June 2009 Archives

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Yelena Isinbayeva is one of the nine winners from Berlin who will compete at the Golden League's second event on Friday, July 2, in Oslo, Norway. The Exxon Bislett Games has over 40 world record performances on its intimate track setting. Wonderful summer weather in Scandanavia (or cold in other parts of the world), and stands very close to the track, give the athletes the feeling of an indoor facility, except that it is outdoors! Kenenisa Bekele is expected as well as Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba, which could be a true clash of the titans.

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I took this shot at the office of the People's Youth Daily, at the Main Press center, in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics. Amazing event, and the theatrics around China's most important track & field athlete was fascinating. Liu Xiang is recovering from his ankle injury sustained in training for Beijing last year. Xiang had his surgery in Houston, Texas last spring.

The rumors started early on Sunday, after the meet. Galen Rupp had chosen Michael Johnson as his agent. At this time, MJ has Jeremy Wariner, one of the top long sprinters in the world, but no one else. In the Oregonian article on the subject, Galen is quoted as saying that MJ not having a large stable of athletes appealed to him.

As one of the most watched athletes in the US, and an athlete who has been coached by Alberto Salazar for most of his high school and college career, Galen Rupp has been considered one of the most promising American distance runners of his generation.

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The consensus was that Galen would choose an agent with some background in distance running, such as Mark Wetmore, Peter Stubbs, Ray Flynn or Tom Radcliffe. On Let'srun.com, one comment asked if MJ will take Galen to adidas, as he did with Jeremy Wariner. Considering the nearly life long connection with Nike brand, that sounds distant. Most sponsors see it as ludicrous to compete against Nike's deep pockets when they truly want an athlete. Not all, but most....

The real value for Galen Rupp is not now, but in six to eight years, when he moves to the marathon. Continued development, with faster times on the track, over 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, suggests a strong future at the marathon. Consider this for one moment, it was nearly two years ago when Rupp ran 27:33. In his present condition, one would surmise he could run 27 minutes or nearby.

An agent, manager knows that today, in these tough economic times, an athlete of Galen's character and potential stands out. An athlete with the support of Alberto Salazar's dream, the Oregon project, can find his or her true potential. Galen Rupp has just begun to develop, and his ability to move quickly over the last few laps, is, as 72 bronze medalist Ian Stewart mentioned on Saturday, quite impressive. To medal in these days, you not only have to handle the pace, but be able to drop a four minute mile and kick off a 52 or 53 second last lap. That is the nature of global distance running. And that is required to be in the top six.

One thing is for certain, it will be a fascinating series of negotiations, and Galen Rupp's apparent goal of having someone focus on his best interests, and only on his interests, came into play. This will make this a compelling story.

Photo by Photorun.net.

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Meseret Defar versus Tirunesh Dibaba will be closely watched. (Picture of Defar from PhotoRun.net).

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Consider now, the story of Dwight Phillips. Dwight won the 2004 Olympic long jump, the 2005 World Champs Long jump, and in 2007, in Osaka, took the bronze. At the press conference afterwards, with Panama's Irving Saldino and Italy's Andrew Howe, one could see that Dwight Phillips was not happy, but he presented his game face. In 2008, Dwight's nightmare continued-he did not make the US team-on the last round he was pushed to fourth.

In 2009, considering giving it all up, Dwight Phillips started training with Loren Seagrave, one of the technical gurus in our sport. If someone can break up your jump and figure out what you are doing wrong, it is Loren Seagrave.....

Photo by Photorun.net.

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Kara Patterson knows how to make her competition sweat. Wait until your fourth throw, with the local hero winning, and then, just crank that arm back, release and watch the mighty javelin float, higher and higher, reach its apex, then just float down, fifteen feet farther than the leading throw! The throw was 63.95m, or 209-10, and it won the competition.

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Rachel Yurkovich lead from round two, the Duck getting the crowd to go insane, with her 59.07m, then a 56.32m, then, in reaction to Patterson's huge throw, a 59.31m, or 194-07 for the second place position.

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In third, Kim Kreiner of Nike, the American record holder at 64.19m, took third in 58.00m or 190-03, from her second throw.

The javelin is one the oldest events in our sport, the world's oldest sport. Not much has changed with the javelin in three thousand years, and the beauty of this event is in its simplicity. One has to relax to throw farther, the javelin is a tough master. Push it and the javelin will master you. It is a reminder of how, nearly three thousand years ago, men in Greece would suspend local feuds to worship their gods and celebrate sport. It is still the dream...

Photos by Photorun.net.

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Sheena Tosta and LaShinda Demus race around the Hayward Field track....

Photo by Photorun.net

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Brad Walker won the US championships in a very tactical game of competition.....

Photo by Photorun.net.

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Tim Seaman is shown, taking the win in the men's 20,000 meter walk. This is his 37th national championship!

Photo by Photorun.net.

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Usain Bolt runs 9.86 in his Jamaican Championships, with a legal wind. But Usain's best performance was to speak about how challenging it will be for Usain to break the world record at 100 meters for Tyson Gay.

Now, while this is pretty mild for trash talking, the posturing is about to begin. Tyson Gay ran his 9.75w time was run in his FIRST 100 meters of the year, his first 200 meters of the year was his FIRST.

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Two great sprinters running the 100 meters and 200 meters in Berlin-I can not wait!

Photos by Photorun.net.

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The decathlon is a celebration and recognition of mental, spiritual and physical excellence. The late Bob Mathias, the 1948 and 1952 Olympic gold medalist once told us that " you try to keep the little mistakes down, the winner of the decathlon is one who remembers that,". Bill Toomey, the 1968, relied on a gym bag with extra shoes, spikes, Pedia care, and dry clothes. Plan for the disasters, as they can be lessened. Watch the little things, as those points add up. And watch the injuries...


Photos by PhotoRun.net.

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Photo by Photorun.net.

In this picture, Phil Knight (right) and Vinn Lannana (left) are pictured, above the start of the 100 meters. It is an appropriate picture and a life lesson for our sport. Thanks to the philanthropy of Phil Knight, the management of Vinn Lannana, and the passion of Alberto Salazar and other former Ducks, Oregon Track & Field has been reborn.

Before it was reborn, the man who kept it alive was Tom Jordan, who managed the Nike Pre Classic for the past thirty plus years. It was a decade ago when the questions started getting asked about how to put the Ducks back on the map. John Capriotti, aka Cap, has fought long and hard to keep that meet in his budget and bring in athletes. Before Cap, others at Nike, who understood that the soul of the brand is inextricably tied to athletics, fought constantly to keep the sport from being an also ran.

This battle for our sport happened at all other brands too, from adidas and ASICS, to Brooks and Saucony, where many brands have learnt that their support of local meets, local schools, a local running club is not just good acts, but good for their business. It also happened in agents and managers working to professionalize their athletes as the react to media, in how athletes present themselves--all of this has come about because the stakeholders in our sport knew that change was needed or the sport would wither and die.

Bringing in Vinn Lannana and his team to Oregon was key. Vinn knows how to rebuild a program, take a look at what he did at Stanford. Lannana also knows how to cultivate and manage true team of professionals, who can put on meets in their sleep, and who, in 2008, put on the best Olympic Trials that I have ever witnessed.

Phil Knight, as Chairman of Nike, Inc., created a colossus that has it's fingers in every sports pie, but his love, and money has rebuilt this stadium, will help build the new indoor facility rumored, and has brought a feeling back to Eugene that it is TrackTown USA.

In spite of the local economic woes, in spite of the layoffs of 1700 at Nike (many of the recently laid off are hanging out here, as while shoes were their vocation, track is the avocation), the 2009 USA Champs are a strong success.

Alberto Salazar noted to the media the other day, " My goals were to help bring the Duck's legacy back, and to improve the fortunes of US distance running." The Oregon project has improved the the fortunes of US distance running, the rebirth of Hayward and the Ducks' team has also made those dreams a reality.

My fear? Now that we have Pre Classic, Ducks, Oregon Project, Reebok GP, some things going well, that our successes get taken for granted. The sport has so much to offer, in terms of fitness, true life lessons and just the joy of watching someone run, jump or throw at a level most of us can merely dream of--athleticism, to paraphrase the great modern dancer, Martha Graham, makes us all angels and closer to a higher being.

Our sport is a life endeavor for many, from athletes, to coaches, to officials, to the fans who watch our meets, to sponsors, let's not screw it up. We are on the way, and thanks to Phil Knight, Vinn Lannana, Alberto Salazar, Tom Jordan, and many, many, others, who have shown in Eugene, how it could work. Let's not screw it up.

For more on the sport, click http://www.american-trackandfield.com

Early Sunday morning, RBR confirmed, after speaking to Ray Flynn, manager of Alan Webb, that Mr. Webb has withdrawn from the finals of the 1,500 meters, scheduled for today, Sunday, June 28, 2009.

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According to Mr. Flynn, Alan Webb warmed up yesterday, and it was apparent that Alan would not be able to perform at his best, due to a hamstring injury. Ray Flynn's statement, sent from his blackberry noted the following:

"Alan hurt his left hamstring during Thursday's 1500m warm up. He further strained it during the race. The decision was made after extensive therapy with Dr Justin Whittaker that he could not compete in today's race."

Alan Webb is the high school record holder for the mile, and the American record holder for the mile, and has been considered one of the U.S. great mile hopes for most of the past decade. Webb did not make the US Olympic team in 2008, and had a tough time in Osaka, at the 2007 world champs, the summer that he broke Steve Scotts' long standing mile record.

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

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In a tactical battle between Jenn Rhines and Kara Goucher over 5,000 meters, Jenn Rhines pushed the pace over the last 2 kilometers, with Kara Goucher taking off with 500 meters to go, running a fine 15:20.94. Jenn Rhines was second in 15.26, and the surprise in third.....

Photo by PhotoRun.net.

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In the most exciting race of the weekend so far, a few facts need to be put out there:

Anthony Famiglietti made this race, running fast from the start, and keeping the pace fast and honest. Fam is one of our most talented athletes, but the guy needs a coach, to take his passion, his drive and his talent and show him how to make a team.

German Fernandez is the real deal. This young man set the American Junior record once again, breaking it by four seconds, this evening. The previous records were held by Galen Rupp, Steve Prefontaine, Gerry Lindgren. 72 Bronze medalist Ian Stewart noted that " German is the real thing."

Wisconsin sure does much more than make good beer, wonderful cheeses, and nice fish fries on Friday nights. It is the former home of one of our best coaches (Jerry Schumacher, former Badger coach) and all three of the US team members at 5,000 meters matriculated from that fine institution. Jerry's Kids rule! Note that Jonathan Riley is married to a Wisconsin girl, so he is honorary Wisconsinite-nice run by Riley!

Matt Tegenkamp is one of the most underrated 5,000 meter runners on the planet. The guy knows how to race a championship race. Chris Solinsky has improved eons over last year, and Evan Jager, man, that kid sure looks nice floating along at 64 seconds a lap!

A tip of the hat to Sean Quigley, in seventh, who ran one heck of a race, but got into no man's land with 600 meters to go. A strong race for gutty runner.

So, here is how we saw the race:

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Mike Rodgers and Darvis Patton screamed down the track, running 9.91-9.92, as
Rodgers got the nod.

Photo by PhotoRun.net

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Carmelita Jeter is coached by John Smith. Coach Smith is a man who understands, that tiny, tiny things make all of the difference in the sprints. Sprints are one and lost in the execution-especially, in the finish. Smith knows that, and so do his sprinters.

Jeter has run well all season, racing better each time. In the second round, Carmelita Jeter ran a wind aided 10.72, one of fastest time run EVER in any circumstances. She was ready for the final. All the crowd could see that....

Photo by PhotoRun.net.

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Tyson Gay is back. In 2007, Tyson Gay won the 100 meters and 200 meters in Osaka, Japan, with the precision of a surgeon. In 2008, Tyson was hurt in the first round of the 200 meters. An official, who had started many races for Tyson when he was a teen, ran up, knowing that he could not touch Tyson, but knowing that one of his favorite sprinters was hurt. The official got to see Tyson run on Thursday, and run he did. In a race Tyson himself called, "horrible", Gay ran a 9.75, wind aided, still on ran one of the fastest races ever!

Photos by Photorun.net.


The men's 10,000 meters were the races of the day. However, I was totally impressed with Chris Hill, the University of Georgia javelin thrower, who does a) wins his first national championship, b) throws 275-02, sixth farthest EVER by US thrower, and 270-2, which would have also won-both are his two best throws EVER.

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On Thursday night, the crowd of 8600 people were treated to two excellent 10,000 meter runs. On the women's side, Amy Bagley won the 10,000 meters, after sharing pacing chores with Shalane Flanagan, until the last lap.

On the men's side, Dathan Ritzenhein used a tactic similar to Carlos Lopes in the 1976 Olympic 10,000 meters, to break the field. Dathan took the pace at 4,000 meters, and with some help from James Carney, led for most of the race, until Galen Rupp, the Mayor of Eugene, Oregon, took control with five hundred meters to go!

Two fascinating races...here is how we saw them.....

Dathan Ritzenhein breaking up the pack, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Doug Logan is media friendly, that is definite. The new CEO of USA Track & Field has said that he is never off the record, and that while he is giving you information, as he sees it now, he might, a few times a year, have to update that information. Pretty darn honest, I would say. And quite savvy, in this day and age.

In a surprise announcement, Doug Logan, CEO of USATF, announced an extension on the sponsorship by Nike through 2013, with an option to renew through 2017. If Chicago wins the Olympic bid for 2016, the renewal price goes up, per Logan, 'substantially."

A belated happy birthday to Todd Klein, the manager of Athletics at Reebok, who turned a ripe old 44 on Friday, June 25. Todd, a former athlete at the University of Tennessee, has put his heart and soul into our sport. Events from the Reebok Boston Indoor Games, Reebok NYC Grand Prix, Manhattan Invitational and Mt. SAC Cross Country Invitational are part of the plan his team has put together to put something back into our sport from his brand, Reebok.

An early happy birthday to our friend, Victah Sailer, who turns 50 officially on Saturday, June 26, 2009. Victah's photos are all over the web, and used in most running magazines on the planet. This weekend, you will see Victah, his wife Lisa and his co horts shooting each and every event this weekend.

Again, two of the people who make this sport both avocation and vocation. We are lucky to have such people in the sport.

It was the first day of a US championships, so darma gets walked over by karma. It is just the way it is. Bryan Clay hurts his hamstring, two days before the Champs, and Berlin is off his decathlon dance card. Andrew Wheating, the NCAA 800 champion, was seen in Faytetteville, when not racing, on crutches. Mr. Wheating did not run either the 800 meter or 1,500 meter trials.

There were some great performances. Carmelita Jeter lead the 100 meters in a wind aided 10.88. Allyson Felix, Sholanda Solomon, and Muna Lee looked dangerous, along with the queen of rounds, Lauryn Williams.

On the men's side of the 100 meters, after a horrible start, Tyson Gay started to run about 40 meters, and ran a wind-aided 9.72 for 100 meters! Tyson, the defending champion from Osaka in the 100 and 200 meters, had to compete in one round in some event for the US to name him to his events. When asked about his race, Tyson said it was "Horrible."

Bernard Lagat, Osaka 2007 champion at 1,500 meters and 5,000, ran 1:48.57 to qualify for the next round in the 800 meters. Stefanie Brown Trafton, with her heave of 64.25m, and a win over Aretha Thurmound and Rebecca Braisch.

Sanya Richards ran a strong 51.37, which gave her the best time at the women's 400 meters. LaShawn Merrit ran 45.23 for the men's 400 meters!

The crowd of 8,621 was treated to some stellar distance running: Christian Smith's come from behind win in his heat of the 800 meters in 1:47.84. Leonel Manzano lead the 1,5000m with 3:37;91, Will Leer won the first heat of the 1,500 meter and the crwod again went wild.

This windy Thursday night, we were treated to a classic battle over 24 laps, as Amy Yoder Begley surprised Shalane Flanagan with her 67.2 last lap, with Yoder Begley winning 31:22.69 to 31:23.47. Katie McGregor ran 32:08.4 to Magdelena Lewy Boulet's 32:20. 45.

The race of the night was the men's 10,000 meters. From 4k out, Dathan Ritzenehein, pushed the pace, lap after lap. The only person who helped with the pace was James Carney. " I felt really good, " noted Carney afterwards, " I just wanted to show all that I was in great shape."

Galen Rupp was the hunter, and everyone else was the hunted. Dathan's charging to the lead, and increasing of the pace, did break the field down from 27 to 4. The pace quickened, Rupp followed Ritzenhein, Carney and Tim Nelson.

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Galen Rupp has won indoor NCAA titles at 3k, 5k and ran on the Duck's distance medley. Outdoors, Galen just won the 10k, with a 1:58 last 800 meters and the 5,000 meters, with a last four laps run in 4:00.1!

In this 10,000 meters, Galen Rupp went by Dathan Ritzenhein with five hundred meters to go. Rupp cruised the last lap, to the cheers of eight thousand fans, running 27:52.53 for the win. Dathan Ritzenhein held on for a strong second in 27:58.59. Tim Nelson, who held onto third, with his time of 28:01.34. James Carney ran a nice 28:13.

Afterwards, as friends, coaches, athletes and fans gathered at the Villard Street Pub to relive the night, many were struck with how great the conditions were, but also, with how tough our women are racing and how the night was filled with very competitive races. Galen Rupp continues to impress....

Photo by Photorun.net.

Bryan Clay is out of the decathlon with a hamstring injury in his left leg, meaning that the 2008 Olympic champion will not be in Berlin. Andrew Wheating did not start his 800 meter heat this evening either.....

Okay, runblogrun geeks, help us out here! Leigh Daniels and Nick Cordes have a good chance of having their wedding paid for by NBC, you just need to vote for them again by June 26! We got them to the finals, now it is time for the big stuff! Read Matt McGowan's missive on the NBC show!

One of our favorite sites in our sport,Flotrack.com, is covering the the US championships live, in an agreement with US Track & Field. This live coverage starts at 12 noon today, Thursday, June 25, 2009! Do not miss it! Lots of interviews, coverage and the information you want on our sport for the next four days!

To learn more about our sport, we encourage our readers to go to the
following places:

http://www.iaaf.org to learn about our global sport.

http://www.usatf.org to learn about the sport in the U.S.

http://www.runningnetwork.com to find a local running community, running store, running event, or to get involved in the grass roots culture of our sport.

To reach Runblogrun.com, please email runblogrun@gmail.com

Lauren Fleshman is an articulate and tough middle distance runner. Over the past two years, Lauren has faced an injury that could have ended her career. While she has recovered from that injury, the other aches and pains of getting back into elite distance running shape are still there, and Lauren believes that, while she has a future in distance running, she is not ready to race at the level she needs to accomplish her goals. Here is her statement, provided by her agent, Ray Flynn:

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Photo by Photorun.net.

Maurice Smith, the 07 silver medalist defeated World record holder Roman Sebrle, and 2004 gold medalist, 8157 to 8058, with Dmitri Karpov in third in 8029, at the second edition of the TNT-Fortuna Combined Events meeting!

Bryan Clay, 2008 champ, hurt his hamstring two days ago and is iffy for the US decathlon starting on Thursday, June 25, in Eugene, Oregon.

Lots of global action, so do not miss a word of the Word of geek track....

Lo Lo Jones is Back!

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Lo Lo Jones will be competing at the US champs after recovering from a slight hamstring injury! She races Saturday and Sunday.

Photo by Photorun.net.

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What a difference 19.58 seconds make. Tyson Gay is playing his cards very close to his vest, as Lance Braumann, his coach, brings Gay into shape for the sprint battle in Berlin! Gay is fit, and so is Usain Bolt--should mean some great matchups this next couple of months!

The 2009 Nike Outdoor Nationals ended on Sunday, June 21, 2009, and the performances, were, once again, tremendous! We have posted the complete boys' results here, having done the girls earlier today. Our coverage will be in the Summer issue of
Athletes Only, so watch for that! Congrats again to all of the athletes and nice job to NSSF and main sponsor, Nike!

Jeremy Wariner is defending champion at 400 meters in Berlin this coming August. A two time World Champion, a one time Olympic gold medalist, Jeremy answers some of the questions here about his 2008 season, where he took the silver in the Beijing 400 meters, loosing to LaShawn Merritt....

We have posted both the boy's and girls' complete results from the Nike Outdoor Nationals, held this past weekend! Watch for an upcoming piece in Athletes Only, and some great photos from Victah Sailer! Congrats again to all of the athletes who competed and a pat on the back to the NSSF and their main sponsor, Nike, for making the event a reality!

Allyson Felix has been racing, and winning for nearly a decade now. She has been a professional athlete since she graduated high school. Racing from 100 to 400 meters, plus a requested member of either the long or short relays, Allyson Felix has not reached her best--that could be two Olympics away!

Steve Jobs, along with Steve Wozniak, were the men who started Apple computer in 1976. They were legendary in the South Bay area, where I spent much of my young adulthood. On Sundays, in the Santa Cruz mountains, in the late seventies and early eighties, Steve Wozniak would drive his motorcycle alongside me and my training partners as we would do our 20 milers from our coach, Dan Durante's home. Woz would stay with us for a bit, talk to my coach, and then, head off to grab his Sunday paper. Apple was part of the amazing creativity that abounded in the Silicon Valley in that time. The cult of personality has abounded in the Valley, as most of the great computer companies, software companies and chip companies are located in the Silicon Valley. I must admit that the plethora of creatives, management shamans and such at Apple did make a lot of copy. In the end, the little Apple computer company focused on high end, well designed computer platforms and devices to store and play music, and finally, amazingly cool phones. Apple=creativity, in many people's minds.

Much of this, for much of the existence of Apple, has been encouraged, cajoled, demanded and supported by Steve Jobs. Jobs was notorious, in his early years for working his team to the bone. He was arrogant, proud, and he was Apple.

Tyson Gay was interviewed by adidas on several subjects, from their new technical apparel to his philosophy on racing and training. Watch the video closely, as Tyson Gay gives, I believe, the astute viewer and track fan, a few hints on what we will see this season. So, here is my interpretation:

The Nike Outdoor Championships, the dream child of the NSSF, is a true fixture on the elite junior circuit. The dream child of the NSSF lifers, namely guys like Jim Spier, Mike Byrnes and friends, brings together most of the top preps each year for a final prep slugout of the year. We salute the NSSF, Nike, and the other sponsors and friends of the sport for doing such a selfless job on the event!

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Emily Sisson, shown here, leading the 5,000 meter field on way to her victory at the Nike Outdoor 2009 5,000 meters, held Thursday night, June 18, 2009. All Photos by Photorun.net.

In an article published today on www.insidethegames.com, the seminal webblog for staying abreast of the Olympic movement, it was reported, that an internal audit conducted by the State Council, which is China's cabinet that the Olympics made a modest profit of $145 million/88 million British sterling (1.16 billion yuan) off an expenditure of 19.3 billion yuan /1.7 million British sterling/$2.8093 billion and income of $20.5 billion yuan ( 1.8 million British sterling/$2.975 billion).

It would seem that, from the audit that the Beijing Olympics were a quite modest undertaking, compared to all Olympics since 1984. Nothing could be further from the truth. The goal of the Beijing Olympics, as seen by BOCOG and the Chinese government, was to cast the best light on China globally, give the Chinese population stars to be proud of, and no positive drug tests by Chinese athletes. Much like the Great Wall, the Beijing Olympics were to not only keep the bad guys out, but to keep the good guys, and the Chinese in and enthralled with the spectacular performances. That is why the lip synching episode in the Opening ceremony was not understood in Chinese language newspapers-why?-because the Games were a huge entertainment opportunity as well as a homage to the Chinese nation.

The overall reasoning for this audit was to show that the Beijing Olympics, contrary to the media reports, was not the most expansive Olympics in history. Media reports had suggested infrastructure expenditures of $40 billion US. As part of the Audit, the BOCOG admits to about three billion US in infrastructure costs, noting that local monies were used for infrastructure.

Where is the truth? Probably, somewhere in between....

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Olympic flame, August 2008, Beijing, China, photo by Larry Eder

Gentle readers, dear friends and malcontents,

The USA Track & Field championships are upon us, and as our friend, Johnny Mathis ( trivia-what school did he high jump for and what school had an invitational named after him? Tell me next week and get a free adult beverage-as long as it is a beer) would sing, " It's that wonderful time of the year! " It was on a Christmas Album, but you get my drift.

Rumors persist, and while I can not comment on said rumors ( I leave that for the Fox Network), I do hear that several recent habitues of the Leslie Lohan Wing of the Betty Ford Clinic will be joining coaches, officials, athletes, track enthusiasts and other riff raff at the Villard Street Pub for days, nights and mornings of track chatter, adult beverages, a celebration of some rather mundane bachnalian observances and perhaps, if we are oh, so lucky, a few pagan rituals, such as dancing, and howling at the moon. Or maybe, if our luck continues, we can get Coach Dave Frank to tell us a story of his days in college (soon to be a Showtime series).

I for one, am touched that the state of Oregon in particular, has allowed us back into their wonderful land. Last year's series of journeys into darker side of Eugene nightlife gave several of us, "souvenirs", shall we say. We learnt about all night Mexican restaurants near the dorm. We also learnt about the Dutch coffee walk thrus or drive thrus. More than one person might show up with a tattoo this year, noting that he loves "Hootie", whoever that could be. Life, as my father tells me still, is full of mysteries. Our job is to find them, and embrace them. I for one, have made a career out of such a response.

Any hootie, consider June 23-June 28, your time for athletic redemption, a time to share a bon mot with a friend. Perhaps, you could watch the 1968 Olympic Trials film and cry into your beer. Celebrities should abound. The infamous should be inbound as well. Perhaps a few community college coaches (well, only if they were allowed to leave California) might show up.

On Monday, June 22, before you leave for aforementioned sports extravaganza, we will have a little treat for our friends going to Eugene, so watch runblogrun.com fellow track fans--Uncle Larry is about to be oh so nice.

After next week you can also say,

" Ich bin ein Eugener."

The 48th version of the Golden Spike, held in Ostrava on June 17, gave us world leaders, and a view into the crystal ball for the World Championships. Usain Bolt, ran a wind aided 9.77, admitting to his second worst start ever, which is saying something. Meselech Melkamu, the lesser known of the Ethiopian track goddesses, ran a 29:53 on Sunday and came back with a world leading 14:34 tonight! Dayron Robles, our Cuban superstar, ran a world leading 13.04 and was not happy with his race. Blanka Vlasic had a win, but at a low height. From Bob Ramsak's story, the 20,000 fans were quite happy with the event. ( FYI, the meet is managed by our friend and EME news correspondent Alfons Juck, who has been quite engaged the past few days putting on this fine meet in Central Europe! )

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Doyle Management Group has signed five NCAA standout athletes to its client roster, which already includes, among others, Bryan Clay, Reese Hoffa, Adam Nelson and Asafa Powell...

We caught up with Khalid Khannouchi, one of the most prolific marathoners of the past decade. In the famous 2003 FLORA London race, Khannouchi took on Paul Tergat, Haile Gebrselassie and came out victorious! Khannouchi has been dealing with injuries for the past few years, and his 2008 US Olympic Trials fourth place was done on little training. We asked Khalid about his recent surgery and his vow to return to world class racing...

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Khalid Khannouchi at the US Olympic Marathon Trials, NYC, November 2007. Photo by Photorun.net.

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In one of the most exciting (and well done tv broadcasts) NCAA outdoor track championships in years, CBS focused their coverage on a very close team event. On the men's side, it was determined in the last event, the 4 x 400m and the difference between Texas A & M and Oregon was two points. On the women's side it was seven points that separated Texas A & M and Oregon. Coach Pat Henry's teams won the double, not done since 1990, over Coach Vinn Lannana. Each team had its heroes and heroines.

Consider, for one moment, the case of Galen Rupp. Galen Rupp ran a tough 10,000 meters and won from Shawn Forrest and Samuel Chelanga, with the race coming down to a 1:58.96 last half mile. 20k of racing n three days for Rupp, who also ran semis for the 5,000 m, final for the 10,000m and final for the 5,000 meters, all within 72 hours! His 5,000 meter win was a bit more problematic, pulling a Bill Rodgers and stopping to fix his shoe ( Rodgers did it in a marathon). Calmly, Galen Rupp showed his real talent, moved from eleventh to fourth with three laps to go, finally taking the lead with 600 meters to go. His last 1,600 meters? 4:00.10. Kind of Bill Rodgers meets Lasse Viren-no actually, the Galen Rupp style.

Galen Rupp has gone, over the past five years, from being the good Oregon kid whispered about as the next good one, to one of our top US distance hopes. He has matured in both his racing tactics and his times. Most fascinating of all, with someone with so much pressure on him, Galen Rupp seems to handle it in stride. The difference over the past five years? His coaching relationship with Alberto Salazar, his development in college with Vinn Lananna and his absolutely classic tactics, which keep his legion of fans fascinated, with his videos on Flotrack.com, dyestat.com, and photos everywhere else. Rupp races, fans watch, Ducks rejoice.

Oregon did not win this year. That is, alas, sport. Sometimes teams win, sometimes they loose. In the process, we, the sports fans, become engrossed with herculean battle that happened in Fayetteville, Arkansas last week between Texas A & M and Oregon. A true battle of the collegiate track gods.

And in that herculean battle for team supremacy, Galen Rupp, who did it for his team, stood out, because he did it for his team. A class act and another reminder of why we love our sport of track & field!

Photo by PhotoRun.net.

Congrats to our friends at Chevron Houston Marathon and their sponsors, the ABB Team Challenge and the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute EXPO, who have committed through 2012! As usual, our lesson for today is: in this time of economic uncertainty, a thoughtful, long term approach to sports marketing benefits both the event and the sponsor. Long term relationships allow sponsor and event to develop the brand building pass posting signs everywhere. Sponsors want to become part of the community, and events and their special promotions can give the emotional tie that can not be found by merely advertising in a market.

Congrats to Steve Karpas and his team!

In a copyrighted story on SportsOnesource, Under Armour announced the resignation of SVP of Footwear, Raphael Peck, effective June 12, 2009. Per the story, where Diane Pelkey, communications manager for Under Armour is quoted that he will be taking some time off and pursuing other business interests.

Peck had been at Under Armour since 2002, in a variety of roles. Prior to Under Armour, he was at adida AG from 1999-2002.

Under Armour has been involved in sports footwear since 2006, launching cleated, then cross training, and in Feb 2009, a running footwear line.

To read the complete piece, please click:

http://www.sportsonesource.com/news/article_home.asp?Prod=1§ion=1&id=28375

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Sara Vaughn warming up before a recent track session in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo courtesy of Boulder Wave, Inc.)

The key for many young distance runners, is the opportunity to train past their college years and see what they can do in the sport. Sponsorship is a big part of that freedom. We salute all sponsors who work with our track & field athletes so that they can run, jump & throw into the future!

Deena Kastor, 2004 Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon, former US record holder at 10,000 meters, current Women's US marathon holder, has announced that her comeback marathon will be on October 11, 2009 at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon!

Photo courtesy of ASICS America.

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The Diamond League will arrive in 2010. Fourteen events, around the globe and track fans able to plan on TV, digital coverage, world class competition and a consistent season should be pleased... the DL will be fourteen sites in 2010...

The simple fact is that if our sport is to gain relevance, it must be on the major networks. NBC sports and WNBC will provide both national and regional coverage for the ING New York City marathon, giving the five boroughs race the distinction of the most national TV coverage of any marathon outside of the Olympic marathon.

NBC has done a superb job this spring on our track events, and CBS sports this past weekend did a stellar job on the Live NCAA coverage. ESPN and ESPN2 coverage has continued to grow faster on their network than any other sport covered. That should tell us something.

Congrats again to NYRR and Mary Wittenberg. Nice news for the sport!

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2008 ING NYCM, Paula Radcliffe and Kara Goucher, photo by Photorun.net.

The Portland Mile festival had some awesome performances for prep milers this past weekend. YouthRunner magazine, our partners in the Running Network, sent us this link with pictures, video and a great story on the second year of this fine meet: http://news.youthrunner.com/news/story/portland-track-festival-the-story.

To learn more about youthrunner, check out http://www.youthrunner.com

To learn more about the other 23 partners in the RunningNetwork, check out
http://www.runningnetwork.com

To reach RBR, email runblogrun@gmail.com

If sports fans consider a coach in basketball or football important, then consider for a moment the coaches of Texas A & M and the University of Oregon. Texas A & M is coached by Pat Henry, former coach at LSU. In 1990, Pat Henry won both men and women's NCAA titles at LSU. Vinn Lannana coached Stanford before Oregon and did quite well there.

In the 2009 NCAA Outdoor, there was a terrific battle between Texas A & M and Oregon, two tough and experienced coaches, with fine teams, battling for the championships. This time around, Pat Henry won and his Texas A & M won both the men and women's titles, the first time since 1990 (which was Henry's former team, LSU, also under his coaching expertise).

Congrats to Coach Henry and his team, Texas A & M on their victories!

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Sanya Richards entertained the 63,000 fans with her 49.57 win in the 400 meters-a new world leader. Augustine Choge ran a world leading 3:29.47 for 1,500 meters. Kenenisa Bekele ran a winning 13:00.76, so the sore thigh must be better with Abraham Chebii ( remember him dropping a 26 second last 200 meters in a 5,000 m last year?) and Rbk GP 5k winner Micah Kogo as two of the guys following Mr. Bekele. Dexter Faulk ran a fine 13.18. Ariane Freidrich over Croatian high jump goddess Blanka Vlasic, 2.06m to 2.03m (five attempts at world record 2.09m). Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia wins the pole vault in 4.83m, with Monika Pyrek of Poland at 4.78m for second.....

Photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net

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Robbie Andrews ran 4:03.49, held off by Mac Fleet, who ran 4:02.90 at the Portland Track Festival. Andrew Spinger ran a 4:02.70 at the Midwest Distance Classic.
Walt Murphy fills us in....

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Victah's surprise fiftieth was June 13, 2009. Photo courtesy of Lisa Coniglio/PhotoRun.net.

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Yelena Isinbayeva opens for outdoor 2009 with a new major sponsor, as she dropped adidas for the Chinese brand Li Ning. Isinbayeva is at the top of her game, and she does not see any true competition. While it is understandable, as Ms. Isinbayeva just won the Laureus World Sportswomen of the year and she is defending World Champion and Olympic champion as well as holder of twenty-two world record holders, Yelena should be cautious. As all athletes know, on any given day, there are always surprises. Track & Field is not WWF, we are in a sport, and in truth, no one in athletics is exempt from the refrain, "We are only as good as our last race."

Photo by PhotoRun.net.

Usain Bolt was hurt in an auto accident in early April. He then rehabbed and ran the Bupa City Run in 14.53 for 150 meters in the rain! The anticipation for Toronto was even higher, but the rain and head wind, slowed Bolt down a bit. Remember, we have a very long season this year.....

If you want to stay on top of the NCAA Division 1 championships, which started Wednesday and go through Saturday, use these links, courtesy of Walt Murphy, our friend and the publisher of Eastern Track and XC XPress:


Live streaming video is available at:
http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=ncaa&media=129516

"Real Time" Results:
http://www.flashresults.com/2009_Meets/outdoor/NCAA/


COMPLETE SCHEDULE
http://www.flashresults.com/2009_Meets/outdoor/NCAA/

To learn more about our sport, we encourage our readers to go to the
following places:

http://www.iaaf.org to learn about our global sport.

http://www.usatf.org to learn about the sport in the U.S.

http://www.runningnetwork.com to find a local running community, running store, running event, or to get involved in the grass roots culture of our sport.

To reach Runblogrun.com, please email runblogrun@gmail.com

Remember Roman Mesnil, the French vaulter looking for a sponsor? Well, he has found one. Check out his new video: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x9itjh_virus-po1l_fun.

More Global News from Alfons Juck and EME:

Usain Bolt will run 100 meters in Toronto tonight-this will be his first race on the track since his auto accident. Remember, he ran the 150 meters in Manchester in a blazing 14.53 seconds. To find out how to see his race, just read below.....

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Photo by PhotoRun.net

This is an usual request, but it's legal and it's fun-when do those two things coincide in this blog? Matt McGowan is the publisher of RunOhio, a coach, a race director, former 2;22 marathoner and a great friend of mine, let's help Leigh & Nick if you can!


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The Laureus World Sports Awards are the biggest awards in the world of global sports. Note that both the male and female athletes of the year were both from Track & Field. This award, again just showed the level of mastery of their games that Usain Bolt and Yelena Isinbayeva possess!
Usain Bolt (center) receiving Laureus Award from Michael Johnson (left) and Edwin Moses (right). Photos by Getty Images, courtesy of Laureus.

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Jenny Barringer is the Honda Sports Award Winner as the top female athlete in track & field for 2009! She will automatically be nominated for the Honda Collegiate Women Athlete of the Year! Congrats to Jenny. The release tells the wondeful story of her stellar senior track season!

Photo by PhotoRun.net.

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The Olympic champion, Tomasz Majewski has his chance to defeat Reese Hoffa, who threw 71-10 at Nike Pre last Sunday, this coming Wednesday in Bydgoszcz, Poland....

Photo by PhotoRun.net.

Yes, dear coaches, athletes and fans. Once again, the Running Network will be joining the usual suspects (Accusplit,adidas, vs athletics, Villards Pub, Runnerspace.com, Opedix) at the Villard Street Pub, the official home for track geeks, coaches, athletes, fans and other denizens of the night. Please observe the official schedule, attached below, from June 23 to June 27, in Track Town U.S.A, Eugene, Oregon.

(There will be a meeting of the Wisconsin-California coaches alliance at least one of the nights.)

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An early adidas track spike, circa 1926. Courtesy of adidas communications.

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The business of running publications has had some real trail blazers: The Nelson brothers, who founded Track & Field News in 1948. Browning Ross, who founded the RRCA and newsletter in 1958, Bob Anderson who started Runners World in 1968, and George Hirsch, who founder the Runner, and nearly a decade later, reinvented a combined Runner's World and the Runner, and saved national running publications from an ignominious demise.

George Hirsch is now chairman of the New York Road Runners, a perfect job for George, who champions running with every breath. He is also publishing Cucina Italiana, an amazing Italian cooking publication.

George Hirsch ran a 2:38 marathon at Boston, I believe, in 1979. In the 1990's George won the veteran division of the San Francisco Marathon, on the old, hard course, in 2:58. Hirsch is a life time runner, having started in 1968. Bill Rodgers told me that George Hirsch was one of the most determined and tough runners he had ever met, citing a run in Boston, in horrific conditions, where both wanted to get in ten miles, not wanting to miss a run before the hallowed Boston marathon! That tenacity has been a huge asset for a publishing professional.

I caught up with George at the London Marathon this year, and asked to interview him on his beginnings in publishing, and running, and his thoughts on the changing landscape of media. His answers are thought provoking. RBR thanks George Hirsch for taking the time, but also for what he has done for our sport!

The video above is courtesy of Runnerspace.com, and shows Jenny Barringer on her last stretch run, nearly catching Geleta Burka of Ethiopia, 3:59.89 to 3:59.90. For the nationals, Jenny Barringer was planning to run the 5,000m/steeple at the US champs, in Eugene, Oregon, June 25-28. . Anna Willard, who finished fourth in the 1,500 meters, is planning to double at the US champs in the steeple and 1,500 meters. Should be some amazing races!

Chuck Barlett, the webmaster at RunningNetwork.com has developed a nice service for the running community. It is our RN Store Locator. " We track over 800 running stores," noted Chuck. " We provide address, info, website, google map and if the store provides us with the logo, we will post that as well."

" We just felt that as the Running Network encourages it readers, in print and on the web, to visit a specialty running store, it made sense to give our readers a place to find a running store, no matter where they are in the country, " noted Barlett.

The Running Network, established in 1986 is a unique network of twenty-four print, web and digital specialty regional and national running magazines, covering the sport of running from prep track and cross country, to coaching, to regional publications covering local road races and ultras, to official associations, such as USA Track & Field and the Road Runners Clubs of America. The goal of the Running Network is to promote the sport of running, which means, in our mind, road running, athletics, cross country, ultra running, race walking and trail running. Our publications celebrate the diversity of the world's oldest sport. For a sample media kit, please click: http://www.runningnetwork.com/advertise-running-network

To check out the locator, please click on http://runningnetwork.com/running-network-national-store-locator

If stores want to add their listing, please send info and link to chuck@runningnetwork.com


To learn more about our sport, we encourage our readers to go to the
following places:

http://www.iaaf.org to learn about our global sport.

http://www.usatf.org to learn about the sport in the U.S.

http://www.runningnetwork.com to find a local running community, running store, running event, or to get involved in the grass roots culture of our sport.

To reach Runblogrun.com, please email runblogrun@gmail.com

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Every picture tells a story, as Rod Stewart told us, well this picture tells the story of the Nike Pre Classic-all about the competition!

Photo by PhotoRun.net.

( We will provide a complete event by event analysis after my walk this evening, right now, just salient points and overall themes...).

The thirty-fifth Nike Prefontaine Classic was celebration of all things Nike in Track City, Eugene, Oregon. The meet went from one great race, one great event to another. I spent the entire meet twittering each event result (twitter.com/runblogrun), and will be doing that for the USATF Championships as well.

For me the event showed us several major themes:

The first is that competition among traditionally strong events for the U.S. has continued to increase, with the men's 200 meters ( shown in the 300 meters) now approaching the men's 110 meter hurdles and women's 100m hurdles, two of the toughest events to make on the U.S. team.

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An athlete needing to make up for a tough 2008 is a continuing theme. Note the case of Dwight Phillips, who was the 2004 Olympic, 2005 world champion and 2007 brone medalist at the long jump. He did not make the team in 2008, but has come out in 2009 as a man on a mission. He first ran a 10.06 for 100 meters at a small meet at Georgia-that was his personal best. Competing against Irving Saldino, 2007 gold medalist in Osaka and the 2008 Beijing champion, Dwight Phillips completed an act of redemption: his aggressive running style, his follow through on his long jump, his tremendous focus, accolades, for the longest long jump since 1991--with a jump of 28-8 1/4-- or 8.74m . That is the farthest legal jump since 1991 and put him in the top ten performers of all times. Irving Saldino did not give up easily, jumping 8.55 and 8.63m-his personal best in the competition!

The depth of US women's distance talent. In the women's 1,500 meters, Jenny Barringer was the star of the day, becoming the third US performer of all times, with her superb 3:59.89, just missing Geleta Burka's winning 3;59.98! Barringer told the media that she was thinking 4:04! In fourth place, Anna Willard ran 4:01.4! In fifth place, Christin Wurth-Thomas ran her personal best of 4:01.72, and in sixth place, Shannon Rowbury, two races shy of racing fit, who put it all on the line for the first 1200 meters, ran a fine 4:03.92 opener.

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Jenny Barringer of Colorado is the real thing. This young women has talent, racing sense and she had her first real experience at the super elite level. Her last three hundred meters was astonishing, and her last 150 meters was a near route of the entire field!

Reese Hoffa showed he was tought with his come from behind,final throw win with a world leading 71-10!

Bernard Lagat looked great taking Said Shaheen in the 3,000 meters, but Shaheen barely held off a hard charging Chris Solinsky, Matt Tegenkamp and Alistair Cregg!

Nick Symmonds continues his rock star 800 meter racing, with his hard charging win over Alfred Yego of Kenya, in 1:45.86, with Christian Smith taking third. Yuriy Borzakovsky of Russia was sixth.

And Absel Kipruto Kiprop, who we interviewed after the meet, who told us that his 3:48.50 was his first mile ever! " I thought we were running 3:52 pace, or I would have run through the finish." Kiprop, the showman of the Kenyan middle distance crowd, missed the Bowerman mile record by two tenths.

Photo by Photorun.net.

The night before Pre Classic, Oregon TC rana small meet with 800 meters, 1,500 meters and 10,000 meters for men ( the 800 and 1,500 had women and mens events). The Torres brothers ran 28:16.81 for the 10,000 win with Adam Goucher in third in 28:41.94, running mostly by himself. Geoff Martinson ran 3:41.87, Ryan Brown ran 1:46.17, and Sara Vaughn too the women's 800 meters in 2:04.75, with Dacie Perkins taking the 1,500 meters in 4:17.08. Jonathan Riley won the 3,000 m in 7:48.74.

Pre Classic press conference is always a good place to reach some of the top athletes in the world. This year, we have Pamela Jelimo, La Shawn Merritt, Dawn Harper, Sanya Richards, Anna Willard, Andrei Silnov and Jesse Williams....

These are the shoes that Sanya Richards will wear tomorrow, and she also wore them in Beijing in the 400 meters and 4 x 400 meters.

The skies are overcast in Eugene, Oregon, as the 35th version of the Nike Pre Classic is about to get underway. RBR interviewed Anna Willard, Dawn Harper, Andrei Silnov, Jesse Williams, Sanya Richards and LaShawn Merritt in the press conference.

Of the fields for 2009, Meet Director Tom Jordan said, " I will be happy to put our fields up here against any meet in North America, including the past two US Olympic games. This is thanks to Nike, our presenting sponsor and Nutrilite, our supporting sponsor. The meet starts at 10.45 AM tomorrow!

As reported at http://www.insidethegames.com, Bank of America is asking USOC to provide more value for its $12 million plus commitment to the USOC. The USOC has already lost General Motors and Home Depot. Bank of America's Joe Goode, VP of Marketing Services, was noted as noting that the Bank needed more value from its substantial sponsorship of the US Olympic committee. The story can be found at http://www.insidethegames.com/show-news.php?id=5873.

One of the top new US sprinters, who ran 10.05 and 20.45 for the 100m and 200m at the JUCO championships this year has just signed with Mark Wetmore's Global Athletics & Marketing...at the California State Meet yesterday, Ryan Wyatt ran 35.02 for the 300m hurdles, breaking the 2007 record of Jeshua Anderson of 35.28!

Hrysopyi Devetzi cleared a windy 14.67m as a guest in the Ukranian championships, her top legal mark was 14.18. It is a good indication that her health is back...Wilfred Bungei of Kenya is still suffering from an ankle injury....

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Olympic 400 meter champion LaShawn Merritt will be featured in the 300 meters, and going for Micheal Johnson's 30.85 world mark at the Nike Pre Classic!


Photo by Photorun.net.

At Runblogrun, and with American Track & Field, we have championed increased opportunities for women athletes, from the pole vault to the steeplechase. In our archives, we have a note from a coach chastising us in 1991 for putting Carla Boravicka on the cover, running the steeplechase. The letter ended with, " the next thing I know, you will be putting women pole vaulters on the cover!" Be careful what you wish for!

Evolution is a painful, brutish process. The changes in our sport have come painfully. Our sports' evolution, from a rather draconian amateur sport, ignoring the changes in the world of sport, to a sport trying to find its way in the modern world of sports marketing and entertainment continues, one painful step forward, one half step to the side...yet, in the end, it continues.

We also completely support the professionalization of our sport, and applaud the IAAF in announcing its prize money structure for the World Championships in Berlin. Prize money and appearance money for that matter, allow athletes to have longer careers and pursue excellence in their event for more years, giving the fans of the sport a chance to see better competitions and events.

Last weekend in New York, for example, and this coming weekend in Eugene, Oregon, our sport will have successes because athletes, managers, meet directors, and sponsors work together to make the sport better. For our sport to succeed, and new sponsors to see the opportunities, our elite meets are our best showcase. It is absolutely critical that management bring the best competitors together, regardless of footwear brand or sponsor, in order to give the best meet experience.

We understand that several elite athletes have chosen not to compete at the Berlin ISTAF meet due to the cut backs by the meet in appearance money. While we understand the economic issues that may have challenged a meet director, the current model in the Golden League includes appearance money. Berlin ISATF is a member of the Golden League. It will not, at this time, be part of the Diamond League in 2010. We applaud the athletes and managers who are involved in this quiet protest, which is their right and personal choice. Those athletes and their management believe, that by showing up at ISTAF Berlin, they endanger future revenue from appearance at other meetings. We wish that ISTAF Berlin could find a way to reach an rapprochment with athletes and their management-as that would be best for the sport. Runblogrun will keep it's readers updated on this unfortunate situation.

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Leonel Manzano is up and running for 2009. After a tough race at the adidas Track Classic, Leonel ran a 3:55 mile in St.Louis, then a very gutty run, winning the Reebok GP 1,500 meters in a world leading 3:34.14!

The following interview is from late April. We provided Leonel with questions and he responded. For our spanish speaking friends, we just had a nice piece in Latinos Corriendo no.19, refering to Leonel as David vs. the Goliaths.

Photo courtesy of Photorun.net.

A quick thanks to all of our readers who continue to tell friends and colleagues to sign up for runblogrun or twitter.com/runblogrun. Our numbers grew by over 30 percent last month! As Sally Fields once said, " You love us, you really love us!"

Anyhow, the real rumor of the day is the possibility that Tyson Gay may be running at Nike Prefontaine, per our esteemed colleague Alfons Juck, our man in Eastern Europe. Alfons cites Tom Jordan as saying that IF they both run, they will both be in the same section of the 100 meters. As many know, unless you were at a Dead show this past weekend, Tyson Gay ran 19.58 for 200 meters, virtually having a sack lunch before second place showed up. Asafa Powell, running the 100 meters, had a more difficult day at the office.

We will update on this tomorrow.

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Tyson Gay, from US Trials, July 2008, courtesy of PhotoRun.net.

Some fast times from Hengelo: Churandy Martina, one of the real revelations from Beijing, ran 9.97 in the 100 meters-the first sub 10 second 100 meters in the Netherlands! Akubaker Kaki, from Sudan, lead three under 1.44 and seven under 1:46, with his 1:43.10, just behind his world leader. Asbel Kipruto Kiprop ran 3:34.45, winning form Deresse Mekonnen, the 2008 World Indoor Champ, with ten under 3:39. The deepest event was the 5,000 meters, as Ethiopia's Ali Abdosh (12:59.56) held off Augustine Choge (13:00.79), Eliud Kipchoge (13:00.91) and Edwin Cheruiyot Soi (13:01.69), all of Kenya, with twelfth place at 13:12.02!

In the early 1990s, while I was still living in California, I was able to get Ron Hill sports to sponsor a prep track meet at Los Gatos high school's all weather track. So, at the K-Bell Classic, this British apparel company puts out a table and shows off its team kit.

The meet was pretty good for early season Northern California: a great high hurdle time ( I think it was Rocky Morris) 14.28, and several 100 meter kids 10.6 to 10.9. The folks from Ron Hill were amazed. They told me that, except in major events, they would not see sprinting like that, much less, in prep events!

At the U.S. champs, we get spoiled with sub 10 second 100 meters! In Eugene at the end of June, mark my word, there will be sub 10 second 100 meter runners who will not make our team.

In that light, please consider the excitement of the fans in Hengelo seeing their first sub ten second 100 meter run!

A few tidbits from over the weekend:

*Meseret Defar ran 31:07 in warm, windy weather-she hit the halfway in 15:43, and ran 15:24 over the last 5k, which means she could run close to 30:00 in normal race conditions!

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*Anna Willards' 800 meters at Reebok GP shows what former coach John Chaplin said to Jim Hiserman two decades ago in American Track & Field: 800 meter runners should be steeplechasers! Willard has run well over the road mile, track 1,500 and 800 meters and the steeplechase. Willard has the talent, brains and focus to medal in Berlin-congrats to her and new coach, Terrance Mahon.

*Christin Wurth Thomas' brave run from the 900 meter mark in the women's 1,500 meters, in those blustery conditions in New York was amazing. It was Wurth Thomas' best race performance in a long time-4:03.96 would have been 3:59 in normal conditions.

*Tyson Gay's 200 meters was spellbounding! His 19.58 for 200 meters dusted the rest of the field and the guys were all running quite fast!

Photos by Photorun.net.

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