Watching the Olympics frustrating


By Fred Deckert


I don’t know about the rest of you, but watching the Olympics has been a frustrating experience. It seems that NBC spent the most time on the shortest track and field events and the least on the longer ones. I never found any of the 5K or 10K events at all, perhaps they were after my 11:30 bedtime, which was already extended from the normal 9:30-10 p.m. By that time my eyes were glazed over by interminable swimming, basketball and gymnastics events. All of which I like, but in smaller doses. When you add to that all the background fluff and ads, there was very little left for those interested in the running activity.

One wonders what was purchased with those hundred of millions of dollars spent for the TV rights. So, I guess we’re left with getting our kicks from the local activities, of which there are a considerable variety. The fall season is always very active for local runners and an ideal time to prepare for marathons in the late fall and winter season. Running is after all not as much a spectator sport as a participatory one. Of course it’s nice to observe the top performers in any sport push their abilities to the limit. 169 locals tried their luck on the Prefontaine cross country event at Silver Lake on a beautiful fall day, and garnered some GWTC Grand Prix points for their efforts. Jeff Doherty, the race director distributed piles of castoff tires in several spots along the trail to add more spice to an already challenging event. More off road racing is in store at the 20K Pine Run near Bainbridge in several weeks.

For those who need more of a personal touch from the Olympics, Breeda Dennehy-Willis, member of the Irish national running team will lecture on her recent Olympic experience at the Community Room, Tallahassee Parks and Recreation at Myers Park at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 23. There’s also good reading on the running events furnished by our own David Yon who attended the Sydney games and has been e-mailing first hand observations to the GWTC running site listed below.