March 2015 Archives

Andy Edwards interviewed Peter Kirui, who was defending champion at the Prague Half Marathon at the 2014 race in a swift 59:22. 

This interview will give you a bird's eye view into the life and thoughts of one of the finest road racers on the planet. Thanks to Andy Edwards of Race News Service for this interview. 

Petre Kirui interview Prague halfmarathon from 4Elements on Vimeo.

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Leonard Komon, photo by PhotoRun.net


Andy Edwards interviewed Leonard Komon, a fine racer with a track and field pedigree (cross country too), who had just finished third at the Prague 2015 Half Marathon. Andy told us that that this interview is fascinating because Leonard speaks about what he learnt from taking third in this race. 

We thank Race News Service for their fine interviews at the various events on the circuit. 
Diane Nukuri took third in the Prague Half Marathon yesterday. Here is her interview after the race, from Andy Edwads of Race Results Service. Diane Nukuri is one of the most prolific road runners of her generation. 

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Diane Nukuri, NCY Half 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Geoffrey Kamworor wins senior Men's XC, photo by Getty Images for IAAF

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Letesembet Gidey wins junior Women's WXC! photo by Getty Images for IAAF

Ethiopia this time number one

GUIYANG (CHN, Mar 28): Ethiopia and Kenya as expected dominated at the World CC Championships first time held in China. They won all 12 individual medals and finished one-two in all four team standings. At the end Ethiopia was better 5-3-3 with Kenya 3-5-1. Remaining four team medals went to Bahrain (twice), Eritrea and Uganda. Best non-African (and non Bahrain) individual position was the 15th place of Spain´s Trihas Gebre in women senior race. Ethiopian runners won both junior races, Letesembet Gidey 19:48 and Yasin Haji 23:42. In junior girls both other medals also for Ethiopia (Dera Dida 19:49) and Etgegn Woldu (19:53), in junior boys for Kenya (Geoffrey Korir 23:47 and Alfred Ngeno 23:54). Women senior race had Agnes Tirop winning the gold for Kenya (26:01) over Ethiopians Senbere Teferi (26:06) and Netsanet Gudeta (26:11). The title defender Emily Chebet was 6th (26:18). In the most anticipated men senior race top two for Kenya with versatile Geoffrey Kamworor after winning last year World Half-Marathon title now the CC gold 34:52 over Bedan Karoki 35:00 and best from Ethiopians third Muktar Edris 35:06 as third. Ethiopia won all team titles but one, junior boys was for Kenya. Best European runners were Maria Larsen of Denmark (junior girls, 30th,21:49), Yemaneberhan Crippa from Italy (junior boys, 20th, 24:52), Trihas Gebre from Spain (women, 15th, 27:50) and Polat Arikan Kemboi from Turkey (men, 22nd, 36:40). Best teams France (girls, 11th), Italy (boys, 8th), Spain (women, 7th) and Spain (men, 12th). Next edition of World CC Champs will be held in 2017 in Kampala, Uganda. 

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Agnes Tirop wins senior Womens' WXC, photo by Getty Images for IAAF

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Yasin Haji wins Junior Men's WXC, photo by Getty Images for IAAF
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Daniel Wanjiru won the Prague Half Marathon on Saturday, March 28, 2015. After his victory, Andy Edwards of Race News Service did this audio interview on his fast race! 


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Daniel Wanjiru winning the 2015 Sportisimo Prague Half-Marathon in 59:51
 (photo courtesy of RunCzech.com)

David Monti wrote this piece on the Prague Half Marathon, which happened on Saturday, March 28, 2015. 

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 Dejen Gebremeskel Wins Fourth Straight Carlsbad 5000 in 2014 
(Photo by PhotoRun.net; used with permission)
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Geoffrey Kamworor, photo by PhotoRun.net

I remember when Geoffrey Kamworor surprised some with his win in March 2014 at the World Half Marathon Championships. Justin Lagat, like many true fans, stayed up late in the evening watching the WXC on his computer screen. Here is Justin's piece on the winners of senior men and women's races. 


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Leonard Komon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Leonard Komon is racing the Prague Half Marathon this weekend. Andy Edwards of Race News Service interviewed Leonard on Wednesday, March 25 for this feature. 

Watch for updates on the Prague Half marathon this weekend! 
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Genzebe Dibaba, photo by PhotoRun.net

Genzebe Dibaba wanted the 5,000 meter indoor WR, and on February 19, 2015, she did just that. Using a fast last 1000 meters of 2:47.14, Dibaba took almost six seconds off the indoor World record running,  14:18.81. Meseret Defar had set the former WR of 14:24.3 set, on the same track, six years ago.

With the 5,000 meter WR, Genzebe Dibaba had indoor World records for 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters, two miles and now, 5,000 meters. 

In honor of her brilliant new World record over 5,000 meters, RunBlogRun gives Genzebe Dibaba the February 2015 RunBlogRun Global Female Athlete of the Month! 

Special thanks to the Shoe Addicts for their fine video on Genzebe Dibaba. 






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Mutaz Essa Barshim, photo by PhotoRun.net

On February 18, 2015, Mutaz had one of those wonderful performances. On his first attempt Barshim cleared 2.37 meters and set a new Irish All-Comers records. His next height, 2.41 meters, Mutaz also cleared on his first attempt, with room to spare, and Mutaz Essa Barshim had set a new Asian and Qatari record and became the highest jumper of 2014. 

Mutaz Essa Barshim is our RBR Global Male Athlete of the Month for February 2014. 

Special thanks to the Shoe Addicts on their video celebrating Barshim's fantastic February! 



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SECOND WAVE OF TOP NAMES FOR DRAKE RELAYS

DES MOINES (USA): The 106th Drake Relays end of April announced second wave of top names for this year. In women hurdles Dawn Harper-Nelson will clash with Queen Harrison, Lolo Jones, Brianna Rollins, Eurochamp Tiffany Porter and indoor revelation Sharika Nelvis. They will also compete in the traditional shuttle relay. Great also men 400 m hurdles with Javier Culson against Michael Tinsey, Johnny Dutch and Briton Dai Greene. Women 400 m is offering Sanya Richards-Ross, Francena McCorory, Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills and Natasha Hastings. In the women 400 m hurdles former World champ Lashinda Demus is going to clash with Georganne Moline for example. French star Teddy Tamgho is facing in triple jump US top two stars Christian Taylor and Will Claye. In women high jump Chaunte Lowe with Spanish Ruth Beitia will be two veterans clashing.


(Editor's note: Hy-vee is sponsoring the Drake Relays once again, and we applaud their support! I really like the competition and focus on rivalries. It is what I like on the Pre Classic as well. Rivalries make our sport exciting!)

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Usain Bolt, Rome 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net


Usain Bolt is running in the Big Apple on June 13! The last time Usain ran in NYC was in 2008, and after a thunderstorm, broke the 100 meter World Record. 

The adidas Grand Prix NYC is one of only two Diamond League meetings in North America (the other, is the Nike Pre Classic). 

This meet should be a lot of fun. Last year, the high jump duel between Bohdan Bondarenko and Mutaz Barshim was one of the most exciting battles in our sport. 

Great to see Usain Bolt racing in North America. 


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Jairus Birech, London DL 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net


The steeplechase is one of my favorite events. A cross country race on the track, with 28 barriers and water jumps, this race requires focus, precision and endurance. Judging barriers is one thing, judging your pace and how to attack the race and when is where the art comes in. 

In 1968, when Amos Biwott, the first Kenyan to win the steeplechase at an Olympics, won in Mexico City, rumor had it that Amos had been told to jump OVER the water pit (due to the alligators that were there, or so he was told). In that race, WR holder Kerry O'Brien, an Australian steepler, took the silver and George Young, a three time Olympian and tough distance runner, took the bronze for the USA. 

In 2015, Jairus Birech is considered one of the greatest steeplers in the great tradition from Kenya, will be racing at the Pre Classic. Joining Jairus will be Evan Jager, the best US steepler in a generation, and a young man who enjoys the racing  and the challenges of his event. 

Watch these two, their battles over the 3000 meter steeplechase will be epic! 

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World Cross Country, March 2013, Poland, photo by PhotoRun.net


To some, the World Cross Country is the race of races for elite distance runners. I recall a conversation with 1975 winner Ian Stewart, who told me that the World Cross country was like nothing else a distance runner races in their career. " They go out fast, and it just gets faster." noted Mr. Stewart. 

The tradition of the race continues. It was so great to see how the US values the event and the fine teams we sent on all four levels. 

We will all of the competitors the very best and look forward to pictures and video from Guiyang, China on March 28! 

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Genzebe Dibaba, Sopot 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Julia Bleasdale winning the 2014 Carlsbad 5000, photo by PhotoRun.net

The 30th anniversary of the Carlsbad 5000 could be pretty amazing! With Genzebe Dibaba bent on setting a new WR for 5000 meters, with a strong women's field, the fans who cover the course will have much to cheer for! Here is a preview from Dan Cruz, one of our real heroes, a man who can handle two phones on the back of a pace truck. Nice to see Matthew Turnbull, CGI elite coordinator, quoted in the release as well. 


Renaud Lavillenie, the current World record holder in the pole vault, the current Olympic and European champion (indoor and out), will be competing at the Pre Classic, which will be celebrating its 41rst year. 

Lavillenie just cleared 6.03 meters at the 2015 European Indoor Classic in early March 2015. Renaud Lavillenie is the finest vaulter of his era, and his clearance of 6.16m in 2014 at Donetsk. 

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Renaud Lavillenie, Stockholm DL 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Ed Eyestone, Todd Williams, Pat Porter, XC 1993, photo by PhotoRun.net

This photo is one of my favorite covers for American Athletics, the predecessor of American Track & Field. Funny thing is, two of my favorites are with Todd Williams. The other is from his first win at USA XC in November 1991, where he won the US championships, and defeated Pat Porter for the first time. 

To me, Todd Williams will always be, the raging bull of track & field. He ran like a boxer battles in the ring. In his day, one had to run a round in the 10,000 meters to make the final. Then, two days later, one ran the final. 

His second career, with RunSafer is fascinating, as Todd Williams is having fun and doing something wonderful for the sport he loves. 

Jeff Benjamin, one of the few writers who wrote for us when we were American Athletics, wrote this interview with Todd Williams. We think that you will like it! 

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 2013 World Cross  Country Championships, photo by PhotoRun.net


Kenya plans to rule

GUIYANG (CHN): Kenya are expected to re-affirm their supremacy at World CC Championships in Guiyang. The 2015 squad looks fired up to extend its dominance, banking on a mix of upstarts and the experienced athletes. On Monday, the 24-member team had a light training at Uhuru Gardens along Lang'ata Road, then returned to YMCA South C hostels before leaving Jomo Kenyatta International Airport aboard Ethiopian Airlines in the evening to Guangzhou, where they made a stop-over and then connected to Guiyang. Kipsang Kamworor, the team captain and 2011 world cross country junior champion, said they were under no pressure to perform well. "What remains now is to go and make our nation proud in China. We will give our best since we have all trained well and together and remain focused on the task ahead," said Kamworor. Janet Kisa, the Commonwealth 5000m and African cross-country silver medallist, is the women's team captain. Writes East Standard. "Training has been wonderful. We have done the speed work and other aspects of training. And the discipline has been high, very high. There is also unity. This team is ready to take on the world. The team is ready to go out and conquer the world," team manager John Kimetto said. The squad trained in residential camp for about a month at the high altitude St Marks Teachers Training College in Kigari, Embu, that stands at 1350 m above sea level. In last edition in Bydgoszcz Kenya won 3 out of 4 individual races and 2 out of 4 team scores. 
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Kipsang, Karoki, Barsotan, Kenya XC 2015, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Teddy Tamgho, photo by PhotoRun.net

Rapper Tamgho

PARIS (FRA): After his debut competition on Saturday (16.78 in Eaubonne) triple star Teddy Tamgho launched his first music single. Tamgho who is a rap enthusiast sings in the song "Champion" with rapper Mafia K´1 Fry OGB.  It evokes all the obstacles of the life of the world indoor record holder. His next competition is planned for end of April at Drake Relays in Des Moines. From L´Équipe.

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Teddy Tamgho, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Tianna Bartoletta, photo by PhotoRun.net


Dave Hunter wrote this feature on Tianna Bartoletta and her return to the long jump, and her success in 2014, and her dreams for the future. Tianna Bartoletta is a prime example of elite athletes need for discernment in evaluating their careers. Tianna reached out to Loren Seagrave, who has not only helped her with her start, but the renewed speed has added to remarkable jumping in 2014, with her 7.02 meters.

Watch for some big ones in 2015! 
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Hill, World Cross Country, March 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net

The World Cross Country is the world series of distance running, and it happens every two years. Here is a feature from IAAF.org on ten runners to watch at the IAAF World Cross Country, to be held in Guiyang, China in March 28, 2015.


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Meb Keflezighi, photo by PhotoRun.net
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James Dunaway, 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net


The following is a compilation of thoughts, stories and links to tributes to Jim Dunaway. Thanks to Walt Murphy of Walt Murphy News Service, the IAAF, USATF, Track & Field News, TAFWA and the various writers who contributed their thoughts on James Dunaway and his life. 

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Mo Farah, photo by PhotoRun.net


Rivals for Mo Farah, from EME News

LISBON (POR): The 25th Lisbon Half Marathon takes place on Sunday. Double World and Olympic champion Mo Farah (60:00, 2014) may be the star of the men's field, but he is by no means the fastest. That title falls to the 9th fastest of all-time, Stephen Kibet of Kenya (58:54, 2012), the winner of the October Lisbon half marathon. The defending men's champion Bedan Karoki will not be returning as he is on the Kenyan team for the World Cross Country, but last year's runner-up Silas Kipruto (59:39, 2010) will toe the start line. Micah Kogo (59:07, 2012) will be another top Kenyan challenger, while World half marathon bronze medallist Guye Adola (59:06, 2013), who won the New Delhi half marathon in November may lead the Ethiopian charge. Belgium's Bashir Abdi, who missed most of the cross country season due to an injury, will make his debut. In the women's race, Priscah Jeptoo is the 5th fastest of all-time, with the 66:11 she ran to win the RAK half marathon in 2013. She has also run 65:45, but on the record ineligible Great North Run course. Her competition in Lisbon includes, Rose Chelimo (68:40, 2014), who is unbeaten this season, running a quick 68:53 in Adana. The home nation will be well represented by Sara Moreira (70:08, 2010) and Ana Dulce Felix (68:33, 2011). 2004 Olympic Champion Mizuki Noguchi of Japan is also in the field. The men's course record is also the world record, 58:23 by Zersenay Tadese in 2010.

(Editor's note: Mo Farah opened 2015 with a new WR over 2 miles in 8:03.40. Surely the strength from his time in Ethiopia and his speed over sixteen laps in Birmingham. Let's see how he handles the field at Lisbon tomorrow.).
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Usain Bolt, photo by PhotoRun.net


Bolt in Brazil for 100 m, by EME News

RIO DE JANEIRO (BRA): Usain Bolt will run his first international meet of the season in Rio De Janeiro on April 19, report ESPN Brazil. This will be the third year in a row that Bolt has competed in the Mano a Mano athletic challenge, which this year will move from Copacobana beach to the Brazilian Jockey Club. The multiple world and Olympic gold medallist will in the 100 m race against two other international sprinters and one local athlete. Bolt ran 10.06 (-0.9) at the meet in 2014.
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Peter Cheruiyot Kirui of Kenya on his way to victory in the 2014 Sportisimo Prague Half-Marathon (photo courtesy of Runczech.com)

Prague is one of my new favorite cities. I just spent a week there for the 2015 European Indoor Championships. I loved walking around the city, enjoying cafes and learning about my family's history. 

Here is a fine preview from our friend, Dave Monti, of Race Results Weekly, who is writing about the Prague Half Marathon, coming up on March 28. As with all Race Results Weekly content, we use this column with permission. 
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Meb Keflezighi, photo by PhotoRun.net

Meb Keflezighi ran a fine race last weekend in New York, as he prepares for the 2015 BAA Boston Marathon. Elliott Denman caught up with Meb, and notes that shortly after his run through Boston, he will reach the age of 40 on, of all day, the fifth of May. 
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Amy Hastings, Atlanta Peachtree 10k, 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net 


Here is all of the info you need to know on the 2015 AJC Peachtree Road Race Lottery. The Atlanta Peachtree 10k is the iconic summer road race in the South, it is to the 10k what the Boston Marathon is to marathoning. The t-shirt is awarded only if one gets under 60 minutes. I have always loved that idea! 
As the late Mayor Daley (Chicago) was rumored to have said, " Vote early, vote often", that is our plan for this week. Vote him once a day! Shawn Barber needs your votes to win the AAU Sullivan award! 

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Amy Cragg with tears of happiness after her victory, photo by Steve Mather

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Carolyn Mather (writer) with Amy Cragg (race winner), photo by Steve Mather

We asked Carolyn Mather to write up the GATE 15k River Run story as she had provided us with a Preview last month! Some fun pictures as well! 

Story Updated March 19, to update photo credits. 

I have watched Ryan Hall race since he was a high school phenom. His Houston Half marathon performance in 2007 just showed how good he was, and his first London was mind boggling. 


With a 13:16 5,000m pb, a 10,000 pb run in a 120 mile week, and his 2:04.55, Ryan Hall has the ability to win not only a World Marathon Majors title, but an Olympic or World marathon medal. 


In my mind, Ryan Hall has squandered his talent. I could not even believe his performance in LA Marathon. 


So, I sat down this evening and wrote my beef with Ryan. 


This was after hearing his social media note on his run at ASICS LA Marathon. 


Something, I felt, had to be said, and written. 


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Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezighi, Abdi Abdirahman, 
Healthy Kidney 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

The following piece was sent to us by former New York Times columnist Frank Litsky, a long time colleague and friend of James Dunaway, who died on Sunday, March 15, 2015, after a long and colorful career in athletics journalism. 

In the IAAF obituary, James Dunaway was described as " a doyen of athletics journalists." James Dunaway would have enjoyed that description, but would have also said that it was undeserved. 

That would have been one of the many things on which I would have disagreed with him. 

The picture below is of James Dunaway from the 1960s. It is one of my favorite pictures of James. 

Thanks to Frank Litsky for his story, and the Armory Foundation for the permission to reprint. 

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James Dunaway, photo courtesy of USA Track & Field
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Bill Rodger's awards from the 1975 World Cross Country, 
photo courtesy of Bill Rodgers
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Blake Russell and her Coach, Bob Sevene, photo by PhotoRun.net

The ASICS LA Marathon was host to the USA Marathon Championships. Some of the top marathoners in men and women's races wanted to get a feel for next year's Olympic Trials. The LA Marathon will host the 2016 Olympic Trials in February 2016. 

Jared Ward and Blake Russell were the surprise winners. One marathoner (Ward), new to the marathon and one marathoner (Russell), the classic veteran.
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Robbie Andrews, photo by PhotoRun.net

Robbie Andrews had an amazing final at the USA Indoors on March 1. His last 150 meters over the 1000 meters championships distance. For Robbie Andrews, this was vindication after some challenges over the past few years. 

Dave Hunter, writing for RunBlogRun, interviewed Robbie Andrews over his recent successes. 

Chris Chavez wrote this piece for RunBlogRun today. Chris Chavez writes for ESPN.com and several other sites. We asked Chris to ask some of the top finishers about their thoughts on the LA Marathon course and what the marathon trials course looks like to them. Here are their thoughts....

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Jared Ward, Aramco Houston Half, USA Half, photo by PhotoRun.net

Interesting piece by Chris Chavez. With Ryan Hall dropping out, Abdi Abdirahman has kept a low profile this past year, only Meb Keflezighi remains from the 2012 Olympic team as a real contender at this time. That sounds like two possible positions open on the men's team to me. 

With a year out from the USA Olympic Trials Marathon champs, the state of men's US marathoning is in flux. It is a changing of guard, as old marathoners decide for one last run and some track focused athletes try to move up. 

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Jared Ward, photo by PhotoRun.net

Suffice it to say, there will be at least one surprise on the 2016 team. My experience suggests that two of the three are people we are not thinking of right now. 

I have lucky enough to follow each Olympic Trials marathon since 1976. Each has surprises, and that is part of the mystery. 

Enjoy the piece by Chris Chavez, written just before he jumped onto his plane back East....
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Molly Huddle, United Airlines NYC Half Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Stephen Sambu and Leonard Korir battling at NYC Half finish, photo by PhotoRun.net

This piece was done by Chris Lotsbom on the NYC Half. He has also been covering the the NB Indoors as well for us this weekend! 


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Stephan Sambu and Leonard Korir battle for the NYC Half title, March 15, 2015, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The United Airlines NYC Half marathon was windy and cool, and the race, on both the men and women's sides, went out controlled. Then, the racing began. On the men's side, it came down to inches as Sambu and Korir battled to the finish line, literally! 

Cathal Dennehy wrote this piece on the men's race....
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Molly Huddle runs as fast as she can, winning United Airlines NYC Half in 1:08.31, 
March 15, 2015, photo by PhotoRun.net

It was this past July 2014, as I waited after the Monaco Grand Prix for a bus, that I had a few unplanned minutes with Molly Huddle. Ray Flynn, her agent and Molly Huddle, smiling, but tired after her 5,000m AR but also duel to the finish with Shannon Rowbury, offered to share a taxi with me back to the HQ hotel. It was past 11 pm and Molly was tired, and hungry, but willing to discuss her recent 5,000 meter race. Rumors had been flying over Molly moving up to the marathon, which will happen someday. 

But, for 2015, Molly Huddle told me last July, she would only go so far as saying that she wanted to run a fast 10,000 meters in the coming year. I was happy to hear that. The most talented 5,000m runner in American distance running is made for the 10,000 meters. I am not a fan of everyone jumping up to the marathon. Later in career, yes, but not before one sees just how fast that they can be on the track. 

On March 15, 2015, Molly Huddle defeated a top field at the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon in 1:08.31, the fifth fastest run ever by an American and a wonderfully fast run for an opener for Ms. Huddle. 

Cathal Dennehy caught up with Molly Huddle, fresh from victory at the NYC Half, to write the following story! 
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Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net


The 2015 United Airlines NYC Half marathon is less than six hours away. Here are a few of stories that Chris Lotsbom sees coming out of the race....
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Anna Rohrer, photo by PhotoRun.net

The 5000 meters is a magical event at the New Balance Indoors. For the past four years, the 5000m AR for high schools has been broken. This year, it was Anna Rohrers' chance to set a new record. And, she did. Here is how Chris Lotsbom saw it! 
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Tenorio 11.09 improvement
CUENCA (ECU, Mar 14): Angela Tenorio of Ecuador again improved the South American U23 and junior record and national senior record to excellent 11.09 (+0.8) in the 100 m. She is now 8th best all-time junior. At this South American Grand Prix meet in pole vault Jose Pacho twice improved the national record to 522 and 526 cm. In the men 100 m Diego Palomeque won in 10.35 over 200 m Olympic finalist Alex Quinonez 10.37 and Andy Martinez of Peru 10.43. In 10 000 m walk Cristian Chocho 41:55.50 and Brazilian Erica Sena 47:43.50.
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Matt Tegenkamp, Millrose 2015, photo by PhotoRun.net

I had known of Matt Tegenkamp as he rose through the college ranks as a Badger. It, was, however, as I was watching the 2007 Osaka World Champs 5,000 meters. I was intently watching Matt Tegenkamp move up through the field. With one lap to go, Matt Tegenkamp was flying, in fourth place, and then, it clicked. Tegenkamp began to pick in up down the final straight and ran himself nearly into the bronze medal. His fourth place was an amazing race and showed this keen observer, and perhaps Matt himself, that he has what it takes to get to the medal stands. 

Now, in this piece by Chris Lotsbom, Matt is focusing on the Marathon. I still believe that he had a medal in his future. That 5,000 meter speed and tactics are still there, and so is the drive.... 

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Johnny Gray celebrating with his athlete, Duane Solomon on his making the 2012 US Olympic team, photo by Colorlines.com 


Johnny Gray has both the indoor and outdoor American records at 800 meters, which he has held for nearly 25 years. 

He also coaches Duane Solomon, one of the few who could break those records. In this piece, Elliott Denman asks Johnny why he believes that his records still remain. 

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Dathan Ritzenhein, Campaccio XC 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

Dathan Ritzenhein is running the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon on Sunday, March 15, 2015. Our friend from Jumping-the-Gun.com, one of my favorite Irishmen, Cathal Dennehy, wrote this piece about Dathan Ritzenhein, an athlete I first saw race as a high school junior at the FootLocker MW regional. 

It has been fascinating to watch Dathan in his development as one our finest athletes, from two miles to the marathon. This season should be interesting as Dathan looks to Rio 2016...



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Sara Hall, March 2015, courtesy of  ASICS communications

The following interview was done with Sara Hall, by Max Lockwood, on the eve of her marathon debut at the 2015 ASICS LA Marathon, which, in February 2016, will be the site of the 2016 US Olympic Trials marathon. That her husband, Ryan Hall is also racing this weekend, makes this an even more fascinating event!  
In this day and age of sports apps everywhere, here is one that makes sense. The ASICS LA Marathon app is the perfect way for you to keep track of the marathoner that you love! We have heard really nice comments. If you download it, send us your thoughts to runblogrun@gmail.com and we will publish some of the best. 
I do not like writing pieces like this. I am not a gossip columnist. But, in the past 24 hours, I have received the following letters from at least ten sources. I wrote to Mr. Leach and asked for permission to publish and he responded by email and gave me express permission. 

Lionel Leach wrote this letter, in his own comments to defend Timothy Baker, a long time supporter of Stephanie Hightower and supporter of the sport. As the controversy regarding Bob Hersh and Stephanie Hightower has not gone away, this just adds fire to the proverbial flame. The letter from Stephanie Hightower to Timothy Baker has just made everything worse, and for some, much clearer. 

What I have found, in my middle age,  is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle in most of these cases. I do believe that Lionel Leach was incensed. I also know that Lionel is a fine politician and has been at odds with Ms. Hightower for some time. 

I also know that Stephanie Hightower, on a good day, annoys half of the sport just for breathing, so, that is a constant. The letter is not one of her best, and it is not her worst. Is she pressuring Mr. Baker? Of course. But, welcome to the sport and how politics is dividing the sport more and more each day. Bullying Timothy Baker is not something that Ms. Hightower needed on her resume. 

I am not sure what the answer is. I do believe that some of the vitriol against Stephanie HIghtower is because of her approach, which rubs many the wrong way. I also think that she has talents and just because the women makes you crazy nuts mad does not mean she does not have value to the sport. I have seen Stephanie use her political talents to help the sport. Those talents are not evident in this letter, however. 

But, the defenders of Ms. Hightower rely on as much vitriol as the other side. 

The truth is, that the new style of governance in USA Track & Field is not working. The Board is not communicating, in a form that the constituency appreciates. That means, if one has ever taken a class on politics, that the board is, at present, failing. The board is communicating in a vacuum, I believe.

How dangerous is this? The Board of Directors needs to get outside of the meeting room, because, I can tell them, that there is trouble brewing. That the board did not figure out how a guy like Bob Hersh was respected when he had a vote of 392-70 is just ridiculous. I have been in the US, and Europe for six weeks. I can tell you that the USATF Board is being questioned by many on both sides of the pond. 

For me, seeing this absolute soap opera-like stories on USATF is infuriating. The great financial news that has come from Max Siegel's hard work is being over shadowed by Board and President who seem to think that what they know is best and screw the naysayers. If this is not what they believe, then, the Board better get on the charm offensive, because the ship is truly listing. 

For someone who cares about the sport, I find this very distasteful. My recommendation to the Board: clean it up. 
RUNOHIO is our partner in the state of Ohio, as part of the RunningNetwork. There has been a controversy in Ohio State high school cross country, and RUNOHIO, a long time commentator on cross country, track and field and road racing in the state of Ohio asked us to distribute this piece to our readers. They feel it is important for coaches, athletes, parents and officials to see the whole story. 

I picked the photo below because, for me, it is the essence of our sport. The coach, the team, the race. Keep it simple. The politics is what hurts many of the activities, whether they be sport, or other parts of life. 


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NXN, photo courtesy of Nike communications

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Georgina Ronoh, shown here in 2012 Boston, where she placed third, won the 2nd annual First Lady Half Marathon in Kenya, photo by PhotoRun.net

Justin Lagat wrote this piece on the First Lady Half Marathon, a race with a huge visibility and focus in Kenya. It is important to see a country's leaders and role models supporting such worthy causes. We thank Justin Lagat once again, for giving a view from Kenya. You can learn more about Justin Lagat and his writing on Kenya at thekenyanathlete.com


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SPIKEASE is an well made product, at a modest price, that is a perfect cover for your spikes or  your athletes' spikes as they walk back into the gym, across sidewalks, and other surfaces. RunBlogRun has worked with SPIKEASE to provide our readers, and their teams, a 15 % discount. Just use SAVE 15 when you order at www.spikeease.com

If you are tired of hearing complaints of how much track spikes are damaging this service or another, then, try SPIKEASE. We have included a short video, from our partners, the Shoe Addicts, explaining SPIKEASE. 

We highly recommend this product for your teams, or we would not allow it on the site.  

 
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Rod Dixon, photo by Micheal Rueter

I have known Rod Dixon for nearly thirty years. In my mind, Rod was one of the few athletes who truly got it: how to train, how to juggle training as one got older, and how to move from the mile, to the 5,000m, to the roads and finally, how to keep your speed and your cool over the marathon. The 1983 NYC marathon Tv broadcast is iconic, as Dixon was the hunter for 26 miles, and made his one chance at a move at the right time, and not only made history, but put Saucony, his brand at the time, in the forefront of running. 

Rod Dixon has always been a runner's runner. 

I was always taught by my coaches that a man or women is judged not by what they say, but, what they do. Rod Dixon has taken an exceptional athletic career with his genuine caring and concern for putting a halt to childhood obesity. Rod knows, through KiDSMARATHON foundation, that he can change one child at a time, who will change a friend, who will change a friend....

It is fitting that Saucony has rekindled its relationship with Rod Dixon. A brand that understands how important Rod's program is, and is willing to put their actions behind their words. 
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Chris O'Hare now has Indoor & Outdoor European 1,500m bronze medals, photo by PhotoRun.net

That the GBR team did well in Prague is well known. Alex Mills wants us to truly understand their successes and what looks good in the near and not so distance future. 
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Wilson Kiprop, Pre 10,000m, (June 2012), photo by PhotoRun.net 


Justin Lagat wrote this moving piece on the departure of two sponsors from Kenyan athletics. Justin provides A View from Kenya for RunBlogRun, a weekly column on the sport in Kenya. 

This year, however, the abyss has been nearly reached. The tradition and pride of Kenyan athletics has been besmirched by some who think that rules do not apply for them, and that the price paid if one gets caught is worth the chances. 

In the end, as Justin Lagat notes here, the Federation is not really hurt, but those athletes training for a greater race, for a better life, for the pride of Kenyan athletics, are the ones hurt. 
Rod Dixon's Kids Marathon Foundation runs to success! by Jeff Benjamin


Over 4000 Students from over 250 schools -grades 8 & under- from the Los Angeles Unified School District  Beyond the Bell Branch  + 1000 Students from the Inland Empire and Chino Hills School District, together with Students from Glendora participated at the Final Mile Celebration at Dodger Stadium on March 8 2015. Together with these students of the KiDSMARATHON 'in school' programthere were 12,000 family and parents to cheer them on, as they ran their Final Mile of their MARATHON. 25,000 Students started training January 12 to accumulate 25.2 over the period of 8-10 weeks. They ran into Dodger Stadium over a distance of 1.2 miles thereby finishing the Marathon distance to great cheers and applause!

IMG_8912 Kids marathon.JPGKiDS Marathon, a view from a participant, courtesy of KIDSMarathonFoundation.org

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Lee Emmanuel, Armory Track Invitational, January 2015, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

In Birmingham, England, two weeks ago, Lee Emmanuel took five full seconds off his 1,500m PB and 13 seconds off his indoor 1,500m PB! Last night, running a fine race, Emmanuel took the silver medal in the 3,000 meters at the 2015 European Indoor Championships. 

For Emmanuel, it was a bit of redemption. For his new sponsor, HOKA ONE ONE, the fastest growing running footwear brand in North America, it was their first European indoor Championships medal. For Lee Emmanuel, it was also his first European medal and a bit of a self realization. 

Emmanuel ran a gutty race. Alex Mills, a frequent contributor to RunBlogRun, wrote this piece on the new silver medalist and why you should not forget his name. 


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Ben True running 13:02 against Hassan Mead, Payton Jordan, May 2014

Carolyn Mather emailed me today, as I was finishing up the coverage of the European Indoor Champs. I had forgotten to post her preview of the GATE 15k, which is to be held on March 14, 2015. 

The GATE 15k is part of the USA Championship road circuit, another way that USATF and the road running community support our developing and elite athletes. With a fantastic race history and 23,000 runners, The GATE 15k will be a barn burner. 


Last September, as I sat watching the Continental Cup in Marakkech, I saw the future of the steeplechase. Jairus Birech and Evan Jager were dueling over 3000 meters. Jager, who had brought the AR down once again in the steeplechase, ran what I believe will be seen as one of his most important races. 

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Jairus Birech, Commonwealth Games, photo by Claus Andersen

Jager and Birech dueled to the end. In hot, humid weather at the end of the season, it came down to a final sprint for Birech to take the race from Jager. 

Earlier in the season, I had watched Jairus Birech stop at the last hurdle, jump over it and still run 8:08. Then, Birech went on to win the DL in 2014 and run the fastest race of the year. 

In this interview, watch carefully who Birech notes is the challenge to a Kenyan sweep at the World Champs and Olympics. 
Allez les bleus! 

On Friday evening, March 6, the French hurdling trio of Pascal Martinot Lagarde, Dimitri Bescou, and Wilhelm Belocian made history. Never before in European Indoors, all 23 of them, had one country swept the 60 meter hurdles! 

Well, scratch that record! 
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Katerina Johnson-Thompson, photo by Getty Images for European Athletics


The late, great Czech sportsmen, Emil Zatopek once told me the story about his time coaching. He smiled, when he told the story. "It was very hard to coach. I found it easier to compete. Top athletes make terrible coaches.  " 

Zatopek, aka "the Czech Lokomotiv", was correct. 

As a former athlete and coach, I find that those experiences assist me in my writing as I try to convey the beauty and pathos of our sport. As someone who can say that he has been lapped by more elite runners than most care to know, I also appreciate the effort behind the race. 

Never was my emotions more challenged than in watching the performances of Katerina Johnson-Thompson on Friday, March 6, 2015. 
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David Storl, Sopot 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

David Storl has won Olympic gold, World Champs gold, European Outdoor Gold, but never, ever the European Indoor Champs. Well, until last night! 
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Butch Reynolds on TFN cover, October 1988

Butch Reynolds' record run was iconic. His 43.29 broke the record of Lee Evans! In fact, in the first issue of American Athletics, we feature a piece where Lee Evans speaks about the breaking of his record.

Reynolds faced his toughest fight in challenging a drug positive, which took two years from his career. Reynolds' challenges went all the way to the Supreme Court and changed the way drug testing was both prosecuted and conducted. 

Hunter writes about the good, the bad and the exciting, in this feature on Butch Reynolds, who now looks at the Masters' WR for 400 meters, specifically, the 50 plus WR. 
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Katerina Johnson-Thompson, London 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net

In one of the most spectacular settings for an indoor championships, the 2015 European Indoor Championships were both entertaining and exciting. The 12,000 plus fans in the morning and the 15,000 plus fans in the evening were Czech sports fans, who were warmly rewarded with three medals: the silver in the men's LJ with Radek Juska, who leaped a PB of 8.10m, Elikska Klucinova, who scored the bronze medal in the pentathlon with a NR Of 4,687, and Ladislav Prasil, who threw a SB of 20.66m to lead, and only dropped to bronze in the very last round, when Asmir Kolasinac threw 20.90m for the silver (David Storl had taken over first in round 3, with his 21.12m, then threw a 21.23m in last throw). 

The event of the night should have been the pentathlon, which was had Katerina Johnson-Thompson scoring pbs in hurdles, CR in HJ and LJ, and finished just twelve points off WR. The French sweep in men's hurdles, the Swedes' 1 and 3 in LJ and British women's 2,3 in 60m hurdles were just some of the fun that we, as fans and media were able to watch.

Here is some of the behind the scenes info the Alfons Juck, EME News, provides for us on a daily basis. But, in his home country, Alfons provides great insight into this fantastic indoor championships. 


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The O2 Arena, morning session, Prague, 6 March 2015

Alex Mills has been writing for RunBlogRun for nearly a year. We met at the Glasgow GP, I believe. He has an enthusiasm for the sport, and gives us a particularly GBR view. In this column, Alex writes about Katerina Johnson-Thompson, Lucy Hatton and Serita Soloman and how they won their medals in Prague! 

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The European Indoor Champs began on Thursday night, March 5, with some qualifying for the shot put and long jump. David Storl of Germany was so dominating, with his 21.23m, the farthest throw in eight years in rounds in Euro Indoors. 

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 Sifan Hassan racing the 1,500m only in Euro Indoors, photo by photoRun.net


So, for those interested in enjoying a competition between 49 of the 50 member federations of the European Athletic Association, here are some helpful downloads:


2015 Updated Final European Indoor Announced Entries of Athletes: EICH-FinalEntriesforwebsite_Neutral.pdf


2015 European Indoor Championships Combined Entries & Schedule: EICH2015CombinedEvents_Confirmationoutdoor2015indoor2015_Neutral.pdf

2015 European Indoor Championships Team Manual: Praha2015-TeamManual_Neutral.pdf



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David Storl, photo by PhotoRun.net

The one medal that David Storl is missing is the championship medal for the European Indoor Championships. His 21.23m qualifying throw, the best qualifier at the Euro Indoors in eight years, may be a real example of the young German champion's interest in the top of the podium. 
It is 12:43 PM in Prague, and I am in the media center of the O2 Arena. To say that the trip has been challenging, might be an understatement. A former co-worker, Julie Wells, used to laugh as I would relate my travails with travel, noting, " Larry, I will never travel with you." 

I will leave that up to the reader to decide. 

In any regards, I see it all as an adventure, and this season, your athletic pilgrim has gone from Boston (New Balance Indoor GP) on February 7, to New York (for Millrose Games and PUMA launch) on Feb. 14, to Birmingham, UK for Sainsbury's Indoor GP on Feb. 21. A short trip to Malmo, Sweden for a Feb. 25, meet, ended with a twenty hour trip back to Boston, for the USA Indoor Champs. 

And now, after an overnight stay in Washington D.C. due to snow delays from Boston, I make the trip to Frankfurt, then, to Prague...and now, the Euro Indoors!

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Erica Jarder, photo by PhotoRun.net

Just some news of the European Champs, which opens in Prague on March 5, 2015. RunBlogRun will be covering the indoor champs live, as we have done in 2011 and 2013. 49 of the 50 athletic federations which are members of the EAA will be sending athletes. 

Why do I enjoy the event so much? The indoor champs are well run, in wonderful locations and have crowds that enjoy athletics. The chance to see some of the developing European athletes is a key factor as well. Who knows who will shake things up as we get closer to the World Champs in Beijing? 
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  JIm Spivey, USA Outdoors, 1991, 
photo by Victah Sailer/PhotoRun.net 

Jeff Benjamin reached out to one of America's finest milers, Jim Spivey right after the Millrose Games. Now a manager at ASICS America, Jim has served the sport as an athlete, coach and in management at footwear brands. 

In this piece, Jim Spivey provided us with some thoughtful advice for young milers who are coming up through the American system. Spivey knows all about that. In his early career, Jim was a well respected rabbit in European races. When he got better, the meet directors remembered how fine he had run for them, and it was one of those intangibles that helped Spivey in his career. 


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Tenorio 11.18 over 100 m South American junior record
QUITO (ECU, Mar 1): Ecuador´s super talent in sprint and World Junior and Youth medalist Angela Tenario improved at the Los Chasquis track her own South American junior record here to excellent 11.18. She returned from one month training in Orlando, Florida.

(Editor's note: Angela Tenario won two medals in the World Juniors last year and was quite the show with her 100m heat racing herself. Here is the video we did wtih Angela last summer at the 2014 World Juniors in Eugene, Oregon: http://www.runblogrun.com/2014/08/-functiond-s-id.html)
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Kenyan XC Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net

The recent drug crisis in Kenya has not reached its denouement. There have been some good changes taking place in Kenya and Justin Lagat, our Kenyan correspondent, writes about what he sees as the positive changes in Kenya and abroad. 

My concern continues to be that testing is not enough. Athletes and the teams around athletes need to see that the penalties for drug cheating are so draconian that it is just plain unthinkable, then, we will have negated much of doping in sport. 

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Here is a video from the European Athletics Federation. The 2015 European Indoor Athletics will be my third, and I truly enjoy these events. Some great running, jumping and throwing, and most importantly, the European Federation is really doing some fine social media and video to reach out to younger fans. 

The streaming video of the European Athletics events are very high quality. As in the US, most of Europe has athletics on paid TV, instead of terrestrial TV. For our sport to grow, we need Athletics on free TV, and streaming video is helping get the word out. Also, check out the social media on European Athletics site. They provide great photos, some small videos and fun twitter and FB. 

Here is a sample of their daily videos! 

The 2015 European Indoor Champs start on Thursday, March 5 and end Sunday, March 8! Cathal Dennehy, our friend from Jumping-the-Gun.com, wrote up his top ten picks for the Euro Indoors. 

Take a look at Cathal's predictions and watch our daily live coverage at RunBlogRun.com. Right now, I am stuck in Washington D.C., due to a bit of snow in Boston. So, I am sitting in a hotel in D.C. watching Justified, and editing stories. 

Your athletic pilgrim sometimes gets tired of this flying stuff. 

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Shannon does the double! photo by PhotoRun.net

In a championships that should have been a snorer, there were some truly fun races to watch and a new American record! AG Kruger won his ninth weight throw, Christian Cantwell took his fifth, and six months after having a baby, Alysia Montano wins the 600 meters. 


Race Results Weekly is the weekly news service from David Monti, his wife, Jane Monti, and associate editor Chris Lotsbom. We license it because, quite frankly, they do a wonderful job on events that we just either can not get to or are trying to cover other parts of the event. 

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Cas Loxsom, AR at 600 meters! Look at that smile! 
photo by PhotoRun.net

This redux of the last day, which just had some superb racing, is a lot of fun to read! 
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Robby Andrews wins the 1000 meters in dramatic fashion! by PhotoRun.net

Robby Andrews and Cas Loxsom ran in the World Juniors in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada in 2010. They went 2, 3 (Cas in 2, Robbie in 3) in the 800 meters. Five years later, they win national senior championships. 

Elliott Denmann wrote this piece on Robby and Casimir. I hope you like it as much as I have! 
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Shannon Rowbury, Katie Mackey, go 1, 2 in mile! photo by PhotoRun.net

In a year when nothing is on the line, we had some old fashioned racing, The men and women's 300 meters, the men's 2 mile and the men's mile come to mind. David Monti and Chris Lotsbom, of RRW, wrote the following piece to keep you up on the middle distance races of the day! 



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Sharon Day-Monroe, winning in 2015, numero four in a row! by PhotoRun.net


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Sharon Day-Monroe, winning in 2013 (she has now won in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015), photo by PhotoRun.net

In a year when NOTHING is on the line in USA indoor champs but bragging rights, there have been some surprisingly outstanding events. The penthathlon showed just how good Sharon Day-Monroe, an ASICS athlete, is. The women's and men's 300 meters gave Under Armour two titles with two athletes entered in the meet (not bad), and the women's mile gave us Shannon Rowbury (Nike) and Katie Mackey (Brooks). 

Elliott Denman, channelling Harry Belafonte, the famous singer and activist, writes poetically and enthusiastically about Ms. Day-Monroe, who is an exceptional athlete, standing out in a year when few are enthused on the USA Indoor. But,the crowd has been decent and running races like the 2 mile, not contested in a USA Indoor Champs since 1931 (with a record of 9:07, from 1929 by Edvin Vide of Sweden), are classics. 
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Bedan Karoki running the streets of Philadelphia, 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

Justin Lagat, our long time correspondent from Kenya wrote three fabulous pieces that were caught up in my jet lag and travel. Here is the first, on the Kenyan Cross country trials and the wonderful team that Kenya will send to Guiyang, China. 

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