Flanagan, Tegenkamp, Ritz, Conley, Kastor at USA Cross Country Club Championships, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

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. 

Thumbnail image for Flanagan_Shalane-USxc10.jpg
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.




UDINE (ITA): Italian sensation of the indoor season Alessia Trost is not having a heavy schedule now before the European Championships in Goteborg where she will travel as one of the favorites. After great jumping at Moravia High Jump Tour she has only two competitions until Goteborg. The international meeting of Gent on February 10 and national championships in Ancona on February 16-17.



LYON (FRA): European sprint champion Christophe Lemaitre will open his season this weekend at club meeting in Lyon running the 60 m and 200 m. He returned from a training camp in Montegordo, Portugal. His first top race is planned for Dusseldorf on February 8 against Lerone Clarke of Jamaica.







ROME (ITA): Changes in Italian Federation FIDAL under the new leadership. As FIDAL website informs Luigi D´Onofrio returns as meeting director of the Golden Gala Samsung Diamond League meeting. D´Onofrio will be also head of a new company FIDAL Servizi. The former director Anna Riccardi will be dealing with sporting, technical and organizational issues within the federation. It is expected that a new general secretary will be named.


BRATISLAVA (SVK): The 8th edition of CSOB Bratislava Marathon planned for March 24 changed its course and is going for a faster one in the city center and one of suburbs with lot of inhabitants. The organisers are expecting not only improvement of course records but also more spectators around the course. The fastest so far 2:19:42 by Vasil Remshchuk of Ukraine since 2008 should go into history books.


BYDGOSZCZ (POL): Promotion of IAAF World CC Championships is running high. In the volunteers department 270 people have been recruited. Expected participation is 640 runners from 53 countries. Around 60 TV stations around the globe are expected to take the signal. Next important visit in Bydgoszcz is planned for February 7-10 from legendary Kenyan runner and IAAF ambassador Paul Tergat. The Championships will be also promoted during the indoor meet Pedros Cup held in Bydgoszcz on February 12.







BOSTON (USA): New Balance Indoor Grand Prix will see Tirunesh Dibaba at 2 miles, Galen Rupp in the 3000 m against strong Ethiopians and olympic winner Jenny Suhr in the pole vault.


ARNSTADT (GER): The traditional Hochsprung mit Musik in Arnstadt is this year having in men category mainly Russian jumpers with Aleksey Dmitrik, Aleksandr Shustov and mainly olympic winner Ivan Ukhov. On the women side European affair as olympic winner Tia Hellebaut opens her season against Ruth Beitia and Irina Gordeyeva.


KARLSRUHE (GER): The INDOOR Meeting of Karlsruhe (IAAF Permit) has as top goal first and last duel before Goteborg between Renaud Lavillenie and Bjorn Otto in the pole vault. Also to note Meseret Defar in the 3000 m, top Africans against Bernard Lagat in men 3000 m, Mahiedine Mekhisi in the 1500 m, Verena Sailer vs Ivet Lalova in women 60 m and top long jump clash Christian Reif with Sebastian Bayer.


MONDEVILLE (FRA): French series continues here on Saturday with top 60 m duel Mike Rodgers vs. Jimmy Vicaut and season leader Yunier Perez of Cuba. Legendary Felix Sanchez runs again the 400 m hurdles. Ethiopian Abiyot Abinet will for sure aim for a fast 3000 m.


MOSCOW (RUS): Russian Winter offers plenty of interesting names on Sunday (IAAF Permit). Dwain Chambers against Kim Collins in the 60 m, Timothy Kitum vs. Mohamed Aman (and Yuriy Borzakovskiy) in the 600 m, Mekonen Gebremedhin in the 1500 m, world leader Kevin Craddock against top Russian Sergey Shubenkov, world leader Mutaz Barshim in the high jump. Briton Chris Tomlinson faces strong opposition in the long jump. On the women side Ukrainian Mariya Ryemyen is the 60 m favorite, Antonina Krivoshapka in the 400 m, olympic medalist Yekaterina Poistogova in the 1000 m, US Ginnie Crawford in the 60 m hurdles and top jumping duels Kucherenko vs. Klishina in long jump and Rogowska-Murer-Bleasdale-Silva in women pole vault.


NEWCASTLE (AUS): The National Athletics Series will launch with a bang this Saturday, as five Olympians, including silver medallist Mitchell Watt, eight Paralympians and seven reigning national champions take over Newcastle with a bounty of their rivals for the Hunter Track Classic. Watt's start at the meet will be his first appearance at a National Athletics Series event since he won his inaugural Australian title with an 8.44m jump in Melbourne two years ago. Watt's fellow London 2012 starters in Tim Leathart, Anthony Alozie, Benn Harradine and Ryan Gregson (800 m) join him on entry lists for the Hunter Track Classic.


TALLINN (EST): The traditional combined events meeting of Tallinn (EA Indoor Permit) on Friday and Saturday will be a good chance to score points for consideration for European Indoor Championships. Home best Mikk Pahapill and Anders Raja will compete in heptathlon (from foreign athletes Austrian Dominik Distelberger, Serbian Mihail Dudas and Brazilian Alberto de Araujo). In women pentathlon the top favorite Laura Ikauniece of Latvia.


ST. LOUIS (USA): 2012 Olympians Shalane Flanagan, Matt Tegenkamp, Dathan Ritzenhein and Kim Conley will be a part of loaded senior fields Saturday when Forest Park in St. Louis plays host to the USA Cross Country Championships. This will be the second consecutive year Forest Park has hosted the USA Cross Country Championships.







SASKATOON (CAN, Jan 31): Olympic long jump champion Brittney Reese won the 50 m in 6.30 at the Knights of Columbus Indoor Games. Second Michele Lee Ahye of Trinidad 6.33. In men 50 m Cordero Gray clocked 5.79 in heats and finals, second also US sprinter Rubin Williams 5.81. Olympic medalist Luguelin Santos tested the track with 49.23 third place in the 400 m, winner Jamil Hubbard got 48.52.

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