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Perfect Timing for Top Three, 2008 Boston, MA

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In one of the best running cities and home of the storied Boston Marathon, the top three women at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon shared two common themes. One, they improved their places from the 2004 Trials and two, it was the first time at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon that the top three finishers resided in the same state (California).

With a closing flourish, 2004 Trials runner-up and race favorite Deena Kastor won the race in 2:29:35, her 25th USA, third national marathon title overall and the second fastest time in women’s Trials history behind Colleen De Reuck’s 2:28:25 at St. Louis in 2004. Near runaway winner and eventual runner-up Magdalena Lewy Boulet set a personal record with her 2:30:19, while Blake Russell redeemed her rash 2004 Trials breakaway by earning the final coveted U.S. Olympic team berth in 2:32:40.

Running icon Joan Benoit Samuelson, 50, the first women’s U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon and Olympic Marathon champion in 1984, finished 90th overall in 2:49:08, a new U.S. 50-54 age group record. The running legend and New England native, who fittingly finished the race wearing a Boston Red Sox baseball hat like she did for her first Boston win in 1979, called the crowds “amazing” and congratulated Kastor, Lewy Boulet and Russell on their performances.

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