January 2010 Archives

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Sylvia Kibet, Rieti 2009, photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net.

Busy weekend indoors and on the roads...seven world bests at BW Bank Karlsruhe, including Kibets' 8:41.24 and Jones 7.90 after loosing to Ennis on Saturday in Glasgow! Russian ace Yuriy Borzakovskiy ran a 1:45.94 world leader for 800 meters!Hats off to Erin Donahue who ran 2:03 in a small meet. HJ goddess Ariane Friedrich cleared 2.00 m in Karlsruhe! And next weekend is the Reebok BIG meet! Oh indoor season,
you are upon us! And on top of that, Meb Keflizighi took his family to In & Out Burger, the sanctuary of real hamburgers (RBR follows Meb on twitter!).RBR is, well, jealous!

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Allyson Felix, running in adidas Outdoor 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Some great results this morning or last night. Amane Gobena wins the Osaka Ladies Marathon today, with the Ethiopian running 2:25:14. Galen Rupp had a nifty double, finishing second in a pb 3:56 mile and also winning a tight 3,000m in 7:51 at the UW Invitational. (Note that Molly Huddle ran 15:20 there for 5,000m on Friday night).

But the one that caught our eye was on Allyson Felix. Allyson ran in Albequerque, and blasted a 52.05, for a personal best for her 400 meter indoors! Hmmm, why was she racing there?

2010 New Balance Games, January 23, 2010, photos by Photorun.net, Gallery
by Chuck Bartlett, Webmaster/Runningnetwork.com

Last weekend, I had the fortunate chance to visit the New Balance T&F Armory for the first time. Jack Pfeiffer gave me the tour, and Walt Murphy and Dr. Norb Sanders waxed poetically about the place they loved. Here is a photo gallery focused on the NB Games. You could see that Mr. Murphy and Dr. Sanders loved the Armory.

But, I wanted to find out from the generation who was using the fruits of their labors.Did they love the Armory? Well, from what I could see, in my short visit,
with sixteen weeks of indoor season, and 15,000 athletes and coaches a week,
the NB T&F Armory is in constant use! And, it is loved....

The next generation loves the NB Armory! I wanted to thank the 4 x 400 meter relay team of St. John the Baptist told me that the NB Armory was, and I quote, "the best place for track & field in the world!" From the mouths of 15-17 year olds.....

For more on New Balance, please click on http://www.newbalance.com

For more on our sport, please click on http://www.runningnetwork.com

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Bernard Lagat, Stuttgart 2009, photo by Bob Ramsak
The meet was " better crowd in the past few years, " noted several of our observers at Madison Square Gardens last night. The key for the meet was that Bernard Lagat took the lead over Olympic champ Asbel Kiprop and took the win in 3:56.34, taking the lead 1 1/2 laps to go! Bernard Lagat met with Eamonn Coghlan and saluted Eamonn as the Chairman of the board, " I want to be President of the boards!" Kiprop took second in 3:58.03 and Andy Baddeley took third in 3:58.09 (one week after his 3:55 mile last weekend).

Christian Cantwell had an excellent eventing too, throwing 70-4 1/4, 70-1, 70-4 1/2,
72-4/21.95m, with three world leaders out of four throws! Terrance Trammell used his great start, and kept the lead, hitting 7.49 for world leader! Chelsea Johnson, WC silver medalist, pole vault, won the Millrose Games women's pv in 14-9 1/4.

Bernard Lagat showed his class by donating his Millrose winnings to Haiti!

Sorry, for no photo gallery on Millrose, Victah Sailer of PhotoRun.net had the flu. We hope he and Lisa get better soon!

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Chris Solinsky, just back from a long fall of long distance training, after only
two workouts with 400 meters and no fast 800 meters, runs a nifty 3:55.75
and obviously surprised himself!

Chris is a prime example of the coaching philosophy of Jerry Schumacher, former Badger distance coach, and now coach of one of the two training groups in Nike's
Oregon Project (along with Nike Coach of Year, Alberto Salazar). Jerry has a few
former Badgers, in Matt Tegenkamp, Simon Bairo, Tim Nelson, Evan Jager and Chris Solinsky.

I met with Jerry two weeks ago at the Chevron Houston Marathon, and he is as enthusiastic as when I met him ten years before. Jerry had brought a few of his UW athletes to hear Arthur Lydiard speak in Madison. Arthur was in rare form that night, and we had a wonderful time of listening to Lydiard's stories! We spent the evenning sharing a beer at the Essen Haus with the late Arthur Lydiard and the incomparable Joe Hanson.Congrats to Chris on a nice start to his 2010 season and congratulation on his recent marriage! I have watched Chris Solinsky since high school. He was a talented young man, who works hard, and continues to want to excel. Lots of guys have talent, but it is how to focus it and who you go to for advice. Solinsky is doing it the right way.

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Kenenisa Bekele, Rome 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

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Yelena Isinbayeva, 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Track & Field News, the bible of the sport, named Kenenisa Bekele and Yelena Isinbayeva as their Athletes of the Decade! What do you think? Send me your thoughts
at
runblogrun@gmail.com!

In Moscow, Ivan Ukhov was defeated by Aleksandr Shustov in a series of jumps that went from 2.27m to 2.30m, to attempts at 2.33m......

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Dayron Robles, Rome 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

It is that wonderful time of the year, indoor track & field! Dayron Robles is ready, for the first time since his injuries in Berlin WC. Yelena Isinbayeva is speaking about World Records, and Sammy Wanjiru wants to take thirty seconds off the WR for the marathon in London! Wow! I am.....breathless!

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K-SWISS has signed with Honda LA Marathon to be presenting sponsor! Another example of how strong the sport is, but how positive the changes instituted in the marathon by Russ Pillar and Peter Abraham. Change in big cities comes hard, yet, the Honda LA Marathon has changed its date, redone its course and use modern communications quite effectively to encourage runners to participate!

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Ray Lump receives the Howard Schmertz Lifetime Achievement Award, from the left, Ray Flynn, Howard Schmertz, Marcus OSullivan, Eamonn Coghlan, Ray Lump, Bill Clark photo by PhotoRun.net.

Ray Lump, former meet director of NYAC Games, Olympic Invitational was quite surprised to win the Howard Schmertz Lifetime Achievement award. Just look at the folks in the picture with Ray, a whos-who of miling!

The introduction, " Ladies and Gentleman, the Wanamaker Mile..." I first heard in 1986, on my first visit to the Millrose Games, where Marcus OSullivan won his first victory. The next day, many of us were in the Park, running the Winter series 10 miler! Good luck to Bernard Lagat on Friday evening. Remember, 8 to 10 PM EST on ESPN2!

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Tirunesh Dibaba embraced by Meseret Defar, Greece, September 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Well, Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba were worthy adversaries, and now, they will be running for different footwear & apparel brands. Defar stays with Mizuno, and Dibaba will be with Nike.....

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Haile Gebrselassie, January 22, 2010, Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net.
Here is Pat Butcher's eye witness recollections of the 2010 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.....but, think about it, Haile runs a 2:06 marathon with a sore back? Each performance makes the little Emperor seem even less of a mortal...

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Blanka Vlasic, Rome Golden Gala, 2009, photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net.

Blanka Vlasic got 2010 going well with a nice 2.01 clearance today in Trinec, Czech Republic. Ivan Ukhov continues his superb jumping (clearing 2.37m last weekend), clearing 2.34 here today. Both Vlasic and Ukhov entertained the crowds with meet records (this was part of the sixth Moravian HJ tour)...

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Honda Los Angeles Marathon 2010 logo

Congrats to American Honda Motor Company and the LA Marathon LLC for giving us another example of how strong a part a marathon can play in a community! American Honda Motor Company had the foresight to see the value in an event, in it's 25th incarnation, and how involvement with such an event can give a brand the goodwill of, quite frankly, its target audience!

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Teshome Gelana, Chevron Houston Marathon winner, with Steven Karpas, managing director, Chevron Houston Marathon, photo courtesy of Chevron Houston Marathon.

Steven Karpas is the managing director of the Chevron Houston Marathon and the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. When asked, Karpas will give credit due to Brant Kotch, the events' race director, as well as the team behind the Chevron Houston Marathon, the Aramco Half Marathon, the El Paso 5k and the Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine Institute Expo. And Karpas is right, the success and quality of any major venture is all about the human capital.

However, don't let Mr. Karpas off so easily. Steven Karpas has that, to put it in the vernacular, "that vision thing." As RBR followed Mr. Karpas around much of the marathon weekend, Steven was tending the event, making sure that the little things that make an event unforgettable are done well.

That nearly 30,000 runners and walkers had a great experience was an understatement. Three course records in one day. Three races sold out. The 2010 Chevron Houston Marathon, Aramco Houston Half Marathon and El Paso 5k were all a success!

RBR gave Steven Karpas a few days, then we sent him our eleven questions. We think that you will find his answers illuminating..

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Felix Sanchez in adidas Outdoor Classic, May 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Alfons Juck, being the focused athletics reporter/manager, noted that at the Bordeaux, France meeting, besides Beita's 1.97m hj and Sdiri's 8.00m long jump, Felix Sanchez ran 50.93 for the indoor 400 meter hurdles! I need pictures of a video of race! I remember a race with Edwin Moses on the old 160 meter SF Indoor Games, and Edwin had a heck of a time running those tight turns at his height! How does one do hurdles on a 200 meter indoor facility? Okay, the offer is out there, send me pictures and I will send an AT&F t-shirt!

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Nike NXC, December 2009, photo by Kirby Lee

It seems that, if the OSAA discussion goes ahead on cross country, a well meaning, but ignorant and damaging form of political correctness could damage the sport of cross country forever. And, 16,000 cross country coaches across the U.S., if this happens in Oregon, it is only a matter of time before it comes up in your state! I believe it was the late Cardinal Fulton Sheen who said, " I do not fear someone who has read many books, I fear someone who has read one book." Well, welcome to our new world. Somehow, someone in OSAA, as Dave Frank says so eloquently below, got into their brain matter that cross country needs to be either a team or an individual sport, in order to be equitable.

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Jenny Barringer in New Balance jacket, New Balance Games, January 23, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net

Jenny Barringer had an excellent week. Probably, an exahusting week as well. After making the decision to sign with New Balance last weekend, Jenny sent notes to the companies that made offers, to thank them for their interest. On Saturday, Jenny visited the New Balance Games, and was introduced to the young athletes, and announcer Ian Brooks invited her to compete next year in the New Balance Games! Ms. Barringer was able to see some great world leading performances at the NB Games on Saturday!

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Ivan Ukhov, August 2009, photo from PhotoRun.net.

Sergio Sanchez has run a world leading 4:52.90 at 2,000 meters, the new European all time indoor best, and third, world list behind Kenenisa Bekele and Haile Gebrselassie. Ivan Ukhov cleared 2.37m for the high jump, with good attempts at 2.41m! Other big news is the word that Sir Sebastian Coe is considering running for IAAF President in 2011, to replace Lamine Diack.....more to come on that one!

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Smith and Davis in NB Elite Men's 400 meters. Smith won 46.69 to 46.74! Photo by PhotoRun.net.

This race had the crowd screaming at the NB Games yesterday! I thought you might like to see the picture from Victah Sailer. Victah, one of the top photographers in our sport, had just returned from Dubai the day before, shooting the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon!

For more on our sport, please click on www.runningnetwork.com

I went to the New Balance Track & Field Armory today. Built in 1909, the Armory held its first track meet in 1914! A robust building, today it houses 3,800 fans cheering the athletes to faster and faster times. Today, the house that Norb built (Dr. Norb Sanders, the primal force behind the rebuilding of the Armory), housed the NB Games and the select events, including professional miles, 400 meters and elite high school miles, were not only well received, but had this long time track fan entranced!

Before the meet, I was given a tour of the facility by Jack Pfeiffer, one of the prime movers in this positive sanctuary for our sport. Last night, I had dinner with Ian Brooks, the charming British emcee of many a New York athletics event, and many of the best milers in the world! What a weekend!

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Andy Baddeley running in the NB Games, photo by PhotoRun.net.

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Jenny Barringer, Team New Balance, photo courtesy of New Balance communications.

Jenny Barringer has been the most sought after American collegiate distance runner in some time. An NCAA champion times over, a world class runner at 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters, 5,000 meters, and the AR in the steeplechase, Jenny is a rarefied athlete. After she choose New Balance, she called the other companies who bid and thanked their representatives for their interest in her. That response, confirmed by various brands, just showed Barringer as a class act.

Gentle readers,

It has been a long day. I just finished interviewing Jenny Barringer, Heidi Dahl and Sarah Bowman. Rough duty, but someone has to do it. Do you like Runblogrun.com? Do you tolerate RBR? Or does every thoughtful, multi-syllabic word that I write course through your veins, like enhanced red blood cells? Those and other questions, we would like to know the answers to. Hence, the RBR reader survey!

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Maritu Daska of Ethiopia wins Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Maritu Deska ran 2:24:19 to win the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon earlier today, Friday, January 22, 2010. She worked hard for her money, all $250,000 of it. We have proof of that in a picture, that we will show, below the fold, shall we say, in order not to upset any delicate stomachs. Maritu got sick at the finish line. As it is part of the story, and not something to sensationalize, we are trying to warn you about the photo, shown below:

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Haile Gebrselassie wins Dubai Marathon for the third time!, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Haile Gebrselassie, the world record holder in the marathon, Olympic gold medalist at 10,000 meters, World Champion gold, silver and bronze medalist at 10,000 meters, breaker of twenty-four world records, has won another one! The little Emperor won the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon for the third time in 2:06:09.

His splits were: hit 5k in 14:54, 10k in 29:42, 15k in 44.41, 20k in 59:38, 1/2 m in 1:02:51, then, Haile hit 25k in 1:14.20, 30k in 1:29:11, 35k in 1;44.17, 40k at 1:59.42, at 41k in 2:02:43....and finally, hitting 42k in 2:05:19, he held on for a very nice 2:06:09.

The problem is Haile. He spoils us. He makes a 2:06 marathon look like child's play, even in the high humidity of Dubai! More details to come!

For more on the sport of running, please click on http://www.runningnetwork.com

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Haile Gebrselassie at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon press conference, January 20, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

On Friday, January 22, 2010, Haile Gebrselassie, the world record holder in the men's marathon, a man who holds twenty-four-to twenty-six world records (or has held them), will line up at the start of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon. Haile has told the media that his training has been " perfect". Now, comes the tough part-running 26. 2 miles at just a smidge under four minutes and 43 seconds per mile to set a new record.

In an interview with this writer in 2007, Haile noted loud and clear, that he knew he was merely mortal. "Everyone wants me to set world records every race. Even Gebrselassie cannot set records each race!" It was not said in frustration, it was just a statement of fact from a man who has challenged his body and spirit like few other mortals. For a world record, for a sub 2:03:59, it will have to perfect. We wish Haile a perfect day, well, for at least two hours, three minutes and thirty-eight odd seconds!

Our roving marathon troubadour, Pat Butcher, the global runner, sent us this piece on the Dubai press conference:

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Haile Gebrselassie and his manager, Jos Hermans, near the Burj Kalifa, photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net.

So, what does the WR holder in the marathon do after a press conference in Dubai? Well, of course, if he is with Victah Sailer, world famous sport photographer, he joins the CEO of Dubai Holdings, the company sponsoring the $ 1 million WR bonus, and visits the Burj Kalifa, the world's tallest building! Please read Victah's observations below:

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Bernard Lagat leading at Millrose Games, February 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.


Bernard Lagat is one of the most decorated athletes in middle distance running! His 2007 Osaka performances, where he won both golds in the 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters, showed the man for what he is: a middle distance runner with the self control needed to turn on the speed when needed and stay out of trouble in championship races. His 1,500 meter bronze and 5,000 meter silver in Berlin showed Bernard Lagat as the consumate distance racer!

On February 6, Bernard Lagat will race Galen Rupp, Bekana Daba and Ali Abdosh over 5,000 meters indoors! Could we see another American indoor record (now held by Galen Rupp!)? Stay tuned!

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Haile in -real,Berlin, September 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Last weekend, driving to a restaurant in Houston, our driver, Barek, asked me if Haile Gebrselassie was the best distance runner in the world, EVER? It was quite funny. I had mentioned Usain Bolt, then, when I mentioned Haile, the young man, raised in Ethiopia, knew all about the Emperor. We agreed on his greatest race-the 2000 Olympic Sydney 10,000 meter race, where the difference between Gebrselassie and Tergat was smaller than the difference between the gold and the silver medalists in the 100 meters!

I told Barek that, in my mind, my two favorite interviews have been the late Emil Zatopek and Haile. The man has a spirit that is charming, positive and unique. Is Haile Gebrselassie the greatest distance runner in the world? Well, Kenenise Bekele now has many of his records, but Haile, like Usain Bolt, brought fun back into the sport. For Haile, whether he is first or sixth, he shows class, elegance and athleticism.

And now, you get to see him run in New York once again!

Dear RBR readers,

Please read the following letter from Coach Dave Frank, from Central Catholic in Portland, friend of the sport, state winning cross country coach, concerned coach. The OSAA is looking into eliminating team qualifying for XC into the state meet. Essentially, they are emasculating the sport of cross country and making it a darn road race. Leave the nihilism for others, cross country has a team tradition that is central to its meaning and life lessons! I urge all of our readers to sign the petition below!

Chevron Houston Photo Gallery, courtesy of Chuck Bartlett, RunningNetwork.com, Photos courtesy of Photorun.net (Victah Sailer, Lisa Coniglio).

Besides being the fastest races of 2010, the 2010 version of the Chevron Houston Marathon/Aramco Houston Half Marathon has catapulted the events from strong top ten to one of the top five marathons in the United States. From the 5k, the half marathon, the marathon, the expo, all play parts in making this a world class event. Anyone involved in the 38th running of the Chevron Houston Marathon weekend should be proud! So, take a run, and while your re hydrating, check out the RN photo gallery for some inspiration!

For twenty-four views of the world of running, please check out www.runningnetwork.com

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Teshome Gelena, ran a tremendous 2:07:37 for a new course record at the Chevron Houston marathon on January 17, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

The world will see something similar to the piece, written by EME News deity Alfons Juck, on the Chevron Houston Marathon and the Aramco Houston Marathon. Note that I will be doing a review of the event tomorrow, as I am jumping in planes and buses to get home today!

The event is one of the best staged events I have ever seen, from the finish area where the 5k finishers finish on one side and the half marathon on the other side, at the same time! The marathoners take over from the 5k finishers later in the day. But, three course records in one day, when, as Race Director Brent Koch told RBR, "One year and three days ago, we had a record that had not been touched in years! Now, three course records, and three sell out races! Wow!"

Managing Director, Steven Karpas and the marathon and half marathon teams should get kudos for the superb orchestration of the three events, plus a robut Expo, over the three days. What was also fascinating, was that by the time I took my walk on Sunday afternoon, about 4.30, most of the race signs and stages were gone, and the preparations were on for 2011!
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Teyba Erkesso ran a superb 2:23:53, her personal best and the Chevron Houston women's marathon best, for the third course record of the day!
Photo by Photorun.net.

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Brett Gotcher, photo by Larry Eder

Brett Gotcher is an example of how the American system works. In high school, Brett was coached by Dan Gruber, a top California runner and a superb high school coach. At Stanford, Brett was coached by Vinn Lananna-and you know he has had some success! Post college, Brett Gotcher has worked with Greg McMillan and his training project.

A fine two miler in high school, on very low mileage, a strong cross country and 10,000 meter runner in college, Brett showed promise post college with wins over the U.S. champs 20k a year ago and a fine run at the Aramco Houston half last year.

On Friday, RBR took a few minutes to speak with Brett and he was poised, relax and ready to run. " I will go out at five minute pace and see what I can do!" What a refreshing athlete! An what a great debut.

Greg McMillan also noted that Brett was ready and that he had done his homework, Greg was pretty confident of a good debut. Well, Brett and Greg
lived to their word!

Brett Gotcher went out smart, hitting the halfway just about 1:04:50, and was with training partner Andrew Limocello, a former British steeplechaser, who has run 27:58 for 10,000 meters, until fifteen miles. " Andy did his job, helping me with the pace through fifteen miles."

Once Andy did his job, Brett was running with fellow marathoners until 18 miles, when he went into the no mans zone. No one in front of him, and no one behind. Brett just kep churning away. " It was tough running by
myself, " Brett noted later.

But run, Gotcher did. Putting one foot in front of the other, just under five minutes per mile pace, Brett Gotcher did not give up, hitting 2:10.35 for his debut marathon!

When Brett hit the finish, he laid down right after the finish for a couple minutes, but was up and moving soon! When RBR spoke to him, Brett was happy, but tired. He recovered well in the afternoon, but he and coach Greg McMillan had alot to be happy about, a debut that is not too far off
the debut of one Alberto Salazar, Brett Gotcher has got the tools and the heart to be a great one! And in his first race, he finished seventh behind course record breaking Teshome Gelena's 2"07:37.

One of Brett's biggest supporters was Managing director of the Chevron
Houston Marathon, Steve Karpas. His predictions were fulfilled!

My guess is, there is are some even fast races in Brett's future!

For more on the marathon, please check out chevronhoustonmarathon.com

For more on the sport, please check out http://www.runningnetwork.com

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Shalane Flanagan, winning the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, taking the US half marathon champs in a new course record of 1:09:41, photo by PhotoRun.net.

A championship is more than just a race. If properly done, a championship should celebrate the great athletes in the event, add to the prestige of the sport, and inspire the fans who see the the great athletes challenge themselves. The Aramco Houston half marathon hosted the USA half marathon championship today, January 17, 2010. Aramco lived up to its previous reputation: great performances were everywhere! On the men's side, Antonio Vega won in 1:01:54, and Shalane Flanagan won the women's in 1:09:43, a new course record! Both runners ran fascinating races...

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Antonio Vega, shown winning the US championships for the half marathon, the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in a near minute personal
best of 1:01:54, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Hyleas Fountain, August 2008, Beijing, Fountain en route to her Olympic silver medal in the heptathlon, photo by PhotoRun.net.

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James McIlroy moves to final Photo courtesy of BBC.com, all rights reserved.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/athletics/photo_galleries/4141974.stm

Frank Shorter, the two time Olympic marathon medalist, once noted to John Parker, author of the seminal book, Once a Runner, that Shorter gave it his all in his career so he would have no "ifs". " If I had only done that, If I had only done this.." Those types of questions haunt great athletes, challenging them to greater things. With that in mind, I would like to ask our readers to remember James McIlroy.

James McIlroy, an Northern Irish 800 meter of much promise, retired in March 2008, citing, among many reasons, the inability to financially support himself while training without help from UK athletics. Two years later, McIlroy has decided to begin training once again, with an eye on representing the UK in the Commonwealth Games in 2011.

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Sign at Memorial Sports Herman Sport Institute EXPO, photo courtesy of Christine Johnson

At the press conference for the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, and the Chevron Houston Marathon, Race Director Brent Koch, went to the podium for the marathon, and noted the following: " The half marathon sold out in 19 hours, the marathon sold out in 60 hours, and for the first time, the 5k reached its limit of 4,500. Houston, we have no problems!"

The Aramco Houston Half Marathon, a USATF Championship, reached it's limit of 11,000 in nineteen hours. The Chevron Houston Marathon, in its 38th year, reached it's limit of 11,000 in sixty hours!

This was preceded by a conversation that I had with Wally Kastner, the founder and director of the Big Sur Marathon, just the day before. On telling me that the Big Sur Marathon had sold out, and sponsor ASICS had signed on, once again, for three years, Kastner quipped, " Not bad for a little race in Northern California."

The above examples are not unique situations, but constant affirmations of the strength and vitality of our sport! The great events continue to grow, the great events continue to prosper and gain sponsors, and the marginal events get lost in the flotsam....

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Sam Adams, UCSB athletics coach for 34 years, died January 11, 2010, at the age of 78. Photo courtesy of Presidiosports.com.

Sam Adams was one of the iconic coaches in the state of California. He was the decathlon coach, and without his thunderous voice and support, many great athletes would have lost their way.

I met Sam shortly after launching American Athletics. I had gone up to him to say hello, as a classmate was one of his assistants, (Pete Dolan). The man grabbed my hand, and looked into my eyes, and said, : " Do you know what coaches really are? Educators! " He then proceeded, in about ten minutes to explain to me the importance of the role of a coach, especially a track coach.

Sam Adams lived a long, full life, and inspired generations of athletes at UC Santa Barbara. His spirit lives long every time someone runs, jumps or throws on the campus. Keep his wife, Sue, and family in your thoughts and prayers. He was a good man.

Russell Smelley's moving tribute follows, courtesy of Walt Murphy News Services, used with permission.

Usain Bolt calls for support of the survivors of the earthquake in Haiti, which has left thousands dead, and safe water and food difficult. The US State Department has a safe donation process where one texts Haiti (check CNN.com web site), $3million donated overnight. Keep the families and people in Haiti in your thoughts and prayers and make a donation, if you can.

Tyson Gay had great experience as CES show, where he represented adidas and Sennheiser electronics! And this weekend, Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon, where RBR.com will be for the Running Network National Meetings! Watch our coverage on runblogrun.com and www.runningnetwork.com!

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Larry Rawson, photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net.

Since 1981, one of the primary reasons that track & field has continued to grow on U.S. television was its championing by the guy in the picture just above this note. That is Larry Rawson.

The former, late great Villanova coach, Jumbo Elliot, once noted, in TFN, that one should make a living from one field, so that avocation would not be tempered by finances. Larry Rawson started announcing road races, and moved to track & field. His goal has always been pretty transparent: to translate the sport he loves to the sport masses. He did that with gusto and an iconic style.

A few years ago, ESPN management noted that track & field was one of their most profitable ventures. It continues to be, and there should be some thanks to Larry Rawson, a great friend of our sport!

Looking through a copy of Long Distance Log (Jan 1973) for some historical results, I found a 3 page write up on the first Houston Marathon. Those pages are attached, so you can all see how times have changed.

For those unfamiliar with LDL, it existed for around 20 years starting in the 1950's and went to the mid 1970's. The format started as a digest size and expanded to to 8 1/2 x 11" over the lifetime.

A monthly, it was typed / courier font and printed in 2 columns per page with the occasional photo. It published results of nearly every road or cross races in the country for the previous month or two, either partial or complete, in its general 28-32 pages. Nearly every runner was listed with a club. Some reports included notes and commentary (most frequent one - how courses were not the stated distance). One LDL issue from the 1960's noted how the 119 finishers in a 2 race event was the largest event ever held in the state of Maine. (contributed by Steve Vaitones, USATF New England)

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It was just after two pm Central time today that I saw the AP release on my phone. The release noted that Mark McGwire, the former St. Louis Cardinal, admitted using steroids during his career. Right after the AP release, I received the following:

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January 11, 2010

COMMISSIONER’S STATEMENT

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig issued the following statement today regarding Mark McGwire’s comments about the use of performance-enhancing substances:

“I am pleased that Mark McGwire has confronted his use of performance-enhancing substances as a player. Being truthful is always the correct course of action, which is why I had commissioned Senator George Mitchell to conduct his investigation. This statement of contrition, I believe, will make Mark’s reentry into the game much smoother and easier.

“While we, along with all sports organizations, continue to battle the use of such drugs and continue the intensive search for a valid test for HGH, I believe our drug testing program is the toughest and most effective in professional sports. Last year in the Major Leagues, we had only two positives for steroids out of 3,722 tests. We have banned and aggressively test for amphetamines, substances which club doctors and professional athletic trainers have told me had presented serious problems for the sport for decades. Our minor league program will begin its 10th year in 2010. We conducted 8,995 tests in the minor leagues last year of which less than eight-tenths of one percent was positive.

“The use of steroids and amphetamines amongst today’s players has greatly subsided and is virtually non-existent as our testing results have shown. The so-called “steroid era” – a reference that is resented by the many players who played in that era and never touched the substances – is clearly a thing of the past, and Mark’s admission today is another step in the right direction.”

End of Bud Selig's press release, what follows is the commentary on that release by Larry Eder:

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Usain Bolt, Berlin 2009 WC, August 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.


Rumors have been flying for months about Usain Bolt and the Commonwealth Games. Face it, Bolt, in his present form (take 2008 or 2009) could make or break such a championships. There were rumors that an Indian corporation was guaranteeing Bolt's appearance.

Part of our goal at RBR is to err on the side of accuracy. So, when Ricky Simms, Usian Bolt's manager sent us a note, we were fascinated. Mr. Simms wanted to make sure that we understood that there was some truth to the rumor of a potential appearance by the world record holder at 100 meters and 200 meters at the Commonwealth Games, we were all, well, ears....

adidas micoach video

The above video was pulled off You Tube by RBR as part of the demo videos shown at the recent adidas Micoach media day. I spent the end of last week learning about the adidas micoach at the adidas media days.

The adidas micoach is part of adidas's theme of making your running better. It is real time coaching, with the ability to personalize and can be used by newbie fitness enthusiasts, fitness walkers and runners and core runners. And adidas has made it available to runners whether they use adidas or not-the only requirement for your running shoes is that they have shoe strings-a pretty minimalist requirement.

On Sunday night, I actually followed the directions on setting up the micoach Pacer. As someone who could be described as a "timex watch
in a digital age" (I was watching Live Free or Die Hard), my thought process was this--if I could set up my adidas micoach Pacer on the first night, use it and set up a training program, then most of our readers could probably reach the same level of achievement!

Please note that this is not a review.( We suggest that you read the complete review of this product in the March/April issues of Running Network publications). This is one man's experience with the product.

I like the idea behind the adidas micoach program: to give the runner, walker or fitness enthusiast real time coaching. But the challenge for all technology is this: is it easy to use? and does, it achieve its set goals? I give the adidas micoach Pacer a strong yes on both counts.

Here is a chronicle of my journey:

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Starting off a long season, where he hopes to get WR for 5,000m and 3,000m outdoors, plus the 3,000 m indoors, Kenenisa Bekele is not one to take racing lightly. However, Bekele had one of his rare defeats, taking fourth in the Edinburgh XC event. This was his first defeat over XC since his heat induced dnf at the WC in 2007!

Lots of action this weekend and some nice performances on Friday night in US indoor action!

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Following the presentation of the adidas mi-coach training product and programs, Sennheiser, one of the most respected global names in microphones, headphones and wireless transmission systems, hosted a breakfast this morning at the CES show. adidas and Sennheiser had teamed up to develop a new series of sports earphones. And develop they did!

As I post this, I am listening to some old Al Stewart, (Year of the Cat), and the quality of the sound is amazing, ( I am trying the PMX 680). I have also moved the sound down, and sitting in a small bar, I can hear the conversations around me. This is key in sports earphones, as RBR, as always, encourages runners and walkers to be quite conversant with their local surroundings while exercising.

Note that RN footwear and apparel editor Cregg Weinmann will be opining on the Sennheiser product as well, but I thought you would find them well worth consideration. The design is sleek, the consideration of running and walking after dark (with a reflective strip on back of headpiece), and the sounds is, well, music geek worthy!

Please note that RBR will be reviewing the mi coach and Sennheiser earphones in the coming weeks.

Press release follows...

John Duke, vice president of Print Media at Competitor Group, and a major player in the transition of Velo News, Triathlete into the Competitor Group, has left to pursue other interests. This was noted in a press release on Bicyle Retailer (January 5, 2010): http://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/newsDetail/3583.html.

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Mary Keitany is now 4-4 in the half marathon distance, with today's win at the Zayed Half Marathon, in a swift 1:07, in Abu Dhabi, photograph by PhotoRun.net.


Mary Keitany and Tilahun Regassa had very nice pay days of $300,0000 US today as they won the Zayed Half Marathon in Abu Dhabi! However, that was only PART of the story...per the National, 20,000 school kids held up some of the runners of the 6k, elite athletes were not told of the change in starting times the night before and some athletes claimed that they were held up. There is a wonderful picture of runners dodging baby carriages and people crossing the street during the 6k race. For more on this, please read: http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100108/SPORT/100106988/1004/sport

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A special report on the Berlin 2009 championships, sent to the readers of Athletes Only and American Track & Field, has been posted online at http://www.atf-athlete.com/athletes-only-special-report-berlin-09.
The publication highlights the top performances each day from the World Championships, recently held in Berlin, Germany, August 15-23, 2009.

For more on Athletes Only, please click on http://www.atf-athlete.com

For more on the world of running, please click on http://www.runningnetwork.com

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Ian Waltz and Stacy Dragila contacted RBR today about their four pre season Throw/Vault Camps. The dates are January 17, 2010, February 21, 2010, March 14, 2010, and April 11, 2010. Ian told RBR, "we wanted to give young throwers and vaulters a chance to develop their skills before the season gets underway!"

For more information on the camps, including schedules, please click on
http://altiustrackcrew.squarespace.com/.

For more on our sport, please click on http://www.runningnetwork.com

The USTFCCCA released their first rankings of the year for the indoor season, and Florida's Men and Texas A & M's women lead their respective packs! For the complete, wonderfully geeky details (we love this!), please click on:

http://www.ustfccca.org/featured/florida-state-men-texas-am-women-are-first-no-1s-of-the-indoor-season?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ustrackcoaches+%28U.S.+Track+%26+Field+and+Cross+Country+Coaches+Association%29

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

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Abrehim Cherkos winning 53rd Campaccio in San Giorgio su Legnano, January 6, 2009, photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net.

In the first real action of the European cross country, after the new year, Abrehim Cherkos and Anita Kalovics took the wins. Story from Alfons Juck, follows....

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The Winter issue of American Track & Field was posted last week, just as it was in final production. AT&F will be testing this digital delivery in 2010 with deliveries of the publication digitally during the final approval of print production. Please send your comments on the digital issues to runblogrun@gmail.com

American Track & Field is the largest and oldest athletics coaching publication in North America, with 30,000 qualified subscribers. Originally published as American Athletics from 1989-1994, American Track & Field was launched in February 1994, and reaches high school, college and club coaches in the U.S. and 204 other countries. It's purpose is to provide the practical applications of modern training, sports psychology, sports equipment and sports nutrition for the high school, college and club coach of athletics. For subscription information, please contact shootingstarmediacirc@gmail.com

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Latinos Corriendo, the only national running magazine in Norte America, published in spanish in the U.S., distributed in Norte and Centrale America, has just posted issue 20 on its site, http://www.latinoscorriendo.com.

Published quarterly, Latinos Corriendo champions one of the fastest growing segments of the running community: spanish speaking runners both north and south of the border. Edited and designed in Mexico City by Gabriel Canto, produced and printed in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, Latinos Corriendo is also used in 4,400 high schools across the U.S. to encourage reading skills.

If you are interested in a sample copy please email: http://www.shootingstarmediacirc@gmail.com

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