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Monday, March 20, 2006

Kerryn McCann's marathon

Yesterday, I went to the MCG with my family to watch the first day of the C'wealth/Stolen?wealth games Athletics meet. Along with 80 000 others, we watched various events, among which the women's marathon stood out, as always a particularly gruelling competition. Here are some snaps we took at the end of the women's marathon.

I loved the marathon as a child and watching Robert De Castella in the 1984 LA Olympics was a major reason for my taking up of running at a young age. I ran a half marathon at 12, and again at about 24. I suppose I am getting close enough to 36 to have to consider what is next, but that is getting off the topic!

Anyway, Kerryn McCann is 38 and was virtually written off as past it by the stadium commentators at the beginning of the race. She has two kids, a six year old and a young one - and we were encouraged to give her encouragement, as she approached the stadium, a young Kenyan athlete just behind her. This is a competition so different from others, like gymnastics, which seems to be given over to younger and younger athletes. She looked spent as she entered the stadium on the large TV screen and sure enough the Kenyan athlete ran past her as she was running in. But the roar of the crowd egged her on.

From somewhere, Kerryn found the strength to sprint back past the Kenyan athlete, and as she later related, she was carried the last 300 metres of the track by the strength of her crowd support. I can vouch for that- it was a roar.

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