Recently by Jeff Benjamin

Jeff Benjamin

Jeff Benjamin

Bio: Jeff Benjamin has written for more than 25 years for American Track and Field along with RunBlogRun. The Former President of the Staten Island AC was the 5th man scorer for his Susan Wagner High School NYC XC City Championship team. Also a member of the College of Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame for XC, Jeff currently serves as the LDR Chairman for USATF NY. A passionate (or fanatical) follower of the Sport, Jeff's subjects have included Sebastian Coe, Jim Spivey, Joe Newton, Tom Fleming, Bill Rodgers, Abel Kiviat, Marty Liquori, Rod Dixon, and Jim Ryun as well as Book Reviews and articles covering meets and races in the Northeast U.S.

SteeplechaseMotion1-Moscow13.jpgSteeplechase, photo by

As I walked briskly through Rio last night, about midnight, trying to get to a secret cafe open till 12:30 AM, I ran into one of my writers, Jeff Benjammin. Neither Jeff nor I are known for the brevity of our conversations, but, as Jeff was rushing for the bus, and I dreamt of a kebab and heart of palm salad, we kept it quick. Jeff reminded me that half of the reprobates who inhabit the iconic walls of New England summer road racing would be in Woods Hole on Sunday, and it would be great to post the piece on the Mystery of the 2 mile steeplechase. I was, I must say, apprehensive. Anything that involves a story from Fred Doyle, Bill Squires has to be suspect. Then, I heard the name, Billy Threadgold, and my hair turned grey, I took a deep breath and inhaled from a large paper bag six times, clicking my heals together, and noting, "there is no place like home." Dear god, I have come onto an alternative universe.

But, I kept an open mind and have posted it.

Now I am curious, as I now know about the two mile steeplechase, I want to see if Tracy Sundlun does, indeed, have part of a World record for the Swedish Relay. Of that second WR, Olympian and former AR at 5000m, Duncan McDonald, once noted that watching Tracy Sundlin run a leg of the Swedish Relay was one of the most humorous experiences of his existence. The humor in the two mile steeplechase is the number of true characters who have come out of the woodwork to suggest that it did happen. We shall have to see now.

The person who provides the photographic proof, I will take snipe hunting.

CrowdsZoom1-Rome13.jpgCrowd photo, from

Jeff Benjamin did the review below on the new film, 'Free to Run.' Jeff will be providing some columns from Rio on his experience as a track fan.

The Olympic Trials were televised on several platforms from July 1-10. I was able to watch the Trials most nights, after being at the Trials, in local restaurants or Wild Duck Cafe, the official meeting place for coaches, track nerds, athletes in Eugene.

We asked Jeff Benjamin to review a few of the nights of the TV broadcast, to give you, our readers, a little bit of analysis on the sport we love.

Coburn_EmmaQ1a-USOlyTr16.jpGEmma Coburn, photo by

10000menfield-USOlyTr16.jpGAnd they run, Men's 10,000 meters, photo by

Last night, on a program, "Fireside Chat", I was fortunate to be part of the program. John Godina, finest shot put/discus thrower of his generation, noted that TV has good coverage only during major events such as Olympics.

Think of that when you read Jeff Benjamin's reviews of the NBC coverage of this 2016 Olympic Trials.

SamBell.pngSam Bell, design and photo courtesy of

Sam Bell was a giant among track coaches. A track & field coach who could and had coached each and every event in track & field, Sam Bell was one of the last of a generation of coaches, like Bill Bowerman, who could coach any of the disciplines in our sport.

Here is a warm tribute from several of his athletes and admirers, including his athletes, Terry Brahm, Jim Spivey and Charles Marsala, as well as IAAF president Sebastian Coe. Special thanks to Jeff Benjamin for compiling this series of comments on Coach Bell.

Cameras-OlyT12.JPGFinish line cameras, photo by

We asked Jeff Benjamin to review the coverage fo the last day of the NCAA Men and Women's coverage on ESPN from June 8-11. This is the review of the last day of the women's coverage, which was a fantastic day of track & field!

Ed Cheserek.jpgEd Cheserek, photo by Cheryl Treworgy/Pretty Sporty

RunBlogRun opines: This is the review we asked Jeff Benjamin to do regarding NCAA Outdoor Track & Field's Friday night on ESPN. The Thursday NCAA broadcast had a higher rating on ESPN than the COPA Soccer coverage.

image2.JPGGeoff Smith, Litchfield First Selectman Leo Paul, Jr., Rod Dixon, photo by Jeff Benjamin

This is Jeff Benjamin's story of the 40th Litchfield Road Race and its origins.

Shorter_Frank-VaBeach12.jpgFrank Shorter, VA Beach, 2012, photo by

I remember watching Frank Shorter on TV winning the Munich Olympic Marathon. I next, in Sport magazine, read a piece about Frank, written by Neil Admur, I believe.

When I finally met Frank Shorter, after the 1974 AAU Cross Country at Crystal Springs, I was fifteen years old. Frank had just lost his first AAU cross country in five years. He would go on to win the fourth of his Fukuoka marathons a few weeks later. Shorter was quite nice to this group of nerdy fifteen and sixteen year olds. He signed our autograph sheets ( I still have them) and he spoke to us for five or ten minutes. It was the thrill of my young life and I always thanked Frank Shorter for being so kind.

This piece by Jeff Benjamin tells some of the story of the 1976 Olympic marathon, and the challenges Frank Shorter faced, the challenges that shaped him into becoming, along with Steve Prefontaine, the finest American distance runner of his generation.

This is a photo essay (plus links) on the great Rod Dixon's visit to Staten Island, as captured by Rod Dixon. After you check out the photos, you might enjoy seeing the video, which includes some of Rod's career highlights. I can tell you that Rod Dixon is one of the nicest people in the sport, and he has given back so much good to the next generation of young runners!

Here is the link on his story:

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