Jsquire - I think you're right about El G. I can remember him losing a slow (for him) race to a "Dane" (another Kenyan transplant - not Kipketer). It was a race he should have won easily. Anyone is capable of a bad day or losing, but what stood out was that there was no rabbit for El G in that race. So I guess I've seen him run without rabbits outside of the games. Yeah, technically he had a rabbit in Sydney, but the guy did a crummy job, and El G was in effect his own rabbit, and not a very good one that day. Ngeny knew all he had to do was ... hang on. It's easier to move up on someone than hold them off a lot of the time. At his peak, Morceli seemed capable of winning any kind of race, as did most of the other greats. El G just never has presented that same image, at least not to me.
DJ, that remark about the dead spots in the track is a good point. When I go out on my run (stagger you could say) and hit the local synthetic track, at a hs(!) I always think back to my days chugging around on dirt, tracks with dunes, pits, dead spots, you name it. Good old days my ... foot.