At 22 miles, McColgan and Ondieki were unexpectedly caught by Olga Markova of the Soviet Union. McColgan waited no more, rising on her toes and driving the four miles to the finish. "I just got stronger and stronger," she said.
McColgan's time broke Sylvia Ruegger's record for a women's marathon debut by 3:14. Markova finished second, in 2:28:18, and Ondieki third. Samuelson faded in the closing miles and ended up sixth. (Salvador García of Mexico won the men's division, in 2:09:28.)
Those of her rivals who were irked by McColgan's confidence before the race will not be pleased with her comments after it. "A very enjoyable experience," she said. "Now I've done one, I'm very much looking forward to doing my next. That will be my chance to chase a fast time."
The time she no doubt has in mind is 2:20, which for eight years has been for women what the four-minute mile once was for men. Samuelson and Ingrid Kristiansen were once considered the mostly likely women to succeed, but Samuelson is now 34 and Kristiansen 35. McColgan is only 27.
The mother of an 11-month-old girl and the wife of British steeplechaser Peter McColgan, she insists she will not be swayed from her plan of running the 10,000 meters and not the marathon in next summer's Olympics in Barcelona. But she may find that the lure of the marathon is irresistible. "The longer I go," she says, "the better I feel."
Kirby and friends brave a blizzard to play some pool
Travel was deemed "inadvisable" as the worst blizzard in Minnesota history socked the Twin Cities with 28 inches of snow last weekend. And still they came: eight major league baseball players, brandishing cue sticks like stilettos, to the exhibit hall of the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis for Saturday's first Kirby Puckett 8-Ball Invitational.
Well, perhaps stiletto isn't quite the right word. "Minnesota Fats has nothing to worry about with this group," said Toronto Blue Jay rightfielder Joe Carter as Los Angeles Dodger first baseman Eddie Murray, at a nearby table, ate popcorn from a bag he had sequestered in a corner pocket.
Slow Eddie and the rest came because Minnesota Squats, the 5'8" centerfielder for the world champion Twins, asked them to come. Squats, who only seven days earlier was winning Game 6 of the World Series all by himself, prefers pool to more traditional off-season pursuits. "Everybody has a golf tournament," said Puckett. "I don't play golf. I don't even know how to play golf. As a matter of fact, I hate golf."
Thus Puckett, who lost both of his parents to heart disease, birthed the refreshing idea for this pro-am pocket billiards tournament, which would raise $65,000 for the Minneapolis-based Children's Heart Fund.