Why Did So Many Favorites Bomb, Meet Molly Seidel's 25-Year-Old Coach, & More Odds & Ends from the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials - LetsRun.com

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We share 8 more thoughts about the crazy results at the 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta. Plus learn about the 10th place finisher who got engaged at the finish.
By LetsRun.com

March 3, 2020

The 2020 US Olympic Marathon Trials were three days ago, and the running world is coming down from the collective high that was race day in Atlanta. It's not just the runners who put a lot of effort into the Trials; coaches, sponsors, family, and yes, even media, invest a lot for one 26.2-mile race.

But before we leave the Trials behind completely, we decided to take one more crack at analyzing Saturday's results. Because three days later, they still don't make any sense. Molly Seidel really made the team in her debut? Molly Huddle, Emily Sisson, and Sara Hall all DNF'd? What exactly happened in Atlanta? Below, eight more observations on the 2020 Trials:

1) Putting Saturday's surprising results in context

How unpredictable were the results in Atlanta? Of the top six men's and women's vote-getters in LetsRun's Olympic Trials prediction contest, Galen Rupp was the only athlete to make the Olympic team. How the others fared:

Top men's vote-getters

Galen Rupp — 1st, 2:09:20 Jared Ward — 27th, 2:15:55 Leonard Korir — 4th, 2:10:06 Scott Fauble — 12th, 2:12:39 Bernard Lagat — 18th, 2:14:23 Jim Walmsley — 22nd, 2:15:05

(Jake Riley was 7th in voting, Abdi Abdirahman 8th)

Top women's vote-getters

Emily Sisson — DNF Des Linden — 4th, 2:29:03 Sara Hall — DNF Jordan Hasay — 26th, 2:37:57 Molly Huddle — DNF Kellyn Taylor — 8th, 2:29:55

(Sally Kipyego was 7th in voting, Aliphine Tuliamuk 8th, Molly Seidel 11th).

2) Why did so many favorites bomb?

Even the best runners have bad days in the marathon (okay — the best runners except for Eliud Kipchoge). In a 2+ hour race, many things can go wrong. But it's rare for so many of the top runners to struggle as mightily as they did in Atlanta. What were the odds that Jared Ward, Emily Sisson, Molly Huddle, Sara Hall, Jordan Hasay, and Scott Fauble would all either drop out or finish outside of the top 10?

So what happened? We're now two days after the race, and answers are starting to trickle…
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