During the first week of the Olympics, the British weather played to its reputation. Rain, wind, occasional sunshine followed by a shower.
So, as we were waiting for the women’s marathon to start we got drenched. Kind of. We were prepared with rain jackets and umbrellas, so we managed to stay somewhat dry. Somewhat. My feet though were wet and cold for the duration of the marathon (2:23:07) and I really was rooting for a world record to get out of the rain and into dry shoes…
We stood close-ish to Westminster and the marathoners raced by 4 times. I am not an elite runner (if you haven’t noticed yet… I missed the Olympic A and B Standard qualifying times of 2:37 and 2:43 respectively by close to 3 hours… :)), and I hate running loops.
I hope the elite runners didn’t care too much about the loops. They had to run 4 loops. The first loop was somewhat shorter than the last 3 loops.
It was raining when the race started and the field kept together for the first round as they passed us.
See those two marathoners on the right from the Team Germany marathon team? I wished I had a Team Germany shirt. (I now have one for the next event…).
During the second time the runners raced by, the rain had nearly stopped and the field had resorted itself.
Then – in true British fashion – the sun came out during the third time the marathoners came around. This is 1:32 into the race and we were trying to figure out how fast they were going. Remember, my feet were wet and I was hoping for a world record…
Then the pace car passed by the fourth time. The time on the pace car showed that we were far away from a world record (far away in elite runners’ terms – pretty close for me…).
We were standing near kilometer marker 40 (only 2k to go). At this point the runners had decided on the top 4. The lead group you see here were the top 4 finishers.
The runner in the green jersey is Tiki Gelana from Ethiopia who won the marathon in 2:23:07 which is actually a new Olympic Record! (she did hear me and my wet feet after all…)
I love watching elite marathoners run. All the pain and emotions I go through during my long runs, I also see in elite runners’ faces. The exhaustion, the elation when the finish line is reached, disappointment, too, for not reaching the hoped for time or medal place.
Running is an equalizer. It doesn’t matter if you run fast or slow. The goal is to finish, the emotions are the same. I have seen elite runners smile when they hear their name called out, cheering helps them, too.
One of the last marathoner to come in was Juventina Napoleao from the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste. She finished in 3:05:07. She finished with a personal record and hardly came to London 2012 for a medal, but to live the Olympic dream. I applaud her for that! She is my Olympic Marathon hero!