I'm not the brother's keeper but to me it seems he's talented, tough, experienced, trains hard -- nad runs some pretty decent mileage for a working family man -- and has been relatively free of injuries. And because he's got a fallback income, he can be longer-term-oriented. He also seems to be a [pretty smart racer who really knows himself, his competitors, and the externalities (course, weather, etc) -- all of which can de leared from watching him in the tape of the 2001 BAA Boston Marathon.
But more importantly IMO, I get the feeling -- just a feeling, he's not my penpal or anything -- that he's "committed" -- that he'll work his a-- off out of ardor to do well or fear of f---ing up -- because the guy's known some real highs (such as winning 2000 USOT) and some real lows (such as DNFing 1996 USOT) -- and in general, guys who have experienced both tend to get greedy for the former and petrified of the latter. Makes for some good mental fuel for daily training, and for motivation when the going gets tough on race day.