April 2014 Archives

Fikile Mbalula, the Sports & Recreation Minister for South Africa, created quite a stir with his off the cuff comments on the differences in how South Africa and Kenya view sports participation. 

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Asbel Kiprop, photo by PhotoRun.net

Justin Lagat, our weekly commentator on Kenyan athletics, wrote the following about the disturbance in the twitter universe that Mr. Mbalula started. If you want to see more, go to # #someonetellsouthafrica or  #someonetellmbalula. 

Justin's column gives you an interesting view point on the furor. 


Lance Braumann submitted to six questions from RunBlogRun, which were produced by the Shoe Addicts. We asked Lance, "At what age are male and female sprinters at their best?" An interesting response was elicited from one of our sports' top coaches. 
(Editor's note: IOC Vice President John Coates, in this piece published in www.theguardian.com, that the IOC must have a much more visible presence in Rio. This sounds like an absolute mess. It sure would be nice for the IOC to consider, in their goal to share the Olympic movement with all of the developing world, that the event has become so large and so costly, as to possibly ruin economies. Just a thought. )

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/apr/29/rio-2016-olympics-worst-preparations-ioc


Lance Braumann graciously took six questions from RunBlogRun in Sopot, Poland. This one, the fifth of six, is about how he first dealt with Marvin Bracy. Marvin Bracy took the silver medal in the 60 meters in the 2014 World Indoor Champs in Sopot, Poland in March. 

Lance is one of the finest sprint coaches in our sport. We were fascinated on how Lance determines talent and who he coaches. 

Thanks to the Shoe Addicts and adidas for their support. 
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SAN DIEGO (USA): Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford says that now he has the British record all to himself he now wants to jump inside the top 10 all time, report 
theguardian.com. That would mean jumping further than 8.66. But first up he would like to get over 28 feet (8.54). He will fly back to the UK on Tuesday and will compete next at the GreatCity Games in Manchester on May 17.

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Greg Rutherford, courtesy of Nova International, CityGames 2012

(Editor's note: Greg Rutherford made history with his history gold medal in London on Saturday, August 4, 2012. It was the first win by a British athlete in the long jump since Lynn Davies did it in 1964. Rutherford had won the 2005 World Junior Long Jump and was second in 2006 in the Europeans. In 2010, Rutherford won the Commonwealth Games. 

But most were surprised by his 8.31m on August 4. That night, which would become known as one of the greatest in British Athletics, had Rutherford win the long jump, then Jessica Ennis win the heptathlon, then, Mo Farah win the 10,000 meters in front of 80,000 mostly British fans! 

Greg Rutherford is jumping well again. Having recovered from injuries, Greg jumped 8.51 meters just last week in San Diego. The significance of Greg's leap? Well, it is the world leader and it gives Mr. Rutherford sole possession of the British Long Jump record. Greg had shared the former record, of 8.35m, with Chris Thomlinson, since 2012. 

Watch Greg Rutherford defend his Commonwealth Games gold this year, but watch an inspired Rutherford get into the top ten long jumps of all times. Rutherford has strong form, good speed, but, most of all, Rutherford knows what it is like to be on top of the world, as he was in 2012. He would like that feeling, once again. 

My guess is, Greg Rutherford will get it. Watch for an 8.65 or better this season.

If you are lucky enough to be in Manchester next on May 17, make sure you see Greg Rutherford soar through the air with the greatest of ease. Maybe he will surprise you and go over 8.50 meters!  )


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Valerie Adams, Sopot 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net


MONACO (MON): World and Olympic shot champion Valerie Adams says that her training is going "very well" and that she has just finished a three week intensive phase with a lot of base work in which her knees and ankles both held up well, inform the IAAF. The 29 year old is currently training in Switzerland ahead of her season opener in Doha. She acknowledges that one thing that will challenge her in Doha is the heat as she says that it is only five degrees in Switzerland at the moment. Later in the year she aims to compete in her 4th Commonwealth Games where she will be looking for her third title.


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 Valerie Adams, DN Galan/Stockholm 2012


(Editor's note: Valerie Adams is the most dominating shot putter of her generation. As she opens the 2014 outdoor season, in Doha, Qatar on May 9, Valerie has an unbeaten streak of 46 competitions. Adam's technique is admirable, but her speed in the ring and her competitiveness make her nearly unbeatable.

Possessed of a strong sense of humor, Valerie Adams represents her sport and her country well. The next time you get a chance, watch Ms. Adams throw, watch her compete. As Adams goes into the ring, nothing else seems to be happening. Adams is focused. The controlled speed, technique and focus all come together as she throws the shot over twenty meters.

If you want to see her, go to www.adidasgrandprix.com and purchase tickets for the 2014 adidas Grand Prix NYC, which will be held on Randalls Island at Icahn Stadium on June 14, 2014. )


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Valerie Adams, photo by PhotoRun.net

If you are not reading Toni Reavis blog, then, you are missing one of the best writers in our sport. Here is his column on the Bill Rodgers Running Center, gone but not forgotten...
The 2014 Penn Relays were a fantastic event. Another reminder of the true excitement for our sport and where our strengths are in track and field. Dave Hunter wrote this third of three articles on Day three for our coverage of the Penn Relays. I lost it for a day in my emails, so my sincere apologies. Read it. Enjoy it. Savor the experience. 

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Starting blocks, by PhotoRun.net

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Liliya Shobukhova, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Starting blocks, courtesy of Brooks Running (2010)

This is Dave Hunter's second piece on the 2014 Penn Relays. Dave described the theme of the 2014 Relays in his title, "Feasting at Penn's Banquet Table." We like it. 
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Liliya Shobukhova, photo by PhotoRun.net

Liliya Shobukhova has tested positive and her events will be taken off the record books back to 2009. Here is the statement from the VMLM on the positive doping test of Shobukhova. 
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Derek Drouin, photo by PhotoRun.net

Drouin for ATL opener
BLOOMINGTON (ISA): The American Track League (www.americantrackleague.com) is set to kick-off in Bloomington Indiana this Friday May 2nd on the campus of Indiana University and top class fields have been assembled. League Director Paul Doyle expressed his satisfaction: "I am extremely happy with the fields that have been assembled for our inaugural meet. The way the athletes have supported this league leaves me feeling very optimistic about the future of the sport within the US." One of the most exciting events will surely be the Men's High Jump featuring Olympic and World Bronze Medalist Derek Drouin of Canada who improved at Drake Relays to 240 facing the in-form American Dusty Jonas. 

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Derek Drouin, Moscow 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net

In the 400 m Hurdles, American Record Holder Lashinda Demus will attempt to improve on her opening mark from the past weekend.  The women's sprint hurdles should also be a main event, featuring newly crowned Drake Relays Champion and World Leader Kristi Castlin going head to head with America's sweetheart, Lolo Jones in her opening hurdle race of the year. The Women's 400m will feature triple Olympic Medalist DeeDee Trotter.  The middle distance races each have a local flavor as Molly Beckwith (Indiana University Alum) faces off with Bloomington Native, Morgan Uceny. On the men's side, Indiana Native and NCAA Champion, Andy Bayer will enter the 1500m race as the crowd favorite but he will surely face a strong challenge from a man much further from home, Ryan Gregson of Australia. The men's short sprint will feature a 40 yard dash time-trial for qualification to the 100 m final. The 40 yard dash preliminary runs will also be open to the public and the fastest member of the public will be awarded lane 9 in the 100 m final. This lucky member of the public will get to face former World Silver Medalist, Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas and Jamaican talent Jacques Harvey. Throughout the evening, the crowd will be entertained by the sounds of the Velveteen Playboys playing live on the infield and led by their front man and former High Jumper Paul Souza. Additionally, the ATL Dance team will be performing, led by team captain Sabrina Clark who was voted 2011 NFL's Hottest Cheerleader.


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Asbel Kiprop, Kenyan Relay Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net

A. Kiprop heads the Bowerman mile
EUGENE (USA): The Bowerman mile field at the 40th Prefontaine Classic on May 31 (IAAF Diamond League) will feature 4 sub 3:50 performers, the current World champion, World Indoor champion and defending champion. Headling the top class field is three time winner Asbel Kiprop of Kenya and his country-mate Silas Kiplagat. Also running World Indoor champion Ayanleh Soulieman with in-shape Ethiopian Aman Wote. Ethiopia's Mekonnen Gebremedhin, Bethwel Birgen, Collins Cheboi, Mohamed Moustaoui, James Magut and Johan Cronje complete the strong African contingent. Challenging them will be Americans Matthew Centrowitz and Will Leer, while Norwegian Henrik Ingebrigtsen is Europe's hope.

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Asbel Kiprop, Kenya Relay Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Annie Bersagel, photo from PhotoRun.net

Annie Bersagel surprised many with her win at MetroGroup Duesseldorf, but not Christoph Kopp, the elite athlete director for the marathon. Christoph is a master of the art of field selection. Give him a budget, an event and a goal, and Christoph puts together a field for major events that has some surprises. My guess is that Mr. Kopp is smiling somewhere, knowing that Ms. Bersagel surprised many out there! That surprise means more publicity for MetroGroup Duesseldorf. 




(Editor's note: Leo Manzano, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist is a fearsome kicker. Put Leo within the fight at the end of a mile or 1,500 meters, and you have a battle royale. We asked Leo to give RunBlogRun some tips for our high school readers on how to be better milers.  On April 19, Leo took third in the Boston Mile, and, then on Tuesday, April 22, he won the road mile at the Drake Relays. At the Penn Relays DMR, Leo lead for two laps, then allowed Australia's 13:11 5,000m runner (also a 3:54 miler), Collis Birmingham to take the lead, and with 200 meters to go, used his torrid finish to take the win for Team USA.)



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Leo Manzano wins Drake road Mile, 1/4
photo by PhotoRun.net

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Leo Manzano, photo by PhotoRun.net 2/5

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Leo Manzano, 3/4, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Leo Manzano, 4/4, photo by PhotoRun.net

Six tips on being a better miler for high school milers

1. Do interval training and always work/focus on your last intervals - This will teach you mental strength to stay in the race when it gets tough. 

2. Work on your speed at least once a week- This will help with your closing speed

3. Focus more on quality of running than quantity of running.- This will allow you to have a longer lasting career in your running and in the sport. 

4. Run the first 800 effortlessly.- This allows you to save strength for when the race gets tough!

5. Strengthen your legs and body by doing general strength work such as squats, lunges, abs ect. - This will help strengthen your body so that you can push more when you are tired in the race, and ultimately help you run faster. 

6- Golden Rule - Don't forget to enjoy and have fun in the sport!

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Drake Road Mile, photo by PhotoRun.net


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Penn Relays, photo by PhotoRun.net

 

 

 

RYAN NEELY AND KIMBERLY O'DONNELL WIN

2014 SAN LUIS OBISPO MARATHON

 

Husband and Wife Joe Thorne and Kara Thorne Take the Half Marathon Titles

 

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA - On a clear, sunny Central Coast morning Ryan Neely (25 years) and Kimberly O'Donnell (24 years), both from Walnut Creek, California were the overall male and female winners respectively at the 2014 San Luis Obispo Marathon, Half Marathon + 5K presented by LeftLaneSports.com


Both Neely and O'Donnell broke course records with Neely crossing the finish line in 2:34:46 and O'Donnell in 3:04:33. In a rather cute twist Neely and O'Donnell are a dating. The previous marathon record for the men was held by Joe Thorne of Arroyo Grande, California with a time of 2:37:58 in 2013. The previous women's record was Carin Serba of San Luis Obispo held the previous women's record of 3:16:33 in 2012.


Van McCarty, the 2012 San Luis Obispo Marathon men's winner, placed second with a time of 2:38:43. Boone Ebel from Chandler, Arizona crossed the line in third place with time of 2:41:14. On the women's side, Erika Schaeffer from Newbury Park, California placed second with a time of 3:08:38 and Ellie Ryan of San Luis Obispo, CA placed third with a time of 3:10:44.


Prize money was added to the race for the first time this year. Neely and O'Donnell took home $500 each, McCarty and Schaeffer won $250 each and Ebel and Ryan took home $100.


Husband and wife team of Joe (30 years) and Kara Thorne (31 years) of Arroyo Grande, California dominated the half marathon field. Joe, last year's marathon winner opted for the half marathon because of his competition schedule. He set a blistering course record, completing the 13.1 miles in 1:12:18, a good six minutes off the record held by 2013 half marathon winner Samuel Denman. He held a blistering 5:32 pace on a hilly course. Kara wasn't too far behind Joe, crossing the line in 1:21:07, a good four minutes off previous record held by 2013 half marathon winner Sarah Hallas. She held a fast 6:12 pace average.


Andrew Petersen of San Luis Obispo, California placed second in the half marathon with a time of 1:14:42 and James Kelley of San Luis Obispo was third with a time of 1:15:47. Anna Vanderstelt-Frank from Bakersfield, California was the second place female in the half marathon with a time of 1:22:30 and Nicole Aha from Davis, California crossed the line in third with a time of 1:24:34.


Prize money for the half marathon winners Joe and Kara Thorne is $300, Petersen and Vanderstelt-Frank took home $150 each and Kelly and Aha received $75.


Complete race results can be found at http://www.slomarathon.com/results.





DIBABA DEFENDS BUPA GREAT MANCHESTER RUN TITLE


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Tirunesh Dibaba, photo by PhotoRun.net



Tirunesh Dibaba, the reigning world and Olympic champion at 10,000m, is returning to the North West of England to defend her title in the Bupa Great Manchester Run on Sunday 18 May.

The 28-year-old Ethiopian, who goes by the name of the 'baby faced assassin,' shot down the course record on her first appearance in Europe's biggest 10km road race last year, and has her sights on the Manchester race once again following her impressive marathon debut in London the weekend before last.

Dibaba has been a trailblazer in women's distance running for more than a decade now. She became the youngest ever individual world champion when she won the global 5,000m title as an 18-year-old at the Stade de France in Paris in 2003.  The 5ft 1in phenomenon became the first woman to complete an Olympic double at 5,000m and 10,000m when she struck gold at both distances in Beijing in 2008.

In all, Dibaba has won three Olympic golds (she successfully defended her 10,000m crown at London 2012) and five world track titles. She has held the world 5,000m record, 14 minutes 11.15 seconds, since 2008 and extended her range to the marathon in London on 13 April, finishing third behind Kenyans Edna Kiplagat and Florence Kiplagat in 2 hours 20 minutes 35 seconds.

It made Dibaba the third fastest ever debutante as a women's marathon runner, behind Britain's Paula Radcliffe and Kenya's Lucy Kabuu. She would have undoubtedly been faster had she not lost touch with the Kiplagats after dropping her bottle at the 30km drinks station. "I am going back to the track this summer, but I will definitely do another marathon," she said.

The Bupa Great Manchester Run will be a stepping stone to that summer track season for Dibaba, who has never lost a 10,000m race on the track and whose last defeat at the distance on the road dates back to November 2002, when she finished runner up to Werknesh Kidane in the second Great Ethiopian Run. She was a 17-year-old junior at the time.

"Tirunesh ran a fantastic marathon debut in London and she's recovered well," said Peter Riley, elite athlete manager for the Bupa Great Manchester Run. "It will be interesting to see what she does in Manchester. Last year she came and sat in with the others until halfway and still broke the course record."

Twelve months ago Dibaba was content to reach 5km in a relatively sedate 15 minutes 40 seconds before putting her foot on the accelerator and finishing out of sight of the rest of the field in 30:49 - 18 seconds inside the course record held by her compatriot Berhane Adere.

Sadly, there will be no rematch for Dibaba with Priscah Jeptoo, who beat her in the Bupa Great North Run half marathon on Tyneside last September.  The Kenyan suffered a stress fracture in the London Marathon and has withdrawn from the prestigious IAAF Gold Label event.

Still, the elite women's line up includes some of Europe's leading lights: Italy's Valeria Stranio, the marathon silver medallist at the World Championships in Moscow last summer;  Sophie Duarte of France and Britain's Gemma Steel, who finished first and second in the European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade last December;  Portugal's Sara Moreira, who has won silver and bronze at 5,000m at the last two European track championships; and Christelle Daunay of France, who finished third last year, behind Dibaba and Latvia's Jelena Prokopcuka.

Established in 2003 as a legacy event for the Manchester Commonwealth Games of the previous year, the Bupa Great Manchester Run has attracted an equally impressive field for the elite men's race this year.  Kenya's Wilson Kipsang, holder of the world marathon record and winner of this year's London Marathon, faces Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, holder of the world records at 5,000m and 10,000m and a winning marathon debutant in Paris on 6 April.

For further information and online entries to the Bupa Great Manchester Run, visitwww.greatrun.org/manchester

 

Nova International 
The Bupa Great Manchester Run is brought to you by a partnership between Manchester City Council and event organisers Nova International and is sponsored by Bupa. 

Nova International, headed by Olympic medallist Brendan Foster, is one of the UK's leading event management and sports marketing agencies. The company's current brand portfolio also includes some of the biggest running events in the world, all based on the Bupa Great North Run, Britain's biggest running event with 56,000 entries.

Nova International was established in 1988 and has a strong sporting pedigree. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Nova has established itself as a market leader in the world of sports marketing and event management. 

For more information please visit www.greatrun.org
To apply for media accreditation visit www.greatrun.org/mediaaccreditation

About Bupa 
Bupa's purpose is longer, healthier, happier lives.

As a leading international healthcare group, we offer health insurance and medical subscription products, run care homes, retirement villages, hospitals, primary care centres and dental clinics. We also provide workplace health services, home healthcare, health assessments and long-term condition management services.

We have over 22m customers in 190 countries. With no shareholders, we invest our profits to provide more and better healthcare and fulfil our purpose. 

We employ more than 70,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, New Zealand andChile, as well as Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, and the USA.

For more information, visit www.bupa.com.

Manchester 
As a city that lives and breathes sport, Manchester continues to strengthen its impressive reputation for attracting major international sports championships.  In 2012, the City was named 5th in the Ultimate Sports City List, and No.1 city with a population of under one million.  In 2014 Manchester will host several major sports events, including the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup, Super League Magic Weekend and the Sainsbury's 2014 School Games.  These events help to raise the city's global sporting profile, whilst bringing long-term social and economic benefits to Manchester and its residents. The City's excellent range of accessible sports venues and facilities, combined with its school and community sports development programmes, provide the springboard for Manchester's sporting stars of the future.
Visit www.manchester.gov.uk for more information.

 
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Annie Bersagel, photo by Victah Sailer/photorun.net

METRO GROUP MARATHON DUESSELDORF:

Another US marathon victory: Annie Bersagel 
takes Duesseldorf, Gilbert Yegon wins men's race 

Six days after Boston there was another surprising American marathon victory: In rainy conditions Annie Bersagel won the Metro Group Marathon Duesseldorf with a personal best of 2:28:59. She overtook Selomie Getnet with only three kilometres to go. The Ethiopian, who had a big lead in the middle of the race, was second with 2:30:29. Kenya's Emily Ngetich ran 2:30:50 for third place. Gilbert Yegon won the men's race with 2:08:07. On slippery roads the Kenyan missed the course record by 19 seconds. Endeshaw Negesse was second with 2:08:32 while his fellow Ethiopian Fikadu Teferi ran 2:09:34 in his debut for third place. Adding other running events staged parallel to the marathon a total of 16,000 runners competed in the Metro Group Marathon Duesseldorf.

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Annie Bersagel, photo by Victah Sailer/photorun.net

The men's race started fast with split times of 29:54 at 10 k and 44:56 at 15. When a group of 16 runners passed the half way mark in 63:31 they were still well on course for the course record of 2:07:48 run by Dereje Debele. The defending champion from Ethiopia was among the leaders at this stage. However in very wet and cool conditions with temperatures little above 10 Celsius Debele was among those who suffered badly during the second half. But the first of the favourites who lost contact to the group was fellow Ethiopian Shami Abdulhadi Dawud. The second fastest on the start list with a PB of 2:05:42 started to loose ground around the 25 k mark (1:15:36) and later dropped out at 31 k. 

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Annie Bersagel, photo by Photorun.net

While Kenyan pacemaker Ronald Korir bravely held on to the 35 k mark, which he reached in 1:46:04, Debele had lost contact three kilometres earlier. Suffering of cramps the Ethiopian dropped out at 38 k. Five runners were still in contention after Korir dropped out and the course record was still a possibility for Yegon, Negesse, Teferi, Shengo Kebede (Ethiopia) and Moses Masai (Kenya). However with the pacemaker gone it was only Yegon who was able to push the pace. For a short period it looked as if Negesse would be able to hold on, but the fastest runner on the start list with a PB of 2:04:52 was also suffering in the cold and wet conditions. "I had a look at him before I drew away and he did not look that strong any more," said Gilbert Yegon, who celebrated his second marathon victory during his career. Back in 2009 he had won in Amsterdam with a time of 2:06:18 which still stands as his personal best. Since then the 25 year-old struggled when trying to take another race or improve his PB. 

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Annie Bersegel, photo by PhotoRun.net

"I am very happy to have won my second marathon now. It was my aim to win the race and my goal was to run2:06 - but this was not possible in these conditions," said Yegon, who was followed by Negesse (2:08:32), Teferi (2:09:34), Kebede (2:10:14) and Masai (2:10:36) after finishing on the promenade next to the river Rhine. 

Pre-race favourite Getnet, who entered the race with a PB of 2:25:15, took the lead immediately in the women's race. Passing the half way mark in 1:13:25 she was well clear of second placed Winfrida Kwamboka (Kenya) but the course record of 2:25:49 proved to be out of reach. Running together with Ngetich America's Bersagel passed the half way point 1:37 minutes behind Getnet. 

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Gilbert Yegon, photo by PhotoRun.net

But Kwamboka and Getnet could not keep their pace. Normally the second half of the race in Duesseldorf is considered to be faster than the first half, but not so today. It was before the 30 k mark, when Bersagel overtook Kwamboka. But 31 year-old, who had entered the race with a PB of 2:30:53 from last autumn and more recently showed a fine performance in the World Half Marathon Championships where she finished 13th, did not think about victory at this stage of the race. That changed around 38 k. "It was then, when I suddenly saw the leading car and I realised that I made up ground quickly," recalled Bersagel. She passed Getnet with around three kilometres to go and became the first US champion in the history of the Metro Group Marathon Duesseldorf.

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Gilbert Yegon, photo by PhotoRun.net

More information is available at: www.metrogroup-marathon.de 


 

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Michael Wardian, photo by BSIM

Masters Winners Dominate Big Sur Marathon's 29th Presentation

Nuta Olaru "three-peats" as 2012-14 female winner;

Wardian sets new Masters and Boston 2 Big Sur records

 

               Two veteran runners, Michael Wardian, 40, and Nuta Olaru, 43, took top honors in the 29th Presentation of the Big Sur International Marathon.  Their age status (over 40) earned them first place awards in the Masters division as well, with Wardian setting a new Big Sur Masters record.

               Wardian, a four-time U.S. Track and Field Ultra Marathoner of the Year who recently completed the North Pole Marathon, gained his first Big Sur victory in four attempts.  He outpaced two-time defending champion Adam Roach, winning in 2:27:45, nearly two minutes ahead of Roach (2:29:31).  The two ran together for the first five miles before Wardian pulled away to gain a sizeable lead midcourse.

               Olaru's performance never was contested.  Even after running a strong Boston Marathon on Monday, she won handily with a 2:53:15.  Though her time was the slowest of her previous two Big Sur victories, she became the first female to 'three-peat' the Big Sur Marathon.  Former Big Sur female champions, including four-time winner Kim Marie Goff, and two-time winners JulieAnne White and Mary Coordt had never been able to win three times in a row.


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Nuta Olaru, photo by BSIM               

Within the marathon category is a special division -- Boston 2 Big Sur (B2B) -- comprised of 400 athletes who finished the Boston Marathon on Monday as well as today's Big Sur Marathon.  Along with his Big Sur victory, Wardian also won the B2B, setting a new record of a 5:33 combined time.  Olaru, who ran Boston on Monday in 2:37:29 would have set a new B2B female record of 5:30:44 if she had entered this category. Kristi Rossi of Hillsborough, CA, was named today's B2B female champion with a combined time of 7:02.

               California's scenic Highway 1 was filled with more than 6,500 runners and walkers in six distance events including the marathon, marathon relay, 21, 10.6 and 9-Milers and a 5K.

               Race director Doug Thurston, said, "Our 29th presentation was another great event with phenomenal weather, great performances, and amazing volunteer support. I think our finish line crowds were some of our largest ever. Michael Wardian and Nuta Olaru's performances, only six days after Boston and as Masters runners, were off the charts.

               The "bucket list" marathon opens registration this summer.  Having sold out in just 59 minutes last year, the organization will be announcing a new registration policy in mid-May.  For more information and results from today's race go to www.bsim.org.

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Running in Chiba, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Brianna Rollins, photo by PhotoRun.net

ROLLINS LOST BY 0.005, RETURN OF CHAUNTE

DES MOINES (USA, Apr 26): The final track action (sellout crowd 14 504, total 40 795) at the 105th Drake Relays saw superb hurdles duel won by Kristin Castlin by 0.005 over last year unbeaten World champion Brianna Rollins (12.571 to 12.576). Rollins winning streak ends to at 19 events since US Olympic Trials 2012. Both times are also new meet records here and world leading times. "I was surprised," Castlin said. "This is my first race of the season. I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder being in lane eight. I had to execute my best race since I was out there on my own." „This was a great opener," Rollins said. "I just wanted to run a relaxed race and tried to focus on myself. Someone else beat me to the line but that's okay. Someone beat to the line but that's okay it was all in God's plan. I have a race in Jamaica next weekend." They were quoted by meet website. Third Kellie Wells 12.68 ahead of Queen Harrison 12.70 and British Tiffany Porter 12.73. Sixth Jackie Coward 12.73 over Olympic winner 2008 Dawn Harper-Nelson 12.87. The 400 m hurdles winner Tiffany Ross-Williams got 55.53 over Jamaican Nickeisha Wilson 55.68 and former World champion Lashinda Demus 55.97. In the men shuttle hurdles the USA White team consisting of Jeff Porter, Dominic Berger, Aries Merritt, and Ty Akins won by a slim margin over the Jamaican relay team comprised of Andrew Riley, Deuce Carter, Hansle Parchment, and Stephan Fennell. The USA White team posted a time of 53.77 (fourth all-time fastest), slightly ahead of the Jamaican time of 53.83. Another top US team did not finish (Oliver, Adams, J. Brown, R. Wilson). French Olympic winner Renaud Lavillenie with 570 on count-back beat again as in the mall jumping Briton Steve Lewis 570. And great come back by triple mother Chaunte Lowe with clearing 196 in the high jump. "I really didn't know what to expect," Lowe said. "It was a coin toss. I have been training really, really hard, but I hadn't had any great competitions up to this point. I had two small ones just to see where my steps were. This week I came and jumped at Hy-Vee. That was exciting. To come out here and take the win made me feel like I still have the juice. The last real competition I had was in Belgium in 2012 right after the Olympic Games." Second Inika McPherson PB 196 ahead of St. Lucia´s Levern Spencer 193, Olympic and world medalist Brigetta Barrett 193 and European Champion Ruth Beitia also 193. The 196 also equaled the world lead of Spencer.  Ethiopian Aman Wote clocked 3:53.39 World lead in the mile over Nick Willis 4:00.71.


 


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Penn Relays, by PhotoRun.net 

FOUR WINS FOR USA OUT OF SIX

PHILADELPHIA (USA, Apr 26): Team USA took home four of six event titles in the 15th USA vs. The World at the Penn Relays, informs USATF.  In the men 4x100 m the team Silmon, Gatlin, Salaam, Dix in 38.57 beat Jamaica (Livermore, Frater, Dwyer, O. Bailey) 38.58 just by 0.01. Third Brazil 38.94 over China 39.12 and Qatar 39.38. „So being able to run the anchor leg today and pulling the win out for my team, was something special. It was definitely a close race in the end, but I knew right away that I won the race for team USA," said anchor Dix. And Gatlin added: „Our first leg guy Charles Slimon got bumped on the first leg, but he composed himself and gave us the momentum we needed to win. Participating in races like this always help us build as a team." In women 4x400 m US win (Kirtz, Hargrove 51.7, Trotter 50.78, Beard 50.46) 3:25.62 ahead of Nigeria 3:27.16 (anchor Regina George 50.49) and Jamaica 3:27.32. Third win for US in the men distance medley 9:28.27 (Torrence, Inglehart-Summers 46.12, B. Johnson 1:45.55 and Manzano 3:57.18) over Australia 9:30.74 (Birmingham 3:55.61). And fourth by US women sprint medley 3:37.94 (A. Anderson, Ch. Williams, M. Robinson 51.8 and A. Wilson 1:59.60). Second Jamaica 3:38.41 (N. Morrison, LeRoy, P. Hall 51.7 and Goule 2:01.36). Two non-US wins in men 4x400 m for Bahamas 3:00.78 (olympic selection Mathieu 45.7, Pinder 44.7, C. Brown 45.09, Miller 45.32) over US (Clemons 45.8, Butler 45.1, Verburg 44.50, M. Mitchell 47.88) 3:03.31 with Brazil third 3:03.32 (anchor Hugo de Sousa 44.14) and Jamaica fourth 3:04.99. Jamaica won women 4x100 m in 42.81 (Russell, Stewart, McLaughlin, Hawthorne) with US second 43.15 (Smith, A. Anderson, Lee, Lawson) and third Trinidad and Tobago 43.53 and fourth Brazil 43.77

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4 x 1500 meter WR, photo by PhotoRun.net

 

WOMEN 4X1500 M WR

NAIROBI (KEN, Apr 26): Kenyan media are informing that World 5000 m silver medalist Mercy Cherono anchored her team to a World record in women 4x1500 m at the national trials for the IAAF World Relays with 17:05.72 at Nyayo Stadium. In the team also Irene Jelagat, Ann Karindi and Perin Nenkampi. Former mark of another Kenyan team 17:08.17 was set on April 5 at Kasarani Stadium. Here second the team with Sheila Chepng'etich, Sela Jepleting, Margaret Chelimo and Purity Cherotich 17:47.75 and third Caroline Chepkemoi, Caroline Chepkoech, Beatrice Chepkoech and Fancy Cherotich in 18:21.33. World champion Asbel Kiprop won the 1500 m in 3:36.1 over Silas Kiplagat 3:36.4, Collins Cheboi 3:36.6 and Joseph Magut 3:37.0 who all qualified for the 4x1500 m team. World indoor 3000 m champion Caleb Ndiku was sixth 3:38.2 Another World champion Eunice Sum won the 800 m in 2:03.2 beating 2007 World champion Janeth Jepkosgei 2:03.9, third Sylvia Chesebe 2:04.8 and fourth Cherono Koech 2:05.2 to qualify for the 4x800 m team. World Youth champion Alred Kipketer, running in his first race as a senior improved to excellent 1:44.2 at the 800 m, beating Jon Kinyor 1:44.6. Behind them Ferguson Rotich 1:44.9 and Sammy Kirongo 1:45.3 to qualify for the World relays team. Fifth Nicholas Kiplagat 1:45.7 and 6th Anthony Chemut 1:46.0. Sum with Jepkosgei, Chesebe and Cherono Koech won women 4x800 m in 8:23.13 with a team of Agatha Jeruto, Miriam Chepkemoi, Sylvia Cherop and Sheila Chesang taking second place in 8:37.83. Commonwealth Games 800 m bronze medalist Abraham Kiplagat anchored his team of Robert Biwott, Edwin Kemboi and Cornelius Kiplagat to victory in 7:08.30 with Alfred Kipketer's team of Job Kinyor, Ferguson Rotich and Sammy Kirongo coming in second in 7:09.21. In men 4x1500 m Kiprop, S. Kiplagat, Cheboi and Magut clocked 14:44.77 to win. In the women 1500m Mercy Cherono beat Irene Jelagat in 4:11.49 to 4:12.27. Ann Karindi (4:15.35) and Perrine Nenkampi (4:15.67) followed home in third and fourth.


(Editor's note: Kenyan media were incorrect. Mercy Cherono DID NOT anchor the 4 x 1500 meters WR). 

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Meb Keflezighi wins Boston, photo by PhotoRun.net

Jeff Benjamin, a frequent contributor to RunBlogRun and long time contributor to American Athletics and American Track & Field wrote this piece on his weekend in Boston: 

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Galen Rupp, Alberto Salazar, Mo Farah, photo by PhotoRun.net

PORTLAND (USA): Oregon Project coach Alberto Salazar says that he thinks Mo Farah should not run another marathon until after the 2016 Olympics, report RunnersWorld. Salazar explained that he was disappointed by Farah's 2:08:21 debut, adding „Part of me doesn't like to see Mo get beat, but the fact that he did makes his decision clearer, „Let's stick with what he's best at in the world." He says that he is open to the idea of Farah competing at the Commonwealth Games, but no decision has been made yet. He also revealed that Olympic silver medallist Galen Rupp will probably open his outdoor season over 5000m at the Occidental High Performance Meet in California (
May 15)and then do a 5000m or 10000m at the Prefontaine Classic.

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Rupp, Tanui, Farah, Moscow 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net

(Editor's note: If you do not take chances, you are not human. Everyone can moan about Mo trying the marathon, but Farah's marathon debut did several things. First, it was the sports media event of the year in England (or, it should be), second it promoted the Virgin Money London marathon like no other. Mo Farah showed class as he always does. Mo blamed no one and took his 2:08:21 race in stride. But he said something more telling. Mo Farah noted that it was first race in long time that he did not feel in control. 

Part of Mo Farah's genius is his relaxed ability to control his races, over 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. Glad to see him considering the track once again. Galen Rupp is coming along just fine. A thoughtful young man, who is comfortable in his own skin, with the weight of the US on his back at times, Galen keeps a good sense of humor and private life that is private, which allows him to train, race and work to be the best. 

Alberto Salazar? I have known Alberto since our junior year in college. Intense? Some might say that. Alberto Salazar wants the best for his athletes, as do all coaches. The difference is, he has the support of Nike behind his athletes. The things that make a good coach are also the things that some find a challenge. But, to his athletes, this coach helps prepare them, so that they can race to their limits. 

It will be fascinating to see how Mo and Galen do over the next couple of years.)
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Penn Relays, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Penn Relays are in their 120th year. Elliott Denman, along with Dave Hunter are providing us with their views of the iconic relay event. 
Coach Bob Larsen is the coach of Meb Keflezighi. Coach Larsen and Meb have been together for twenty years. 

Bob Larsen is a coaches coach. I say that about few men and women who hold the title of coach. He understands his vocation is also avocation. Coach Larsen spent time at Grossmont Junior College, coached the Jamul Toads and then coached at UCLA. But, he started as a high school distance coach. 

Coach Larsen sat down with me on Tuesday, April 22, at the post event press conference done by the Boston Marathon. Coach was beaming, as Meb took in the accolades, so well deserved, for his tough win at the 2014 Boston Marathon. 

Note about the interview. There are two finishes. Listen past the first as Coach Larsen gives a message to all high school coaches, making the point of how important the your job truly is, working with 1.4 million athletes across the U.S. 




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Derek Drouin, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Penn Relays, 4 x 400 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net

Dave Hunter wrote this piece on the second day of the Penn Relays. We look forward to his column on Saturday! 
The adidas Grand Prix NYC is one of two Diamond League meets in the US this year! Use your miles and get to both ot them! (Then, go to Eugene, July 22-27, 2014 for the World Juniors). 

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David Rudisha, adidas GP NYC 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Kenenisa Bekele, photo by TracktownPhoto.com

The Nike Pre Classic is the meet where Nike showcases the best of its best athletes. It was in Eugene in 2008, where I was able to stand, next to the fence and watch Kenenisa Bekele run the fastest 10,000 meters ever in North America. 
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Derek Drouin, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Yarislay Silva, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Merritt verus James, Eugene, Oregon, June 2012, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Results from Friday, April 25, 2014, courtesy of Drake University. 
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Merritt verus James, Nike Pre Classic, June 2013, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

This is James Dunaway's column on the Friday Drake Relays. James, the editor of American Track & Field, has been to Drake over fifty times. 
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Penn Relays, photo by PhotoRun.net

Dave Hunter will be covering the Penn Relays for us, here is his column on a very chilly Day 1. 
Lance Brauman, one of the most respected coaches in the development of sprinters and jumpers answered a series of questions for RunBlogRun in Sopot, Poland in early March 2014. This is the fourth video in a series of six on Sprint Development. The videos were developed by The Shoe Addicts.
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Drake Relays, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Drake Relays, courtesy of Drake University
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Drake Relays, photo courtesy of Drake University
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Jenny Simpson at the 2013 Drake Relays, photo by PhotoRun.net




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Shalane Flanagan leads Boston, photo by PhotoRun.net

Shalane Flanagan, during her training for the Boston Marathon, ran the USA Road Champs at the 15k. Her 15k time of 47:03 set a new AR, breaking the record of Deena Kastor, run in March 2014, made her our March 2014 RunBlogRun Athlete of the Month.

The video was produced by The Shoe Addicts. 

RunBlogRun does a video each month saluting the performance and athlete of month. For March, the performance is the USA team's 4 x 400m men's indoor team. The athlete is Shalane Flanagan and her 15k AR best. Here is the 4 x 400m USA men's indoor team. 

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Butler, Verburg, Smith, Clemons, WR, Sopot 2014, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

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David Rudisha, Lausanne 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net

At the 2012 London Olympics, David Rudisha lead from the first step. In the most important championship in the world, in front of 80,000 of his adoring fans, David Rudisha had wanted to "do something special." And "special he did". 

Running against the best field in the world, with the chance of him faltering, Rudisha ran with an elegance and grace that makes his running look easy. But, it is not. His 1:40.91 World record took a lot out of him, as World Records do. 

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David Rudisha, Paris 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

Now, 18 months later, David Rudisha will be visiting the U.S. once again. On June 14, he will run the adidas Grand Prix NYC. In 2012, David Rudisha ran a gutty final lap in the Icahn Stadium on Randalls Island, running a 1:41.74, the fastest time ever run in the United States. 

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Wilson Kipketer, David Rudisha, IAAF Gala 2012, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

In March, I was in Copenhagen and chatted a bit with Wilson Kipketer, the former world record holder at the 800 meters. Wilson told me, that after he contracted malaria, he did not take the time to truly recover and get back into shape. He was worried about David Rudisha, whom he hoped was taking the time to recover from his injuries and gently get back into shape. Getting a WR holder back to the shape where running seems effortless takes enormous effort. 

Rudisha has returned to fitness and we will see him in New York in only six weeks. 


David Rudisha is the genius of the 800 meters. Rudisha is to the 800 meters what Bubka will always be and Lavillenie is now, to the pole vault.  A most talented athlete, whose gentle speech belies the absolute ferocity he shows when running two laps on the track, David Rudisha will be visiting Icahn Stadium on Randalls Island on June 14. 

If you are a track fan, you should be there! It is one of two Diamond League meets in North America, the other being in Eugene on May 30 and May 31. 

Tickets for the event, at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island, are on sale now at www.adidasgrandprix.com or by calling 1-877-849-8722.

The sixth stop on the international IAAF Diamond League circuit, the adidas Grand Prix is in its 10th year at Icahn Stadium, in conjunction with the Randall's Island Sports Alliance. The latest news, photos and information on the event can be found at www.adidasgrandprix.com; on Facebook; and on Twitter.


Gary Morgan is the associate editor of Michigan Runner. 

A 1988 Olympian over 20k, Gary runs 30 races a year, where he paces pacing groups in half and full marathons. 

He is known at Mr. Ubiquitous, and he is the craziest guy I know. In 2012, Gary fell down about four thousand feet on Mt.Hood and survived. I love this guy. 

For years, we did the Gary and Larry show, our videos when we were on the road. Check out our coverage of 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. 

This column, from Gary is his week in Boston. It is thoughtful, heartfelt, and touching. 

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The BAA 5k, by PhotoRun.net
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Meb Keflezighi winning 2014 BAA Boston, photo by PhotoRun.net

Updated April 24, 2014


Lots of components were part of the story of Meb Keflezighi winning Boston yesterday. His training, his coaching relationship, his shoes, his ability to withstand pain, and his drive, among others. 

We received this release on Friday, and since then, I have been getting notes and texts, "what are the shoes that Meb raced in?" Well, here they are!  The Skechers GOmeb Speed 3 is the answer! 
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Shalane Flanagan lead 2014 Boston Marathon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The photo gallery video celebrating the scenes from Boston was produced by GLSP for RNTV. We hope that you enjoy it! 

http://runningnetwork.com/RNW/index.php/media/rntv/viewvideo/1706/marathons/running-network-presents-victah-salier-and-scenes-of-the-boston-marathon-glsp
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Leo Manzano, photo by PhotoRun.net

Leo Manzano wins Drake Relays Mile (USA 1 Mile Road Champs)


DES MOINES (USA, Apr 22): The Drake Relays continued on Tuesday with the Grand Blue Mile (also US road mile championships). Winners Leo Manzano 4:05.71 and Heather Kampf 4:34.62. On the podium also Pat Casey 4:05.81 and Garret Heath 4:06.39 and on the women side Katie Mackey 4:35.30 and Sara Hall 4:35.81.

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Leo Manzano, photo by PhotoRun.net

(Editor's note: Leo Manzano, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist has had a busy weekend. On Saturday, April 19, he took third in the Boston Mile, and on Tuesday, at the USA Road Mile Champs, in Des Moines, Iowa, Leo Manzano took first!) 
Meb Keflezighi, the American runner who broke the 29 year drought for Americans (31 for American males) at Boston is getting a busy dance card, post Boston. Here is the Shelter Island Run release we just received!

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Meb Keflezighi, photo by PhotoRun.net
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David Rudisha, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Valerie Adams, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Heather Kampf, photo by PhotoRun.net

Heather Kampf Wins USA 1 Mile Road Championship in Des Moines; Heather Kampf, Gabriele Grunewald at Drake Relays 1500m April 25Jon Peterson to Run Get in Gear 10k in Minneapolis April 26
 
Minneapolis/St. Paul - April 23, 2014 - Team USA Minnesota's Heather Kampf won the women's race at the USA 1 Mile Road Championships in Des Moines on April 22 to reclaim a title she also won in 2012.  Her time was 4:34.6 and was a course record for the downtown race, which was held in conjunction with the Grand Blue Mile, part of the week long events for the annual Drake Relays.
 
"It was definitely a tight battle coming down the stretch and I didn't know who else was coming," said Kampf.  "I was worried about those late closers.  I just had to give it my all and see what I could do all the way to the finish.  I won this championship in 2012 when it was held at the Medtronic TC 1 Mile in Minneapolis and it was my goal to get back to the top ever since."
 
Also running in the women's race were Gabriele Grunewald who was 12th in 4:45.91, and Meghan Peyton who crossed the line in 13th place in 4:47.80.
 
In the men's race held the same evening, Travis Burkstrand was eighth with a time of 4:09.24 and Jon Peterson finished 12th in 4:10.60.
 
Next up for Kampf and Grunewald will be the Drake Relays women's 1500 meters which will be held Friday, April 25, at 8:25 p.m. in Drake Stadium.  Kampf has a best in the 1500m of 4:08.37 and Grunewald has posted 4:01.48 in the distance.  Both athletes were members of the U.S. team that competed at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Poland in March, with Kampf competing in the 1500m and Grunewald in the 3000m.
 
Get in Gear 10k
Jon Peterson will be among the competitors at the 37th annual Get in Gear 10k in Minneapolis on April 26.  The race is at 9 a.m. and begins and ends at Minnehaha Park.  Peterson, who won the 2013 Medtronic TC 10 Mile race last fall, has posted 28:50 on the track in the 10k. 
 
About Team USA Minnesota
Team USA Minnesota is based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Founded in 2001, the purpose of the training center is to improve the competitiveness of post-collegiate American distance running and to develop Olympians.  The athletes are coached by Dennis Barker.  Team USA Minnesota's major sponsors are Life Time Run (www.lifetimerun.com) and Twin Cities In Motion (www.tcmevents.org).  Its silver sponsors are the Houston Marathon Foundation (www.houstonmarathonfoundation.com) and the New York Road Runners (www.nyrr.org).  For more information, visit the team's web site at www.teamusaminnesota.org.


  

  Rod Dixon speaks about the 1983 New York City Marathon, where he ran down Geoff Smith, with 385 yards to go! Running was in a different era then. Rod Dixon gives you a wonderful view into his training and his mindset during the race. The video is fantastic!
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Drake University, June 2013, courtesy of the Shoe Addicts


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Meb Keflezighi, Boston 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

Mark Winitz invites you to read his profile story, Mammoth Mission, about yesterday's Boston Marathon men's champion Meb Keflezighi. The story originally appeared in the June, 2003 issue of Running Times magazine. It provides background and insights about the fortitude and environment that eventually led to the athlete's ascendence to the top of Boston's podium -- where he became the first American man since 1983 to win the venerable race.

Click here to read the story, or go to the following URL in your web browser:

http://www.runnersworld.com/elite-runners/mammoth-mission?page=single

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Susan Partridge, VLM 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Freya Ross, NYC Half 13, photo by PhotoRun.net

Susan Partridge and Freya Ross will be testing themselves at the BUPA Great Edinburgh Run 10 Mile on Sunday, April 27, 2014. Details below, from BUPA Great Edinburgh Run. 
This is my journal as I travel through Copenhagen, Paris, London, Boston. Each day I try to give you some insights into my day in the world of sports media. 

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Shalane Flanagan, photo by PhotoRun.net

ODE TO THE BOSTON CHAMPION

by Toni Reavis

Meb Boston 2014

Through clamorous towns at a headlong pace,

We cheered you on into Copley Place,

Where with arms spread wide, and

Church bells pealing,

You bore a wreath of glory,

Though head still reeling.

*

Within that crucible of miles,

You'd been put to the test,

Parrying every challenge,

Proving whom was the best.

*

The distance you ushered,

The pain you endured,

Your flag now flutters,

Must all seem a blur.

 *

But the honor's all yours,

This Patriot's Day,

In this oldest of races,

As men shout, "Hooray!"

 *

And though crusted with salt,

Legs seized with fatigue,

The scene's one to savor,

As you recall the intrigue. Read more of this post


(Editor's note: Toni Reavis is one of the most thoughtful commentators on our sport. He has known Meb Keflezighi since he was in college. 

(Editor's note: Here is one of the eleven sponsors of Meb Keflezighi getting a bit of info out on their super hero. Truth is, Compression socks make sense for runners, and make HUGE sense while traveling. And, CEP, in truth, has been around a long time, doing great quality product. I have two pairs of CEP socks I use (they do not advertise). )


Meb Keflezighi is the American male who ended the drought at the Boston Marathon. In front of 33,000 of his closest runner compatriots and nearly a million fans, Meb held off the charges of athletes who had personal bests four minutes faster than his! 

The video included here is courtesy of Universal Sports. RunBlogRun readers tell us how they stay up or get up at 2 am to watch Paris, London, Rotterdam, all on Universal. With fine coverage and commentators who know the sport, Universal Sports gets it! 


Updated February 27, 2017
Meb Keflezighi is scheduled to run his late Boston Marathon as an elite marathoner on April 18, 2017. Meb just ran his first race of 2017, on Sunday, February 26, when he finished third in the Gasparilla Half Marathon in 1:03:30.
As we consider Meb's long career and success, I figured that it would be a great time to re-read this 2012 story on Meb and his coach, Bob Larsen. It is a unique relationship in terms of its length and support.
One final thought. The amazing movie on Coach Larsen, City Slickers, is now available for rent or purchase at Amazon.com, here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/City-Slickers-Cant-Stay-Me/dp/B06WV8MHJ3. Bob Larsen is one of the finest coaches ever to come out of our athletics programs in North America. This is a great film, and will resonate with all coaches and those who love the sport.
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Meb Keflezighi wins Boston, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Rita Jeptoo wins Boston Marathon, sets course record, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The amazing day that was April 21, 2014 gave us some historic moments: four women under the course record, and the first American male win since 1983. My mind will always stay with the fact that, for nearly two hours, on both the men and women's sides, Americans were leading the races. 

I did this audio tape during my walk through Boston Commons, around eight pm on Monday night, as the clean up crews were clearing out the piles of banana skins, and Gatorade cups in the trash cans. 

An amazing day, a historic day, a day when 36,000 runners showed how wonderful the city of Boston truly is. Boston Strong. 



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Shalane Flanagan pushing the pace, setting up a fast race, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

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Rita Jeptoo begins to crush the field, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

This is the fine story by Chris Lotsbom, of Race Results Weekly on Rita Jeptoo's historic race! 
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Meb Keflezighi makes history, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Meb Keflezighi made history today! David Monti's piece adds to the amazing day of marathon racing that is still going on, as 15,000 of the nearly 33,000 starters are still finishing. 


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Rita Jeptoo wins Boston for the third time! 
by PhotoRun.net

This is Dave Hunter's feature on the amazing women's race, where four women were under the former course record of 2:20:43. Shalane Flanagan, who lead through nineteen miles, was rewarded for her gutty running and set up of the fast race with a 2:22:02! 
No American male has won the iconic Boston Marathon since 1983, when, Greg Meyer, a midwesterner with the legs of a steeple chaser and the arms of a wrestler, won the most American of marathons. 

Now, Meb Keflezighi, an Olympic silver medalist and victor of New York City has added the mantle of Boston Marathon winner to his resume! 

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Meb Keflezighi breaking a 31 year drought! 
by PhotoRun.net
This is Dave Hunter's piece on the first American male winner at Boston since 1983. Meb Keflizighi, is the American victor. The point is, that Meb, in his own way, captured the hearts of 37,000 marathoners and hundreds of thousands of fans.
 
Yes, this is my excellent adventure, Day 26. My journeys through Copenhagen (March 29), Paris (April 6), London (April 13) and Boston (April 21) are now, well chronicled. I write a daily journal entry about each and every day on my journey. I hope that you enjoy. 

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This is the official timeline of the Boston Marathon, Monday, April 21, 2014. 
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Desiree Linden with coach Kevin Hanson (far left), husband Ryan Linden, and Hanson's daughter, Samantha, after the 2014 NYC Half on March 16 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)
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Morgan Uceny, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Nick Willis, photo by PhotoRun.net

Morgan Uceny and Nick Willis used their racing senses, well honed racing tactics and strong acceleration skills to win the BAA Miles. David Monti writes for RRW and RBR on how the races were won! 
I write a daily journal titled my excellent adventure. This journal is about my travels to Copenhagen, Paris, London and Boston. 

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Kampf, Uceny, Fienagle, photo by PhotoRun.net

(  Editor's note: This feature by Dave Hunter on the great Harrison Dillard is our Easter Sunday feature. Harrison is a most elegant man, who I met in the 1990s, but who I saw again at the IAAF Centenary in Barcelona, Spain in 2012. A fine athlete who has lived his life with spirit, gravitas and grace that most of us only wish we could. Enjoy this feature today and enjoy the Easter or Passover weekend with your family and those you love). 

The Greatest Hurdler

Sharing Memories With Harrison Dillard - 90 Years Young


Over sixty years ago, Harrison Dillard was a highly visible and celebrated track & field athlete.  What a career he had.  The Ohio native remains the only man ever to win Olympic titles in both the hurdles and the sprints.  Overall, he won 4 Olympic gold medals in the '48 London and '52 Helsinki Games.  In 1955 Dillard won the Sullivan Award - emblematic of America's top amateur athlete.  And the man they called "Bones" is the only high hurdler inducted into the IAAF Athletics Hall of Fame.  Without question, Harrison Dillard is one of the most prolific track & field athletes of all time.

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Bones with his influential mother Tareh who advised him: "Pay no attention to what
others say. You know what you can do."


Brett Gotcher is one of those unheralded marathoners who could be the talk of the town on Monday afternoon. A 2:10:36 debut in 2010, Brett Gotcher took fifth in the US Olympic Trials in 2012. 

Brett has moved back to Aptos, CA, where he was raised and ran in high school. He is engaged to his high school sweetheart. Coached by Greg McMillan, Brett runs many days with Danny Gruber, his high school coach from Aptos, CA.

Looking fit and relaxed, expect Brett to be in the top ten overall, and if he has some luck, watch the guy edge into the 2:09 territory, and top five. Brett reminds me of Rob De Castella, in both size, stature, racing pbs and ability to call upon his inner strength at end of a race. 

This interview was done on Friday, April 18. 


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Ryan Hall ran 2:04:58 in Boston in 2011, what will he do in 2014? 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Ryan Hall may be the most talented American marathoner ever. Will we ever see a race that shows all of that talent? We came close in 2011, when Ryan Hall ran 2:04:58 at Boston. Since then, Ryan has had a series of up and down races. He has not raced since last fall, but his training is going quite well.

One keen observer, who knows a bit about Ryan Hall's training habits told me: " Ryan shortened his easy days, and pushed his hard days. His overall training mileage is down, but his quality is up and he is healthy!" 

Thanks to Ryan Hall, who we hope will run the race of his life in Boston on Monday, April 21, 2014. As Ryan Hall notes, this is a race of redemption for many. For Ryan Hall, who seems to perform only when his back is against the wall, this could be a very important race in his career. 
This is my daily journal of the month of March and April as I travel from Copenhagen to Paris to London to Boston. 

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Molly Huddle wins BAA 5k, by Jane Monti, RRW

In front of ten thousand fans of the city of Boston, Dejan Gebrmeskel just caught Ben True and Molly Huddle took her lead in the last hundred meters, giving both races exciting finishes. Chris Lotsbom, RRW, wrote this wonderful piece on the race. 
The power of the word. Old South Church let the word out, by various means that it would be cool to give athletes, in their annual blessing of the athlete, on Sunday at the Old South Church, about ten meters from the Boston finish line.

I spoke with the Church historian about it, as I have seen thousands of athletes wearing the yellow and blue iconic colors of Boston around the necks of athletes. Five thousand have been given out of the seven thousand so far. A wonderful, thoughtful touch.  


Lanni Marchand is the ebullent new Canadian record holder for the marathon. I met up with her on Friday, at the BAA Press conference for elite athletes. Lanni ran a new Canadian record of 2:28:00 at the Scotia Bank Toronto Marathon. Marchand had set a PB by four minutes! The Canadian record that Lanni broke was set by Sylvia Ruegger from 1985 at the Houston Marathon (2:28:36). 

I think that Lanni Marchant will finish in the top ten women. Watch for her! (Remember, that Canada has had several winners, Mike Ryan in 1912, Gerard Cote (1940, 1943, 1944 and 1948),  Jerome Drayton in 1977 and Jacqueline Gareau in 1980 (remember Rosie Ruiz?). 


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Sambu, Gebrmeskel, True, in tape break, by Jane Monti, RRW

This piece was done before the race, and Mr. Lotsbom is shown to be quite prescient in his assertions on Mr. True. Ben True is quite possibly, one of the most under rated talents in American distance running. A huge ability to withstand pain, True reminds me of Mark Nenow, the former AR holder in the 10,000m, and road WR at 10,000m. Watch Ben True this year, he has some talents in the 5,000m and 10,000m. 
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Dejan Gebrmeskel, Ben True, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Ryan Hall, courtesy of RRW

The enigma that is Ryan Hall will be racing on Monday. I expect him in the top five. I expect a crazy time from Hall. He made the decision six weeks ago to run here. He has really slowed down his easy days, and increased his quality days. Here is a piece by Race Results Weekly on the man who could change American marathoning with one race, if he can harness half of his talent. 

I sure hope that the Almighty coach is listening. 
This is my daily journal, of my travels to Copenhagen, Paris, London and Boston during the months of March and April. I am chronicling the spring marathon season. 

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Leomanzano2.jpgLeo Manzano will be running the BAA Mile on Saturday, April 19, 2014. The 2012 Olympic silver medalist at the 1,500 meters spoke to RunBlogRun about his new sponsorship with HOKA ONE ONE, his upcoming season and his tips for high school runners to see continued improvement over the mile.




Dave McGillivray has his dream job. He loves being the race director of the Boston Marathon. The last year has been a true challenge for all involved in the marathon. Please listen to Dave's request about no bags and common sense in this year. 

Dave did this interview with me on Thursday afternoon, just after the first Boston Marathon afternoon press conference. 


Wilson Kipsang is the world record holder in the marathon. That is a fact. Last September, in BMW Berlin, Wilson Kipsang ran 2:03:23. His WR put a huge target on his head. Wilson has trained well and was ready for London.

Running with Stanley Biwott from 30k to 40k, Wilson Kipsang dropped the proverbial challenge and put 26 seconds over the last 2.2 kilometers. KIpsang's victory shows who the best marathoner, on the men's side, in the world is in 2014.

When I asked Wilson Kipsang, the day after the London marathon, when he realized, during the race, that it was his. Wilson looked me in the eye, smiled and said, " The whole race."

Wilson Kipsang was interviewed here by Andy Edwards. 


118th B.A.A. Marathon

One Boston Marathoner's Journey
Severely Injured Boston Veteran Sheds Wheelchair For Patriots' Day Comeback



On April 21st, just over one year after the 117th B.A.A. Marathon was marred by the cowardly and murderous act of two rogue terrorists, 36,000 runners will jam East Main Street in the quaint town of Hopkinton for the annual 26 mile 385 yard race to Boston's Back Bay.  The expected pre-race buzz surrounding Boston's world-class athletes can easily obscure the intriguing personal stories that accompany many of the Patriots' Day competitors.  Each Boston runner has his or her own tale of disciplined training, recovery from injury, and success over a variety of other obstacles - many unexpected - that allows them to stand in the Route 135 roadway next to the Hopkinton Common awaiting the starting pistol.  But none will have a story quite like the compelling 7 month journey to the Boston starting line that has been traveled by one multiple-time Boston veteran.

(Editor's note: This is an amazing piece of a Boston veteran's journey. We are most grateful to Dave Hunter, one of our key feature writers and a fine meet announcer, who wrote this piece and championed the idea.)
Edna Kiplagat told me that she was worried about Tirunesh Dibaba's debut. So, she put some real estate between her and Ms. Dibaba and then battled Florence KIplagat until the last 300 meters, when Edna Kiplagat added a first place to two second places and a third place at the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Here is the interview by Andy Edwards after Edna Kiplagat's very satisfying victory at the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon. 


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Sharon Cherop, 2012 Boston, photo by PhotoRun.net

Justin Lagat, our Kenyan correspondent, wrote ths piece about Sharon Cherop, as she does final preps for the 2014 Boston Marathon....
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2013 Boston Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Here is Chris Lotsbom's piece on the upgrading of security and precautions to be taken. Note to fans: bring as little with you as possible and get to places early! And, no back packs! You have to take the notices seriously! 
This is my daily journal on the month long travels I have committed to: from Copenhagen to Paris, to London, to Boston, with Milwaukee thrown in for fun. Don't feel my pain, there is very little. I enjoy my bedouin like existence. With friends across the world, and special places in most corners of the world that I have come to know, I have found a way to make a living and live my dream at the same time. 

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The Memorial service, view from my room, photo by Larry Eder

 

 


Olympic Stars to Greet, Coach Peachtree Jr. Runners

 

Atlanta- April 17, 2014 - There will be something special waiting to greet Peachtree Jr. participants when they cross the finish line in Piedmont Park this year: Olympic and World Champions.

 

Besides being cheered on by some of the top athletes in the world, each of the estimated 3000 young runners on May 17 will--for the first time in the 28-year history of the Atlanta Track Club event--have the opportunity to sample new track-and -field disciplines under the hands-on guidance of Olympic superstars.

 

"At Atlanta Track Club, we believe our best chance at getting kids active through running is to introduce them to multiple disciplines in the sport, hoping that the experiences we offer will keep them engaged and involved with running in some way," said Rich Kenah, executive director of Atlanta Track Club. "Local Olympic stars will not only reward them for their great effort in Peachtree Jr., but hopefully inspire them by giving them a close-up look at where that effort can take them. Who knows, maybe one day some of our Peachtree Jr. runners will win Olympic medals of their own."

 

Among the Olympic athletes expected at Peachtree Jr., a family-friendly event that allows kids to experience the fun of the AJC Peachtree Road Race, are:

 

·        Adam Nelson, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist and 2005 World Champion in the shot put. Nelson grew up in Atlanta and now lives in Athens, GA.

 

·        Chaunte Lowe, the 2005 World Championships silver medalist and 2012 World Indoor Champion in the high jump. An NCAA Champion who competed for Georgia Tech, Lowe now lives in Loganville, GA.

 

·        Dwight Phillips, the 2004 Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Champion in the long jump. Phillips is a life-long resident of the Atlanta area.

 

·        Terrence Trammell, a two-time World Indoor Champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist in the 110-meter hurdles. Trammell, an Atlanta native, still lives and trains here.

 

Activities with these athletes will take place in the Piedmont Park Active Oval after children are reunited with their guardians.

 

The 28th Peachtree Jr. will kick off on May 17 in Piedmont Park with the Lil' Peach 50m Dash, for ages 6 and younger, at 8:15 a.m., followed by the Peachtree Jr. 3K (1.86 miles) at 9 a.m.Participants also get the opportunity to take part in the Peachtree Jr. Challenge, which awards scholarship funds to the top three organizations that sign up the most kids for the race. For more information, visit www.atlantatrackclub.org.

 

About Atlanta Track Club

Atlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle. With more than 19,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) - the largest 10K running event in the world, the Atlanta Marathon (atlantamarathon.org), and the Atlanta Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 5K (atlantahalfmarathon.org), Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club's All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.


( Atlanta Track Club gets it! Combining Olympic stars, every kids dream, and healthy activities is a great branding and tie in! Other events should do this! The Olympic athletes are there and mostly very open to such situations. Check with TFAA or ask Rich Kenah, Executive Director of the Atlanta Track Club, how he does it).

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David McGillivray, April 16, 2014 Press Conference, 
photo by Chris Lotsbom, RRW

Chris Lotsbom wrote this piece on the David McGillivray, well done and thoughtful, for a man, who, like his team, is in the eye of the proverbial media storm. 




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Larry Rosenblatt, 2013 Boston Marathon, courtesy of Larry Rosenblatt

Earlier this evening, Elliott Denman sent this piece. Larry Rosenblatt's experience with 2013 Boston Marathon should be read by one and all...
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Mary Cain, 2014 USA Indoor, photo by PhotoRun.net

In a release that surprised some with its length, Nike, Inc. has made it quite clear that they value USA Track & Field, the best track and field team in the world, as a key investment in their sports marketing future. Today, April 16, USA Track & Field announced an extension of twenty-three years, from 2017 to 2040, with Nike as the official footwear and apparel of the federation. 

Rumors had been circling that USATF CEO Max Siegel was working on a huge sponsorship deal, and if this does not qualify as such, then, nothing does. 

In the past, adidas's sponsorship package with the Boston Marathon, which was fifteen to seventeen years, has been seen as a long sponsorship. Keen observers of the sport noted, with some consternation, the longevity of the sponsorship. 

Our research suggests that NIKE wanted to make it ball park frank that they are committed to the sport for a very long time. That Mark Parker, CEO of Nike, is quoted in the release, is a huge example of how much value that NIKE places in the sponsorship. 

We will ask USATF for some details on the sponsorship, as USATF hinted at extended support for various disciplines underneath the USATF umbrella. No matter where you stand, it is a spectacular sponsorship package. 
This is my journal of a month of my life as I travel from Copenhagen to Paris, London and Boston. Each day, I have promised to share a bit of my travels, feelings, experiences. This day, has proved the most difficult...

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From SPIKES, powered by the IAAF, April 15, 2014: 
 
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ESCAPING THE SLUMP

Having won world and Olympic triple jump titles all before the age of 23, Christian Taylor's steady march to greatness faltered last year when he finished down in fourth at the Moscow 2013 World Championships. He tells SPIKES all about the "slump" - and why his wake-up call might just be the best thing for his career.  

Teddy Tamgho took the plaudits in Moscow for sealing world triple jump gold with that mighty 18.04m leap. Meanwhile, the deposed world champion left the arena a deflated fourth. Out of the medals, and some 0.84m down on the fabulous Frenchman, Christian Taylor had done something very rare, and lost a major competition.

A world youth triple jump champion in 2007, the Georgian-born athlete had almost nonchalantly collected ten All-American NCAA Division 1 titles, including three NCAA crowns. Two US titles followed, not to mention the world title in Daegu and Olympic gold in London.

In late 2012, Taylor moved from his Florida training base to the very different surroundings of Loughborough in the heart of England, following his coach, Rana Reider. Although he finished the 2013 season as the overall Diamond League winner, he couldn't quite produce the same fizz as the previous two years.

To read the Christian Taylor feature from SPIKES, powered by the IAAF, please go to:

http://spikes.iaaf.org/post/christian-taylor-on-escaping-2013-slump

(Editor's note: SPIKES has been doing some fantastic pieces on athletes, and the sport.)

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Nick Willis, photo by PhotoRun.net 

Nick Willis is the 2008 Olympic silver medalist, New Zealand record holder in mile and 1,500m, and one of the classiest athletes that it has been my privilege to observe. Here, Nick Willis is supporting the Michigan Track Classic. 
This is my journal for the month from March 25 to April 22, where I have travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, Paris, France, London, England and Boston, MA, covering the Spring road racing season. 

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Sixty Minutes, the program that invented investigative journalism and TV magazine genre did an amazing piece on Shalane Flanagan. A well done, well produced segment that does not belittle nor dumb down our sport, CBS should be commended. 

Shalane Flanagan comes off as she is: an amazing women athlete who has moved up from the 10,000 meters, where she was the Beijing bronze medalist and AR holder to the marathon. Jerry Schumacher, who is shown for the first time in my memory without a hat, explains some of the challenges of racing the marathon. Shalane's father, Steve Flanagan, a top runner himself gives the audience some of the tactics involved in the race.

Add to that the voice of Boston, Tom Grilk, BAA executive director, and you see a fine piece adding to the sport and respecting the traditions of Boston. A fine job by Anderson Cooper and his producer! 


The segment, where Anderson Cooper runs a lap at marathon pace for Shalane Flanagan is priceless: it gets across how rarified that Shalane Flanagan truly is: a road warrior focused on doing her best in Boston, and, with some luck, winning the race! 

We wish Shalane Flanagan luck! 
Revised and updated, 14 April 2014

Right after his race, in the post-mortem press conference, Mo Farah said the following: 

"I want to come back. If I could come back in two weeks time, I would. I have to make a sensible decision. I want to come back, but I do not know when it is going to be." 



This is my journal on the traveling around the world I have been doing in March and April for the sport. Copenhagen, Paris, London, then Boston. Today, it is London and London Marathon time. 

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Biwott and Kipsang, courtesy of Virgin London Marathon
This is my journal on my travels to Copenhagen, Paris, London, and Boston, in one month of living out of my very large travel bag. Oh, and I threw in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin for two days. 

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Kids' races, Vienna City Marathon, Saturday, 12 April 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Biwott and Kipsang, about to do battle, 
photo courtesy of Virgin Money London Marathon
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Ryan Vail, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Getu Feleke runs 2:05:41 CR at Vienna City Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Anna Hahner wins Vienna City in last 300 meters! 
photo by PhotoRun.net
The 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon was a battle to the wire on the elite women's side, with some surprises, and, for Edna Kiplagat, some vindication. 


On a beautful spring day in London, Wilson Kipsang, the world record holder, and Edna KIplagat, the two time World Champion, prevailed over nearly 37,000 of their closest companions. Here is how we saw the race develop: 






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Brooks Beasts, courtesy of Brooks Running 

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Danny Mackey, courtesy of Brooks Running 

We asked Cait Chock to give us some insights into Danny Mackey and how he coaches the Brooks Beasts. Here is her piece: 
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Scott Overall, Chris Thompson, photo by David Monti, Race Results Weekly
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Ryan Vail, in London, photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly
This is my daily journal on my trips to Copenhagen, Paris, London, Boston and some of the fun things that happen, or I consider during my journeys. 

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Paula Radcliffe setting WR, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Leo Manzano, courtesy of HOKA ONE ONE

Here is the video press conference with Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano upon his signing with HOKA ONE ONE. Leo Manzano will be doing a piece for RunBlogRun on training for the mile for high school runners, watch for it! 


Tiki Gelana was the 2012 Olympic champion over the marathon in a brilliant race over the streets of London. Her 2013 run in London was marred with a fall and was hurt, but persevered, finishing 11th in 2:38:56. She was heartbroken.

This year, Tiki Gelana is back and she wants to run fast! 


Tirunesh Dibaba has won three 10,000 m world titles (2005, 2007 and 2013), two 5,000 meter titles (2005 and 2007) in World Championships. In the Olympics, Dibaba won the 5000m and 10,000m in Beijing and took gold in the 10,000m in London and bronze in the 5,000m. In 2013, Dibaba took gold in the 10,000 meters. Add to that her three world records. And one more note: Tirunesh Dibaba has run eleven 10,000 meter finals and won all of them.

But this is different. Tirunesh Dibaba will be running her debut over the marathon in London on Sunday. In this video she admits her concerns for the distance. 

Douglas Wakiihuri, the 1989 winner of the London Marathon, was the first Kenyan champion. He had won the 1987 World Championship marathon, and taken silver in the 1988 Olympic marathon (he took 36th in the 1992 Olympic marathon). 

Wakiihuri is interviewed here about his experiences and his thoughts about the sport. 


Priscah Jeptoo is the 2013 Virgin London marathon champion. Priscah has a goal this year, besides defending her title! Let her tell you what she wants to do this year! 


Ibrahim Jeilan is debuting on Sunday, April 13, 2014 at the Virgin Music London Marathon. The 2011 Daegu World Champion at the 10,000 meters and 2013 Moscow World Champs Silver Medalist had some thoughts about his debut over 26.2 miles. 

Jeilan spoke about how hard it is to run marathon and then go back to the 10,000. "Maybe we can get chance to win. I want to run under 2:06." 

Remember, Mr. Jeilan has run 27:02.81 for the 10,000 meters. 


Tsegaye Kebede, the 2013 Virgin London Marathon winner is back to defend. And, on his Wednesday press conference he showed more confidence that we have seen from the Ethiopian star before. " I will win." Enough said. 


After Copenhagen and Paris, London is a multi media frenzy. The Virgin Money London Marathon features fields on the men and women's sides where any of six men and four women can actually win the 2014 London Marathon. 

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Mo Farah, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Geoffrey Mutai, Mo Farah, March 2014, NYC Half, 
photo by Photorun.net 

Justin Lagat wrote a piece to showcase all the scenarios in Virgin London Marathon this year! Now, we can not wait to see the race on Sunday! 
Geoffrey Mutai has run the fastest marathon in any conditions, with his 2:03:02 in Boston in 2011. His pb is the 2:04:15 he ran when he won in BMW Berlin in 2012. His wins in 2011 and 2013 in New York show that Mutai is quite the talent. His recent win in NYC Half Marathon in March showed his fitness.

In this video, Geoffrey Mutai makes it quite clear he wants the course record at the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon course. 


David Bedford assesses the women's field in the 2014 Virgin Music London Marathon. Bedford is the man who assembles these fields, and has so for the past three decades plus. Learn the method to his creative approach to building elite marathon fields. 

This race should be amazing. Tiki Gelana, the 2012 Olympic champion, Florence Kiplagat, Tirunesh Dibaba, Priscah Jeptoo, what a field! .


David Bedford re-invented the global marathon. His orchestration and consideration of the development of elite fields adds to the patina of the Virgin Money London Marathon race, period. And this year, 2014, may be the most competitive and media worthy fields that he has ever assembled, on both the men and women's sides.

Here, David Bedford, and his famous mustache, give you an view into his view of the 2014 marathon field. A wild, crazy ride it will be on Sunday, April 13, 2014. 


Mo Farah, who will debut in the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon, speaks about respecting the distance, breaking the British record. Mo Farah will be in the thick of it in Sunday's race. 


Hugh Brasher, Virgin Money London Marathon's race director and the son of London co-founder, the late Chris Brasher, gives you his view on the 2014 race.

Hugh Brasher has a unique view of road racing, as not only a race director, but the founder of Sweat Shops, the premier running specialist chain in the UK. 


Asics is giving away 5 entries into the ultra-fun, ultra-challenging, Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.


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Leo Manzano, photo by PhotoRun.net

This is a piece from Chris Lotsbom, on Leo Manzano being sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE. 


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Priscah Jeptoo, photo by PhotoRun.net


LONDON (GBR): The reigning London Marathon champion Priscah Jeptoo today she'll go for the women-only marathon world record at this Sunday's Virgin Money London Marathon. The current world record of 2:17:42 was set by Britain's Paula Radcliffe at the 2005 London Marathon. To beat Radcliffe's mark, Jeptoo will need to knock more than two and a half minutes off her current PB of 2:20:14, set at the London Marathon in 2012. „My training has gone really well so I'm confident I'll be able to lower my personal best on Sunday and win the race again," said Jeptoo. Jeptoo isn't the only Kenyan with her sights on the record though. Double World Champion Edna Kiplagat admitted that breaking the record at the London Marathon would be a dream come true after finishing runner-up in 2012 and 2013. „There's a really strong women's field this year but if we run at our best I'm confident we will beat the current world record," said Kiplagat. Florence Kiplagat is another Kenyan feeling confident this year, having won the Berlin marathon for a second time last September and then broken the world half marathon record in Barcelona this February. „I feel much better than last year," she said. „I think I've got much better endurance. After winning in Berlin I haven't had a break so this year I am very confident. I think this year I will do better." From organisers website.



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


LONDON (GBR): Mo Farah will be part of the second group of paced athletes at Sunday's London Marathon, informs telegraph.co.uk. His coach Alberto Salazar decided that he will be in the group which will be paced to the halfway mark in 62:15 (still under course record pace), 30 seconds behind the lead group led by Ethiopian great Haile Gebrselassie. Dave Bedford revealed that Farah's group will be made up of 7 athletes, with the lead group made up of 6.



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Tirunesh Dibaba, photo by PhotoRun.net

 

LONDON (GBR): Her preparation has been intense and she's ready, but Tirunesh Dibaba admitted her highly anticipated debut at this Sunday's Virgin Money London Marathon is a year late. „I was ready to go, but the plane was delayed ... for one year," she joked when asked why she withdrew from last year's field. „This is where all the best athletes are and I wanted to be here," said the three-time Olympic champion and multiple world record holder. „I understand that this is a new experience. I can't estimate my time as it's my first marathon, but like any athlete, I've prepared well." Advice has come from closer to home too, thanks to her husband Sileshi Sihine, the 2004 and 2008 Olympic 10,000m silver medallist, as well as from Ethiopian marathon legend Haile Gebrselassie who will run as the lead pacemaker for the elite men's race in this year's event. „My experience in the 5000m and 10,000m on the track has been good, but this is new," she said. „Haile has good experience on the world stage and I'm grateful that he's shared his experiences with me. I've taken his advice. I've gone through some intensive training with a group of marathon runners for several months," she said. „I've done my best to prepare. I've done all my training in Ethiopia. It's such a fascinating place for marathon training and other runners come to us to run."


(Editor's note: Tirunesh Dibaba is called, by some, the baby faced destroyer. In her press conference today, she had a few laughing with her comment about her delayed marathon debut. 

Dibaba is a racer. She would not show up without being fit. How can she do? Her 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and half marathon runs suggest a fine debut time, but, as we all know the marathon is a crap shoot.

RunBlogRun thinks that Dibaba could be under 2:23 in her first marathon, and top three in this field. She has the wheels, but it is all about getting marathon experience. )

Anna Watkins was interviewed by Andy Edwards of Trackwise/Globerunner. Anna Watkins has taken her skill in crew and gone towards a new challenge, the London Marathon. 



 

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Tiki Gelana, photo by PhotoRun.net


LONDON (GBR): Olympic winner Tiki Gelana declared she is in the best shape of her life ahead of the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon. But the 26-year-old Ethiopian insisted today the incident from last year has only made her more determined to bounce back this year and prove she remains one of the world's best over 26.2 miles. „The incident last year hurt me, it hurt my pride as well as physically," she said. „But I've got over it, and I'm OK now. It has given me a lot of motivation to win this time, to show that I am still a good competitor. I need to do it. I've prepared well for this year's London Marathon and I'm in good shape. I'm stronger than ever and ready to win. My training has been very good. I'm in better shape than last year or even before the Olympics. I'm prepared to run under 2:20 if I need to," she added. „Of course, it depends what happens, but I'll try to get my PB. We'll see."

 


Priscah Jeptoo, the defending champion, wants to go for the a sub 2:20 time, and perhaps even the women's only race world record. Priscah was interviewed on Thursday, April 11, 2014 in the women's elite marathon press conference. 


 

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 Geoffrey Mutai, 2014 NYC Half, photo by PhotoRun.net

LONDON (GBR): Geoffrey Mutai, Stephen Kiprotich and Emmanuel Mutai have all questioned Mo Farah's decision to run his debut marathon in London, report the BBC. Geoffrey Mutai said that if he had collapsed like Farah did in New York he would "relax and prepare for another time." Kiprotich, the World and Olympic champion, was confused by the Briton's move up in distance, saying, "I don't see why he's running the marathon. He's still good on the track, still running a mile in under three minutes 50 seconds. "Maybe the problem is that the fans are the ones pushing him." Emmanuel Mutai questioned Farah's choice to debut in such a tough marathon, "Sometimes it's good to start with a small race - not so fast or with such a strong field. "You win then and then you have an idea of how the marathon is when you come to a big race like this. "If he doesn't perform here, that might affect him psychologically - and whatever he has achieved on that day will not be good because maybe he was expecting a lot, and that can be demoralising."

Emmanuel Mutai has run the Virgin London Marathon five times. He has placed second twice, 4th, seventh and yes, first. His personal best is a 2:03:52 for his second in Chicago last year, the fastest non-winning time on a legal course EVER.

Andy Edwards of Trackwise/Globerunner spoke with Emmanuel on Wednesday, April 9. We see Emmanuel, who ran 14:16 between 30 and 35k in 2011 when he won (in 2:04:40) as one of the people who can rain on many marathoner's parades on Sunday. 


Geoffrey Mutai won the Boston Marathon in 2011, running 2:03:02, the fastest time, under all conditions, on all courses, by a human being. But, due to sport rules, on a course not worthy for world records. 

Be careful what you wish for, as the race took a bit out of Geoffrey. In the fall of 2011, Geoffrey won New York in 2:05:01, and in 2012, he won Berlin in 2:04:15, his PB. 

London in 2013 was a DNF, but in the fall of 2013, Geoffrey came back and won New York in 2:08:24. His win in the NYC Half in March, and Mr. Mutai is now in London, ready to run a fine race across the streets of London. 

This interview was done by Andy Edwards of Trackwire/Globerunner. 



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Asafa Powell, photo by PhotoRun.net


POWELL UNTIL END OF 2014

KINGSTON (JAM): Jamaican sprint star and former world 100 m record holder Asafa Powell has been banned for 18 months for his positive drugs test. Informs trackalerts.  The ban should end on December 28, 2014. That means he would miss the full 2014 year. At the National Senior Championship, June 21, 2013 after the 100m finals, Powell returned positive analytical finding for a stimulant, oxilofrine. He blamed his former Canadian physical trainer Chris Xuereb for positive, which was found in supplements given to him. Lennox Gayle of JADCO disciplinary panel, said, „having reviewed and listened, and bisected all evidence in this matter, and reading the submissions of both councils, the panel arrived at a unanimous decision and it is a decision is that Mr. Powell was found to be negligent and that he was at fault, especially since that he is an elite athlete, so the period of ineligibility will be 18 moths, starting from the date of the position test." JADCO's lawyer Lackston Robinson, who during his closing arguments in front chairman Lennox Gayle, Peter Prendergast and Dr Japheth Ford on February 25, said, Powell is "guilty of gross negligence" and should serve no less than two years. Robinson, who said at the time he was not convinced that Epiphany D1 contained the substance oxilofrine found in Simpson's sample, also discredited Caritox, a lab at UWI Report, given by Prof Wayne McLaughlin and questioned the „honesty" of the evidence given by agent Paul Doyle. Powell, on his instagram page late Wednesday night, „May your worst tomorrow be better than your best yesterday."

Douglas Wakiihuri, the first Kenyan champion in London, was also an Olympic silver medalist in 1988, and 1987 World Champion. His win was full of drama, as Wakiihiru, the Kenyan champion trained in Japan, never lead til near the very end of the race, as the trio of Steve Moneghetti, Ahmed Salah of Djibouti and Wakiihuri duked it out. 

The fascinating interview was done by Andy Edwards of Trackwise and Globerunner. 


Celebrities are part of the modern sports world. London provides interviews with some of the British sports world's top celebrities, like striker Michael Owen. This interview was done by Andy Edwards of Trackwise and Globerunner.

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                        Leo Manzano, courtesy of HOKA ONE ONE

Leo Manzano, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist at 1,500 meters, had the highest finish by an American male in an Olympic 1,500 meters since Jim Ryun in 1968. HOKA ONE ONE has announced that they have signed Mr. Manzano to a multi-year contract! Leo Manzano will be assisting HOKA ONE ONE in the development of their first racing flat and track spike. 

Mr. Manzano will be racing the Boston Marathon road mile next week, as part of the celebration of the 2014 B.A.A. Boston Marathon. 

Leo Manzano, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Virgin Money London Marathon has events around it on the weekend that promote participation in athletes by young and old. The Mini Marathon is a series of races for young athletes, giving many the first chance that they have had for competition. Mo Farah won the Mini Marathon when he was a youth.

This year, Tom Daley, the Olympic Diver,  will start the Virgin Money Giving Mini Marathon, which has thousands of participants. Here is an interview with Tom Daley by Andy Edwards of Trackwire/Globerunner. 


Ibrahim Jeilan won the 2011 Daegu World Championships in the 10,000 meters over Mo Farah. In 2013, Mo Farah evened up the score, winning the 10,000 meters from Jeilan in the last 300 meters. 

Jeilan has been training hard for his debut. Claudio Berardelli, the coach for the Rosa Group, told us that Jeilan trained very well for his debut in the Virgin London Marathon. 

Andy Edwards of Trackwise/Globerunner interviewed Ibrahim Jeilan on Wednesday, April 10, 2014 at the Men's elite press conference. 

Jelian told the assembled media that he was hoping for a 2:06 in his debut.  


Emmanuel Mutai won the 2011 Virgin London Marathon with a 14:16 5k between 30k and 35k, and won in 2:04:40. In 2013, Mutai took second in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon to Dennis Kimetto. Mutai has the distinction of the fastest non-winning time ever on a record eligible course: 2:03:52. 

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Emmanuel Mutai, February 2012, Kenya, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Blanka Vlasic, adidas NYC GP, 2013, 

photo by PhotoRun.net 

VLASIC AIMS FOR BISLETT

SPLIT (CRO): Double high jump world champion Blanka Vlasic said for Slobodna Dalmacija newspaper she plans to start her summer season at Bislett Games on June 11 in Oslo. She is back in training for the next competitions and as main goals for summer mentioned European Championships in Zurich and IAAF Continental Cup in Morocco.


(Editor's note: Elite athletes make it look so easy. But, when injury intervenes, the comebacks take time, patience, and more patience. Blanka Vlasic is one of our most entertaining athletes. Her cautious approach to high jumping now will, we hope prolong her career.)

 


In the 2011 World Championships 10,000 meters, Mo Farah began a long move with one thousand meters to go. His big increase, with 300 meters to go, had him running with one unknown Ethiopian, Ibrahim Jelian, who had run 27:02.81 for the WJR.

Mo Farah, faltered, something he would not do for the next three years. In Daegu, Ibrahim Jeilan defeated Mo Farah over 10,000 meters. In retrospect, it was the best thing to ever happen to Mo Farah. Mo, since then, has won the 5,000 meters and 10,000m in London, then, won the 10,000 meters, this time from Ibahim Jeilan, in Moscow and defended his title over 5,000 meters from Daegu, Korea.

For Ibrahim Jeilan, who is debuting, as is Mo Farah, over the marathon, in Virgin London, he wants a 2:06. He would not say it, but the newly beared Jeilan sure would not mind to catch Mo Farah at the finish, as he did in Daegu....

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El Matador, Jeilan celebrates in Daegu, photo by PhotoRun.net

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LONDON (GBR): Pace Sports Management informs about new websites for Mary Cain at http://marycain.com, and the management group (including Usain Bolt) at http://pacesportsmanagement.com/


(Editor's note: One of the most popular athletes in North America, Mary Cain has taken the sport by storm and her fast running. Mary Cain turned professional just after her World Champs run last Summer in Russia. She won the US Indoors, but did not race in Sopot, due to a soft tissue injury, which her coach, Alberto Salazar noted, is in the past. Salazar told dyestats.com that Mary Cain will be a definite at the Nike Pre Classic.

Note the cover above. Mary Cain is the ONLY athlete, in the eighteen years that we published Athletes Only to have back to back front covers. 150,000 high school athletes in print and 80,000 in digital can't be wrong! )

Tsegaye Kebede is the defending champion. With a personal best of 2:04:38 from his 2012 victory in Bank of America Chicago, and his 2:06:04 time this past April in London (and his 2:09:15 second place in New York), Kebede is both prolific and always dangerous. Here are few highlights of what he said in the 2014 Virgin Money London Elite Men's Press Conference. 

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NAIROBI (KEN): Kenya's Africa Javelin champion Julius Yego will open his season campaign at IAAF World Challenge in Tokyo on May 11. As Kenyan media are reporting he also plans to throw at Shanghai Diamond League meeting on May 18. His main aim for 2014 is to attack the medal podium at Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.  There is also another goal to retain his continental crown at the Senior Africa Athletics Championships in Marrakech, a mission that will see him earn direct ticket to compete in the IAAF Continental Cup in the same city. Yego attributes his rise to his discipline and help he received from Finland coach Petteri Piironen.


(Editor's note: Julius Yego learnt how to throw the javelin by watching You Tube videos, and a great thrower was nurtured! The London Olympic flag bearer, Julius is respected and admired by his countrymen and women as well as other throwers. Andreas Thorkildsen, a two time Olympic, World and European champion in the javelin, chatted with me regarding Julius in Copenhagen a few weeks ago. Thorkildsen told me about how Julius Yego started to throw and how good he truly is! Watch for even bigger throws from Mr. Yego! )

 


This was my call after Kenenisa Bekele's victory in the Paris Marathon on April 6, 2014. You can hear the sounds of the marathon finishers in the background on what became a warm day for the 39,115 finishers. 

A wonderful tour of the City of Paris. The biggest issues is that bikes were roaming the course and that people were running onto the course, without any reprimand. It was a comment stated by many of the observers of the marathon on our live coverage.

Kenenisa Bekele overcame hamstring cramps to run a fantastic first marathon! Now, off to London to see the debut of Mo Farah! 


Jos Hermans, the long-time manager of Kenenisa Bekele, on the story behind Kenenisa Bekele's hamstring cramps in the 30 kilometer to 35 kilometers. Hermans noted that the hamstring issues were over the last twelve kilometers of the race. 

Hermans noted that maybe it was more long runs, or more focus on nutrition. Jos Hermans noted that he told Bekele to go after 25 kilometers, and noted Bekele's 2:49-2:50 kilometer push away from the field. Distance runners are prone to analysis, and Jos Hermans was a fine distance runner and now manager. Hermans did point out that Bekele will race in the fall,  a major marathon where he will race fast. Then, Jos Hermans revealed that Bekele will rest, then go to the track, perhaps the 10,000 meters a the Prefontaine Classic. Hermans noted, at Alberto Stratti's query, that Bekele will look for a very fast marathon in the fall. Hermans noted that 2:04 seems reasonable and that, without the cramps, Kenenisa Bekele could have run 2:04 without the cramp issue. "Energy was never the problem." 

This was my Larry Moment of the Day. Like a Zen Moment on the Jon Stewart Show, Just like the Larry name. So, I was walking down the Avenue Foch, and within eyesight of the Marathon de Paris finish line, when I spotted volunteers, putting medals on stands to give out after the race.

As the wind picked up, the sounds of the metals clicking, one against the other, provided a sound memory of the wind chimes on my parents patio. The sound was unique, not overpowering, and gave some credence to the weight and stature of the finishing medals. 

I thought you might like this audio diary moment. 


All good things must come to an end. I left Paris mid morning on Tuesday and headed to London. After nearly a week in Paris, I headed to London to begin coverage of the Virgin London Marathon. If Bekele started the marathon season with his fine debut, Mo Farah would be the next focal point for an entire week! 

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Tower of London Bridge, April 2014, photo by Larry Eder



My journey through the starting area of the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris was a blast! It was fascinating watching the first runners show up, as some locals were just heading home from a night on the town.

Here is the audio I recorded about seven in the morning on April 6, just an hour or so before the start of the 2014 Marathon de Paris, where Kenenisa Bekele lead 39,114 of his closest friends through the streets of the City of Light. 


This is my daily diary on my month long travels to Copenhagen, Denmark, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, Paris, France, London, England and Boston. 

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Just before the start, April 6, Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris, 
photo by Larry Eder
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Margaret Kenyatta running her first half marathon in March 2014, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The First Lady of Kenya is focusing on running and finishing the Virgin Money London Marathon next weekend, as the way to encourage her country people to use running and walking to curb modern health issues of diabetes, heart disease, among others, that have come to Kenya. 
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In an earlier life, I ran 18 marathons, and qualified for Boston several times, with a best of 2:47:12. It took me six marathons of running too fast too early, before I broke three hours. On the first time I broke three hours, I want out slow, at 1:30 and came back nine minutes faster. It was a revelation. 

I forgot those lessons. I pretty much gave up running. 

Two decades later, I walked the Columbus marathon, after having lost just over a hundred pounds. I was one of the last ones to finish, if not the last. Just the singular act of finishing was amazing to me. For several years, I walked Disney half marathons after that. 

Today, I walk most days, about three to six miles, and have been able to get off insulin and am hoping to loose enough weight to get off the metaformin drug that is used. It is about diet and exercise. 

Today, before the Paris marathon, I spent 90 minutes walking down the Champs Elysees and past the Arc de Triomphe, over to Avenue Foch and through about 30,000 of my favorite new friends as they queued to the Marathon de Paris start....it was a blast! 

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Runners assemble in front of the Arc de Triomphe, photo by Larry Eder
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Golden Gate Bridge, photo by Nils Nilsen

Competitor Group brings its half marathon culture to San Francisco with a course that traverses the Golden Gate Bridge! 
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Kenenisa Bekele, interviewed after his Paris victory, 
photo courtesy of [email protected]
Well, the race management at the Sheffield Marathon is looking pretty stupid today. And I do not use that word often. Minutes before the race start, they local constabulary and race management attempted to cancel the race. Reason: Oh, the water did not arrive. 


Well, an estimated five thousand runners did the expected thing: bugger the cancellation and they are off! And guess what? As the word got out, folks along the course brought out hoses, water, you name it. 

Reminds me of the "battle of the hoses", the 1976 Boston marathon where the cities around Boston came out and provided extra water to the Boston runners in a very hot and humid day. 

Social media will literally eviscerate the management, and BBC has it all over. Our friends in Paris, L'Equipe, aware of all things sport (I love their magazine, and god, their newspaper with an espresso and tomato juice, I believe is now part of the French constitution), wrote the following piece about the Sheffield screw ups: http://www.lequipe.fr/Athletisme/Actualites/Penurie-d-eau-egale-chaos/455047
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Kenenisa Bekele wins his debut in 2:05:04, a new course record! 
photo from Schneider Electric

It took Kenenisa Bekele just over two hours, five minutes and four seconds to win his first marathon. Despite warm weather, hamstring cramps and some unfortunate pacemaking, Mr. Bekele was, thirty minutes after his race, considering his next marathon. More importantly, he was considering his next race! 
My excellent adventure started twelve days ago. Each day, I provide a bit of insight into my travels, with some things I believe you might enjoy. In the end, we are all travelers. I choose to make each day, whether I am in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, my old home, or San Jose, California, my new returned home, or Paris, France, a bit of an adventure. It is, truly, about your vision. 

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Bebe John, photo from Marathon de Paris FB site
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Kenenisa Bekele, after his debut marathon victory, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Kenenisa Bekele, took on a field of eight men with PBs under 2:08, a warmish day, and pacemaking chores much earlier than he wanted, to go on and win, setting a new course record for the Paris Marathon of 2:05:04. Despite hamstring cramping quite severe from 31 kilometers to 37 kilometers, Bekele persisted, and even sprinted the last 200 meters, knowing he was close to the record. 39,000 plus runners started the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris today. 
The Stanford Invitational, for those of us who have spent time in Northern California, is a rite of early spring. Many teams from the frigid Midwest come out for a first meet in the nice weather of California, and also get some now snow covered training in. 

Some fine performances for early season. The big Invite is the Payton Jordan Invitational, on May 4, the meet for distance geeks. This year, Molly Huddle, we hear, will be racing over 10,000 meters, as will some serious male athletes in the always fantastic Kim McDonald 10,000 meters. RunBlogRun will hope to see you there! 

Special thanks to David Kiefer, of Stanford Sports Information, who provides us with great releases and results all year long. He is a welcome SID staffer who gets track and field. 

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Sally KIpyego, Shalane Flanagan, Payton Jordan Invite, 2011, 
photo by PhotoRun.net
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Jessica Augusto, photo by PhotoRun.net

 Jessica Augsuto won the Trofeu Iberico and National Championships in 10.000m, in Lisbon, Portgual. This was one of the highlights of the European results, pretty light this week. As always, we thank Carles Baronet for his hard work in finding results across 54 countries! 
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A cloudless night at Stanford, May 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net

Because I can't sleep in Paris, you get more results pieces from around the globe. Nice opening at Stanford Invitational for some. Robert Cheserek surprised me. I thought he was a 28 minute 10k guy in his sleep. But, hopefully, Robert took some time off after indoor and is preparing for the big stuff. 
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Joyce Chepkirui, photo by www.PhotoRun.net
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Joyce Chepkirui winning Prague on April 5, 2014,
 photo by www.Photorun.net

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Peter Kirui, winning Prague Half Marathon on April 5, 2014, 
photo by www.PhotoRun.net
The most under rated story in marathon season so far is Kenenisa Bekele. Just how will the World Record holder in the 5,000m and 10,000m fare on the streets of the City of Light on Sunday? That, dear friends, is why your favorite observer is hanging in Paris. 

For Kenenisa Bekele, racing the Marathon de Paris on Sunday, April 6, 2014 is all about one thing: pride. 

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Kenenisa Bekele, photo by PhotoRun.net
Adam Nelson, President of the TFAA, announced that Nike has come out in support of Athletes Rights, in a story by Ken Goe of OregonLive.com on Friday, April 4. In the story, Nike issued the following release: 

"Nike spoke with the TFAA and stated that we respect athlete's rights to affiliate and align as they choose. Nike was a company founded in running and we have a rich history of supporting all our athletes. We are extremely proud to support athletes around the world, enabling them to pursue their goals and perform at the highest levels."

(Editor's notes: The heightened concern and frustrations resulted from the lack of response by USA Track & Field to questions by TFAA resulting from Andrew Bumbalough's DQ in Albuquerque, which was not resolved, as had the Gabe Grunewald DQ. 

USATF issued a statement post-TFAA statement, notely, quite bizarely, that and I quote, "athletes already have a voice in USATF".

This has become a PR nightmare for USATF. The arrogance showed, in ignoring TFAA's request for resolution in Mr. Bumbalough's case, the inability to explain the Bumbalough DQ, and the inability to reschedule the TFAA/USATF discussion of that situation, shows that, at the very least, USATF has little idea how it is perceived in the sport and most importantly, may not even care. So much for an organization that has been stressing transparency of its operations. This Albuquerque crisis is now an official train wreck. It could have been handled in an hour conversation and a press release, now, bitter feelings, distrust and frustration have simmered for over a month. 

If the Andrew Bumbalough situation had been handled by Max Siegel in a similar manner to how he used his position and statesmanship to sooth the frustrated and work out the situation with Gabe Grunewald, much of this crisis would have been avoided. 

Kudos to Nike for reaching out to Adam Nelson and reminding fans that Nike started built around the needs of athletes. Hopefully, USATF will see the light. )

Ken Goe's complete column may be read at:

In this audio interview, I take you to the press conference, and bring you in, as the meet management opened the event to limited questions from the media. The first is from TV Africa, and I asked two questions. Kenenisa Bekele speaks quietly, but much more relaxed and more effusive than I have ever seen him in the past.

"It is my first time, and my first marathon, " noted Bekele to the questioner. Kenenisa Bekele is just quite realistic about the marathon distance, but also possesses the confidence of someone who has run 25k runs with many kilometers under 3:00 per kilo pace. Bekele also admitted to running 40-45 kilometer runs in training. He looks fit and well-prepared.

Bekele asks to go through the half marathon in 61:40. "If possible", he notes, that he would like to set the WR. That, more than likely, is not Sunday, but, stranger things have happened. With his pedigree on the track, Kenenisa Bekele may be the most talented distance runner since Gebrselassie to move up to the marathon. 

One hears the cameras clicking, someone coughing. This is all of the distractions that one faces in the mass interview process, trying to get questions in. Although, with the exception of the reporter from TV Africa, and myself, no one asked questions to Bekele in front of the group. About twenty reporters, from newspapers, L'Equipe, TV and radio were in attendance. 








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Joyce Chepkurui, Gladwin Mzazi, Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net



In this Audio update, your favorite blogger prognosticates from his room in the fifteen arrondissment in Paris, France. There is one question in Paris: how will Kenenisa Bekele do in his debut? 

What do you think? 


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South Africa's Gladwin Mzazi prior to the 2014 Sportisimo Prague Half-Marathon (photo by Jim Moberly for RunCzech.com)

The following piece on Gladwin Mzazi, the night before the Sportisimo Prague Half marathon is by Joe Battaglia, for RRW, used with permission. 
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 Race walker, cyclist and runner Anežka Drahotová in an undated photo (photo courtesy of Anežka Drahotová)

This piece, from the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon, happening on Saturday, April 5, is from Joe Battaglia, for Race Results Weekly. 
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My view from Air France bus to Gare de Montparnasse, photo by Larry Eder

And so we reach day 10, April 3, and I am in Paris. Landed about 9 am and my journey for the day was just beginnng. 
Andy Edwards interviews Joyce Chepkirui before the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon on Saturday, April 5, 2014. She talks about prospects for fast time, even (!) attacking world record of training partner Florence Kiplagat. Her management said course record attack of 66.48 more likely.

(Editor's note: Joyce Chepkirui wants a very fast time. Let's see just how fast she can run on Saturday, April 5 in Prague! )


Andy Edwards interviews Peter Kirui, winner of New York Half Marathon title in 2012, before the Prague Half Marathon. Peter also talks about his recent graduation from the Kenyan police academy, where he studied alongside former world record holder Patrick Makau.

This interview series is a cooperative effort between Trackwire/Globerunner, their sponsoring events and RunBlogRun.com. We hope you enjoy them! The Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2014. 


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BEKELE IS IN PARIS

PARIS (FRA): Legendary Kenenisa Bekele arrived on Friday morning to France. The only athlete ever who has achieved to be an Olympic Champion, World Cross Country Champion, World Indoor- and Outdoor Champion, will now make his marathon debut. He will be on the starting line of the Schneider Electric Paris Marathon on Sunday. His goal is to make a fast marathon debut, and his target is breaking the course record of 2:05:12, set by Stanley Biwott in 2012. Bekele has been preparing for his marathon debut in Addis Ababa where he trains on altitude. He added long runs to his training program which went really well. Although he prepared well, it will be a big question how his first marathon will go. His future goal is to once break the World Record for the marathon. Former World Record holders Haile Gebrselassie and Paul Tergat only broke the World Records in their fifth marathon. Informs Global Sports Communication in a release. Statistician Ken Nakamura notes that the fastest debut time on the standard course is 2:04:16 by Denis Kimetto, and the fastest debut by over 30 years old runner is 2:06:16 by 37 years old Mark Kiptoo. Paul Tergat made his marathon debut in 2001 London Marathon when he was 31 years old and finished second in 2:08:15. Haile Gebrselassie ran 2:06:35 on his "Elite Marathon" debut at 2002 London Marathon (he was almost 29 years old).


(Editor's note: One of the most medaled and racy savvy runners of all times, Kenenisa Bekele, is preparing to debut at the marathon. Actually, all of the prep work is done. How will Bekele do? We think quite well, but, we are willing to give Kenenisa three races to figure it out. Bekele trains hard, and Jos Hermans, the manager, keeps expectations down. Should be a real race across the streets of Paris, and RunBlogRun will be covering the event live.)


Gladwin Mzazi has half marathon pb of 61.12, so he hopes to break 61 here and should figure in top ten. His coach is Michael Seme, former coach of Caster Semenya.

Gladwin was interviewed for the Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon by Andy Edwards of Trackwire/ Globerunner. This is a cooperative service between RunBlogRun and Trackwire/Globerunner and their sponsoring races. 


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Joyce Chepkirui: Ready to Roll! photo by PhotoRun.net

PRAHA (CZE): Kenyan Joyce Chepkirui says she's in the kind of form to run the best race of her career at Saturday's Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon. The Kenyan, who is a training partner of world half marathon record holder Florence Kiplagat, targets a time well under the course record of 66:48, set by the World 10,000 m silver medallist Gladys Cherono last year. But the competition will be tough, including the World Cross Country Champion Emily Chebet. The men's race also has high qualitz with eight runners who have personal bests of sub 61 minutes. The Sportisimo Prague Half Marathon is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race. Its popularity continues to grow on the broad scale with full entry capacity of 12,500 reached last December. The men's race also looks very open. Four runners are entered with personal bests under the hour. Ethiopia's Hunegnaw Mesfin and Kenya's Peter Kirui each have the same PB of 59:39 while Philemon Limo has gone a fraction faster with 59:30. Another Kenyan, Evans Barkowet Kiplagat, has a best of 59:56. However Ethiopia's course record holder Atsedu Tsegay, who has run 58:47 to set the national record in Prague in 2012, has had to withdraw because of typhoid infection.
The IAAF AL-Bank World Half Marathon Championships was a success anyway one looked at it. In this release from the Danish Athletics Federation, the Federation is considering bidding on the 2018 event and holding a half marathon in 2015 as well! And why shouldn't they? The launch of the premier event could not have been more successful! Kudos to the Danish Athletics Federation the IAAF, and their sponsors, on taking a chance and redoing the championship model! 

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2014 IAAF AL-Bank World Half Champs, photo from PhotoRun.net

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Jenny Simpson, winning Drake 1,500m in 2013, 

photo by PhotoRun.net

MORE TOP NAMES FOR DRAKE RELAYS

DES MOINES (USA): Drake Relays director Brian Brown continued to roll out world-class fields for the upcoming 2014 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee with the announcement of the 400 m hurdles and pole vault fields for the World Championship Rematches. In the hurdles six out of top 10 in the World last year should compete. Michael Tinsley is the defending champion, Felix Sanchez is the reigning Olympic winner, Javier Culson is the bronze winner from London Games. Also running Johnny Dutch and ever good Bershawn Jackson, the World champion 2005. The women field has US Dalilah Muhammad, Lashinda Demus and Georganne Moline. The World Championship Rematch fields in the pole vault and popular Pole Vault in the Mall at Jordan Creek Town Center will have Bjorn Otto who swept the men's pole vault events last year in Des Moines and returns to Iowa after taking bronze at the World Championships. He will face two strong competitors in 2012 OIympic gold medalist and current world record holder Renaud Lavillenie along with American record holder Brad Walker.  Yarisley Silva will attempt to defend both of her 2013 Relays titles. She will be challenged by the Olympic winner Jenn Suhr and US Kylie Hutson and Mary Saxer. The women's collegiate field will mark a homecoming for Des Moines native and All-American Katie Flood. Organizers are saying on their website.


(Editor's note: Hy-Vee should be commended for supporting the Drake Relays. Truth is, outside of the Nike Pre and adidas GP NYC, the Drake Relays prize purse is best in North America. Surprised that Hy-Vee, which supports sports events and causes in nine states in the Midwest, does not get more support and more PR. RunBlogRun robustly encourages Midwesterners who love track to support Hy-Vee in any way you can. Show them that you care with your purchasing power! Their estimated support is over $500k a year, and this is a five plus year program. It would also sure be nice if Drake Relays would send out press releases. Hint: our email is [email protected] or [email protected]

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Jordan Hasay, Gabe Grunewald, Carlsbad 5000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Wall Street Journal's Sara Germano did a thoughtful piece on the recent TFAA request for support from athlete sponsors regarding their possible actions in response to what TFAA sees is the lack of genuine interest from USA Track & Field to respond to, among other things, the disqualification of Andy Bumbalough. 

The Albuquerque weekend, where Gabe Grunewald was DQed, then reinstated, after a huge swell of support, and Jordan Hasay, showing her class, gave up her place for Sopot and the World Champs, so that Gabe could race. Max Siegel's resolution of the matter showed that the USATF CEO could rise to the occasion, and sooth ruffled feathers and, if the need be. 

The resolution was bittersweet. No feel good resolution happened for Andy Bumbalough who was DQed in the men's 3,000 meters. The DQ, which, upon observation of the event video,  seems to have been done in error, has not been resolved. The race was rough, that is true, but go to a race in Europe, any weekend of the year, and you will see much worse. 

TFAA demanded a response. Bumbalough's agent demanded a response. USATF responded that they were studying the situation, after canceling a conference call between TFAA and USATF. Then, President Stephanie Hightower responded that there was a need to study the situation and see how to change protocols so that the ABQ fiasco would not happen again. 

TFAA took that, as a snub. I think it might have been a bit imperious, but not sure if it was a snub. It was not, playing well with others, as Sister Edward Mary, my first grade teacher would have noted. 

With that seeming lack of response, TFAA has become incensed and wrote a letter asking sponsors to support an organized action against USA Track & Field.

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Andrew Bumbalough, 2014 USA Indoor, photo by PhotoRun.net 




Jos Hermans is an athletes manager who gets it. Keep the pressure off your athletes. Always keep expectations way down, and let them over deliver.

When Kenenisa Bekele held off Mo Farah at the BUPA Great North Run last September, he revitalized his career. His training has gone well and he will race in Paris on Sunday in his debut marathon. 

Watch for another piece on Kenenisa later tonight or first thing tomorrow. 

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Kenenisa Bekele, Jos Hermans, Pre 10,000m, June 2008, photo by PhotoRun.net
The trip is going well. Watching the kopeks, I booked coach on United. Had middle seat open, and while I was going to collapse most of way, it was good and uneventful. Event two of my five event tour of the road racing world continues....

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Bird houses along the Rock River (yep, those are birdhouses), photo by Larry Eder

HOKA ONE ONE announced that Mark Mastalir has joined the exciting brand as their new VP of Marketing, it was announced on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. 

Mastalir, a long time sports marketing executive, has had stints at Reebok, Nike and the NBA. His life experience as an athlete, and his dealings as a sports marketing executive are some of the attributes that Mark brings to the table. 


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Mark Mastalir



What is key in this business is the following: First, you must make consistent, high quality product, and, secondly, deliver it to your channel in a timely manner. You must also provide programs that resonate with your community. Encourage activity, encourage them to think about the activity, your brand and how your brand equals good feelings on the activity. 

We wish Mark Mastalir the best of luck at HOKA ONE ONE. 
There are many benefits of living in small towns. One of them is that plumbers and locksmiths can actually show up on the day you want and need. Another is that your friends, many times, are still there upon your return. 

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My walk on the Rock River, 31 March 2014, photo by Larry Eder
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Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, photo by Jeane-Pierre DURAND for IAAF

(Editor's note: Elena Dyachkova, a frequent contributor to RunBlogRun, penned this piece on A Day in the Life of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. A Day in the Life is an annual project by the IAAF to promote some of the brightest stars of our sport to major media outlets around the world. )
Day Seven was one of those long days, with moments of consciousness, and moments of sadness and happiness. Happiness in that I know my move to California has been good for me, sadness in my friends and my little house that I left behind. 

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Shooting Stars, along the bridge in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, December 2013, 
photo by Larry Eder
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Mark Wetmore, Steve Hooker, Howard Schmertz, 2009 Millrose, 
photo by PhotoRun.net
Day Six has come and gone, as has day seven and eight. Your fearless blogger is back in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, his home for the past eighteen years, well, before his move back to San Jose, CA. But that, is another story.

Here is what happened on Day Six, a wonderful day. 

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Copenhagen, the view from my walk, Sunday, March 30, 2014, photo by Larry Eder
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Providing an East Coast opportunity for high performance development, much like the Oxy Performance meeting in the West Coast, the 2014 Adrian Martinez Classic is being announced today, for June 5, 2014, to give middle distance runners from 800 meters, the Mile  and 5,000 meters a chance to run some fast races with strong fields. 

The meet is sponsored by the USA Milers Club, in association with HOKA ONE ONE. For complete information on this fine addition to our early summer schedule, please read the release below: 

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