2012 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix: Silas Kiplagat Moves up to 3,000m, by Larry Eder

Kiplagat_SilasFV-USOpen12.JPGSilas Kiplagat wins VISA mile over Bernard Lagat, 2012 US Open, Photo by PhotoRun.net

Silas Kiplagat is one tough miler. The 2010 Commonwealth champion at 1,500 meters, and in 2011, Silas rose to the silver medal at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Korea, Silas has run 3:29.27 for 1,500 meters. Coached by Renuto Canova, famed coached of Moses Mosop, among others, Silas Kiplagat has the raw energy seen in runners such as the late Sammy Wanjiru. Silas wants to win, make no mistakes about that!

For example, last weekend, in his first indoor mile at Madison Square Gardens, Silas duked it out with Daniel Komen and Bernard Lagat. Komen is no newbie to the pushing and shoving that comes in indoor track & field, and Bernard Lagat, heck, the guy virtually owns the 145 meter track that inhabits the Madison Square Gardens.

The pace last Saturday night, in MSG, was, well pedestrian. But, the track, which is unique in terms of world class elite indoor meets, is like running indoor cross country. Usually, the runner who gets to the front first stays there and shuts down all competition. Bernard had won their 8 times, going from front, back, in between. It was only in 2011 that Bernard lost. This year, Bernard told us that he was planning on focusing on the 5,000 meters. " I will run 1,500 meters and miles for speed. " Bernard told us before the race.

The pace, was slow. The 400 meters was hit in 60.3, the 800 meters in 2:00.33, and Komen was in front. Komen, Lagat, Kiplagat were together at the lead through the 1,200 meter mark, hit in 3:03. Two laps from the end, Bernard Lagat took over, looking like the winner. With one lap to go, Silas Kiplagat took off and made this huge move, hurling himself into the lead, much to the astonishment of Bernard Lagat and Daniel Komen.

Silas Kiplagat was not about to give up. He want to win at Madison Square Gardens, and he wanted to beat Bernard Lagat, one of the greatest milers of all times, and a tremendous racer. The pace increased over the last lap, with the last 400 meters covered in 57 seconds, but close as Bernard Lagat might come, Silas Kiplagat kept about two meters between himself and Mr. Lagat.

Silas Kiplagat won the mile in 4:00.65. Bernard Lagat was second in 4:00.92 and Daniel Kipkichir Komen was third in 4:03.82.

Gebremeskel_DejanShoe-NBind11.JPGDejen Gebremeskel, 2011 NB Indoor GP 3,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

This coming weekend, at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, Silas Kiplagat will be moving up to the 3,000 meters to face Matt Centrowitz, the 1,500m world bronze medalist from Daegu, and Dejen Gebremeskal, the 5,000m bronze medalist from Daegu. Last year, Gebremeskal took Mo Farah to the final steps, before claiming victory over Farah. And Gebremeskal had only one shoe for most of that 3,000 meter race!

(Mo Farah and Galen Rupp are in the mile, doing a bit of speed work. Mo just won a tough 1,500m in Glasgow last weekend from Augustine Choge. RBR is only suggesting, but this could be a very fast mile. )

Centrowitz_Matt-Worlds11.jpg Matt Centrowitz, Jr., 2011 WC, 1,500m, photo by PhotoRun.net

The New Balance Indoor Grand Prix should be a wonderful event, with three hours of tremendous track & field. Do not miss it, if you are in the Boston area! Otherwise, before the SuperBowl, turn your eyes to ESPN2 and enjoy two hours of indoor track & field!

Other previously announced athletes include Christian Cantwell, Matthew Centrowitz, Bershawn Jackson, Kirani James, David Oliver and Jenn Suhr.

The 17th-annual meet, the second stop in USA Track & Field's Visa Championship Series, begins at 5:00 p.m. on Feb. 4 at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center at Roxbury Community College.  Tickets and meet Information can be found on-line at www.nbindoorgrandprix.com or by calling 1-877-849-8722.
About New Balance
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance employs more than 4000 people around the globe, and in 2009 reported worldwide sales of $1.65 billion. For more information please visit http://www.newbalance.com.

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