A race with 153 starters, huge crowds the entire way, and beautiful weather, surpassed the lack of hype for this race ( that will be another column). I will leave this column to a description of the three women who are making the team…..
Deena Kastor’s dream began four years ago, when tired and having finishing second, and I sat behind her on the bus. She was spent. I felt very uncomfortable as I noticed a tear coming down from her eye. The pain of a dream unfulfilled. Yet, less than six months later, Deena ran the most amazing last ten kilometers this writer has ever seen in an Olympic marathon, to take the bronze.
Deena Kastor is at the top of her game. Her negative splits, her victory by forty-four seconds over a marathoner who had one minute, fifty-four second lead at mile fourteen,
was stupendous. Kastor’s win in 2:29:35 was a sweet victory and the fulfilment of a dream, perhaps many dreams.
Yet, Deena Kastor is human. ” I was worried, that I would not get this title. I started to panic, as Magdelena looked tough. Absolutely, I was worried when the gap opened up that much. It is a relief that the race is over, ” noted Deena in the post race press conference.
And the focus of this worry, this anxiety? Well, none other than Magdelena Lewy Boulet, a wife, a mother of three year old Owen and a career woman. Sponsored by Transports/adidas, the club of her husband’s running store, Ritichie Boulet, a former 3:52 miler, Magdelena does not know what all of the fuss is about.
Raised in Poland, her parents emigrated to Germany when she was sixteen. She moved to the States in 1990 and became a US citizen on September 11, 2001. ” I had no idea what was going on. I was in a car with my husband, looking forward to being part of that special ceremony. We got there, basically, thinking we had a two hour ceremony, but the ceremony would last five minutes, they sent us home, get in your car and go home. We got in car, paused listening to radio, listening to what was going on in the world-September 11. It was very sad.”, noted Lewy Boulet.
Magdelena ran up a minute and thirty lead by ten miles in 58:17, and by fourteen miles, had a lead of one minute, 54 seconds. She ran well, she was focused. ” I wanted to run 5:40s, my strategy from beginning. I had no idea that I was going to run by myself. I was definitely a bit uncomfortable, surprised that I was by myself. Right before the race, my husband told me that the race was not going to come to me, I had to go to it, and I did. ”
Magdelena Lewy Boulet achieved her dream, she kept the lead until just before 24 miles and held on for second, with a fine time of 2:32:40.
Blake Russell was the impetuous one in St. Louis. Her lead was supreme, but she faltered and finished fourth. Blake stayed with the chase pack,and made her move when Deena blasted away. With six pursuers, Blake showed her amazing strength over the last three miles and held on for third place, in 2:32.40. ” Redemption finally. The goal was tough, the pace felt uncomfortable, it was scary, luckily felt stronger and stronger. I was definitely, I tried and stayed relaxed, I hope to finish a little bit faster!”
For all three of the women who made the team, this dream started in St. Louis four years ago, in an Olympic Trials race. Deena Kastor, Magdelena Lewy Boulet and Blake Russell made their dreams a reality. And now, on to Beijing!