Sunday, August 17, 2008
Tomescu-Dita, Flat-out Fast
That women's Olympic Marathon sure had a Chicago flavor. In addition to Beijing champ Constantina Toemscu-Dita of Romania and runner-up Catherine "The Great" Ndereba of Kenya, both past winners at the LaSalle Bank (now Bank of America) Chicago Marathon, Great Britain's Paula Radcliffe, running with a whole lot of pain, and American Deena Kastor, an early casualty to a foot injury, also claim Chicago titles on their resumes. Radcliffe, in particular, got a lot of TV time as she struggled to stay in the race. In fact, Ndereba and Radcliffe both set world records in Chicago, although neither stands today. Radcliffe holds the standard at 2:15:25, set in London in 2003. There's one more Chicago tie. Beijing's Olympic course was flat as a pancake. While the U.S. women qualified on a somewhat level course in Boston, what the heck was USATF doing having the men's trials on that ridiculously hilly layout in New York? I'd take flat-course specialist Khalid Khannouchi (4th in the hilly trials) in a heartbeat for this course. We'll find out how the men do next week. I think we can forget how our women did.