April 2014 Archives
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.
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. )
Valerie Adams, photo by PhotoRun.net
BLOOMINGTON (ISA): The American Track League (www.americantrackleague.com) is set to kick-off in Bloomington Indiana this 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.
EUGENE (USA): The Bowerman mile field at the 40th Prefontaine Classic on (IAAF Diamond League) will feature 4 sub 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.
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 blisteringpace 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 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/
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.
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.
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.
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 minutes behind Getnet.
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.
More information is available at: www.metrogroup-marathon.de
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bones with his influential mother Tareh who advised him: "Pay no attention to what
others say. You know what you can do."
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.
Olympic Stars to Greet, Coach Peachtree Jr. Runners
Atlanta- - 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 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 in Piedmont Park with the Lil' Peach 50m Dash, for ages 6 and younger, at , followed by the Peachtree Jr. 3K (1.86 miles) at 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).
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 '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 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.
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.
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 '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. )
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 if I need to," she added. „Of course, it depends what happens, but I'll try to get my PB. We'll see."
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."
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 . 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 , 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 night, „May your worst be better than your best yesterday."
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 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.)
(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! )
NAIROBI (KEN): Kenya's Africa Javelin champion Julius Yego will open his season campaign at IAAF World Challenge in Tokyo on . As Kenyan media are reporting he also plans to throw at Shanghai Diamond League meeting on . 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! )
BEKELE IS IN PARIS
PARIS (FRA): Legendary Kenenisa Bekele arrived 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.)
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] )