Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chicago 10-10-10

We here at which at Roocha have been dormant since the Spring. This has been a year of actully training for a marathon rather than just commenting. But in the mist of a great marathon season it would be a shame not to have a few lines added to this blog.

What a great race to watch. I would say Tsegaye and Sammy Wanjiru at this moment are the top two marathon runners in the world. What a battle! Tsegaye made a few tactical mistakes and I am convinced he could have won this race. On any given day he can beat Wanjiru and Wanjiru can beat him. I look forward to many more such contests.

For me, the two takeaways from Chicago are that Tsegaye has been consistent at putting out very good performances at big races. In addition, he has shown that he can perform in hot weather conditions. At this moment I would say he has to be the top Ethiopian marathoner. The other takeaway is the emergence of Feyisa Lelisa among the elite of the elite. At 20 years old, barring injury, he will is a force to be reckoned with.

One can see the landscape for 2012 Ethiopian team changing a bit. Tsegaye's performance in London and Chicago as well as Feyisa Lelisa's emergence will put pressure on Haile Gebresillasie and Deriba Merge.

Deriba Merga brings a different dimension to the marathon and I am a big fan of his. Unfortunately, between his dramatic fades and his DNFs it's sometimes it's hard to take him seriously. Quittig Chicago will reinforce that caricature. In addition, young runner such as Bazu Worku, Chala Dechase have had better times than Deriba. There will be only three Olympic spots and if Deriba wants to be on the team he better come up with another big win.

Haile's Olympic spot is not a sure thing. He has the 4th best 2010 time behind Tsegay Kebede , Feyisa Lilesa and Bazu Worku. In addtion, Haile has avoided competition and has not won a big race other than Berlin. Many suspect he may not do well in a race as competative as today's Chicago marathon. To wipe out that reputation Haile needs to win the NY marathon.

I dream of Tsgaye and Haile in the same race. It could turn out to be a great race yet it could also be a disappointing race.