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Clement_KerronHurdle9-Rio16.JPGKerron Clement, gold medal, 400 meter hurdles, photo by PhotoRun.net

Coburn_EmmaFL1-Rio16.JPGEmma Coburn, bronze, steeplechase, AR, photo by PhotoRun.net

Felix-Bartoletta4x1Q-Rio16.JPGTianna Bartoletta to Allyson Felix, gold medal, 4x100 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net

Jager_EvanLeds1-Rio16.JPGEvan Jager, silver medal, steeplechase, photo by PhotoRun.net

Carter_MichelleQ-OlyGame16.JPGMichelle Carter, gold medal, shot put, AR, photo by PhotoRun.net

The five photos above are just part of the thirty-two medals won by the U.S. in Rio in athletics. This was the best performance by the US in an Olympics in track & field since 1932! Without the benefit of your calculator, that, sports fans, is 84 years!

Below, courtesy of our friends at USA Track & Field is the list of the thirty two medalists, their medals, and their performances. In a later post, we will give you a quick play by play about how they won their medals!

So proud of the entire USA Track & Field team, and how they represented our country in Brazil. You should be too!

Huddle_Molly1-Rio16.JPGMolly Huddle, Rio Olympic 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

What was so spectacular about Molly Huddle's race was her ability to pull herself back from the precipice. At 4000m, Molly Huddle was near AR pace for her own 5000 meter record! She slowed the pace down, hitting the 5000m in 14:55, nine seconds behind Alice Nawowuma and Almaz Ayana. When Ayana took off after 5,000 meters, Molly Huddle was twenty meters off the seventh placer, but moved past two in the final 4000 meters. Molly Huddle was rewarded with a 30:13.72 for the 10,000m, a new American record!

Now owning the 5000m and 10,000m American records, Molly Huddle caps off a fine summer of racing where she won both the 10,000m and 5,000m at the U.S. Olympic Trials. We look forward to her debut over the marathon in the TCS New York City Marathon!

sundlun_photo.jpegTracy Sundlun, by Dillon Vibes

Tracy Sundlun is an honorable man, a bit eccentric, but an honorable man. He has not seen an endurance event, from the marathon to the 50k Race Walk that he does not support. Romaine Soh captures his love of one of the most iconic events in the Olympic tradition. This is Romaine's first piece for RunBlogRun. We thank Lori Shontz, Romaine's professor of Track & Field Journalism, at the University of Oregon, for her support and assistance fo these fine young journalists.

john_nunn_20K_racewalk_winner.jpegJohn Nunn, photo by Dillon Vibes

John Nunn made the 50k team and cemented his spot for the longest event on the Olympic roster way back in March 2016. In the 20k, John Nunn won, but he did not walk fast enough for an American to go to Rio. Here is how Isaac Gibson viewed the event. Isaac Gibson is writing for RunBlogRun for the first time and we are most grateful. We would like to thank Lori Shontz, the journalism professor at the University of Oregon who champions the track & field journalism class from which Isaac Gibson honed his writing skills.

womens_20K_top_two.jpegMiranda Melville and Maria Michta-Coffey, photo by Dillon Vibes

The 20k Race walk is nearly 90 minutes of physically draining effort. Consider this, running 20k at 8 minites or better pace, and having to keep your form! While the history of racewalking is rich globally, it is has its ups and downs in the US. Here is a fine story by Kylee O'Connor, her first story, in fact, for RunBlogRun. We thank her professor, Lori Shontz for developing the journalist program on track & field, which is supported by the University of Oregon.

In our newest historical docudrama, Conversations with Larry allows yours truly to opine for up to five minutes about all things athletics. As part of the process, an Everready battery is hurled at me if I go over five minutes and ten seconds. Tell us what you think of these daring programs. Today's feature is on Friday Night at Hayward Field!

This story has been reposted on May 27, 2016. I wanted people to remember one of the prime reasons that the Pre Classic is around was because of my late friend, Geoff Hollister. A man of much complexity, Geoff Hollister loved his family, friends and his brand, Nike. The Friday Night at Hayward is here in honor of this guy, who fought every day of his nearly 40 years at Nike for the importance of his brand's core, or as Mark Parker, CEO of Nike calls it, "Nike's DNA is running."

The Pre Classic and Friday night at Hayward Field are the yearly affirmations of Nike's beginnings and Nike's DNA: athletics. Helping people run, jump and throw with some form and function. For much of that, we need to take a moment and think of Geoff Hollister, reminding me that Bill Bowerman did not like the word 'Coach', among other things.

I miss our friend.

Goeff Hollisterw-uIx.jpg

Geoff Hollister, courtesy of Runnerspace.com

Geoff Hollister, one of the original Nike employees, and a University of Oregon track team member from the Golden age, has died, after a long and heroic fight against cancer. Geoff was sixty-six (he celebrated his birthday this past Friday).

Hollister, who took his degree in art from the University of Oregon, was, along with his friend, Nelson Ferris, the keeper of history of the company with the swoosh. Much of that history, Hollister was involved with personally.

Starting in 1967, Hollister sold running shoes out of the back of his car at track and cross country meets. Hollister's interview with Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike (with Bill Bowerman), is that of legend. Knight offered Hollister a job, commission only, over lunch at the Dairy Queen then on U of Oregon campus. Hollister had run the steeple while at Oregon, Knight, a decade older than Hollister, had run the mile. Only one issue, Knight had forgotten his wallet, so Geoff paid for lunch.

In 1968, Geoff founded the BRS West store, in Eugene, Oregon. He then served three years in the US Navy, on the USS Guadalupe, as a navigator. Goeff returned in 1971 to BRS, when it was at a crisis point.

Phil Knight & Bill Bowerman were in a epic struggle with Onitsuka Tiger, and the little BRS was faced with the challenge that many small companies have-financing. Knight was able to develop a financing arrangement with Nissho Iwaii, which allowed Knight the capital to develop their own product and break away from Onitsuka Tiger. (There was a lawsuit between the two, which Knight & Bowerman won).

Hollister was one of the people who got Bill Bowerman. He understood, that beneath the curmudgeoness, was a brilliant educator, who, with all of his foibles, was a hell of a track coach, and businessman. "Never, ever call Bill Bowerman a coach, he hated that word, " Geoff once told me. Hollister was the keeper of the flame.


Geoff Hollister was the Nike promotions department for the 1972 Olympic Trials, held in Eugene, Oregon. He gave out many of the Nike shoes to young American athletes, especially about three dozen members of the Olympic Trials marathon participants.

Hollister worked closely with the late Steve Prefontaine, and developed a strong friendship. It was coming home from a party at Geoff's home, after a Hayward Field Restoration meet, that Steve Prefontaine, who had been the promo guy for Nike, died. Hollister then took over Prefontaine's job of sending notes in boxes of Nike running shoes, to athletes across the world, asking them to try the new shoe brand.

Prefontaine's death in 1975 was tough for Hollister. Most had thought that Steve would be Nike's first Olympic medalist in 1976. It was not to be.

By 1976, Nike was established, but the brands such as adidas, PUMA and Onitsuka did not give Nike an easy time. Hollister did prepare running shoes for Frank Shorter, who had legendarily difficult feet, and while Geoff did prepare shoes for Shorter, it is a matter of some conjecture, to this day, whether Shorter actually wore those shoes.

Between 1976-1980, Geoff Hollister developed his promo team, and helped develop Athletics West, a club that provided not only running gear, massages, sports psychology and nutrition, but helped get the athletes ready to race in Europe so that they could be prepared for 1980. No one could have known that President Jimmy Carter, in reacting to Russia's involvement in Afghanistan, would boycott those Olympics.

It was in 1980, that Nike had its first Olympic medalists, none other than Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe. Geoff Hollister had brought Sebastian Coe and Bill Bowerman together in Eugene, during his build up to the Moscow Olympics.

Hollister had become the man who knew Nike's history, the man who protected the soul of Nike, the man who remembered what Steve Prefontaine was really like. Geoff took those roles seriously, and his love
for Nike was immense.

1984 was a watershed year for Nike. They were a global sports power by then, and the LA Olympics were tremendous, both good and rough. Joan Benoit Samuelson won the first women's Olympic gold medal. Sebastian Coe became the only man to defend 1,500m titles and also win consecutive silvers in the 800 meters. They also had the tragedy of Mary Slaney falling down in the 3,000m and not finishing. Nike had gone big time, and there was a bit of a let down after the 1984 Olympics.

From 1984 to 1996, Geoff Hollister was really the man behind the scenes, using his relationships to help athletes compete, get into better coaching relationships, and continued to show off the Nike brand. He always saw himself as a runner. And he looked at the world through the tinted glasses of an athlete. It was one of his best qualities.

Geoff Hollister & Nelson Ferris became the guys who protected Nike's legacy, probably in the 1990s. Geoff knew that Bill Bowerman was not getting any younger, and did a video with Arthur Lydiard and Bowerman,
which is said to be a classic.

As Nike became a bigger and bigger sports power, there were people who just did not get that Nike was founded by runners, and as basketball, soccer, baseball eclipsed some of the early track & field days, Geoff spung back into action, fighting to keep grass roots promotions going in the late 1990s. It was no mean task at the then $10 billion company.

Some of Geoff's longest lasting influences will be on grass roots promotions, his documentary film, " Fire on the Track" and his work on the film, "Prefontaine" kept the story of Steve Prefontaine alive. It also allowed there to be a recognition, perhaps a rekindling of concern for where running was to live in the Nike culture.

Hollister supported the development of several generations of grass roots promotion guys, some still at Nike, some in other companies, who realize, that it is still about getting a kid who just broke five minutes for the mile to see the newest shoe and dreaming about running a 4:55 mile, or long jumping twenty feet, or throwing the shot forty-five feet.

Geoff Hollister kept the soul of Nike alive. He was a complicated man, who was quick to tell us a story, and to talk about his family, and also quick to make sure that the legacy of Nike was remembered. He was not in it for the bucks. He loved his sport and the people involved.

While Geoff retired in 2002, he consulted for Nike for several years after that. His friends were lucky to have updates from his wife, Wendy, who cared for him with love and concern. Geoff had three children, his son Tracy, daughter Kaili and step daughter, Abi .

Over the weekend, Galen Rupp, AR holder in the 10,000m, a man coached by Alberto Salazar, who was signed to Nike by Geoff Hollister, told the media at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, that Mo Farah , Galen and Ciaran O'Lionaird (winner of the mile), would be wearing GHAC gear in honor of Geoff. Geoff would have liked that....

Please keep Geoff, his wife Wendy, and their family in your thoughts and prayers.

And, what would make Geoff most happy? Go, take a walk or run, and consider how lucky you are, on this small planet.

Here is an article on Geoff Hollister, from OregonLive.com:
http://www.oregonlive.com/playbooks-profits/index.ssf/2012/02/geoff_hollister_an_original_ni.html


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SI Cover courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

The story of this article is another example of the potential with our sport. Jeff Benjamin, an early adaptor if there ever was one, began writing for American Athletics back in 1991, I believe. Jeff then did articles on Jim Spivey, the Dream Mile and Abel Kiviat. Jeff loves the sport, and has suggested articles and ideas for the past two decades. I always enjoy his notes.

What does a running geek with two daughters (Amanda & Brianna) do? Encourage them both to run, of course. Well, Amanda, his oldest, has joined her father at Millrose for the past several years. Amanda Benjamin wants to write about sports, and she is now a second generation in the Benjamin family to write for our publications and website.

The Dream Mile is a magic moment in our sport. Jeff and Amanda have captured the scene, the zeitgeist tremendously well. Sports fans watch the Dream Mile on ABC Wild World of Sports! In an era when track & field is fighting with professional walleye fishing for money, 1971 was a time of promise, but also a time of challenges. The fact is, the sport missed continued chances to resonate.

With many of our new sports stars, track & field has some tremendous opportunities. So, dear readers, who will be running the next Dream Mile?

Here is the 14th report from our friend, Carles Baronet, who manages Track In Sun blog. Carles is from Catalonia, and is a wonderful and detailed statistician who loves our sport. He compiles European indoor, outdoor, cross country and now, USA Indoor and Outdoor. We are most grateful to his labors of love for our sport of athletics.

Manzano_Leo1-Oxy15.jpgLeo Manzano, HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic, photo by PhotoRun.net

The USATF Indoor champs, for much the past decade has seemed like a championships on auto-pilot. It was becoming, like the local cross country race, a meet frequented by athletes, family members and the occasional pet.

usaindoor track .jpg2016 USATF Indoor Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net

Even with very little promotions, the 2016 USA Indoors had a strong crowd, but most importantly, it had a shorter time schedule, which meant you did not have to spend a week at an indoor nationals....

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