Haile ready for Course Record, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Haile Gebrselassie, winning 2009 real, -Berlin, by PhotoRun.net. Will he win ING NYCM in 2010?

The ING NYCM weekend is an old home week for many in the running community. The last day of press conferences at the recently closed Tavern on the Green site, is a celebration of things new and things old. The excitement in the air this year was for several reasons: Edison Pena, Haile Gebrselassie and Dave Letterman. On Thursday, Edison Pena, the Chilean miner who ran 3-6 miles during his 69 day stay underground, captured the heart of the Big Apple. David Letterman, the iconic television talk show host, dedicated the entire show to a 40 minute interview of Senor Pena.

Haile Gebrselassie, the world record holder in the marathon, is in rarefied territory for the five borough race. There was some word that Haile had a slight injury, but my guess is that, once he gets to the line, Haile will give Peter Kamais, Gebre Gebremariam tough races.

On the US side, Meb Keflizighi, the defending champion will be joined by Tim Nelson, Dathan Ritzenhein, Jorge Torres and Shalane Flanagan on the line. Mary Keitany, should be quite tough on this course, as the prohibitive favorite.

After touring the Expo the last few days, it was apparent, once again, the the sport is healthy, people are buying shoes, apparel, all things running. Tomorrow, 40,000 runners will settle down for their 40,000 unique experiences as they run 26.2 miles through the five boroughs.

Congrats to Mary Wittenberg and the NYRR team on such a superb 2010 ING NYCM week. The late Fred Lebow will be smiling tonight as he sees this years field once again celebrate all that is good with New York City.....
Haile ready for course record
NEW YORK (USA): News from background of NYC Marathon on Sunday. "It has been a long dream of mine to compete in this outstanding event," said legendary Haile Gebrselassie after arriving to New York. "Im so excited about competing for the first time." He said  his training has gone well and that he will aim at the course record of 2:07:43 set in 2001 by countryman Tesfaye Jifar. Sundays, for Emmanuel Mutai, are his one day of rest. After training for the last three months Monday through Saturday at camp in Kaptagat, Kenya, this Sunday he makes an exception to that rule when he joins only seven other men who have run under 2:07 in New York. All are on the hunt for a New York record. Owning three of the 12 fastest half marathons on record, Kenyan Mary Keitany is hoping to join a select few, all-time great female athletes, who have debuted in the marathon in New York and run away with the gold. Despite the lack of marathon experience, her numbers don't deny that possibility. In May, Keitany posted a 1:19:53 in her 25K appearance in Berlin - the fastest time ever by a female - demolishing the world record. Her half marathon best is 1:06:36, which she set at the 2009 IAAF World Championships, besting her 1:06:54 time she set earlier in the year at the AirTel Delhi Half Marathon. Keitany started training for this race in June but has yet to study the course. She said good weather will be an important factor for her race on Sunday, but either way she's "excited to run." She stands to take home $130,000 if she finishes her debut marathon in first place. The last time a marathon debutante finished first in New York was 1994, when Tegla Loroupe picked up a winning time of 2:27:37. "I gave a letter to the postman, he put it in his sack, bright and early next morning, he brought my letter back. She wrote upon it: Return to sender, address unknown. The first thing I asked for was an iPod with Elvis tunes. I thought I'd never hear him again," Edison Pena, amateur runner and miner from Chile. "I know I'm among the favorites. Three weeks ago I broke the national record which proves that I'm ready for an eventual victory, so I'm happy to be here," said Christelle Daunay, France. Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt will be (at least virtual support) part of longside Foursquare co-founders in an effort to raise money for a children's charity, and marathon participants can help with that effort via Foursquare. The selected charity, Camp Interactive, is a non-profit organization  serving underprivileged kids in the Bronx.

European CC Champs 2012 to be decided
LISBON (POR): European Athletics is set to announce the host city of the 2012 SPAR European Cross Country Championships as the 125th European Athletics Council Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, opens on Friday. With less than two months before the Portuguese city of Albufeira hosts the 17th edition of the event, the European Athletics Council will decide during the Friday afternoon session of the three-day meeting which city will host the premier continental cross country event in 2012. The candidate is Szentendre in Hungary. In 2011 the event will be held in Velenje, Slovenia. The European Athletics Council meeting, led by President Hansjörg Wirz and attended this weekend by IAAF President Lamine Diack, will decide on a number of important issues this weekend. There will also be reports from recent meetings of the Competition and Development Committees. Writes European Athletics.


LONDON (GBR): The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has supported the decision announced by Sport and Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson to withdraw the bid to host the 2015 World Athletics Championships in London.  Speaking at a ground-breaking ceremony in the Olympic Park for the ArcelorMittal Orbit, Johnson commented: "We are bidding to hold the World Hockey Championships in London in 2014, we have already secured the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and we are bidding for the 2018 football World Cup. We think it's sensible to stagger it and to go for the 2017 World Athletics Championships," he said. Writes insidethegames.

LAUSANNE (SUI): European 400m hurdles champion Nataliya Antyukh explains her switch to the 400m hurdles in an interview with European Athletics. After 2004, where she won the silver medal, Antyukh felt her running decline and had to switch to a new coach, allowing her to make the decision to move to a different event. In the interview she also mentioned she abandoned the thought of turning to bobsled.
GUANGHZOU (CHN): The Athlete's village for the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China will be opened on November 6th. The Village has a 49 apartment buildings featuring 3,598 apartments and 9,272 rooms, and a 24-hour dining area.There are four resident service centres and 18 laundry collection points, providing laundry, linen replacement and other accommodation services. The village will accommodate 10.156 competitors and 4202 team officials confirms Insidethegames.
JOHANNESBURG (RSA): AP informs that South Africa's Olympic Committee says it will lay charges against "certain individuals" after receiving the results of an audit into the finances of the national athletics body and its handling of the Caster Semenya affair. Eight ASA board members, including president Leonard Chuene, were suspended last November before the audit was completed.

ALGER (ALG): Miler Antar Zerguelaine, the 4th best Algerian all-time in the 1500m (3:31.21 in 2009 in Monaco) joined the group of French coach Jean-Michel Dirringer to prepare the 2011 season along Bouabdellah Tahri (3000m steeple European record holder) and Mehdi Baala (2008 Olympic 1500m bronze medallist). Informs African Athletics United facebook.

MOUNTAIN VIEW (USA): Javelin thrower Sam Crouser (18) is boys High School Athlete of the Year 2010 in USA by Track and Field News. First, Oregon's prize recruit hit a record 244-2 in early May, bettering the old best of 73.74. Six weeks later he exploded to a mighty 77.84, also destroying the American Junior Record. Interestingly there is no sprinter in top five.

DUBLIN (IRL): Respected agent Ricky Simms (guiding the career of Usain Bolt from very beginning in terms of competition and partly also training while in Europe) from Milford a member of Finn Valley A.C. has been honoured by European Athletics. The honour recognises and celebrates the service to athletics given by a coach who has demonstrated excellence in coaching and made a valuable contribution in other ways. Richard a graduate of U.U.J. is the coach to double European Medallist Mo Farah and from his London base where he is a director of Pace Sports Management works closely also with a number of African athletes. He is the only Irish born coach to be honoured. Writes Irish Athletics website.


BEIRUT (LIB): Perhaps the most startling fact about the Beirut Marathon is that there is a marathon in Beirut. Long considered the focus and flashpoint for violence in the Middle East, Beirut's uneasy peace, during which the city has been extensively rebuilt over the past decade, is still regularly shattered by bomb blasts and assassinations. Indeed the course of the marathon, now in its eighth year, had to be re-routed two years ago, in order to avoid bomb damage. But, according to May El Khalil, the businesswoman whose initiative after a near-fatal accident gave birth to the race, the diverse and occasionally violent opposing factions in Lebanon all wish the BLOM Bank Beirut Marathon well. Writes Pat Butcher. East Africans should be to the fore in Beirut too. Race Director Mark Dickinson and Elite Coordinator Antonio Nannoni run a development training camp in Ethiopia, and the majority of their field comes from there. One of their first discoveries Alemayehu Shumwe set a course record of 2.12.47 two years ago, no mean feat considering the heat and humidity here. Although it is his debut marathon, hopes are pinned on Abere Chane, from Addis Ababa, who ran a 61.47 half-marathon in Milano earlier this year. "I cannot say for sure, because it is my first marathon," he said today, "but I would like to run 2.10, maybe 2.11". His colleague, women's favourite, Etaferahu Tarekegn, also from Addis, was far less circumspect, even dismissing the prospect of bright sunshine and well over 25C heat at the finish. "The heat is no problem for me. I want to do 2.30, 2.32". Which would take up to half a dozen minutes off the time of 2.36.46, set by Anastasia Ndereba (Catherine's sister) of Kenya, in 2004.

SEOUL (KOR):  JoongAng Seoul Marathon on Sunday attracted a strong international men's field, four of whom have this year run close to the 2:08:13 course record set by Kenyan Jason Mbote in 2006. That course standard is expected to be challenged when Mbote returns. Writes IAAF.  The men's international elite field is composed of 14 athletes from five countries who will be led by four Kenyan pacemakers and battling for the $134,500 international elite prize purse, while 54 men and 21 women from Korea will compete for approximately $16,000 for the men's and women's domestic division.  Other Kenyans to note David Kemboi, Charles Munyeki and Nicholas Kipruto with Yusuf Songoka. From Ethiopians to follow Teferi Wodajo. The current women's course record of 2:29:32 was set in 2007 by Korean Eung-Jung Lee, this race will be a domestic affair.


BURGOS (ESP): Track world champion Kenyan Linet Masai will not run at the first IAAF CC Permit meet of the new season in Burgos. She does not plan to race for another few weeks as her management group Pace Sports Management explained. The main female star in Burgos will be reigning world CC champion Emily Chebet.


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