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Posts Tagged ‘women’s olympic marathon’

The leaders in the women's race, coming off Mile 5 along Memorial Drive.

For some reason, I didn’t get any photos of the men’s race. My friend @tejasrunnergirl took a fantastic one of their butts, which you can view here (along with her fantastic blog report of being my primary support crew at the Houston Half-Marathon.) Do click through and observe the wondrous spectacle that is the rear view of male marathoners.

The women, turning into their first out and back along Waugh Drive, about a quarter mile short of Mile 7.

The women pulling away from Mile 13 along Memorial Drive, you can pick out Kara and Janet Cherobon-Bawcom (5th place finisher)

Desiree Davila, Shalane Flanagan, and Kara Goucher crank into Mile 22 along Memorial Drive

Deena Kastor, heading up Waugh Drive with about 3.5 miles to go. She would finish 6th.

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I’d set three different reminders for myself about the Women’s Olympic Marathon, so I would be sure to not miss a minute of coverage. As if I could forget! Even Husband had the schedule burned into his brain, since I called dibs on the TV for this Saturday night (and next Saturday, for the men’s) weeks ago. (Yes, we only have one TV. Cool, right?) My friend TS, the woman I met when Deena, Magda and Blake came to sign autographs at Central Park in June, had since moved to London for work (lucky bitch) but we’d vowed to BlackBerry each other throughout the marathon to compare US and UK coverage. She started the marathon countdown a week ago, god love her.

After my 8-mile tempo run, and hours of restless puttering, Husband took pity on me and we went to Wilkes-Barre to catch an afternoon showing of Batman: The Dark Knight. A fantastic movie, my only complaint being Christian Bale was shirtless in only one scene. On the way home we played “Who’s Hottest to You?” For me, Clive Owen trumped Bale and Johnny Depp, and Husband settled on Natalie Portman over Pam Anderson and Scarlett Johanson.

We quickly slapped together some dinner, and I planted myself in front of the television. TS and I started emailing frantically back and forth — Can you see Deena? Oh there’s Blake on the right! Liz Yelling is still leading. Please don’t mock me when I reveal to you: I cried for Deena when she had to drop out due to a foot injury at the 5k. Not sobbing, but tears of shock, disappointment, and sympathy. I wanted to hug her, but instead I commiserated with TS, who was just as broken-hearted as I was. (This morning, reports confirm she broke her foot.) Huge wishes to Deena for a swift recovery and return to form.

But, the race went on, and we rooted for Blake, and Magda, who dropped out somewhere between 15K and 20K with a knee injury. Again, NBC coverage sucks — I had no idea until I read that this morning; I clearly have givne them too much credit for at least covering our US atheletes. At some point, TS emailed saying that Liz Yelling had taken a tumble and had a huge bruise; again, we never even saw that here. When Constantina made her break, I was thrilled–someone had to do it, and Constantina Tomescu-Dita provides plenty of reasons to root for her. First, she’s 38, the second-oldest woman in the field that day. Also, she’s had a splendid career, winning Chicago in 2004 and coming in second after Deena in 2005 (if you’ve seen Spirit of the Marathon, you’ll recall that gutsy finish), but never quite getting that first-class reputation. I got choked up again when Constantina entered the Bird’s Nest Stadium, hearing the roar go up from the crowd, her blowing kisses. Catherine “the Great” Ndereba summarily dismissed Chinxiu Zhou when she made her move for silver; I swear Ndereba made it look so easy to outkick that Chinese woman around that track, as if she were swatting a fly, I wondered why she hadn’t tried to catch Constantina.  Blake Russell finished in 2:33:13, well within the top half of the field. I can’t find video yet, but if you fast-forward through the shots of Paula crying, you’ll still see a few images of the marathon. NBC has posted official results and split times. And I really like Burfoot’s opining about champions, injuries, and class acts (although he doesn’t himself use that term).

Even though it was only 10 PM, I went straight to bed, exhausted from my tempo run and needing a solid eight hours before my 16 this morning. After watching the women’s marathon, I was even more excited than usual for my Sunday long run. It was so relaxing, slowing down the pace, it feels like I’m misbehaving. I ran up Route 940 (yet again; my creativity has failed me here in the Poconos) all the way to the on ramp for I-380, then turned around and came back. When I started, the car thermometer said 55 degrees; by the time I’d returned, it said 76. My 10:25 pace felt just right, and I completed the approximately 16 miles in 2:46:37, imagining Constantina the whole way.

Curiosity is starting to get the better of me: how well will I run at the Queens Half in a month?

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