New York City Marathon profiles

Nov 2, 2007 - 5:28 AM By Simon Lewis Special to PA SportsTicker

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Below are six runners to watch in the U.S. Olympic Trials Men's Marathon:

Abdi Abdirahman

Known to friends and fans alike as "Abdi", the Eritrean-born runner is a three-time USA 10,000-meter champion, two-time Olympian and three-time IAAF World Championship competitor at that distance. He has progressed in the marathon from a 2:17:09 debut in New York City in 2004, to a fifth-place 2:11:24 there the following year before taking fourth-place last year in Chicago in 2:08:56.

Alan Culpepper

Looking to qualify for his third Olympic Games and a second in the marathon, Culpepper arrived in Athens having won the U.S. Trials in Birmingham, Alabama, and left the Greek capital having finished 12th in the main event. His personal best of 2:09:41 came back in 2002, on his marathon debut in Chicago Marathon and he has since finished fourth in 2005 and fifth in 2006 at the Boston Marathon.

Ryan Hall

The USA 20K record holder since October 2006, Hall four months later took apart the American half-marathon mark that had stood for 22 years when he clocked 59:43 in Houston. His first marathon, in London this April, was just as memorable as Hall timed in at 2:08.24, a faster debut than any other American.

Meb Keflezighi

A runner-up in the New York City Marathon just weeks after becoming the Olympic silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Games, when Keflezighi emulated Frank Shorter's second in Montreal in 1976. Keflezighi has been the pre-eminent American marathoner over the last four years, despite still not having won over the distance.

Khalid Khannouchi

The American and two-time former world record-holder in the marathon with a time of 2:05:38, Khannouchi is the only person ever to run sub-2:06 three times. He is also the only American to have run under 2:08. No stranger to victory, Khannouchi won four times at the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon titles and also in London in 2002.

Brian Sell

The Olympic Trial in 2004 was a defining moment for Sell, who had led the race in Birmingham, Alabama between the seventh and 21st miles only to slip back to 12th place at the finish line.

Sell finished ninth at the 2005 World Championships Marathon in Helsinki, and the following spring finished fourth in Boston in a personal best 2:10:55. That time came down again, by eight seconds, when he finished sixth in Chicago in 2006.

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