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  • Marathon Weekend: Athens and New York City


    11/04/07

    (ATR) Kenyans dominate the jubilee running of the classic marathon in Athens, while the road race in New York is overshadowed by the death of an Olympic hopeful.

    Ryan Shay was rushed to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City Saturday after he collapsed during the trials. (Getty Images)
    U.S. Runner's Death a Stunner for New York Marathon

    Ryan Hall won Saturday’s U.S. Olympic team trials with a record 2:09:02, but celebrations were muted because of the death of 28-year-old Ryan Shay.

    Shay, a five-time national distance champion, collapsed near the five and a half mile mark and later was pronounced dead at an NYC hospital. Initial autopsy results are inconclusive.

    Shay had been diagnosed with an enlarged heart, his father told the Associated Press. Shay went through medical testing last spring and was cleared to run.

    USOC CEO Jim Scherr offered condolences to Shay’s family, friends and USA Track and Field.

    The top three finishers at the trials qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    Radcliffe Wins Second NYC Race
    Paula Radcliffe of Britain won the New York City Marathon with a time of 2:23:09. She won the 2004 event. The race was her first marathon since winning the 2005 world title in Helsinki and giving birth to her daughter in January.
    Paula Radcliffe won her second NYC title with a 2:23:09 finish. (Getty Images)


    The race attracted nearly 40,000 runners. Points toward the women’s World Marathon Major’s title were up for grabs as the title is based on race results from the last two years. The $1 million prize is split between the winners of the men’s and women’s titles.

    Though she finished second in 2:23:32, the finish was good enough for Gete Wami of Ethiopia to claim the $500,000 World Marathon Majors title.

    Martin Lel of Kenya won the men’s race with a time of 2:09:04. Moroccan Abderrahim Goumri took second place and Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa came in third.

    Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya had enough points to clench the men’s Major’s title prior to the NYC Marathon.

    For the first time ever, NBC provided live online coverage of the New York City Marathon and Saturday’s U.S. Olympic Team trials. The race was available for $5, while the trials were available for free on www.nbcsports.com/marathon and www.nbcolympics.com.

    Records Set in Athens
    Record-setting finishes for both the men and women Nov. 4 in Athens for the 25th Athens Classic Marathon.

    The route follows the classic course supposedly taken by the ancient Greek warrior Phidippides from the coastal village of Marathon to Athens. It’s the same route used for the Athens Olympics.

    The field of nearly 8,000 runners, 3,000 more than last year, also set a record.

    Benjamin Kiprotich of Kenya ran 2:14:40 and Svetlana Ponomarenko of Russia, the women’s pre-race favorite, set the new women's mark at 2:41:01.

    Kenyan runners took the first six places on the men’s side. Hosea Kimutai Kiptauni was just 23 seconds shy of first, while last year’s winner Henry Tarus came in third.

    Organizers of the marathon say they are hoping to raise the profile of the event internationally in the years ahead. Future scheduling will aim to avoid a clash with the New York City Marathon.

    Delegates at the Classic Marathon’s starting point in Marathon, Greece. (Francis Kay/Marathon-Photo.com)
    Athens History and Future: First-ever AIMS Marathon Symposium
    As part of the efforts to boost the image of the Athens Marathon, a symposium was organized on the eve of the marathon by the IAAF, The Association of International Marathons and Road Races (AIMS), the city of Marathon and SEGAS, the Greek athletics federation.

    The panel of experts included Pierre Weiss, IAAF secretary general.

    The AIMS Marathon Symposium aims to encourage close co-operation and exchange of views on issues of mutual interest which will assist organizers in their constant efforts to improve their races, according to IAAF.



    With reporting by Laura Grundy, laura@aroundtherings.com.

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