Recently in IAAF Category

Lemi Berhanu upsets them all! photo by Giancarlo Colombo,

Aselefech Mergia holds off Gladys Cherono, photo by Giancarlo Colombo,

The Dubai Marathon had some surprises for us, namely, an Ethiopian intersquad meet for the men and a nail biting battle for the women, coming down to one second on the clock difference between a three time defender and a debut marathoner! On the men's side, Lemi Berhanu, up until now a 2:10 marathoner, just knocked off five minutes from his pb!

Kenenisa Bekele did not finish, as he looked okay at 28k and by 29k, he was done, sore, under trained and thinking happy thoughts just does not do it. Bekele has much to learn about the distance after three events, it seems. Fascinating how no one knew that Renato Canova had both Bekele and the men's winner as current 
The saga of Russian Race Walkers continues. This info was compiled by EME News. This is Russia's "Lance Armstrong" moment. Race Walking is a prized tradition in Russia and their performances have been well received and celebrated in Russia. 

The clamp down in Russia, not only on walkers, but various other athletes is an indication, I believe, of how dire the situation is. Leadership in the sport understands what is at stake here, with our sport. 

Some of the greatest stars of Russian race walking have been given bans from three years, two months, to eight years to life time. Read the series of updates below from EME News. 

Sergey Bakulin, photo by

Katerina Johnson-Thompson, photo by

Here are some of the highlights from around the world from this past weekend in athletics, courtesy of EME News. 
Lavillenie 592 WL and MR

RENO (USA, Jan 16): Olympic winner Renaud Lavillenie is in top shape early in the season. In his second meet, Pole Vault Summit in Nevada, he cleared in first attempt 592 new meet record and World lead. He also tried at six meters, last year at the same meet he won with 575. "His goal was to break the meet record 591," said his coach Philippe D´Encausse who confirmed that the mission was accomplished.  "It's a good performance at this time of the year," he added for L´Équipe.Second Sam Kendricks went over 586 what is new personal best and second best ever by a collegian and best by US collegian. Third Briton Steve Lewis 565. Mark Hollis as 8th did 525 and decathlon number one 2014 Trey Hardee 505 as 10th. Greek European silver medalist from Zurich Ekaterini Stefanidi won the women competition with another indoor PB 460 cm. She was followed by three jumpers with 450 Becky Holliday, Mary Saxer and Melisa Gergel.Fifth Kelsie Ahbe went over 440. In different age categories more than 1000 vaulters are competing. 

(Editor's comment: Renaud Lavillenie shows how much better shape he is than last year. He was jumping 5.75m at Reno in 2014. Lavillenie jumped 5.92m today at the most important gathering of pole vaulters in the world each year-the U.S. Pole Vault Summit. This is the labor of love of Steve Chappell, UCS, his sons, and the pole vault community. I believe it has gone on since the early 1990s.

The U.S. Pole Vault Summit is a prime example of why I am so positive about our sport. Contrary to what the USOC tells NGBs, for a federation to be successful, all members are important. 

So pleased to see Le roi de la perche, the king of the pole vault, Renaud Lavillenie, understanding his role in the event and vaulting all over the world. Hopefully, a young woman or young man, who was in Reno, will get the inspiration to give the pole vault, the closest event to flying, in our sport.) 
Kim Conley ran a gutty race at the USA Champs last June in Sacramento. Her battle with Jordan Hasay over the last 800 meters was classic. Her coach, Drew Wartenburg, is a keen observer of the sport. Kim had a fantastic 2014. Wartenburg is preparing her for 2015 and beyond. 

Conley has the wheels to run well over the half marathon, but as we all know, the half is not the prize. The prizes are Beijing 2015 and Rio 2016. 

Aramco Half Marathon should be a fascinating race on Sunday, January 18. Good luck to Ms. Conley. 

Thumbnail image for Conley_KimFV-USout14.JPG
An example of Kim Conley "sticking her nose in it", photo by


Gemma Steel, Edinburgh 2014, photo by

Cathal Dennehy wrote this piece on European Cross Country Champion Gemma Steel, and her goals for 2015...
Great Edinburgh Cross Country, 2014, photo by Dan Vernon Photography

Cathal Dennehy visited the Great Edinburgh Cross Country Festival last weekend, January 9-10, and wrote several pieces for RunBlogRun on the event and the super stars at this important cross country fixture. 
Tiffany Porter is one of those rarified athletes who can battle the best in the world in her specialty. That specialty is the 100 meter hurdles, the most competitive event in global track & field. The difference between first and sixth is less than a blink of an eye. 

The technique for hurdling is an acquired skill set: sprinting, getting over the hurdle, braking, and sprinting once again. Those who can be successful over the barriers risk all in each and every race. All of the good ones fall, all of the great ones fall even more. To win all, one must risk all. 

Tiffany Porter, photo by

Under the thoughtful guidance of Raina Reider, Tiffany Porter has won four medals in the four major championships she competed in from the summer of 2013 to the present. In Moscow, at the World Championships, Tiffany took the bronze in August 2013. In Sopot, Poland, Tiffany Porter took a bronze over the 60 meter hurdles in March 2014. Porter's first appearance at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in July 2014 was a silver medal. 

In August 2014, at the Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich, Switzerland, Tiffany Porter put it all together and won the 100 meter hurdles in fine fashion--her first gold medal.  

The best, however, was yet to come. In September 2014, at the Continental Cup, in Marrakech, Tiffany Porter ran the race of her life, battling Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper Nelson to the tape, finishing second. 

harper, porter.jpg
Harper-Nelson and Porter in Marrakech, 
photo from the Shoe Addicts

In that wonderful race, Tiffany Porter ran 12.51, the new British record, and in that performance, opened the eyes of many hurdle fans of her true potential. 

We sent these questions to Tiffany just before Christmas. This was her response. 
AO FC.jpg
Jenny Simpson is one of our favorite athletes. She is articulate, thoughtful and obviously enjoys her profession. Like Deena Kastor, Jenny Simpson is developing into a brand herself, and a positive brand at that. 

In 2010, when New Balance's Tom Carleo signed the recently graduated collegian, many second guessed Carleo and New Balance. In 2011, Jenny Simpson won the world championships with a brilliant run over the final stretch. Fluke ! Fluke ! some detractors said.

In 2012, Jenny Simpson had a series of injuries and some good races, and some not so good. Her Olympic performance was not up to her standards. 

In 2013, Jenny Simpson put it all together and took second to Abeba Aregawi in the world championships in Moscow. I was so happy to watch her in Luzhniki Stadium, as Simpson put it all together on the right day and the right time. Gold and silver in consecutive world championships were now in the possession of Jenny Simpson. 

In 2014, Jenny Simpson was, well surpreme. Her only miscue was a two mile indoor race in Boston, miscounting laps, but gutting out an AR over two miles. In the Stade de France in St. Denis, France, Jenny Simpson and Sifan Hassan dueled over 1,500 meters, with Simpson taking second and running 3:57.22, the second fastest ever by an American. 

After the mid summer break for Commonwealth Games and European Championships, Jenny Simpson came back with a focus, winning the Stockholm DL 1,500 meters over Abeba Aregawi, Sifan Hassan and the rest of the world. In Zurich, Jenny Simpson not only won, but held off Shannon Rowbury in the final steps. A week later, in Brussels, Jenny ran a fine 3,000 meters, setting another PB. 

Jenny Simpson ended her season winning the Fifth Avenue Mile, ending her season with a fine win in 4:19, and a very fast road mile! 

Simpson won the Jackie Joyner Kersee Female U.S. Athlete of the Year award in December. Track & Field News ranked her numero uno in the 1,500 meters in the world this past week. And RunBlogRun is giving her our U.S. Female athlete of the Year for 2014!

Jenny Simpson is the best women's miler in the world. We look forward to seeing her racing in 

Special thanks to the Shoe Addicts for preparing our video salute to Jenny Simpson. 


Jessica Ennis-Hill, photo by

(The Gotzis Hypo Meeting, held the same weekend as the Nike Pre Classic, will give me one weekend of frustration! The decathlon and heptathlon fields are amazing. Jessica Ennis-Hill will have something to prove, mostly to herself. Ennis-Hill is a most fascinating competitor. Thoughtful, focused and prone to self analysis, Jessica Ennis-Hill, if healthy, will give us a view into the heptathlon global battles for the next two years. Brianne Theisen-Eaton has progressed much over the past two years, and should be ready to compete with Hill-Ennis. And then, do not forget Katarine Johnson-Thompson, who, again, if she can keep the body together, should make this a most fascinating heptathlon!)


GOTZIS (AUT): Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill will make her eagerly anticipated return to multi-event competition at the Hypo Meeting in Gotzis on May 30, inform the organisers. The 28 year old British athlete has been largely absent from the competitive arena for the past two years due to an injury in 2013 and giving birth in 2014. Her first foray back into the 8 discipline event will be a true test as she will be joined in the field by Katarina Johnson Thompson, the defending Gotzis champion; and World heptathlon medallists Brianne Theisen-Eaton and Dafne Schippers. The women's field will also include World Junior champion Morgan Lake, bringing together the three British heptathlon stars in the same competition.


Jessica Ennis-Hill, photo by

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Enter your Email

Preview RunBlogRun's Newsletter