Watching the Olympic games, I have come to appreciate how difficult it is to make a final. It is about much more than who has the fastest PR. It is rather about being able to be patient when the pack bunches together and being able to sprint like mad when the break comes. It is about having nerves of steel and the courage to plunge in over your head and then hang on for all you are worth. For Breeda Dennehy-Willis, the months and years of preparation, the 90-100 mile weeks all came down to 18.18 seconds or two places. That is how close she came to making the 10K final.
Breeda bounced back from the 5K and her cold/infection to run 33:17.45 on a hot day in Sydney and just miss the magic ride to the final. There were two heats of the 10K and to make it to the final runners had to finish in the first eight places or be one of the next four fastest runners. A total of 20 make the final. She was 11th in her heat and only two places and 18.18 seconds from being one of those next four fastest. She closed the race with a lap around the track in right at 69 seconds passing a couple of runners, but leaving herself just short. She got a pretty good spiking during the race and got involved in her share of pushing and shoving as runners fought for position.
Congratulations to her for a fantastic effort and a great Olympic experience. And don’t forget, you can get all the details at the October lecture series!