I love having the women’s and men’s marathons a week apart. Plenty of time to absorb the results of the ladies race, get excited for the men’s and do my best to let go of my annoyance at NBC’s coverage! I am not sure that I will live blog the men’s race because:
1. Last week’s coverage was so disappointing and I don’t think I can take 3 more hours of interviews of athletes from other sports, endless commercials and inanne commentating interrupted by 3 minute clips of actual racing.
2. Lizzie and baby-although-she-is-almost-2-and-not-actually-a-baby-but-I- still-think-of-her-like-that-because-time-flies-so-damn-fast Zoe are coming to visit and I am not sure toddlers find 3 hours of listening to me complain about the coverage as scintillating as I do!
BUT, it is the marathon and it is a really deep field (six men have run sub 2:05s!!)and it promises to be a great race and it only comes around once every 4 years so who am I kidding, I bet I will be glued to the TV! I know DVR would solve this whole problem, since it would eliminate commercials and I could zoom through non-racing segments, but we do not have it. You’ve got me right where you want me, NBC!
As with the women’s race, the US men are not favorites to medal, but depending on how the day goes, any one of them could be in contention. We have Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman to root for. I respect them all, but Meb is a special favorite of mine. I just love that dude! We even named one of our banded plovies after him this year:
Ryan Hall was featured in the NY Times last month in an article that highlighted the role faith plays in his running and training. As a non-religious person, I read the article in the same way that I might read about some novel discovery of the Mars Rover, Curiosity. His worldview is so polar to my own, yet I find it fascinating to read what makes him tick. How will this all play out Sunday? Stay tuned to find out! Unless you are Jesus, in which case you already know the outcome and can sleep in. I kid, I kid! Seriously, I do respect everyone’s religious freedom and love hearing about different people’s belief systems and how they shape that person’s inner workings.
On another sorta related, sorta not note I heard a great podcast this week on the 1900 Paris Olympics from another one of my favorites, Stuff You Missed in History Class. They have been on an Olympic kick lately (who hasn’t?!) and a recent episode tackled the strange goings-on of one of the earliest of the modern games. It really is worth a listen, so I won’t US media-it (ie spoil it – man do they love spoiling the race results!), but instead whet your Olympic whistle:
1. The highly disorganized games took place at the same time as the World’s Fair and lasted from May to October. Women competed for the first time – they made up 20 of the ~1,000 athletes. Hey, it was a start! Many spectators of races did not realize they were watching an Olympic event – but even odder, some of the athletes did not even know they were competing in the Olympics! Wha??
2. Swimming took place in the Seine River, including a 200m obstacle event where athletes had to swim under and climb over boats and an event where participants gained points for distance and time spent swimming underwater. Wonder how Phelps would have fared there?
3. The marathon was contested after the French placed quite high- yet other racers did not get passed by them and they looked “remarkably fresh” (on this 102 degree day) at the end so it was surmised they cut the course. These days athletes can’t even look sideways wrong without the interwebs going nuts, it’s hard to imagine a time when people could get away with this!
Oh, 1900s Parisians, what a hoot you were! Def check the podcast out and do a little Googling for lots of entertaining turn of the century Olympic shenanigans. You will have plenty of time to do this during the commercials for the men’s marathon 🙂
Who are you rooting for this weekend?
If you had to choose between the obstacle course swim and the underwater swim, which would you pick?
Are you sad the Olympics are wrapping up?