Now, I know I’m not the only one who dreamt of Dathan Ritzenheim Saturday night, right? I mean certainly the rest of you kept waking just before he pulled ahead of Abdi for 3rd place in the marathon and a spot on the US Olympic Marathon team? No? Hmmm. That’s odd.
I tell you, watch these people run for a couple of hours and you grow attached them. I didn’t care a whit for Abdi at the beginning of the race, but after he’d held on so long I was almost rooting for him. Right up until I realized Ritzenheim wasn’t actually going to pull ahead, and then I changed my mind and wished Ritz had made the team. But Ritz is young. He’s got another couple of Olympics in him. No worries. I’ll be rooting for him for to make the team in the 10,000 meters.
Oh, and I had no qualms with way the women’s race went. No, Desi didn’t win, but she made the Olympic team, so hooray for her.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, the US Olympic Marathon trials were run in Houston on Saturday. The top three finishers in the men’s and women’s races get to run in London this summer. In the women’s race Shalane Flanagan, who ran her first marathon in New York in 2010 and came in 2nd, won. Desiree Davila, who rocked the running world by coming in 2nd at Boston last year, took 2nd, and Kara Goucher, a favorite in just about every race she runs, came in 3rd. For the men it was Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman going 1-2-3.
Watching them run for a spot on the Olympic team gave me just a little taste of what we’re in for this summer and I’m practically counting down the days until July. It’s funny how the Olympic stage can make just about any sport exciting, and get you cheering for people you’d never heard of before just because they’re wearing your country’s flag.
I have a feeling I’ll be dreaming a lot more about the Olympics in the coming months. (I think there’s probably another Olympic cake in my future as well.)
(photo from USATF.org)