Cross Country is the meeting place of middle and long distance runners. It comes from the British sporting clubs in the 1840s and 1850s and their hounds and hares events. Someone would drop markers over hill and dale, across creeks, providing the hounds an exciting tour of the countryside. Cross country running and racing came from that inauspicious beginning. Now, in the U.S. high school cross country has about 515,000 boys and girls competing across the 50 states.

Morris_160213_8629.jpgKellyn Taylor, Olympic Trials Marathon, photo by Kevin Morris

Wednesday, August 31, 2016: Warm up; 5 miles easy running; cool down.

Take the time to check out the HOKA Postal Nationals site, you can find it at hokaoneonepostalnationals.com.

Avila_EricQFH-USOlyTr16.jpGLeo Manzano, Eric Avila, among others, photo by PhotoRun.net

Our sport requires focus and patience. The slow build up of endurance, speed and strength will come into play as the cross country season builds to the big races: league, regionals, state and nationals.

Tempo runs are a fantastic way to build race callousing and endurance.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016: Tempo Day: 1-mile warmup; 20-min tempo run; 1-mile cool-down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: If you currently run 19 min for a 5K, that's 6:10 pace. Add 30 seconds to get your tempo run pace of 6:40 per mile. Recalculate your pace as your fitness improves, about once a month.

Jager_EvanR-OlyGame16.jpgEvan Jager, photo by PhotoRun.net

Evan Jager will be running the 5000 meters in Zurich. We wish him luck! I will have to watch it on TV. Weltklasse is one of my favorite meets. I like to stay at the Ibis, and walked by the hookah bars about a mile away from the Ibis hotel during my nightly walks. The Movenpick hotel is the headquarters, and the pressers are a bit unusual, but the meeting is, well, amazing. Great crowd, fantastic races, and a fun Chinese place just behind the stadium, opened late after track meetings.


WELTKLASSE NEWS (materials from the meet media office)

ZURICH (SUI): Weltklasse will be again World Class pure. 14 champions of the Rio Olympic Games are heading the illustrious entry lists for the IAAF Diamond League final at Weltklasse Zürich this Thursday. 16 Diamond Trophies, which include prize money of 40 000 USD each, will be awarded. The new champions will line up against 26 Olympic medallists, 10 reigning world champions and 16 champions of the recent European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam. The impressive Weltklasse Zürich entry lists suggest another edition of «Olympic Games in one night» and a unique athletics experience for 25 000 stadium visitors.

ZURICH (SUI): The Weltklasse 200m women is a sparkling gem in the 2016 programme of events: New Olympic champion Elaine Thompson (Jamaica), world champion Dafne Schippers (Netherlands), Allyson Felix (USA), and Veronica Campbell-Brown (Jamaica) have won a total of as many as 25 titles at Olympic Games and world championships, including twelve in individual events.

ZURICH (SUI): US Kendra Harrison, 100m hurdles record holder, has left a very strong impression in the IAAF Diamond League meetings this summer. The American won as many as five of her races. After missing out on the Olympic Games, she triumphed again in Lausanne and Paris, and is considered the top favourite for the race on Thursday.

ZURICH (SUI): World record holder Renaud Lavillenie has also already forged an uncatchable margin in the Diamond Race. He will be the first athlete to win the trophy for the seventh consecutive time in Zurich. "Mister Diamond League" is about to make athletics history: No pole vaulter has ever been able to steal the Diamond League crown from him so far. In addition, the French Olympic silver medallist is ready for a rematch with Olympic champion Thiago Braz. The star-studded field also includes Olympic bronze medallist Sam Kendricks, Piotr Lisek and Jan Kudlicka and 2015 World champion Shawn Barber.

ZURICH (SUI): Despite her quote after Paris World record about ending the season Ruth Jebet will compete in Zurich women steeple. It will be interesting to see, whether she can run a similar time in Zurich, and whether she will be able to defend her lead in the Diamond Race against Olympic silver medallist and world champion Hyvin Kiyeng.

ZURICH (SUI): The women's 800m race will feature another all-star cast. Switzerland's European indoor champion Selina Büchel, who placed ninth in Rio, will be running against the eight Olympic finalists. It will be a perfect opportunity for the 25-year-old athlete to prove that she belongs with the world's best. Lining up next to her will be Olympic champion Caster Semenya, who will be running her first race since the Olympic final.The Zurich Trophy, a women's 4x100m relay race, will conclude the night at Letzigrund Stadium. The Swiss national record holders will run against teams from the USA, Jamaica, Ukraine, and Germany.

ZURICH (SUI): Last year the men's pole vault stunned the spectators at Zurich Main Station. This year, the world's best female pole vaulters will take centre stage at the special Weltklasse Zürich arena. Swiss star Nicole Büchler and Greece's Olympic champion Ekaterini Stefanidi are all set to put their skills on show at an extraordinary venue on Wednesday. Some 2000 spectators will get to cheer and to gasp at Zurich Main Station. And the athletes will no doubt also treat them to some goose bumps during their breathtaking airshow at the unique temporary arena. All of the 450 seats have been sold.

Believe it or not, there were a plethora of events, large and not so large, across Europe during the Olympic Games. Carles Baronet even founds some meets we missed in Moldova. Here is Report number 16.

SteeplechaseMotion1-Moscow13.jpgSteeplechase, photo by PhotoRun.net

SimpsonLedsRowburyLastTurn-RioOlyG16.jpgJenny Simpson, Shannon Rowbury, Rio 1500 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net

The New Balance 5th Avenue Mile is one of the final rites of the Summer track season. And now, with New Balance beginning the first year of their long term relationship with NYRR, the 5th Avenue Mile is one of my favorite events. Check out the amazing fields that NYRR has put together, and make sure you check out the race!

Yego_JuliusQH-OlyGame16.jpgJulius Yego, photo by PhotoRun.net

In the summer of 2015, I was sitting in the media section in the Birmingham Diamond League meeting in Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, England. It was near the end of the meet, and Julius Yego was throwing the javelin. Julius let one go, and it just flew, landing behind some boxes of BBC TV equipment. At first it was called a foul. Then, Julius protested and the officials checked it. It was not a foul, but was just on the right side of the vector. And it was a HUGE throw!

In Beijing, Julius Yego became the first Kenyan to win a field event in the World Championships.

Julius Yego won the first Olympic field event medal ever won by a Kenyan athlete. Julius is one of the quotes that Elliott Denman quoted down below. Enjoy the quotes, there are some fine ones from Rio!

Alexander_ColbyQ-OlyTr16.JPGColby Alexander, photo by PhotoRun.net

This is the beginning of week two, of the HOKA ONE ONE Fall Cross Country training program. We have a long run, a tempo run and a hill run, plus four recovery days. Focus on the task at hand. If you want to make the workouts harder, take the easy runs on hilly runs. Varying surfaces is key to foot health.

Monday, August 29, 2016: Warm up; 5 miles easy running; cool down.

And remember to check out the hokaoneonepostalnationals.com site.

Alex Mill wrote for RunBlogRun last year and also over the past couple of years. This year, Alex has a real job, so his writing is a bit more intermittent for RunBlogRun. But, as I woke up this Sunday morning, an email appeared from Alex Mill, with his favorite non-gold medalists in Rio. I like his list!

Simpson-HassanLastTurn-RioOlyG16.jpgJenny Simpson going by Sifan Hassan, Rio 1500 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net

Wlodarczyk_AnitaQ-RioOlyG16.jpgAnita Wlodarczyk, photo by PhotoRun.net

Wlodarczyk 82.98 huge WR
WARSZAWA (POL, Aug 28): Some 27 000 spectators in the National Stadium in Poland´s capital went home satisfied. They saw World record, World lead, two more meet records and plenty of interesting fights at 7th Kamila Skolimowska Memorial. Fresh from Rio success Anita Wlodarczyk started with huge 79.68, added to 80.31 in second throw and huge 81.70 (second best ever at that time) in third. Stadium exploded in fourth round, with superb technique she smashed her Rio global mark by 69 cm to 82.98. She continued to throw on high level with 81.27 and her last attempt ended in net. Her 6th World record and she has now 10 best competitions ever. Also in men hammer Pawel Fajdek made for Rio disappointment from qualification and improved in fifth round after Wlodarczyk World record his own World lead to 82.47. Another highlight was the last competition by Tomasz Majewski on home soil. He achieved excellent season best with 21.08 and was only overtaken by Olympic bronze medalist Tom Walsh in last series with 21.48. High jump olympic silver winner Mutaz Essa Barshim had excellent afternoon of jumping all four heights including 235 (meet record) in first attempt. Then he tried at World leading 241 three times and specially the third one was very close. In discus fight Robert Urbanek was the winner 63.80 just ahead of Gerd Kanter (came just in the morning from Estonia) 63.69 and Piotr Malachowski 63.60. Olympic bronze winner Daniel Jasinski only fifth (60.58) and Olympic winner Christoph Harting did not arrive due to illnes and fever. Kamila Licwinko topped women high jump with 193. Pawel Wojciechowski improved meet record in pole vault with 565 and Paulina Guba won the women shot with 17.57. On the straight (in the set-up only straight for sprints and sectors for technical events) the top result by Jamaican Julian Forte in men 100 m with 10.09 (-0.1, with closed roof nearly no wind) ahead of German record holder Julian Reus 10.31. British record holder Dina Asher-Smith got the women 100 m in 11.28 (-0.6) over US Barbara Pierre 11.36. Hurdles winners from overseas Canadian Olympic finalist Phylicia George 12.88 (0.0) and US Jarred Eaton 13.50 (+0.1).

Wlodarczyk dedicated the record to Skolimowska
WARSZAWA (POL): "I was saying that I want to improve the record and I was able to keep my word," said Anita Wlodarczyk after her record competition. "Maybe I could break it in first round but I like to improve step by step and play with the emotions. Yes it was close to 83 meters, but lets save something for the next season," she added. It was her first season in her career where she was without any injuries. "I was since november fully healthy and underwent excellent preparation at 100 percent level. And I want to thank the spectators, they gave me the right wings. Normally I m forced to motivate myself, I m missing opponents at similar level, but this time the motivation came from the tribunes," explained Wlodarczyk. She dedicated her record to Kamila Skolimowska. "And not only Kamila but also last meet of Tomasz Majewski in Poland was another special motivation. When I will end the career I would be also happy when somebody would achieve a world record," added Wlodarczyk who will now start her two months holidays. She will be back to training in November. Her coach Krzysztof Kaliszewski added: "It was 90 % ideal throw, I saw still some possibilites to improve in her technique. And we must note that after Rio she is not fully into her usual regime. I already said at the beginning of this season she can throw 85 meters. Something remained for future."

VanNiekerk-Wayde1-OlyGame16.jpgWayde Van Niekerk, Kirani James, LaShawn Merritt, 400 meters, Rio, photo by PhotoRun.net

Elliott Denman would not be much of an Olympic journalist without his top 25 list. Upon his return from Rio, Elliott gave us his list.

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