Sunday, April 20, 2008

Women's Olympic Marathon Trials 2008

The marathon is truly an amazing event. There is so much time for so much to happen that even favorites are not certainties. I went in to Boston to watch the women’s trials earlier today and I came away awed and with a deep found respect for the event and the runners. So much can happen in a race so long, both good and bad, it almost seems that it is the cruelest and most unpredictable of all running events.

Running can be a sport of privilege where some people are given every advantage—altitude houses, anti-gravity treadmills, expensive trainers and experts, traveling to training camps all over the place. It can be a sport of dishonesty, where lately it seems that most of the very best have gotten there by cheating. But running is also one of those rare sports where occasionally plain old talent, hard work and planning pay off.

This is why I was most happy to see Blake earn that Olympic spot. Blake is one of the toughest, most persistent runners I’ve ever encountered. Mike likes recounting a time over 6 years ago doing a workout with her when after finishing about 5 miles worth of hard intervals on the track, she kept asking to do more (and faster) intervals. Mike asked Sev what pace and Sev kept saying…I don’t know, just follow Blake…I think their last mile was in 4:40 and Sev finally convinced her to stop. Although I haven’t seen Blake or Sev in some time, I am truly happy that she made it. It’s nice seeing good things happen to good people…finally!

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