Live Blogging by Willie
Good to see the Kenyans up front but WOW they are flying!
Through 3 miles and they are still running very fast. They keep saying how hot it is, I think in the 80's with some high humidity. That would kill me but I'm not a professional.
Pack is really thinning now and Ryan Hall is NOT in the lead pack. I know the pace is fast but they may have trouble making that distance up. The front runners may have to walk in order for the Americans to catch up.
Noticed it's sunny and no clouds or haze. Maybe the Chinese did a good job cleaning up the pollution for the Olympics.
Everyone is drinking. Not just pouring over their heads, they are really drinking. One guy (Spanish I think) is even carrying a water bottle. Have a feeling that means they will slow?
OK Ryan is carrying a water bottle also. Not a good sign. He looks tired and hot. He's 46 seconds off the lead pack. Hope that's his goal pace. Run your own race Ryan, not much else you can do. Hopefully the leaders will fade.
Couldn't care less about Mao's tomb. Glad he's gone. Move on NBC.
The leaders are on 2:04 pace. That's not totally crazy pace, no matter what Ed Eyestone is saying. 2:04 is doable even in hot conditions.
Forbidden city, again, I don't care. How many Chinese died building it for the emperor?
Ok ryan is looking good, nice form. 50 seconds off the lead now. His form looks very tight to me. His arm swing doesn't seem relaxed but I'm sure it is for him. I love to notice the differences in runner's forms. When I ran with Bill Rogers my first impression was that he ran like a chicken! He was up on his toes, his arms swung wide and he seemed to bounce. If he hadn't been the person who won more Boston Marathons than anyone, I would have given him some tips!
Did I tell you my aunt is from Big Bear California and knows Ryan Hall's father? I talked to her while I was home last week. She knows nothing of running but when I asked her about the Hall family from Big Bear, she immediately knew Mickey. She had no idea his son was running in the Olympic Marathon!
Should I know where Eritrea is? Where ever they are from they seem to be slowing. They seem to be looking back a lot. Found it on Google.
Mile 9 and finally Ed Eyestone is seeing the reality that one of these leaders might actually hang onto this pace and win!!! Shocking Ed, what an observation.
Lost the Spaniard and a couple others. We've got Ethiopia, Kenya, and Eritrea and Morocco up front. Ryan's over a minute behind. Ritz is ahead of him. Come on USA, keep going, hang in there!
They say that Ryan is catching "debris". I think they mean runners who are struggling. I wonder if I've ever been referred to as "debris"? I don't think I'd like it but I've felt like it sometimes. I'd still kick someone's ass for calling me that though.
Down to 5 in the lead pack. These guys are still moving fast. I haven't seen one of them take a Gu yet. What's up with that? Don't they know how great those things are? I take my E-Gel every 8 miles. They should try it. Just a suggestion.
This couch is comfortable. Those guys look tired. I need a wine break, be back in a minute. Mmmm good Zin. We're at mile 13 and I'm drinking. I should try that in a race sometime. Why not have a glass of wine at halfway?
Showing scenes from the 2004 marathon. Old boy ran out on the course and took out the leader! Holy crap that sucks. I wasn't running back then so I didn't see it. Guy still held on for 3rd though. That awesome, I love running. Hard to imagine my old life as a non-runner back then.
1:02:38 at the 1/2. WOW that's fast. The winner at the Parkersburg Half Marathon didn't run that fast. These guys have 13 more miles to run. I'm not sure I can even fathom that pace. Way beyond my mind's ability to relate. Wine still tastes good though.
My dog looks really excited. I think she's really into this race. I'll have to calm her down or she may explode.
I wonder what mind games these guys play? Do they get lost in thought or do they focus on the race? They seem to be looking back a lot still. Ritz is still ahead of Ryan. I really hope these guys slow. Ed thinks the leaders have slowed some. Numbers don't lie Ed, what pace are they running? Is it slower than the last mile? Come on Ed, give us some facts! Beginning to not like Ed.
Wine glass almost empty again. I'm running 12 miles tomorrow and I wonder if I should have another glass. I'll let you know what I decide. I wonder if these guys have problems with their nipples bleeding? Hey there's a shot from behind and that one guy pronates really bad! I've got something in common with him! We could be friends.
Now we have "carnage" on the course. I can relate to that term. I've been "carnage".
We've got a breakaway of 2 now at mile 18. Merga is in the lead and he looks strong. He hasn't seemed as tired as the rest and he has been pushing the pace for a while now. How come that freak from Athens can't come out and stop these guys? That would let Ryan and Ritz catch up. Another wine break, be back soon.
The Moroccan caught up again so there's 3 now. Ed's finally convinced himself one of these guys will medal. Really Ed, very insightful commentary. Am I picking on him too much? I'll blame it on the wine.
McDonald's commericial. Olympic sponsor, still makes me laugh. Should sponsor children's obesity clinics. That would be more reasonable.
20 miles. The race begins. Still have 3 up front and they are still flying. Mile 21 in 1:40. They will finish somewhere around 2:05 so that means they will run the last 5 miles in a little more than the time it takes me to run a 5K. Amazing. They must eat at McDonalds.
Ritz in 10th, Hall in 11th. They're on 2:10 pace. That's a great pace but I guess not against the African's. I suppose we don't have a chance at a medal. Maybe I was expecting too much. I really wanted to see the re-appearance of American distance running. I still think it's happening but it's on the small screen and not a red-carpet appearance.
Kenyan has broken away with 4 to go. Can't spell his name. I wouldn't have picked him a few miles ago. He looked tired. My wife did. I'm sure she'll remind me of it soon. She's never ran a marathon so her opinion was just a guess. Mine was an educated guess. Goes to show how much education helps! I'll go with woman's intuition every time.
OMG A COLLEGE FOOTBALL COMMERCIAL! I CAN'T WAIT! BRING ON THE BUCKEYE'S, SOONERS, MIZZOU TIGERS, AND MOUNTAINEERS.
Kenyan way ahead now. He looks great and hasn't slowed at all. They can see the Birdsnest now. The clock is about to cross 2 hours. All alone in the lead of the Olympic marathon. What a feeling that must be. I hope he takes it all in and remembers it. I know he needs money and running is his career but the moments in running are important. He will also be the first Kenyan to win the Olympic marathon. The world will never remember him but I bet his country will.
He's coming into the stadium. I have goosebumps for him! What a feeling. And the crowd goes wild!!! That's right people, he's a marathoner. He's amazing, he's special, he's doing something that you can't even imagine. Cheer for him. Give him glory, he has earned it. He's kicking now, he's running even faster than before! Where does he get the energy? 2:06:32! An Olympic record by almost 3 minutes! Give that man a beer.
Wait a minute, we could have a race for 3rd! Two Ethiopians are battling for it. Come on baby, make it a race! I think he's gonna get him! 26.1 miles down and the race is now on the back stretch of the track! He got him! He overtook him. What a race. Awesome. I love the marathon.
Ritz is in the stadium in 9th place. That's not bad at all. Ryan is behind him in 10th. Two American's in the top ten is great. Ritz ran a 2:11:58. Ryan ran a 2:12:32. Those are really good times. I'm so proud to have not one but two American's run in the top ten and with good times. Our distance running future looks good.
Thanks for listening