FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Olympic Marathon Champ Constantina Dita Wraps up Main Training,
Flies to London Tonight
Reigning Olympic Marathon champion Constantina Dita completed her final
hard training session this morning in her US hometown of Erie, Colorado...a
set of repeat 2,000m intervals...and will fly out on this evening's British
Airways Denver/London flight to compete in her third Olympic Games.
In Beijing four years ago, the long-time Colorado/USA resident broke away
from the field from the 20-kilometer point to win in 2:26:44, including a
brilliant 71:33 split for the second half of the race to become the Olympic
champion at age 38. This time around, the Olympic marathon falls on the
date Dita will be 42 years 195 days old, a golden date for an athlete
challenging the 42.195 kilometer distance.
This will be Dita's 11th marathon in London, following her ten consecutive
appearances at the Flora/Virgin London Marathon from 2003 through this
Spring, three times achieving the top three podium. "London is really
special for me, and Dave Bedford and the whole London Marathon staff have
been great to me over the years, including a very nice celebration they
made for me right after I won the gold medal in 2008. I am looking forward
to running in front of all the British fans again next month.
Dita, who has been sponsored by ASICS for the past ten years, commented
last night, "Overall my training has gone really well. Of course there have
been a few days when I really feel I am 42 years old! But just last week I
did my final long run, a 25 km workout up in Nederland. I was surprised
that I was running 25K faster up there at 8,400 feet than I have done some
of my 25K workouts here in Erie, which is much lower altitude."
"For me, I am hoping to run well, and I will do my best. I will fly with my
sister Irina, who has helped my training here the past two months. We will
stay at a hotel near Hyde Park until I move into the Olympic Village just
before the women's marathon. My son Rafael [who is a student at Erie High
School] is hoping to get a tryout with the Rapids next week, so he will fly
over to London just a few days before my race."
Although in London Dita will represent her native Romania, from January
last year she became a US citizen. "I was so proud and excited to take the
citizenship oath. I've been living in Colorado for ten years now. The
organizers there also made a nice announcement to everybody about me being
the Olympic champion, but for all of us who became Americans that day, it
was really special."
Dita is one of seven athletes represented by Boulder Wave who will race in
the women's Olympic Marathon. Women assisted by Brendan Reilly and Boulder
Wave have won the past three consecutive Olympic gold medals in the
marathon, and the run of Olympic marathon medals is four straight going
back to Yuko Arimori's bronze medal in Atlanta in 1996. The group this time
also includes reigning marathon world champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya; 2009
world championships silver medalist Yoshimi Ozaki of Japan; and 2000 Sydney
Olympic silver medalist Lidia Simon of Boulder, who will become the first
woman to have competed in five Olympic marathons.
Reilly comments, "The depth of the field is incredible, with eight or nine
sub-2:20 women in the field, and also another half-dozen women who can be
very dangerous if the race comes down to a 5 km kick at the end. I told our
women that it is perfectly within their grasp to come away with at least
one of the medals, with three, possibly four, of our women in the top ten.
Everybody has trained very well and they are supported by some very devoted
and tireless coaches."
The women's Olympic Marathon will be on a loop course starting and
finishing on the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace. The race start is
11:00 a.m. on August 5th, 4:00 a.m. Colorado time.