5 More Days….2012 Olympic Marathon Trials

It seems like I have been awaiting the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials forever.  This is obviously not true but there are only a couple of times a year where we get to see the American Elites barreling down our streets with a tv camera in their face.  That is why I am glued to the tv or Universal Sports each and every Boston, Chicago & New York Marathon.  Our Streets, Our Athletes.  Go Team USA! 

My focus, of course, is on the women’s line up.  I think most are now fans of Desiree Davila who many including myself now refer to as “Desi”.  If you weren’t a Desi fan before the 2011 Boston Marathon, I bet you are now.  She had been on my radar previous to Boston because she had frequented the Chicago Marathon and is usually the top American female for us.  So I had “hoped” she would do well but when she re-entered the live tv stream during the 2011 Boston Marathon after pushing her way back to the front, I was on my feet in front of my computer screaming in my office.  I just couldn’t believe that she would win, or even come that close, but she sure made a believer out of me and the rest of America on that Monday morning in April 2011.   Wow.   So Desi has my hope for top spot on the 2012 US Women’s Olympic Marathon Team.  GO DESI! 

I think Desi’s biggest competition will come from America’s current distance running sweethearts:  Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher.  These women are now training together under Jerry Schumacher and are both converted track stars who have moved up to the marathon distance after the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  Shalane is currently in the “best shape of her life” although I don’t think we have ever seen her in poor shape and I really think she will make the team.  She is strong mentally and physically and she is a competitor.  She hasn’t done much real racing this year as her focus has been toward the trials.  I think we are going to see an amazing fight from her.  Good luck Shalane! 

Kara Goucher is another amazing distance runner.  She took some time off after the Beijing Olympics and her marathon debut to have a bouncing baby boy.  Let me just remind all of you that I too have a bouncing baby boy and they take up a lot of time.  Kara, like many moms, went back to work immediately after the birth and has really knocked out some fast times for a strong come back…..then she got injured.  Too much, too fast?  Maybe.  Or possibly I just find that childbirth kicks the shit out of a women’s body this was related to the birth or just overtraining but it was definitely unlucky timing.  However, Kara is now back on track and will be ready to run by the Trials.  She has had a lot of changes lately between the birth, injury and a coaching change but I don’t anyone will be thinking about those things on Saturday unless the commentators keep mentioning them over and over again when she toes the line with Desi and Shalene.  The heart of every distance running mom will be pushing Kara forward on Saturday.  We LOVE Kara!

Although Desi, Shalene and Kara are sucking up some serious press time, there are several other ladies who will show up Saturday ready to fight.  This has to be the best line up ever for an Olympic Trials.  So many wildcards.  I don’t think anybody expects former 2008 Olympic Marathoner and American record holder Deena Kastor to hand over her spot without a fight.  This is another lady who took some time off for childbirth between Olympic games.  I feel like nobody really  knows what level of fitness Deena currently maintains.  I will certainly be watching her closely on Saturday and hope that she has the run of her life to fight for a spot with those youngin’s!  Go Deena! 

We also have a lot of other players in Saturday’s race.  Magdalena Lewy Boulet is probably the most well-known from the 2008 Beijing Marathon team. 

Amy Hastings

Colleen De Reuck 

Stephanie Rothstein 

Chicago’s Hometown Favorite – Tera Moody 

Clara Grandt 

Katie McGregor 

Dot McMahan

Molly Pritz 

 Janet Cherobon-Bawcom

Serena Burla 

These are some of the faces that I will be looking for on Saturday during the 2012 Olympic Trials.   Who will you be watching?  Can you pick the three who will make the team?  I just can’t narrow down to which three will be the best on Saturday.  So many random factors go into making race day perfect and I know there are hundreds of women looking for a perfect day and a spot on the team.  I wish them all lots of luck and hope that they have good health, good results and are able to walk away happy.  However, looking over this crew, there is going to be a lot of unhappy ladies walking around Houston on Saturday afternoon.   Congratulations to all the ladies who graced my list and all of those who qualified for the trials.  This is a class act which I can only join in on by watching thru the eye of the camera. 

Have you noticed that each day we have more and more amazing and inspiring women?   You know these ladies are just like you they just run faster.  Inspire somebody today.

Counting Down til the Trials,                                                                                            Amanda – TooTallFritz



6 thoughts on “5 More Days….2012 Olympic Marathon Trials

  1. Well…if I had to pick a favorite…I would go with Desi Davilla. She’s a Hanson’s runner and I think there are a few others further down on your list that are also Hanson Project runners. There’s a lot of potential outcomes for top 3 finishers and sometimes it boils down to what physical mood or state they are in come race day.

    But if I had to pick one that should be in the top 3, it will be Desi. By the way…there is a nice, long expose bout Davilla in latest Runner’s World issue. She really didn’t come out of nowhere or “fight” he way back to the front-pack in that race….she simply ran “her” race the way she trained to do. So, when some of the runners in the front-pack started doing some surges fairly early in the race (“stupid surges” as Desi referred to it) she simply stuck to her goal race pace (5:30 I think), then ramp up to 5:14 through the last 10k. That’s what she trained to do…run the last 10k as fast as possible.

    In her case…the strategy paid off and she was back at the front-end and I think her fast-finish strategy really forced those two front-runners (1 Kenyan, 1 Ethiopian?) to run a lot faster than they normally would have being in the lead. Eventually…one fell-back and just started watching over her shoulder and settle for 3rd, but Desi drove the tempo of the last of that race and just got clipped by 2-seconds. She has the drive and the toughness to be a winner in the trials.

    Always liked Kara Goucher, especially when she was coached by Salazar in Oregon. I think it was Shalane that kicked some serious butt in ING NY Marathon the year I ran it. But…I never see any of the front-end dynamics until after the race or highlights of the race on TV. Too bad some of those elites didn’t hang around and shout some cheer to us when we come in an hour or more behind! That would be cool.

    • I just wish we could pick 4 instead of 3. So much toughness and it’s gonna come down to who can stick with the plan but also be able to respond to the situation at hand. It will be exciting, no doubt. I definitely think that Desi is the one to beat but don’t count Shalene out. She will be fast. And Kara will go with Shalene for as long a possible until she has to run her own race. My favorite mantra: RUN YOUR OWN RACE.

    • Looking at all those photos, I realized what is wrong with my running…..apparently the several inches of fat which I have “protecting” my abs is inhibiting my run. These women are amazing and they look amazing too! Can’t wait for the trials. Apparently Runner’s World did a big write up on them too but I’m a couple issues back on my reading so am not there yet. You might want to check it out or follow them online!

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