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|Subject: ||RE: Time for an Honest Assessment of Ritz's Performance|
Ritz is a GREAT runner in an era of superhuman performance.
Good god, think back 7 or 8 years ago to where the US was in the heirarchy of marathoning..and distance in general, and thank your lucky stars that Ritz and Hall came along in this event to take the place of Josh Cox and Co.
2:10 with cramps, 2:12 in the horror conditions of Bejing...pretty damned good if you ask me. Guy is still 5-7 years from peaking in this event and people want to skewer him for a bit of optimism?
I believe Ritz will yet deliver that elusive 2:07ish marathon if he stays with the event and runs smarter for HIS body, and I pretty much agree with much of what you said other than the peaking part. Elite marathoners don't peak in years so much as they do in sheer number of competitive efforts. Sure, there are exceptions to every rule, but Dr. Noakes was probably correct that the "body has only so many hard marathons" in it and that the road is littered with many hangers-on who peaked around marathons #4-6 as others have stated here.
Frankly, I personally think Hall will pay the price for running five hard marathons inside of two years, the last of which was on a course notorious for pounding the legs. I hope I'm wrong, but I'd be surprised (that's surprised, not shocked) if Hall ever visited the low 2:06 range again. If he steps aside and focuses on the track for awhile, then maybe he doesn't curtail his career.
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