Barack Obama Wins, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

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Last night, one hundred and thirty plus million Americans voted for John McCain or Barack Obama for President of the United States. Both candidates had their plans for changing the current state of American culture, both candidates wanted a chance to lead this country, and both candidates fought long and hard to get their plans in front of the American people. In the end, as they do every four years, the American people decided.

The New York Times noted this morning that Barack Obama, who will become the first African-American president of the United States in seventy-six days, started his first day after winning the U.S. election with a good workout. He then spent five hours meeting with his transition team and taking phone calls from well wishers as he plans to lead our country.

Millions of Americans vote for President each election (this time it was 133 plus million!), and whether your candidate wins or looses, the person that is elected becomes your president. Looking around the world, I still find it amazing that we have a peaceful transition of governments every four years. I must say, that in that, in the past, more of my candidates have lost elections than won. But, that is how a free society works. My travel around much of the world has only made me prouder and more conscious of how lucky I am to be an American citizen.

In this great time of economic need and economic peril for many, in a time when we have two wars where our countrymen and women are loosing their lives, I ask that take the time, perhaps on your run or walk, to consider how amazing it has been that in the US, our differences do make us stronger. In a time of great need, Americans voted, in record numbers and decided, by the majority, that the man they supported
was African-American, and his role is to provide this country the leadership to cure many of our ills.

I had dinner with my son, Adam tonight. It is his birthday. This is the first election that he was of age to vote ( he missed by one day in 2004). His Face book text to me last night will be "long remembered". We spoke in amazement, but also pride. My brother received a note from a Canadian client who noted that it must be great being American today after the election.

We are in, I believe, for a time of great challenges, some good, some not so good. My hope is that we try to help one another, consider how our actions affect others close and in the world we live in, and take some time each day to consider how lucky we are, to be living in this time and place.

Barack Obama quote (from letsrun.com)

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer ... It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America." Also to say that Japanese Olympic officials fear the election of Barack Obama as U.S. president could make his home city of Chicago the favorite to host the 2016 Olympic Games and harm Tokyo's bid. Other candidates are Madrid and Rio de Janiero. The vote will happen next October.

The election of Barack Obama, who during his campaign visited also famous Hayward Field in Eugene is also good news for Tommie Smith and John Carlos as many recalled Mexico Games this October forty years ago and their "black power" protest.


Bekele and Dibaba never lost a 10 000 m on the track

UNBEATEN SEASON: In olympic events four men and seven women are having unbeaten season in 2008. Most impressive are the 10 000 m scores of Ethiopians. Kenenisa Bekele never lost a 10k on track in his 11 career races (2 in 2008). The same for Tirunesh Dibaba who has this career winning streak at number 6 (3 in 2008). But they were also unbeaten at 5000 m in 2008 (Bekele 5 finals and Dibaba 4 finals). Their winning streakes in this event are currently at 11 for Bekele and 9 for Dibaba. Actually, they both did not lost any race at any distance in 2008. Sprinting King Usain Bolt also won all his six 200 m finals of the year (but lost one at 100 m in Stockholm to Powell). Also very impressive is the season of 800 m sensation Pamela Jelimo who only started officialy to run the 800 m in this year and won all her 12 finals. Shot Put Olympic winner Valerie Vili is also unbeaten with 11 finals and winning streak at 12. Steeple world record holder Gulnara Samitova-Galkina is having all six finals of 2008 in her speciality as winning races. The same for hammer olympic gold holder Oksana Menkova of Belarus (all six competitions of the year winning). Russian Walker Olga Kaniskina won all three 20 km races in 2008 and has winning streak at 5 races. Remaining unbeaten athletes are Bryan Clay in decathlon with two competitions and marathon runners. Haile Gebrselassie and Irina Mikitenko won their both races at 42 195 metres in 2008. Current longest winning streak in the sport in section athletes competing is 13 races by Jamaican Olympic Winner Melaine Walker at 400 m Hurdles. Unfortunately she has not unbeaten season with losing her first race of the year in February in Australia. Pole Vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva is at 11 winning competitions in a row, she lost only one competition in 2008 in winter in Bydgoszcz. Overall the longest streak still valid is 19 heptathlon wins in a row for Sweden´s Carolina Kluft (2001-2007) who is not competing in this event currently.


OTHER NEWS

GLASGOW (GBR): World marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe will later this month visit Scotland for the first time since winning the European Cross Country title in Edinburgh in 2003. Her visit, hosted by scottishathletics, takes place on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd November. Paula's busy schedule takes her to Stirling on Friday afternoon where she joins forces with Liz McColgan and her squad of endurance athletes for a practical training session. Then on Saturday morning Paula will be in Glasgow to meet athletes and coaches who are part of the Bank of Scotland Talented Young Athlete Programme. On Saturday afternoon she will address an audience of 200 at the scottishathletics 2014 themed seminar, prior to rounding off her visit by appearing as guest of honour at the scottishathletics Annual Awards Dinner, which has entertained over 400 guests for the past two years.

LAUSANNE (SUI): The road running season kicked off in earnest with hundreds of thousands of Europeans taking part in many of the major city marathons taking place throughout the world. Although the African runners have a clear dominance on the men's side European women won more than their fair share of titles. Following this, European Athletics is pleased to announce that athletes from 9 countries have been nominated for the European Athlete of the Month Award for October. The voting will close on Friday November 14 at 12 noon.

MELBOURNE (AUS): Nominations for the most prestigious sports award in Australia – the Sports Performer of the Year - have been announced, with Olympic gold medallist and Olympic record holder Steve Hooker being nominated in the Performer of the Year category. Also in the Coaches category, West Australian based pole vault coach Alex Parnov of Russian origin has been nominated. Parnov guided the careers of Dimitri Markov, Emma George and Tatiana Grigorieva, before working with Steve Hooker to lead him to gold in Beijing. A gala function will be held on Wednesday 26 November 2008 at Crown Palladium to recognise the very best sports performers of the past 12 months. Informs Athletics Australia.

TORONTO (CAN): Wheelchair athlete Chantal Petitclerc of Montreal and hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep dominated the list as Athletics Canada announced the finalists for its 2008 awards. Lopes-Schliep, who won bronze in the 100-metre hurdles at the Beijing Olympics. Heptathlete Jessica Zelinka was also nominated for the overall athlete of the year. She was 5th in Beijing and scored new national record.

NEW DELHI (IND): One of the major races of this weekend is the Half-Marathon in New Delhi, India. After a positive display on the European athletic-event-circuit last month that culminated in a second place finish in the Marseille-Cassis title last weekend, Rwanda's long distance ace Dieudonne Disi has switched focus to the 4th edition of this race. The Rwandan best athlete has now strengthened his preparations to redeem himself by defending the New Delhi half marathon title whose top cash prize has been hiked from 20,000 to 50,000 USD.

MONTE CARLO: IAAF confirmed the bans for Russian walkers. All five (all EPO) will not be able to compete for two years and will miss not only World Championships 2009 in Berlin, but also European Championships 2010 in Barcelona. Their bans are ending on September 8, 2010. From out of competition tests on April 20 in Saransk Vladimir Kanaykin (European Cup 2007 winner and initially second at World Cup this May), Aleksey Voyevodin (olympic 2004 bronze winner, world 2005 silver holder and World Cup 2002 and 2004 winner) and Viktor Burayev (2001 World medalist). From another out of competition test on July 29 also in Saransk Igor Erokhin (European U23 Champion 2005 and this year national champion at 50 km) and Sergey Morozov (European Junior Champion 2007, World Youth Champion 2005 and in June achieved 1:16:43 at 20 km a mark better than existing world record but most probably will not be ratified).

NEW YORK (USA): 1500 m Olympic winner Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain was guest at New York City Marathon (as friend of Abderrahman Goumri) and spoke to Runners World about his plans. He said that he will not run the World Cross Country Championships in Jordan and his focus for next year will be the 1500 m world record. Zurich or Brussels could be the places according to the Morrocan born athlete. He also said that as usual he plans to start the summer season at Prefontaine Classic in Eugene. As for indoors, he plans one or two races. "But I will run some domestic cross country races in Rabat or Ifran, where I train in Morocco," he was quoted.

LJUBLJANA (SLO): Slovenian sprinter Alenka Bikar (34) announced exactly at 11.21 hrs on Wednesday her retirement. Her 100 m PB is exactly 11.21 from 2001, the fastest 200 m was 22.76 from the same year. She competed for more than 50 times for her country and the best placing was silver medal from European Indoor Championships 2000 in Gent at 200 m. She tried to return after giving birth to a baby and achieved this year good quality 11.43 and 23.42.

BIRMINGHAM (GBR): The deal for the USA Athletics Team to be based in Birmingham before Olympic Games 2012 was first agreed in March 2007 and a memorandum of understanding was signed in February 2008. A formal agreement between Birmingham and USA Track & Field is expected to be signed later this year or early next. Birmingham officials have also been in discussions for several months now with Jamaica about them basing their athletics team, including Olympic 100 and 200 metres champion Usain Bolt and former world record holder Asafa Powell, there in the build-up to the 2012 Games. They are also speaking to teams from Barbados, China and India. Informs insidethegames.com.

NEW YORK (USA): Some more interesting figures about NYC Marathon as released by the organizers. 38 356 runners started and 37 899 finished. Over 105 000 applied, what is new record. Number of countries represented was 105, the largest number of finishers outside USA was from Italy with 3153 (second Great Britain 3037). Prize money and bonuses totaled to 814 300 USD an increase from 2007 (809 300 USD). The oldest finisher was Peter Harangozo with 87 years (8:00:39). Also to note than among the finishers were former track world record holder Zola Pieterse of South Africa (2:59:53), Tour de France 1987 winner Stephen Roche (4:21:09), former US gymnast and Olympic winner from Atlanta Kerri Strug (3:56:06) and former England´s soccer player Geoff Thomas (4:24:33).

STOCKHOLM (SWE): Swedish media are reporting that hurdling twins from Sweden Susanna and Jenny Kallur will seek help from doctors in USA. They are troubled by stress fractures and would need possibly a surgery. Best experts for this kind of injuries are in the USA.

BLOGS: Pat Butcher writes about Naoko Takahashi retirement at http://www.globerunner.org/blog/?p=77 and Tony Ward about the latest changes in the administrative structure of the sport and the legacy of the 2012 Olympic stadium at http://tonyward-trackchat.blogspot.com/.

HAMAMATSU (JPN, Nov 3): 24-years old Hideaki Shikama equalled at Hamamatsu Track and Field Carnival his best in Long Jump with 793 (+1.6). The same mark was registered for him in summer as he was third at National Championships.

Used with permission of Alfons Juck, EME News.


Runblogrun.com encourages you to check out the sites of Shooting Star Media, Inc.: American Track & Field (www.american-trackandfield.com), Athletes Only (www.atf-athlete.com), California Track & Running News (www.caltrack.com), MIssouri Runner & Triathlete (www.morunandtri.com), Latinos Corriendo(www.latinoscorriendo.com), Coaching
Athletics Quarterly (www.coachingathleticsq.com), and USATF Fast Forward (www.usatf.org). All of the above magazine websites can be found at RunningNetwork.com (www.runningnetwork.com).

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