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Cregg Weinmann has been the shoe reviewer for the Running Network since 1998. We asked Cregg, in his chemistry lab coat, to provide us some insights into the 2014 Cross Country shoe racing options. 

We think you will enjoy it. 

To read the complete reviews of the cross country racing series: http://runningproductreviews.com/index.php/shoes/racing/2014-fall-xc
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Eliud Kipchoge, Rita Jeptoo, 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon winners, photo courtesy of The Bank of America Chicago Marathon

We asked Justin Lagat, our columnist from Kenya, to write his view of the two amazing victories in the Windy city yesterday. As Justin had interviewed both for us, he was both journalist, and he first experienced, fan. We hope you enjoy his column! 
Sebastian Coe, is heading up the Evaluation committee that will visit Doha, Barcelona and Eugene in October and November 2014. 

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Seb Coe, photo by PhotoRun.net

Lord Coe was on the other side of the Evaluation for the London 2017. The following piece, written by Inside the Games' Duncan Mackay, gives a very complete view of process:

http://www.insidethegames.biz/sports/summer/athletics/1023088-exclusive-sebastian-coe-to-head-iaaf-evaluation-commission-for-2019-world-championships

What should be said is that this is a significant role for Lord Coe, as the tenure of Lamine Diack winds down as IAAF President. Sebastian Coe and Sergey Bubka seem to be the two most prominent candidates for the next IAAF President.

The next IAAF President will find a sport in need of strong and dynamic leadership, and at a crossroads. How does the leader of the world's most popular Olympic sport lead the sport into the next few decades? How does he or she control the damage that continues to be done by the odor of drugs in our sport? How does a new President help the IAAF find new sponsors and new strategies to reach the next generation of fans and athletes?

The challenges facing the next leadership are exciting and history-making. To run a global sport, a global federation needs great communication, social media that reaches out to a younger audience, fine athletes and story-telling and sponsors, athletes, managers and events willing to invest in building a new legacy for the world's oldest sport! 


A new brand to North America, 361°, will begin showcasing product in October 2014 to the American consumer, with a full roll out in Spring 2015.

What makes 361°different? 

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361° has brought in senior executives, experienced with presenting a technical brand from outside of Asia to not only launch the new line, but, most importantly, build a team that understands the daily challenges of being successful in what is the running and sports footwear business in North America. 

Rich Bourne, former ASICS COO, and Jim Monahan, former ASICS VP of Footwear, are who 361° choose to launch the brand in North America. Both Bourne and Monahan are well respected and highly knowledgeable as well as experienced veterans of the sneaker wars. Bourne managed nearly nineteen years of growth for ASICS America, while developing one of the finest business teams in the industry. Jim Monahan focused on product at ASICS, managing one of the finest footwear teams in the running business during his tenure. Both Bourne and Monahan have found new challenges with  361°. The opportunity to launch a brand in a new market comes rarely in a career. 

We look forward to seeing the 361° product launch! 
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PORTLAND, OREGON (USA): Shalane Flanagan has one goal for the Berlin Marathon on September 28: the U.S. record, reports RunnersWorld.com. The current mark, set by Deena Kastor, in London (2006) is 2:19:36. Flanagan will have two designated pacemakers to help her attack the record, which has stood since 2006. "I'm going to do everything I can get the record," said the 33 year old, who set her PB of 2:22:02 in Boston this year. 

(Shalane Flanagan is focused on this goal. The BMW Berlin Marathon is the place to run the AR this fall, with a fast and downhill section from 38k to the finish. Shalane has a bronze medal from the 10,000 meters in Beijing in 2008.

Under the watchful eye of Coach Jerry Schumacher, Shalane Flanagan has developed into one of the top marathoners in the world. Her Boston marathon last year, with her battling at the front for nearly twenty miles, gave her a current PB of 2:22.02. 

The marathon is as tough mentally as it is physically. Those successful at the distance know that the distance demands respect. Shalane Flanagan knows that lesson, and sees, perhaps that going for the AR is a defining moment in her career. 

We wish Shalane Flanagan an excellent run in Berlin! )
 

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Jordan Hasay photo by Chris Lotsbom, RRW
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PHOTO: Gemma Steel of Great Britain gets a narrow victory over American Shalane Flanagan at the 2014 TD Beach to Beacon 10-K (photo by Chris Lotsbom for Race Results Weekly)
Skechers continues to have strong growth. With over 3000 SKU's, the performance division really was started less four years ago. Meb Keflezigihi's sponsorship by Skechers has proved to be a huge boon to Skechers, in many cases, Meb's use of Skechers has opened doors for the brand into specialty running stores that are not positive about the brand's family shoe focus. Kara Goucher's new sponsorship with Skechers, as a combination with Oiselle, hopes to capitalize on Goucher's reputation in the running community and likeability. 

In a time when the retail footwear dollar seems to be tightening up in run specialty and in the large channels (DSG has had some challenges over the summer), something that gives a brand some social media visibility can help, but, in the end, it always, always comes down to the shoes. 

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This is a video, from adidas about the new, customizable adidas Energy Boost ESM! We received this release earlier today, July 23, 2014. 

xcsauconyheroshot.jpgThe Saucony 500 Mile Challenge is in it's sixth week now. The three key workouts are the long run on Sunday, the tempo run on Tuesday and the hill workout on Thursday. Truth is, if you have a better way to train for yourself and your team: do it! These are suggestions, as many out there have no one to speak to about training. 

Cross country is one of the oldest parts of our sport. It started in the mid 18th century in England with the hounds and harriers idea. A lead runner, the hound, would put out pieces of paper as a trail and the harriers would follow, for perhaps six to nine miles. History does not tell us, but my guess some eating and drinking was involved after. 

Cross country is a global sport. In 2014, over 500,000 boys and girls will race cross country in the fifty states. How wil you do? How will your team do? You have to train in the summer to race well in the fall! 

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