January 2014 Archives

What a difference a year makes! 

Renaud Lavillenie, the London 2012 Olympic champion, won the European Indoors in March 2013, but had his highest attempt not accepted, a vault over 6.04m, where the bar bounced out of its standard position and returned, but not to it's standard position. The officials called the vault a miss, which just made Renaud Lavillenie inconsolable. 

Now, move to January 2014. On January 25, 2014, in Rouen, France, Renaud Lavillenie clears 6.04 meters on his first attempt at the height, after clearing 6.79m, 6.83m (two attempts), and 6.93m!

Today, in Bydgoszcz,Poland, at the Pedro's Cup, Renaud Lavillenie cleared. And then, the bar was moved to 6.08 meters. Six meters point 08! 

Renaud Lavillenie cleared 6.08 meters by a huge amount! He is now the number two vaulter indoors of all times! 

More details to come! 
I have missed only one NGIndoorGP since 1996. The Reggie Lewis Center fixture is one of my favorite meets of the year, and for me, opens the indoor season. The crowd, the intimacy, and the performances wow the crowd and keep fans coming back, year after year! 

EME News highlighted some of the most recent additions to the 2014 meet. RunBlogRun will be there, we hope to see you there too! 

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Jenny Simpson, NB Indoor GP, photo by PhotoRun.net
In the spirit of the "Thug" controversy over the past couple of weeks with the Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman, Jon Gugala wanted to take a different look at the issue. 

What if the same situation had happened in track & field? Jon Gugala wanted to explore that scenario...

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Phoebe Wright, first, Ajee' Wilson second, 2013 Nike Pre Classic, 
photo by PhotoRun.net


This is a fine piece that we were sent from our friends at the 2014 New Balance Indoor GP blog. Mary Cain will be racing at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on February 8, 2014, in the Reggie Lewis Center. RunBlogRun will be there, will you be? 


Here is a video on the 2014 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon provided by the Dubai marathon communications team. The event, which was held on January 24, 2014, was, as usual, a barn burner. We hope that you enjoy the video. 

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Tsegaye Mekonnen winning the 2014 Dubai Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net 
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Meb Keflezighi pushing the pace on Ryan Hall in 2012 Olympic Trials, 
by PhotoRun.net

The Los Angeles Marathon received the good news today that they will be hosting the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Team Trials for the Men's and Women's Marathons. In an epic battle between three candidate cities, Los Angeles was announced today as the host  for the 2016 US Olympic Trials. 

The choice of a marathon team trials site has been made, and, if one considers that the trials should move around, then, this is a good move. If one thinks that a media site, such as Los Angeles, with an enthusiastic management team, is a good choice for the marathon team trials, then, LA is a good choice. For both of those, and many others, Los Angeles has been designated by USA Track & Field as the 2016 site of the US Olympic Marathon Team Trials. 

Hosting an Olympic Marathon Team Trials is a thankless task. Cities and events which agree to the task deal with a USOC who is quite protective of it's sponsor's rights. Add to that the spectre of security concerns in a modern sporting event, and one has to respect race management and a city that hosts a major trials, as it is one thing: a celebration of our sport. 






Elena Dyachkova writes for us, twice a month on Russian Athletics. Tonight, she is writing about the best one day meet in Russian athletics-the "Russian Winter" Meeting, which will be held February 2, 2014. 

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Aleksandr Menkov, photo by PhotoRun.net 



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Duane Solomon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Among the stories noted tonight are that Duane Solomon's fine six hundred meters last week at the New Balance Games will be his only indoor venture this year. Please enjoy news around the world courtesy of our partners, EME News. 
Elliott Denman revised his Will Claye piece from this weekend to highlight Will's huge triple jump in the Armory and the significance of Will's triple jump and long jump medals in Moscow! 

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The tragedy of Maddy Holleran shocked many across the country. The subjects of depression, mental illness and suicide were brought to the forefront. This piece on Maddy Holleran was written over last weekend...
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John Godina, photo by PhotoRun.net 

John Godina offered a Rockies Track & Field Throws Clinic in Cheyene, Wyoming on February 2, 2014. 
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Lauren Kleppin, 
photo by www.PhotoRun.net 

Lauren Kleppin and the rebirth of the Mammoth Track Club, is the focus on Jon Gugala's piece today. We hope that you enjoy it! 
Ryan Hall is one of the most popular athletes in America. A huge talent when Ryan Hall is fit, and a sad shadow of his fit self when he is not, Ryan Hall has had a problem with injuries for the past eighteen months. 

The following piece, by Dave Hunter is about the promise of Ryan Hall. Dave Hunter, for one, writing for many,  want to see Ryan Hall get healthy again and show us the amazing things he can do! 

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Ryan Hall, photo by PhotoRun.net 
 


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Desi Davila, watching a cross country race, 
photo by Justin Lagat

Desi Davila ran one of the guttiest marathon races that I have ever seen, way back in April 2011. Davila's brave race was one of the most exciting races in Boston marathon history. Now that Desi is healthy again, she is training in Kenya, picking up some base work. 

Justin Lagat, our Kenyan correspondent, met with Desi near Eldoret, Kenya, on her way to training in Iten, Kenya. 



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One of the most historic high school meets in the country, the Golden West Invitational has a history that dates back to 1960. This release tells us that GWI is not only returning to Sacramento but also in the famed Hornet Stadium. 
Indoor results from around the world, outdoor from around the world (well, except Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, where it is quite cold). Special thanks to Alfons Juck of EME News and his merry band of track geeks....

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Frederick Musyoki winning the Kenyan Prisons XC, January 26, 2014, 
photo by PhotoRun.net 


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Wilson Kiprop duking it out with Bedan Karoki, 
photo by Justin Lagat

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Priscah Jeptoo wins Prisons XC, photo by Justin Lagat

Justin Lagat wrote this piece on Saturday, January 25, 2014, about the Nike Discovery Kenya Cross Country race held in Eldoret, Kenya. The pictures of the event are also by Justin Lagat.  
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Will Claye, photo by PhotoRun.net 

In the excitement over the New Balance Games yesterday, we missed Will Claye's opening salvo for the World Indoor Champs. Will Claye is one of the best combo LJ and TJer in U.S. history. 
Globerunner writes about the 2014 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, and the tradition of victories by debut marathoners. 
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Mo Farah and fans in Eugene, Photo by PhotoRun.net 

Mo Farah is one of the most popular athletes in the world. It is not so surprising that he is admired in Kenya. Now, our Kenyan correspondent, Justin Lagat, would like to see Mo Farah race in Kenya, during his training time there. 
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Galen Rupp en route to 2 mile AR, 
photo courtesy of PACE Sports Management

Galen Rupp set a new American record for the indoor two mile of 8:07.41, breaking Bernard Lagat's AR of 8:09.49. Rupp was on world record pace through 2400 meters, before falling off. Rupp hit the 1,600 meters in 4:01.6 and finished with a 29.9 for the last 200 meters, running a fine 8:07.41.

On the two mile all time food chain, Galen Rupp is now numero seven, just ahead of Mo Farah's 8:08.51. 

Galen ran 13:01.26 for the 5,000 meters last week, February 16, setting a new AR for the 5,000m. Two ARs in two weeks, which was pretty darn impressive. 

Galen Rupp has one more indoor race before the nationals, on February 8, 2016, where the plan is to race a fast mile. 

(Alberto Salazar told us that his goal is to get his team to the world indoors.)

We have posted a tweet with the approximate splits for each 200 meters of the two mile. 


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Alan Webb, Nike Pre Classic 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net

Alan Webb, the high school record holder in the mile and the American open men's record holder in the mile, is retiring from track & field. After giving it over a decade, one of the most promising American track & field athletes of the modern era is going to give the triathlon a go. 

In this piece, Jon Gugala writes on the entry that Julia Webb, Alan's wife wrote about Alan's decision to give up track and field and pursue the triathlon. 

I last saw Alan Webb in December at the Nike NXN. He was the most relaxed that I had seen him in years, and we spoke a bit about some racing in 2014. Always a great interview, Alan Webb will be missed from our sport.

 
For the past three years, I believe, Jim Weber and a hand picked Brooks manager speak on the state of the running specialty business, early on a Thursday morning of the Winter Outdoor Retailer show. Brooks Running is number one in the performance running business, or as we in the running hood call it, Run Specialty or SR. This project was started by Erin Krause, who heads Brooks PR. It is one of the most unique and it gives Brooks access to key media from throughout the industry. 

The level of competitiveness at the top of the run specialty food chain continues to astound. 

The battle for the top positions, between Brooks, Saucony, ASICS, Mizuno, and New Balance are intense. 

Brooks is a good example of how a brand should work. Brooks is just shy of $500 million in sales in 2013. Jim Weber, President of Brooks, has just reorganized much of the business, with Dan Sheridan overseeing North America, US and newly purchased Canadian operation. Brooks CEO David Bohan has left to start up a European operation, which will be headed in Amsterdam, with Hamish Stewart off to the UK, and Rob Langstaff heading the new Asia group, with still much focus on Japan. 

Jim Weber is bullish on Brooks running. " We have so much potential still in the US, and we have just really begun our business in Europe. There are so many who still do not know who Brooks is." Weber sees that as huge potential. 

Besides the global operations, Weber appointed David Larsen to head footwear and marketing. Larsen, long-time Brooks marketing VP, is enthused about his focus. Anna Cavassa has taken over apparel, where Moving Comfort will focus on technical sportsbras and Brooks Running focusing on technical sports apparel. 

And the key product, so far, technical footwear, is continuing to soar. While the minimalist product across the industry has influenced lightweight, a variety of runners need a variety of running shoes. 

To be a player in this market, one has to lead, not follow. Finding a place where one focuses, building on it, and providing consistent, high quality product and service is much harder than it seems. 

"It is much more important to me for a runner to be wearing Brooks running shoes than for someone doing the lawn." noted JIm Weber. 



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Stephanie Garcia and Kim Conley show off their new spikes after winning their respective events at the 2014 New Balance Games. Garcia won the 1 mile steeplechase in 4:48.97 while Conley won the mile in a facility record 4:24.54. (Photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly)

The New Balance Games is one of the finest events on the indoor circuit. It is also one of the early season events at the NB Armory T&F Center, and has always produced some fireworks for the indoor season. 

Two great miles today, as covered by Chris Lotsbom and David Monte, Race Results Weekly, are written about below! Five thousand high school athletes competed in the sanctuary for sport that is the Armory. 

We look forward to visiting the Armory in February! 







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Renaud Lavillenie, Goteborg 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net 

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Renaud Lavillenie, 2013 Pole Vault Summit, photo by PhotoRun.net 

Renaud Lavillenie had one of those glorious days, that, if one is lucky, one might have had one in a career. Lavillenie had one such day last year at the European Indoors, then, finished, shooting for the stars, with a tough call by the officials. 

Today, however was different. In Rouen, France, Lavillenie got in his safety jump, a first clearance at 5.67 meters. Then, two times at 5.83 meters, and a first attempt at 5.93 meters. Both 5.83m and 5.93m were WL for 2014! 

Then, Renaud Lavillenie soared, going for the stars, and reached them today, clearing 6.04 meters on his first attempt. Our reports say the crowd went crazy, as they watched Lavillenie, and were treated to not only a French indoor record, but also a British indoor record as well! 

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Sergey Bubka and Renaud Lavillenie, Euro Indoors 2011, 
photo by PhotoRun.net 

But today was for le roi de le perche, Renaud Lavillenie, who is now, only behind Sergey Bubka and Steven Hooker on the all time indoor performance list! 

Congrats, Monsieur Lavillenie, France and the athletic world tip a beverage to you on your fantastic performance! 
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Morgan Uceny is one of the most talented American middle distance runners of the past half decade in the U.S. She has also had more bad luck than a roller derby queen. Possessing huge drive and a great finish, Morgan Uceny has had problems in her last two global matches. In 2011, she fell in the final of the 1,500 meters at the World Champs, and in 2012, she fell in the final of the 1,500 meters in the London Olympics. 

Morgan Uceny has raced well over 800 meters and 1,500 meters for the past half decade. When Morgan is fit, she is a contender in any race that she commits to race. Coached by Terrance Mahon at Mammoth TC, Uceny moved with Mahon to Great Britain, and now, has moved to Boston, as Mahon takes on his next challenge: the elite development club for the Boston Athletic Association (more on that to come). 

I have admired Morgan Uceny for years: she loves the sport and races all comers. As a fan and a former coach, I want to see Morgan achieve what I believe, as do many others, that she is capable of: a global medal. 

Now recovered, and in fine shape, Morgan Uceny will be running the 1,000 meters at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, to be held on February 8, 2014 at the famous Reggie Lewis Center, in Roxbury, MA. 

Here is the piece written on Morgan Uceny by the New Balance Indoor GP team....http://nbindoorgp.tumblr.com/post/74310247489/uceny-ships-up-to-boston

 


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Tsegaye Mekonnen sets WRJ in his win in Dubai, photo by PhotoRun.net 

Tsegaye Mekonnen continued the wins for debuting marathoners in Dubai, he also set the World Junior Record! 
Spenco is to insoles and foothealth what Xerox was to copy machines and reproduction of media. They have been developing foot healthcare products for decades. Spenco has been part of the running world for just about as long, as runners and athletes were some of the first to embrace their products. 

Truth is, most runners NEVER consider a preventative measures until after injury. But, small things, like, improving insoles in shoes, watching shoe use, and working on foot flexibility are a few of the things that a thoughtful runner and athlete does to take care of his or her feet.

In the Specialty running biz, accessories count for nineteen percent of  the sales in most running stores. Insoles can cost from a few bucks to several hundred dollars. 

To see more of Spenco's line of products, please go to: www.spenco.com
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Wesley Korir, photo by PHotoRun.net

Justin Lagat sent us this piece on Wednesday morning about a historic meeting of many of Kenyan's top athletes protesting over the taxing practices of the KRA. 
Laban Korir was interviewed earlier today by Andy Edwards of Trackwise/Globerunner as part of the pre marathon press conference of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon. The Dubai Marathon will be held on Friday, January 24, 2014. 


Jonathan Mayo was interviewed by Andy Edwards of Trackwise/Global runner for the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon  press conference. The 2014 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon will be run on Friday, January 24, 2014. 


Chelsea Reilly is managed by Flynn Sports Management. On January 21, 2014, she announced that she had a sponsor, Saucony. 

Take a look at the blog below. Chelsea Reilly gave her sponsor major kudos to her sponsor and her management team should be quite pleased. 

Chelsea's blog is a perfect example of the kind of social media that athletes should consider doing to promote sponsors and the sport. 

The photos, the comments, all were picked up on social media and twitter last night, giving the new sponsor some positive branding. 

Nice job, Chelsea Reilly! 
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WC Silver medalist Nick Symmonds, Brooks Beasts TC, 
from Brooks Running

Here are results from the past couple of days, around the world, courtesy of  EME News. 

Here are the newest results from around Europe, courtesy of Carles Baronet. We hope that you enjoy! 

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Silke Spiegelburg, photo by PhotoRun.net

Usain Bolt has run at the Golden Spike for several years of his career. He did the following video for the Golden Spike Meet in Ostrava, to promote the June 17, 2014 event! A fun video, one gets the point about how much Bolt enjoys this meet and how much the fans, of all ages, enjoy Usain Bolt. It is pretty fun to watch the little kids' faces as they see this big guy standing next to them! 

The truth is, all meets should do such videos with their top athletes. Keep it light, keep it fun, but get the word out. Never expect that runners will just come if they see the meet on a calendar. 



Here is part two of the Shoe Addicts interview with Julie Culley, 2012 Olympic Trials championship at 5,000 meters. This interview was conducted at the ASICS store in the Meat Packing district in New York City, NYC in November 2013.
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Meb Keflezighi scores win in U.S. half champs, 
photo by PhotoRun.net 

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Serena Burla wins U.S. half champs, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Dave Monti wrote this piece about the U.S.A. Half Marathon Championships on Sunday. Sorry for the delay. 
The Shoe Addicts did this interview of Deena Kastor, ASICS Marathoner, and the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist. One of the most articulate spokespeople for our sport, Deena was asked a series of questions on her experiences in the sport, and here is part 2. 





Madison Halloran, a nineteen year old track & field athlete, has died from an apparent suicide, per and article in the Daily Mail (UK) over this past weekend. 

Depression is an issue that affects people of all ages. With the changes, quite traumatic for many, that happen between high school and college, depression is an issue that comes up often. Please, if you notice a fellow athlete or team member isolating themselves, speak to them, but also speak to your coaches, counselors immediately. 

It is not a sign of weakness to ask someone for help, it is pretty healthy to understand that you do not have all of the answers. Please keep Madison Halloran, her team members, and her family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.  


Depression is a major issue. It happens to those of all ages, for help, please go to your friends, your coach, your family or we suggest National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.

We suggest that coaches use such moments as teaching moments. Remind your athletes that no one, any age, has all the answers and we all feel overwhelmed at times. Asking for help and someone to listen is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of being healthy and human.
Meb Keflezighi has won the USA Half Marathon Championships, giving him his 23rd US championship title, at the age of 38! Serena Burla won her US Half Marathon title today in Houston. Fast times abounded! 

And why are the times so fast!

Well, as Jon Gugula tells you below, Everything is Faster in Texas! 

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Meb Keflezighi, photo by PhotoRun.net
Christopher Chataway, referred to as a "Renaissance man" by Lord Sebastian Coe, was a fine athlete, member of Parliament, broadcaster and aviation professional. He died on January 19, at the age of 82. 

In 1954, Christopher Chataway had his finest year in athletics: he paced Roger Bannister in the first sub four minute mile, in May 1954, he took gold in the Commonwealth Games three miler in August 1954, he took silver in the 5,000 meters to Vladimir Kuts at the European Championships in August 1954, and, in the highlight of his year, defeated Vladamir Kuts by .1 in White City, breaking the 5,000 meter world record with his 13:51.6. The exciting race was shown on BBC television, making Chataway the first BBC British Sports Personality of the Year in 1954. 

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Chataway over Kuts, courtesy of BBC Sports 

Sir Roger Bannister told BBC Sports that Mr. Chataway had been a friend for over fifty years and noted that Mr. Chataway was one of his "dearest friends". Lord Coe noted, that Chris Chataway set four world records, made two Olympic finals, won European and Commonwealth medals on four workouts a week! 

Chris Chataway served as an MP, was also in the civil aviation industry and came back to running in his 50s. At the age of 75, Chris Chataway, with an invitation from Brendan Foster, 1976 Olympic bronze medalist and Principal of Nova International, Mr. Chataway ran 1:38.50 for the half marathon! 

It should not be underestimated how important the pursuit and success of Roger Bannister running the first sub four minute mile was to Great Britain. Bannister has given much credit and kudos to the late Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway and their support and inspiration to the 3:59.4 mile run on May 6, 1954. 

For a country still recovering from the Second World War, the first sub four minute mile, was, as Lord Coe put it in his discussion with the BBC regarding the death of Mr. Chataway, hugely important. Lord Coe compared the first sub four minute mile in significance with the first man to climb Mt. Everest. 

Mr. Chataway battled cancer for two and one half years before his death. Bring Back the Mile's Ryan Lampa called Mr. Chataway a Lion of Sport. 

Please keep Mr. Chataway and his family in your thoughts and prayers. For the full obituary, please go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-12991697

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Chris Chataway, circa 1954, photo courtesy of BBC Sports

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Meb Keflizighi, center, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Serena Burla, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Aaron Braun, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Mattie Suver, photo by PhotoRun.net

We asked Jon Gugula to write this preview of the 2014 U.S.A. Half Marathon Championships, held at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in Houston, Texas on January 19, 2014. We think that you will enjoy this piece on the top American prospects and some surprises...
Ryan Hall is the fastest American marathon, in all conditions, of all times. A fine high school and college runner, Ryan Hall is that athlete who, when the conditions are right, can put a marathon together that makes you shake your head, and go, "this guy is amazing." 

Ryan Hall may be the most talented marathoner to don US gear in a generation. The problem is, he is pulled many ways. That is the challenge of a modern day road runner or track athlete who takes on the sport as a profession. Truth is, Ryan Hall is tremendously good at the pr game, shaking hands and talking about his sponsor, ASICS, and the sport of running. 

 We caught up with Ryan Hall at the ASICS New York City Marathon and asked him the proverbial question from me, " When are you going to go back on the track?". 

Here was Ryan's answer:
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 Patrick Rizzo before the 2014 Chevron Houston Marathon 
(photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly)

David Monti, editor of Race Results Weekly, wrote this fine piece on Pat Rizzo, as he rises from a rough marathon this past fall, and come, well prepared, to Chevron Houston. 
Jan Johnson was the 1972 Olympic bronze medalist for the pole vault. During the summer of 1972, the late Steve Prefontaine was one of the guys who liked to carry poles with Jan Johnson through the airports of Europe. The two of them together must have been a sight to see ! Jan Johnson was also quoted in one of Kenny Moore's Sports Illustrated features, the Long Blue Line, about having oatmeal and applesauce for breakfast: "the power of a thousand butterflies". 

Jan has been my friend and counsel for over twenty years. He allowed us to send a neophyte pole vaulter to his camps and write a piece, Howard Goes to Camp, which has kept cult like status since its writing in 1991. 

I can not recommend a coach more than by saying, that if my son, or perhaps, someday, grand son, was to pursue the pole vault, I would send him to Jan Johnson. Not much more can be said. The guy loves the sport, loves the vault and is a man of huge optimism and faith. Without his support, I would have never got American Athletics magazine off the ground. 

I suggest that you check out his camps if you are an athlete or coach. 
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Galen Rupp, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Mary Cain, photo by PhotoRun.net

On Thursday evening, January 16, 2014, the Nike Oregon Project opened the American indoor track season with some seriously fast running. Galen Rupp ran 13:01.26, breaking the AR for 5,000 meters indoor from last year by Lopez Lomong. Sam Chelanga took second in the race with 13:04.5, and Cam Levins, one of Galen's training partners, ran 13:19.16, setting a new Canadian record.

Just before the 5,000 meters, Mary Cain, running a pace described by some observers as poorly paced, broke the world junior indoor record for the 1,000 meters with her run of 2:39.25, breaking the former record from 1981, set by Diana Richburg of 2:40.1. 

This was the first of three record attempt runs by Galen Rupp (next is a two mile on Jan 24-25 and mile on Feb.8), and Mary Cain (two miles and a mile). 
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Nick Symmonds, photo courtesy of Brooks Running 

We asked Elliott Denman to cover the Millrose press conferences. Elliott's first column is on Nick Symmonds and his plan to run a fast kilometer. 

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Jeff Hartwig, Six Meter club, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

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Tim Mack, Six Meter club, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

David Hunter is one of our writers, who I hold in much esteem. His columns are on topics that he finds of interest, and he writes in such a way that you, our readers, get to enjoy his travels and his insights. 

David's piece today is on the six meter club, the few pole vaulters who have soared even higher into the sky than anyone else in the world, reaching for the sun...
In a column by Emily Goddard for the website, insidethegames.biz, Russian security forces, in a crackdown before the Sochi Olympic games ended a seige, about 900 kilometers from Sochi, which resulted in three dead Russian security officers and four dead gunman. Six Russian military officers were injured in the gunfight.


Insidethegames.biz  noted that over 37,000 military and security troops will be involved in protecting the athletes, fans and media in Sochi. 

Most observers believe that the Russians will have to keep the security very high in Sochi. The difficulty in getting a visa, the difficulty in getting media credentials, and the vetting of athletes, officials and personnel will be and has been very high.

There is always a difference between perception and reality in such events. Having been to nine World Championships and six Olympic Games, I have seen security continue to increase. 

Sochi is much, much more complicated. The Russian government has its' most dangerous challenges coming from within Russia. This is not something that Russian security was surprised about. With leaders of Russia opposition groups called to arms to disrupt Sochi 2014, the job of the FSB, Russian Security is even higher. Media reports suggest that US security personnel, including FBI, have been assigned to providing security at the Winter Olympics. 

To read the current story on insidethegames.biz, please read:
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Chris Derrick, 
photo by Daniel Vernon/BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country 

The 2014 USA Cross Country Championships, which will be held in Boulder, Colorado,  on February 15, will be shown on USATF.tv.
The Reggie Lewis Center is one of the two top sites in North America for indoor track & field. One of the main reasons for that success is Keith McDermott, who has looked over the facility with thoughtful concern, and lots of elbow grease, since 1998. A former sprinter and long jumper, Keith gets track and field and appreciates what a life changing experience the sport can be for the boys and girls of the Boston metro area. 

Rich Kenah, 1997 World Champ bronze medalist at 800 meters, and partner in Global Athletics & Marketing, the group that has produced and managed the New Balance Indoor GP since its inception, goes even farther in his praise of Mr. McDermott: Keith McDermott's "support of the meet since the 90s is one of the reasons that the New Balance Grand Prix continues to thrive." 

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Keith McDermott, photo courtesy of NBIGP
Athletic Recon is a new brand of sports apparel that was featured at the Running Event 2013, held in Austin, Texas in December 2013. The video was produced by The Shoe Addicts.

Athletic Recon's Tommy Love was interviewed. For more information on the company, we suggest that you go to your website, www.athleticrecon.com
Cera Products is a new sports nutrition company that has products that gives athletes who have sensitive stomachs some options. This video was done at the Running Event in December 2013 in Austin, Texas, by The Shoe Addicts.
Well, the price of being the world's best distance runner is that everything you do is under a microscope. Per this tory, in the Daily Record, Mo Farah is apparently claiming residency in the U.S., as a way to avoid the increased taxes that his successes have wrought.

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Mo Farah, April 2013, Virgin London PC, photo by PhotoRun.net

British taxes are higher than taxes in the US. Many top recording artists in Britain and several top athletes have done this before. Surprised that the Daily Record had not added that to their story. 

Mo Farah lives in Teddington, London, when he lives in the UK. But, over the past several years, Mo and his family have resided more of the year in Portland, Oregon, where his training is based. 

To me, the story here is multi-leveled. The story of a young athlete, always talented, who between 2007 and 2009 was so frustrated that there were media reports that Farah had even considered ending his career. 

But, then, things changed. 

In 2010, his European Champ double win hinted at Mo Farah's talent,  and his discussions with Alberto Salazar and Ian Stewart, then UK Endurance mentor, helped him see his career in a new light. By early 2011, Mo Farah was in Portland, Oregon, training with Galen Rupp. Farah's silver and gold at the 10,000m and 5,000m surprised some in 2011. His 2012 double pleased an entire country and an entire stadium of 80,000 track fans. By 2013, Mo Farah's killer double, which he earned, step, by sprinting step, showed that he was, and is, the best tactician at his events in the world. 

 What we have seen is an athlete who has developed a confidence, and a skill at racing that allows him to use his ability to increase speed over the last one thousand meters, like no one else. Mo Farah draws his competitors close, and lets them wear themselves out, then, proceeds to knock the desire out of them over a increasingly fast last thousand meters. 

Now, at the pinnacle of his sport, media attention is everywhere. His every decision is scrutinized, and like many, like most of us, he is trying to keep his taxes down. Most of us don't try and become tax exiles, but most of us do not make the kind of money Mo Farah has made and will make from his talents and hard work. 

What do you think? Let us know at runblogrun@gmail.com

To read the story in the UK Daily Record, please see below: 
Svetlana Biryukova long jumped 6.98m to take a win over Klishnia, who cleared 6.68m on January 12 in Moscow, Russia, and showed a mighty improvement from 9th qualifying in 2013.

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Nike Border Clash, December 2013, 
photo courtesy of Nike Communications

Here are the results for January 12 from the local agencies...
In this video, Jim Van Dine, Brand President of HOKA ONE ONE, explains the origins of HOKA ONE ONE, and how the shoe can be of benefit to runners. The video was produced by The Shoe Addicts on their visit to the Running Event 2013, the most important trade show for the run specialty channel.
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Dwayne aka Peanut Harms (pictured above) asked me to post this note on the West Coast SuperClinic. For the first time since 1991, I will be able to attend and I am looking forward to going. Coaching clinics are about the exchanging of ideas and as much in the classroom as having an adult beverage chatting over the bar. 

Please, if you can, find a way to get to a local coaching clinic. If you are in California, get to this clinic. It is a great opportunity to learn more about our sport. 
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Salt Therapy rooms are quite popular in Central Europe. In this release, Gary Patrick has launched the salt therapy concept in NYC Metro (Manhattan and Westchester). Here is some more information about Salt Therapy. Breathe Easy is offering a first visit for free to RunBlogRun readers, so, if you are in the area, please check it out (offers also can be found in Winged Foot magazine and Long Island Footnotes (February and March 2014 issues). 
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This is a column by Justin Lagat, our correspondent in Kenya, on what is happening in Kenya over the next few weeks regarding cross country. Justin Lagat has recently started his website, www.kenyanathlete.com, which we highly recommend. 

Justin sent this piece to us and asked that I post it before Wednesday of this week. We hope you enjoy it. 
One of the big conversations of the weekend was the recent revelation that Niels De Vos, the chief executive of UK Athletics (or is it British Athletics) received a fifty-five percent pay raise in 2012. Now, we at RunBlogRun are not so small to think that top executives who drive growth and keep costs in control. 

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While a CEO like de Vos answers to the board, and, on his best days, will infuriate half of his observers, many question how the raise was justified. UK athletics had superb performances in 2012 London, but did not achieve their goal of eight medals. In 2013 Moscow, Mo Farah was the big story, and there were few other highlights for British athletics.

The Year after the Olympics is always a let down for many, and the London 2012 Olympics were huge.

Perhaps, in the first place, Mr. De Vos needs a better PR team. We look forward to Mr. De Vos or his team responding to the questions, which are part of the game in a free society. 


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This is Justin Lagat's piece about the 2014 Eldoret Polytechnic Cross Country race. Justin has provided us with a view of Kenya for nearly a year now, and we are grateful for his insights. Check out his new website, www.kenyanathlete.com
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Garrett Heath, on Bupa Edinburgh XC course, photo by Daniel Vernon

This has been a busy weekend of results, here are indoor, road and track results from January 11, 2014, courtesy of EME News.
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Chris Derrick leading the BUPA Great XC, photo by Daniel Vernon

Here are the results around the world for Friday, January 10, 2014...
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Training group of Geoffrey Mutai, photo by PhotoRun.net

I missed this column from Justin Lagat for the week of December 17. My apologies to Justin Lagat. It gives us a view into long runs at altitude with the training group. 
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Mary Cain, Moscow 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net

In this feature from Race Results Weekly, Chris Lotsbom writes about Mary Cain's first races as a pro athlete and what she has been doing since going pro. 
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Geoffrey KIpsang, 
photo by PhotoRun.net 

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Florence Kiplagat, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

We have this piece and photos from the Kenyan Police Championships, courtesy of Munene Kilongi, through PhotoRun.net. As always, we hope that you enjoy our view into the world of cross country. 
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Chris Derrick, USA XC 2013, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

It is seven in the morning on Sunday, and I am still thinking about the BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country Challenge. First, Garrett Heath surprised many with his win over Asbel Kiprop at the 4k distance, and secondly, Chris Derrick continues to show his promise with a fine, controlled win over the senior men's distance. 

Alberto Stretti, one of Italy's fine running journalists, provided the piece below. It was my first time meeting Alberto and he provided yeoman services by translating Yem Crippo's side of his collision with the French athlete in the junior men's 6k...
Here is a quick interview with Chris Derrick, just after winning one of the biggest races of his career at the BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country Invitational Challenge. Chris took the lead into lap two and just did not look back. His consistent pacing, and his fine fitness played well here, as Derrick lead over the last two laps in fine form. 

Chris Derrick told us that he will be racing next at the US Cross Country Champs, to be held in Boulder, Colorado on February 8, 2014. We thank Chris Derrick for taking the time and congratulate him on a race well done! 


The elite 4 kilometer men's race was the statement event of the day in Edinburgh, Scotland today. With Olympic champion and World Champion Asbel Kiprop, and multi World and Olympic champion, Kenenisa Bekele, among others. 

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Garrett Heath, winning Drake Relays road mile, 
photo by PhotoRun.net     

For Garrett Heath, it was his first race over hill and dale in five years. And, like his last race for BUPA, it was a charm! Garrett Heath is two for two in BUPA races now, having won the Bupa Great City mile in Newcastle in September 2013 and now the Bupa Great Cross Country Challenge 4k invitational challenge today, January 11, 2013. 


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Kenenisa Bekele, from 2008 World Cross Country, with some friends, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The two kilometer loop in Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, Scotland, is a proper cross country loop, by any standards. Undulating, with high grass, some challenging footing, and of course, glorious mud! This setting, in the center of Edinburgh, Scotland, should be consider a global sanctuary for the sport of cross country. 
Yelena Isinbayeva, the world record holder in the pole vault two dozen times, and the 2013 Moscow World Championships gold medalist, will carry the Olympic torch in Volgograd on January 21, 2014, as it heads to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics. 

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Congratulations to Jessica Ennis-Hill and her husband, Andy, as they are expecting a baby in 2014! This means no multi events for Ennis-Hill in Glasgow or Zurich. Jessica Ennis-Hill, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the heptathlon, Jessica Ennis-Hill, will be having a baby in 2014 and is looking to prepare to defend her title in 2016. 

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Jessica Ennis-Hill, photo by PhotoRun.net
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2013 SPAR European Cross Country Champs, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country Invitational Challenge is in its twenty-fifth year. Teams from Great Britain & Norther Island, Europe and the U.S. will battle over the loop course in the center of Edinburgh on Saturday, January 11, 2014. Note that the BBC is covering the event, but also on the europeanathletics.com site, a YouTube coverage of the event will be shown! 

If you are in New York, the event will start at 7 am your time, in Chicago, 6 am your time and in San Francisco, then, 4 am your time. 

USA Track & Field's Jim Estes waxed poetically about the importance of this event, noting how important cross country is in the distance runners' schedule. Very strong men's and women's teams from the US should battle Great Britain & Northern Island tomorrow for the titles. 

RunBlogRun.com will cover the event live, with race by race updates, quick quotes and hopefully, photos (depending on how good I am at shooting photos today). 
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Kenenisa Bekele and Jos Hermans, Pre, June 2008, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Kenenisa Bekele, the world record holder at 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, will be debuting over the marathon this coming April at the Paris Marathon. This concludes an epic battle between Paris and London marathons. The amount of money that Mr. Bekele is making for his debut has to be, well monumental. 

How fast will Bekele run in his debut? It should prove to be interesting. Renato Canova recently told media that Bekele's final time depends on which Bekele shows up: "the 26.20 Bekele or the 27 minute Bekele". 
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The BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge pits some of the best young and established talents in the sport of cross country from the US, Great Britain & Northern Ireland and Europe over the hill and dale of cross country. Besides the 6k and 8k distances for senior men and women, there are junior 2.5k-4ks plus an elite 4k distance, pitting some of the best middle distances in the world against each other. Cross Country pits the miler against the marathoner, as some smart journalist wrote yeas ago, and new runners and not so new runners can enjoy the challenges of cross country! 

All of this is featured on a fine cross country facility that is accessible to both fans and television crews. 

Ian Stewart of NOVA International noted to RunBlogRun today that the event is key in helping develop young distance runners. Peter Riley of NOVA International told us today about the proud twenty-five year tradition of the event, whose home is now in Edinburgh, Scotland.

NOVA International is a company founded by British distance great Brendan Foster and manages the Great Run series as well as major swims and bike events. This event, part of the BUPA series, is near and dear to the heart of NOVA International, as it puts much back into the sport. 

RunBlogRun is fortunate enough to cover the event this year, with special thanks to NOVA international, the producers of the BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge! 
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Dez Davila LInd, photo by PhotoRun.net 

The 2014 Boston Marathon continues its commitment to giving top notch American athletes opportunities to race the world's best! This coming April should be fantastic! 

Also, on January 8, 2014, Justin Lagat, our correspondent in Eldoret, Kenya, 
met Dez Davila as she was heading to training camp. More details to come! 

Updated January 8, 2014
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Ryan Whiting, photo by PhotoRun.net

"I'm looking forward to my first international competition of 2014 in Boston. This will be a first step toward defending my World Indoor title in Poland this March."


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Jenn Suhr, photo by PhotoRun.net

"The Reggie Lewis Center in Boston is like a second home for me.  I am fired up to come back and attempt some big jumps for the track and field fans in New England."

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Mary Cain, photo by PhotoRun.net

Jenn Suhr, Ryan Whiting, Mary Cain, Leonel Manzano and Nick Willis are just a few of the stars who will be running 2014 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. 
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Valencia, photo by PhotoRun.net

Here is the second report on the European Athletics Indoor for 2013-14 European indoor season by Carles Baronet, from Track In Sun. 
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Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, 
photo courtesy of BSIM

Ben Rosario and his wife, Jen, have launched a new pro team, Northern Arizona Elite. With a strong start up group, the team is focused on training for events from cross country to the half marathon championships. We wish them great luck and fortune. 
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Sophia Duarte, SPAR Euro Cross Country, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Here is the fifth report from Carles Baronet on 2013-14 European Cross Country season, courtesy of Carles Baronet, from Track in Sun. 
As the battle in running footwear gets tougher and tougher, the brands look for people who have unique insights into the business. Mark Coogan, with his experience as a coach, athlete and consumer will be joining New Balance sports marketing. 

Mark Coogan is a strong addition to the NB team. 


Dave Hunter called me just before the holiday was over. Dave and I catch up about once a month and mostly talk track. My philosophy on my columnists is this: they know their subjects, we discus topics in broad sweeps, but, it is their thoughts and words that you, our readers, want to read. 

Dave Hunter has done just that with his column on his dreams for our sport in 2014-all achievable. 

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Will Claye goes airborne, photo by PhotoRun.net 

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Goteborg Indoor Track, March 2013, Goteborg, Sweden, 
photo from Larry Eder

Here are some results from around the world from this past weekend, January 4-5, 2014. Thanks to EME News....
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Cross Country in Chiba, Japan, photo by PhotoRun.net
Nikhil Jain is one of our favorite people to talk shoes with. In this video teaser from the Shoe Addicts, Nikhil shows us what is new for 2014 for PUMA Running. 

For more on PUMA, please go to www.puma.com
One of the most important reasons for the success of American distance running over the past decade was the support provided by elite running clubs. Team Run Flagstaff has just launched a pro division to support local elites. 

RunBlogRun applauds the move and looks forward to see how the TRF athletes will improve and race over the next year. 

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Sara Hall, photo by PhotoRun.net 
The Shoe Addicts extended this teaser on ElliptiGo at the request of several of our readers, who wanted to know more about the alternative training product. For more information, please go to www.elliptiGo.com
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Sochi 2014

We asked Elena Dyachkova, our Russian correspondent, to give us a view, of how Russians saw the recent bombings and the concern for safety at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games. 
Daniel DeVille, Yurbud's Director of Marketing, spoke to The Shoe Addicts at the Running Event 2013 about the new product offerings from Yurbuds. This video is a teaser on new product offerings from Yurbuds. 
How do we get Track & Field on TV more? How do we present it better? How do we get Track & Field on TV as a real option for sports on TV? Dave Hunter provides some strong ideas. The key is communicating the excitement that real fans see on TV, and how often Track on TV is an option. 

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Mo Farah and his fans, Eugene, Oregon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net 
Brad Walker is one the best pole vaulters in the world. The 2007 World Champion, and fourth in 2013, Brad Walker has recently signed a contract with Mizuno, one of the top global brands in performance running footwear. 

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Brad Walker, Moscow 2013, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Karen Locke, the manager for Brad Walker sent this video to us today. In the video, Brad speaks about his earliest involvement in the sport and his excitement as he focuses on 2014 and the last stages of his long and storied career. 
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Boaz Kiprono, photo by Justin Lagat

Justin Lagat wrote this column in mid-December, just after his training partner, Boaz Kiprono won his first marathon. Justin has written this column for RunBlogRun for over a year now, about his view of our sport from the roads and tracks in Kenya. 
RunBlogRun asked the Russian journalist, Elena Dyachkova to write a series of columns for our audience on Russian athletics. Elena has done a wonderful job. In this column, Elena reminds us how important it is to develop the future stars of the sport. 

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The Shoe Addicts interviewed the Janji team at the Running Event 2013, which was held December 3-7, 2013. Dave Spandorfer, one of the co-founders of Janji, spoke to the Shoe Addicts on how the brand was founded and how runners, when they purchase Janji sportwear, can give back to the global community every time that they run. 

This is a wonderful brand, and a wonderful cause. RunBlogRun and the Shoe Addicts highly recommend Janji! For more information, please go to www.
 
The Shoe Addicts created this video at the Running Event in December 2013, about the Dr. Cool product from CoolCore.The Shoe Addicts wrote the following: 

"At TRE13 we looked to reach out and find companies furthering innovation not only for your run but for athletic recovery as well. We met with Nick Skally, Director of Marketing with CoolCore to discuss their "wet it or sweat it" technology that helps keep their Dr. Cool wraps so cool for so long. 

For more information check out their website: www.coolcore.com 

NOTE: This is only the teaser. Stay tuned for more from this interview."
The Boilermaker 15k is one of the examples of running events that have contributed to their community. I was fortunate to visit the event in 2005, and enjoyed every minute! This is a great way to raise money for their charity support! 

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The Boilermaker course is tough, and in the humid conditions, is one of the most colorful events of the summer. On top of that, the post race party is just a lot of fun. Where else can Bill Rodgers meet a group of high school cross country runners who just peppered him with questions about running, and Bill stood there. 


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Nick Symmonds in new PETA program

Nick Symmonds has been busy. Recently, he had to decide between staying with the Nike brand or moving to the Brooks Running brand. Symmonds choose the Brooks brand, looking for some change and new opportunities, he told LetsRun.com

Now, Nick Symmonds has lent his hand to one of the most thoughtful campaigns to come out of PETA in many a year. This campaign with Mortimer, the rabbit, encourages people to not purchase products from corporations that use animal testing. 

Nice job, Nick Symmonds, PETA and of, course, Mortimer! 
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Salt Therapy Spas have opened in Westchester and New York. Salt Therapy Spas are a big deal in Poland and Eastern Europe. The idea is that salt therapy helps those with allergies, colds and the literature suggests that it might have benefits for runners. Watch for coupons in The Winged Foot and Long Island Footnotes magazine for a free session! 
I missed this piece during my preparations for the 2013 FootLocker Cross Country Championships. Kara and Adam Goucher are, I must admit, one of my favorite running couples. I enjoyed watching Adam develop into a world class athlete and admired him for surviving a plethora of surgeries and his drive to return to elite racing. Kara Goucher took a bronze medal in the 2007 World Championships in the 10,000 meters, and became one of the most popular athletes in our sport.

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 Kara Goucher after finishing third at the 2011 NYC Half in 1:09:03 
(photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

The Gouchers have moved back to Colorado, where both Adam and Kara went to university. Kara Goucher, who was coached by Alberto Salazar, then, Jerry Schumacher, will return to the coaching of Mark Wetmore, who coached her in college. 

Change is good. We salute Adam and Kara on making a move back to Colorado and being willing to try new things and old things. 
Melissa Glover, the media coordinator of Jaybird, provided The Shoe Addicts with her description of the Jaybird's Bluebuds. 

For more on Jaybird's line of product, please check out jaybird.com
OOFOS Duncan Finigan shows The Shoe Addicts a little bit about the OOFOS post workout footwear. This video was shot at the Running Event 2013 in Austin, Texas in early December. 

For more information on OOFOS, check out www.oofos.com
Dave Allemann, the co-founder of on-running, shows the Shoe Addicts their new product, at the Running Event 2013, held in Austin, Texas, from December 3-7, 2013.

For more information on the company, please go to ON-Running.com


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Nick Symmonds, 
photo by Brooks Running

Nick Symmonds, the silver medalist in the 800 meters from Moscow, and the third fastest American 800 meter runner of all times, has been signed by Brooks Running, it was announced today. Nick will be moving to Seattle, Washington, and will be running for the Brooks Beasts Track Club. 

Nick Symmonds is one of the most popular elite American runners, and will be a strong addition to the Brooks team of elite athletes and their support of  elite road running and track & field. 
The Shoe Addicts interviewed ElliptiGo's Darren Brown on the alternative training product that was featured at the 2013 Running Event, recently held in Austin, Texas in early December.


The rise of American middle distance running over the past decade is a fascinating sports story. Here is the first feature on the rise of American middle distance running, done by David Monti of Race Results Weekly. 

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The truth behind the story is that this paradigm change in US distance running is a continuing story. It is also multi faceted. An increased interest in our sport on the grass roots level, in high school, college and open running is another part of the story. Coaches, athletes, media, fans, who have asked the questions for the past two decades are part of the story of this success. 

Watch for more pieces delving in the success of American middle distance running. 
Robert Heffernan's victory in Moscow over 50,000 meters was huge news in Ireland, his home country. Heffernan had taken fourth in the 2010 20k and 50k European championships, and in 2012, he took fourth in the London 50k. 

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In the heat and humidity of Moscow, Robert Heffernan gave Ireland only its third World Championship gold medal ever (Eamonn Coglan, 1983, 5000 meters, Sonia O'Sullivan, 1995, 5000 meters). 

Robert Heffernan and his wife, a 400 meter runner, who are expecting a child this month. Here is the excellent article from the Independent on Heffernan and his unique life style: http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/emerging-from-the-shadows-to-be-best-of-best-29876280.html.
Creigh Kelley, one of our favorite people, and a long time supporter of our sport, sent us his interview of Janet and Jay Bawcom, from a recent trip to Kenya. A wonderful interview, this piece gives us a peak into another side of Janet, that of a fine uni student. Her husband, Jay is a fine medical researcher. 

Enjoy the interview, and give us your thoughts, and send them to runblogrun@gmail.com


The Shoe Addicts created this video about the brand, Newton Running,  at the 2013 version of the Running Event, the single most important trade event in run specialty. 

Craig Heisner, the President of Newton Running, is the focus of this video created by the Shoe Addicts. Craig was asked to explain a bit about the success of the brand, and what Newton had in store for the run specialty business in 2014. 

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