I can recall running through a snow storm one Christmas day and visualising running over Westminster Bridge to finish the London Marathon I was due to race in the following spring. A good form of motivation I thought at the time; whilst patting myself on the back that I was out training when my "rivals" were possibly glued to the couch watching the Great Escape.
But there can hardly be greater motivation to spur on GB distance runners through the winter than a place in the OLYMPIC MARATHON; especially when it will take place along the streets of London. GB runners will have unprecedented home support every inch of the way; unlike the spring event where the crowds are very thin in places. With stadium places at a premium, thousands of spectators will choose the marathon as THE event to watch without the need of a ticket. The atmosphere for the competitors will be unprecedented.
PAULA RADCLIFFE'S place would appear to be pretty secure after her 2:23:46 in the Berlin marathon
CLAIRE HALLISSEY'S run of 2:29.27 for 6th place in this month's Chicago marathon. U.S. based Claire certainly has made a claim for her place as one of 3 , hopefully, in the Olympic event with just Radcliffe and Jo Pavey above her in the rankings.
JO PAVEY is next to play a hand in the game with an outing this Sunday in the NEW YORK CITY MARATHON; no doubt hopeful she can improve on her debut 2:28 in this year's London. She states she went off a tad too fast in her first marathon (been there!) and struggled from 18 miles but feels the tougher N.Y course will work against a P.B. Whatever the time it'll standher in good stead and no doubt be a reasonable pay day.
We can see how she fairs on EUROSPORT 2 LIVE at 2 p.m.
Hopefully she can stay in touch long enough to feature in the coverage.
MARA YAMAUCHI, who has yet to record a qualifying time and LOUISE DAMEN , who has, will no doubt be glued to the couch as well plus several ladies just over the 2: 30 at a good time for UK female distance running. Including LIZ YELLING, recovering from her 2:34.58 last week in the Frankfurt Marathon. She'll need to improve to make the team.
Seems to me the solution is quite simple. Do what the Americans do and have a trial race. Their 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trial race though is Houston in January. Perhaps London in the Spring would be considered by many as too late for it to be used as a GB trial race. In my experience I think there is enough time to recover after London and we have had Olympic trials in the past.
And, finally, ref. U.S. distance running just noticed this in Athletics Weekly......
LOS ANGELES OCT 30 Womens Half Marathon....(behind Deena Kastor)
Linda SOMERS-SMITH 75.17
( World Record for a W50)