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Run – I’ll do no more this walking

August 25, 2008

Now that the Olympics are over I’m not sure what to do with my extra time.  Right now I’ve found a nice routine with my running.  I’ve been running two days and then taking the third off.  I’ll run anywhere from 8-12km.  I have a long ways to go before I’ll be able to run faster paces but, the good thing is I can see improvements from week to week.  I’m building up so I can do the Run For the Toad on October 4th.  The Run for the Toad is a 25km (and 50km for those so inclined) trail race which receives great reviews by everyone who participates.  Right now I’m not even thinking of racing it hard, just going to get out there and enjoy the trails and atmosphere.

 

Kenenisa Bekele wins two gold medals, both in Olympic Record time, and is overshadowed by the great sprinting sensation, Usain Bolt.  Rightfully so since Bolt won three Gold medals, all in World Record times.  Bekele’s 5000m was very impressive as he ran his last 2000m in 4:56!  That was also his first gold medal at a major championships, which is surprising since he medalled at the 2003 world champs and set the world record, 12:37, in 2004.  Lesson: you can’t win if you don’t enter (ie. 2005 and 2007 WC).

Both marathon champs, Tomescu and Wanjiru, ran gutsy races and deserved their wins.  I was very fascinated with the men’s race because the pace was insane right from the line.  There were still 8 guys in the lead pack at 10km even though they split in 29:25 in the hot and humid conditions.  It was interesting to see who would stay back and pick up the pieces and who could hang on and for how long.  I would of liked to see Ryan Hall have a better race but it wasn’t in the cards that day.  Ryan and Dathan should be much more competitive come London.

Wanjiru is probably in world record shape and deserves this post race beer.

I really thought this was going to be Alistair Cragg’s time to shine in the 5000m.  It was Mottram in 2005, Tegencamp in 2007 and I thought Cragg for 2008 but, he must of been injured as he left the track early during the final.  Megan Metcalfe’s PB od 15:11 in the heats to qualify for the final was impressive, as was Dylan Armstrong’s PB to grab fourth place in the shot final. 

Gary Reed ran into bad luck in the name of Yusuf Kamel.  With 150m to go Gary tried passing Kamel on the inside and ran into him, having to slow down and go around Kamel the outside.  I didn’t really notice just how much that impeded Gary when I saw the race unfold, but on the replay it was evident that it cost him a great deal.  With a clear path I’m sure Gary would of medalled or been right in the thick of it. 

My last comment on exciting races to watch came off the track in the triathlon.  Watching Simon run with the leaders was awesome because I know how strong Simon is as a runner and have heard some of his track workouts going into the Olympics, simply amazing.  When he started to get dropped it didn’t look good at all because you could see his upper body tightening up.  I was yelling at the TV ‘drop your visor’ in which he did and he caught back to the lead pack of four. I then thought he should wait until 200m to go but he went earlier and started looking back a lot, which is basically telling the guy behind you “I’m really worried you’ll catch me ’cause I’m dying up here”.  Although I thought the gold could of been his in the last 300m if ran differently none of that would of been possible if Simon didn’t show tremendous tenacity when he bridged back that gap.  A very inspirational race to watch in terms of effort and guts.

And for all you medal junkies here are some cool findings from this article

What country wins? That with the most medals or with the most gold medals?  Here’s a way to combine both stats: Three points for a gold, 2 for a silver, 1 for a bronze

1. China – 223

2. United States – 220

3. Russia – 139

4. Great Britain – 98

5. Australia – 89

6. Germany – 83

7. France – 70

8. Korea – 67

9. Italy – 54

10. Japan – 49

Canada would come in with 33 points.

Other crumbs of medal-table trivia:

* By the IOC’s ranking system, Michael Phelps would have finished 10th, one place ahead of France, had he been entered as a country.

* This is only the second time since World War I that two nations have split the gold medal and total medal lead. The other instance was in the 1964 Tokyo Games, when the US won 36 gold medals and 90 overall medals, while the Soviet Union won 30 gold medals and 96 overall medals.

* Compared with its results from Athens, China improved by 19 gold medals and 37 total medals. By far, the greatest increase came in gymnastics, going from one gold, zero silvers, and three bronzes (1-0-3) to 11-1-6 – a gain of 10 gold medals and 14 total medals. No other Chinese sport saw a gain of more than three total medals.

* China maintained or increased its medal totals from Athens in every sport but three. In each of these three, the decrease was only one. Fencing (from 0-3-0 in Athens to 1-1-0 in Beijing), judo (1-1-3 to 3-0-1), and shooting (4-2-3 to 5-2-1). In each, it increased its gold-medal total despite the decline in total medals.

* Fifty-one percent of China’s medals were gold. That is only the third time that more than half of overall leaders’ medals were gold. The others instances were the Soviets in 1972 and the Americans in 1952.

* Fifty-eight percent of American medals came from swimming (31), gymnastics (10), and track and field (23). After those three, America’s best sports by total medals were shooting and fencing, with six apiece.

* In no sport but swimming and track and field did the US win more than two gold medals. China won more than two gold medals in seven sports: badminton (3), diving (7), gymnastics (11), judo (3), shooting (5), table tennis (4), and weightlifting (8).

* There were six medal sweeps: three for the US (men’s 400 meter dash, men’s 400 meter hurdles, and women’s saber), two for China (men’s and women’s singles table tennis), and one for Jamaica (women’s 100 meter dash).

* Of the countries that won more than 10 medals, two won all their medals in one sport. Kenya’s 14 medals and Jamaica’s 11 medals all came in track and field.

* Of the countries that won more than 20 medals, none is more dependent on one sport than Australia: 20 of its 46 medals (43 percent) came from swimming.

* Eighty-seven countries won a medal, surpassing the record of 80, set in 2000.

* Five countries won their first medal: Togo, Mauritius, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Bahrain.

* Three countries won their first gold medal: Panama, Mongolia, and Bahrain.

* Armenia won six medals, all of them bronze. Cuba won 24 medals but only two golds.

And if you didn’t see this guy kicking the ref…

…here’s the video http://vinovo.magnify.net/video/Angel-Valodia-Matos-Cuban-Tae

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