Even though at this point in time Flanagan and Davila seem to have separated themselves from the other seven or eight contenders, nothing is a sure thing in the Marathon.
Pure talent, yes Flanagan has to be one of the top three, however she is short on Marathon experience and anything can happen on race day.
Davila seems to be another sure pick for the top three and she seems like a very intelligent runner. However if the pace is slow and it comes down to a 5k race at the end anything could happen.
Goucher certainly has the talent and the credentials but her injuries of late make her an uncertainty.
I would not count out Kastor, even with her age as she could be in the mix. Let us not forget that her 2:19 PR is in another universe for the entire rest of the field.
Hastings is running very well and could be in the hunt late in the race as well.
Lewy has been running very well in 2011 and could be a major factor.
Rhines is running with no pressure as she will also try for a spot in the 5000 and/or 10000. She could be dangerous if the pace is slow early on, and she has a wealth of experience.
Others who could be in the hunt, that have run in the 2:29-2:30 range: Moody, Grandt, and Rothstein.
Burla has run a 70 minute 1/2 and could be prepared for a big PR in the Marathon.
Russell has run a 71 minute 1/2 recently and has huge experience.
Huddle is entered, her talent at 5000/10000 has to be respected, you never know what could happen on race day.
I am leaving out other runners that should be mentioned. The bottom line is that it will be an awesome race.
Very hard to predict.
There may be a second tier runner or two that will gamble early and take the pace out from the start, this could change the dynamics of the top contenders.
I just wish these Trials were televised live. I must be dreaming though because the Networks are too busy with NASCAR, Football playoffs and Golf.