Published Monday 06 August 2012

Kimberley Smith ran a creditable 15th in the Olympic women’s marathon today, but wasn’t entirely happy with how her day panned out.
Smith, 30, was looking for a top-six performance and has the running CV to justify such hopes.
However, it was a difficult day for the 118 starters. They began the race in heavy rain and had to cope with slippery conditions, particularly over the cobblestone section of the course through London.
In addition, Smith said she was surprised by how tight some of the turns were.
“I found the course pretty difficult,” Smith said. She felt she lost times on a lot of the tight turns.
“I felt terrible out there.”
Despite the bad weather at the start – the day got finer as the race progressed – there were hundreds of New Zealanders among the throngs lining the course and they offered Smith plenty of support.
Smith finished in 2h 26min 59s, about 1½ minutes outside her best marathon time, though on the torrid Olympic course it was a very respectable effort.
The race was won by Ethiopian Tiki Gelana in 2h 23min 07s. She outkicked Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya and won by five seconds.
Though the early stages of the race were dominated by African runners, they did not show up quite as strongly as expected overall – there were five in the top 20.
Smith ran with the leaders until about the halfway point, which she reached in 1h 13min 14s and in 12th place.
She slowed slightly on the homeward journey, but generally maintained her pace fairly well.