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so who's No. 1 in the marathon?

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  • so who's No. 1 in the marathon?

    WR vs. Olympic title

  • #2
    Geb. Undefeated, WR, and one hell of a supporting time.

    Notably, Wanjiru took a defeat, and several of the best (including
    Geb) were missing in Beijing. (Generally, the OGs are less important
    in the Marathon than in other events.)

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    • #3
      Re: so who's No. 1 in the marathon?

      Originally posted by gh
      WR vs. Olympic title
      It's not easy. Especially given that this is the second time Geb's gone under 2:05 this year. As astonishing as Wanjiru's run in Beijing was, I'd lean towards Geb. Two major victories, no losses, running under 2:05 and then 2:03:59.

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      • #4
        I'd vote for Geb, too, but could accept Sammy getting the nod. In this event, you're absolutely comparing apples to oranges, particularly in an Olympic year. It's a highly subjective call...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by imaginative
          Geb. Undefeated, WR, and one hell of a supporting time.

          Notably, Wanjiru took a defeat, and several of the best (including
          Geb) were missing in Beijing. (Generally, the OGs are less important
          in the Marathon than in other events.)
          I was actually thinking the opposite - that this year's Olympics were actually one of the most stacked in a very long time. You had most of the fastest runners from the last year or so all in the race, which is a rarity. Then again I'll admit I haven't done a side-by-side comparison of the exact depth of past Oly fields. But just looking at the field this year - Wanjiru, Lel, Goumri, Hall, Baldini, the Ethiopians, Rothlin, Gharib, Bouramdane, Ramaala, that's deeper than London.

          I think TFN also puts a weight on how deep your competition is, so even though Geb ran the two fastest times ever this year, Wanjiru's races were probably the two deepest this year. I guess it comes down to what you value more - fast times, or depth of competition. I think this year it should go to Wanjiru by a hair (as much as I am a Geb fan).

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          • #6
            Re: so who's No. 1 in the marathon?

            Originally posted by trackhead
            Originally posted by gh
            WR vs. Olympic title
            It's not easy.
            It certainly isn't. Wanjiru seems to be the wave of the future -- his OG race was stunning.

            But having to choose between achievement and potential, the answer (this year) seems obvious.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kuha
              I'd vote for Geb, too, but could accept Sammy getting the nod. In this event, you're absolutely comparing apples to oranges, particularly in an Olympic year. It's a highly subjective call...
              I think your post about sum's it up. I am starting to go back and forth between Geb and Wanjiru. I think if Wanjiru had won London, it would be easier for me to give the #1 ranking to him.

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              • #8
                1 1 1 » Gebrselassie, Haile (ETH) M35 02:03:59 02:03:59
                2 1 10 » Kwambai, James (KEN) MH 02:05:36 02:05:36
                3 1 2 » Kamathi, Charles (KEN) M30 02:07:48 02:07:48
                4 2 97 » Kipchumba, Mariko (KEN) M30 02:09:03 02:09:03
                5 2 9 » Ademasu, Mesfin (ETH) MH 02:12:02 02:12:02

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                • #9
                  Can I wait until after Berlin 2009 world championships before making my pick? :P

                  I *really* hope both Wanjiru and Gebreselassie stay injury free and will participate next year.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by joeltetreault

                    I was actually thinking the opposite - that this year's Olympics were actually one of the most stacked in a very long time.
                    It is quite possible that you are right, and certainly Beijing should
                    carry a greater weight than a Marathon that was less deep. My point
                    was rather that, unlike most other events, an olympic Marathon is not
                    automatically heads-and-shoulders above other competitions in inherent
                    value. A good comparison could be tennis, with four Grand Slam
                    tournaments and the Olympics.

                    If, hypothetically and in contrast, Bolt would have gone for the 400m
                    only, and finished sixth, and Powell or Gay had taken the 100m title,
                    I would have been much more likely to agree with ranking the olympic
                    gold winner above the 9.72 WR holder. (Note that we would not have
                    known how awesome Bolt was in this scenario.)

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                    • #11
                      As of today, the WRs having been taken to the extreme, I think WR easily beats Olympic gold (in any mature event).

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mikli
                        As of today, the WRs having been taken to the extreme, I think WR easily beats Olympic gold (in any mature event).
                        yeah, but a WR on the roads has way too many variables vs. on the track/field. In my opinion it is a dead heat.

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                        • #13
                          Either choice makes sense, and the reasons could be understood on either side. While a vote for Geb seems clear, at this point, I would vote for Wanjiru, bc I do think the OG marathon does matter more than a major victory, and in this case even a WR. So, I would disagree with the sentiment expressed above that the OG marathon is comparable in value to OG tennis. I would suggest, rather, that the OG marathon is where much marathon history is made -- it is an ultimate grand slam event in marathon running. But that's just my sense of things, and I could see the vote for the WR, too.

                          It is worth noting, however, that this OG marathon was one of the deepest marathon fields in history, which is one measure of its value amongst long-distance runners: 28 entrants with sub-2:09 PB: [email protected]:05, [email protected]:06, [email protected]:07, [email protected]:08. One can always wish that even more great runners would have been in the field, but however one looks at it, that was a great group of runners.

                          Moreover, I would vote for Wanjiru in part for the way in which he demolished this very deep field, and by the way, demolished the OG record.

                          Both Wanjiru's victory at the OG and Geb's victory today are history making. I just happen to think the history that was made in Beijing is of slightly more importance, even than the history made today by Geb.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I love Geb, have done since 1992 World juniors when the Kenyan karate chopped him.... however he chose not to do the Olympics because he thought conditions would be too tough.... and he was right, conditions were pretty terrible, but one guy smashed the olympic record by nearly 3 minutes in those conditions and in my very humble opinion, Sammy rates above Geb this year.

                            Cannot wait to see them head to head in the future!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by skyin' brian
                              Originally posted by mikli
                              As of today, the WRs having been taken to the extreme, I think WR easily beats Olympic gold (in any mature event).
                              yeah, but a WR on the roads has way too many variables vs. on the track/field.
                              Absolutely agree. Races on the track have some variables, but we're usually in a position to say, "This altitude/wind speed/track length/etc is -- permitted, but this other is not."

                              For the marathon (as with road racing in general), it's practically ALL variables. There's a flat, straight causeway across Lake Pontchartrain (LA). It's about the marathon distance, and I remember years ago some talk about staging a race there -- when winds were expected to be most "favorable." Don't know what ever came of that, but it illustrates why track and road racing should not be confused.

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