Sandoval was sixth in 2:12:41. Then he sat with his wife, Mary, and their baby and couldn't stop deep, hot tears. "I felt good," he said, "but getting onto that bridge.... It's so hard, so hard to take when I knew I was better. With a few more races [he had only two this season], a little more time...." If anyone on earth deserves to stand at the start of an Olympic marathon, Anthony Sandoval does. Now he never will.
"There must have been six people who thought, who knew that they'd make it," said Pfitzinger, a mild and thoughtful man. He hadn't been able to bring himself to speak to Sandoval. "It's too bad. It is exactly what this race is about, but it's too bad."