The women's elite race took off at 9 A.M. And what a field! The goal of the pace setter is to take the women through 71 minutes for the half marathon. Zhou Chunxiu of China, bronze medalist, Beijing, Mara Yamaguchi, Britian, six place, Beijing and Irina Mikitenko, 2008 London champion.
The pace for the first five miles was very good, and on a sub two hour, twenty minute pace: 5:27 for mile 1, 5:22 for mile two, and 5:07 for the third mile, with the 5k hit in 16:34. At that time, Constantina Dita, the Olympic champion, was nine seconds down already.
The elite Women, which numbered just over one dozen, has Catherine Nderiba, the Beijing silver medalist, at the back of that pack. The women hit four miles in 5:11 and five miles in 5.10, which put the women at five miles in 26.39. A pack of ten women
are running together, with Dita now twenty-one seconds back!