Sparks Fly

8 02 2009

I have never been accused of being lazy when it comes to sports. On the other hand, a good buddy calls me ‘sports watcher’ and knows I put in a good session on the couch with no problem. He knows I can sit and watch hours of sport on TV. I enjoy tons of it and lap-up the constant supply from SuperSport. Look, I can’t say I will sit and watch the Volvo Horse Jumping Championships, nor too much of those strange dudes and totally misplaced host presenter chick from the fishing programme, but there is a plethora of eagerly anticipated events most weeks that I make a point of ‘sports watching’.

I must say, I never thought I would be excited about watching a full marathon, from the start till the winner crosses the line. This year however, I can’t wait to see the action unfold in about five or six big marathons. You see, the way the top guys are running them now – there are tactics and drama to enjoy right from the start. If you do some thinking on the subject, you will notice that there are a good few really fast and talented marathon runners out there.

Now the way they go about things is to target the big races with huge pay for winning or breaking records. There are not enough races to go around for all though, so inevitably you get a guy who trains hard all year and comes head to head with another guy who has also put everything into winning just that one big race for the year. The result – FIREWORKS on race day!

Sometimes a runner comes hammering out of the blocks and nobody knows if they should respond or just sit back. During the race, all runners check each other out and wait for the moment to make a move. Tactics fly around, water bottles are missed, tears flow and even the odd sprint to the finish is so close that the contenders dive for the tape!

Ethiopia and Haile Gebrselassie can still claim glory for now, but the pack is hungry and there are youngsters nipping brashly at the heels of old dogs. Selassie is not giving in though; nope he is chasing that World Record as hard as any other. The $$$ incentives are huge … so is the competition.

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