Constantina Tomescu (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Edmonton, Canada

Constantina Tomescu - the Ironwoman from Romania

Constantina TomescuDita finally won a major global title with a rock solid display of front running in Saturday's IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

The name of the 35-year veteran from Romania was hardly mentioned in the build-up to the race, Ethiopia's Derartu Tulu and former Kenyan Lornah Kiplagat now representing the Netherlands, both highly tipped to claim the gold medal.

But Tomescu-Dita in her renowned traditional front running style, destroyed the hopes of not only those two world class rivals, but everyone else in the field with a huge winning margin of one minute and two seconds.

"It's really great to have ran a season's best and won for the first time a World Championships title," said the natural and gifted front runner.
Indeed it was a memorable win for Tomescu-Dita and displaying how quickly she can recover, came only seven weeks after taking third place in the World Championships marathon.

The ironwoman from eastern Europe showing her appetite for road running then announced: "I am racing again next weekend," when she will defend her Chicago Marathon title.

Tomescu-Dita rejected that tackling a second marathon so shortly after her podium finish in Helsinki and her World Half victory, would see her line-up on the startline very tired.

"Not at all, I have prepared well," said the gold medallist who is coached by her husband Valeriu and has a 10-year-old son Raphael.

"I took a week's rest after Helsinki and I have trained hard for this race for a month. No I am not tired. Maybe God has given me the energy."

But she admitted battling the tough Canadian conditions where the altitude venue posed extra problems particularly with the rain making for very cold and arduous conditions had been tough.

Yet Tomescu-Dita despite suffering a couple of cramps in her legs during the race, insisted she felt comfortable and at home with the elements.

She said: "After 15K there was too much rain and it did cause problems. But I like this weather and it is what I have to train in back home in Romania.

"I am sure if conditions had been better I would have ran a personal best," insisted last year's bronze medallist who ran her fastest-ever half marathon of 1:08:10 in 2002.

The World over-35 marathon record holder after finishing runner-up to Paula Radcliffe in this year's Flora London Marathon with a clocking of 2:22:50, admitted she always felt in control of the race.

Tomescu-Dita was also adamant there was never any chance of blowing-up like she has in the past when her brave front running style in marathon events has seen her run out of steam.

She said: "That was never going to happy, I started at a steady pace for the first five kilometres and was surprised when nobody came with me.

"Maybe it was because they (Lornah Kiplagat and Susan Chepkemei who finished behind her) are used to the hot weather they have in Kenya.

"I just felt comfortable throughout although obviously towards the finish I slowed when  the weather became a little bit worse,

"Now I will do little training this week before the race in Chicago," said ther former handball player adamant she can defend her "Windy City" crown despite these latest exertions.

Dave Martin for the IAAF