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December 3, 2017

Sara Hall Wins U.S. Marathon Title in Dominant Fashion

Running her second marathon in five weeks, Sara Hall crossed the finish line of the California International Marathon in 2:28:10 to become the 2017 U.S. marathon champion. The race, however, was decided nearly 20 miles earlier, after Hall crossed the 10k mark almost a minute and a half clear of the chase pack — a gap that continued to widen as the race went on.

Hall, 34, was coming off a fifth place performance in the Frankfurt Marathon, where she recorded a new personal best of 2:27:21. Earlier in the year, she ran 2:28:26 in the Tokyo Marathon. In a sport where recovery is key and athletes tend to err on the side of caution, Hall placed a lot of faith in her ability to recover from these races and has now strung together three of the top six American performances in 2017, capping it off as a national champion.

On a clear Sacramento morning, Hall went through 10k in 34:34, while a chase pack of seven other women came through in 35:51. By the half marathon mark, the gap had increased to 2:30, as Hall was at 1:13:38 and a group consisting of Kaitlin Goodman, Samantha Bluske, Roberta Groner, and Carrie Dimoff passed in 1:16:07.

Dimoff, a mother of two based in Portland, Ore., ran her PR off of limited training. After the race, she told Citius Mag that the highest mileage week she had in her marathon prep was 65 miles.

Groner and Dimoff held off the rest of the chase pack to finish second and third, respectively. Groner, running for New York Athletic Club, ran a consistent race throughout and finished with six minute PR in 2:30:38. Dimoff also ran an enormous PR. Her 2:30:54 finish was almost seven minutes clear of her previous personal best.

As for the rest of the field, the women took advantage of a perfect morning and a net-downhill course. Over fifty women finished with an Olympic Trials qualifier, with 13 of them notching an Olympic ‘A’ standard.

After the race, Hall, Groner, and Dimoff were presented with huge commemorative “crystals” for their effort, and a cut of CIM’s biggest prize purse ever.

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