Blake Russell has baby boy, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

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Congrats to Blake Russell and her husband, the proud new parents of a baby boy, Quin, born on April 28, 2009. Quin was 6 lbs, 4 ounces, as reported by our friends at Race Results Weekly.

Blake was the third placer on the US Olympic Marathon Trials last April and only U.S.women's finisher in the marathon in Beijing.

My greatest memory of Blake is her absolutely gutty run in St. Louis, at the 2004 Olympic Trials. She ran with her heart, and at some time, heart and desire were overcome by exhaustion. Her fourth place resonated among the fans, knowing that this was one women marathoner we would see back.

Blake Russell has not run her best race as of yet. But, that decision to return to our sport is up to her and her team, about whether to take up the training that is needed to run that perfect race. Our sport would be better for it, but most important is the new life she now holds. We wish Blake, her husband and family best wishes.

The other night, I watched a DVD with David Bedford, now the race director at London. Beford was speaking how most distance runners feel that, even with a near perfect race, they could run faster, farther, etc. It is in our nature--great distance running is optimism powered by endorphins.

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California Track cover, May/June 2008, left to right, Kate O'Neil, Deena Kastor, Blake Russell, photo by Photorun.net

SESTO SAN GIOVANNI (ITA): The 52nd edition of the Coppa Città di Sesto Walking Race, the fourth leg of the IAAF Walking Race, will have a special significance this year as it is the 30th time that Sesto San Giovanni holds the women’s race. To celebrate this special anniversary the passionate local organizers of the Coppa Città di Sesto will hold a series of initiatives in the week leading to the famous Walking Race on Friday 1 May, the Workers’ Day Festivity. The competition reads as the “Who’s Who” of world race walking with one of the best fields ever assembled. The entire podium of the Beijing Olympic Games will feature in the 20 km women’s race with Russian reigning Olympic and World champion Olga Kaniskina, silver medallist Kjersti Plätzer from Norway and bronze medallist Elisa Rigaudo from Italy. This is the perfect way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the women’s race in Sesto. The men’s race will not be less impressive with both reigning Olympic gold medallists Valeriy Borchin from Russia (20 km) and Alex Schwazer from Italy (50 km), 20 km European champion and World silver medallist Francisco Fernandez, local hero Ivano Brugnetti, Athens 2004 Olympic champion in the 20 km, Erik Tysse, fifth in both the Olympic Games in Beijing and in the World Championships in Osaka in the 50 km and Italian hope Giorgio Rubino, fifth in the 20 km in Osaka. Informs IAAF.

MARSEILLE (FRA): At May 1 10 km road race in Marseille top Kenyan fields are entered. On the men side Silas Kipruto, Abraham Chebii and Titus Masai. In the women list Peninah Arusei, Sylvia Kibet and Grace Momanyi. French world class steeple runner Boubdallah Tahri is also in the field.

HALLE (GER): Current women hammer list leader Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland confirmed her participation at Halle Throwing Meet on May 23. Discus thrower Robert Harting should also not be missing. The Olympic fourth placer will open his season on May 16 in Wiesbaden.

PARIS (FRA): Renaud Longuèvre's training group of eight, which includes amongst others 60H indoor European champion Ladji Doucouré, sprinter Muriel Hurtis-Houairi and long jumpeur Eloyse Lesueur just ended a 10-day training camp in Qatar, where they enjoyed the top-notch facilities of the Aspire sports Academy: movement analysis tools in the air-conditioned indoor sporting arena that will host the 2010 World indoor championships, ice bath to reduce tissue breakdown, sauna, jacuzzi, and hypoxic sleeping rooms at Aspire’s sister medical facility, Aspetar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital. Such facilities comes with a cost. The training camp was originally to cost 40,000 Euros. But a deal that included two conferences by Longuèvre and a training session by the group for the Academy's kids allowed to reduce the cost to 10,000 Euros. "For that price, the training conditions we enjoy are simply outstanding" Longuèvre declared. Doucouré will debut his season in New York on May 30, l'Equipe informs.

PARIS (FRA): News from French Athletics. The Areva Company which is already sponsoring the Golden League Meeting of Paris will be a new partner for French Athletics Federation. The cooperation will last until 2012 Olympic Games. This year the company will provide 450 000 E for the federation and bonuses linked to performances. Areva will also support individual athletes like Ladji Doucoure, Teddy Tamgho, Teresa Nzola Meso and possibly Christine Arron.

MONTREUIL (FRA): The French Athle Tour meet of Montreuil on June 11 confirmed the participation of Dwain Chambers. But the organisers were forced to reveal that Cuban 110 m Hurdles world record holder Dayron Robles will not come. He is scheduled to run on June 10 in Thessalonki, Greece.

GOTEBORG (SWE): The Swedish European Indoor Champion from Torino, Johan Wissman will make his first competition in Sweden for this summer at Goteborg Grand Prix on June 9. He will most probably run the 400 m. Top British miler Andy Baddeley will run the 800 m against Mattias Claesson, the Swedish medalist from the European Champs in Torino. Steeple record holder Mustafa Mohamed will compete at 5000 m. The high jump star Linus Thörnblad will be the big name of this event. In women High Jump Emma Green, world championship medallist in Helsinki 2005 is from Göteborg and will compete in front of her home crowd after indoor break due to injury. Another female star Carolina Kluft should be there in Long Jump.

NEW YORK (USA): USA Olympic marathoner Blake Russell became a mother on April 28 when son Quin arrived. He weighs 6 lbs., 4 oz, according to Russell's Facebook page. Informs Race Results Weekly.

TORINO (ITA): The 15th International Meeting in Torino having for the jubilee tenth time the title Memorial Primo Nebiolo changed its date to June 4. "The 2009 is an important year for our meeting,” said the President of Cus Torino Riccardo D'Elica. “It is the tenth anniversary of the death of Primo Nebiolo, a great father for athletes but also the sports university in general,” he said. Italian sprinting star Febio Cerutti who lives in Torino will compete.

MOSCOW (RUS): The Anti-doping commission of Russian Athletics Federation confirmed five doping cases and banned athletes from three months to three years. Valeriy Kidryashev who was positive at Russian Indoor Championships in February was banned for two years until February 25, 2011. At the same events and in the same terms also long distance runner Rashida Safina was banned. Middle distance athlete Elena Kanales was banned from the same event for three years until February 25, 2012. It is because in her body were found more than one banned substance. Sprinter Gleb Tkachenko was banned for three months until June 17, 2009. Two years also for middle distance runner Vladimir Yezhov who won initially the 1500 m at national indoor championships in February.


PRAHA (CZE): Former European (2000) and World (2001) Indoor Champion Pavla Rybova returns after pregnancy to competitions. The Pole Vault 2005 World Championships medalist plans to compete on May 24 in Praha at first round of Club League. “I m taking it very relaxed, for example today I was not able to find a baby sitter to our young boy Jiri and there was no training. But otherwise I m ok and maybe I would be able to attack the World Championships standard 435 cm, “ she was quoted.

NEW YORK (USA): Race Results Weekly informs that the fourth annual New York City Half-Marathon will take place on Sunday, August 16, the New York Road Runners announced. The race, which counted 10,506 finishers last year, has developed into the top summer half-marathon in the world. Olympic medalists Haile Gebrselassie (59:24, 2007) and Catherine Ndereba (1:09:43, 2006) hold the course records, impressive times given the heat and humidity normally experienced in New York City in the summer. The scenic and certified course takes in one shady 10 km loop of Central Park, then runs south through the heart of Times Square before heading downtown to the finish just north of Battery Park. The first half of the course features challenging hills, while the second half is flat and slightly downhill to the finish. Top athletes like Abdi Abdirahman (60:29), Thomas Nyariki (61:22), and Madai Perez (70:26) have recorded their career best times on the course.

LONDON: Pat Butcher latest blog, this is one recession that won't end soon, find at: http://www.globerunner.org/blog/?p=145

RESULTS

CHULA VISTA (USA, Apr 28): Estonian world and olympic winner Gerd Kanter improved his own world leading mark with year´s first 70+ throw at special discus meeting called World Record Challenge in California. In second round he got 70.84, his sixth best mark ever. His only other valid throw was in fourth round (69.05). He will continue in the challenge next week in Salinas. Second Dutch Erick Cadee again improved his best to 65.61, third US Jarred Rome with 65.43 (it was the leader after first round), fourth Egyptian Omar El Ghazaly (65.18) and fifth Swede Niklas Arrhenius also impressive (65.00). The competition was held in 20 degrees and wind going to 2 m/s.

MERANO (ITA, Apr 26): Winner of 16th Half-Marathon here were Kenyans Collins Tanui (1:01:29) and Helah Kiprop (1:12:43).

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.

For more information on our sport, please click on http://www.american-trackandfield.com

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