The last day of a great week of track and field ended yesterday. It was somewhat sad to have it be over, because as a track and field addict, I need my fix everyday.
I’ll skip to the action, since I have packing to do and a flight to catch.
The race that I came here for was the women’s marathon to support my wife Turena who was running.
Radcliffe sprints to the finish
Women’s Marathon: Nice cool day for a marathon. They started at 2:20 in the afternoon in front of City Hall and right next to the harbor with all its markets and activities, with a band playing and fans lining the start several people deep. Only 55 lined up, but there were some serious studs in the race. Off they went and off I went huffing and puffing through the streets ofHelsinki to try and catch the runners at various points. The course was essentially the first 5k, and then a 10k loop repeated 3.5 times. So with some hustle and then rest, I was able to see them 4 times each loop.
Paula Radcliff, who is to the marathon what Isinbayava is to the pole vault took it out and never looked back. Turena settled in hoping to run a conservative pace early. She was second to last at 5k.Long story short, she kept moving up, her first 5k being the slowest of the race and running a faster second half then the first. New PR by almost 3 minutes at 2:34.43. 26th overall and the U.S. women finished the best ever as a team, as this was a scored World Cup race.
Javelin: TheGood. New world record in the women’s javelin from a Cuban. 71.65meters. Three world records total were set here. There were several continentand national records also set.
Men’s 5k: The Bad. Run really slowfor the first 2 miles and then run a little faster the next 800 andthen hammer the last 2 laps. A little extra cheering was heard as anAustralian took the lead with 200 to go and then snuck in for a thirdplace finish. Something about seeing a white guy squeeze in there.
Men’s800: A double 800/1500 win for Rhamzi of Bahrain. Don’t know when the last time that happened, but it seems unprecedented (Herb Elliot-?).
Women’s1500: The Russians are apparently the new middle distance queens. Theywent 1-2-3 and almost had 4th. Later a dq for a nice elbow changed thatfinish order.
High Jump: The Ugly. The last jumper, a Ukrainian,on his last attempt, the last jump of everyone at 2.32 cleared it towin. No one else could clear it and he barely made it. The ‘A’ standardis 2.30. If he didn’t clear a jump off would have ensued. Holm was offand did not medal.
Women’s 4 x 400: Russian women in a romp.
Men’s 4 x 400: U.S. men were glad to have Jeremy Wariner because Bahamas gave them everything and then some to handle. Jeremy pulled away with 100 to go.
The Wrap Up:
That’s it. It’s been a great trip and one I would highly recommend to any track and field fan. The 2007 World Championships is in Osaka Japan. Hope I can save enough to make it there also. Today we went to Estonia for the day and walked around Tallina, an old city with lots of shops. Tomorrow we fly back.