Recently in Cross Country Category

Bob Larsen is one of the finest coaches in our sport, ever. It is not only his understanding of the basic action of distance running, but it is also that he is a master of the art of coaching. Coach Larsen is one of the most beloved coaches that one could ever meet. From his days coaching high school, to the Jamul Toads, to Grossmont Junior College to UCLA, to his days coaching at Mammoth and his nearly twenty years wtih Meb Keflezighi, Bob Larsen is a role model for many coaches.

The clinic that Bob Larsen put on August 15, 2015 at the HOKA ONE ONE Endurance Cross roads was one of the best clinics that this writer has ever witnessed.

Here is the a nearly complete audio version of the clinic where Coach Larsen spoke with a packed room of coaches on the care and development of distance runners.

Listen to this closely, and pass it around to your staff. And remember, if you can get to the 2016 HOKA ONE ONE Endurance Crossroads Clinic, you should do it!

Gebrselassie_HaileR1b-Tokyo12.jpgHaile Gebrselassie and Jos Hermans, February 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

Happy Thirtieth to Global Sports Communications and Jos Hermans. While we could not be at the celebration, we were there in spirit. Jos Hermans was the long haired runner from the Netherlands who broke the one hour world record in May 1976, just before the Montreal Olympics, that I read about in Track & Field News. Watching Jos Hermans manage and develop some of the finest athletes around the world, and attending meetings that his company sponsored showed a man and a fine team who loves the sport of athletics. I posted the photo above as it is one of my favorites of Jos Hermans and one of his key athletes. Jos and his team have always been helpful and Hermans understood, more than many, the need of the media, athletes and sport to work together.

30th anniversary of GSC
PAPENDAL (NED): Over 400 guests attended the 30th anniversary celebration of Global Sports Communication at the National Sports Centre here. Representatives from federations, suppliers, organizers of track meets and road races, athletes and retired elite athletes from far and wide joined lifetime friends in a tribute to GSC and its founder Jos Hermens. GSC in the words of today's keynote speakers--Sebastian Coe, Haile Gebrselassie, Gabriela Szabo, Ellen van Langen, Patrick Sang, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Yannis Pitsiladis--is the past, present, and future of athletics. And the keywords are ethics, values, integrity, passion, devotion, friendship, and innovation. The binding theme of the day and conference was "past/present/future of the athlete". Haile Gebrselassie said during the conference about 2 hours barrier in marathon: "It is no longer a matter of if but rather when". In summary 44 World Championship & Olympian athletes and 23 nationalities attended the celebration.

517616906.jpgBedan Karoki, Geoffrey Kamworor, Mo Farah, photo by Getty Images for IAAF

The 2016 IAAF World Half Marathon Champs was part roller derby, part cross country weather and part road race. Those familiar with Cardiff, Wales would tell you that it was just a normal spring day in Wales!

Here is our third piece this afternoon, from Race Results Weekly's David Monti, who was in Wales to give us his unique view of the tough half marathon.

These results are from European cross country event in February 2016. This is the third results report from our friend, Carles Baronet, who publishes a wonderful blog, TrackinSun.

GWR2014-873.jpgGreat XC Edinburgh, 2014, photo courtesy of Stan Vernon/Great Run company

Garrett Heath was a fine cross country runner in college. He was also a fine track athlete.

I remember watching him race at the World Indoors in 2012, and noting that he showed some serious guts and racing savvy when he battled against some of the world's best.

Several times a year, I am fortunate enough to catch up with Garrett, and I am always impressed by his sincerity, his love of the sport and his self depricating humor.

That sense of humor was quite apparent after he won the 2015 USATF Club Cross Country senior men's 10k in San Francisco on December 11. Waiting until the last 200 meters, Garrett went by Jonathan Grey and won, 29:06 to 29:10. "I waited and went by with 200 meter to go. With fifty meter to go, there was nothing left."

When I teased Garrett a bit about running the 10,000 meter distance, he made it quite clear he would run 5,000 meters, 3,000 meters and perhaps 1,500 meters, but twenty-five laps on the track-nein.

One month later, in Edinburgh, Garrett ran over 8000 meters of cold, muddy, wonderful cross country pitch. In 2014 and 2015, Garrett won the 4k in Edinburgh against top athletes. He did the same in 2016, this time, holding off Mo Farah, the finest distance racer of his generation, with 200 meters to go.

Bennett Grimes, a fellow Brooks runner, told RunBlogRun that Grimes' father, Danny Grimes a fine coach and athlete in his own right, believes that Garrett could really succeed over 10,000 meters. So does Garrett's coach, Danny Mackey.

For now, Garrett Heath will have to enjoy the RunBlogRun Cross Country Athlete of the Months of December and January from us. This spring, he told us he might race 5000 meters, 3000 meters and perhaps 1,500 meters. We hope that there is a 25 lapper in there, but we will be patient.

Congrats, Garrett!

We asked Lindsay Rossmiller to cover the 2016 USATF Cross Country champs for us, held in Bend, Oregon on February 6, 2016. Some fine racing and some exciting new discoveries for 2016!

One point about this race and champs. For the first time, women and men raced the same distance, 10k. In 2017, at the IAAF World Cross Country, both men and women will race over 10k. As Peter J. Thompson, one of the keenest observsers of our sport, and respected coach, noted: " Once again, the USA does lead and show initiative."

IMG_2313-600w.jpg
Women's senior race, by Lindsay Rossmiller

DSCN9408.JPGSenior women's race, Violah Jepchumba (2772) on the lead, photo by Justin Lagat

DSCN9416.JPGKaroki versus Kamworor, photo by Justin Lagat

The 25th Nike Discovery Cross Country, held on January 31, was a fine meet, with some surprising results. Read Justin Lagat's fine article on the races, and the surprises in one of the most important cross country events in Kenya.

A smiling Coach, Ben Rosario was beaming after the 2015 USATF Club Cross Country Champs last December 11, 2015. Hosted by the Pacific Association of USATF, in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, nearly 1200 athletes, from masters to seniors to open, competed over 6k to 10k. And compete they did.

But it was HOKA ONE ONE's Northern Arizona Elite that we salute here. Ben Rosario, a fine runner in his own rite, has hand picked a fine team of long and middle distance runners to help them challenge their dreams. Rosario's enthusiasm is, well, infectious.

His athletes made a spectacular premiere in Golden Gate Park. The Northern Arizona Elite won the women's individual race and also the men's team race. It is the men's team that we salute here, but we salute all members of the HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite team!

And just a note: watch the HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite next weekend in Los Angeles at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Special thanks to the Shoe Addicts on producing the video for RunBlogRun.

The USTFCCCA is the finest organization for coaches in North America. Representing high school and college coaches, The USTFCCCA has spent the last two decades elevating the position of track and cross country coaches in this country.

One of the prime examples of USTFCCCA's success are the High School Coaches awards. Recognizing success in all fifty states, and then, naming the top two coaches, one for men and one for women, the USTFCCCA has, once again, picked the finest coaches in the land.

If you are not getting the great information and newsletters from USTFCCCA, the please go to USTFCCCA.org.

886296_1640058822925401_7890853729180667447_o.jpgThe Nike Discovery Cross Country 2016 is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the race. Justin Lagat will be covering the race for RunBlogRun tomorrow.

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