East African dominance
Hopefully,the trend is reversible, and we'll see a gradual rise in representation of these "minor" nations in the top 10 in distance events.
P.S. While we're on the topic of marathons, the world's best marathon runner title this year is a shoot-out between Tsegay Kebede and Sammy Wanjiru. Kebede actually wins on the basis of average time - his two marathons this year were 2:05:18 and 2:05:20, for an average of 2:05:19.
Wanjiru is not far behind - 2:05:10 and 2:05:41, an average of 2:05:25. However, Wanjiru won two major marathons - London and Chicago, both in record times, and beat Kebede in London. Since marathons are all about racing (especially the way Wanjiru runs them), Wanjiru is the undisputed number one. Kebede's great year, to follow up his Olympic medal and wins in Paris and Fukuoka in 2008, adds something to the world marathon scene, and he will certainly be one to watch in 2010. Given what happened in 2009, 2010 should be a magnificent year on the roads. As always, we'll cover it in great detail!
A final word on the African-European performance debate