By Denise Turney
Let me start off by saying, “I love track and field.” I’ve loved the sport since I was 10 years old. This is the time of year when track and field, especially at the professional level, is in full swing. Of course, this year we also have the 2012 Olympics which kick off July 26, the day when the Olympic torch is scheduled to be lit at London’s Olympic Stadium.
Track and Field 2012 Olympic Trials
The air is filled with anticipation, nerves, great expectation and excitement. National Olympic trials are already causing a stir. For starters, sprinter Yohan Blake beat fellow Jamaican, Usain Bolt, in the 100 meters at Jamaica’s track and field trials. Of course, both sprinters raced their way into the Olympic Games. It’s just that few people expected anyone to beat Bolt, an international favorite in the 100 meters. As reported in The Guardian’s June 29, 2012 “London 2012 Olympics: Usain Bolt Beaten by Yohan Blake at Olympic Trials” article, Blake was clocked at 9.75 in the 100 meter finals during the trials. Impressive.
The women’s 200 meter trial sprint was a scorcher, Allyson Felix barely edging out Jeneba Tarmoh by running a blazing 22.297 seconds. Trials for longer distances were held later in the week. One of the more challenging distance events is the steeple chase, a race that demands stamina, mental strength and flexibility and an undefeatable will. During the Oregon trials, Emma Coburn was clocked in the steeplechase at 9:32.78, a time that was almost three seconds ahead of second place finisher, Bridget Franek, who crossed the finish line in 9:35.62. The field events were no less impressive. Consider this, Jill Camarena-Williams took the top spot in the women’s shot put, throwing 62 feet and 10.5 inches.
Running for Olympic Gold Medals
Earlier at the United States’ track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon, 400 meter runner Kirani James (coached by former Olympic gold medalist and Hall of Fame college coach, Harvey Glance) ran down the final turn and home stretch alongside LaShawn Merritt. Unfortunately, James had a false start and was disqualified. Both runners were impressive, Merritt more so of the two.
This is the time of year Raymond Clarke, the main character in Love Pour Over Me, lives for. Running and winning championships since middle school, Raymond is an Olympic hopeful. His athletic career takes flight during the time when athletes like Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses, Evelyn Ashford and Mary Decker Slaney dominated the sport.
A gifted and talented middle distance runner who set records at the national indoor track and field championships, Raymond knows how to hold his own. He’s tough and resilient, unafraid of a challenge. He also loves to run, crisp air pumping through his lungs, his legs stretching out fast and smooth across the pavement. Running sets his mind at ease, makes him feel free. Even now I know, had he been born at a different time, he would have made the 2012 Olympics.
Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to Amazon.com, B&N.com, Ebookit.com and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!