Matt Llano Wins Big In Costa Rica

Matt Llano leads Abdi Abdirahman and Ryan Hall in the early miles of the Gatorade San Jose Half Marathon. Photo: Courtesy of Gatorade San Jose Half Marathon

The American defeated Olympians Abdi Abdirahman and Ryan Hall at the Gatorade Half Marathon in San Jose.

On Sunday, Matt Llano of Flagstaff, Ariz., showed why he is on track to become one of the next great American road racers, winning the second annual Gatorade San José Half Marathon in Costa Rica over U.S Olympians Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman.

Llano made his presence known from the get-go, gradually pulling away from his countryman throughout the race to win easily in 1 hour, 5 minutes. “It’s an excellent competition,” Llano said. “The weather was a bit hard but I kept my pace all the way to the finish Line. I’m very happy to win the race.”

Ryan Hall, last year’s winner and the race’s current record holder, recovered from some physical problems earlier in the week and came in second with a time of 1:06:13. “I felt much better than I expected,” Hall said afterward. “I have not been on my physical peak these days but I managed to feel good to compete.” Four-time U.S. Olympian Abdi Abdirahman rounded out the podium in 1:08:08.

The real star of the competition was Hall’s wife, Sara, who won the women’s race with a mark never before seen in Costa Rica. She finished at 1:13:00 to finish fourth overall.

“This has been one of my best races,” Sara Hall said. “I was very close to my personal record in this race. I’m very happy and satisfied.”

Top-3 Male Finishers

1. Matt Llano (USA), 1:05:00

2. Ryan Hall (USA), 1:06:13

3. Abdi Abdirahman (USA), 1:08:08

Top-3 Female Finishers

1. Sara Hall (USA), 1:13:00

2. Jenny Mendez (CR), 1:18:16

3. Norma Rodriguez (CR), 1:24:24

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