Friday, August 26, 2011

Daily Daegu: Women's Marathon starts the party tonight

2 different Dreams in Daegu
We're finally here. After plenty of talk and speculation, the dance starts tonight (at 8pm for us east coasters) as the 2011 Women's World Championship Marathon kicks things off in Daegu. First things first, if you want to watch the Women's Marathon and the rest of the championships live, get access for $14.99 from Universal Sports. They have a deal now where if you enter the code "trackc2l" you get full Daegu access, plus the 2011 Diamond League package. That package includes on-demand replays of all the previous meets, plus live coverage of Zurich on September 8th (aka the Olympics in a day) and Brussels on September 16th. You can also get my coverage/opinions/predictions every day here on the Daily Daegu and via twitter.

2010 New York City Marathon winner, Kenya's Edna Kiplagat, leads the way in the Marathon this evening with many top names missing, as there isn't any appearance fee money at the World Championships. It is an excellent place to earn some for the future though! What will be exciting is the team title that will likely come down to Kenya vs. Ethiopia (shocking I know). The Kenyan stars are Kiplagat, Sharon Cheprop, Priscah Jeptoo and Caroline Rotich. The Ethiopian stars are Aselefech Mergia, Bezunesh Bekele, Atsede Baysa, Aberu Kebede and 2008 Boston Winner Dire Tune. My money's on Kenya, but I would be surprised if Ethiopia won in a landslide either. The American team is comprised of five women looking to cut their teeth a little more on the international level. Leading the team is the master, Colleen De Reuck. Tera Moody ('09) and Zoila Gomez ('07,'09) also bring experience, with Kathy Newberry and Zap Fitness' Alisa McKaig rounding out the team (I write this a few miles from Zap en route to the USATF 10k Trail Championships). A podium finish may be a stretch for my fellow Americans, but I'm pulling for you ladies!

Tomorrow morning at 8am eastern, Shalane Flanagan leads the charge for a medal in the Women's 10,000. Making the podium will be tough, but definitely not impossible. Kenyan Sally Kipyego, who trains with the Oregon Track Club, has the best time in the world this year at 30:38 and has gotten the better of Flanagan of late, but will likely be a must beat for Flanagan to get on the stand. Vivian Cheruiyot and Meseret Defar will be duking it out up front with defending champion, Kenya's Linet Masai, in the mix as well. Finally, Ethiopia's Meselech Melkamu will be pushing the pace in the Flanagan/Kipyego and possibly Masai. If Flanagan can run like she did at World Cross and bide her time until the last 2k, she should be in the position she needs to be to bring home some hardware. It will also be interesting to see how the recently injured Kara Goucher and 5-time World Championship team member, Jen Rhines, do. If either crack the top 7 or 8, it should be deemed a success.

Again, the festivities begin at 8pm eastern tonight on Universal Sports. IAAF World Championship central is here with startlists, etc
And finally, the Let's Run prediction contest is here.

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