Two-time champion Meb Keflezighi already has agreed to return to the Quad-City Times Bix 7.

Now, the race also will include Keflezighi's friend and training partner, who is even faster than he is.

Ryan Hall, who has three of the best seven marathon times run by an American, is coming to the 36th annual race through the streets of Davenport, scheduled for July 24.

"We're real excited about him being here," Bix 7 race director Ed Froehlich said. "Ryan Hall is the fastest American marathoner since Alberto Salazar, and that's something like 25 years ago. He's very, very fast. We're anxious to see how he does here on our course."

Hall, 27, actually is faster than Salazar. The only American to record better times in the marathon than Hall is Khalid Khannouchi, who won the Bix in 1997. Khannouchi was born in Morocco and later became a U.S. citizen . Hall is the fastest marathoner ever born on U.S. soil.

In his first marathon, the Bear Lake, Calif., native ran a time of

2 hours, 8 minutes, 24 seconds at London in 2007. He topped that the next year at London, clocking a 2:06:17.

He won the U.S. Olympic trials in 2008 and finished 10th in the marathon at Beijing. He also has been among the top four finishers in the Boston Marathon each of the past two years, breaking the American record for Boston in April.

Hall also holds the U.S. records in the 20k and half-marathon but, as Froehlich noted, he doesn't run that many conventional road races.

"That's why we feel very fortunate to have him here," Froehlich said. "It would be a real plus if he could win here."

The Bix 7 again will serve as the 7-mile national championship race . Keflezighi, who has been battling knee injuries, has won the race the other two times it was sanctioned as a national championship, in 2002 and 2009.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.