Watching the Berlin Marathon this morning and observing how the African runners seams to have an advantage over US distance runners leads me to the following conclusion. (Flanagan, Shalane (USA)02:21:14 Congratulations!)
Reason most of the Top US Distance Runners don't win:
1. Not enough rest - Most African runners (including the Top ones)live a very simply life. They get up early in the morning for their tempo run, go home, shower and sleep. Most do not go on interviews, run charity organization, signing book deals and so forth. (In the 2009 NYC Marathon, Ryan Hall coach suggested that one reason Hall did not do well in that race was because of all the sideshows (interviews, appearances, flying to Japan for customize shoes and so forth).
2. Too Much Stress and pressure to compete - Most African runners do not have the contractual obligations as do the American Runners. The African runners earns most of their money from appearance fees and winnings. The top US runners have huge contracts with pays them more than their appearance fees and winnings; this requires them to maintain their top standing in order to keep their sponsors.
I think if Shalane, Kara, Meb, Hall and the others just relax and rest up a bit, they would be able to compete on a top level with the African Runners. Congratulations to Kimetto, Dennis (KEN)WR 08:02:57 , Tsegaye, Tirfi (ETH) 02:20:27 and Flanagan, Shalane (USA)02:21:14