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Bernard Lagat and his fans, USA Indoors 2014, photo by

Lagat 40 and with record plans

PHOENIX (USA): Bernard Lagat will turn 40 on Friday, December 12, but he won't let that stop him pursuing his goals on the track, report RunnersWorld. Lagat will open his 2015 season at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country over 4km on January 10, followed by the two mile at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix on February 21. During that race, he may try and take down the master's world record of 8:01.44. Eamonn Coghlan's indoor mile mark of 3:58:15 and Anthony Whiteman's outdoor record of 3:58.79 are two other records he may look to challenge. An assault on the master's indoor mile record could come at the Millrose Games on Feb 14.

(Editor's note: Bernard Lagat has been one of the best middle distance runners of his era. As he hits 40 years of age, watch for him to challenge our preconceptions of age. Lagat has raced from 800 meters to 5,000 meters. I asked him last year if he would try the 10,000 meters, and I am not sure I got an answer. 

One thing for sure. One of the most likable athletes in the sport will set some masters records this coming year! ) 

Published on Nov 20, 2014

Tom Rinaldi tells the remarkable story of Kayla Montgomery -- who, despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, has become one of the best young distance runners in the country.

(Editor's note: If this one does not put tears in your eyes, then, you might not be human. An amazing story, and a wonderful example of a youth athlete overcoming challenges and a coach asking her to go just a little bit farther. Fantastic feel to the feature and story by Tom Rinaldi.) 

Let's get this straight. 

I have been an admirer of Stephanie Hightower for many years. Stephanie Hightower does have the skill set to represent the US well in global sports. But, all of that takes time and relationships. The global sports arena is a field land mines each and every day. How will she deal with Seb Coe? How will she deal with other members of the IAAF? 

Truth is, some in the IAAF has been confused with USATF actions as much as many of USATF members have been confused. The 15-12 vote in Monaco in the 2019 vote showed that the USA could battle hard in such international votes, giving them a bit more respect. 

Just being from USA is a hindrance due to jealousy and lack of understanding, by many in the global sports world, of the promise of our country, as they see just the arrogance. 

I am not sure that the USATF board, in seeking new leadership in IAAF, could have done anything different. However, the board is getting payback for its lack of communications, and its continued arrogance in keeping information from the membership of USA Track & Field. Whether this is the best decision or the worst decision, I can not say. What I can say is that USATF leadership is not communicating with the members, the media or the sport. 

Yet, I am disappointed that the major response, and mine as well, is that Bob Hersh is being shown a lack of respect for all of his time and years in leadership. I think, however, that being said, Steve Miller, a board member, was quoted as saying that USATF needs new leadership in the IAAF world as it is becoming a new world in the IAAF in 2015.

Bob Hersh is 75 years old and has lead the voice for USATF for years. Hersh has spoken for US for sixteen years. He is highly respected and is a fine lawyer and supporter of the sport as well. He understands the fine lines that must be deal with in global sports. On Track & Field News chat board today, the vote by the board, after the floor vote of 327-70 in favor of Hersh, was a "slap in the face."  

Hersh has been considered pompous by some. Others find him a quick read and quick responder-something unheard of in global sports circles. But, as Bob Hersh has his supporters, he also has his detractors. Many of those detractors have influence and some have voting power in USATF. 

USATF Board is giving the message that they can not and will not wait four more years for Bob Hersh to retire. They want new leadership now. The board supports Max Siegel and Stephanie Hightower. Their agenda is to elevate USA Track & Field, and quite frankly, they do not seem to believe any good ideas come from outside of their board or small circle of confidants. 

That is their prerogative. 

USATF's board has proven that it will do whatever it takes to support what they see as USATF's interest in the global sport. 

And their constituency should take note of that focus. 

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Federico Rosa, photo by

KAPSABET (KEN): Many of Rosa Associati's Kenyan athletes have spoken out in support of their management group, report The athletes said that they would welcome any investigations into them, as well as the management, as they have nothing to hide. World 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop told the media; "We are running clean. I have been managed by Rosa many years and I haven't heard him telling us to use blood boosters. Rita might have been misadvised by someone outside the management or through medication." NYC Marathon runner up Jemimah Sumgong urged Rita Jeptoo to reveal the details regarding her failed doping test. Other athletes at the meeting were; former World 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei, two-time London marathon winner Martin Lel, World 800 m champion Eunice Sum, former World 800m champion Alfred Kirwa Yego, World 5000m silver medallist Mercy Cherono and Olympic marathon silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo.

(The repercussions of the Rita Jeptoo tragedy continues. This story will continue to develop over the next few weeks. RunBlogRun will keep our readers updated.  )
Managers speaking for changes

LISBON (POR): The sport of athletics is ready for changes and needs modernisation.  This is one of the messages from the traditional fall athletics managers  meeting. The 2014 AAM Annual Meeting was held this year in Lisbon,  Portugal. Managers reviewed the 2014 season and discussed what is expected in 2015. In the session with the IAAF, ways of cooperation were on the table. Among guests attenduíng were, IAAF Senior Vice President Robert Hersh, IAAF Competitions Director Paul Hardy and IAAF Legal advisor Habib Cisse. Discussion  points were related to competition structures, rules, calendar and timely payments. Managers also presented new ideas for the the IAAF  World Challenge series. With IAAF Diamond League organizers, the last season and several points of improving the communication with agents were discussed. Kristian Hysen of IMG gave a presentation about TV distribution and new ideas related to social media. Paul Doyle showed his plan on how to continue with the new series called the American Track League. Over 60 leading persons from the world-wide athletics family attended the meeting.  The 2015 Annual Meeting was set for San Juan, Puerto-Rico.

(Editor's note: This meeting is much more important than an annual meeting. Within this room are many of the stakeholders in the sport of athletics and road racing. There is much on the table: how to make the sport more relevant to the the billions of sports fans across the world?)
Just about twenty-four hours ago, I released the story that Rita Jeptoo, two time Chicago Marathon champion, had tested positive for a banned substance, with an out of competition urine sample in late September. 

As the world media began to research my assertions, several more facts came to light, as well as a post denial response from Athletics Kenya, a confirmation by Federico Rosa to Associated Press, and the assertion by AFP that the banned substance was EPO. Somewhere in the mountain of data, a data was confirmed by Mr. Rosa of September 25 for the positive test of a banned substance, in an out of competition testing of a urine sample, the A sample, for Rita Jeptoo. 

Rita Jeptoo, photo by

Now is time to clear up some misconceptions from the last twenty-four hours. I am attempting to be my own ombudsman, so apologies before I begin. 
The National Distance Running Hall of Fame, located in Utica, New York, honors the best that Distance running has to offer. Jeff Benjamin made the trek to Utica, New York for the famed event. Congrats to the late Fred Wilt, Kim Merritt and Tom Fleming, who were the class of 2014. 

Larry Rawson, Tom Fleming, Kim Merritt, Roger Robinson 
(for the late Fred Wilt), photo by Jeff Benjamin
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Wesley Korir at Athletes Association meeting, 
photo by Justin Lagat

Our Kenyan correspondent, Wesley Korir, wrote this piece about the athletes association, PAAK, in Kenya. 
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Charles Van Commenee, photo from British Athletics

(Editor's note: Charles Van Commenee disappeared from athletics after London, and surprisingly, did not write a tell all on London 2012 and UK Athletics. Van Commenee, per our friends at, is new performance manager for the Dutch Olympic Committee. Was always fascinated watching Mr. Van Commenee in operation. )

AMSTERDAM (NED): Charles van Commenee has been appointed as the performance manager at the Dutch Olympic Committee, it has been announced. Van Commenee previously worked there as technical director from 2005 to 2008 and was the Chef de Mission to the team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where The Netherlands won seven gold, five silver and four bronze medals. Van Commenee left the Dutch set-up to return to Britain in 2009 after he was appointed as head coach of UK Athletics, replacing Dave Collins, whose contract was not renewed after Britain failed to achieve the target of five medals at the Beijing Olympics. Informs insidethegames.
Usain Bolt setting WR at RBKGP 2008, photo by

So, after having watched track and field on this hallowed ground for sixty-nine years, what does Elliott Denman consider the greatest moment in either Downing or Icahn Stadiums? Read on, curious reader! 

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