December 2015 Archives

Happy New Years!

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Thumbnail image for WInterScene.jpgAt Fortius Media Group (Running Network, RunBlogRun and the Shoe Addicts), we wish all of you a very happy New Years' Eve and prosperous New Year!

Enjoy the holidays with you friends and family.

And remember to get in your runs and your walks and consider the year past the the year upon us.

Happy New Years!

Mike_for_obit.pngMike Byrnes, photo by PhotoRun.net

The tributes for one of the most beloved and colorful people in American athletics have been many.

Mike Byrnes is one of the most colorful characters in our sport. An innovator, a provacteur, Mike Byrnes made the sport better with his presence and his lifelong love of the sport of athletics.

Elliott Denman wrote this heartfelt tribute about Mike Byrnes.

Suhr_Jenn1-USAind15.jpgJenn Suhr, photo by PhotoRun.net

Updated 12.30.15

Suhr 475
ROCHESTER (USA, Dec 27): Olympic Champion Jenn Suhr cleared 475 cm on Sunday at the Upstate NY Holiday Classic indoor meet. She plans next to jump in Buffalo on December 29. Her coach and husband Rick Suhr on his facebook post said that: "This will be Jenn's kick-off campaign for the Rio Olympics Games."

Editor's note: Jenn Suhr is the 2012 Olympic champion, 2013 silver medalist in World Champs and fourth in 2015 World Champs. The Suhrs always compete to win. They are not competing for a medal, they are competing for the gold medal.

If Jenn Suhr can stay healthy, which means keeping her legs and achilles strong, she is more than capable of dueling with the best in the world.

Note: Jenn Suhr has already cleared 4.80 meters in December.

OpeningCeremonies1b-World15.jpgBeijing Opening Ceremonies, photo by PhotoRun.net

Maurie Plant is a long time sports broadcaster from the BBC. He is also a long time mentor of many of the Australian athletes. I am fortunate to also note that Maurie is both mentor and a friend.

Maurie is a keen observer of the sport. He understands how our sport is covered and how it should be covered. He also is one of the greatest story tellers of all times. It is one of the qualities that makes him a fine broadcaster. Maurie Plant has been the eyes and ears of several generations of global sports fans.

Near the end of the World Champs in Beijing, I sat down with Maurie to discuss what he saw as key moments in the 2015 World Championships. When you listen to this audio interview, you will notice Maurie's observation skills: he gets it. We did the audio in one take, and his skills as a broadcaster can be heard and appreciated on this interview.

I wanted to get this up over the holiday to give us something to consider about the championships in Beijing. It was my second time in China and a wonderful World Championships. Having Maurie Plant to check in with made it even more spectacular.

Stowers_Jasmine1b-Doha15.jpgJasmin Stowers, photo by PhotoRun.net

David Hunter wrote his weekly feature on the promise and future of one Jasmin Stowers. After you read Dave's feature, I am sure you will share his interest in Ms. Stowers' development in 2016.

WInterScene.jpgNature has a way of showing how little control we have over anything.

A mild Holiday season has now changed to snow and slush on the East Coast, snow in Texas and dangerous rain in the Midwest, including my birthplace, Missouri.

I had planned to take a couple of days off around the holidays, but that time has just been extended with a bit of a cold and helping around my parent's house.

It has also been with its own sadness: the loss of Mike Byrnes, one of the real innovators in our sport, who passed away the day after Christmas.

Time to get in a few walks with my son, Adam, and his dog, Hachi. I try to appreciate Hachi, who loves our six mile walks in the morning, and enjoys each moment as they come.

A few nice phone calls have put the year in perspective. A text from good friend, reminding me of our early running nearly forty years ago.

Such is the time around the holidays.

Enjoy it, savor it, remember it.

Editor's comment: It is refreshing to see European Athletics' Arne Hansen honestly comment on the Russian debacle.

If the WADA report is going to be taken seriously, then, the rebuilding of a doping free Russian sports system surely will take more than a few months. Unlike social media, where something older than fifteen minutes is considered ancient, changing a fifty-plus year old sports system will take real time.

I met with President Hansen at the Beijing World Champs. I was quite impressed with his energy and his desire to upgrade European Athletics Association and the sport in Europe. Hansen gets it.

Bromell_TrayvonR1a-World15.jpgTrayvon Bromell, photo by PhotoRun.net

Bromell feels like the future


BOSTON (USA): Sprint sensation and fastest teenager Trayvon Bromell who will debut as pro athlete in Europe next February at Glasgow Meet shares Usain Bolt's agent - and may just be the sprinter best placed to beat the Jamaican at next year's Olympics writes Eurosport. "I feel like we are the future," Bromell agreed. "Me and De Grasse have a lot in common. "It's a lot that is hitting us at a young age that could set us up for a big future, we could possibly be the next biggest things in track and field." Bromell also stands out for his preference to compete in running shorts, rather than the skin-tight all-in-one outfits most of his rivals prefer. Rather than a sartorial preference it is seemingly a technical one, with the youngster believing it affords him a fraction more flexibility to match the stride pattern of his bigger opponents. Bromell will have to contend with Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers for three places in the 100 m - while Ryan Bailey, Clayton Vaughn and Marvin Bracy all ran sub-10 seconds in 2015 and figure to only go faster in 2016. The 200m promises to be similarly competitive, with Bromell only the third fastest American of 2015. Writes Eurosport website.

Editor's note: Trayvon Bromell and Andre De Grasse are the sprinters of the future. It will be fun to watch both mature in the sport. Glasgow Indoor will be an exciting meet in early February.

abshero, 20420, dubai2012.jpgAbshero wins 2012 Dubai Marathon, courtesy of Dubai Marathon

The Dubai Marathon is one of the fastest marathons in the world. In 2016, the race will be held on January 22, 2016. I hope to put this one on my bucket list.

WInterScene.jpgOn Christmas morning, I got up and did my normal two hour walk in the morning. The streets were much quieter, and the people I saw and greeted were much nicer. Everyone said, " Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays". It was like San Jose was a tiny little city.

Since the 1970s, I have been one of the people who says hello to nearly everyone I meet on a walk. I picked that up when I started running and Joe Henderson, a long time writer for Runners' World, and key figure in running media for decades, noted that he greeted most other runners. At that time, few were out running, so runners were few and far between.

Now, runners and walkers abound.

In a world that gets more isolating, simple greetings are more important.

What do I remember from my Christmas day walk? A clear sky and nice winds after a great few days of rain.

Enjoy the holidays.

LaVillenie_Renaud-Brussels15.jpgRenaud Lavillenie, photo by PhotoRun.net

This is the 35th update of the European Results for 2015, as compiled by Carles Baronet. Watch for Carles' updates on cross country, indoor and outdoor in 2016.

WInterScene.jpgBeing an athlete is all about rituals. Warm ups, cooldowns, periodization. We forget that sometimes.

Giving oneself a break twice a year is just as important as the buildup and hard work. If your athletes have just finished cross country, give them two weeks off to unwind.

During the last six years that I coached, Joe Mangan was my head coach at Foothill. Joe was great about understanding that he had about twelve weeks to get our cross country runners in shape for racing and about the same for our outdoor season.

A time for long runs, a time for fartlek, a time for core work, a time for everything.

During this time of rituals, remember to take a moment to slow down, and relish in the rituals of our lives.

Remembering Mike Byrnes, by Larry Eder

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Mike_for_obit.pngMike Byrnes, photo by PhotoRun.net

Please read the wonderful obit on Mike Byrnes, from NSAF: http://www.nationalscholastic.org/article/1913.

The following are some of my recollections of a special person who was loved by many, and who influenced several generations in our sport.

WInterScene.jpgThe reason that the many sites and magazines of the Running Network have been around for so long is the hard work and focus of the various publishers. From Michigan Runner to RunDenmark, they all believe in the good that the running community provides.

Each site and magazine has a staff. Most sites and magazines and sites are staffed by small staffs, whose love of the sport is always a deciding factor. Without them, the nearly thirty years of content from our various partners (some have been around much longer), would not exist.

While many of our sites and magazines are taking a few days break, may we suggest that you check out a website in the group you have never looked at before?

From RunningNetwork.com, RunBlogRun.com, and The Shoe Addicts, to all of our readers, Happy Holidays! And remember, to take someone you love out for a walk or a run.

WInterScene.jpgI have to say, being home for the holidays is a great feeling. This afternoon, I will celebrate with my son, my brother, his lady love, and my parents. I am off for my two hour walk this morning. During that walk, I will spend time thinking about how grateful I have been for this past year and how I have learnt from so many people and friends. I will think of my friends around the world, especially in Fort Atkinson, Saint Louis, Boston, NYC, London, Birmingham, Paris and Menton. Friends make you feel at home wherever you are!

Merry Christmas from San Jose, California!

Your athletic pilgrim

Larry Eder

TrackTown-USout15.jpgTracktown 2015, photo by PhotoRun.net


EUGENE (USA): TrackTown USA published a statement which says among other: "In relation to the bids from the United States for the 2019 and 2021 IAAF World Championships, TrackTown USA stands fully behind the integrity of these candidatures, which have been made public. The Eugene proposal - which was identical for 2019 and 2021 - adhered to all ethical and legal standards for organizing, presenting and advocating for our bid, according to IAAF rules. The decision to award the 2021 World Championships to Eugene was made by the IAAF Council in a vote of 23-1." From Trackandfieldnews.com.

Editor's note: That the US had not hosted an outdoor World Championships until 2021 is, in my mind, an example of one of the issues that has held the sport of athletics back. There is really no excuse for it.

Sweden hosted the World Champs in 1995, and if my recollection is correct, it was a fine World Champs. The cost overruns caused the Federation to file for bankruptcy. The 2021 bid was to be done by the city of Gotenburg, a wholly different matter. With the lack of stars in Swedish athletics at this time, and sponsorship challenges for the Swedish Federation, the financial support of the city was what made the 2021 bid strong for Sweden.

In the past, most cities that bid for a World Champs did it several times before they won. The Doha-Eugene battle over 2019 was very, very close.

The problem with 2021 is the lack of a process. It was questioned immediately, by some. Again, that was the right of the IAAF to make that decision that Eugene made sense. After the 2014 World Junior Champs, many were impressed by Eugene, but the issue of adidas as an IAAF sponsor in Nike's home was always going to be an issue.

Knowing Vin Lannana, and his team, I do not see that any impropriety was involved. The IAAF was offered a fantastic TV deal, support for Eugene to have a fine addition to Hayward Field, and infrastructure to make Eugene a suitable home for the World Champs.

The stench surrounding Lamine Diack, Pappa Diack and their partners in crime has come to sit on the 2021 bid.

I find this unfortunate, but, truly, just a sign of the times. Everything will be questioned about our sport over the next several months.

And, trust me, it will get worse over the next couple of months as the second part of the WADA report is revealed.

WInterScene.jpgOn behalf of Fortius Media, which represents The Running Network, RunBlogRun and the Shoe Addicts, I wanted to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and or a Happy Holiday season. We will be slowing down for a few days (December 24-Dec 27), to spend time with our families, friends and to just be thankful for 2015.

So, on behalf of our 44 partners: Run, Walk, Jump, Throw, Love!

Dibaba_GenzebeH-Carlsbad15.jpgGenzebe Dibaba, Carlsbad 5k, photo by PhotoRun.net

Genzebe thinks steeple
BEKOJI (ETH): World 1500m champion Genzebe Dibaba has said that she is sure that she can beat her world 1500m record, report AS. "I do not know what can happen in the future, but if I am able to maintain the same volume of work and results then I do believe that I can improve it," said the 24 year old Ethiopian. "I know I can run a 1500 faster than in Monaco (3: 50.07), of that I am sure." Despite saying in Monaco this year that she would never attempt a steeplechase race, Dibaba now says "I would like to try 3000m steeplechase. I know that for a simple matter of series and schedules, it would be impossible to compete in the 1500m, 5000m and 3000 SC in Rio, but I would like to try the steeplechase."

Editor's note: At the Monaco GP presser, I believe that we asked Genzebe about the steeple. She was not ready and noted that she would never attempt the steeplechase. I like to ask athletes about events that they had not tried. I have been trying to get Allyson Felix to run the 400 meter hurdles. For several years, I asked Jeremy Wariner about getting serious on the steeplechase.

Wilson_AjeeFV-Millrose15.jpgAjee' Wilson, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ajee' Wilson is one of our most talented middle distance runners in the U.S. An athlete who went pro at the end of high school, Ajee' Wilson continues to show her promise. After dealing with many injuries in 2015, Ajee' Wilson, in this fine piece by Elliott Denman, is looking to 2016 with much anticipation.

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini were banned for eight years from the sport of football (soccer) by FIFA. I feel it is a small price to pay for betraying the sport that so many love.

Aspire1-WorldInd10.jpg

Aspire Stadium, Doha, photo by PhotoRun.net

DOHA (QAT): The 7th Asian Indoor Athletics Championships will take place in Doha from February 19 to February 21. Local star Mutaz Essa Barshim, the second highest high jumper of all-time, has announced that he plans to compete in the event while also revealing that the world record is very much on his mind. "I will try to beat the world record indoors and outdoors on 3-4 occasions this year, starting from the World Championships in Portland," said the world and Olympic medallist. Asian Athletics Association and Qatar Athletics Federation President, Dahlan Al Hamad said that approximately 450 athletes from 36 Nations will compete at the championships. Qatar expect to field a full-strength squad of more than 25 male and female athletes.

Editor's note: The World Indoors in 2010 in Doha, Qatar was my first visit to Qatar. The event was fantastic and was my first visit to see a culture of which I was and am fascinated.

This past week, Candace Hill made history for the second time in 2015, as she signed a ten year sponsorship contract with ASICS. In signing that contract, Candace Hill, at the age of sixteen, became the youngest track & field athlete in memory to sign a long term sponsorship.

A fine athlete, Candace Hill had that other sweet moment in time on June 20, 2015, when she became the first high school girl to break 11 seconds. We have included photos from her amazing day, and try to explain why Candace Hill is such an unique athlete.

SYRACUSE.pngSyracuse Celebrates Victory, photo from SATV

The NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2015 were held in Louisville, Kentucky on November 21, 2015.

Fans come to watch the individual battles, but, the majority of fans come to watch the team competition. On the women's side, New Mexico excited many with their women's team win for Division one.

The men's team race was both an upset and a surprise. Syracuse University's victory ended a drought for the Orange of sixty-four years. Coach Chris Fox, a fine runner himself, has developed an exciting team over the past decade.

For the race on November 21, 2015, it was an entire team effort for the Orange. Coach Fox later noted that his fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh men all ran " out of their heads."

Running the races of their lives, Syracuse University's men cross country team upset the defending team from Colorado. The victory put a smile on Coach Fox's face that was seen, still two weeks later, when I congratulated the fine coach in Portland, Oregon at the NXN.

And for that victory, Syracuse is the winner of the SATV+RBR November Male athlete of the Year.

Go, Orange!

HOKA - 1.pngThe history of HOKA ONE ONE is fascinating. Nico Mermoud, co-founder of HOKA ONE ONE, did this interview at TRE15, the most important trade show of the year for specialty running, with the SHOE ADDICTS, for RunBlogRun Interviews.

The lesson from HOKA ONE ONE? If one can create a fine product, find the support from an established brand, and remember that running shoes continue to be sold, one pair at a time, one may have a chance of success.

HOKA ONE ONE produces consistently fine product, and with the support of an enthusiastic staff, and supports the industry. From grass roots running events, such as the HOKA ONE ONE National Postals, to the Northern Arizona Elite, to having established the finest week of events around the NCAA and the USA Outdoors at the Wild Duck Cafe in Eugene, Oregon, HOKA ONE ONE gets it.

Why do running retailers support them? Running retailers support product that they can sell. They also see that HOKA ONE ONE provides a multi platform support, from social media, digital media, video support and consistent print in core running publications, both regional and national. HOKA ONE ONE has built on the product that gave it the intitial interest, and shows the specialty running culture that it means business.

The funny thing is, many brands have started like this, but most screw it up, trying to complicate a business that, quite frankly, comes down to selling consistently strong product, servicing specialty running retail, and investing in a culture (running) where the consumers are highly educated, and see advertising in social, digital and yes, print as reinforcement of the messaging. Miss one of those pieces, and one looses market share. Miss too many of those pieces, and someone fills the vacuum.

Rutherford_Greg-Beijing15.jpgGreg Rutherford, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ennis_Jessica-LondonDL15.jpgJessica Ennis-Hill, photo by PhotoRun.net


Rutherford and Ennis-Hill


LONDON (GBR): Long Jump World champion Athletes Greg Rutherford and Jessica Ennis-Hill, world and Olympic heptathlon champion, took the major awards at SJA British Sports Awards in London. The golden duo were presented with their awards by Patrick Collins, President of the Sports Journalists' Association, having been voted top of the poll in the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year categories. Behind Rutherford double Tour de France winner Chris Froome, and triple Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton. He is the first track athlete to win the trophy since 1998. In women ranking second female road cyclist, Lizzie Armitstead, and Lizzy Yarnold, skeleton world champion. Ennis-Hill also won the title in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and equals Paul Radcliffe's four SJA honours. The 2015 awards were announced at a gala ceremony in central London, sponsored by The National Lottery, and attended by nearly 400 celebrity guests from sport, politics and the media. Mo Farah was 5th, Dina Asher-Smith 10th as she also got the SJA Pat Besford Award for outstanding performance of the year. Inform sportsjournalists.co.uk.

Editor's note: Greg Rutherford and Jessica Ennis-Hill are two of the most popular athletes in British Athletics. Jessie Ennis-Hill had ana amazing year, and Greg Rutherford added the World Champs to his wins at Olympic, European and Commonwealth Games awards.

MOLLY.pngMolly Seidel, photo by The Shoe Addicts

Many believe that Molly Seidel's wins in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Outdoors, and her win in November at the NCAA Cross Country were the coming out of the next great American women distance runner. This we do know: Molly Seidel's win at the NCAA Cross Country broke the tradition that a FootLocker champion could not win the NCAA cross country. Coming from Notre Dame, Molly is the second athlete named Molly to do so well at Notre Dame (yes, Molly Huddle went to the South Bend institution).

Molly Seidel rose to the challenge at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, and won the race in style.

For her victory in cross country, and the wonderful win she had in June, we have given Molly Seidel the RunBlogRun Female Athlete of the Month award for November 2015.

Special thanks to The Shoe Addicts for this video.

This piece was written by Justin Lagat, our Kenyan correspondent in late November. Due to a family emergency, I am just getting to the piece now. I hope that you enjoy the piece...

Nov15-DashForDoobieHeat4Boys-047-4x6edit_full.jpgHOKA ONE ONE Postal Nationals, North Carolina meet, photo by Phil Ponder

The HOKA ONE ONE Postal Nationals is one of the best ideas for the high school sport in a long, long time. Ressurecting the postal competitions of the 70s and 80s (started in 1958, actually), the two mile postal is a great distance for high schoolers to test their fitness at the end of the season.

It is also an event that teams of any stature can compete in. My beef about end of season cross country and track is that there are too many high level competitions, with some of the favorites fighting against each other. This is not good for the sport.

The two mile distance, eight laps on a 400 meter or so track, is a great way to see how fit one is. It is also a great way to end the season.

This is also another example of how HOKA ONE ONE gets it. The brands that are doing well in running right now are, guess what, supporting the younger generation as well as core runners. Events like the HOKA ONE ONE Postal Nationals should be run by every high school in the country. It is a great way to guage fitness at the beginning and end of the season.

I hope that HOKA ONE ONE Postal Nationals continues to grow and thrive. It is turnkey, easy to set up an event and fun to see how many teams get it and are running it in 2015!

SP16_MT_LunarCaldra_AEaton_004_49009.jpgAshton Eaton and his gold Lunar Caldras, a limited edition shoe, photo from Nike

That Ashton Eaton is the World's Greatest Athlete is a given. In a tradition that goes back to 1912, with Jim Thorpe and the King of Sweden, the World Champion and Olympic decathlon champion has been known by the "World's Greatest Athlete" moniker.

Any one who witnessed Ashton Eaton's performance in Beijing had to know that. His 400 meters on the end of the first night blew my mind. His speed, his focus, and his stride just blew the field away. I wondered, had Ashton given too much to one of his ten events?

Au contraire, mes amis.

On day two, Ashton Eaton broke his own world record, adding to an already historic record.

I found this piece on Ashton and his gold shoe, well deserved, thanks to the Nike communications team.

Be like Ashton!

Oh, how times have changed.

When Alan Webb turned pro over a decade ago, after a year in college, some questioned the decision. And that was just a couple of years before Allyson Felix gave up running for collegiate team to run pro after high school. Allyson Felix finished college as she evolved her pro career.

Candace Hill has run 10.98 at the age of sixteen. The rumor mill began late last summer, that several brands were looking at Ms. Hill. In the end, ASICS America saw the opportunity to have such a raw talent for many years as a spokesperson for their brand was too much not to investigate. In the end, ASICS picked Candace Hill to represent the brand for a decade! In reading the release, note how ASICs emphasises Ms. Hill's college education and pursuit of a college degree.

RunBlogRun always looks askance on very young athletes moving into pro ranks. ASICS addresses many of the issues, including a college undergraduate degree, with a thoughtful eye. Nice job, ASICS.

As one of the finest running clubs in North America, the Atlanta Track Club, under the guidance of Rich Kenah, has been improving both the quality and the number of events that they sponsor and manage in the metro Atlanta area. The acquisition of the the Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon provide events for the ATC members in a period of the year where the calendar suggested a need.

RunBlogRun reached out to Executive Director Rich Kenah, asking him why the Atlanta Track Club choose to acquire the events. Mr. Kenah noted:

"When the opportunity arose, we jumped at the chance to own the Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon. This will be the 10th annual and as past participation levels indicate, the Atlanta running community wants a spring marathon and half marathon. As a local organization, we are best positioned to help it grow in a way that respects its history and the people it impacts. When we suspended our fall marathon a few years back, we made a commitment to our members and the community to bring a marathon back onto our schedule. This allows us to keep that promise at a time of year that a marathon and half marathon combination make sense.

As we look to act on Atlanta Track Club's mission of impacting health and wellness in Atlanta, we are excited to partner with such a strong brand in Publix, which shares are values."

Dendy_MarquisTJ-USAout15.jpgMarquis Dendy, photo by PhotoRun.net

Update: This story was originally posted on 17 December at 2 am. On the evening of 17 December, Marquis Dendy was awarded the Bowerman trophy for 2015. This is the highest accolade for track and field athletes in the U.S. collegiate world. Watch for updated pieces on the Bowerman on 18 Friday. Congrats to Marquis Dendy!

This update done 18 December 2015.

Marquis Dendy is a two event kind of athlete. He loves the long jump and the triple jump, so, what does one do? In the following article, David Hunter writes about the Gator's challenges.

Dendy_Marquis-Stockholm15.jpgMarquis Dendy, photo by PhotoRun.net

We are posting this piece in the wee hours of December 17. Later in the day, Marquis is competing as a finalist in the iconic Bowerman Awards. The Bowerman is the dreamchild of Sam Seames, Executive Director of the USTFCCCA, the largest athletics coaching organization in North America.

Enjoy the article! And, good luck Marquis Dendy!

Felix_Allyson-Lausanne15.jpgAllyson Felix, photo by PhotoRun.net

Updated December 18, 2015 : IAAF closes up for holiday 19 December 2015 through 4 January 2016, so no official response until January is our best guess.

USATF asks IAAF for the time table change
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): USATF has formally petitioned the IAAF to amend the competition schedule for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, requesting that a change be made to allow for Allyson Felix to double in the 200 and 400 m next summer. Informs USATF website. "We did receive an official request today from USATF," Paul Hardy, competitions director for the IAAF, told Reuters in an email. "This will be reviewed in the next few days."

Editor's note: Allyson Felix wants to double over 200 meters and 400 meters. The process is that the USATF will petition the IAAF and the IAAF will review the request. Face it, the IAAF and USATF want as many eyeballs on those TV screens during the Olympics. As track and field is the most popular modern sport in Olympic summer venues, watching Allyson Felix, one of the finest sprinters in Olympic history, wants to put her name on a double that is seldom successful.

RunBlogRun will look forward to such a double. We sure hope the IAAF is able to amend a schedule, similar to what Michael Johnson asked for in 1996.

Felix_Allyson1a-Lausanne15.jpgAllyson Felix, photo by PhotoRun.net

Updated with new photographs, 18 December

It was announced today, in an article by the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/18/sports/16-year-old-candace-hill-sprints-into-professional-track.html) by Lindsay Crouse, that Candace Hill has signed a ten year sponsorship deal with ASICS.

The signing has been confirmed by representatives of ASICS and Ms. HIll's management team, Global Athletics & Marketing.

Hill_Candice-NBON14.jpgCandice Hill , NB Outdoor 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

Manzano_Leo-USout15.jpgThe 1,500m, USA champs 2015, photo by PhotoRun.net

The USATF quickly responded to the IAAF amendments for the RIO standards. RunBlogRun is pleased that USATF, like IAAF, has opened the qualifications open to more athletes. The big story here is that such fluidity is important. Providing young athletes, early in their careers, a chance to compete at the Olympic Trials helps build our sports future.

USATF releases standards for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field

INDIANAPOLIS -- USATF has released the competition standards for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field, announced Wednesday. The qualifying event for the "world's toughest team to make" is set to take place July 1-10 in Eugene, Oregon.

All qualifying performances must occur between Friday, May 1, 2015 through Sunday, June 26, 2016, or on an indoor track, in the same event, in the period Friday, January 1, 2016 through Sunday, June 26, 2016. In the cases of the 10,000 meters, decathlon, heptathlon and 20km race walks, the qualifying period is from Thursday, January 1, 2015 through Sunday, June 26, 2016. The qualifying performance for the men's 50km Race Walk must be attained between Sunday November 24, 2013 and Sunday, January 31, 2016.

Full-session tickets for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field are still available at TrackTown16.com.

Standards - 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field

Men Women

Automatic Field Size & Rounds Event Automatic Field Size & Rounds

10.16 (32-3) 100m 11.32 (32-3)

20.50 (30-3) 200m 23.20 (30-3)

45.40 (28-3) 400m 52.20 (28-3)

1:46.00 (32-3) 800m 2:03.00 (32-3)

3:38.00 (30-3) 1500m 4:09.50 (30-3)

13:28.00 (24-2) 5000m 15:25.00 (24-2)

28:15.00 (24-1) 10k 32:25.00 (24-1)

1:36:00 (15-1) 20k RW 1:48:00 (15-1)

5:15:00 (15-1) 50k RW

13.52 (32-3) 110m/100m Hurdles 13.00 (32-3)

49.50 (28-3) 400m Hurdles 56.95 (28-3)

8:32.00 (24-2) 3000m SC 9:53.00 (24-2)

2.28m (24-2) High Jump 1.85m (24-2)

5.65m (24-2) Pole Vault 4.40m (24-2)

8.05m (24-2) Long Jump 6.50m (24-2)

16.66m (24-2) Triple Jump 13.40m (24-2)

20.50m (24-2) Shot Put 17.60m (24-2)

62.00m (24-2) Discus Throw 57.00m (24-2)

72.00m (24-2) Hammer Throw 67.00m (24-2)

77.00m (24-2) Javelin Throw 54.00m (24-2)

7900 (18) Dec/Hept 5900 (18)

Sure, I am posting it six days after the IAAF amended the standards. I think that this was a very good thing, opening up the events to have robust fields in all Olympic athletic events. The key is, one must make the top three in the US, or one can not play in Rio.

The US quickly responded (more on that later today) with their amendments. " The US follows the IAAF in such situations." noted one key observer of USATF responses. Not so for British athletics, which amended some track events and did not lower their standards for the 50k, 20k, marathon, I believe.

I am all about getting the young athletes a chance to rub elbows with the stars of today. That is how we build our future. Nice job, IAAF.

A29Q1061.jpgCally Macumber, photo courtesy of Brooks Running

Cally Macumber is an example of how hard work and patience can make the end race of a season near perfect. Cally Macumber runs for the Brooks Hanson Distance Project. An athlete with a lot of promise, Cally had hoped for a top ten performance at the USATF Club Cross Country this past weekend.

Well, Cally got herself into the thick of the battle and kicked like crazy over the last 800 meters, moving into fourth place! While her 5000 meter and 10,000 meter personal bests are quite modest by the standards of those she passed, Cally shows lots of promise. Watch Cally Macumber in 2016!

This interview was done right after Cally's race at the USATF Club Cross Country Champs, held on December 12, 2015. Special thanks to Cally Macumber! Oh, and Derek Lactoan for the picture!

Heath_Garrett1a-nbGames14.jpgGarrett Heath, photo by PhotoRun.net

The USATF Club XC Champs was a day of fun racing, five races in all. One the most intruiging was the men's open 10k, where Garrett Heath won in the very last 200 meters of the race.

Garrett told us right after the race that he was not sure he could win until the last 200 meters. This was after following the leader, Jonathan Gray for 9800 meters. "After I passed him, I ran out of gas," commented a smiling Heath.

I have to admit, Garrett Heath is one of my favorite athletes. And it is not just because he went to Stanford. Heath is one of those talented athletes who continues to develop. A 1,500 meter runner for much of his elite career, Garrett has won the 4k cross country twice in Edinburgh, Scotland. This year, he will have to run the 8k.

This interview was done on December 12, 2015. Thanks to Dan Lilot and Garrett Heath for their time and support.

Rupp_GalenRL-Armory15.jpgGalen Rupp, photo by PhotoRun.net

PORTLAND (USA): Galen Rupp's participation in a half marathon at the weekend sparked speculation that he may run the US Olympic Marathon Trials. However, Oregon Project head coach Alberto Salazar told RunnersWorld, "Galen wants to keep all his options open. "No commitments one way or the other."

Editor's note: A nice run by Galen Rupp on Sunday with his run in a local half marathon in 61:20. Galen has run 60:30 with competition. This shows a high level of fitness, and should be an indication that his training for 2016 is coming along fine. While it sure would be fun to watch Galen Rupp run in the 2016 Trials Marathon, not sure that will happen.

IMG_0475.JPGBen Rosario, 12.12.15, photo by Larry Eder

This interview was done just after the HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite team that Ben Rosario coaches won the mens' team. And that was just after Amy van Alstine won the women's individual race.

To say Ben Rosario was happy is an understatement. The coach from the Show Me State (Missouri) has gone full circle, from young athlete, to college athlete, to elite athlete, to coach.

Last summer, I watched Ben Rosario do a coaching clinis in Sacramento. It was part of the HOKA ONE ONE Endurance Clinics, one of the finest coaching clinics I have ever attended.

This interview was with Ben Rosario by RunBlogRun's Larry Eder, on December 12, 2015.

The photo below shows David Hunter with discus star Shelbi Vaughn, on the Great Wall of China.

One of the signs of a good writer is one who can help you appreciate the talents of an athlete you may not have on your radar. David Hunter enjoys writing about athletes in all disciplines of our sport. He was quite pleased with his his piece on Shelbi, who he truly enjoyed interviewing. I think you will enjoy this piece too, and next time you see Shelbi Vaugh throwing, make sure you get the time to see her perform her discipline. A finely thrown discus is a beautiful thing.

ShelbiVaughan.jpg

Euro Champs 2015, Sifan Hassan, Kate Avery, Karoline Grovdal .jpgKate Avery, Sifan Hassan, Karoline Grovdal, photo by Getty Images for European Athletics

The European Cross Country Championships was a great success! Here are the top results from the Championships with the links to the full results.

Davies, Euro cross, getty .jpgJonathan Davies, U23 European Cross, photo by Getty Images for European athletics

The European Champs were successful for the Brits especially, but France had much to be happy about. Check out the race videos on the European Athletics site! Here are some conscise notes on the Champs from EME News, our partner in Central Europe.

Kelati_WeiniFH-FLxc15.jpgWeini Kilati, photo by PhotoRun.net
The FootLocker Cross Country Champs are in their 37th year. Many of America's finest middle and long distance runners came through this meet, and many will continue to do so. The FL Champs are a site to behold. Check out the coverage on the FLCCC.com site.
Weini Kelati and Drew Hunter Capture First Place Titles at the 37th Annual Foot Locker Cross Country Championships National Finals
San Diego, Calif., Dec. 12, 2015 - Weini Kelati of Leesburg, Va., and Drew Hunter of Purcellville, Va., captured first place titles at the 37th Annual Foot Locker Cross Country Championships (FLCCC) National Finals at Morley Field, Balboa Park in San Diego, Calif., today. Race conditions were good with dry terrain, sunny skies and temperatures reaching 56 degrees.
In the girls' race, Kelati won in 17:10, while Hunter took control from the start to capture the boys' title in 14:56.
Recapping the girls' race, Kelati, a two-time FLCCC national qualifier, took an early lead, cruising to a mile split of 5:13. Maryjeanne Gilbert (Peoria, Ill.) closed the gap and took a brief lead prior to the race's midway point. Kelati reclaimed the lead quickly, while Nevada Mareno (Leesville, N.C.) and Judy Pendergast (Naperville, Ill.) joined the lead pair. Kelati and Gilbert pulled away in the final stretch with Gilbert finishing second (17:11), Mareno in third (17:18) and Pendergast in fourth (17:20).
In the boys' race, Hunter went out aggressively and continued to pick up the pace after a mile split of 4:32. At the halfway mark, Hunter secured a commanding 15-second edge over Phillip Rocha (Azusa, Calif.) and Ben Veatch (Carmel, Ind.). Hunter never relinquished the lead, but the race for runner-up provided added excitement down the stretch where Rocha out-sprinted Veatch. Rocha placed second in 15:08 and Veatch finished third in 15:10.
The Foot Locker Cross Country Championships is comprised of four regional 5K races, which took place across the country in the Midwest (Kenosha, Wis.), Northeast (Bronx, N.Y.), South (Charlotte, N.C.) and West (Walnut, Calif.), culminating in the National Finals here today.
Download the Boys complete 2015 FLCCC results: FLBoys15.jpg
Download the Complete FLCCC Girls results: FLGirls15.jpg

In a wonderful day of cross country racing, Golden Gate Park became a celebration of all things cross country, as 1,922 cross country runners ran in five amazing races. Each with their own excitement, and each with their own drama.

The women's 6k master's race and Men's Masters' 8k (60 plus) and Men's Masters' 10k were thrilling! Sonja Friend-Uhl won in an upset in the first race of the day. In the second race, a huge field competed over the 8k course, with Rick Becker winning the overall title.

IMG_0437.JPGJonathan Grey leads the Men's Open 10k, photo by Larry Eder

The men's 10k open was a battle to the end. Garrett Heath lead a chase pack as Jonathan Gray built up a strong lead. " At 5k and 6k, and 7k, Jonathan was leading, and I did not think I could catch him. With 200 meters to go, I thought I had a chance. With fifty meters to go, I had nothing left." Garrett Heath told me right after the race. The HOKA ONE ONE Norther Arizona Elite, a club sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE last spring, won their first national club title, with their men's team taking the honor.

In the women's open race, over 6k, the race was close again, between Laura Thweatt and Amy Van Alstine (HOKA ONE ONE NAZ). With less than 200 meters to go, Amy Van Alstine took the lead and the win. The B.A.A. women, who ran fantastic, defended their crown from 2015.

A very happy Ben Rosario, coach of HOKA ONE ONE's NAZ was pleased to see his men's team win the title and his top women, Amy Van Alstine rise to the occasion.

For me, the day of cross country races was a chance to reconnect with West Coast friends. Peanut Harms and Leo Lenting, two great friends, and fine cross country runners in earlier lives were there. Joe Rubio, coaching the ASICS Aggies, was there cheering on his team.

The crew from the Pacific Association should be commended on how well they ran the event, from the officials in the start area, to the finish line, which was run flawlessly . The food trucks were well recieved. I had my first Vietnamese iced coffee (nice taste). Congrats to Irene Herman of PAUSATF, who made her vision, with her team, a reality. An amazing cross country champs!

There were several thousand people in the Hellman area of the Park, with the Polo fields getting the most use. The announcer was hysterical, making little comments on different athletes-he had done his homework!

For me, the USATF Club Championships are all about the best part of the sport. Cross country can be run by runners of all ages. Cregg Weinmann, RN footwear editor, competed in the 60 plus Men's Masters 8k. "The race went out very fast, " was how Cregg described the race. Like Cregg, many ran PBs.

A great day of competition, and a great day of seeing friends I had not seen in two decades.

NXN_2015_Casey_Clinger_Finish_native_1600.jpgCasey Clinger, photo courtesy of Nike communications

This is the final day of the season. After twenty-six weeks of training, after league, conference, state, NCAA regionals, NCAAs, USATF JO regionals, FootLocker regionals and NXN regionals, and NXN, this is the last weekend of cross country in North America.

Fun to see that the European Champs are also being held this weekend.

All the work is done. Today, you are like a painter finishing a painting. The final strokes, the final brushes of paint are your race today. How do you run a performance that is satisfying and does not haunt you for a year?

Get out hard, find a position and start taking out those in front of you. Do not panic. And when you can see the finish, start to accelerate and give it your all!

Best wishes and thanks for following our workouts for the past twenty-six weeks!

Week 26, Day Seven, December 12, 2015

Warm up well, do some stride outs, and run your race.

Good Luck!

Send us pictures from your races to runblogrun@gmail.com

Special thanks to Brian Eder, my brother, for managing RunBlogRun.com. Special thanks to photographers, Victah Sailer, Kevin Morris, Nike communications and adidas communications for their support. Special thanks to NXN, FootLocker XC for their support. And most of all, thanks to the 16,000 cross country coaches and 550,000 high school boys and girls and 50,000 college athletes who run cross country who give our sport honor by running each and every day.

This season was in honor of the late James Dunaway, who encouraged me to prepare cross country training programs, and edited AT&F for over a decade. .

Felix-Duarte-EuroXC13.jpg2013 European XC, Felix and Duarte, photo by PhotoRun.net

As I prepare to head to the technical meeting of the USATF Club Cross Country Champs in San Francisco, over 400 runners are fast asleep, two nights out from the SPAR European Cross Country Championships, held at the Hyeres, France Hippodrome. Many of the top European distance runners are contesting the championships. Alfons Juck and his team from EME News wrote the preview below:

Hassan_SifanFV-EuroXC13.jpgSifan Hassan, Euro XC, photo by PhotoRun.net

I Run Clean on the bibs
LAUSANNE (SUI): European Athletics has announced that runners taking part in the European Cross Country in Hyères can carry an "I Run Clean" message on their bibs to show commitment to anti-doping. Athletes will have the choice between the 'I Run Clean' bib and a neutral one. European Athletics hopes athletes and fans will share and promote this message of anti-doping on social media via the hashtag #irunclean. European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen will inform all teams of the initiative at the event's Technical Meeting on Saturday. "We want our participating athletes to reassure those watching at the course and at home that they are competing without resorting to doping. We also want our athletes to encourage aspiring athletes to adopt a clean approach to sports through wearing these bibs and by positing their commitment to a doping-free career through our #irunclean social media campaign," said Hansen.

Editor's note: We love this idea! The European Athletics Association is clearly making a strong statement. I like Arne Hansen, who has made it quite clear that he wants to innovate and build the EAA. Nice job!

Rhines_Jenn1-USAxc15.jpgJenn Rhines, photo by PhotoRun.net

Symmonds_NickFHL1a-USout15.jpgNick Symmonds, photo by PhotoRun.net

Jenn Rhines and Nicky Symmonds are two of the top athletes competing in the USATF Club Cross Country Champs on Saturday, December 12, 2015. The six races on Saturday are hosted by the Pacific Association of USA Track & Field. For transparency's sake, Fortius Media Group, the company that represents RunBlogrun and the Running Network in marketing efforts, is a supporting sponsor of the champs on the behalf of California Track & Running News magazine.

The following information comes from Fred Baer and Mark Winitz, two of the key media professionals covering the sport of athletics in the Golden State.

RunBlogrun will be covering the meet over social media tomorrow, with follow pieces on Sunday.

Justin Lagat did the following interview with Asbel Kiprop in late November at the Tuskys cross country event. In the interview, he noted that he will most likely not run indoors, counting out World Indoors. He may consider a cross country race or two, and then open around Doha. His comments on Rosa and Associati and exit of Claudio Berardelli and some of his athletes.

Asbel Kiprop speaks well about this complicated manner, during a time of much drama in athletics in Kenya and around the world.

DSCN7883.JPGAsbel Kiprop, with a training partner, at the Tuskys Cross Country event, photo by Kenyanathlete.com

BoysStartFE-FLfinal14.jpgFoot Locker Cross Country, West 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

The day before the major race of your season, and stay off your feet as much as you can. Tomorrow is the last race of the season, so rest up to race well!!!

Week 26, Day Six, December 11, 2015

This is the day before your season ends. Jog the course today, and relax. Try to get off your feet and enjoy the warm weather.

If you are in San Francisco for the USA Clubs, it will be muddy and cold. If you are in San Diego for FootLocker, it will be warm and humid. The Junior Olympics are in Albuquerque, New Mexico, heck there could be snow there!

In any case, enjoy the time with your friends, enjoy the race, and take tons of photos afterward for Instagram and Facebook. Send us photos at runblogrun@gmail.com!

adias gp.jpg

How does one make an athletics event stand out? Obviously, by bringing the best athletes to the event, and hoping that they perform. But, in the Big Apple, to stand out, a track and field event is at a disadvantage. The Global Athletics team has been managing gatherings for the past few years that mix the best athletes with some of the top sponsors. Two years ago, Global hosted an event at the Omega watch boutique, and in 2015, it was an event at NASDAQ.

The view from the NASDAQ office was fantastic and the crowd was enthusiastic. The top adidas athletes, from Mo Greene, now an adidas Ambassador, to Jenn Suhr, the 2012 Olympic champion were all in attendance. The person in the most selfies was, however, Mr. Bolt, who attended as well.

More than most, Mark Wetmore, CEO of Global Athletics & Marketing knows that, in order to keep sponsors happy and find new sponsors, events such as NASDAQ adidas event is a great way to satisfy both current and future sponsors.

The video was done by The Shoe Addicts.

And remember, to watch for information on the 2016 adidas grand prix at newyork.diamondleague.com!

To learn more about Global Athletics & Marketing, please go to: www.globalathletics.com.


Gorecka_Emelia-EuroXC13.jpgEmelia Gorecka, photo by PhotoRun.net

This is the fifth report on European XC results for the 2015.2016 season. The European Cross Country Champs are December 13, 2015. We wish the 400 plus athletes from dozens of European Federations the best of luck and some great racing! Thanks once again to Carles Baronet, our friend from Catalonia, who compiles these reports for RunBlogRun.

Rupp_GalenM-PreC14.jpgGalen Rupp, photo by PhotoRun.net

This is three days out from your race now.

Week 26, day five, December 10, 2015

Warm up, easy 2 miles to 3 miles today, then a cooldown. Nothing more. You are a few days out from you big race. Grab a nap and relax a bit.

Simpson_JennyFHL-NBi15.JPGJenny Simpson, photo by PhotoRun.net

New Indoor Circuit
MONACO (MON): New indoor circuit was confirmed by the IAAF on Monday. The 2016 IAAF World Indoor Tour was officially announced on Monday and will consist of four competitions which have regularly staged IAAF Indoor Permit meetings in previous years. Karlsruhe on February 6, New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on February 14, Globen Galan in Stockholm on February 17 and Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix on February 20. The tour, which will have half of the individual indoor championship disciplines as tour events each year across a two-year period, contains several innovative features, including a points system and prize money. The individual overall winner of each event will receive 20 000 USD in prize money and, beginning with the 2016 edition in Portland, will automatically qualify for the next edition of the IAAF World Indoor Championships as a 'wild card' entry. That means it will allow with necessary standards to have 3 athletes per event from one country. The tour events for 2016 are men 60 m, 800 m, 3000/5000 m, pole vault, triple jump and shot put and women 400 m, 1500 m, 60 m Hurdles, high jump and long jump.

Editor's Note: I love tours. Makes a whole lot of sense, and provides the sports fan something that they can understand. The NB Indoor GP, one of my favorite meets in the world, will be held Feb. 14, one day after the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials (in Los Angeles), and two weeks later than its normal date, will be a challenge, but we shall figure that one out. Also sad to see the Malmo Indoor meeting, held in 2014, cancelled for 2015.

In a very well-written and thought out arguement by Peter Gambiccini in Runner's World online on 12/8/15, (http://www.runnersworld.com/olympic-trials/is-galen-rupp-planning-to-run-the-olympic-marathon-trials), it was discussed whether Galen Rupp would be running a half marathon in Portland, Oregon this coming weeking, in the hopes of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon.

There may be more to this than meets the eye.

Rupp_GalenM-PreC14.jpgGalen Rupp, photo by PhotoRun.net

NXN_2105_Katie_Rainsberger_Finish_native_1600.jpgKatie Rainsberger, NXN champ, photo by Nike communications

The final few days before a race are about staying out of trouble and resting. For the next few days, jog a few miles, rest, relax and focus on your final race of the season.

You have spent 26 weeks getting here.

Week 26, Day Four, Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Warm up and run an easy 3 miles today, do a few stride outs, say 3-4, and call it a day, after your cool down. Keep it easy.

This morning, I got up early to watch a fascinating streaming video. New Balance's Rob De Martini and NYRR's Peter Ciaccia and Michael Capiraso announced a ten year deal between the two iconic brands.

As Tom Carleo, VP of Running at New Balance noted, this was not just about the New York City Marathon. That NB will be the new footwear and apparel sponsor of the New York City Marathon, beginning in 2017 is a fact. And that they ended the twenty-five year reign by ASICS America is also a fact.

nyrr1nb2.jpgNYRR/NB Press Conference, photo by Getty Images

But, to me, what is most interesting, is what NYRR wanted and how NB answered it. NYRR was looking for more than a marathon sponsor. The relationship includes involvement in the NYRR Foundation, many of the top races in the Big Apple, starting with the Bronx Half marathon and the Fifth Avenue Mile in 2016, with the NYC Marathon and others in 2017.

The most fascinating part of the deal is the support that New Balance is giving to the youth fitness programs. The NYRR wants to bring a million new runners and walkers into the fitness world. New Balance and NYRR sees the opportunity to influence an entire new generation of the sport, a demographic that NB would love to see wearing their brand, and that many kids who run and are fit continue to work out in higher percentages than the other way around.

Many sources consider the value of the deal, and I was challenged on my numbers today, so I have removed them until I recieve confirmation, one of the largest, if not the largest sponsorship deal of a major marathon.

In discussing the future of the New York Road Runners Club a few months ago with George Hirsch, George noted that a new sponsor would be involved with the club in many categories. The NYRR was not looking merely for money, but for a long term partner. Peter Ciaccia noted that New Balance is part of the NYRR family.

The fact is this: New Balance and the New York Road Runners Club made history today, and for the next decade, they have the chances to influence not only one half million marathoners over the next decade but an entire generation of young athletes.

NBNYRR1.jpgPeter Ciaccia/NYRR, Rob De Martini/NB, Jenny Simpson, Tom Carleo, NB, Michael Capiraso/NYRR, photo by Getty Images

Updated 11 pm 12/8/15

In a fifteen minute live streaming broadcast from New York, Robert De Martini, President & CEO of New Balance announced a ten year partnership with the New York Road Runners Club this morning.

"Next year, New Balance will be one hundred and ten years old" noted De Martini. De Martini noted how appropriate to begin this new relationship in such a historic year for the brand.

The relationship will begin in 2016, as New Balance and the New York Road Runners working on races, training support and infrastructure, including a NB store in the new New York Road Runners facility. In 2017, New Balance will become, for ten years, the footwear and apparel sponsor of the New York City Marathon.

Michael Capiraso, President & CEO of the NYRR, and Peter Ciaccia, President of Events at the NYRR, both gave praise to the new relationship, with Ciaccia welcoming New Balance into the NYRR family.

Capiraso spoke about the willingness of the New Balance brand to support NYRR's program to get one million people running in the Big Apple.

Peter Ciaccia noted in a phone interview, that the New Balance involvement is "This is truly exciting for both New Balance and the NYRR. The core values, and mission align so perfectly. We are working with a partner that is part of the NYRR family. In 2016, we will work in Bronx and Fifth avenue miles, and especially with the youth program. The Youth program is important to both of us. We want healthy and fit kids running now, in New York, then across the US, and around the world, and also running in New Balance Shoes."

Tom Carleo, VP of Running at New Balance reminded the media that New Balance has supported running in New York for years, with the support by Jim and Ann Davis of the New Balance Armory.

In a quick phone interview, Carleo noted "The fact that we are already able to tap into existing relationships with the Armory and New Balance Ambassadors to create more movement in this city of young kids is huge to us. The second piece of what makes this so important, as we continue to do great things with our footwear and apparel, is to show our products to this highly influential stage. Being in New York highlights us in front of an important constituency and in key countries around the world. The global stage and supporting kids are key to us."

The announcement brings to an end the twenty-five year sponsorship of ASICS America with New York City Marathon. The New Balance sponsorship will include a store, licensed products, many more races and an actual sponsorship of the New York Road Runners. More details to come.

Some specifics below:

Cragg_Amy-SanAntonio15.JPGAmy Hastings Cragg, photo by PhotoRun.net

This will be the last hard day of your season, besides this weekend's race. Mark sure that you warm up well, and then, go to a local track.

Week 26, Day Three, Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Warm up, run two miles on the track, at 5k race pace, jogging the turns and sprinting the straitaways.

Jog 800 meters, then, run 1000 meters at 5k race pace, jog another 800 meters,

then, run three 200 meters strideouts, at near race finish speed. Focus on increasing your pace as you come off the turns, jog 200 meters

Then, get in a nice, relaxed cooldown and do some stretching.

Sundlan_Tracy-Providence11.jpgTracy Sundlun, photo by PhotoRun.net

Tracy Sundlun is one of our most enduring characters in the sport. In 1991 or so, when I met him for the first time, James O'Brien, long time friend, and long time publisher of the NYAC Winged Foot cautioned me on meeting Tracy by saying that Mr. Sundlun, a bit eccentric, had a heart of gold.

Read the story below and see how Tracy delivered on an innovative way to promote the 20k race walk in Salem, Oregon as the start of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials!

Thanks to Elliott Denman, a 1956 U.S. Olympian at the racewalk, wrote this piece for us.

The appointments of Michael Capiraso and Peter Ciaccia as the Co-Presidents of the New York Road Runners (Peter is Events/Race Director, and Micheal is President and CEO), after the departure of Mary Wittenberg, showed that the NYRR had a strong management plan in place.

Studying the bidding for the NYC Marathon, and then writing on it, on a forensic level, would take the length of a 19th century Russian nihilist novel. This is just, for those who remember them, the Cliff notes (very abridged).

Thumbnail image for Thweatt_LauraLeds-NYC15.JPG2015 TCS NYC Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

It seems that the New York Road Runners Club saw that they needed to develop a property that included more of their events, stronger licensing fees, higher visibitily retail presence, with a brand that would share that vision and committ a larger share of said running footwear brand's pocketbook.

The NYRR valued their new property brand, built around the marathon at a much higher level than some did. However, there was interest in New York, and still is in the New York City Marathon. It is one of the priz jewels in the sport of road racing.

After several brands were contacted, the bidding continued to evolve, and some of the actors in this game got frustrated. Truth was, the bidding for the NYC marathon now makes it the most expensive sponsorship in the sport of road racing. There was always going to be one winner, and the losers would not be, to put it in modern vernacular, "happy campers."

Forensically speaking, a ten year deal, with up to seven races in the package, licensed apparel, footwear, and the stature of the New York Road Runners Club was a huge carrot.

ASICS was the footwear and apparel sponsor from 1991 to 2016. A long reign in any position. The new sponsor will have to put many resources into keeping the New York City Marathon sponsorship in working order.

It is a far cry from when, in 1975, Fred Lebow asked several companies for $5000 to support the marathon, and they turned it down. One media giant in running asked for money from Fred Lebow to manage his race. Another, George Hirsch, then publisher of New York Magazine, generously gave of his time and money, as did several sponsors who shared the vision of a Five Boroughs Marathon.

It will be interesting to see how, once again, our sport evolves.

UCSHurdles-USAind15.jpgHurdles, photo by PhotoRun.net

Just as we finish cross country this week, Indoor season is beginning around the US. TrackinSun's Carles Baronet will compile new updates each week of indoor season. You can download an updated review below!

Flanagan_Shalane1-SanAntonio15.JPGShalane Flanagan, 10k AR, photo by PhotoRun.net

Yesterday, you ran a long run, today, you will keep it pretty relaxed and focus on the final races of the season. Twenty-six weeks of work come down to fifteen to forty minutes of racing! That is our sport.

Week 26, Day two, Monday, December 7, 2015

Today is a historical day. In the U.S. we honor the young men and women who died in the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. It was the opening of WW2 for America, while most of the rest of the world had been dealing with the global apocalypse that is war for several years.

Run an easy run today, three to four miles, and finish up with three or four stride outs of 150 meters or so.

Remember that your freedoms, such as being able to have an after school activity you choose, the ability to run on a team, hang out with friends, is all built the generations of men and women, of all colors, religions and ethnic origins, who considered themselves Americans, and fought and died for it. Not much older or younger than you.

Sometimes it is good to think of things bigger than all of us.

Hassan_SifanFV-EuroXC13.jpgSifan Hassan, SPAR Euro XC 2013, photo by PHotoRun.net

This is the fourth update for the 2015.2016 XC European season from our friend, Carles Baronet, who does the TrackinSun blog. Note that we provide a pdf link at bottom of next section. SPAR European Cross Country is December 13, the day after the USA Club Cross Country Champs!

Carter_MichelleFL-Worlds15.jpg
Michelle Carter, bronze medalist, 2015 WC shot put, photo by PhotoRun.net

This piece was written by Elliot Denman on the financial improvements in 2015 for USA Track & Field, many which are never recognized. Elliott Denman, a long time observer of our sport, also notes that just like we need to recognize the progress, we need to note where we need to improve our focus.

Flanagan_Shalane1-SanAntonio15.JPGShalane Flanagan, photo by PhotoRun.net

Shalane Flanagan runs with guts and honesty.

And she has a sense of humor!

Shalane Flanagan and her training pal, Amy Cragg, came down from the mountaintop and ran a tempo run over 13.1 miles for a time of 72:42, just about the 5:30 pace that Coach Jerry Schumacher requested.

Shalane Flanagan is a marathoner on a mission. She wants to make the US team and she wants a medal over the distance. Both, I believe, are in her sights, if she continues to just do the marathoner thing. Run, sleep, focus, repeat.

The current focus on cleaning up our sport will help Shalane as well. Flanagan is the 10,000m AR holder, from her bronze in Beijing. She is a fine cross country runner as well.

Her sixth place in Beijing over 10,000 meters was a splendid race and her championing of Emily Infeld's running was also a tremendous story for 2015.

Pretty impressive today, where Shalane and Amy, after a month of running no faster than six minute pace at altitude, come down and run 5:30s at a relaxed effort, and then, follow it up with an hour run.

This interview was done, en masse, with other media friends, at the finish line of the San Antonio RNR Half marathon. Special thanks to Matt Turnbull, Dan Cruz and Tracy Sundlun of Competitor Group, and of course, Shalane, who smiles when she answers questions.

Or, is that a grimace after a tough workout?

You be the judge.

Cragg_Amy-SanAntonio15.JPGAmy Hastings Cragg, photo by PhotoRun.net

I really enjoy watching Amy Hastings Cragg race.

I remember her debut marathon in LA, where she battled the elements and just blew the prognosticators away. I remember her gutty, gutty 10,000m Trials win in 2012. And I remember her returns from injury.

After having trained with Molly Huddle for the past three years, Amy and husband Alistair Cragg packed up the truck and moved to Portland, Oregon. Now training with Shalane Flanagan, under the watchful eye of Coach Jerry Schumacher and husband Alistair, Amy is running well.

This interview came after her tempo style run with Shalane Flanagan in San Antonio, where she ran 72:42, and then ran another hour. Amy loves training with Shalane, and they have hit it off. "The life of a marathoner is pretty boring," Amy confided as we walked back from the race today.

Special thanks to Amy Cragg for her patience and to Alistair Cragg for his positiveness (remember, a race for the ages, Alistair Cragg versus Nick Willis in NCAA 3000m indoors).

Mark my word, Amy Hastings Cragg will be battling for the marathon team in Los Angeles in February 13.

Goucher_KaraH-SanAntonio15.JPGKara Goucher, en route, RNR San Antonio Half, photo by PhotoRun.net

Kara Goucher is on a roll. Running 71:10 in San Antonio on Sunday, on a challenging course, Kara ran away from the men running with her on the downhills. Hitting the 10k in 33:57, Kara Goucher showed why she is considered to be one of the athletes truly battling for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials marathon team.

Her win in San Antonio was impressive, even with Amy Hastings Cragg and Shalane Flanagan using the half for a tempo effort.

Goucher dominated the race, and her form, running miles in 5:13-5:20, was quite impressive. As a long time watcher of Kara, I believe she is in the best shape of her life.

Under the guidance of Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs, Kara has worked through her injuries, using cross training to make her much fitter, and developed a nice base dating back to the fall.

In this interview, done en masse at the finish line in San Antonio, Kara Goucher is confident, thoughtful and realistic. Remember her quote: " If I can stay healthy just ten more weeks, I will be ready."

NXN_2015_Girls_Start_native_1600.jpg

NXN 2015, photo from Nike communications

If you are done with your season after the NXN, congrats, and please take two weeks off.

If you have one more week to your season, running either the FootLocker Cross Country, the USA Club Cross Country or the Junior Olympics, then, you have one more week.

Sunday, December 6, 2015. Week 26, Day One, the final week.

An easy 60-70 minute run today, on soft surfaces, with some friends is how you should start the week. Get the wet clothes off as soon as possible and hyrdrate.

On a day when both man and beast should have been inside, snuggled up to a roaring fire, several thousand cross country fans spent most of Saturday morning on a golf course in Portland, Oregon. The afore-mentioned golf course, the Glendoveer, was prepared for a major event-the NXN cross country championships.

Thumbnail image for NXN_2015_Casey_Clinger_Finish_native_1600.jpgCasey Clinger nails it, photo by Nike communications

With teams from eight regional races, and top individuals, all battled over a gushy, muddy and cold cross country course. Perfect cross country weather, as the races got under way.

And the weather gods teased us, with the rain, while there, becoming part of the story. The real stories were the magnificent performances of the teams and the gutty, gutty runs of the top individuals.

The state of California did not disappoint, with two of the top four teams. Temecula won the Boy's and was third in the girls. Manlius' nine year domination of this meet, on the girls' side, is unprecedented. Temecula's win on the boys side was the results of a strong team keeping their cool as two other teams battled hard with them.

NXN_2105_Katie_Rainsberger_Finish_native_1600.jpgKatie Rainsberger, photo by Nike Communications

On the girl's side, Katie Rainsberger, her all profile near the front much of the race, won out, in 16:56. (Yes, her mom was the last U.S. woman to win the Boston marathon (before Meb) and also two time fourth place in U.S. Olympic trials. )

Ella Donaghu came from the throngs, running conservatively and picking off runners the entire race, gaining second just weeks after her win at the NIKE Border Clash.

On the boy's side, Casey Clinger employed a wonderfully boisterous kick to win by a second and one half over a pack that stayed close until the very end!

A race for the ages, and conditions few will forget. Congrats to all, man and beast, who braved the Glendoveer course for the NXN in 2015!

Makau_Patrick1a-Frankfurt12.jpgPatrick Makau, photo by PhotoRun.net

Patrick Makau won the Fukuoka Marathon for the second year in a row. The former WR was to be battled by the current WR holder, Dennis Kimeto. Since his third in London in April 2015, Kimetto has had a rough time. In August, Kimetto dropped out at 30k in Beijing, and yesterday, Kimetto dropped out at 5k.

Thumbnail image for GirlsStart-FLmwXC15.jpgFL Midwest, November 2015, photo by PhotoRun.net

For those in NXN, and those in FootLocker Western Regional, today, December 5 is the day. Good luck!

Week 25, Day Six, December 5, 2015

Warm up, like you always do, but take it slow and soak in the air and the feel. Remember to run your race, and when you sense you are near the end, give it all that you have got. Take one person at a time and pass them with strength. Pass them like you do not want to be repassed.

Run Your Race.

Those not racing today, go onto the NXN site and watch the races live and enjoy, then run an easy three miles.

Rohrer_Anna1b-FLmwXC14.jpgAnn Rohrer, photo by PhotoRun.net

This is the day before NXN.

For all those who qualified for the NXN, the day of reckoning is here in 24 hours. Good luck!

Week 25, Day Five, December 4, 2015

NXN Runners

Jog the course, if permitted, or jog an easy 2 miles. Get a nap, hydrate and enjoy the experience today!

FLCCC Runners (not West Regional, follow above)

Warm up, 1-2 miles, 30 minute fartlek, with five minutes at 5k race pace, 5 minutes relaxed, 5 minutes, 5k race pace, five minutes relaxed, 2:30 mile race pace, 2:30 relaxed, then 2 miles easy.

Kelati_Weini-FLSouth15.JPgFootLocker South, photo by PhotoRun.net

Week 25, Day Four, December 3, 2015

For both NXN and FLCCC runners, make this an easy day. For the NXN runners, you might want to take the day off, or run at the most, three miles.

For FLCCC runners, warm up and run 4-5 today, but keep it moderate, save the energy for a week from now.

Brophy_JakeFH-FLneXC15.JPGFL NE, 11/28/15, photo by PhotoRun.net

Week 25, Day Three, December 2, 2015

If you are running NXN this weekend, you need to take it easy the next three days.

For NXN runners, I would suggest a 2-3 mile easy run, some stretching and go home.

For FL XC runners, I would suggest a warm up of one to two miles, then run a mile at 5k race pace, jog five minutes, run another mile at 5k race pace, jog five minutes and finish up with six strideouts of 150 meters, and then, cool down.

On Wednesday, Lord Coe, President of the IAAF, will recieve a grilling in Parliament like few others before him.

The chatter about media for the past few days has been intense. So much vitriol has been expended by both sides right now, few may recall what is actually at stake.

In my mind, the future of the sport is what is at stake.

Coe_Seb-Zurich15.jpgSeb Coe, IAAF President, photo by PhotoRun.net

GirlsStart-FLmwXC15.jpgMidwest FL, 11/28/15, photo by PhotoRun.net

For those racing NXN and that being their last event of year, I would suggest the following:

Week 25, Day Two, December 1, 2015

Warm up, jog 1-2 miles, then, 12 laps on track, where one sprints the straights and jogs the turns, cool down with a mile, do some easy stretching, change your wet clothes and go home.

If you are racing FootLocker, which is about two weeks away, then try this:

Warm up, jog 1-2 miles, run four times 800 meters, at current 5k race pace, then, finish up with six 150 meter stride outs, and cool down a nice and easy 1-2 miles. Change out of wet clothes and head home.

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