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Zuzana Tomas finishes Women's Marathon

Posted Sunday, August 17, 2008 2:39 PM ET
Olympic Zone

A teacher and student at the University of Utah ran in the Olympic Women's Marathon Sunday morning in Beijing. KSL talked to her shortly after she crossed the finish line.

Zuzana TOMAS ran for her native country of Slovakia, and she didn't run as well as she wanted to. "Everything was perfect. My body just gave up on me today," she said.

Zuzana finished the marathon in 2 hours 49 minutes.

"I just got such a horrible cramp. If it wasn't for the medical person massaging it out, I don't think I would have finished," she said.

On mile 25, the cramp came back, and Zuzana had to stop again. But she was determined to finish.

"The stadium was too close not to finish, but I was really worried that I wasn't going to," she said.

She pushed through the pain and finished, dropping to the track after crossing the finish line.

The winner of the run, Constantina Tomescu, from Romania, finishing in 2 hours 26 minutes. Kenya's Catherine Ndereba, the reigning world champion, finished in 2 hours 27 minutes, just one second ahead of China's Zhou Chunxiu. Zuzana placed 67th, over a dozen other runners who dropped out.

"It just feels really special being here. I'm proud I was able to at least finish," she said.

Zuzana is the first marathon runner to represent Slovakia in the Olympics. She is working on a doctorate in linguistics at the University of Utah.

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Any athlete at this level and the elite level knows really when they should turn the light switch on and off. It's been on all summer.

Apolo Ohno, Short track
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