Monday, August 31, 2009
With his stunning performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and then his spectacular display at the World Championships in Berlin this summer, the world is in awe of Jamaica’s Usain Bolt.
Not to be forgotten is an equally amazing woman, that, when Usain was only two years-old, assaulted the world records at 100 and 200 meters by greater margins and with equal gusto to Usain. In the summer of 1988, Flo-Jo lowered the women’s 100m world record by a mind-blowing .27 seconds and the women’s 200m by .37 seconds. To put that in perspective, at the Beijing Olympics Usain Bolt lowered the 100m world record by .10 seconds and the 200m world record by .02 seconds.
Below is an excellent read from ESPN on this “Dream Chaser”, whose great feats and charisma have never been matched.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Yes, I had to hold a snake and put it down Emily's shirt and she had to do the same to me! The snake was pretty calm and it went well (except for the snake almost trying to go down Emily's pants, too!). Afterwards, we got a picture with the snake.
From there we got back on track and tried heading to Union Park, however, we took another little detour to a Chasepoint at an art gallery that another team alerted us to. I'm not sure that was the best choice, since the challenge was for one person to strip down and the other person to sketch them. We finished that one in a hurry!
We crossed the line in 5 hours, 5 minutes and 15 seconds, placing us 77th overall (out of 360 finishers and approximately 300 groups that didn't finish). (The winners came in at 2 hours and 56 minutes.) After making it to the finish, we were able to celebrate with a well-deserved beer.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
The last World Championships were held in Osaka, Japan, where Catherine Ndereba, the 2004 and 2008 Olympic silver medalist, won the women’s marathon in 2:30:37, under warm and humid conditions. At the same championship, Kara Goucher earned a bronze medal in her first World Championship attempt at 10,000m. Fast forward two years and the championships are being held on a much flatter, faster course with more favorable temperatures. Ndereba will not be there to defend her crown, but in her absence, Kara will attempt to win the first World Championship Marathon title for an American. But she won’t be without potential challengers. The great wildcard in this race is Paula Radcliffe, the current world record holder in the women’s marathon, at 2:15:25, a full 10 minutes faster than Kara’s personal best of 2:25:53.
The last time we saw Kara race, she won the Rock N Roll Chicago half marathon, and by “won” I mean she won the race outright in 1:08:05, beating all male and female participants. Kara has had a great winter, spring and summer this year, showing unrivaled range in winning the Millrose Mile and finishing 3rd in the Boston marathon, an agonizing 9 seconds out of first. After that narrow defeat in Boston, Kara has said she is working on her ability to finish, which she displayed in the 5,000m at the US Championships, when she closed the last mile in a very quick 4:36.
Paula has raced much more sparingly this year. The last time Paula raced was last weekend in the NYC Half Marathon, where she won, uncontested, in 1:09:45. Both before and after the race Paula stated that the race was a time trial and fitness test to determine if she is ready for the marathon on Sunday. While she has traveled to Berlin, she has indicated that she will put off a decision until race time.
Kara has been very outspoken about the fact that she has chosen to put her life on hold and focus solely on the World Championship Marathon. Paula has been equally as open and honest about her recent injury cycle and her perceived lack of training. That said, Paula never lines up unless she’s ready to race but neither does Kara. Sunday should be a great race.
Universal Sports has a nice piece on Kara here.
Kara on her way to winning the Chicago Rock N Roll Half: