I ran the first two years of the City of LA Marathon. I found Bill Burke and Marie Patrick fascinating, but limited in their ability to see what the LA Marathon could be. When the new crew came in for LA, I was excited.
But excuse me, what is the City of LA thinking? Have the city fathers become so blind to the economic opportunities with a big city marathon that they do not care? It seems that way, as the new owners have been forced to move the date to May 25, 2009?
How can we have global marathons in New York, Chicago, and on the West Coast, in LA, they do not get that eight planes full of Japanese tourists would spell lots of money for the city of LA to play with?
KENYANS vs. HOME RUNNERS
OEIRAS (POR): IAAF permitted Cross Country races 2008/09 are starting this Saturday in Oeiras, Portugal. The series consists in total of 10 events. It is one less than last season. In comparison to 2007/08 returning is the Portuguese race in Albufeira and Japan is having only one race (Fukuoka, no Chiba). Also not held is Brussels as the Belgian organizers are having in December the European Championships. In the past the series had also financial awards and scoring of points. After Oeiras the calendar is: Nov 23, Soria (ESP) - Jan 3, Belfast (GBR) - Jan 10, Edinburgh (GBR) - Jan 18, Seville (ESP) - Feb 1, San Vitore (ITA) - Feb 15, Diekirch (LUX) - Feb 21, Nairobi (KEN) - Mar 1, Albufeira (POR) - Mar 7, Fukuoka (JPN).
For Saturday the so far known top names are Kenyans David Kilel and Titus Masai along with best home runners Rui Pedro Silva and Ricardo Ribas. In women race the armada of Portuguese runners Jessica Augusto, Ines Monteiro and in-form Dulce Felix is having better chances to win against Kenyans Jebichi Yator and Rahab Ndungu. The race is also a qualifier for Portugal runners for European CC Championships in Belgium. Last year winners were Ethiopian Imana Marga and home Monica Rosa.
CRAM IS AGAINST
LONDON (GBR): One of Britain's greatest ever runners and now a senior sports administrator Steve Cram has backed International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge in a row over what should happen to the London 2012 Stadium. The former world record holder for the 1500 metres, mile and 2000 metres claimed that there was not the interest in athletics in Britain to justify maintaining the Olympic Stadium as a 25,000 capacity arena after the Games. Writing in his weekly column in The Guardian, Cram said: „The problem is that there is very little evidence to support a national centre for the sport." Cram, who is now the influential chairman of the English Institute of Sport, claimed that the financial implications of keeping the track had be considered.
BOLT MAN OF THE YEAR FOR THE PAPER
KINGSTON (JAM): World´s most popular athlete Usain Bolt was named The Gleaner's Man of the Year 2008. At the Jamaica Pegasus hotel came the announcement that he was the Man of the Year and loud applause erupted.
Bolt was voted the top man by a selection panel from a stellar field that included fellow Olympians, entertainers, members of academia, the private sector, voluntary organisations and those in the public service who were presented with individual awards. „It's very important," Bolt said of the Man of the Year title in an interview after The Gleaner's Honour Awards function. The last athlete to win the top award was Deon Hemmings in 1996 when dominating the Olympic 400 m Hurdles final in Atlanta. Informs Jamaica Gleaner newspaper.
KUALA-LUMPUR (MAS): Malaysia's pole vault record holder Roslinda Samsu (4.40m) has been offered an IAAF scholarship to train at the HPTC Formia in Italy where her coach Gennady Potapovich is to start working on Dec 1st, after his contract with the Malaysian federation wasn't renewed at the end of September. The Malaysian Amateur Athletic Association (MAAU) had proposed to hire Belgium Ely Van Vlierberghe in replacement, but Samsu insisted she was more comfortable with her former coach, Bernama informs.
BANSKA BYSTRICA (SVK): Former Slovak top walker Zuzana Blazekova became a mother on Monday. She was 2000 Olympian at 20 km walk and was 13th at World juniors 1998 in Annecy. Her son Oleg was 51 cm and 3.1 kg, father is former ice-hockey player Michal Jamrich. Blazekova is daughter of one of the best Slovak walkers ever Pavol Blazek, the 1990 European Champion.
BERLIN (GER): Current discus world champion Franka Dietzsch will start early December her preparations for 2009. She again confirmed her aim to win the fourth Gold Medal in Berlin next year. Previous world titles are from Seville (1999), Helsinki (2005) and Osaka (2007). Due to illness and injuries she was not competing in 2008 and missed the Olympic Games.
VIENNA (AUT): Independent Arbitration Commission of Austrian Anti-Doping Agency confirmed the life-ban of hurdler Elmar Lichtenegger. Austrian media are reporting. He was tested twice positive for Norandrosteron a year ago in out of competition tests. Before that in 2003 he was banned for two years for Nandrolon. He could still challenge the decision at CAS in Lausanne.
ZURICH (SUI): One of the best European marathon runners Viktor Rothlin of Switzerland will return to competitions 12 weeks after Olympics when he will compete this Saturday at Bulle road race. It will be first of four appearances in next five weeks for him. Next in order are Basel on Nov 29, Geneve on Dec 6 and Zurich on Dec 14. He is looking forward to this races and confirmed that he is back at 13 trainings and 180 km per week. Bulle, Basel and Zurich are also part of local series Post Cup.
MEXICO CITY (MEX): Mexican marathon record holder, Madai Perez, is pregnant with her second child, her managment agency reported today. Perez, along with husband Odilon Cuahutle, are expecting their second child in May, 2009. The couple already have a son, six year-old Kenjiro. Informs Race Results Weekly. Perez, 28, who is coached by two-time ING New York City Marathon champion German Silva, gave her best performance at the marathon distance in Chicago in 2006. There, in cold conditions, she clocked 2:22:59 for fourth place, setting a Mexican record. She fared much worse at last August's Beijing Olympic Marathon, finishing 19th after being in the lead pack through 32 km. Perez said she expects to compete in the Central American and Carribean Games in Puerto Rico 2010, the Panamerican Games in 2011, and the London Olympics in 2012.
GLASGOW (GBR): Twenty-four Scottish athletes have been offered the opportunity of programme support for 2009 with a focus on success at the 2010 Commonwealth Games through a scottishathletics managed initiative funded through sportscotland. Eight new faces appear on the list for 2009. Though four of these are from the UKA World Class Plan they remain contenders for top eight or medal finishes in 2010 including sprint hurdle duo of Allan Scott and Melbourne silver medallist Chris Baillie, along with Scottish javelin record holder James Campbell. A further four of these athletes are exciting new top eight prospects for 2010 including the rapidly improving sprint hurdler Gemma Werrett - ranked second on the Scottish All-Time list for the 100m hurdles - hammer thrower Mark Dry who has improved his best by over 8m in the past year under the tutelage of Chris Black, and Scottish under-20 pole vault record holder Scott Huggins.
LOS ANGELES (GBR): In conjunction with city authorities, the new owners of the City of Los Angeles Marathon have decided to move the race from its traditional early March date to the Memorial Day holiday for 2009. According to a blog posted at the website of the Los Angeles Times newspaper, the May 25, 2009, date was adopted after a failed attempt to move the race to the Presidents' Day weekend in February. Early reaction is decidedly negative. A big concern with the new date will be potentially hot weather. LA Marathon LLC, the event's new operations company which is funded by Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, is satisfied with the new date. The race has been held 23 times since its inception in 1986. It was held in the month of March for each of those runnings, usually on the first Sunday. The event records are 2:08:40 by Kenyan Benson Cherono and 2:25:10 by Russian Lidiya Grigoryeva, both set in 2006. Informs Race Results Weekly.
LONDON (GBR): One of Britain's top distance coaches for more than 30 years, Alan Storey is to leave his post as the senior performance manager for endurance, UK Athletics confirmed. In a short statement, UK Athletics announced the departure of Storey but offered no reasons and said that they would not be making any further comment on the matter. In December 2007 Storey, then 61, was investigated by UK Athletics after a Sunday tabloid newspaper alleged he had had a sexual relationship with Kate Reed, 25, an athlete he was coaching, while they were together on a funded training trip to South Africa. Storey denied the relationship but insidethegames understands that that internal disciplinary action was taken against him.
As insidethegames revealed last week, Storey is one of several candidates to have been interviewed for the role of head of performance at the Athletics Assocation of Ireland (AAI). He is currently coaching Mo Farah, Britain's top male endurance runner.
KINGSTON (JAM): Howard Aris and the entire executive body of the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) are expected to be returned en bloc and unopposed at the upcoming election of officers during the association's next Annual General Meeting set for next Tuesday. Informs Jamaica Observer. No position was contested at the close of nominations last Saturday evening, Honorary Secretary Garth Gayle informed. The current management committee was first elected in 2004. Olympian Grace Jackson is first vice-president, Dr Warren Blake second vice-president, Vilma Charlton third vice-president and Dr Winston Dawes, fourth vice-president. Marie Tavares is assistant secretary and Ludlow Watts, Honorary Treasurer.
LONDON (GBR): Olympic 400 m Hurdles bronze medalist Tasha Danvers-Smith (31) resumed training in November for the 2009 season, which obviously will include the Berlin World Championships. As IAAF informs she, though, hinted that some indoor competitions may also be on the slate. "The better that I do, the more that I am driven to do other things," she was quoted.
LOS ANGELES (USA): Former 100 m world record holder Maurice Greene won't be as succesfull in dancing as for example Danish Shot Putter Joachim Olsen. As agencies are reporting Greene with his professional partner, Cheryl Burke, were eliminated Tuesday from ABC's popular dancing competition. The pair received a total score of 48 out of 60 from judges for their quickstep and paso doble routines Monday. After viewer votes were combined with the judges' scores, the 34-year-old Olympic gold medalist was dismissed.
MELBOURNE (AUS): For the Saturday´s Great Australian Run with Haile Gebrselassie The African Royal Drummers were attracted. As the event website reports that is a group of musicians from Ghana, now based in Melbourne. They see themselves as ambassadors for the culture and music of their home country and are committed to teaching people about Africa and sharing their culture and knowledge. They perform authentic traditional music and dance from all regions of Ghana and, according to tradition, they have received permission to play the drums that feature in their performance.
SAN ANTONIO (USA): Five years after she shattered her own course record by nearly two minutes at the ING New York City Marathon, Kenyan Margaret Okayo will make her comeback debut alongside 30,000 runners at the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon & ½ Marathon this Sunday. Informs trackandfieldnews.com. Okayo leads an exciting women's field which includes New Zealand Olympian Liza Hunter-Galvan, who resides locally in San Antonio, as well as Olympian Nuta Olaru of Romania, whose 2008 accomplishments include a seventh place finish at the Boston Marathon and a third place finish in San Diego. A significant challenge could also come from Svetlana Ponomarenko of Russia, who earlier this year won the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, and has also won marathons in Frankfurt, Dallas, Twin Cities and Athens over the last 2 years. On the men's side, U.S. Olympian Brian Sell will run the half marathon. He competed in the marathon at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and also finished 9th at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki. The elite field for the men's marathon is comprised primarily of Ethiopian and Kenyan runners. The field will be led by 1997 and 1998 ING New York City Marathon winner John Kagwe of Kenya, owner of the second-fastest time ever winning the'97 race with a personal record of 2:08:12. He is also a previous Rock 'n' Roll champion, finishing first in the 2001 San Diego Marathon.
MONTE-CARLO: The IAAF is seeking an Events Coordinator for its Competition Department. More information is available on the following link: http://www.iaaf.org/aboutiaaf/news/newsid=44535.html.
HANOI (VIE, Nov 2): New 100 m Vietnamese record at National Championships. Nguyen Van Huynh (23) clocked 10.52. His own former mark was 10.55 from 2006.
KOSCIAN (POL, Nov 9): Ukrainian Vitaliy Shafar won the 4th Koscianski Halfmarathon with 1:03:37 beating by 10 seconds his country-mate Mihaylo Iveruk (1:03:47) and Kenyan Matthew Kosgei (1:05:50). 2:39 Marathon runner Dorota Ustianowska was best woman here (1:15:49). Double Olympian and sub 2:30 runner Malgorzata Sobanska was third (1:19:32) as she was also beaten by Ukrainian Svitlana Stanko (1:17:04).
HANGZHOU (CHN, Nov 9): Kenyan Moses Kibet won the Huangzhou Marathon with 2:15:04. The race which started in 1987 had Belgian Rik Ceulemans as 7th (2:20:46).
D´ARNAY LE DUC (FRA, Nov 11): At National CC race here wins for home Margaret Maury (18:39) and Burundi´s Ezekiel Nizigiyimana (23:29).
Used with permission of Alfons Juck, EME News.