So, in-between working with my boss out of town, running 6x a week, I still have a pretty healthy Olympic habit. The Olympics are my drug, and I take them in each day with all of their shaved chest, spandex wearing, double backflip landing glory. Glory to the Olympics, gold medals be thy name!!
This weekend was the Women’s Marathon. The Americans were Kara Goucher (yay!), Shalane Flanagan (yay!) and Desi Davila (also yay!). Kara and Shalane finished in 11th and 10th respectively which honestly was a bit below both of their expectations. Shalane should have been top 5 and Kara top 10. Desi however was a different story.
So, the question is – should Desi have dropped out and let the alternate, Amy Hastings, have a crack at finishing the race? It’s a tough call for sure.
On the “yes she should have dropped” side:
- It is basically Desi’s job to know her body. During the race, she ran for around 13 minutes. The fact that she only lasted that long (granted, she stopped at the end of a convenient 2.2 mile loop) tells me that she knew that she wasn’t finishing that race when she started.
- Amy is a 2:27 marathoner so certainly not “slow”
- The reason to run the Olympics is to represent you and your country to the best of their abilities. I’m not sure that Desi did that.
On the “no, she should have stayed in” side:
- Desi earned the spot. She beat Amy in the trials fair and square.
- While Amy is a fast runner, she would not be a medal contender. Desi’s PR is 2:22 – faster than the gold medalist this year. Desi is FAST.
- Represented her country in the best way she could - the "I don't take no for an answer" that give Americans both a good and bad name.
I honestly think that she was well within her rights to start – she earned it. But, I can certainly see both sides of the story...and would NOT have wanted to be in Amy Hasting’s room (she qualified in the 10,000m) when the marathon was ran!
What do you think? Should she have ran knowing that she would not finish? You can bet your fish and chips that if I qualified, I'd be on that starting line even if I had to strap some of those upside down question mark artificial legs to my body to finish!