named their team yet, but one of Wanjiru's coaches, Dr. Gabriele Rosa, told RRW at last month's Honolulu Marathon that Wanjiru would like to run in the Olympic Games.  The men's Olympic Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, August 24, the final athletics event of the Beijing Olympics.

The Flora London Marathon is part of the World Marathon Major series.  In the 2007/2008 points standings, neither Hall nor Wanjiru have a place on the leaderboard, having yet to score any Majors points.  Martin Lel, with victories at both London and New York in 2007, is the men's points leader with a perfect 50 points.


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