Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Meb Keflezighi's Secret Weapon Is Ryan Hall

Meb Keflezighi may have done three things to win the Boston Marathon, but American record-holder Ryan Hall did a fourth: hold everybody back.

LetsRun.Com, the dingy locker room of the running world, reports that after Meb's big break early in the race, Hall actively organized the other American men in the chase pack to not pursue, thereby allowing Meb more time to extend his lead.


Nick Arciniaga, seventh in the race, said, "Ryan just kept turning over to me, talking (to me and saying), 'Hey, don't push the pace. If they want to let those guys go, they are going to have work to catch back up to them. We are not going to help them out with that at all. If we want an American to win, this is how it's going to be done.'"

The "they" in the statement refers to the 14 other men, Kenyan and Ethiopian, who held marathon times much, much faster than Meb. Allowing them to dawdle let crucial moments pass as Meb extended his lead, which swelled to around 1 minute, 31 seconds.

"Ryan, he looked at both of us, and he was like, 'Let's give Meb a little bit of distance,'" said Craig Leon, 12th.

Just like in some of the big cycling races like Tour de France, it takes organization and communication between athletes and teams to go after the early breakaway. Hall, a former teammate of Meb's with the Mammoth Track Club, organized the American men to actively impede the process, contributing moments to Meb's five-second margin of victory. In this situation, every moment counted.


Hall would fade late into the race, finishing 20th and almost nine minutes behind Meb. He was unavailable for further comment, but confirmed the story through his agent.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter