Saturday, August 16, 2008

Beijing Marathon #1

Less than three hours now until marathon number one of the Olympics kicks off and I can't wait. Will Paula Radcliffe walk away from Beijing with the medal that she deserves as in my opinion the greatest female marathon runner ever? If she is she's going to have to battle through the pain barrier completely...

Since the stress fracture that should of had her off training for 12 weeks (she was back within 8) she hasn't been pounding the roads. Instead all her training has taken place on treadmills, bikes and water.

The various ariticles in this mornings papers after day one of the track and field gave me goose bumps. Some great performances by Irish athletes yesterday and hope for more to come over the next week has meant that this could be one sleep deprived young man over the coming week. The ladies marathon kicks off at 12.30am (my time). Then tomorrow the Irish action on track starts at midday. Somewhere between all this I have to fit in a 15 mile training run... This is going to be fun.

I'll leave you now with a quote from Ger Hartmann in today's Irish Times regarding Paula Ratcliffe and her marathon attempt. My fingers are crossed as I head off to lie down for a few hours in preperation for this epic race.

"There is no going back for Paula. The significant factor is that she is totally blinkered and in almost a surreal zone. There is no doubt in her mind nor any hint of 'what if?'. She is akin to a verteran soldier going to war for the forth time and having confidence and resolve, knowing whatever the consequences she wants to be in the thick of it and while she knows it is stacked with grenades, she is will to pit herself against fellow competitors and the elements, to determine her Olympic fate. 5th, 4th, DNF, what now? She will intrigue us and have near nervous wrecks as we run every step of the way, willing her on."
- Ger Hartmann
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