While watching a marathon is not nearly as much fun as running one – the women’s Olympic marathon turned out to be rather surprising. The commentators continually made reference to how good the weather was. I, for one, did not think that the weather was all that great. Temps in the 70’s with humidity levels at least that high or higher are not my idea of “good” conditions. Give me a 45-55 degree temp with humidity levels about the same and those are some great conditions to run in. However given what the temps could have been, it was good for Beijing! Thankfully there wasn’t any pollution hanging in the air – the lungs of all the runners would have struggled then.
Team USA’s best women’s marathon runner, Deena Kastor, pulled out early in the race due to a foot injury. She had won the bronze in Athens and was hoping for better this year. For most watching the race, the Chinese runner, Zhou Chunxiu was expected to be a major threat. However as one of the commentators put it, “They are running a pedestrian pace.” And for the first 10 miles the pace was relatively slow. One of my boys said I could have run with them and kept up – Maybe!
However it was the 38 year old Romania runner that took charge at the halfway point and went on to win the race – 22 seconds over her nearest competitor and became the oldest woman to win the Olympic gold. Her win gave my kids hope that I could run in the Olympics someday – they can keep hoping, I have more important things to do than spend my days training for Olympic gold!
This Olympics did seem to be the Olympics for the older athlete with 41 year old Dan Torres – America’s oldest swimmer winning medals, and one of the members of the yacht team is in his 50’s and some of the sprinters are in their 30’s which is old for running! Then there was the 33 year old Russian competing for the German team in Gymnastics and winning medals. It has been fun to watch these older athletes compete at the same level as the younger ones. Who says the Olympics is just for the young! The young at heart can compete just as well.
And yes I will be watching the Men’s Olympic Marathon on Saturday night!