Olympic marathoner Chris Clark returns home to Anchorage

Posted: Tuesday, October 03, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Marathoner Chris Clark, tired but happy to be home after a 30-hour flight, returned Monday from the Sydney Olympics.

Even though Clark didn't medal, the 37-year-old marathoner said she's not ruling out the 2004 Olympics in Greece.

''Never say never. I'm not sure I will still have that competitive drive to train at this intensity, because it really is hard to train at this level and compete at this level,'' she told KTUU-TV. ''But I'm not ruling it out. I'm just going to keep my hand in it and continue to do a couple of marathons a year and see where it takes me.''

Clark, who lives in Anchorage, was the only woman from the United States entered in the race. She finished it in 2:13:25, putting her in 19th place. She cut two minutes off her best time.

Her performance marked the eighth time in her past nine marathons that she has improved on her personal best. Her time was the third-fastest Olympic marathon run by an American woman since the event debuted at the 1984 Olympics, according to USA Track and Field, the nation's governing body for running. Since 1995, Clark has cut nearly 24 minutes off her marathon time.

Clark said she was pleased with her performance, especially because she was going up against the best athletes she's ever encountered.

''The Olympics really are everything you can dream that they would be,'' she said.

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