2008 Women’s Olympic Marathon

2008 American Women Marathon Team
2008 American Women Marathon Team

Looking forward to the women’s marathon event this weekend at the Olympics. NBC claims they’ll cover it in Saturday primetime, which must mean there’s no more women’s beach volleyball. Even though Runner’s World doesn’t give our team much of a chance at medalling, I’d still like to congratulate Deena Kastor, Magdalena Lewy Boulet, and Blake Russell for making it to Beijing. We’ll be pulling for you all here in the states.

While pre-race analysts don’t give the American’s a chance to crack the top three, the conditions in Beijing may wreak havoc on the predictions and could act as an equalizer. Many of the competitors train in hot weather or at altitude, so the broiling Beijing sunshine shouldn’t phase them much during the run on the “pancake flat” course. But how in the world do you account for the smog-I mean, as the obsequious IOC calls it, the mist-the runners will have to endure? Have any of the athletes trained by smoking through a pack of cigarettes while running? Perhaps running through rush hour traffic would have been a better training choice than Big Bear Lake.

And speaking of how well the IOC has worked with the Beijing Olympic committee, nice job on siting the start of the marathon in Tiananmen Square. While we wouldn’t want to offend our Chinese hosts, they seem to have no problem placing the start of a major sporting event at the site of one of the worst state-sponsored mass murders in recent history. (Now, I wonder if this post will make it over the Great Wall of Chinese internet censorship.)

Click here for a video preview of the American’s chances in this weekend’s marathon along with a preview of the course.

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