Edna Kiplagat (Nike) bounced back from her Olympic disappointment with a massive PB of 67:41 at this morning’s Great North Run half-marathon, finishing second to Tirunesh Dibaba’s 67:35. Edna crushed her former PB by 1:19 while going on-on-one with Olympic 5/10 champion Dibaba over the final few hundred meters.
And Freya Murray (adidas) made it three-for-three for our trio of Olympic marathoners today, running a PB also, with 72:23 for 9th place, very impressive in the midst of her wedding planning!
Rene Kalmer (Nedbank/adidas), Edna Kiplagat (Nike), Freya Murray (adidas)
Press Release: Olympic Marathon Champ Constantina Dita Wraps up Main Training, Flies to London Tonight
July 18, 2012 (For immediate use) Reigning Olympic Marathon champion Constantina Dita completed her final hard training session this morning in her US hometown of Erie, Colorado… a set of repeat 2,000m intervals… and will fly out on this evening’s British Airways Denver/London flight to compete in her third Olympic Games. In Beijing four years …
Edna Kiplagat (Nike) won today’s New York Road Runners Mini 10K in Central Park in a solid 32:08, blowing apart the field with a 4:49 fifth mile. The lead pack of five women, including Edna and Diane Nukuri-Johnson (ASICS) came through 5K in 16:20. According to David Monti, who was on the lead vehicle, “Edna put in one surge on the hill near 5K that looked like she was testing everybody, but then when she hit the flat alongside the reservoir she was absolutely flying, making a big move almost exactly where she did when she won the ING New York City Marathon in 2010.”
Diane had another strong race, finishing in 4th in 32:38, improving by 50 seconds and eight places over her 33:28 12th place run here last year. Amazingly, even on this tough Mini course, she just missed breaking her PB/NR by a single second.
Lidia Simon (ASICS) and Irvette van Blerk (adidas/Nedbank) finished just a second apart in 12th and 13th in 34:03 and 34:04, respectively. For Lidia, it was a 66-second improvement over her 2011 result here.
All four of our women who ran today will represent their respective countries in the Olympic Marathon on August 5th in London.
The Xinhua News Service has posted an interview with World Champion Edna Kiplagat (Nike) and countrywoman Mary Keitany on the possibility for a Kenyan gold medal in the women’s marathon this summer in London. In it, Edna dismisses any notion that Kenyan athletes are somehow gifted or their accomplishments are any easier to attain than those of any other athlete:
“Kiplagat says there is no secret to success other than training hard and motivation, self-esteem and discipline.
‘Many people have come up with theories that Kenyans run better because of a special gene in us. I don’ t know what gene they are talking about because we have reached where we are as a result of hard work. If such genes existed then I presume there is one among Brazilian footballers.'”
Boulder Wave released the following press release five minutes ago: Grassroots Support Growing for Lee Merrien to be Named to UK Olympic Men’s Marathon Team April 25, 2012 A fan of British marathon runner Lee Merrien has created an impromptu Facebook page called “Select Lee Merrien” to support the selection of Merrien to the British …
In about 12 hours, the gun will go off for the 9:00 a.m. start of the elite women’s run in the Virgin London Marathon, followed 45 minutes later by the start of the elite men and mass races. Boulder Wave has nine runners from five countries in this year’s race, and interesting stores abound, with an overwhelming focus on Olympic qualification.
John Beattie (UK/adidas): budding star of the Twitter universe and Athleticos whose London prep has been entertainingly documented in a several on-line videos. John learned some valuable lessons in his 2:23 marathon debut in NYC last November, and will run with the 2:11 group with a target to be one of the top two British men AND run under 2:12:00, thereby taking one of the two remaining spots on the UK Olympic men’s marathon team.
Louise Damen (UK/adidas): debuted in 2:30:00 in last year’s Virgin London Marathon and is among 4-5 top British women with the best hopes of gaining the third spot on the British Olympic Marathon team. It is expected that the top British woman tomorrow will also have to be under 2:28:24, which is the recent best of Jo Pavey, who is currently in line for the third spot on the team.
Constantina Dita (ROU/ASICS): the 42 year old reigning Olympic Marathon Champion is aiming to qualify to return to the Olympic Games. It will take a sub-2:37:00 mark to hit the qualifying “A” standard and join Lidia Simon for a third time on Romania’s Olympic team.
Rene Kalmer (RSA/adidas/Nedbank): secured a place on South Africa’s Olympic marathon team with a wonderful 2:29:59 PB in last November’s very hot, very humid Yokohama women’s marathon. Rene is pacing the 2:28 women’s group here, which is expected to include most of the British women fighting for the final spot on their Olympic marathon team, as far as 20 miles. Last month, she paced the 2:23 lead pack of the Nagoya Women’s Marathon for 24 km.
Edna Kiplagat (KEN/Nike): the reigning IAAF Marathon World Champion is aiming to win tomorrow, and also to confirm her spot on Kenya’s Olympic team.
Lee Merrien (UK/ASICS): won the Jim Peters award in the 2011 Virgin Marathon as the top British finisher. Has had a fantastic autumn and winter of training including three stints in Kenya. Two spots remain on the British Olympic men’s marathon team, and Lee will be going out with the 2:11 pacemaking group with a target of sub-2:12 and top two British finish.
Freya Murray (UK/adidas): her maraton debut and she is jumping right into the thick of it by targeting both a fast debut and the final spot on the British Olympic Marathon team.
Louise Damen (UK/adidas): debuted in 2:30:00 in last year’s Virgin London Marathon and is among 4-5 top British women with the best hopes of gaining the third spot on the British Olympic Marathon team. As in Louise Damen’s case, Freya will need to be top British woman and finish under 2:28:24 (which is the recent best of Jo Pavey, who is currently in line for the third spot on the team) to secure that Olympic berth.
Patrick Rizzo (USA/Mizuno): will pace the 2:11 men’s group potentially as far as 20 miles. After improving his marathon PB by over two minutes with his 2:13:42in January’s US Olympic Trails, Pat will also use the race tomorrow as part of his longer-term goal of running under 2:11 in a marathon this autumn.
Irvette van Blerk (RSA/adidas/Nedbank): With a 70:56 half-marathon PB, Irvette has a promising marathon career ahead, with tomorrow’s race being her debut at the distance. A sub-2:37:00 finish to achieve the Olympic “A” standard will put her on South Africa’s Olympic marathon team.