FLORA London, Update 1-The Wait is Over...

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The 35,000 plus runners who were at the start line of FLORA London Marathon got across the line without incident. The elite races were off and now the questions would be answered--World record, course record? We would see in two plus hours....

FLORA London
Sunday, April 13, 2008
9 am London time, Local
( 3 AM Wisconsin time)

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What a day in London! The weather, as I looked out my window, was calm and clear. Temperature was about 48 degrees, almost perfect weather for the 2008 FLORA London
Marathon. However, the weather may change..sounds like Wisconsin!

With no pace makers, the women's race took off quite slow, hitting the mile in 6:13. The second mile, which was run downhill, was covered in 5:33. The front pack of women includes Berhane Adere of Ethiopia, Geta Wami of Ethiopia, Liz Yelling of Great Britain, Ludmilla Petrova of Russia, Adriana Pirtea of Romania, Constantina Dita of Romania and Svetlana Zhakarova of Russia. The elite women hit the 5 kilometers in in 17:36.

Hayley Haining of Great Britain is vying with Yelling for a position on the Great Britain marathon team. Haining slowed herself down as the crowd hit 28:05 for five miles. The pack hit the 10 kilometers in 34:49, running the second 5 kilometers in 17:13. So, the pace is picking up a bit, which is now a 2:28 pace.

My believe is that this plays into Wami's hands, who is supremely tough. The Russians, Petrova and Zhakarova, are also in fine shape and never, ever forget about the Romanian ladies, Pirtea and Dita. Seven miles were hit in 39:11. Also in the top ten is Sivlia Skvortsova of Russia. Hayley Haining is now twelve seconds off the back of the pack-she had told interviewers that she was prepared to run her own race.

The women hit the eight mile in 44:37, for a mile in 5:26.

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9:45

And the men's race is off! 35,000 runners are now leaving the start! There are three sets of pacemakers today, the first two at 2:05 pace, the next two at 2:11 pace and the third at 2:15 pace, the qualifying time for the Olympic marathon.

The pack consists of Yonas KIfle of Eritrea, Cuthbert Nyasango of Zimbabwe, Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya, Dieudonne Disi of Rwanda, Felix LImo of Kenya, Martin Lel, 2008 winner of Flora London, Deriba Merga of Ethiopia ( one of his first races, trains with Haile Gebrselessie's training group), Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya, Abderrahim Goumri of Morocco, Hendrik Ramaala of South Africa, Ryan Hall of the US.

The pacemakers took the race out fast. The first mile was run in 4:44, then the downhill put them in 4:41 and the third mile was hit in 4:27, with the five kilometer mark in 14:21, world record pace!

Just as we heard the 5 kilometer point splits, we heard that a serious gas leak has been discovered on the course, and that they had to divert runners. We will update as soon as possible.

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The women's pace is relentless: MIle nine was run in 5:26 (50:03), Mile ten in 5;37 (55:29),
Mile eleven in 5:32 (61:04) and 20 kilometers in 69:89. The half way was hit in 72:04. Liz Yelling is eighteen seconds back, running quite well.

The womens pack is Irina MItichenko of Germany, Constantina Dita of Romania, Svetlana Zakharova and Ludmilla Petrova both of Russia, Adriana Pirtea of Romania, Gete Wami of Ethiopia are in the pack.

The gas leak is on the course. Race officials moved the runners to the other side of the road, and hope to have the leak under control within a half hour. The move adds about
two hundred meters on the course. It is also at the

The men have hit the 5 kilometers in 14:21 and ten kilometers in 29:10.

Next update in three to five miles.

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