July 2010 Archives

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Zivile Balciunaite, -real, Berlin, photo by PhotoRun.net


It took Zivile Balciunaite only two hours, thirty one minutes and fourteen seconds to
give Lithuania its first marathon. Focused, the veteran marathon took the European
title with little distress!
 
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Arturo Casado, Euro Champs 06, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Arturo Casado held his kick off the longest, waiting to fly until the final
stretch in the 1,500m men's European Championships. Taking off with
80 meters to go, Casado won the title in front of his home crowd!

Andy Turner won the 110m hurdles in 13.28 seconds, and Christophe Lemaitre finished
his double, winning the 200 meters in the European Championships!

The third day of the European Championships featured some strong performances, which were captured by the photographers of PhotoRun.net. Special thanks to Chuck Bartlett, webmaster of the RunningNetwork, who produced the photo gallery. We hope that you enjoy it!
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Deja Vu all over again? , Yohan Diniz, Euro 2006, 50k, by PhotoRun.net.

The 50 kilometer race walk is the longest endurance event on the World
Championship, Olympic and European stages. Walking at under seven
minutes per mile for three and a half hours requires a huge amount of
stamina and keeping form requires the focus of our technical events.
In any event, defending the championship won four years before is quite
difficult. So, when Monsieur Diniz not only defended, but cranked out one of
the fastest times in the world, a tip of the hat goes to the French race walker!

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Philips Idowu, 2010 AVIVA British GP, Gateshead Samsung DL,
photo by PhotoRun.net.


Well, Philips Idowu did it! Soaring 17.81m, Idowu took the European Championships over
Teddy Tamgho, who finished in third. Idowu had a huge amount of pressure on himself, considering London 2012, and he delivered. More to come.....

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Andy Turner (left), Gateshead DL, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Andy Turner had a scare today.....
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Chris Thompson pushing the pace, Euro Champs 10,000m, photos courtesy
of PhotoRun.net.


The Photo Gallery below, courtesy of Photo Run, and produced by Chuck
Bartlett at RunningNetwork.com, gives you a view of the first two days of the
2010 European Championships in Barcelona, Spain!
 


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Simon Bairu, en route to CR, May 1, 2010, Stanford, CA,photo by PhotoRun.net.


Okay sports fans, this is our Non-Barcelona news update. Some good stuff here. Andrew Wheating goes to Nike. London 2012 news abounds, and Simon Bairu, Oregon Track
Club member, and Canadian record holder at 10,000 meters (remember that little 10k
at Payton Jordan Invitational?), won the Canadian title. I mention Simon as he is a
graduate of UW, forty-one miles from my home in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. As he is
a former Badger, former cheesehead (honorary) and friend of our local Badger graduate,
Ryan Gasper, (steeplechaser), I had to congratulate Simon on his national title!

Bairu_SimonCR-Stanford10.jpg Simon Bairu, Canadian Record Holder, 10,000m, 27:23.63, May 1, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.


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Ivan Pedroso, Cuba, Athens 2004, photo by PhotoRun.net.


1995 was the first time I went to a World Championship-Gothenburg, Sweden! It was a magical event. I witnessed Jonathan Edward's triple jump world records, and, for the first time, watched with fascination, international sport press conferences.

Two interviews come to mind. The first was Venuste Niyongabo's text book French, as he described leaving Burundi, then in civil war, trying to get to Sweden, and nearly loosing his life. Niyongabo was rewarded with the bronze at the 1,500 meters for his efforts in Gothenburg. (In 1996, he would move up to the 5,000 meters and take the gold in Atlanta). 

The second was Ivan Pedroso, of Cuba, who thanked Fidel Castro for his support and gave all praise to his country's leader, after winning his medal (Pedroso would win the Olympic Gold in 2000, with a jump of 8.55m. He was the first Olympic gold medalist in the long jump since 1980 not to have the name, Carl Lewis). In his storied career, Ivan Pedroso would win four Outdoor World Champs, and five Indoor World Champs, plus the Olympic gold in 2000! 

The picture above shows Pedroso in 2004, in Athens, where Dwight Phillips took the Olympic mantle. 

Christophe Lemaitre won his first European Championships at 100 meters yesterday, at the ripe old age of 20. It was the first win at 100 meters for France in the Europeans since 1962! Watch the race carefully. Chambers had a great start, and had the race won at 70 meters, then the race changed. Lemaitre kept his cool and worked himself into contention, winning the race with a surge over the last twenty meters! Mark Lewis-Francis showed that his work with Linford Christie has payed off, taking the silver! A superb sprint match up!




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Elvan Abeylegesse, Jessica Augusto (Portugal), control the 10,000 meters at the European Championships, July 28, 2010, photos by PhotoRun.net.


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Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey wins European Women's 10,000m Champs,
photo by PhotoRun.net. July 28, 2010.


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Christophe Lemaitre takes the European Champs 100m, note Mark Lewis-Francis taking second! July 28, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Tremendous second day of European Champs. Christophe Lemaitre took the 100 meters, and hundreths of seconds separated second through fifth! More to come!

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Christophe LeMaitre running 9.98 at the French Champs, early July 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.


So few races live up to the hype. This one did. Christophe Lemaitre, the French sensation, who at the age of 20, ran 9.98, survived the pressure of the European Championships and won handliy, in 10.06, running into a headwind! The feature on the European Champs site says it all, so we have posted the piece, in its entirety, right below! 



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Mo Farah en route to 3,000m victory, Euro Indoor, 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

It is hard not to be ecstatic after winning a medal! But, to me, what is fascinating, is that, in the so called, Mixed Zone, after races, some very thoughtful comments come from athletes who have been involved in a championship situation, where their mental, spiritual and physical selves have been pushed to the limit.

I enjoyed Chris Thompson's comments, but my favorites are Mo Farahs. I hope you enjoy!







In one of the more fascinating deals of 2010, Andrew Wheating has signed with Nike, and will stay in Eugene, Oregon to train, where he saw so much success as a Duck. Wheating will be a member of the Oregon Track Club, per the release, supplied by his management company,
Global Athletics & Marketing.

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Wheating taking second in the US Olympic Trials, 2008, photo by PhotoRun.net.


Andrew Wheating won both the 800 meters and 1,500 meters at the NCAA in Eugene in early
June 2010. He lead a sweep of the 1,500 meters, which was wildly received by Duck fans. At the Nike Pre, on July 3, Andrew Wheating ran a stellar 3:51.72 for the mile, breaking the school record of  3:53:00 of one Joaquim Cruz, (1984 Olympic gold medalist at 800 meters, set way back in 1984).

Less than two weeks after the Nike Pre, on July 15,  Andrew Wheating, in his first professional race, ran 1;44.62 for the 800 meters, his personal best, in Paris at the Meeting AREVA. The following week, on July 22, in Monaco, at the Herculis meeting, Andrew finished fourth in the 1,500 meters, in 3:30.90, making him the fastest American over the mile or 1,500 meters in 2010.

Andrew Wheating has formidable leg speed, coupled with immense racing acumen. Some have compared his speed to Sir Sebastian Coe and Jim Ryun. I compare his racing savvy to Fermin Cacho, the 1992 Olympic medalist at 1,500 meters and a guy who had eyes in the back of his head during heats and finals.

Andrew Wheating has not only the speed, and racing acumen, but also the stomach, to be an Olympic and World Championship medalist. This young man has wheels and guess, what? He knows how to race! If Andrew Wheating gets within smelling distance of a finish line, no matter what the level, I would not bet against him. 


Whatever the case, in his own words, Andrew Wheating would say, " I love to compete."  We look forward to seeing Wheating racing for many years to come!
Nice to see a footwear company investing in an athlete who has the tools to deliver the goods.
Alfonz Juck gives us his updates from Barcelona for Day 2 of the European Championships'
morning session...

United States Olympic Committee logo.

Image via Wikipedia

The USOC has announced a new partnership with BMW, going through 2016, focused on USA Bobsled & Skeleton, US Speed skating, USA Swimming, USA Track & Field....

We asked Gary Morgan, 1988 U.S. Olympian at 20k, and a world traveler, to give us some insights into Barcelona. Watch You Tube and you will find many of Gary's more light-hearted works, under the Running Network TV  title. Gary has lead pace groups at many of the RNR
marathons and half marathons.

He recently completed the Comrades Ultra-marathon in South
Africa, one of the premier ultra marathons in the world! In the past three years, Gary and I have done video from the Olympic Trials, Beijing Olympics, Berlin World Champs, and the US champs in 2010, among others. Here is what he emailed us Monday night:

We asked Gary Morgan, 1988 U.S. Olympian at 20k, and a world traveler, to give us some insights into Barcelona. Watch You Tube and you will find many of Gary's more light hearted works, under the Running Network TV  title.

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Gary Morgan, World Traveler, at RNR San Antonio, photo by PhotoRun.net.
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Mo Farah, Torino 2009, 3,000 m, photo by PhotoRun.net.


Our man in Barcelona, Alfons Juck, continues to provide us with great stuff on the first real day of the European Champs! Congrats to Mo Farah and Chris Thompson, who went 1-2 in the men's 10,000 meters, finishing with laps in 56-57, and some serious negative split runnin(14:38/13:46), Farah sealed his win with a last 300 meters in 46 seconds and Thompson had to fight all of the way, moving up to silver at the finish line! 

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Saransk, Mordovia, Coat of Arms, Image via Wikipedia



The Europeans awarded their first gold medal earlier this morning in the men's 20k to Stanislav Emelyanov. Emelyanov, in only his third race, coached by the famous Viktor Chegin, negative splitted in the hot conditions, 40:14 for the first 10, 39:56 for the second. Considering that Chegin's athletes, all from Saransk, won medals in all four walks in Berlin in 2009, any athlete, even Emelyanov, who was racing outside of Russia for the first time (this is his third career race as a walker!). The coat of arms to the right is that of Saransk, which is in Mordovia. It is the defacto race walking capital of the world! (Coat of Arms courtesy of Wikipedia).









 


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Thorkildsen, Pitkämäki
, A battle of the Titans at Europeans? photo from adidas GP DL, photo by PhotoRun.net.

If I could be anywhere tomorrow on the planet, it would be Barcelona, Spain. The opening ceremony was tonight, and our star reporter, Alfons Juck told RBR that it was the quality of an Olympic opening ceremony. Some great battles this week, July 27-August 1, in Barcelona, Spain. We will have daily updates plus some video from around Barcelona by none other than my partner in video crime, Gary Morgan!


 


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Tyson Gay, 100 meters, Gatesehead, Samsung DL, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Tyson Gay is running well this season, after a late start. His19.41 for the straight 200 meters, the fastest time ever runover that distance, was run through the streets of Manchester,
England on May 16, 2010. Gay's battle against Walter Dix, over 200 meters at the Nike Pre, ended in a fast time but a loss.Tyson then ran the 100 meters in Gateshead, and won, over Asafa Powell. In Monaco, this past week, Tyson Gay took on the field and won over 200 meters, breaking Mo Greene's stadium record, with his 19.72. In his wake were Yohan Blake and Wallace Spearmon.

If you want to check out Tyson Gay's site, please look at: http://www.tysongay.net in Monaco, and remember that Tyson's facebook site was redone: http://www.facebook.com/tysongay.


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USA Jr 4 x 100 m relay, World Jr Champs 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Congrats to the USA 4 x 100 meter teams at the World Junior Champs. Both
teams took gold, and the girls team set two ARs in two days! Lots of kudos on
US team and World Juniors. Congrats to RBR columnist Parker Morse, whose
day five column. on loosing, was picked up by our friends at www.insidethegames.biz!


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US 4 x 100 meter relay team, World Junior Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net.

And then, RBR super deity, Christian Cantwell. Per the Columbia, Mo newspaper, poor
Christian does not seem to have any compnetition out there. May sell papers, but not good
to say to global throwers. Excitement in his competitions compared to the excitement of a
Steven Segal movie going straight to DVD. Now, I for one, watch Steven, late at night on
TBS, when editing. And I also find Christian's competitions fascinating! His 22.41m, or
73-61/4 at the Nike Pre, on the last throw, as a moment that transcended any reference to
Steve Segal. Perhaps Charles Bronson, or maybe a Bruce Willis flick, but, dear God, Steven
Segal? Oh, and yes, Christian could get that WR I promised ealry in the spring in August!


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Christian Cantwell wants competition! Shown here in Shanghai, May 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.
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Athletes are supposed to be kind in victory, gracious in defeat. But how do they learn
that lesson? It is a lesson that is key to success in life. In his day five column,
Parker Morse writes his most provocative column on Jodie Williams, the British superstar who
had won near one hundred fifty races, only to succumb on the world stage in the 200 meters.
Jodie is taking home a gold and silver, even if she does not run the relays. How does loosing for
the first time on a global stage affect an athlete?


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Update from trackside by Alfons Juck on the World Junior Championships, which, despite
rain, are keeping the crowds of 10,000 very excited! Plus, updates on Barcelona,
and all the athletics news that is fit to print!

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Parker Morse hit the proverbial nail on the head with this comments about Moncton in the rain and the pricing of Des Moines tickets. What do you think? Email us at runblogrun@gmail.com.

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Carmelita Jeter, Lausanne. In Monaco, she cruises WL 10.82! photo by PhotoRun.net.


Mid day in Vegas, on Thursday, I sent a note to Ben Cesar, ASICS athletics manager, asking him about the Herculis Monaco meeting. I had been in the air much of the day, so I did not get to watch the meet until later. Ben, not a person for hyperboli, noted, " What a Track meet!"  Nothing could have described the Monaco meeting better!

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LoLo Jones, enroute to her victory, US champs, Des Moines, in Monaco, she won in 12.63! photo by PhotoRun.net.

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Shannon Rowbury, seen here at Payton Jordan 5,000m. In Monaco,
Shannon ran 8:31.38, #2 US time ever, only behind Mary Slaney!
Photo by PhotoRun.net.



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Meseret Defar wins World Indoors, Doha, March 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Meseret Defar will be attacking the current 5,000 meter women's record of 14:11.15, set by Tirunesh Dibaba, on August 6 in Stockholm. Defar is one of the few athletes who have a real
shot to break Dibaba's WR.

On the European Champs front (July 26-Oct.1), Yuriy Borakovskiy will not be running at the champs, due to a heel injury!

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Parker Morse continues his diaries from Moncton, as the World Junior Champs gets more and more interesting!



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Andrew Wheating, 08 US Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net.

The Samsung Diamond League visits Monaco today,  and there should be some astounding
competitions. My pick to watch? LaShinda Demus in the women's 400 meter hurdles, and
Andrew Wheating running his first professional 1,500 meters!

I think that Demus is ready for AR attempt and that Wheating should add to his personal
bests this season, although he has had a very long season. He will have his baptism of
fire with the 1,500 meters today, and he should fare well. 


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For Parker's column on Day 2, he focused on who the local, Canadian crowd was
cheering for?
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As the World Junior Championships get going, Alfons Juck keeps RBRers updated
on all things track & field on the global front! European champs are one week away!


(Please pass on to your teams and friends that our SauconyATF XC 2010 Summer
training program is online (www.american-trackandfield.com/sauconyxc2010), and
at twitter.com for daily training updates (www.twitter.com/americantf).


One more thing. Be careful in the heat right now! Make sure you are drinking enough water before, after and during the run or walk. Wear a hat, sunscreen, the right clothes, all very
important!

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The World Junior Championships started on Sunday in Moncton, Canada, going
from July 19-25, 2010. 10,000 fans filled the stands for the opening ceremony on the
first night.


Try as we might, Runblogrun can not be everywhere, we asked Parker Morse, a long-time media oberserver for the likes of Runners World, Running Times, the IAAF, and now,
Runblogrun.

When I sat with Parker in Des Moines, as I asked him to give us an impression, nearly each day, that would give the person at home, reading the agate, and perhaps our columns, a unique view into the World Junior Champs.

Here is Parker's first column:

Image representing Steve Jobs as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

A couple of months ago, I was checking out a video featuring an interview with Mark Parker, CEO of Nike , relating a phone conversation with Steve Jobs. Jobs had noted that Nike made great product and crappy product. The key, from the zen Apple master, was to stop making crappy product.

A little bit of  full disclosure here. I have never owned a PC. Since 1985, when my friend, Danny Ferarra, then, associate editor at Runners World, had the amazing patience to teach me how to use an Apple (SE), I have never used nor owned a non Apple computer. In 1989, I ran through airports across the country with a sixteen pound Apple laptop (had about 16 Mgs of RAM), as I launched a company for IDG, Monadnock
Custom Publishing.. My company beta tested Quark.

At a recent issue Steve Jobs had presenting Iphone technology when the wi fi network at the convention was overloaded, Jobs was given kudos for handling it like a champ. Well, Steve, has handled it like a champ. At the Software Writers Convention in San Diego in the spring of
1989, Steve was launching NEXT computers, and he had system errorts, but Steve persisted and showcased NEXT operation system. I know, I was there, in the crowd. I have nothing but admiration for Mr. Jobs. 

We are Apple geeks. My sister, Kathy, worked at Apple back in the 80s and early 90s. I have the Iphone, the first one, and have used it sending pictures from the Great Wall in China, and it effectively helps me run my business needs as I travel and keep up with our 23 print publications and 28 websites at the Running Network. I use the iTunes on my phone to keep me company on my evening walks around my travels. Some nights it is Robin Williams, somenights, it is John Prine, and some nights, on especially tough days, listening to Elton John's Honky Chateau is just what the doctor ordered.  

I must admit sadness over how Apple has handled the recent Iphone 4 screwups. The facts are simple: Apple, kings of design, tried to gain some room and moved their attenna out of the cavity of the phone. A bit of a gamble, but without gambles in design, without calculatted risks, most of modern technology would have not developed. This time, there was a bit of a glitch. When Apple Iphone4 users move their hands near the bottom left of the phone, they cut off the anttenna. Things happen. In reality, most iphone users would forgive the miscue. If only Apple's Mr. Jobs had remembered his conversation with Mark Parker.

First, Apple denied the issue as devotees purchased 1.72 million in 48 hours. Then, Consumer Reports suggested simple corrections, one, with duct tape (there are old nuclear reactors, somewhere functioning thanks to duct tape), and one with a iphone case.

Mr. Jobs had a press conference, said how sorry he was, but here is the huge error: APPLE STILL DID NOT SAY, WE messed up! Steve just could not do it. From the bottom of his nice New Balance running shoes to the uniform of blue jeans and mock black turtle neck, Mr. Job's world class intellect failed him in a historic opportunity. Apple has been the un corporation
for decades. However, Apple's response to the iphone4 issue was pure corporate public relations bs, and it did not have to happen.

Apple will provide the iphone case for free, Apple will refund folks who bought their own cases, but Apple did not admit that it made a tactical error in placing the antenna outside the phone cavity! Why not? Apple has done millions of things that work, added to design, technology, communication, the economy, etc, so what is so bad about admitting a mistake, especially if one has the remedy?

Our word for today, RBRers,  is hubris. We alll have done this, hell someone accused me of a world class act of hubris in a text commentary we were having a month ago. Humans are imperfect. And corporations rely on human capital. None of the zillions who have purchased IPhones would have been upset with Apple admitting taking a design chance, and for once, it not working out. The admitting of the error would have gained Apple huge positive pr among normal humans. Now, Apple just looks like any other technology company. (And for Apple devotees, some who go so far as to require potential dates to also use Apple products -check out August Fast Company issue).


How do we learn from Apple's mistake, and apply it to the running biz? Do your best to hold your relationship with your consumer as a sacred trust, and when there are problems, try to
stuff the habit to deny guilt right away. Listen to the complaint, and, ask for some time to respond thoughtfully. Satisfy the consumer, make sure that the consumer is happy and satisfied. You want that consumer coming back, again and again.   


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Caster Semenya, 2009 WC, Berlin, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Caster Semenya has run her second race since her return to racing
after the IAAF release allowing her to race once again. She ran 2:04 in
her first race. In her second, Caster won once again, racing in Finland,
running 2:02.41....

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Sanya Richards, USA 2010 Oudoors, photo by PhotoRun.net.

If you are not a European athlete or a Commonwealth athlete, this is a
good year to take it easy. Sometimes athletes are able to make that decision
and sometimes, the body makes that decision for them!

Sanya Richards will be  missing the rest of the season. It will take a bit of
time for her to recover from her injuries, so she has announced that she will
taking the rest of the season off to recover.

very best
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Andrew Wheating, 2008 US Olympic Trials, Eugene, Oregon, photo by PhotoRun.net.


There is considerable fascination in the U.S. and, soon, I believe, abroad, with Andrew Wheating. Anyone who saw Wheating's performance at the 2008 Olympic trials knows the young man has some real wheels. His performances in the NCAA 800 meters and 1,500 meters shows that Andrew Wheating knows how to run in championship races.

When asked, at the Nike Pre Classic press conference, why he is so good in championship races, Wheating noted: "I am a competitor. I do not care how fast race is, I want to win it. I want to race to win. If you want to race fast, you have to run to win...". With the 400 meter speed of a Sebastian Coe (80,84 1,500 champ Olympics), and Jim Ryun (Olympic silver medalist, 1968, WR holder), Wheating has the ability to race of 800 meters and 1,500 meters with world class speed.

But for this viewer, RBR is intrigued to see how Andrew Wheating, the NCAA champion at 800m and 1,500 meters does in his first weekend of pro racing. Wheating will run the 800 meters in Paris and the 1,500 meters in Tangiers. In an interview with RBR at the Nike Pre Classic, Andrew Wheating told RBR that " I love to compete. I compete at everything." When asked which experience was more important, making the Olympic team at 800 meters, or winning the double NCAA  at home, Andrew smiled and said, " winning in front of my home crowd, there is nothing like putting on the Oregon colors and wearing it in Eugene." When asked, if he considers himself a Vermonter (where he was raised, and discovered, by Jeff
Johnson, on a soccer field), or an Oregonian, Andrew noted, " I am both."

UPDATED JULY 18, 2010

ANDREW WHEATING ran 1:44.62 at AREVA Paris, on Friday, July 16, 2010. That time is his personal best, and it was run in his first race as a professional. Andrew is no longer racing in Tangiers but will be racing in Monaco on July 22, over the distance of 1,500 meters.

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David Oliver, en route to his AR of 12.89, photo by PhotoRun.net.


All-Athletics.com, the ultimate in track geek web statistics, ranked Areva Meeting de Paris as the top meet, performance-wise in 2010. Amazing performances in front of 50,000 fans in the Stade de France, home of the 2003 World Champs (St. Denis, France). One of our friends, Ron Wayne, promotions manager for Mizuno USA (and yes, one of U.S. top marathoners in the 70s), emailed us that the meet was amazing to watch in person!

Nice to see Bolt racing well again. The women's 5,000 meters was one of the highest rated events of the night! But, for me, David Oliver setting the AR for the 110 meter hurdles just shows how fast this guy can run.

In Des Moines, I had some time with Coach Brooks Johnson, and complemented Brooks on his athlete, David Oliver. My comment was, this guy looks primed for a record. Brooks just smiled and noted that David is going to run much faster this year.

RBR's prediction: David Oliver will get the WR this summer. We're thinking here about 12.86!

(Probably one update a day through July 23, as I am on vacation....)

Some nice performances in Paris on Friday:

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Powell, LeMaitre, Bolt, Blake, AREVA 100m, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Men


100 meters

Usain Bolt wins here in 9.84, with Asafa Powell in 9.91, Yohan Blake in 9.95. Christophe Lemaitre of France was fifth in 10.09. Bolt looked very good, and Powell is looking fast, but
tired. ( And I love watching Lemaitre, give him three months with an American sprint coach, and the kid would be running 9.88-9.90! He runs like a soccer player doing sprints.)



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Andrey Mikhnevich, Europeans 2006, photo by PhotoRun.net.


The key, for a top athlete, whatever the sport, is to be in shape and ready to compete when a Championship arrives. We are relearning this lesson as the European Championships get closer and closer ( July 26-August 1, 2010, Barcelona, Spain).

Andrey MIkhnevich, a former World Champion and European medalist, has been a key player in the Olympic shot battles as well. MIkhnevich hit 22.09m, equaling his countries NR from 1984 and giving him the leading throw for a European shot putter.

In the Self Made Olympian, published back in 1974, the late Ron Daws, who was a member of the 1968 U.S. Olympic team at the marathon, noted that,  In an Olympic final, in a field of twelve, three people are over-trained, three are slightly injured. That leaves six to consider, and in that group, Of that six, it comes down to the three who want it the most, and who can take that want or need and convert it to a victory.

Our sport is based in science, but at the end of the day, the athletes is also an artist. His or her creative expression is that performance, that sixth round throw that puts one in medal contention, that last fifty meters of a distance race, when the competition is worn down and it comes down to who wants it more. We shall see such heroics at the European Champs, as athletes challenge themselves to run, jump and throw farther than ever before!
Fifteen rule changes by the NFHS, the governing body of high school sports, to the
track & field rule book are discussed below. Track & Field (1,015,000) and Cross Country
(429,000) form the sport of athletics, and that nearly 1.5 million participants at the high school
level make it the fastest growing and largest single sport for high school students.


Want to know why U.S. Olympic and World Champs track teams are so good? Our coaching helps, but most importantly, our " farm club program" starts with nearly three million junior high and high school athletes, who move on to university and clubs at about ten percent of the whole group, and with the huge attrition at college and post-college, the top athletes continue, or hopefully continue to grow and prosper.

This has happened, pretty haphazardly. The key is, for the 80,000 coaches out there to be given top sports science info and technical info, so that they can translate that info to their athletes. The good thing is that the opportunity is there. The sad thing is to see if this is used at all to improve
the high school and college experience.

The half marathon distance is one of the most popular in the United States. The BAA has put on this event for several years now, and it is a great chance to run in the fall colors of Boston. Be up early, as registration will fill quickly! 
Music is a huge part of most of our lives. I do my best writing will listening to music (from A Love Supreme by John Coltrain to Honky Chateau by Elton John), I love to have music when I paint
(Tower of Power, Ten Years After), and I am enjoying music on my walks (from Epic to Al Green).

Sennheiser is one of the Running Network's advertisers and I liked what I read on the release, about promoting new music and artist. If you think being a pro athlete looks tough, consider the life of an unsigned artist or band. Pretty much sucks. And, if you are signed, not much better,
because no one know the big answers.

We hope that you see the program as something worthwhile to support!


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Usain Bolt is back! Lausanne, July 8, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Usain Bolt is back, and running in Paris on Friday, July 16, 2010! The Paris DL should
be awesome! Beside Usain Bolt, Allyson Felix is running the 200 meters in Paris for
the first time since her trip to St. Denis in 2003 at the World Champs! Bolt ran well last
week in Lausanne, we wish him good health for the rest of the season! I am also
looking to see Dayron Robles vs. David Oliver over the 110m hurdles as well!

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Is he ready for the WR? Christian Cantwell, Greece 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net


On June 18, a meeting in Tangiers, the Third Meeting d'athlétisme Prince Hértier Moulay Hassan ( the son of king Mohammed VI of Morocco), under the management of former mile great Hicham El Guerrouj will feature Christian Cantwell, Dayron Robles and Carmelita Jeter, among others. Christian is on a roll, with his awesome 22.41m or 73-6 1/4 at Nike Pre Classic! RBR does not want to put any pressure on Christian, but he looks to be in world record shape!





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Tyson Gay, en route to his 9.94 victory over Asafa Powell, photo by PhotoRun.net.

In the excitement over Tyson Gay's run in Gateshead, we did not comment on
Allen Johnson,the 1996 Olympic champion, announcing his retirement. We will
follow up with a column on Allen this week, but the best way to pay tribute to the
man who raced until this season, at the age of 39, is to use his worlds, taken
from the BBC: " "It's just come to the point where my body can't take it anymore," said Johnson."Maybe I can coach some hurdlers or some sprinters... give something back. I'm going to miss it, I really am, but it was fun."


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Allen Johnson, at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Updated July 13, 2010




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The Horses, before the start...photo by PhotoRun.net.

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A trooper of the Blues & Royals...photo by PhotoRun.net.

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The start of the ASICS British 10k...photo by PhotoRun.net.

ASICS British 10k London Run, by Victah Sailer

The annual ASICS British 10K London Run celebrated its 10th anniversary today on a balmy summer day. Some 25,000 runners gathered to run the race through central London that passes some of London's finest historic and world renowned sights.

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Runners just after the start, ASICS British 10k, photo
by PhotoRun.net.  



The event started at Hyde Park corner with a show of British ceremonial splendour. The crowds were treated to the mounted band of the Blues and Royals and the band of H.M. Lifeguards performing in the run up to the start, before the race was started with the sound of a cannon fired by members of the Kings Troop Royal Household Artillery.

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The Royal British Marching Band adds some music to the event, photo by PhotoRun.net.

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Runners enroute, passing Big Ben, photo by PhotoRun.net.

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The Kids Race, ASICS British 10k, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Runners of all abilities joined some of the sports top athletes on a course which takes in part of the proposed 2012 Olympic route, and the crowds gathered in the sunshine at the finish on Whitehall to watch Ruben Iildogo carry a 1948 Olympic torch over the finish line to take first place more than a minute ahead of his nearest rival, in a time of 29.32. The first woman to cross the line was Genetesh Tamirat in a time of 35.20.

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Runners nearing the finish, ASICS British 10k, photo by PhotoRun.net.

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The Green Park Ladies Club, ASICS British 10k, photo by PhotoRun.net.
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One of the top local women runners mid race, ASICS British 10k, photo by PhotoRun.net.
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Go Britain! Runners nearing the finish, ASICS British 10k, photo by PhotoRun.net.



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Finally, reaching the finish! ASICS British 10k, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Behind the scenes of the ASICS British 10k...by Larry Eder

What is also amazing about this weekend was the travel schedule of our photographer, Victah Sailer. Victah flew to Lausanne, Switzerland on Wednesday for the Athletissima meeting on Thursday. On Friday, he flew to Newcastle, England for the AVIVA British GP/Gateshead DL, which was held on Saturday afternoon. After that, he caught the last flight from Newcastle to London for the ASICS British 10k the next morning! We hope that you enjoy his view of the road race!
Nearing the finish line, ASICS British 10k, photo by PhotoRun.net.


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David Oliver, US Champ in 12.93! photo by PhotoRun.net.


The hottest hurdler in the world, in 2010, is  David Oliver, having run 12.93 in Des Moines, will be running against Olympic champion Dayron Robles, who is coming back from injuries, and just ran 13.01 in Lausanne. Our sport is all about the competition, and these races could be epic! Oliver and Robles, running fit, could challenge the WR!

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Dayron Robles, 13.01 at Laussane, Photo by PhotoRun.net.
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Allen Johnson, winning USA Indoors, 2004, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Per a report by the BBC, Allen Johnson announced his retirement from competition at the Gateshead meeting on Saturday, July 10, 2010. Johnson is the 1996 Olympic gold medalist, plus four time World Champ gold medalist, in one of the most competitive events in the sport of track & field-the 110 meter hurdles.

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Allen Johnson, Gold medalist, World Indoor Champs 2004, photo by PhotoRun.net.

I flew with Allen Johnson from Barcelona to Sevilla in 1999, and got a chance to speak to him. Thoughtful, articulate, a student of the sport, Allen was dealing with injuries and he was quite realistic about his chances. The man would come back and win in 2001 and 2003. TFN, the bible of our sport, ranked Allan 14 straight years!

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Allen Johnson, hurdling in Monaco, 2005, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Allen Johnson was always very good with the media. I have recollections of interviewing Allen on several occasions, while he was in Europe, just after a meet. He was always willing to speak about the sport he loved and his event, the hurdles. 

Allen Johnson was to do an interview on BBC with Colin Jackson, his fellow competitor in the hurdle wars, on Saturday evening. I am trying to get a copy of that for you to see!

In 1995, at Goteborg, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rodger Kingdom, Tony Jarrett and Allen Johnson. Still one of my favorite interviews ever, Jarrett and Johnson were paying homage to Kingdom, who was near the end of his career. After running against the same
competitors, race after race, year after year, an appreciation of the opposition is hard won. 

At Runblogrun.com we wanted to make sure that Allen Johnson knew how much he has influenced our sport, but most importantly, he has shown a sense of class through his career that gained him the respect of his competitors and the love of his fans. He will be sorely missed!


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Allen Johnson, leaving the 2008 Olympic Trials , photo by PhotoRun.net.






LeMaitre_Christophe_FH-FrenchCHPS10.jpg Christophe Lemaitre runs 9.98 at French Championships, photo by PhotoRun.net.


Christophe Lemaitre is the real thing. This kid is a diamond in the rough. If you watch how he races, one knows, that with some technical help, Christophe Lemaitre could run much, much faster. Let's see what he does at the European Championships in two weeks!

 


Watch the video I have attached below, and after watching, check out this thoughtful column by blogger Conway Hill, The View from the FinishLine : http://theviewfromthefinishline.blogspot.com/2010/07/lemaitre-breaks-10-second-barrier.html




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David Rudisha, Lausanne, photo by PhotoRun.net.



I was starting to write our piece on the Gatehead DL, when Alfons Juck texted me that David Rudisha had run 1:41.51! Rudisha has been adding some excitement to the event. Ironically, I was speaking with the Running Network footwear editor Cregg Weinmann on how Rudisha and Kaki just do not get the respect they deserve. Cregg texted me this evening: Hadn't you said the 800 meters was getting a bit boring? Well, not anymore! 


Here is how Ivan Henrix saw the race for the IAAF:

David Rudisha had become the fastest 800m runner in the world last season when he set a personal best of 1:42.01 in Rieti 2009. And his 1:42.04 at the Bislett Games in Oslo was already the world leading mark of 2010. But still there was a lot of scepticism amongst the middle distance experts when the organisers announced earlier this week that Rudisha would attempt to break the 800m World record in Heusden-Zolder.

But the Kenyan sent a shiver through the stadium when he came into the final straight with a real opportunity to break the legendary World record of Wilson Kipketer (DEN). Rudisha finished just a few tenths of a second shy, and the 10,000 spectators realised they had just witnessed a unique and exceptional track performance from the 22-year-old Kenyan.

Rudisha brought his own pacemakers with him and they led him through somewhere beyond 550m. Sammy Tangui went through to the 400m in 49.14 with Rudisha remaining slightly behind, clocking an unofficial 49.65 at the bell. Boaz Lalang kept the pace going until Rudisha came through on the inside with 250m to go. In a lonely effort Rudisha cruised through the 600m in an unofficial 1:14.4 and hardly faded to finish the race in an African record, a personal best, a world leading and the third fastest 800m time in history of 1:41.51.

"Today I wanted to do something that I had never done before", said Rudisha after his stunning race. "In the final stages it is always tough and I will need to improve on my last 50m if I want to break the World record. I do not feel disappointed at all about not breaking the World record. I enjoy to run well and to gradually become better and better. Today I wanted to run in the 1:41 and that is what I achieved and I feel great about that. But I'm confident that I will still improve and that is why breaking the World record is the next step in my development. It will happen."


For the IAAF complete coverage: http://www.iaaf.org/news/kind=100/newsid=57337.html


Our key photographer, Victah Sailer, is healthy again. He had hurt his back, missing the Nike Pre. This past weekend, he was at Lausanne (Thursday), Gateshead (Saturday) and London (Sunday). We hope that you like this RN Photo Gallery, produced by Chuck Bartlett, our Web master.

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Tyson Gay, Gateshead DL, July 10, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.


Gatehead Diamond League, July 10, 2010


The Gateshead meeting provided exactly what the Diamond League promised in its early planning-good competitive races. It did one other thing, world class athletes that resonate with the fans, and also local fans. Yours truly watched the meet over Universal, and while frustrating between the lovely outages on Charter Communications (my wireless), and Universal issues, the meet was pretty darn good. It is not like being there, trust me. Here is how I saw the events:

Men's

Truly, one of the best 100 meter races that I have ever seen! Asafa Powell had a very strong start, putting a meter on Tyson Gay by twenty meters. Asafa Powell continued to build his lead
thorough fifty meters, and it looked, at that time, like Asafa Powell had the race.

Tyson Gay is training for 200 meters, and he race liked it. Gay began working hard, very hard, about fifty meters into the race, and by 80 meters was about to move on past Asafa Powell. Gay had changed the race, pumping his arms, lifting his legs as Powell and the rest of the field
were decelerating.

Gay-PowellFH-Gateshead10.JPG Tyson Gay catches Asafa Powell, 9.94 to 9.96, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Tyson Gay started to lean with ten meters to go and pushed himself in front of Asafa Powell, winning in 9.94 to 9.96 over Powell! Daniel Bailey was third in 10.15 and Trell Kimmons was fourth in 10.18. Jaysuma Ndure was fifth in 10.23.

Gay-PowellR-Gateshead10.JPG Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay, showing why they are world class athletes, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Tyson Gay expressed pleasure at the final. The BBC broadcasters, Tim Hutchings among them noted that " this may have been one of the best 100 meter races in the past 20 or 30 years." I would not like to counter Mr. Hutchings!

More below:





Here is the photo gallery assembled by Chuck Bartlett, our webmaster, on the Diamond League meeting at Lausanne on Thursday, July 8! We hope that you enjoy!
The Gateshead meet has Dix versus Spearmon, Powell vs Gay and that's just the sprints!
Alfons Juck race to race, to give us a preview of the superb meet. RBR is stranded in US,
but will have photographs, and onfield insights for our fans in the colonies and the other 168
countries where our subscribers habitate!


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USA 200m champ Wallace Spearmon versus........


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USA Champ, 100m, and Nike Pre Champ, 200 m, Walter Dix, over 200
meters! photos by PhotoRun.net.


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Tyson Gay versus....

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Asafa Powell over 100 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net.
Lots of athletics news today! Christophe Lemaitre, the European junior champ, becomes the first white sprinter to break 10.00 for 100 meters with his legal 9.98 at the French Championships! Poland's Marian Woronin was last white sprinter to run 10.00, way back in
1984!



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Yelena Isinbayeva, World Indoor 2010, Doha, Qatar, photo by PhotoRun.net.

The world's most medalled women pole vaulter, Yelena Isinbayeva, has had a 18 months, and decided to take a break. She has decided to return to competition in February 2011. At a point in her career where she has nothing to prove, Isinbayeva needs to get into supreme shape, both physically and mentally, to battle the top Polish, German, Brazilian and American vaulters. Her crisis of faith at the World outdoor 2009, in Berlin and her fourth place in
the World Indoor Champs 2010 seemed to resonate with her team. We wish her well.
 

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Usain Bolt running 100 meters, Lausanne, photo by PhotoRun.net.


Watching the Lausanne DL meeting last evening, one would be struck by the sold out stadium, six world leads, two ties to the world leads, and six european leads plus three meet records! It was clear that Usain Bolt is ready to roll. Dix ran well as did Jeremy Wariner. Can not wait to see Dix and Spearmon and Powell and Gay race at Gateshead on Saturday!

Bolt_UsainPose1_Lausanne10.JPG Usain Striking the Pose: Bolt is back, Lausanne Celebrates, the World breathes a sigh of relief...photo by PhotoRun.net.
When a Child Is Born

Image via Wikipedia

The SF State track will be hosting the USATF Club Championships this coming weekend! If you have never run on the track at SF State, you are really missing a treat! My relationship with SF State goes back to June 1976, when my training partner, Robert Lucas and I ran the AAU Hour Run champs. I remember the pounding footstrikes of Jim Nuccio, Mike Bordell and the late Brian Maxwell, who cruised just over 12 miles to win the race. I tried to race in Pre Montreals, which were good until about 8 miles, when the blood blisters were too much to endure, so I changed into NB 305s and just missed 10 miles. Robert was smart, ran in the second heat and just passed 10 miles for an hour.

 

In the early 80s, the Johnny Mathis invite began, and Tim Gruber, my post collegiate training partner  would run, I in the 10,000 meters and Tim in the steeplechase. Harry Marra, the coach at SF State back then, was able to get Johnny Mathis to support the meet for several years. It was at SF State way back in 1992, I met this former junior college student who turned out to be pretty good in the decathlon: Dan O'Brien.

SF State was the birth place (Harry Marra, and Princeton's Fred Samara) of the VISA Decathlon program, still one of the greatest event building program ever done in our sport.

I can remember the smell of the eucalpytus trees blowing in the wind, as we ran twenty-five laps on the black artificial surface. I do recall one particular 10,000 meters, getting my butt handed to me, about twenty laps, the shot put from one Bob Feurbach rolled onto the track, waking me up from my aerobic slumber!

SF State has hosted some memorable events, and is a key part of the support system within the Bay Area. I hope the teams get to go to North Beach Pizza (best pizza, perhaps, in universe), Stinking Rose (garlic geek love), both nearby.

The coolest thing to do, however is to get a loaf of sourdough, some fresh, local crab and nice bottle of Pinot Grigio , and sit on the docks and watch the boats in the Bay.....oh and bring your sweaters, as Mark Twain once noted, evenings in THE City get cool in July....

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Shelly-Ann Fraser, 2009 WC Berlin, photo by PhotoRun.net.

An Olympic champion who tests positive is the focus of much media curiosity. That will be the case of Shelly-Ann Fraser. Trackalerts.com will keep us updated on the Kingston press conference tomorrow....


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Bershawn Jackson runs 47.62, WL, Lausanne, photo by PhotoRun.net.


Well, Athletissima lives up to the hype: great races, six world leaders, two world leading ties, six European leaders, plus three stadium records!  and some killer events!  Where to start? How about?

Usain Bolt looks good, running 9.82 for 100 meters, his achilles seems to be working just fine, and his return to 200 meter action should not be far off!

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Walter Dix: the man is fast! 19.86 win in Lausanne, photo by PhotoRun.net.


Walter Dix continues to show his stuff. His tough victory last weekend at the Nike Pre over  a returning Tyson Gay has been followed up by his win in Lausanne in 19.86 for clear win in
the 200 meters. There was some concern over Dix allegedly running out of his lane, but it did not look like he interfered with anyone's run. If I were Dix, I would be more concerned about giving Tyson Gay something to focus on after Dix's comments in Nike Pre. Nothing bad, just that Walter Dix is a bit more confident than in the past: should make for some fun late summer racing!

Jeremy Wariner made a near miraculous recovery from Des Moines less than two weeks ago. Running on all cylinders, Wariner won in 44.57, showing the world who is the fastest male over
400 meters.

David Rudisha, Moulami Mulaudzi and Alfred Kirwa Yego run sub 1:44s and get very little respect. I believe that any of those three, (plus Kaki), can run sub 1:42. The 800 meters has become a very boring race. Rudisha and Mulaudzi can shake it up! (Unless Jeremy Wariner wants to see if he can put two 49 second quarters back to back).

Nicholas Kemboi runs 3;31.52, a world leader, with Amine Laalou of Morocco in second in 3:32.75. First through twelfth are Kenyans, Algerians and one South African, with Bahrain's
Belai Mansoor Ali thrown in.

Brimin Kiprop Kipruto takes the world lead back to steeple mad Kenya, with a fine 8:01.62, with Benjamin Kiplagat of Uganda in second (8:03.81) and Paul Kipsielie Koech (winner of last two adidas GP in NYC) in 8:11.65. Congrats to US champ Dan Huling, running a personal best of 8:13.29!

Dayron Robles hurdles 110m in 13.01, with Ryan Wilson in a nifty 13.21. David Payne in third in 13.22 and Andrew Turner, Britian's top hurdler, in 13.30. I want to see Robles versus Oliver!
I have to say that Dayron's typical ensemble off the track, a beret, a Che Guevera t-shirt, suspenders, and nice slacks gives him a unique look. Watching Robles hurdle is a treat in itself--Robles in shape is finesse--while David Oliver is strength, laws of physics and desire.

Bershawn Jackson is getting into real shape. His 47.32 at Des Moines was a key indication that his focus and training are meeting up with his desire to win. Jackson is very close to a real breakthrough, say 47.20 or lower. Angelo Taylor took second, in 47.96, followed by Felix Sanchez and Javier Culson. Taylor and Sanchez have Olympic golds and World golds covered for a few champs. Javier Culson is the future of the sport. And Kerron Clement, well,
50.41 means either he is suffering from travel fatigue, has not trained worth a damn, or just does not having a good day.

more below......


 

 




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David Oliver, the fastest hurdler of 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

David Oliver is a hurdler with a lot of talent. Coached by Brooks Johnson,
Oliver has what it takes to be successful on the world circuit. David
is in the Roger Kingdom school of hurdlers-big, fast and fearless. A
winning smile, a great sense of humor and very relaxed with the media,
Oliver is the epitome of the athlete our sports needs to grow in the
future.

The key to our sport is competition. As Christian Cantwell made so clear
a few weeks ago in Rome, for track to succeed, one must compete, good
days and bad. Fans love head to head clashes.

The Tyson Gay-Walter Dix battle in Nike Pre Classic was a case in point.
Tyson and Walter were neck and neck coming off the turn and the race
was not over until just before the finish! At the adidas Grand Prix, it was
the epic battle between Allyson Felix and Veronica Campbell Brown! At the
NIke Pre? Several races come to mind, but you will just have to wait til
Thursday to read my piece on the Nike Pre!


The big deal is--when will David Oliver get to race a fit Dayron Robles? According
to Alfons Juck, our eyes in the global track world, it could be very, very soon!


Bay to Breakers Map

Image via Wikipedia

The Bay to Breakers has been around since the beginning of the sport. A moving freak show, which has a real race up front, tens of thousands of fun runners and, in past, a reputation for
all kinds of excesses, has made it to year 100. As the city and race management has tried to
provide some sense of decorum, they have been excoriated by groups that see that any rules
for the Bay to Breakers is just plain wrong. In essence these B2B liberation groups want a
12k long anarchists wet dream: come run, come walk, come drink, come do your thing, and by the way, let the city pay for it. Not happening in 2011, says the city.



Let's face it. The Bay to Breakers is one of the largest events in the world. The city has gotten tired of public drunkenness, and put a few rules down. Nothing that one does not find at most other road races. Reality has stuck its strange and wonderful head in the window of reality in the Bay Area, and while some may find it distasteful, take a deep breath, perhaps three, jog the B2B course (which is quite beautiful, by the way), have a nice picnic in Golden Gate afterwards or visit the Stinking Rose (a purveyor of garlic enhanced foodstuffs) or North Beach Pizza (best SF pizza, seriously), and have a Stella there! 


Another sign of the vitality of our sport! Big Sur events sell out, as do BAA Boston Marathon. This is a special category where the true geeks of our sport run Boston, then fly to Big Sur to run Big Sur, all within 13 wonderful day! Sounds like a party to me!
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Caster Semenya, 2009 Berlin World Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net.

What is the old saying, " not with a bang, but with a whimper?". Castor
Semenya, the 18 year old who won the 800 meters in the World Champs
in Berlin, has been cleared to compete. The entire situation was a
debacle of epic proportions, from the South African authorities who raced
her, to her Federation that put a medal above the terrible torment that the
young women has received due to questions over her gender.

Forensically, it will come out, what the issue actually was, and how it was
remedied for the medical authorities. That is not the case at this time.
The IAAF press release is short, perfunctory and without the casting of
any emotion whatsoever. It seems that, for most concerned, they hope
that all goes away. Nothing is farther from the reality when it comes to
modern media.

In the end, a young women was put on a global stage, her most personal
issues thrown into the feeding trough that is global sports. We wish Caster
Semenya much luck. 








If one wants to consider how huge of a star Usain Bolt is on the world
stage, one just need take a look at this video. Hublot, one of the most
prestigious brands of ultra luxury timing devices, has signed Bolt as
a spokesperson.

Hublot sponsored a charity race, and offered to pay $10,000 for every
young person who beat Usain. All ten beat Usain. The video shows
Usain obviously enjoying the event, and again, giving his sport, his
country and his sponsors his due.

Bolt has transcended our sport. He is a global superstar, and he is
giving our sport of track & field an opportunity to improve the fan base
as well as the perception of our sport. If we do not capitalize on this,
we have only ourselves to blame.

Also, nice job by Hublot press relations in distributing the videos, scripts,
etc. I found this on a note on twitter.com this morning!
 


As one bright philosopher noted, " Stuff happens.."

Well, stuff, in this case, refers to an injured back for Victah Sailer, our
PhotoRun.net. photographer. Stuff might also refer to Chuck Bartlett
and his yeoman job of shooting the Nike Pre Classic.....

Our major photographer, Victah Sailer and Photorun.net, hurt his back last weekend, on his return from Des Moines. He had to rest up over the Nike Pre weekend, so we asked Chuck Bartlett, the RN webmaster, to provide some photos. A different view of a meet than PhotoRun.net, but watch the men's 5,000 meters, the men's miles and Christian Cantwell uncorking his 22.41m or 73-6 1/4 huge one in the shot! Enjoy!
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David Oliver, USA Outdoor Champs, June 27, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Last Sunday, after the end of the USA Outdoor, I congratulated Brooks
Johnson on David Oliver's 12.93. He smiled, and told me, that David
was just getting started. Well, David's 12.90 at the Nike Pre was one of
the best events of the meet and tied the AR! David is truly on a roll!

The following review  the view of the rest of the world, written by Alfons Juck. Note that the overwhelming comments via twitter and on my email expressed disappointment in the quality and breadth of the NBC coverage of the Nike Pre Classic. Being at the meet, I can tell you that this was my favorite of the 25 Pre Classics that I have attended. It is unfortunate that U.S. television continues to shoot itself in the foot in presenting such amazing events.

As I spend the day flying home, I will be updating, event by event, RBR's coverage of the
Nike Pre Classic. Have a great fourth of July and we hope that you enjoy the coverage.

 

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Allyson Felix took an epic 400 meters from Debbie Dunn, (photo
from USA Outdoors, June 2010, ) photo by PhotoRun.net



It is late on Saturday night, July 3. I am sitting in the bar at the Eugne Hilton, with our RN
webmaster, still considering the day. I had received a note from a true fan noting that
performances at the 2010 Pre Classi were better, "top to bottom." With 17 guys under
3:56 in the mile, 8 guys under 3:54. Nine women at 1;59 for 800 meters or better.

Five world leaders! Women's 100 meters: 10.79, 10.82, 10.83! Men's Shot Put: 22.41m
or 73-6 1/2! Among my favorites: The Men's 5,000 meters, the Women's 400 meters,
the epic battle battle over 200 meters between Walter Dix and Tyson Gay!

The final event of the meet, the Bowerman Mile, lived up to its reputation: Asbel Kiprop
won the mile in 3:49.75. Running the smartest race of his career, Duck senior Andew
Wheating ran a new school record with his 3:51.73. Wheating now surpassed the
3:53.00 of Joaquim Cruz from 1984, AJ Acosta's 3:53.74 from 2010 (two hours before),
and the late Steve Prefontaine! Wheatings reaction, " Now, I can run with the Big Do

Lost in the excitement was a huge battle between Panama's Irving Saldino and Dwight Phillips! Saldino won this round with a fine 8.47m or 27-9 3/4. Allyson Felix's battle with
Donna Dunn over 400 meters was jut underestimated! Was it the charge of Shalane
Flanagan to take second in the women's 5,000 meters, running 14;49.08, the third
fastest US performance ever! 

A well orchestrated meet plans out race fields, and hopes to god no one in the field's
get sick. Another point in this meets' favor is the late date this year-athletes, for the
most part are much fitter.

Whatever the case, the 2010 Nike Prefontaine Classic, in my mind was the best in it's
36 year storied history. Read the results, and then, read our reviews of the meet on Sunday
morning!


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Chaunte Howard-Lowe, USA Outdoor, Des Moines, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Here is full play by play of the Madrid Athletics Meeting, from Alfons Juck! Just saw
AJ Acosta run a brilliant second place 3:53.76, placed him second on the Ducks list,
behind Joaquim Cruz (Olympic gold, 800 meters, 1984), who ran 3:53:00, and
in front of Steve Prefontaine, who had run 3:54.7. A.J. Acosta, always good for a quote,
noted wryly, " I knew what the school record was, but lets wait until Andrew Wheating
runs later today, and that record could go!"



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Tirunesh Dibaba, Rbk Boston Indoor 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.


Tirunesh Dibaba stunned the world, when at the age of 18, she defeated the best
women distance runners in the world, winning the World Champs 5,000 meters, way back in
2003 in St. Denis, France. Dibaba has not stopped her drive to become the best women
distance runner in the world. On Saturday, Dibaba will be running the 5,000 meters, hoping
to run, very, very fast. We look forward to her effort!


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Mehdi Baala, World Champs 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Mehdi Baala is having continued issues with his achilles, and will not
be running the Europeans. I am on way to Eugene, Oregon for
Nike Pre and Nike Track Nationals. My pick for major events on
Saturday: Women's 5,000m, womens pole vault, Men's 200m,
Men's shot, Bowerman mile and Men's 5,000 meters. My prediction
for Men's 5,000 meters: New American Record of 12:50 for
5,000 meters.

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                    Striking a Pose: Dave Larsen, VP of Marketing /Brooks Running

The curiously thoughtful person in the photograph above is Dave Larsen, VP of Marketing & Light Hauling for Brooks Running. Brooks is the number two performance running brand
on the planet and it continues to grow and prosper. Focused on real running product,
Brooks President Jim Weber has been wise enough to surround himself with a tremendous
team of key players, from Rick Wilhelm to our interview focus, Dave Larsen.

Larsen is possessed with a finely tuned sense of humor, and for a VP of Marketing, that is
an important attribute. He also does not take himself too seriously. Over the past three years,
Brooks, under Larsen's watchful eye, has launched ad campaigns that translate from digital
to print, and catch the runner, who first looks, perhaps in amazement, then, with a smile. Last
year's world's biggest running sports fans was well received.

Larsen is embarking, with his sports marketing manager, Jesse Williams, into some pretty visible elite athlete sponsorships, several who showed up at the USA Outdoor. We asked him
about Lisa Koll, the NCAA 10,000m/5,000m champion, who is the focus of some sponsorship
discussion. Larsen, you will note, did not play his cards--we will know on a need to know basis.

Dave Larsen did set a new RBR record for response to an interview query. Just the facts: I ask the focus for the interview, then send questions, then edit, then post. I hope you enjoy reading the interview!


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