Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 Olympic Marathon Trials this weekend

I enjoy all things running. I especially love the Olympic Trials.  Even though there will only be three men and three women representing the U.S. at the Olympics it will be a great opportunity for many amateur runners to be on one of the worlds biggest stages.

In 2008 I was in Boston for the marathon but, it was also the site for the Women's Olympic trials. It was awesome to watch the last hour of the race unfold in downtown Boston. Magdalena Lewy Boluet was the rabbit for the race and she took off at a fast clip. Deena Kastor was the favorite to win the race, she had won a Bronze medal in 2004 in a performance that brought tears to my eyes. I like Deena Kastor a lot. She grew up in Southern California in Augora Hills, I knew her as Deena Drossin because most of the cross country course records and track records for distance running were held by Deena. She ended up catching Magdalena and winning the race overall.

 A month before the race  Runners World had done an article on the trials and it included a few lesser known runners such as Desiree Davila and Zoila Gomez. Desiree had been in the chase pack in 8th place, she eventually finished in 13th. Zolia ended up finishing in 4th after an amazing kick past Terra Moody.

I am an American but, I am of Latin decent.  I'm kinda of partial to Hispanic runners. I feel that we are often underrepresented in the running community. (I'm sorry to bring up race I hope I don't offend anyone.) I also got to witness Joan Benoit Samuelson race the trials. She got the loudest cheers. She is my definition of a "Rock Star" She ran a 2:51 that day. In case you didn't already know she won Olympic Gold in 1984 in Los Angeles. This was the first time the ladies were allowed to race the marathon distance at the Olympics.

24 years later she is still kicking ass and taking names.

I am especially excited for the women's marathon this year. We have one of the fastest fields ever and I hope it is an exciting race. My favorites are Desi Davila, Kara Goucher, and Amy Hastings.

Desiree Davila, just blew my socks off last year when she ran Boston. It was a gutsy and awe inspiring performance. She broke the American course record and she lost by the narrowest of margins. I watched it at my desk at work online and it was unreal.

Kara Goucher, she started racing the marathon in 2008. Her debut race was the New York City marathon and she placed 3rd. In 2009 she also came really close to winning Boston and placed 3rd again. In 2011 she was the 2nd American behind Desi at Boston with a PR of 2:24:XX. Not bad for having a baby less than 7 months earlier.

Amy Hastings, She is not as well know as the big dogs (Shalane, Kara, Desi) But she made her debut at the LA marathon in 2011 in monsoon conditions and ran a 2:27. That's faster than Shalane's debut marathon in NYC, and LA is just as hilly as NY. She ran a gutsy race and took second.
Here's a link to the race she ran last year in LA.

I'm bummed that they will not be showing the race live. They will be showing the Men's and Women's races later on that day on NBC Sports. However, I will glued to my computer on Saturday morning watching the Runner's World Blog page.

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