Sunday, 5 August 2012


 Not sure which part of the body is most sore. the old legs having run 42 miles this week or my right thumb which has been working overtime on the remote switching between BBC 1/  BBC 3 on digital and Eurosport on Sky.  Not to mention the RED button or the BLUE button.   No such problems for my mother who seems totally unaware that the Olympics is even taking place.
 I'm sure she's not unique but I would say the majority of the country are gripped and will be so for the rest of the week after last night's memorable, fabulous 3 athletics golds following 3 earlier in the day.
 The rowing medals will maintain a flow of youngsters to the sport as Helen Glover did switching from running but I think the sport which will see the greatest amount of growth will be cycling. Certainly if the number of groups, families and individuals ploughing up and down the canal towpath as I enjoyed a steady 8.5 is anything to go by.  A run in bright, hot sunshine. A complete contrast to the thunder and lightning which
put a damper on activities for this part of the country for late afternoon and this evening.
 I had the Women's Olympic Marathon on record of course to watch this afternoon and what an interesting race it proved.  Glad I didn't have any money on pre race favourite  MARY KEITANEY who I expected to blast away after the 73 minutes first half but faded to fourth.
I thought the British girls would be lifted to great things so a bit disappointing to first see MARA YAMOUCHI   drop out so early and CLAIRE HALLISEY  run the second half nearly five minutes slower than the first finishing in 2:35.39 (57th) But I suppose all things considered Freya Murray's 44th place in 2:32.14 was pretty commendable. Again a positive split 1:14.12 for the first half.
 In contrast several women showed that negative splits can be achieved and the marathon wall is a myth if preparation is thorough and well considered.  PETROVA ARKHIPOVA (Russia) motored through from 19th at half way to take the bronze and demonstrate that medals are not an East African monopoly.  GAMERA (Ukraine) similarly pulled through from 20th to 5th running 73.15 for the 1st half and 71.17 for the second.   FLANAGAN of U.S.A. dropped from 6th to 10th and seemed to struggle in the second half but in fact she too ran the second half faster just in front of teammate GOUCHER who came through from 16th to 11th.
 I hope some UK girls who don't feel comfortable on a bike(!) will note that today's winning time was nearly 8 minutes slower than a certain UK lady who sadly didn't make the start line.  It would be good to see PAULA RADCLIFFE recover and start racing regularly again at cross country, 5K and 10K and finally accept that her feet just can't tolerate the mileage required for world class marathon training.  

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