If you didn't get a chance to watch the 2008 Olympic Women's Marathon... then you missed one hell-of-a-race. Romania's Constantina Tomescu-Dita raced 26.2 miles triumphantly through the streets of Beijing, past Tienanmen Gate and into the Bird's Nest to win the Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in 2 hours, 22 mins. and 44 seconds.
Tomescu-Dita made her move a little past the half-way point and never looked back. Don't get me wrong, towards the end she did look back a couple times to see where the "chase pack" was behind her, but by then it was too late. With thousands lining the streets, the 38-year old Romanian made her move at the half-way mark in hopes to build a lead that the other runner's would not be able to conquer.
In most marathons, the lead pack usually stays together for the majority of the race until the last few miles where they will separate. However, true to her past, Tomescu-Dita made her move early and it paid off. With no one having the energy to catch up to the leader in the late miles it became a race for the Silver as the Tomescu-Dita went on to win by 22 seconds ahead of Catherine Ndereba (Kenya) and Zhou Chunxiu (China).
Quick Side Notes:
2004 Athens Bronze Medalist Deena Kastor (USA) pulled out after 3 miles when she felt a pop in her foot. With a sore foot for the past few weeks and thinking it was hypersensitive tendons Deena was the medal hopeful for the US. It would later be reported that she broke her foot.
Running icon Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) responded to reports that labeled her a 'quitter' for dropping out late in the 2004 Athens Marathon due to stomach issues by running through a stress fracture diagnosed in May. Radcliffe finished in 23rd place with tears of joy and pain to the applause of many, including me.