May 2009 Archives

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Chris Lukesic and Leonel Manzano can be seen here, early on in the men's 1,500 meters, with Manzano running a world leader in 3:34.14! Women's events reviewed
On Monday, we will post a review of all the Rbk GP women's events!

Photo by Photorun.net.

The Reebok Grand Prix has just completed it's fifth year. And this year, from any viewpoint, was, simply, the best RGP ever. The level of competition was amazing! The crowd of 10,900 made this the best EVER RGP and the second largest elite meet in North America. And more than anything, a major track meet had become a success in New York, the media capital of the world.

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Tyson Gay's first 200 meters in nearly a year was a site to behold! Photo by Lisa Coniglio/PhotoRun.net.

Event by event analysis tomorrow morning before the plane, but here is the real deal: In front of 11,000 paying fans, the second largest professional track meet in the U.S. gave the fans a real life track & field experience. Consider the following:

* Tirunesh Dibaba, gold medalist at 5,000m and 10,000 meter looses at 5,000m in world leading 14:35 to Linet Masai!

*Christin Wurth Thomas' run to the lead in the 1,500 m with six hundred meters to go, her amazing win in 4:03.96!

*Mike Rodgers wins 100m over Asafa Powell in 9.94!

* Micah Kogo holds off Bernard Lagat in 13:02.93 for 5,000m, with a four minute last mile!

* Carmelita Jeter runs 10.85 for 100 meters, beating Muna Lee and Veronica Campbell Brown!

* Leonel Manzano runs a come from behind, gutty 1,500 meters, wins in a world leading 3:34.13!

* Anna Willard, the steeplechaser, wins the 800 meters in 1:59.23!

* And Tyson Gay, who has not run a 200 meters since summer, runs a blazing 19.58, leading the world, and setting his own personal best. Wallace Spearmon broke 20.00 and was .4 back!

More details to come!

To reach RBR, email me at runblogrun@gmail.com

Great competitions brewing for the Reebok Grand Prix, NYC. I am getting ready for the bus in a half hour. Twitter updates per event and full report tomorrow with complete results and photos!

In an interview prior to the Reebok Grand Prix in New York, Carolina Kluft told RBR that she was using a shortened run up for the long jump, as she is still recovering from a stress fracture. " I am training well, but this is still quite early in the season. I am using a shortened run up as I am short on training and I want to be careful with my leg. I really wanted to compete in New York and visit Reebok (in Boston), so, while I am back at training, I am still a bit short of where I would like to be."


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Allyson Felix has moved from the 100 meters to the 400 meters at the Reebok GP tomorrow. The athletes seen in the Shereton lobby were the stars of global track & field as athletes arrive for tomorrow's Reebok New York Grand Prix. Watch for the men and women's 400 meter hurdles. The men's high hurdles will have Terrance Trammell and Ladji Doucoure from France!

Haile Gebrselassie wants to break his own one hour run record. He will make the attempt on June 1, 2009 in Hengelo. We hope you enjoy the short video, provided by adidas, from Haile on how he is racing right now. Watch for more videos to follow!

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Meseret Defar will be going for her A standard at 10,000m for the Berlin World Championships tomorrow at Stockholm Stadiu, with Aheza Kiros, who won the adidas Track Classic 5k, and Worknesh Kidane. Should be an interesting race...will she run it safe or blast it?

Photo by Photorun.net.

Just arrived in New York late last night, meetings and interviews today, preceding the Reebok NY Grand Prix. Should be an amazing meet! I am looking forward to the Men's 100 meters, and seeing if Darvis Patton can take on Asafa Powell, the Men's 200 meters, with Tyson Gay showing his stuff over 200 meters, the womens' 100 meters, with Carmelita Jeter, the 5,000 meters and the women's pole vault, to name a few. Weather is rainy in NY, supposed to be clear and 78 tomorrow!

More updates this evening!

Edwin Moses came on the scene early in my track consciousness-1976! He enthralled a generation of track fans with his tough work ethic, his amazing technique and his gutty racing! His record of wins was watched by track and sports fan alike. As a champion of drug free athletics, we congratulate Edwin on his honorary degree from UMass-Boston!

For over three decades, Walt Murphy has provided us with the most timely information on major calendar events, Indoor and cross country minutae, plus Eastern Track and XC Xpress. If you would like to get a sub to either publication, email Walt at Wmurphy25@aol.com.

Doug Logan, just short of one year as CEO of USATF, continues to reorganize USA Track & Field. In that light, Jill Geer is the new Chief Public Affairs Officer and Ivan Cropper becomes the Senior director of Marketing & Communications, two federation veterans, take on new and distinct roles. We congratulate them both in their new assignments!

Many will remember, upon us losing Mike Long two years ago, that we were asked to support his favorite foundation, the Entoto Foundation, that funds healthcare for needy kids in Ethiopia.

Tom Bedford has taken up the challenge and this weekend is running the RNR San Diego, with a goal of 2:25 or bust-read all about the 2:25 challenge!

A well respected running shoe developer has asked that I get this out so that he can make better shoes. Please take the time to influence the devleopment of a new generation of shoes! The survey is located at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=K0ypSJ4fuBXqjfxmT1X7JQ_3d_3d

I encourage all of our readers to assist on this one! Thanks!

The Reebok Grand Prix is loaded with great competitors, a great facility and a knowledgeble and enthusiastic crowd. One of the highlights will be the 100 meters with Asafa Powell. The question is, can Darvis Patton, who is undefeated this year, beat Asafa Powell? We will find out on Saturday!

As we enter the second year of recession, the footwear business in the United States has held up relatively well so far. Several companies have made personnel cuts, among them Brooks, Reebok and Zoot. But others, such as New Balance, have been able to avoid layoffs by cutting expenses, according to CEO Rob DeMartini.

Virgilijus Alekna is large of stature. One can see that when he lines up with his competitors. Alekna and Kanter had an epic battle in Turnov. I did get to meet him a few years ago, I believe at the Nike Pre. He reminded me of the picture I had in my head of Goliath. Tall, with long arms-the perfect discus thrower! The Turnov meet, the Ludvik Danek Memorial, would have been a competition to see!

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Dwain Chambers hoped to be in Berlin, but ISATF Berlin has decided not to allow him to compete, so he goes to Montreuil, France on June 14, per http://www.insidethegames.com.

Philips in 400 m hurdes, 48.36, Nelson Evora, Triple Jump in 17.66m (+0.7), Brittney Reese, 7.06 (+0.7), among others this past weekend.....

A 1:44 over 800 meters by Fabiano Penhana of Brazil, a 2.33m high jump by Jesse Williams and a 20.25m shot put by Valeri Vili, highlight this meet......

When the City of Los Angeles Marathon was established in 1986, the race had a tremendous start. I ran the first two years and was fascinated with Bill Burke and Marie Patrick and their team-they had actually brought a race to Los Angeles. That Burke won the political battle over the marathon with the LA city council should have suggested then how formidable a character Burke was.

When the Devine Racing company purchased the LA Marathon, they gave away the farm to Burke, thinking that they could control him. Devine Racing showed that even in the sport of running, we can have people and organizations that do not have the needs of the runner in mind. Devine never controlled Burke or Patrick-that control was an illusion.

When Russ Pillar, Frank McCourt and their team took over the LA marathon seven months ago, they had, quite honestly, a mess. In Pillar's language, he might use the word, "challenge". An event that was officially sanctioned by the city, but that did not have support of the local running community. Burke had frustrated many over the years and Devine just added to what should have been, and what should be, the largest marathon on the West coast.

Do not underestimate the challenges Pillar have. The politics in the LA City Council is legendary. PIllar noted: "I thought this was a 26.2-mile road race, but what instead it is actually is a political asset that happens to be run in shorts and a T-shirt." To put on a major city marathon, to put on a successful city marathon, one must have the support of the entire city. (Gives one a larger appreciation for NY, Chicago, Boston marathons and the others!).

Pillar wants to have this event in a Sunday in March, and for that to happen, the City Council, which mandated this date in May for Pillar and McCourt to take over the event. In listening to the press conference today (thanks to Rich Perelman, who sent us a file of the interview.

Read Pillars' statements below. It is Road Race Management 101: observe, tie in the local running community, listen to their issues, and make the event right. Pillar has lots to do, but they are asking the right questions. After this weekend's race, the new LA marathon team will know what has worked and what has not. From Pillar's quotes, it is obvious that all parts of the race are up for improvement: course, date, communications.

We wish the new LA Marathon team the best this weekend and will follow up with reviews, comments and interviews next week!

Carolina Kluft, the Swedish athletic superstar, is the Jackie Joyner-Kersee of her generation. Her wins in Paris, Helsinki and Osaka were commanding. Her win in Athens was also part of the argument on where Kluft sits in the heptathlon firmament. Kluft has spent the last couple of years searching for new challenges. In an interview with her in 2007, after her win in the stiffling heat and humidty of Osaka, Japan, Kluft reminded us of two things: " No one is unbeatable," and " I want to focus on having fun."

An athletic superstar, with two feet in the real world, Kluft is a tremendous competitor. On May 30, at the Icahn Stadium, Carolina Kluft, one of the best athletes of her generation, will be competing for the first time at the Reebok Grand Prix, NYC!

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Stephanie Trafton Brown on ATF Spring 2009 cover, photos by Photorun.net, design by Kristen Cerer.

Stephanie Trafton-Brown threw a nifty 64.75m or 212-5 at the Gary Shaw Big Throwers Classic in Salinas, CA. The Big Throwers meets were part of my favorite competitions held at Hartnell College and championed by Gary Shaw, the former coach of Hartnell for more than a decade.

From 1990-1996, I was lucky enough to coach against Gary in cross country and track-I was at Foothill College with Joe Mangan and Hank Ketels. Gary ran his team like a Marine Camp. Great guy, loved the sport, and knew how to get the most out of his kids. What was really cool was that many of his athletes were the first members of their families to ever go to college and he helped develop many young men and women to go on to four year schools. He was a coaches' coach.

It is nice to see the Big Throwers Classic now honoring Gary. In the old days, he used to get Foxy Farms to send crates of vegetables for the top ten throwers and some of the coaches. There was a junior college meet plus the Throwers Meet and it was a big deal!

Nice to see Stephanie throwing so well early this season!

adidas does not waste much time. They recently extended their Boston Marathon sponsorship and have just extended their UK Athletics sponsorship after the London Olympics, to be held in 2012. The contract now goes through 2013.

Brand development over the long term, even in these challenging times, makes a huge amount of sense. A long term sponsor, who shares the goals of long time branding and goodwill, plus helping development a program that wants to improve is a dream relationship. A tip of the hat to adidas and UK Athletics.

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Christine Ohuruogu, the defending World Champion, the defending Olympic champion at the women's 400 meters, is shown in the new adidas UK Athletics kit. Courtesy of adidas communications.

Jim Tompkins Leaves New Balance

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Jim Tompkins, President & COO of New Balance, a member of Jim Davis' inner circle for nearly three decades, has decided to leave NB in early June. Tompkins, an affable man, well liked during his tenure, gave praise to the new CEO, Rob DeMartini, in the following release, and DeMartini did the same.

Tompkins and his team also should be applauded for the forethought in taking manufacturing techniques used in the auto industry (Toyota)-watch for an upcoming article on their US manufacturing. Tompkins and his team should also be acknowledged for the human capital that NB has invested in-especially the management team (including Rob DeMartini), who will guide New Balance through the next challenges.

If my memory serves me well, Jim Tompkins may be the longest reigning President & COO of a major footwear company. In his tenure, at least one of his competitors had over a dozen presidents & COOs. Tompkins seems to be suggesting, in the release, that he will be looking for a new challenge, and perhaps a young business to help guide through its formative years. Jim Tompkins held the reigns at New Balance longer than any of his contemporaries in the business. Tompkins was part of Davis' inner circle of professionals who have devoted most of the past three decades, some more, to building New Balance into a global brand. A young business that works with Tompkins would be lucky indeed.

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IAAF President Lamine Diack with Sangheung Shin, President of Samsung Europe, announcing a new marketing partnership between the IAAF and Samsung (Courtesy of IAAF, photo by Getty images).

In this day and age, it is a positive occasion when a global sports sponsor of the nature of Samsung, commits to renewing its sponsorship with the a major sports federation, in this case, the IAAF.

Especially with the success that athletics has had promoting itself via the web, digital TV, twitter, RSS feeds on phones, Samsung is a natural to position itself well and gain strong benefits.

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Tyson Gay, shown here from Athletes Only Summer 2008, vol 13, number 2.

During the ESPN2 broadcast on Saturday night, May 16 of the adidas Track Classic, Tyson Gay made it abundantly clear that he was, " 100 percent mentally and physically." He has run two consecutive personal bests at 400 meters, 46.34 and 45.54. He will be running 200 meters at the Reebok GP on May 30, 2009, at the Icahn Stadium. All I can say is-you need to be there, if you live within six states. The meet is amazing and the season will only get better.

Bryan Clay was the 2004 Olympic Bronze medalist, the 2005 World Champion at the decathlon and the 2008 Olympic gold medalist at the decathlon. He was featured in Nike media day for their Nike Training launch. RBR was able to get Bryan on the phone for fifteen minutes, here is what we spoke about:

photo by PhotoRun.net

Dathan Ritzenhein, two time Olympian, and Brad Hudson, his coach and former prep phenom are no longer working together. We wish them both best wishes and realize that as coach and athlete relationships are part art and science, things change.

Global Weekend Catch-up, Track, Road,

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Haile is showing that he is in great shape. Charging through the 5k in 13:30, Haile ran a strong 27:39 to win in Manchester. Ali El Zayedi was second in 28:13, and Sergiy Lebid was third in 28:36. Vivian Cheruiyot won the women's race in 32:01.

In the City Games, Usain Bolt ran 14.54 for 150 meters-not bad for a guy who had stitches taken out of his left foot two weeks ago.

Photo by Photorun.net.

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Kerron Clement knew something was up, but, like the pro he is, he just kept hurdling....

Photo by Photorun.net

In our sports, we need places where we can celebrate the sport. Most of the time we call them track meets, athletics meets. I call them positive sanctuaries. These are the places I go to watch our sport, celebrate our sport. It is hard for me when I do not see the stands completely full. It is like the athletes, coaches and fans know the truth-our sport is exciting, our sport is about watching our heroes run, jump and throw. And competed they did in the adidas Track Classic.

This was the first years since 2004 I have missed adidas Track Classic, so I had to watch it over ESPN2. I twittered away on what I saw over the tube, but it took most of last night to get my notes from the meet, from friends who were my eyes.

I have added the complete results and my observations, along with quotes on the meet, courtesy of our friends at USATF. So, here we go!

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Photo by PhotoRun.net

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On Saturday, May 16, Jeremy Wariner executed one of his best races in a long time. Hitting 200 meters well, but churning the next three meters was the differenence, as Wariner came off in the lead and ran a 44.66. Good for Wariner fans, but his comments that he is working with his former coach, Clyde Hart, shows Jeremy is, as he said during the TV interview, " I am going back to where I was."

Clyde Hart, is a coaching genius, period. Speak to him, he will smile, low ball it, but the man knows the 400 meters. He gives credit to Jim Bush, Bud Winter, two of the other greats, but as with all of the top coaches, it is art and science. The good news is that Jeremy Wariner is happy, and he went back to working with Coach Hart with a high level of professionalism.

WARINER BACK WITH HART

CARSON (USA): Double world champion and 2004 olympic winner at 400 m Jeremy Wariner went back to his long time coach Clyde Hart. He confirmed that in his quote after the adidas Track Classic race: “I executed better than I should have. Right now I‘m just focusing on every part of the race. I recently got back with my old coach (Clyde Hart). Coach Ford is a wonderful coach. Experience made the difference. I went back with Coach Hart.” He started to work with coach Michael Ford in the beginning of 2008.

Special thanks to Alfons Juck, EME News.

To reach RBR, please email runblogrun@gmail.com

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The Usain Bolt watch continues. One of the highlights of the coming Berlin 2009 championships will be the sprints and many sports fans are watching Usain Bolt and his recovery and Tyson Gay coming back into shape. Bolt races 150 meters tomorrow in Manchester, UK.

Photo by Photorun.net.

In a copyrighted AP story on Wednesday, Global Athletics & Marketing, the management of Tyson Gay and Veronica-Campbell-Brown, announced that both sprinters had pulled out of the adidas Track Classic to be held in Carson, CA on Saturday, May 16.

Veronica Campbell-Brown, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist at 200 meters, has been managing a toe injury that has caused her grief since last February. Tyson Gay, who raced on May 2 over 400 meters, where he ran his personal best of 45.54. Gay, who sustained a knee injury during training, is, according to his management team, " just not ready to race 100 or 200 meters. "

Tyson Gay will be running against former World Record Holder Asafa Powell at the Reebok NY Grand Prix on May 30.

The adidas Track Classic will be held at the Home Depot Training Center in Carson, California tomorrow, May 16, and featured LIVE on ESPN 2. The meet will feature tremendous fields in the men's 100 meters, men's 400 meters and 200 meters, men's 400 meter intermediate hurdles, where two former Olympic gold medalists will duke it out, the women's 200 meters and womens' 5,000 meters as well as a stellar field in the men's 1,500 meters. A great early season elite meet!

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Photo by Photorun.net.

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Photo by Photorun.net.

Usain Bolt, the three time Olympic gold medalist will run a 150 meter race in Manchester, England on Sunday, May 17. By going to the link provided below, you will be able to see the race live, courtesy of Universal Sports!

Bolt as many know, was injured in a car accident two weeks ago, and has recovered enough to begin racing again. Lots of action this weekend!


EVENT: Great City Games

DATE: Sunday, May 17

LOCATION: Manchester, UK

ONLINE: 12:00pm – 1:30pm ET (LIVE)

URL: http://www.universalsports.com

Jenn Stuczynski, American record holder indoors and outdoors, plus first U.S. women to clear sixteen feet, will be competing in Carson, at the Home Depot center, on Saturday, May 16. She has broken American records at past two adidas Track Classics. An all around athlete, Jenn loves her training site in upstate New York, in an old quonset hut!

But, the tough training conditions give Jenn confidence-watch for some great jumps this Saturday!

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LaShawn Merritt wants to win in Berlin. His early season racing is smart-a 200 meters at adidas on May 17, a 400 meters at the Reebok NYGP on May 30, and a 300 meters at the Nike Prefontaine on June 7.

LaShawn Merritt, all of 22, is the Olympic champion at 400 meters. Some of the most exciting races of 2008 were the titanic battles between Merritt and Jeremy Wariner. This year should be even more exciting. Wariner is focused and Merritt wants the World Championship-sounds to me like a great rivalry!

Photo by Photorun.net.

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Haile Gebreselassie is ready to roll! On Sunday, May 17, he will be running a 10k in Manchester, UK. Then, on June 1, at the FBK Games in Hengelo, Haile will attempt to break his own world record for the hour run, one of the most grueling of all track events.

Photo by Photorun.net.

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Makau dueled with Merga at the RAK this past winter. Makau ran a 2:06.14 in his debut and Merga won Boston this year. Should be a great race in Ottowa!

Photo by Photorun.net.

Usain Bolt has confirmed that he will race the Great City Sprint 150 meters on Sunday, May 16, 2009. His last two week odyssey from rolling his BMW M3, to having thorns removed from his left foot, to last week's gentle testing of his left foot seems to have worked...and the sporting world sighs in relief.

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Usain Bolt, after his 200 meter World Record, Beijing, August 2008, photo by PhotoRun.net.

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Photo by Photorun.net.

Allyson Felix has been a fixture in our sport since her freshman year of high school. She has appeared on the covers of California Track & Running News, Athletes Only and American Track & Field. She has also graced many a cover of Track & Field News as well.

Allyson has also always listened to her own drummer. She went pro as a freshman in college, completed her education on time, and has been a professional athlete since the age of eighteen. Her major sponsor is adidas, her coach is Bob Kersee, and her agent is Renaldo Nehemiah.

Felix is an athlete of some complexity. She is a veteran 100 meter runner. Yet, at this time, she is a one of the top two 200 meter runners in the world. However, her best event may be in front of her: the 400 meters. Besides that, she is one of the ablest 4 x100 meter and 4 x 400 meter relay runners on the planet, period.

I am fascinated about the thought and planning that goes into a footwear company picking up various athletes. I am always concerned about athletes going pro from high school. For Allyson, it has been a natural progression. adidas picked Allyson Felix, and they have definitely received their moneys' worth. Not only does she continue to shine on the world stage, Felix is an athlete who is well respected by her competitors and competitive sponsors. To be respected by one's competition, the people who spend time with you, day in, day out, is the highest complement in this sport.

Allyson Felix will be joining many of the world's top athletes in competing this coming Saturday, May 16, in Carson at the adidas Track Classic

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This is one of my favorite pictures. The baby in my Grandmother's arms is me. My grandmother's name is Violet, and that is my mom, Marilu, next to her. I was about six months old and the year is 1959. I am the oldest of five children, two boys and three girls.

I have a slight remembrance of Mom taking me, my twin sisters, Beth & Lou and little sister, Kathy on a city bus to visit Grandma. I would have been four, at the time. Mom made it an adventure, which is what she would do with most of the stuff that should have stopped her cold in her tracks. By the time my Mom was twenty-four, she has had five children.



Stefanie Brown Trafton, Beijing 2008 Olympic discus champion, has had her second throw over 61 meters this season. Photo by Photorun.net.

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Kara Goucher announced earlier this week to our friends at TFN, that she will be running the Berlin World Championships at the marathon distance. As Kara's first year in the marathon has garnered her thirds in the ING New York and BAA Boston, she has captured the interest of the American running media. (Watch for some interviews with Kara in Seventeen.com, Shape and many other non-running publications).

In her debut, Kara showed her toughness, fighting back from a bad patch to run a tough third place. In her second marathon, Kara ran a tough race, in the battle until the very end. Her last 800 meters were a lesson learnt only by running and racing marathons, and while she might have not been completely satisfied, the marathon is a a race where experience counts.

Alfons Juck reports that Kara Goucher is running both the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters at the US Championships in late June in Eugene, Oregon, per agency reports. No word that her focus on the Berlin WC marathon...

Photo by Photorun.net

Jeremy Wariner told RBR and the assembled press in Santa Monica that he liked the Osaka GP track and would be running there, and ran he did, a nice 44.69 meters for the win over Yuzo Kanemora (45.16) of Japan and Sean Wroe of Australia (45.32). No big distance races, but a good opening meet as the global sports picks up this weekend!

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Jeremy Wariner, shown here at 2008 Brussels, photo by Photorun.net.

REESE HOFFA:

Some amazing runs over the men's steeple and 3,000 meter flat today in Doha! Reese Hoffa won the shot put! Watch Universal coverage of the meet!

Photo by PhotoRun.net, Reese Hoffa in Beijing.

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Usain Bolt completed a light workout on Thursday, one day after the stitches were removed. He told his coach of a slight discomfort...

Photo by Photorun.net.

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I met David Oliver at the Beijing USOC press conference. Affable, good sense of humor, very bright, Oliver will go places in our sport, with his aggressive racing style, his strong hurdling technique and his improved start. He opens today, in Qatar.


David Oliver, from press conference in Berlin, May 2008, photo courtesy of
Bob Ramsak.

Athletics is our favorite sport, that is a given. However, the sport that has benefited from digital and web TV, in my mind, has been our sport. Universal Sports, the brainchild of Carlos Silva and Claude Ruibal, will give track geeks around the world the chance to see the Super Grand Prix tomorrow! Check your local TV listings and also the web!

Photo by PhotoRun.net. David Oliver at Beijing Olympics, August 2008.

Paula Radcliffe is the fastest women ever at the marathon distance. She is a European Champion, a World Cross Country Champion, a World Champion. Yet, running 2:15: for the marathon has taken its toll. Her Olympic marathon in Athens was a nightmare. Her marathon in Beijing, I believe, showed more her class as an athlete and her belief in competing and completing an Olympic marathon. I gained even more respect for Paula after that race.

Paula has just recovered from a foot operation and is hoping to run the World Championships: only time will tell. To read the excellent interview at IAAF. org: http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/display_article.php?id=31339

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Paula Radcliffe, shown here during her 2008 win, where she lead almost the entire race, photo by PhotoRun.net.

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Blanka Vlasic will be one of the featured stars in Doha tomorrow, Friday, May 8...(photo by Photorun.net)

In the news today, Steve Cram notes his pleasure with the positive of Rashid Ramzi in a interview with insidethegames.com. .Plus Spain names its World Championship marathon team.

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Kara Goucher is running the World Championships marathon in Berlin! Her coach, Alberto Salazar, her husband, Adam, her team and Nike met right after the Boston marathon. In a tremendous interview, done exclusively for Track & Field News, by one of our favorite track writers, Sieg Lindstrom, it is apparent that Kara and her team feel that she has something more to give this year in the marathon. She will be taking a break after Berlin. To read the interview, please click: http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/display_article.php?id=31339

Usain Bolt will start to train next week. His car skidded off the road, but also overturned in a ditch, and when he exited, he stepped on some thorns with his left foot...

Fifty-five years ago, on a very windy day at the track on Iffley road at Oxford University, Roger Bannister, Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway made sports history. The world record set by Gunder Hagg, from 1945, of 4:01.4, was broken with the first mile under four minutes.

It was that same year that Sir Edmund Hillary climbed Mt. Everest. It was less than a decade after the end of the second World War, and the world had changed dramatically. It is a story I heard as a high school student in the 1970s, and it was the first real book on running I read at the time as well.

On April 25, Micheal Coe became the 322nd American to break four minutes for the mile, with his 3:56 in windy conditions. There is magic in the mile and a sub four minute mile is still a badge of athleticism for the middle distance runner. Sir Roger Bannister, now 80 ( he celebrated his 80th on March 23, 2009, and he runs, once again, two days a week! http://www.runblogrun.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt.cgi?__mode=view&_type=entry&id=1166&blog_id=1 ).

Sir Roger Bannister lives a quiet, thoughtful life, just like the renaissance man he is. Sir Roger Bannister, like no one before him, and perhaps, no one after him, saw the beauty in a mile well run, beating the stop watch before it hit four minutes, and both the eternity in that six tenths of a second and the hope it gave to his recovering nation, and a recovering world, will never be forgotten.

To truly appreciate the importance of this event, one must see it. So, grab your coffee or tea, sit back and watch (thanks to Walt Murphy for finding this):

video of the entire race
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/may/6/newsid_2511000/2511575.stm

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Shalane Flanagan, US record holder at 5,000 m/10,000 m outdoors and 3k and 5k indoors, will be racing against Ejegayehu and Genzebe Dibaba, sisters of Tirunesh Dibaba. Ejegayehu is hte 2004 silver medalist and 2005 bronze medalist at both 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. Genezebe just won her second World XC Junior title!
They will be competing at the adidas Track Classic on May 16, 2009 at Carson, CA.

Photo by Photo Run.net

Not a good day in Herzo. However, adidas Group has been quite clear in their first quarter report: Reebok and adidas North America have to be focal points if the adidas Group is to pull out of the nightmare first quarter.

Mr. Hainer speaks of the 'unrivaled consumer experience' provided by the adidas Group. When the brands are firing on all cylinders, that is true-look at the Boston Marathon and London marathon sponsorships. The challenge, for now, is to take the consumer experience that is found in Boston and London, and take it around the world.


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This year's BAA Boston Marathon jacket for 2009. adidas special apparel at Boston is a nearly complete sell out at the event.

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Blanka Vlasic, photo by Photorun.net.

Blanka Vlasic is a high jump warrior. Blanka Vlasic is also a rock star. Watch the women clear 2.02, 2.05 and listen to the crowd roar and Vlasic perform! She may be at her most complete during competition.

In this interview, Blanka was very introspective. It was really during a short break in her training before she started the long drive to Berlin 2009. As a former coach, Blanka Vlasic is the coaches' dream: a natural athlete, a hard worker, and a focused athlete. In those attributes, one may also find her Achilles' heel.

The interview was conducted in English. Blanka Vlasic has many particularly American idioms down cold. Vlasic is quite comfortable in the limelight, and she knows exactly what she is saying, whichever language she chooses to speak.

Blanka Vlasic seems to have this absolute need, much like breathing, to compete almost constantly. That seems to be acknowledged after her silver at Beijing. The focus now is on Berlin this coming August.....

As I have been inundated by coaches, athletic directors who were concerned about the Swine Flu, or H1N1, I have been trying to keep up with the information. I suggest that you put on your RSS feed the following: www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu.

Note that while we are hearing anecdotally, about track & field conference meets being canceled, we still suggest that decisions for such cancellations be done under the local jurisdiction.

Local cases of H1-N1 seem to be the reasons being used to close down schools, sporting events, events where groups of young, healthy 14-22 year olds-young adults now seem to be the target group-congregate. Please make sure that you have consulted a local medical professional about the situation as well before making decisions.

For coaches, please print this out and give it to your team-a nice page from the CDC:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/sick.htm

The Transcript of the WHO live daily conference on H1-N1, courtesy of NPR, is below: (We encourage you to sign up for the NPR health podcasts-tremendous resources! )

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This is the first of several interviews you will be able to read over the next week, courtesy of adidas. In the middle of March, I had the luck to spend several days in Santa Monica, with the adidas team, checking out new product, and speaking to adidas' Icon athletes.

We start with Jeremy Wariner. In 2004, Wariner won the NCAA 400 meters, Olympic Trials and Olympic 400 meters plus anchored the 4 x 400 meters for two gold medals. In 2005, Wariner won the Helsinki 400 meters and ran the 4 x400 meters-both gold medals. Same story in Osaka, as Wariner won the open 400 meters and ran on the 4 x 400 meter relay.

2008 was a different story. A change in coaches, and a real competitor in LaShawn Merritt, who gave Wariner some real races. At the Olympic Trials, Wariner took second. In Beijing, Wariner ran a brilliant semi final, but the energy was just not there in the final and LaShawn Merritt took the 400 meters.

Spring 2009 gives us a bit more contemplative Jeremy Wariner. He knows he has to train hard, improve his race and run his own race. In that way, perhaps the defeats in 2008 were good for Jeremy in the long run....

Willis's move over the last straightaway in Beijing garnered him a well earned bronze. Ramzi's positive for CERA, if the B test is positive on June 8, could garner Willis a move from bronze to silver! Photo above from Photorun.net.

Story below from Athletics International by Peter Matthews and Mel Watman:

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Usain Bolt, shown here in Beijing, will be taking a week off from training, due to his surgery on Bolt's left foot to remove embedded thorns which he walked on after the accident. Photo by Photorun.net.

The Payton Jordan is one of the best meets for distance performances. From 800 meters to 1,500 meters to 5,000 meters to 10,000 meters, the crowd at the Cardinal Invitational is treated to a night of tremendous performances! Alistair Cregg and Matt Tegenkamp battled in the 5,000 meters, Anna Willard too the world lead in 1,500 meters at 4:06.90, and Matt Centrowitz, Jr., led nine men under 3:40 with his fine 3:36.92! A new US junior 5,000 meter record from the battle between Chris Derrick and German Fernandez in the 'B' 5,000 meters. Finally, congrats to Tim Nelson who ran a super 27:36.99 to take the 10,000 meters.


Matt Tegenkamp in Beijing 5,000 meters semi finals. At Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, finished second to Alistair Cregg in the 5,000 meters. Photo by Photorun.net.

Tyson Gay ran 45.27 for 400 meters on Saturday, May 2, a week after his 46.34 personal best last weekend...

This photo is of Tyson Gay in the 2008 Olympic Trials 100 meters, photo by Photorun.net.

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Deena Kastor has best race since her April 2008 Olympic Trials win, with her strong win in BUPA Edinburgh Great Run. Photo by Photorun.net.

World leaders at women's 100 meters (10.92), women's 400 meters ( 50.99) and a huge surprise world leader at 400m hurdles, mens (48.42) in KIngston, Jamaica...

The positive tests for CERA of six athletes from Beijing has been around the world and then some now. Lord Sebastian Coe, the 1980 and 1984 gold medalist at 1,500 meters, and 1980 and 1984 silver medalist at 800 meters, and the Chairman of the London 2012, made some thoughtful comments on the subject of Rashid Ramzi, who was among the athletes who tested positive...

Nice start of the season by La Shawn Merritt, the 2008 Olympic champion at 400 meters. His 44.50 was in very windy conditions. This follows up his 20.17 for 200 meters from April 18, also a world leader!

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Photo courtesy of Photorun.net.

As the news of the swine flu broke, I was in London for the marathon. I started to spend some time watching the BBC, Sky and CNN reports on Monday before I flew back. One of my friends, Becka, was going with her fiance to Mexico--the trip was eventually canceled. I watched, as you have, medical professionals from WHO (World Health Organization) telling people that the flu can not be contained, because it has spread to disparate parts of the world.

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So, will the Swine Flu pandemic force us to cancel lots of track meets and road races. This writer is suggesting caution, but sanity in dealing with the possible pandemic. Above all else-strong sanitary habits make sense!

Photo by Lisa Congilio/Photorun.net.

Asafa Powell, from 2007, with his world record. The difference between the finely tuned machine that is an elite sprinter, and a mere shadow of the former self, is a sore ankle, hamstring, back, etc. In this case, Asafa Powell experienced a sore ankle, which was exasperated at his relay run at Penn last weekend.

Photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net.

Updated May 1, 2009

Marc Bloom first came into prominence with the Harrier magazine, then his wonderful collaboration with George Hirsch and the Runner magazine. Bloom is a keen observer of our sport-he loves it and challenges it to be better. Bloom's mentor was and is James Dunaway, editor of American Track & Field and one of the best and most prolific writers on our sport in North America. Bloom is now one of the key role models for another generation of running media. His lessons have been hard won.

Bloom's writing in the Runner gave us an quite intimate view of a generation of American distance running personalities that we have missed for nearly twenty years. Bloom's heart has been in the Harrier, his salute to the purity and importance of high school cross country. As Track & Field News is the Bible of our sport, Bloom's the Harrier is the Talmud--how to run well, celebrating the good ones and challenging us as coaches and athletes to be just a bit better.

Over the past twenty years, Marc Bloom has written books, edited special newsletters for various clients, published the Harrier, and also written some of the best meet programs for both Foot Locker and Nike events. He is now, the prolific one. Marc Bloom is one of my favorite writers, but I miss him most as a wordsmith and editor at the Runner, where Marc managed one of the best magazines on our sport ever, in its most formative years (the Runner).

Marc Bloom has written a timely book: Young Runners: the complete guide for Kids running from 5 to 18. We wanted to get a few minutes with Marc to ask him his thoughts on a variety of subjects. His response, shown in its complete form below, is both entertaining and educating. I hope you concur!


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