February 2013 Archives

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Goteborg's Mondo indoor track, Euro Indoors 2013, 
photo by Larry Eder

Runblogrun will cover the European Indoor Champs on March 1,2 and 3 live from the stadium in Goteborg, Sweden, all under one roof at the Scandinavium and Svenksa Massan! 

Here are the links, if you sign up, Runblogrun will send your a gentle reminder on the coverage when we go live! 



Steve Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, just put his money where his proverbial heart is, and gave $500k to the USATF Foundation. The USATF Foundation will use that money to support USA elite and emerging athlete track and field athletes as they train towards Rio 2016.

We wanted to congratulate the USATF Foundation and also thank Steve Schwarzman, who has provided this support to help give our athletes the financial support that they need to run, jump and throw, focused on Rio 2016.




RBR visited the SPIRE insititute over two years ago. We were impressed then, with the potential of the facility and now that the USOC has designated SPIRE an Olympic Training site, we are very pleased for SPIRE. We asked David Hunter to cover the announcement for us on the SPIRE institute...

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Lopez Lomong will be running a big 5,000 meters in the NB Armory TF Center on Friday night, February 28, 2013. The field looks pretty hot: Even Jager, Matt Tegenkamp, Andy Bumbalough, and Chris Derrick. Can you say, real fast 5,000 meters? 

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Lopez Lomong, photo by PhotoRun.net

We will keep you updated on this one. Lopez ran a brilliant mile at the Millrose Games, in his battle with Matthew Centrowitz on February 16. We are looking forward to this race! 
The 2013 Brooks Pr Invitational was the third event put on by Brooks Running to celebrate high school running. The idea was to invite the top ten athletes in events from the 60 meter dash to the two mile, and put them on a very fast track and let them run. 

The event was a huge success from the first year. This was for several reasons: a well-organized event, bringing many of the best high school athletes in the country, and the 307.5 meter over sized indoor track at Dempsey Fieldhouse at the University of Washington. 

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Brooks PR 60 meter dash, photo by Brooks Running

Meet records were set in both two miles, both 800 meters, the boys 60 meter dash and girls 60 meter hurdles. Cameron Burrell, the son of Leroy Burrell, who held the 100m WR in the nineties, ran the National leader and meet record in the boys 60 meter dash!



Teams from fifty-four nations will be competing in the 2013 European Indoor Athletics championships, which start in Goteborg, Sweden on Friday, March 1. Runblogrun, as we did in 2011, will be covering the meet live. This year, however, we will be using our Live blog software to provide one page with several feeds to view and commentating from RBR. We will also be covering the USA Indoor as well. 

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photo courtesy of Brooks communications


The Brooks PR invitational, which was held on Sunday, February 24, 2013, was a major success. What continues to keep me optimistic on our sport is events such as the Brooks PR. Several brands have developed events to give high school athletes more chances to race and get together. Several of the athletes told RBR this past weekend, that besides the racing, getting to meet their fellow competitors was the best part of the weekend. 
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Bjorn Otto, Renaud Lavillenie, Raphael Holzdeppe, London 2012, 

The European Indoor Championships are this coming weekend and with teams from 54 countries, it should be fantastic competition. Alfons Juck, the meet director at the Ostrava Golden SPIKE meeting, is our global correspondent. Alfons knows his way around an indoor and outdoor track and  you have, if you have read runblogrun.com for the past few years, seen athletics geek updates from Alfons Juck. We asked the great Alfons to give us his feel on the European Indoors and here is how he sees the European Indoors competiton.

Runblogrun has a team in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with Elliott Denman and David Hunter, as well as PhotoRun.net to insure that we also have coverage of the USATF Indoor. RBR will update both events live and keep you, our readers up to date on a huge weekend of indoor track and field! 
The Big Ten Conference meet is about competition. Good, old fashioned mano a mano and womeno a womeno. David Hunter gives us his view of the Big Ten Indoor Championships in this column. It is all about enjoying what our sport is really about: celebrating the clutch performance as athletes run, jump and throw...We hope you enjoy! 

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Casimir Loxsom, photo by PhotoRun.net

As a courtesy to our readers, we have posted the adidas Energy BOOST videos on this page. We will, in the future, post individual videos on their own pages and then have links on this page to the various videos. Stay tuned....


Updated 26 February 2013 with three new videos! 
Yohan Blake took silver Olympic medals in the 100 meters and 200 meters in 2012. In 2011, he stunned the world as he won the 100 meters in the World Championships. In 2012, Yohan really stunned many by defeating Usain Bolt in both the 100m and 200m at the Jamaican Olympic Trials. 

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Mo Greene, Haile Gebrselassie, Yohan Blake, 
from adidas communications

Blake is the real thing. Fast, hard-working, Yohan Blake will rule the sprint world some day. On February 13, 2013, Yohan Blake showed up in New York City to talk about the adidas Energy BOOST, and the world of sprinting! The Shoe Addicts did the following digital interview! 
Well, hello sports fans! In less than twelve hours, I will be packing, and venturing into the cold abyss that is lovely Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Driving to Janesville, in new snow and windy weather will be the work of friend Miles, but then, I will read the paper and nap for two plus hours on a bus to Chicago's O'Hare. After a few hours of writing, I will fly on those wonderful German airships owned by Lufthansa, to Frankfurt. From Frankfurt, I will grab a shower, change clothes and then jump on an early flight to Goteborg, Sweden. Sleep deprived, I will venture to the first press conference of the event. Main-lining espresso, I will provide for you, dear readers, a view of the city of Goteborg that, will be, to say the least, unique.

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Palais des sports, Bercy, Paris, France, 2011 Euro Indoors, 
photo from Larry Eder

I absolutely enjoyed the Euro Indoors in 2011 in Bercy, near Paris. The meet was great, the fans were fanatical, and there were some great performances! Goteborg should be fun in its own way. 

My last time in Goteborg, Sweden for the World Championships in 1995. Being the curious sort, I accepted an invitation by some locals to go to a rave.   I remember also, meeting a hedgehog on my walk along a river one evening.  My last memory of that evening, was hearing a song by the Philly band, the Hooters, and I woke up in my media seat in the stadium the next day, waking up in time to watch Micheal Johnson win his 400 meters heat.  

Those memories are somewhat lost in the midst of my current activities, but I am sure that Goteborg 2013 will provide some adventures, and, of course, some stories with which to while away the evenings upon my return to southwest Wisconsin. Listen close, dear friends. 
What can you say about Haile Gebrselassie that has not been said? Since his first appearance in global junior championships in 1992, Haile has been unique. His enthusiasm, his focus, and his spirit have made him one of the most popular athletes in the world, in any sport.

Thumbnail image for MAURICE_GREENE_HALIE_GEBRSELASSIE_YOHAN_BLAKE_273541_640w.jpgMo Greene, Haile Gebrselassie, Yohan Blake, adidas BOOST event, 
                             photo courtesy of adidas communications                                                  

 To this writer, spending a day with Gebrselassie in 2006, is second only to spending a day in 1991 with the late Emil Zatopek. For five years, Track & Field News gave Haile Gebrselassie the nod as the best athlete in both the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters. Gebrselassie won gold medals in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 World Championships, golds in 1996 and 2000 Olympics, and in 2001, his silver was one of his most masterful races over 10,000 meters. 

His 2000 Olympic win, over Paul Tergat, may have been Gebrselassie's greatest race ever. Go onto You Tube and watch the race. Paul Tergat charges by, and it only in the last few meters that Haile Gebrselassie charges to the gold, using perfect timing and that last, last bit of energy desire in one amazing grasp for first. 

 His internship at the marathon surprised some. Haile Gebrselassie took a bit of time to get the marathon, and then, he took the world record down, and down. His desire to win was only overcome when his body could not support his focus. 

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     Haile Gebrselassie, Nijimegen, 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net

The scary thing is, Haile has held world records 25 to 27 times, depending on whose counting, and my guess is, the guy will surprise us with another before he "changes his track suit for a business suit,", his own prediction and words.


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Haile Gebrselassie, Berlin Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Haile Gebrselassie was one of three athletes at the adidas Energy BOOST event in New York City on February 13, 2013. Like an old friend, Haile sat down and spoke with the Shoe Addicts, the digital partners for Runblogrun.com , and spoke about the adidas Energy Boost, and running....
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Mo Greene, Olympic gold medalist, 100 meters, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Maurice Greene is one of the great ones. His wins in 1997 and 1999 at the Worlds were impressive. His win in 2000 was spectacular. His win in 2001 may have been the best race he ever ran. " I think, if I had not strained, that race would have been, well, really fast..." Mo told us at the adidas Energy BOOST event on February 13, 2013. 

Mo Greene spends much of his time coaching, and also hosting a TV show on Eurosport on sports. When queried about doing a show over in the states, Mo smiled. 

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Mo Greene, 2007 Millrose Games, 
photo by PhotoRun.net


Mo Greene is a bit more laid back today. But one can see him, in full focus, lining up on the starting line. He knew he could win. He knew he would win. He willed himself. His brooding before a race, fascinating to watch, was how Mo Greene put himself in the spot, that sweet spot where one can take on the world. How few can call that strength out of themselves. Mo Greene could do just that, and he did, on several occasions. For those occasions, we, the fans, remember him. 

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The swagger: Mo Greene, in the zone, 2007, Millrose, 
photo by PhotoRun.net 


The Shoe Addicts interviewed Mo Greene about the new adidas Energy Boost, and where it takes the adidas brand. Mo is a fantastic interview. Stay tuned for more to come! 
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Dennis Kimeto, 2013 Tokyo Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Dennis Kimeto, who won the Tokyo Marathon yesterday in a course record of 2:06.50, has his eyes on two other prizes in 2013...

The 2013 Brooks PR Invitational continues to give the sport reasons to be happy about the new stars of athletics. Meet records in both two miles, both 800 meters and the boys 60 meter dash last night. More details to come! 
Tyson Gay's training is coming along well, thank you. For the first time in a long time, Tyson is without pain, and it has to be exhilarating. Watch Gay run big, fast times over 400m, 200m and perhaps, yes, even 100 meters.

I am in Seattle this weekend. Sitting by the men's shot put, I am seeing many of the best coaches in the country, doing what they do best: developing young talent. Ed Eyestone, Lance Deal, Andy Powell, Dan O'Brien, are all there. Meets such as the MPSF are great meets for me to get my track observation skills going for 2013. The Dempsey is a crazy, fun place to watch track and field. Vinn Lannana told me that I have to choose what to watch at the Dempsey, or" just go to the middle of the field and watch the big screen." 

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Watching the Men's shot put, MPSF, February 23, 2013, Seattle, 
by Larry Eder

Jill Camerena, one of our top shot putters, and the AR holder had surgery after London and is coming along. She is one of the most realistic of athletes, and one of my favorites to watch compete. 

Lance Deal, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist at the hammer, and Oregon coach extraordinaire, was all smiles watching his athletes do their thing. Ed Eyestone was timing and cajoling his athletes to make that last effort, to get the most out of their experience. Good people who do great things, working with our next generation of stars. 

I am in Seattle to cover the Brooks PR invitational tomorrow. Brooks brings together the top ten high schoolers in events from the 60 meters to the two miles, and they have a winning program, now in its third year. We will cover the meet live on runblogrun.com/Live tomorrow, from 3 pm to 7 pm PST.

Time to save this, as I am going to watch the third heat of the women's 800 meters, it will be a barnburner! 
This is the original document sent to media on the WMM taking a tougher stand on doping. Runblogrun, as will most other groups have saluted the move as another step towards giving all runners an even starting line.

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 Virgin London Marathon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

In the last few months of Lance Armstrong on Oprah, and Olympic athletes loosing medals eight years after the competition, the word is finally getting out that no one is immune. There is a big difference from rumors, and such. 

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2012 B of A Chicago Marathon, 
photo from Chicago Marathon

Now, it looks to this observer like 95-97 percent of the real cheaters in our sport are being caught. I also believe, as melodramatic as the Lance Armstrong debacle was and is, it is a deterrent to cheating. Simply put, the level of embarrassment and chastisement that Lance Armstrong will receive over the rest of his natural life just is not worth it. 

Now, the World Marathon Majors have put the proverbial line in the sand. Not only can you not participate if you have had a drug positive in their events, WMM will take your prize purse, your performance bonuses away, and in some cases, even demand repayment. 

If our sport is to be recognized as a professional sport, and we are to attract real money from global companies who should be clamoring to a sport that could end the epidemic of obesity, can promotes running, jumping and throwing, something kids and adults can do anywhere in the world, we must be the leader in promoting a clean sport. 

We live in a society that celebrates ignorance, slothfulness and just plain bad manners on the  most popular television shows. Albert Einstein would get less TV time that Paris Hilton, and that is a shame. 

Runblogrun salutes the World Marathon Majors. By showing athletes and their teams that cheating comes at a huge price, WMM has put together the next level of anti-doping programs. Bravo! 
Usain Bolt took his fourth IAAF World Athlete of the Year title, in 2012. In the light of more competition, Bolt refocused and battled the world over 100 meters, 200 meters, and a resurgent USA team in the 4 x 100 meters, with his Team Jamaica setting a WR in the 4 x 100 meters. AO OLy 12-13.jpg After the World Athlete of the Year title, Usain Bolt told the assembled media that this year was the toughest, but also, the most satisfying. The video below is the salute to Usain Bolt from our digital partners, the Shoe Addicts!
Pat Butcher, our global runner, is in Hong Kong this weekend for the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon. Here is how he sizes up the fields for 2013 after a very close finish in 2012! 

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Ser-Od Bat-Ochir of Mongolia: can he take on the Ethiopians & Kenyans? 

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Dejere Abere: can he defend his title? 

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Misiker Demissei: can she defend her 2012 title? 
Wesley Korir has become one of the most popular runners on the U.S. circuit. Besides some fine marathoning, Korir spends time with the local media, talks to young athletes and fans, and has a great sense of humor. Wesley's personal best of 2:06.13, came at the Bank of America Chicago marathon in October 2012, in pretty chilly conditions. His win in the 2012 Boston Marathon was just the opposite: warm, humid conditions. 

Wesley Korir is a tough competitor. His 2012 Boston victory was in conditions that Wesley told RBR later were just brutish. His sense of self, his faith and his fitness level were all tested, and Korir came out the victor in a very tough day of racing. 

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Wesley Korir, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

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Allyson Felix won three gold medals in London: the 200 meters, and running legs on the WR 4x100meter relay and 4x400m relay. Her 100 meters gave her a personal best, in interviews, she will tell you that that 100 meter personal best meant a lot. 

The Shoe Addicts, the digital partners of Runblogrun and RunningNetwork, provided us this video salute to the IAAF female World Athlete of the Year. Our question to Allyson Felix, what will you do for an encore to 2012? 
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Usain Bolt, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Usain Bolt world tour will be visiting Rio on March 31, so Usain Bolt can meet and greet and crank a road sprint! Rio de Janeiro will be the host to the 2012 IAAF World Athlete of the Year. 

Haile Gebrselassie is going to run some half marathons and 10ks for now, and pick a fall marathon. 

Oscar Pistorius is looking more and like a South African version of the OJ Simpson Trial of the 1990s. Seems the South African detective who was having to re speak his accusations of Mr. Pistorius is having a bit of a criminal issue himself. I am very confused by this entire situation. Why would a guy who was the feel good moment of the London Olympics totally flush his life down the proverbial toilet? Why were domestic disturbances swept under the rug? Why is it coming out now that Mr. Pistorius was allegedly not as nice a person as many thought? I met him several times, and was impressed by his self deprecation, thoughtfulness, and was only non plussed by his reactions at the Paralympics to the athlete who beat him with faster artificial limbs. 

And then, tonight, performances from the XL-Galan! 


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Galen Rupp, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

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Mohammed Aman, 
photo by Photorun.net

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Abeba Aregawi, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

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Genzebe Dibaba, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Yarislay Silva, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The XL Galan meet was, once again, another tremendous example of how exciting an indoor track meet can be! Six world leaders, with some amazing performances that show European athletes, but also Athletes from the US, Middle East and North Africa amazingly fit! 

Mohammed Aman ran 1:45.07, winning by over a second and taking Michael Rimmer's WL by 1.5 seconds! Aman continues to impress! Ayanleh Souleiman of Qatar ran a fine 2:17.05, a world leader at 1,000 meters. Marcin Lewandowski continued his fine running in 2013, with his 2:17.77. Matt Centrowitz, who finished sixth, ran 2:19.56, five days after his 3:51.34 mile. 

And then there is Galen Rupp. Galen was hoping for a 5,000 meters last weekend, but the race was cancelled in Birmingham at the British Athletics Grand Prix. Galen, running his second 3,000 meters of the season, ran a brilliant 7:30.16, which set an AR for the 3,000 meters and also gave Galen the world leader! With his 3:50.92 in the mile this indoor season, Galen is showing that he has some serious leg speed, and his last 2,000 meters in the 10,000 meters will be something to see! 

Michel Torneus, the Swedish long jumper, picked the right meet to shine, jumping a fine 8.20m, giving Mr. Menkov (8.22m this season) someone to think about! Torneus is my spoiler pick for the Europeans, March 1-3. 

On the womens' side, well, all I can say, is, "Amazing"! 

Abeba Aregawi won the 1,500 meters by over twelve seconds! She also ran the world leading 3:58.40, by herself, missing the world record by .12! What the heck? Aregawi has run some fast times in the past, but this indoors, and so early in the year? Dynamo Hum! 

Then, to keep in interesting, Genzeba Dibaba runs the 3,000m in 8:26.57. Winning by 22 seconds over Eliish McColgan, the daughter of WC Liz McColgan, who ran 8:49.31. 

Oh, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce sure looks good, running 7.04, screaming the 60 meters. Notice Irene Ecklund, of Sweden, who ran 7.34. Irene is fifteen, and broke the Swedish junior record! Nice to see some Swedish juniors coming through the system. 

Yarislay Silva, of Cuba, the Olympic silver medalist, jumped 4.78m, the new World Leader, and tried 4.81m. She is looking strong. Holly Bleasdale cleared 4.45m, a minimal day for the young Brit who has cleared 4.77m this season. Angelica Bengston also cleared 4.45m. 

 
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Aries Merritt, 2012 London Olympic Games, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Aries Merritt, the world record holder in the 110 meter hurdles, and Olympic gold medalist at the same distance, has signed a sponsorship agreement with Nike. 


The Kenya Cross Country Trials were held last weekend. Justin Lagat, correspondent for the Running Network and Runblogrun, was there and this is how he saw the events: 

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Asbel Kirui Training Group, February 2012, Kenya, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

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Viktor Rothlin, 2011 Virgin London Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Viktor Rothlin is a long time elite marathoner who focuses on championship races. In 2006, he took the silver in the Europeans, in 2007, he took the bronze in the Worlds, and in 2008, he was sixth in the Olympics. 

In 2012, he ran a 2:08.32 and looks to be gaining his fitness back. It will be interesting to see how he fares in Lake Biwa on March 3.....
The Shoe Addicts caught up with Chris Brewer, the adidas Running Specialty Manager, at the recent launch for the adidas Energy BOOST in New York City on February 13, 2013. 

This is the third in a series of videos on the recent adidas Energy BOOST by the Shoe Addicts. Chris Brewer, a long-time player in the Run Specialty business, was hired less than two years ago by Mikal Peveto, GM/Director of Running for adidas America, to develop both relationships and products that would be respected in the run specialty culture. 

 As Mikal Peveto said recently,  and Chris Brewer noted in this video, the adidas Energy BOOST is a product that pushes both innovation and technology, which is key to success in the run specialty channel.
We are posting the digital issue of Athletes Only, with the Olympic Review. The design, I feel, is continuing to evolve. The cover, featuring Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix, is one of my favorites, and as the magazine is read in 204 countries, we felt that featuring the IAAF World Athletes of the Year was most appropriate. 

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 We humbly request that you pass around this issue to your friends, family and potential track fans. 150,000 high school, college and club athletes receive the print issues of the publication, and have since 1995. Athletes Only Watch for the next issue in April 2013.
Athletics, in the modern day, is sports entertainment. The London Olympics can attest to that. With 80,000 people in the evenings and 75,000 people in the morning sessions, Athletics in London showed that it can, with proper management and orchestration, compete with major televised sports around the world. 

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Mo Farah, 2011 NYC Half, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Virgin London Marathon announced last week that Mo Farah, 2012 Olympic double gold medalist, will run the first half of the Virgin London marathon in 2013 and the complete distance in 2014. This seems to have created some controversy. Note the column below from Toni Reavis, one our most articulate writers about the sport we love. 

My thoughts? From the marketing side, it is brilliant. From the purist side, I am even okay. I would be upset if he was running the second half, really. Truth is, marathon does not even start, in my mind until 30-35 kilometers anyway. Everything up to that distance is merely window-dressing. 

Mo Farah is a rock star in the UK. If Dave Bedford and Hugh Brasher can get more media exposure with such an approach, more power to them.

As you would surmise, Toni Reavis begs to differ. But then, dear readers, that is why we post his blogs! (Oh, please sign up for Toni's blogs, they are well written, thoughtful, and remind us of what our sport should be and could be.)
The adidas Energy Boost media day was February 13, 2013. adidas unveiled for the global media their most innovative technology in a generation. As Mikal Peveto, adidas GM/Director of Running noted to the Shoe Addicts, "Technology drives running. Innovation drives running." 

 The Shoe Addicts did this video to give you, our viewers, a feel of the launch. For more on the adidas Energy Boost, please check out www.adidas.com.
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Bernard Lagat, 2009 Nike Pre, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ironically, I was asking Coach Li about Bernard Lagat running the 10,000 meters just this past weekend. Coach was not real positive on that. The half marathon actually could be a fascinating event for Bernard Lagat. We will just have to wait until March 17, 2013 to find out! 
Renaud Lavillenie cleared 5.93m at the national championships on Sunday, giving him another World Lead. Lavillenie cleared 5.77m with two attempts, then one attempt on 5.87m. His clearance of 5.93m too three attempts and was greeted with wild applause. 

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Renaud Lavillenie, clearing 5.93m, 
courtesy of Fédération Française d'Athlétisme's website

adidas hosted a media launch for the adidas Energy Boost in New York City on February 13, 2013. The Shoe Addicts interviewed Mikal Pevato, GM/Director of Running in North America, a long time player in the performance running footwear wars. 

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Yohan Blake, at adidas Energy Boost media launch, 
February 13, 2013, 
photo courtesy of adidas communications


From this conversation, Mikal Peveto makes it quite clear what rules in performance running: "Technology drives Running. Innovation drives Running. For adidas running, the Energy Boost is our Derek Rose, our RGIII." noted Peveto. 

Watch for more video from the adidas Energy Boost launch. The global product launch is February 27, 2013. For more information, please go to www.adidas.com
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Spire Institute Indoor Facilty, photo courtesy by Spire Institute

David Hunter visited the Spire Institute to write about the Big East Indoor Championships last weekend. Here is his story about the battle for the meet championships. 

The team championships are won by putting together the best performances from those who can run, jump and throw. In the Big East, the winners needed help from performances on the track and the field....


Dathan Ritzenhein announced last week that he would be running the Bank of America Chicago marathon in the Fall of 2013, just like he did in 2012. His personal best of 2:07.47 gave him the proof that yes, he, Dathan could run a good marathon. He will also be running the Shamrock Shuffle, on April 7, 2013, also produced by the Bank of America Chicago marathon. 

After a year that included just missing the US marathon team, where he finished fourth, then, making US team at 10,000 meters, and then, a fine marathon in Chicago, Dathan Ritzenhein took some time off at the end of the year and is just rounding into shape. His second place at the US Club Cross Country Championships, after a battle with Chris Derrick, shows that he is on the right path for 2013. 


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Dathan Ritzenhein, 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, running his pb of 2:07.47,  
photo by PhotoRun.net


Dathan Ritzenhein is from the American heartland. Dathan Ritzenhein is devoted father and husband, and one of the best runners in the world. Ritz has juggled marriage, a family, and the ups and downs of being an elite athlete for over a decade (actually nearly 15 years since he came on the elite prep stage). I continue to enjoy our conversations and interviews. Dathan is a student of the sport. 

Dathan wants one more good season on the track, and yes, a pb in the 10,000 meters. His dream is to break 27 minutes, so that he could spend full time focused on the marathon. With his pb of 12:56.29, then an American record, and his half marathon pb of 60 minutes, Dathan Ritzenhein has breadth that others envy. Dathan has been coached by Alberto Salazar since 2009. 


We caught up with Dathan Ritzenhein as he was doing a media day in Chicago on Monday, February 18, 2013, as part of a pre marathon gathering and an event for two of his sponsors, Nike and Gatorade. 

Tomorrow, February 19, 2013, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon opens their registration at 12 p.m. Central Time.

We wish Dathan Ritzenhein the best of luck on October 13, 2013, as he and 40,000 of his closest friends in sport, run the streets of the Windy City, all hoping to put a great ending on what author John Parker (Once a Runner) called so eloquently: the Miles of Trials and Trials of Miles...
Justin Lagat sent me this columnn on February 12. On February 13, Moses Kiptanui, former world record holder, was quoted in Kenyan reports noting that drug use in Kenya was, and I quote, "rampant". 

I read Justin Lagat's report carefully. I agree with most of his assessments. I believe, that, unfortunately, like in all societies, that some athletes, and it is much smaller than Kiptanui asserts, are doping. That is the sadness about doping in sport. 

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Wilson Kipketer, David Rudisha, 2012 IAAF Gala, 
photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net/IAAF

Lagat asserts that most Kenyan's are too proud of their running to dope. I believe that makes sense. I also believe, that, like in other countries, some athletes look for short cuts. I do believe that it is a much smaller problem in Kenya than in many other countries. 

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Vivian Cheruiyot, February 2012, in Kenya, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Everyone seems to be looking for an easy answer to the domination of Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes in the distance races. I believe it is quite simple: the Kenyan athletes and Ethiopian athletes take pride in their running, work terribly hard and that there is such a strong group from which to choose, excellence is there. 

If one looks at London 2012, one notices the lessons learnt from Mo Farah and Galen Rupp, in particular. Athletes who focus on their events, train very hard, from Europe and America, have legitimate chances in the major world championships. 

It is also the reason why the Kenyan athletes are getting beat in major competitions. Some Kenyan athletes seem to be running for dollars, in some cases. Perhaps some are over trained. And perhaps, some are getting the wrong racing tactics. To be great in world championships and Olympics, one must focus on those events for most of one's career. 

This drug controversy, unfortunately, will get bigger before it gets smaller. In the end, the history and tradition of Kenyan athletics success in the distances will come through, and like in other countries, good coaches, athletes and supporters will be a huge part of the reason for their success. 

It will be interesting to see how more drug testing in Kenya will affect the sport in Kenya. 
Darvis Patton, all of 35, has miles to go before he retires. Working on his starts, Darvis, aka Doc Patton to his friends and fans, wanted a race. Well, his starts are sure looking good, as is the rest of his race. Running his pb after eleven years and a world leader for 2013, Darvis Patton shows that he is getting pretty fit! 

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Doc Patton, photo by PhotoRun.net

English Gardner, the young phenom from the land of Ducks, aka Universtiy of Oregon. Under the thoughtful eye of Coach Johnson, Gardner is an elegant sprinter. English had a strong start, and just flew down the track, knowing when to lean and take the win. 

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English Gardner, photo by PhotoRun.net

The 106th Millrose Games was an exciting and entertaining indoor track meet, which gives us two great indoor meets this season, so far, on the short, elite circuit. 

Now, on to Seattle for the Brooks PR invitational next weekend. 
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Aries Merritt, Colin Jackson, Lamine Diack, Renaldo Nehemiah, Harrison Dillard, photo courtesy of IAAF Communications, Barcelona, November 2012

At the Celebration of the Centenary of the IAAF, one of my favorite memories will be the press conference with some of the world's greatest hurdlers. Aries Merritt, the London gold medalist, and current AR, Colin Jackson, Olympic silver, 1988, former WR holder (1991), and six time WC medalist, Lamine Diack, President of the IAAF, the iconic Renaldo Nehemiah, HS record holder, former WR holder, now athlete manager , and Harrison Dillard, 1948 gold, 100m and 1952 gold, Olympics, in 110m hurdles, were all in Barcelona. The conversation was relaxed, brisk and fascinating. Harrison Dillard, all of 91, had the best comment about Aries Merritt, " Aries will break the World record once again."

That was agreed on by Colin Jackson and Renaldo Nehemiah as well! 

David Hunter caught up with Aries Merritt at the 2013 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. Hunter's story gives the reader insights into an athlete at the top of his game, Aries Merritt, both gold medalist and World record holder. 


The British Athletics Grand Prix, aka the AVIA International up until this year, was, as usual, a fantastic event. The biggest story of the night was not the ease with which Mo Farah won the 3,000 meters, but how fast Murielle Ahoure is running. Her 6.99 is a screamer! She beat Fraser-Pryce and Jeter in the final! 

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Murielle Ahoure, 2013 NBIGP, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

As I am writing this on Sunday afternoon, being stuck in Chicago due to the lovely missing aircraft, Renaud Lavillenie has jumped 5.93m in the pole vault, to take the World lead once again. 

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Renaud Levallenie, le roi de le pole vault, photo by PhotoRun.net

And, seriously, Doc Patton just kicked some butt last night in Millrose Games with his WL and PB of 6.50 in the 60 meters. At 31, he is really moving! Heck, at any age, 6.50 is moving! 

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The 106th version of the Millrose Games ended in the best possible fashion: a down to the finish battle between Lopez Lomong and Matthew Centrowitz, with the second and third fastest American indoor miles ever. Only the iconic Steve Scott has run faster indoors. 

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The Wanamaker Mile, 
photo by John Nepolitan/NBArmoryT&FCenter


Elliott Denman and I caught up just before the meet. My assignments are far from precise. I want to give my writers the freedom to write on subjects or themes that matter to them. So this one was: "Elliott, how about a big picture story, then two others in the week?"

The 106th edition in 106 lines, I like that. You will too. 
It is 10:48 PM EST, and the 150 media here is down to 30 hardcore. The meet is over, the signage is being taken down. Outside of the media area, Pascal Dobert, physio for Jerry Schumachers Nike Oregon TC group, and Jim Estes, USATF Event Manager, are chatting away as a few of us are trying to describe one of the most exciting meets that we have seen in a long time. 

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Mary Cain, photo by PhotoRun.net

While many will speak for weeks about Mary Cain's fantastic American high school record in the mile of 4:28.25, there were five other moments that I will share with you as well. Cain is the Mary Decker of her generation, but with better coaching, and much better focus. 

Bernard Lagat ran a gutty two mile, setting an AR of 8:09.50 with a last mile in 4:04, and a last lap in 59. Eric Sowinski surprised most with his 1:15.61 AR. Alysia Montano ran a brilliant AR, of 1:23.59 for the 600 meters, coming oh so close to the world record. And then, there was the men's mile, where five were together with three laps to go, and Lopez Lomong ran 3:51.21 for the win, with Matt Centrowitz in second , running 3:51.34!


Mo Farah will be running the first half of the Virgin London Marathon this year, on April 21, 2013, and then, in April 2014, he will be running the entire Virgin London Marathon as his marathon debut. 

Farah, the double Olympic gold medalist at 5,000m and 10,000m has run a very fast half marathon, and looks, to this writer to be built to run the marathon very fast. His debut will be one of the most celebrated sports events in the UK. 

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Mo Farah, NYC 2011 Half, photo by PhotoRun.net
The-Cold-Wait-102-145cm-sm.jpgIn addition to a shared passion for the sport of Athletics, my brother and I also share a love of the arts. It's amazing the similarities we recognize in athletes that are driven to surpass what was once imagined to be incapable of any human being and artists that strive to manifest visions that are seemingly incomprehensible to the average viewer. It inspires us and drives us forward in everything we do. In fact we've both dedicated our lives to shining a light on and supporting those individuals whom endeavor to achieve such acts of greatness.

If you're reading this post then you are already familiar with some of our work together through RunBlogRun.com, but I'd like to introduce you to ANNO DOMINI Gallery. It was founded in 2000 by my brother, Brian Eder, and his partner, Cherri Lakey, in the city of San Jose, CA the vastland of Silicon Valley. For nearly thirteen years now they've been presenting artists from all around the globe, often debuting many for the first time in the U.S. and like those that inspire our work here at RunBlogRun, risking it all for nothing more than a potential place in history.

I've included a copy of their latest newsletter for you to check out after the jump. I'd like to encourage you to sign up for it too and keep an eye on some great emerging talent they represent and to support their efforts however you can.

Creativity is a fascinating process. Observing the artist and the athlete has given me many great moments. Going to my brother Brian's and his partner Cherri's art openings are some of the highlight of my visits home to San Jose, CA several times a year. I believe that you will share this journey celebrating the creative process. The similarities between athletic achievement and artistic achievement are unbelievable. I hope you enjoy their newsletter and their site. 

Image credits: "The Cold Wait" by Joseph Loughborough, charcoal on paper, 2012
Exhibition:  Deciphering the Ash of Effigies, Joseph Loughborough (UK) solo exhibition at ANNO DOMINI Gallery, March 1-April 13, 2013  

The British Athletics Grand Prix has been one of the fixtures for UKA series for many years. I had attended it for seven straight years, until this year. Held in the NAI Stadium in Birmingham, it was one of the examples of the way to make an indoor track meet real sports entertainment. BBC covered the meet live and former meet director Ian Stewart insured that there was some truly compelling events in the schedule.

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Mo Farah, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Mike Rodgers won the 60 meter in 6.53 over a tough field. Murielle Ahoure won the women's 60m in a screaming 6.99 with Shelly Ann Frasier Price in second, Barbara Poore in third and 
Carmelita Jeter in fourth. 

Mo Farah kept the home crowd happy with his victory over 3000 meters in 7:42.00. Next weekend, he runs a half marathon in New Orleans for the RNR series. 

Holly Bleasdale kept her winning ways in the pole vault, as did Sharah Proctor in the long jump. 

More details to come, entire results posted below....
Howard Bloom is the editor of Sports Business News. His enewsletter and blog have been around for a decade. Howard Bloom has had a career that spans many areas of sport, including having been an agent for several of the top Canadian sprinters, aka when they kicked butt in 1996 in Atlanta. Howard and I catch up occasionally and if we spoke today, I would tell him, that he put the right spin and perspective on the Oscar Pistorius tragedy, citing a human tragedy of biblical proportions. 

Sports Business News is a tremendous newsletter and Bloom gets it. The newsletter is organized, with links to great pieces and a commentary. I highly recommend a subscription (www.sportsbusinessnews.com)

Today, Howard Bloom wrote about the Oscar Pistorius debacle. Bloom looks at the investment that not only Pistorius sponsors, but his fans, made into the Blade runner's rise as folk hero, idol, role model. All of that will go away, if the alleged charges by the South African police are found to be true. In the end, a beautiful young woman, Reeva Steenkamp, has been brutally murdered, and there is no going back from that.

I have met Oscar Pistorius several times over the years. I admired his self deprecation, his modesty, and his athleticism. Pistorius is a talented athlete, who pushed the bounds of human athleticisim. He could have given up, but he did not. Perhaps, as Coach Brooks Johnson wrote recently, that is part of the problem: in the arts, in the sciences and in sports, there is little separating  those who have great talents and those who have great torments. 

In speaking to many athletes, agents and keen observers of the sports world over the last few hours, the comment that came out over and over, is how over the top someone would have to be to shoot a person four times at close range. Really, no excuses for ending another's life in such a situation. Domestic abuse, domestic disturbances are still that silent crime that only comes out after a tragedy. How easy was it for journalists to find out about the domestic disturbance issues after the young women was murdered?  This happens across our country at a level that most of us hate to admit. It happens around the world, especially to women, at levels that are horrific. It is only when there is, unfortunately, celebrities involved, and handsome and pretty ones for that matter, that we hear about it on the news. 

The other comment that came from many was, alas, another sports hero has been destroyed. The typical following words are that the media has built them up, and that the athletes and their crew, group, friends thought that they were untouchable. 

I believe that it is much more complicated than that. Media is a 24/7 monster, and one must feed the beast. Some media outlets are better than others. One finds, from my experience, that many who get out the first story tend to loaded with factual mistakes. 

From Tiger Woods, to OJ Simpson, to Lance Armstrong, to now, Oscar Pistorius, the media world, and the sports world has given athletes pretty much free reigns. Charles Barkley is one of the few honest athletes in this regard: he told us almost two decades ago that he was not a role model. In that moment of clarity, despite Barkley's pretty colorful, post competitive life, he is still one of the most popular athletes in the world of sport.

I differ with Barkley in this regard. Perhaps athletes don't want to be role models, but, the fact is they are. I believe, that with college scholarships, million dollar contracts, and being in the eye of the world, this personality kultur kampf that gives us E entertainment, ESPN 1-46, and Sports Illustrated, athletes need to be held to a higher standard. 

Was it easier when Babe Ruth was playing baseball? When Mickey Mantle was playing baseball? Sure, there was less media outlets, and the mostly male sports writers did not write about sports stars indiscretions, well, until they were finishing said athlete's biography. 

Last night, I had dinner with a group of track athletes, who were relaxed, enjoying each others company, cracking jokes, and preparing for one of the most important track meets on the indoor circuit. A couple of us discussed Lance, Tiger, and now, Oscar. They were as disappointed as any fan. In the end, all in sports are hurt by the human tragedy that is Oscar Pistorius. 

At this time, Oscar Pistorius is in a South African jail, having given a response of not guilty, and awaiting a bail hearing. He is facing 25 years to life in South African jails, surely not a place any sane person wants to spend the better part of their life. But then, what snaps in one's head that allows them to put four bullets, one after another, through a bathroom door, into the one they had loved? As many of our readers can't, neither can I fathom such a situation. 

Life is over for Reeva Steenkamp. And, truly, life is over for Oscar Pistorius. He has now become a footnote in the all too familiar story of great sports stars who have not lived up to expectations, or who have broken basic human rules, like not murdering a spouse or significant other. 

For me, I can not get the picture of the pretty young woman, Reeva Steenkamp, out of my mind's eye. She had last tweeted on her account a few hours before her death, wondering what surprise she would have for Valentines' Day. 

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Brittney Reese, Stockholm DN Galan, 2012, 

photo by PhotoRun.net


Brittney Reese is a two time World Indoor Champion and two World Outdoor Champion. She is now, an Olympic champion as well. 


Watch Reese jump. With the athleticism of Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Reese uses her basketball talents to just not only out jump her competition, she out competes them as well. 


A last round big jump, like a last minute big throw or final lap, is the work of many hours of practice, and of taking a fearless approach to the event. Brittney Reese may be the long jumper, period, competing in our era. 


Elliott Denman wrote the following piece on the Queen of the Long Jump in 2012, and now 2013....


Here is our most recent updates on Oscar Pistorius, the Blade Runner. Jon Gugala is following the situation for Runblogrun.com. As one media observer reminded us this afternoon, it is important to not make a judgement as the situation is way too fluid at this point. Descriptions and situations have changed several times since the breaking of this terrible tragedy. 

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Menkov in full flight, Doha 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

Alexsandr Menkov is fit. And he is telling all of Europe, heck, all of the world that he is ready to soar. Already having jumped 8.22m and now, with his 8.18m on 14 February, Menkov has his aim on the European Indoor Champs, to be held in Goteborg, Sweden, March 1-3. 

Also, do not miss the Millrose Games this coming weekend! If you are not in the Armory, then watch it live in the evening! Jason Richardson, the Olympic silver medalist in the 110m hurdles, Alysia Montano, the fearless 800 meter runner, Matthew Centrowitz, last year's Millrose Mlle champ and the irrepressible Bernard Lagat, who will be working on returning the AR record for the indoor two mile to his list of records, will all be there. Nick Symmonds will be duking it out with Duane Solomon over the 600 meters and Jenn Suhr, our Olympic gold medalist in the pole vault, could hit some amazing heights! 

Congrats to Meet Director Ray Flynn, and Dr. Norb Sander, who saved the Millrose Games by taking a different approach, moving it to the " House that Norb built", the NB Armory T&F Center. 

I am truly looking forward to hearing the fans screaming and the track burning as we see some fantastic races on Saturday night! 

Elliott Denman covered the USATF announcement about their new sponsor, Neustar, and the .US National Road Racing Championships. While much is still up in the air, the direction that USATF is going, and the managing and development of their own events should be applauded. Stay tuned for future developments. 
An alert beeped on my phone about two in the morning on Wednesday. BBC.com was reporting that Oscar Pistorius, aka the Blade Runner, one of the most popular athletes in the world, was being held by South African Police on the charge of allegedly shooting his girlfriend. As the story has changed several times since it was first posted, we asked that Jon Gugala, one of our top writers, pull this story together, as it stands...watch for more developments. 

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Oscar Pistorious, photo by PhotoRun.net
The adidas Energy Boost product launch, held in New York City on February 13, 2013, was a huge success by any criteria. A strong turnout of media, with nearly 400 members from across the world, top athletes, and key players in the adidas Innovation team, and adidas running team. 

I have spent several hours in the adidas Boost and am quite impressed with the product. Cregg Weinmann, the RunningNetwork shoe guru, told RBR about the innovation that adidas put into effect with this new cushioning system. The RunningNetwork gave the adidas Energy Boost the Best New Shoe award for its Spring 2013 Shoe Review. 

adidas provided us with a highlight reel that we thought you might enjoy! 

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Renaud Lavillenie, photo by PhotoRun.net

Renaud Lavillenie, the gold medalist from London 2012, will be competing at the Nike Pre Classic on June 1, 2013, for the first time. He will be competing against silver medalist Bjorn Otto of Germany and bronze medalist Raphael Holzdeppe of Germany. The pole vault could be real battle! 

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Christophe Lemaitre, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Kim Collins, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Mike Rodgers, photo by PhotoRun.net

Mike Rodgers is on the winning run again, with a good win against Kim Collins and Christophe Lemaitre. Murielle Ahoure of the C'ote d'Ivoire has continued her winning ways, running a tres vite 7.06 for the 60 meters! 


I do remember running the LA Marathon in 1986, and it was fascinating. Bill Burke, the founder, was a man of some politcal power in LA and, after seven attempts, he started a marathon with some chance of success. Part of the reason it was successful was that he hired the NYRR to help make his dream a reality. The late Fred Lebow and Allen Steinfeld were involved and I do remember them telling me how much promise the LA Marathon had. 

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LA Marathon, courtesy of Kristin Burns/LAMarathon

The marathon was reborn several years ago, as a new sponsor, the former owner of the LA Dodgers, Mr. McCourt, put his deep pockets behind the event. The LA Marathon then developed one of the best social media communities (under the eye of Peter Abraham) in the marathon business. The new course also made runners very happy. 

Now, a third evolutionary process has come about. ASICS, who has been involved in the LA marathon for a few years is now the title sponsor! 

With ASICS involvement in New York and their title involvement in LA, they have what the late Fred Lebow spoke about nearly thirty years ago-the potential of the LA marathon and a fascinating tie in with New York. 

Stay tuned! 

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adidas launched their paradigm changing running product in style at the Jacob Javitts Center today, with 400 media from around the world, many of
adidas key players and Yohan Blake and Haile Gebrselassie. 

The Energy Boost is a new approach to cushioning, developed in conjuction with BASF. BASF? They make all kinds of products, including the surface on the track at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin, where athletes just flew. 

The Boost cushioning technology makes regular EVA obsolete. Boost technology works in warm and cold conditions and keeps its cushioning property for much longer than EVA materials. 

For adidas America, per Mikal Peveto, GM of adidas Running, the adidas Energy Boost will be the first product that they have focused on run specialty in some time, and 2013 will be a focused year around product geared to run specialty for adidas. 

Peveto was realistic. "adidas is the number two running brand in the world, but not in the US..We finally have a product that is running focused and will be seen positively by run specialty. We have spent the last couple of years putting together the channel services we needed to do, that was why we hired Chris Brewer. We want to grow this business." 

Well-organized, well-executed, the adidas launch is also a primer for how to launch a product to the media. Focused, well-presented materials, sample of products, multi-platform content available immediately after the presentation, and samples of the product ready for media to take out for a run or walk. This was a launch that just said global, but also showed the focus and professionalism that a global brand can, when motivated, bring to muster. 

Watch for digital reports from the Shoe Addicts, RBR digital partners and Cregg Weinmann, the RN footwear guru. RN gave the adidas Energy Boost a Best New Shoe for the RunningNetwork 2013 Spring Shoe Review. 

adidas has been called the Sleeping Giant by many in the performance running industry. The Energy Boost looks like a product that can finally showcase the strengths of the brand. 

More to come! 


Billy Mills is a unique individual in American Athletics history. He is the only American to ever win the Olympic gold medal at the 10,000 meter distance. Billy Mills, who has devoted his life to work with young Native Americans, is being recognized by President Obama with a Presidential Citizens Medal. 




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Tyson Gay, photo by PhotoRun.net

The adidas Grand Prix NYC is one of the best track meets in the world! With one Samsung DL meet on the West Coast (Nike Pre), and one on the East Coast (adidas GPNYC), the adidas GP NYC gives East coast track fans a superb opportunity to see some of the best athletes in the world compete! 

The adidas GP NYC last year gave us the opportunity to see Tyson Gay race for the first time in nearly a year. It also showed us how great of shape the Bernard Lagat was and gave us a preview of the battles between Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar. 

Tickets go on sale on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, so get your tickets early. This meet should not be missed. 

The adidas Grand Prix NYC will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2013! To buy tickets just  CLICK HERE !

The adidas Energy Boost, which is the winner of the Best Shoe in the Running Network Spring 2013 Shoe Review, is being launched on Wednesday, February 13, 2013. 

Word is that this is one of the largest launches adidas has ever done for a running product. 

As it is a global launch, Runblogrun, in conjunction with the RunningNetwork and the Shoe Addicts, will provide coverage of the event over the next several weeks. We will be interviewing several adidas spokespeople. 

We will be asking Cregg Weinmann, the RN running shoe & apparel reviewer, to opine on the adidas Energy Boost as well. 

There is a LIVESTREAM link for Wednesday's festivities below! 


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Check out how adidas is changing running forever on Wednesday, Feb. 13.  For those who can't attend, they can watch the event LIVE starting at 10:30 a.m. ET. at http://new.livestream.com/adidas/energyboost.  Follow the conversation at #Boost and @adidasUS.
 
adidas will redefine the future of running with a game-changing footwear innovation unveiled tomorrow morning. Join adidas executives and Jamaican sprinter and 100 meter world champion Yohan Blake and Haile Gebrselassie, 2-time Olympic Champion and one of the greatest runners of all time, for the innovation event that will pave the way for a whole new market segment in sports. 

Teddy McCook, president of the NACAC, former president of the JAAF has died, per TrackAlerts.com. Mr. McCook was 73. At the time of his death, McCook was a council member of the IAAF. He contributed much to Caribbean Athletics for more than fifty years, per TrackAlerts.com. More information follows below: 
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RunPro.com is an important resource. Team USA Minnesota started it, with a grand from USA Track & Field and now, the RRCA has acquired it, and will use it to help guide American distance runners from their local college or university club to the world of elite athletics! We applaud RRCA for supporting this site as part of their legacy, dating back to the 1950s, of providing opportunities for American distance runners to grow. 
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Harry Fry, Virgin London,

photo courtesy of David Wearn/Virgin London Marathon

Reposted January 11, 2017. Originally ran on February 3, 2013.

Just saw my friend Harry Fry. Harry and his team are part of the most amazing transport team in our sport. They have worked at New Balance Indoor, London, Houston, among others. There was the year that Harry met me as I got off my plane, and wisked me through Customs in London Heathrow. Harry and his team are examples of the amazing volunteers who give their time and energy to make these major sporting events run smoothly. Without people like Harry Fry and his team, our sport would be poorer.

I wanted to give you, dear readers, some insight to what goes on behind the scenes in major events. In my mind, in Global Transport, the man is Harry Fry, who has developed his team and truly written the book on how to develop a transport and hospitality program. That Harry Fry does it for the Virgin London Marathon is no surprise. Virgin London is a professionally run event with a professional team, Global Transport is part of that success.

So, I had just gotten off the plane for the London marathon this year (April 2012), and I walked into the Customs line and saw that it was a nightmare. I estimated it at 2 hours plus. Having read the FT.com story on the sad state custom lines into London's Heathrow Airport, I was praying that Harry Fry, the king of global transport and head of Virgin London Marathon transport, would somehow find me and wisk me out of the line.

The year before, in 2011, I had just grabbed my bags and as I left the plane I heard, "Hi Larry!" and there, in his red shirt and white shorts stood the man who knows Heathrow better than any human alive! Harry Fry was at the plane's front door! Harry and I chatted as he whisked me through Heathrow, through Customs (five minutes) and off to a coffee and then the train to Victoria Station.
Transport drivers? Harry leaves nothing to chance. In his driving team are London policeman and women, people who know the city of London and how to keep the elite athletes of London Marathon safe and out of really bad traffic.
But that was 2011, and this was 2012. It was an Olympic year, surely there are limitations to a man who has run London Marathon transport since 1998, when his friend David Bedford asked Harry to help on the transport system for elite and VIPS for the marathon.
I hit 35 events a year and can honestly say that there is no one like Harry and his team. I see him in the Global Athletics events in Boston and NYC as well and Harry gets the job of transporting people from airport to hotel to airport with dignity and some humor.
His team is amazing. They know their way around and after an all night flight, one just wants to get to a nice room and crash. Harry gets that.
So, back to my story from April 2012. I am standing in line with my son, Adam and all of a sudden,we hear, " Oh Larry?". Standing in customs is the man in the red shirt and white shorts, Harry Fry. He gets us through customs in two minutes-not an exaggeration.
In my mind, one of the things that makes the Virgin London marathon so incredible is their attention to detail. Having Harry Fry as the King of Global Transport, a unique situation in the marathon business, makes all the difference after traveling halfway around the world! I now see Harry at several events each year and know that his expertise, earned over a decade of experience, is part of what makes these events stand out.
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Harry Fry and his London Transport team,

photo courtesy of David Wearn/Virgin London Marathon

Harry and his team work on the New Balance Indoor GP, adidas GP NYC and Harry will be working at the City of LA Marathon.
I did an interview of Harry Fry last April, regarding their unique program at the Virgin London Marathon and had in my saved file. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoy Harry Fry and his team!

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Usain Bolt,
 photo by PhotoRun.net

The 2013 season is starting to roll. Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake ran their first races of the year, the 400 meters. They ran 46.74 and 46.77 respectively.

Just found out that USA Track & Field is announcing a new sponsor and new meet for Wedensday, February 13. On the same day, we will be also showing a new product launch from adidas! 

The week will be getting busy! Then, on Saturday, February 16, 2013, the Millrose Games will be the second elite event of the US indoor series. 

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Yarislay Silva, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Holly Bleasdale, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Renaud Lavillenie, photo by PhotoRun.net

Another crazy fun weekend of track and field. Indoors and outdoors. Andy Bumbalaugh runs a nice mile, edging Evan Jager, with Don Cabral there also, in UW. Wallace Spearmon runs a 20.71 for 200 meters, as he focuses on the 400 meters. 

Yargelis Silva jumps 4.76m, tying the WL of Jenn Suhr from the week before, when Suhr jumped 4.76m. MInutes later, Holly Bleasdale cleared 4.77m and then, tried at 4.90m.

Le roi de pole vault, Renuad Lavillenie won in Donetsk in 5.85m, as he continues his world tour of jumping. 
The Europeans are starting show some strong performances as they prepare for the European Indoor champs in Goteborg, Sweden, March 1-3. Lerone Clarke ran 6.52 for 60m and Jimmy Vicaut ran 6.53 for the 60m in the same race in Dusseldorf! 

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Jimmy Vicuat, photo by PhotoRun.net
I knew of him long before I met him. Da Whiz, aka Dwayne Peanut Harms, as already an iconic figure in Northern California running circles by the time I started seeing him at track meets, road races and watering holes that shall remain nameless. 

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Peanut Harms

As I began publishing magazines, I would see Nut as Reebok's team manager, where he put together a frighteningly successful team and program: too bad Reebok had no clue what they had created. Nut has built up several companies in the team business, and now, at VS Athletics, he has found his home.  The creativity, the focus, and the business acumen of Mr. Harms, who, understands footwear, apparel and how the team business should not be underestimated. 

In my mind, team apparel biz and team footwear biz, the giants are Peanut Harms, Freddy Doyle and Jan Johnson. The interaction with their clients, the long time relationships make those three amazingly successful. The funny thing is, it takes alot of work, and these three don't want to let anyone think that what they do it work. But, like a four minute miler, managing the team business is complicated, and while few have been successful, many have totally screwed it up. 

One of the things that makes Billy Smith a strong CEO is that he understands Peanut Harms. The sign of a great manager, someone once told me, is that they hire people who do the jobs they don't and do them better than they could, and allow them to flourish. One sees that in successful team businesses, but it is easier said than done. 

Peanut's magnum opus is the VS SuperClinic AND his events around the USA Championships. The 2012 Olympic Trials gatherings were fantastic. Again, a chance to meet with coaches, sponsors, athletes and speak about the sport we love and business we love. 

As the commissar of fun, a high school coach, a father of amazingly talented young woman, a husband, and a man who understands, better than just about anyone in the country, the need for team business to interact with coaches year round, Peanut Harms is an expert in this business.

This weekend, for example, February 8-9, 2013, Peanut Harms is in Milwaukee at one of the biggest, definitely, in my opinion, the best coaches clinic, the Wisconsin Coaches Association Clinic. 

The two questions that Peanut focused on below should be savored. In this modern world, to communicate with your clients, ipads, iphones, androids, social media are all important, but relationships are what counts. Without relationships, and trust, all of the modern communication tools are absolutely worthless. 

Oh, and I love and respect this man. He has helped me and advised me over the years, with a smile and a laugh. 
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Jesse Williams, Brooks Sports, Marketing Manager, in a pensive mood, 
photo courtesy of Brooks Sports

We sent the questions out to several of the sports marketing managers at various brands. Jesse Williams, who oversees the Brooks Running initiatives, from the Brooks Hanson Original Distance Project to the Brooks PR Invitational.

We wanted to see how he sees the sport, and perhaps, how he would approach the challenges we have in our sport.....
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Usain Bolt, 
photo by Photorun.net

One of the issues over the past few years has been that Usain Bolt would not race in the UK due to their ability to scoop up too many pounds sterling, in his mind, when he competed. Now comes Chancellor George Osbourne, who has agreed to a tax amnesty to non UK athletes who come to London and compete in the London GP this coming summer. Hats off to the Chancellor, as he has, with a little creativity, worked his magic on increasing the number of world class athletes in the London GP this coming summer! 

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Ian Stewart, photo courtesy of Athletics Weekly

Ian Stewart, the former head of UK Endurance and manager of UKA athletics meetings, has taken a consultancy with Nova International, the premier producer of major road races, swims and bike events in the UK. 
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Billy Smith, VS Athletics, photo courtesy of VS Athletics

Last Friday night, I was sharing an adult beverage in the Scolas Bar in Boston with Billy Smith, CEO of VS Athletics. Billy and I had been sharing war stories, talking about our families, friends and the sport. 

I had sent Billy some interview questions a few weeks ago, wanting to have him tell the story of how VS Athletics was the merging of two different companies, and how he and his partners had melded the positives to make a better company. There are lessons for all of us in this one. 

I am also fascinated with the making of shoes, and Billy Smith and his team took a huge gamble and made their own throw shoes, which you will see here and which VS is advertising on runblogrun.com and our partners at the RunningNetwork.com.

Biggest lesson: Our sport is still, thank God, about relationships. Companies such as VS Athletics are at clinics, track meets and expos, drumming up business, but most of all, supporting the sport. 

Billy Smith is a southern boy, through and through. A good heart, with a good sense of business, and the knowledge that he has great partners, goes a long way in putting VS Athletics on the road to strong success. 
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Usain Bolt, Golden Gala Roma, DJ, May 2011, 
photo by Photorun.net

Usain Bolt transcends athletics, that is what the pundits say. Well, for once, the pundits are right. We found this little gem, distributed by the global communications team at Nissan, on Bolt and Nissan setting a Guinness WR based on the size of the indoor advert, which measured a scintillating 174 square meters! 

Paul O'Neill, VP of Guinness World Records told the videographer that Guinness had measured the advert both by hand and laser, and confirmed the ad size. Roel De Vries, Global Marketing, Senior VP of Nissan noted that Nissan enjoyed their association with Mr. Bolt and also that they like to stand out in their advertising campaigns. 

We continued to be impressed at just how many sponsors fall in love with Mr. Bolt. Usain Bolt does transcend athletics, and global marketers get it.
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Boston University Track & Tennis Center will be empty February 8-9, 2013, 
photo courtesy of Boston University

Meteorologists warned of 24-30 inches of snow in the New England area. Boston University cancelled its popular Valentine Invitational earlier today due to the weather threat. Now, athletes are scambling and centers such as the New Balance Armory T&F Center in NYC are being avalanched with athletes needing an indoor facility to race! 

Jon Gugala sent us this exclusive piece this afternoon on the how the cancelled meet is affecting some athletes looking for a qualifier for the USATF Indoor Champs. 
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American Track & Field is the largest coaching magazine (print and digital versions) in North America. Focused on track & field, cross country, race walking and road racing, American Track & Field is controlled circulation, with subs going only to head high school, college and club cross country, track coaches and athletic trainers. If you would like to renew your subscription, please go to www.american-trackandfield.com

The XC Yearbook is a project that we do with Walt Murphy, publisher of XCountry XPress. For the past dozen or so years, we provide an issue with all of the major results from the previous season. In 2012, James Dunaway, our editor, thought it would be more useful to provide the results from the just finished season, so this includes all up to the FootLocker XC championships in December 2012. 

 We hope that you like the issue. If you would like copies of American Track & Field or Athletes Only for an event, give us a month's notice, and send your full address, with date needed to larry@runningnetwork.com, with subject line, copies of ATF, AO, and we will provide what we can.

Special thanks to James Dunaway, AT&F editor, Walt Murphy, XCountry XPress, Kristen Cerer, designer and Alex Larsen, production. Digital issues are processed by Chuck Bartlett, Web Editor, Runningnetwork.com



Statement From USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart Regarding Today's Deadline

Colorado Springs, Colo. (February 6, 2013)

"We have been in communication with Mr. Armstrong and his representatives and we understand that he does want to be part of the solution and assist in the effort to clean up the sport of cycling. We have agreed to his request for an additional two weeks to work on details to hopefully allow for this to happen."

USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.

CONTACT:
Annie Skinner, Media Relations Manager
Phone: (719) 785-2046

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Lance Armstrong, 2006 ING NYCM, photo by www.PhotoRun.net


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John Mwangangi, Lisbon 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net 



The story this week from Justin Lagat concerns the training camp established to determine the Kenyan World Cross Country team for the World Cross Country Championships, to be held in Poland March 23, 2013...

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Mutasz Barshim, 2011 WC, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Mutasz Barshim, 2012 Olympic Games, photo by PhotoRun.net 

Mutasz Barshim continues to amaze. With an ailing back, Barshim cleared 2.15 meters and 2.30 meters on his first attempts. On his third attempt at 2.36 meters, Mutasz Barshim cleared 2.36 meters. The bar was jiggling, but it stayed, and for the need of a strong final attempt, Barshim had his victory.

The high jump is a strange but wonderful event. As in both vertical jumps, one jumps until one misses. Three attempts, oh, those three attempts. We in the crowd watch in anticipation, as our favorite jumper takes his or her mark and proceeds to run, and with one explosive move, change horizontal movement to vertical movement. I still think the high jump is magical. 

For Barshim, he is showing that his talents are there, and with some health, he could be one frightening high jumper. 
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Adam Nelson, 2012 NB indoor GP, 

Billy Smith, manager at VS Athletics, sent this video to me. Adam Nelson talks about the Saucony Unleash shot put shoe. 

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Saucony Unleash, 
photo courtesy of Saucony communications

Adam Nelson is one of the best shot putters in American history. In World Championships competiton, Nelson was silver medalist in the 2000 Olympic Games. In World Championships in 2001 and 2003, he was also silver medalist! In the 2004 Olympic Games, he was the silver medalist, but it looks now, that he will be named gold medalist due to a drug positive for the other competitor. 

In 2005, Adam Nelson took the gold medal in the World Championships and in 2007, added another silver medal to his World Championships haul. Seven medals in World and Olympic championships! His best throw of 22.51 meters, or 73-10.25 was from 2002. Most impressive is that he won his first US Outdoor title in 2000 and won again in 2011! Pretty impressive. 

Adam Nelson also understands that sports is, entertainment. His approach to competition, and his craft, has garnered him a very popular place in track fans' hearts! 

Nelson has been and is, a student of the sport. He loves his event and thrives on competition. This is a rather unique video, allowing a shot putter to wax poetically about the quality of this new shoe from Saucony. For more information on the shoe, we suggest visiting VS Athletics at www.VSathletics.com.
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ASICS New York City Marathon signage, 2011, photo courtesy of ASICS 

ASICS showed strong growth, in running and tennis footwear, in q3 for 2012, with 10.2 sales increase. The running performance business continues to grow, and brands who focus on this segment of the business are showing strong growth. ASICS is an example of that need to focus on their core businesses. 
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Tyson Gay from Summer 2010 Spikes UK cover, courtesy of IAAF and Haymarket, Ltd.

Tyson Gay is healthy once again, and is looking to set personal bests at the 100 meters, 200 meters, but first, lets get that 400 meter personal best in the early Spring! That will be fun to watch. Tyson has had some tough years since 2007, but this past year was tremendous, and we look forward to seeing Tyson Gay at one hundred percent! Read the article at www.athleticsweekly.com 
I asked Dave Hunter to write a piece about the 2013 New Balance Indoor Games, and he did it with relish. The following piece gives you another man's view of what I see as the official starting place of the 2013 Indoor elite season. The problem is, there have so many amazing performances this season, in a season where many of the top athletes in the world are staying at home, waiting for Moscow. 

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Mary Cain, 2013 NB Indoor Grand Prix, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The 18th version of the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix showed once again how much fun a well run, well produced track meet can be. Built around a small group of elite athletes, the races were competitive and the performances were heartfelt. 

After the race, I was fortunate to join David and his buddies for a nice dinner and much track geek talk. An enjoyable meal with friends provided a worthy ending to a fine track meet. 

The TV broadcast the next day, I must say was one of the best I can EVER remember. The team of Tim Hutching, Dwight Stones, Lewis Johnson and Ato Boldon. The show was able to focus on the competition, with real time spent on the distance races. Considerations on the sprints and the field events were given. 

One of my longest friends, a keen observer of the sport and someone who gives infrequent complements said this, " That NB broadcast was the best track meet I have seen on TV in ages." 


Brooks continues to build their lead in the performance running business. A very astute business leader once told me, that in order to be successful, you must have on eye on the present and another eye on the future. 

Brooks Sports, Inc. is planning for its future and is fine tuning its management responsibilities for future growth. 

In this, the most competitive area in running, Brooks Sports, Inc. has the largest bulls eye on its back as they continue to hold the number one performance running brand position in run specialty. 

In this channel, consistently making great product is key, but also, sales, customer service truly focused on service is a must or you do not survive. 

Brooks gets that. 
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Justin Lagat put this column together on Lornah Kiplagat last week. Lornah has now joined the media and will be doing a weekly column. Here is what Justin found out! 

The Spire Institute is one of the most impressive facilities that I have ever seen. I visited the facility in March 2011, along with the Shoe Addicts, and did a video on Spire, and Michael Johnson. 

David Hunter visited SPIRE and was struck by its promise and goals. Here is his piece on the Spire Institute! 

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SPIRE Institute, Indoor facility, photos courtesy of SPIRE Institute


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Renaud Lavillenie, 1/4, 2013 Reno Pole Vault Summit, 

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Renaud Lavillenie, 2/4, 2013 Reno Pole Vault Summit, 
photo by www.photorun.net 

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Renaud Lavillenie, 3/4, 2013 Reno Pole Vault Summit, 

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Renaud Lavillenie, 4/4, 2013 Reno Pole Vault Summit, 
photo by www.photorun.net 

Renaud Lavillenie is the gold medalist from the 2012 London Olympics. He won a pole vault competition where he was challenged by the best vaulters in the world. In this day and age, the best male vaulting country is Germany, in terms of depth, consistency and technique. 

Lavillenie is becoming a global superstar. He speaks fluent French and English, which gives him access to much of the world's media. He is savvy enough to know when and how to promote his main sponsor, Nike. Remember, after the 2011 Euro Indoors, when Lavillenie tied his shoes around his neck, with the French flag in the background? Lavillenie gets it.
Sports is entertainment. 

Renaud Lavillenie competed in the US at the Reno US Pole Vault Summit. The US Pole Vault Summit, which was started around 1993, is the largest pole vault only event in the world. Lavillenie put himself in front of the next generation of American vaulters, coaches and vault fans. 

This was a good thing for the vault in the US. 


This Boston-London Wheelchair Challenge is a great idea! Wheelchair competitors who compete on April 15 and 21, 2013 will be able to race for an additional $35,000 in prize money! Boston and London should be congratulated on this idea! 


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2012 Virgin London Marathon, photo by www.PhotoRun.net

The Virgin London Marathon is one of the most iconic of all global marathons. Like many of the other areas that London leads, not follows, one must consider the wheelchair traditions. London gives the wheelchair racing community tremendous coverage and respect. Here is the release on the elite wheelchair field in the 2013 Virgin London marathon. 
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Mo Aman, 2012 London, 800 meters, 
photo by www.PhotoRun.net 

Mohammed Aman, the last man to defeat David Rudisha just ran the third fastest 600 meters of all times, 1:15.60, which is also the WJR. Mutasz Barshim cleared 2.37m, a new world leader in the high jump. 

Both of these performances were done at the Russian Winter meeting, in Moscow earlier today, February 3, 2013. Holly Bleasdale vaulted 4.75m, the second highest jump of the year, after Jenn Suhr's 4.76m clearance in Boston last night. 
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Holly Bleasdale, 

The Russian Winter Meeting, held in Moscow each year in the early February, always give us some fast times. This year, Mohammed Aman won the 600 meters in a new WJR. Holly Bleasdale cleared 4.75m, the second highest vault in 2013 (Jenn Suhr cleared 4.76m last night in Boston). 
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New Balance Indoor GP 3,000m, 

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Jenn Suhr, 2013 NB Indoor Grand Prix, 

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Mary Cain, Two Mile HSR, 

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Bernard Lagat, 2012 World Indoors, 

Great meets in Karlsruhe and Boston on Saturday. Five WLs in Karlruhe and three WLs plus a WJR at 3,000 meters in Boston. Add that to track meets galore and RBR friend Collis Birmingham sets Australian record over the half marathon, what a weekend! 

Mary Cain's third best for high school girls in less than a month. First the 3000 meters, then the mile (and 1,500m). But last night, her two mile race showed a maturity of racing and level of relaxation that was exciting to watch. Her post event interview showed a young women poised beyond her years! 


Ian Stewart, the man who spent the last 20 years developing the major British track meets and the last four years mentoring UK distance runners as UK Head of Endurance has left UKA,  per the release dated February 2, 2013. 

Ian Stewart was one of the great ones in British distance running in the late 1960s and 1970s. The European 5,000m champion in 1969, the Commonwealth champion in 1971 and the Olympic bronze medalist at 5,000 meter, Stewart was also a World Champion in the World Cross. Stewart was a tough and gutty runner. Stewart loved the sport as he has devoted most of his adult life to British athletics. 

Many know that Ian Stewart had devoted the last twenty years of his life to growing the sport in the UK but also the world. Like Brendan Foster, David Bedford, Alan Pascoe, Ian took his athletic experience and worked to make the sport a better sport.

Since 2006, I was lucky enough to visit the UK and observe most of the major meetings that UKA produced. Ian Stewart's hands and heart were in much of that. From orchestrating fantastic fields in races, to giving young Brits and Americans chances to not only develop as an athlete, but also to make a pay day that allows them to develop, Ian Stewart crafted a more modern sport. 

In my mind, the BBC broadcasts of the former AVIVA series were some of the best TV coverage of our sport that I have ever seen. Ian Stewart got it. He was so proud of how well presented and prepared his staff was in managing these events. I found lessons at each event, and when I asked Ian Stewart for his views, it may have been indelicate at times, but it was honest and enlightening. 

I also watched what Ian did, not just what he said. He always had time for young athletes, and even, and I do not know how he did this, put up with the Prefontaine fans who would venture up to him in Eugene, and say, " We know who you are and what you did." To this day, I believe Ian considers his 1972 Olympic final one of his lesser competitions. Why? Because he did not live up to the standards he had set for himself. Ian Stewart is harder on himself than anyone else. 

Four years ago, Ian Stewart, at the request of Neils de Vos, mentored UK endurance. Using his experience and the experience of his mates, Brendan Foster, David Bedford, Wendy Sly, Ian worked to provide better training venues, coaching relationships and racing opportunities for British distance runners. As a former world class athlete, Stewart understood the training and support needed to develop. He was instrumental in helping Mo Farah begin his work with Alberto Salazar. Stewart was a student of the sport, and he took pride in the performances of British athletes. In Daegu, Ian took pride in Mo Farah's development and was supremely confident of Mo taking the double in London. The night before the 10,000m in London 2012, I received a note, " Saw Mo's workouts last week, he is ready." 

I am personally disappointed to see Ian Stewart leave UKA, now British Athletics. His legacy in both making British athletics meetings great sports entertainment and providing opportunities for British athletes (and American athletes) should not be underestimated. UKA seems to going through many changes at once, one wonders how they will accomplish all that they have put on their list of changes. 

Ian Stewart is a talented coach, media producer and marketer. He has provided huge positives for the sport of athletics in the UK. I look forward to seeing what he does for his next projects! 


The 2013 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix has delivered great experiences for eighteen years now. As I stood on the infield of the Reggie Lewis track, after the meet, I witnessed Alberto Salazar's Nike Oregon project working out. Repeat 200 meters, I saw Centro go 24.1 and Galen Rupp go 24.9. One of my keen observers put a clock on Galen Rupp in a 400 meters and watched him run 51 point. 

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Mary Cain, 2013 NB Indoor GP, 

And that was AFTER the meet. 

The 2013 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix entertained the SRO crowd, the TV broadcast on ESPN 2 on Sunday was well done and New Balance gave the sport something that they really did not have to do: provide an opportunity for some of our sport's great stars to brightly shine on the 200 meter indoor track that makes the NB Indoor Grand Prix hum! 
The 2012 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, MA, was a success for the 18th time on Saturday night, February 2, 2013. A World Leader in the women's pole vault, 4.76m by Jenn Suhr, a World leader for two miles, 9:13.17, by Tirunesh Dibaba. A seventeen second destruction of the twenty-two year of American girls' high school record, by Mary Cain, as she ran 9:38.68 and took third in the elite race! 

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Hagos Gebrhiwet, Galen Rupp, 3,000m, 2013 NB Indoor Grand Prix, 

On the men's side, there was a great mile race, with Matt Centrowitz holding off Will Leer in a hotly contested race. In the final race, the men's 3,000 meters, Hagos Gebrhewit dropped a fast 200 meters at 2,000 meters and while Galen Rupp came back over the final 200 meters, Gebrhewit ran 7:32.87, which we believe is a new WJR. (Isiah Koech ran 7:32.89, the current WJR).

The men's 3,000 meters was a World leader, and we believe it was also an All-comers record. We are checking on the WJR and ACR. 
The IAAF Indoor Permit meeting in Karlsruhe, Germany today had some WL and great performances. 

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Bernard Lagat, World Indoor 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

Bernard Lagat ran 7:34.71, a world leader, for 3,000 meters, running away from Yanew Alimerew of Ethiopia over the last three laps and putting four seconds on his pursuer. 

Genzeba Dibaba, who spent much of 2012 with injuries, came back strong and run 4:02.25 for the 1,500 meters, a world leader.

Meseret Defar ran 8:35.28 for the 3,000 meters, winning her event. 

Some great clashes, including the Spaniard, Lopez over Poland's 800m ace,  Kzszcot.

Full results below! 
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Tirunesh Dibaba, running at Boston, 2010, photo by Photorun.net


Whatever  you call her, Tirunesh, the Baby Faced-Assassin, you have to give Tirunesh Dibaba much respect. In 2008, she took gold in the 10,000m and 5,000 m. In 2012, she took gold in the 10,000m and bronze in the 5,000m. When she burst on the scene as an 18 year old, the kick was evident. Now, the kick, her ability to get on her forefoot and just fly over the last 400, 300 or 200 is a site to behold.

The meet record in New Balance Indoor is 9:10.50, and Tirunesh wants to own that. The world record is 9:06.26, and Tirunesh could be within striking distance of that mark. Whatever the time, know this: the five thousand fans in the Reggie Lewis will be on their feet cheering her on, and then watching where Mary Cain is going to put the High School American record for the two mile! 

The race is at 7:33 PM tonight. If you are not in Boston, watch the meet live stream at ESPN3.com from 6-8 pm and tomorrow at ESPN2 from 2-4 pm, both Eastern time zone! 


Look at the subject line today. Athletes such as Shalane Flanagan, Matt Tegenkamp, Dathan Ritzenhein, Kim Conley and Deena Kastor have shown up at the 2013 USATF Club Cross Country championships, in my old stomping grounds of St. Louis, Missouri, to race today. This is just another example of the footwear brands' support for the sport, and how it impacts each and every part of the sport. 

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Shalane Flanagan, 2010 USA XC, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

At the same time, New Balance is sponsoring the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, now in its 18th year, at the Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury, MA. Whether it be track & field, cross country, road racing, the major brands put in over $100 million into running infrastructure each and every year in the U.S. 

And how do we take the sport to the next level? We do it with recognizing the support the footwear brands give us, and finding someone, a global brand, who sees the benefits of sponsoring a sport that could cut our health care costs, stop obesity in its tracks and provide great stories and competiton about people who run, jump and throw. 

The challenge? To change our sport, to build it to a true global brand will cost real money. How do global brands justify that? That is the challenge.
The 2012 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix Press conference went well this morning. Galen Rupp, Dejan Gebremeskel, Don Cabral and Andy Baddeley were on the panel. 

 Galen Rupp looks relaxed and confident. He has run a 3:57.15 mile and a 3:50.92 mile last weekend. Rupp went home to Portland "to be with my wife and work on my speed." He admitted that the mile was giving him confidence and that he want to run fast. Rupp is ready to roll, and I mean AR (7:32.43, Bernard Lagat) roll. 

 Dejan Gebremeskel is the Olympic silver medalist in the 5,000 meters. " Last time I ran 3000 meter here, I ran with one shoe. I will keep both shoes on (smiles)." Later, Dejan tells RBR that he wants the meet record of 7:34. " I will break the meet record." 

 Alberto Salazar, Galen's coach had told me last weekend, via text, that he was hoping for a fast pace. I believe that Rupp and Gebremeskel will take it out hard and see who can hold on at the end. With two Olympic silver medalists in the race, this could be fascinating!

Don Cabral is a well-spoken distance runner. " I have never run this fast this early in the season...I come at the steeple from a position of strength. I am more worried about a guy with 5k experience than a guy with 1,500 meter experience..I want to make a statement on the world stage, I am looking forward to running fast! " 

Andy Baddeley loves racing in the US. "The crowds here are much different than in the UK. The crowds here are louder and get into the races." Baddeley is fit, and he could be a real factor in any race he commits to run. 

Watch for more to come this evening! 

The 2013 New Balance Indoor Games is from 5-8 pm on Saturday, February 2, 2013. The meet will be shown live on ESPN3.com, 5-8 pm EST and also on ESPN 2 on Sunday, February 3, 2013, with a rebroadcast slightly different from the live show. 

The 2013 indoor season should explode this weekend, with meets in Boston, NYC, Karlsruhe, Gent, among others. Watch for screaming 3000 meter races in Boston and Karlsruhe, and a pole vault in Boston, will be among the events that we read about on Sunday and Monday. 

And remember, you can watch the meet LIVE on ESPN 3 on Saturday! 

Jenn Suhr, 2011 NB Indoor Grand Prix, photo by PhotoRun.net
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