- The Washington Times - Monday, April 20, 2009

BOSTON — U.S. runners Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher placed third Monday in the Boston marathon — impressive finishes but short of winning for their country for the first time since 1985 as Goucher faded in the final yards.

Goucher, was in a three-way dash for the finish with about 800 yards to go before she was dropped by Salina Kosgei, of Kenya, and defending champion Dire Tune, of Ethiopia.

Kosgei finished first in 2:32:16, one second faster than Tune, at 2:32:17.

The last U.S. runner to win at Boston was Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach in 1985. The last U.S. male was Greg Meyer in 1983.

Hall finished in 2:09:40 after leading early in the race. The men’s winner was Deriba Merga, of Ethiopia, at 2:08:42. He was followed by Daniel Rono, of Kenya, at 2:09:32.

The 113 running of the marathon, the world’s oldest annual 26.2-mile race, was held in near perfect conditions — a cool, overcast day with temperatures in the high 40 and steady a tailwind from the northwest.

This year’s field included 26,268 registered runners, the second largest to the 38,708 entrants for the 100th running in 1996.

Hall, a baby-faced 26-year-old from Big Bear Lake, Calif., entered the race with the fastest time in the field, a superb 2:06.17 at London last spring.

Before Monday, Hall has run just three other marathons — his debut 2:08.24 in the 2007 London Marathon, a win at the U.S. Olympic trials in New York’s Central Park and a 10th-place effort at the Beijing Olympics last year.

He also is the first U.S. male to break one hour in the half-marathon and the second-fastest U.S. marathoner ever.

Goucher, 30, of Portland, Ore., moved up to the marathon distance shortly after competing in the 10,000 and 5,000 meters at the Beijing Olympics. Her debut 2:25.53 in New York City in November was nothing short of spectacular.

She is a 2001 University of Colorado graduate with a degree in psychology and a seven-time Division I All-American. She was born in Queens, N.Y., but grew up in Duluth, Minn. Goucher is married to professional runner and 2000 Olympian Adam Goucher. The couple trains with the Nike Oregon Project. Gouchers hobbies include cooking, reading, and making cards and scrapbooks.

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