Waiting games

Samuel Wanjiru, Athletics at the 2008 Summer O...

Samuel Wanjiru, Athletics at the 2008 Summer Olympics – Men’s marathon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the European track season underway, I am experiencing a somewhat normal life ahead of the Australia marathon selection meeting. I have made sure that I am able to recover properly from Hamburg before I resume training, hopefully, towards the biggest race of my life.

Marathon representation is always by “selectors discretion”, so you have that uncertainty of not knowing whether you’ve done enough to warrant selection, and that is, above all, the biggest fear. For London 2012, I have run three IAAF A-Qualifiers of 2:13:14, 2:13:19 & 2:14:19 in the period, but it unfortunately may not be enough. Athletics Australia’s selection criteria has stated that they want 2:12:00, while the IAAF wants 2:15:00 for the A. In trying to qualify, I dragged my bum to a solo 2:13:19 in Beppu on 5th February, and then a windy and badly paced 2:14:19 in Hamburg on 29th April. Surely the harsh cards I was dealt can count for something??? Here’s hoping.

If I was a betting man, and I am partial to a punt, I think if I can hit either of those marks on 12th August, I bet that I will not be lower than 15th or 16th. The marathon is just such an unknown, just look at what happened to Patrick Makau in London & Geoffrey Mutai in Boston. I bet those boys didn’t see those DNF’s coming.

This year, just like in every Olympic marathon, there will be someone who will surprise everyone. Someone will turn in a performance that noone expected from them, and show just what the Olympics can bring out in an athlete.

Hopefully, that someone can be me.


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3 replies

  1. There is a precedent, at least in the UK, look at the case of Lee Merrien. Good luck!

    • Precedent doesn’t really change anything. At the end of the day, there is criteria to be fulfilled. However, the sport will benefit longer term by ensuring we have athletes in every event. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go and just make up numbers, I want to finish as high as I can. However, especially for the marathon distance, you do not fully know how you will go until you hit that all important 32km mark. By then, you know. That is the scary part of a marathon for everyone.

      • True. Even the favourites can “blow up”, so it makes sense for national federations to take a full complement simply because you never know what will happen or who it will happen to.

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