October 2007 Archives

The Marathon Countdown Begins!


Yesterday, I cleared off my large porch, and gave out Halloween candy to the kids who showed up at my residence on Clarence Street...did have one little issue that told me that kids are a bit different than when I went out dressed as a Hobo in 1971-72... a young women, dressed as Cinderella came up to the door, cellphone to ear, after about eight other kids, and with the phone still going said, " Oh, yeah, Trick or Treat!" Kind of strange....

On November 3, 2007, 134 of the 179 male marathoners who have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon qualifier will line up in New York City. Over the one four mile loop and four five mile loops, the three runners who will represent the U.S. in the marathon in Beijing next summer will be chosen, based on their finishes and their
times..a brutal system, so who is going to win? ....

The marathon trials are less than two weeks away and I wanted to give you a little hint on how I will make my picks. So, go through my synopsis of the marathon trials since 1968 and some of the background on those marathoners. 2008 will be one of the toughest teams to make, and the U.S. has some really excellent marathoners for this team. Big question, who make a medal winning performance when the smog and heat of Beijing comes running?

My most curious interview


Over the past thirty years, I have interviewed Olympic gold medalists, Olympic coaches, athletes young and old to name a few. My first real interview after leaving Runners' World taught me much. I compare it to the main character in Johnny Cash's song, "A boy named Sue,".

This weekend has been the end of two weeks of travel for me, one on vacation and one for business. This weekend in San Francisco put me in my favorite city in North America, watching 20,000 women celebrate their weekend and their event, with "their tribe"....

Joan Benoit-Samuelson, dressed with a beautiful dress and pearls around her neck, was perfectly dressed for the Breakfast at Tiffany's this Saturday morning. When she was introduced, everything stopped, because of the women knew she loved the event as much as they did, because she was one of them. Benoit-Samuelson is a wife, a mother of two who also happens to have won the first Olympic womens' marathon. To truly appreciate Joan Benoit-Samuelson and how she has changed, one has to understand her beginnings in the sport....

The Nike Women's marathon is now in its fourth running. Over the past four years, the course and event have evolved, just like the company that sponsors the event and the sport that is changing so many lives, each day of their life....

If we agree that thare are tens of thousands of road races, cross country meets, track events held in this country each and every year. The LSB Chicago Marathon has put this issue into the news with the event from two weeks ago But what should a runner expect when they go to an event?

Yes, dear readers, your fave blogger is back, rested and relaxed after six days of R and R. I am now off to a weekend following the Nike Women's marathon this weekend! As you have your bagel and coffee this morning, enjoy this thoughtful opine as I jet off to San Francisco. More good stuff tommorow!

Reiko Tosa won the bronze medal in the women's marathon, on the very last day of the 2007 World Championships. Here, the writer considers her win and her importance to her country...

Sanya Richards and Lauryn Williams had superb blog comments at the WCSN.com site-http://wcsnblogs.com/track-and-field/. Check it out and then read this blogger's comments.

Lornah Kiplagat of the Netherlands continues to show her talent in the half marathon distance. This story, done by the prolific and thoughtful Bob Ramsak, for Track Profile, gives the reader a bird's eye view of what happening in Udine, Italy on Sunday, October 14, 2007.

IAAF Investigates Marion Jones


The IAAF has begun their investigation of Marion Jones and her admissions of guilt in taking steroids. She has already given back her Olympic medals, and it may be too early to say what the IAAF will do. I think that the IAAF will ask for the medals from Sevilla, and Edmonton back, as she has admitted to use as early as 1999.

In terms of what sponsors will do, this writer considers it a far off chance that her major sponsors will sue her to recover her sponsorship dollars. After some research, it is quite reasonable to assume a) Marion Jones has no money b) the lawsuits would only increase companies' legal bills and not produce anything else.

The modern Passion Play of Marion Jones continues, as this piece by Bob Ramsak attests:

Touring the Metro with Jim Hogan


Jim Hogan was and is one of the shining lights in global distance running. A man who has not comprimised himself, his love of life, and his sense of humor come across even if you can barely understand his English through his bit of, for this listener, accent.....

In Praise of Cross Country

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Cross Country season is here! The meeting place of the best distance runners on the planet, cross country is a fall sport in the U.S. and a winter and spring sport around the rest of the world. In this column, the blogger takes aim at his favorite season, cross country and what it means to him....

Marion Jones Gives Back Her Medals

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Dear readers, I am actually on vacation as of 9.30 am October 11, 2007 and will be through October 17, 2007. At 38,000 feet, cross the Atlantic, I am writing a few blogs about my take on the sport for your reading pleasure. I will be back, live and rested, on Thursday, October 18, 2007. Until then, please enjoy the next six days of essays, appearing one day at a time....

Here are few more comments on the LSB Chicago Marathon! Thanks for your thoughts and comments!

Sunday night, CNN spends their time speaking about the humid conditions at the race. Then, on Monday, it is Chaos in Chicago. By Tuesday, runners, are hanging Pinkowski in effigy. Here is the letter I posted to CNN on Tuesday night about what really happened at the race....

My dinner with the champions


Every once in awhile, the track geek gets a treat. After the Chicago marathon day, I was invited to dinner with Berhane Adere, Robert Cheruiyot and Patrick Ivuti by John Capriotti of Nike. Here was a bit on our evening....

The 30th LSB Chicago Marathon will be remembered for its amazing finishes and the amazing heat. In fact, the heat was the reason that the course closed at four hours, and runners were sent to the finish. Not only will the race finishes be discussed for years to come, the president of closing the course will be discussed for many years.

With 36,000 starters and a starting line temp of 77 degrees, the elite races and the citizen runners all had their challenges. The men's race came down to the last twenty meters, and was decided by .05 of a second! On the womens' race, a late, late charge, after 40 kilometers changed the finish of the race! Read on to see how the race developed!

LSB Chicago at the Crossroads


Next year, there will be several major changes at the La Salle Bank Chicago Marathon, there will be at least two crucial changes: the footwear and apparel sponsor and the title sponsor. How will that affect the race?

Marion Jones's Grand Mea Culpa


In a TV moment that will go down in sports history, Marion Jones, arguably, the most talented sports athlete of her generation, admitted on live television that she had used steroids. From the steps of a New York courthouse, Marion Jones, with her family, friends and lawyer at her side, apologized to her family, her lawyer, her husband, and her many fans for lying to Federal investigators about her steroid use. Marion Jones has come clean, so what does that mean?

The LSB Chicago Marathon has been blessed with pretty good weather over the past dozen years. This year, however, heat could be the big story, with the weather man calling for unseasonable warm, 88 degrees at noon on Sunday! This writer walked at
10.30 am for an hour and saw the street temps at 80 degrees. Ever mindful of the issues heat can play the management of the La Salle Banks Chicago marathon have added these measures to keep the 45,000 marathoners as cool as possible:

I first met Marion Jones in 1991, as she was on the cover of our magazine, American Track & Field as a sophomore in high school. In an article written by Doug Speck, we introduced the young athlete to the world. In 1997, when she won her gold medals at the World Champs, we featured her on a cover from Athens.

Sitting in my offices are her American Athletics athlete of the year award from 1994....

What a few days! On the same day that Kara Goucher did a superb intereview with
USATF, NYRR announces that Paula Radcliffe, world record holder in the marathon, will choose to run ING New York in 2007! The day after the Men's Olympic marathon trials, Geta Wami and Paula Radcliffe will duke it out on the final race of the first Five Major Marathon biannual contest.

Radcliffe has had a baby plus injuries and her return to fitness showed this past weekend when she took second to Kara Goucher at BUPA Great North. Here is the press release sent out yesterday by the New York Road Runners!

Kara Goucher is leading the way in U.S. women's distance running. From her gutty bronze medal in Osaka, to her fine 8:34.55 for 3,000 meters, 14:55 for 5,000 meters-both personal bests, to her defeat of Paula Radcliffe this past weekend at the Great North Half Marathon. In a wonderful interview conducted by USA Track & Field, you, our readers, get to see a little more of this exciting distance runner!

Ever since Mr. Gutenberg invented movable type, the paradigm has changed. No longer were books the rights of the wealthy and priviledged. Until the mid fifteenth century, books were, for the most part, laboriously copied, letter by letter, page by page, either in some monestary or for some grandee land owner who wanted his own copy of the Bible. Gutenberg changed all of that!

In the U.S. today, there are over 12,000 special interest magazines published! Now, sixty percent of them will be gone before the end of year one! That is why, starting magazines on the web has proved so lucrative! However, lets' take a different tact for a moment? How does the web help an already established magazine? Read on!

Al Oerter was a classic Olympian at a classic event. He was the four time gold medalist of the discus. No one has come near matching his wins. Oerter died this morning, October 1, 2007, of heart failure. This is just a short commentary on what he meant to our sport and this writer. I have followed up with some related links....

China is a huge sports market, and with the Beijing Olympics just a year away, the race is on to make Chinese sports fans! Here are the results and some updates on the
Shanghai Grand Prix, from Friday, September 28, 2007:

News of the Global Athletics World


A few more things happened over the weekend! Meets in Shanghai and Yokohama, a blistering 3k at the Great North Run, and a ceritan Ethiopian set a marathon world record and another looks to be winning a very nice pot of cash!

Haile Gebrselasssie photo by Victah Sailor, photorun.net

It is October 1, 2007. Huge day in athletics yesterday as Haile Gebreselassie broke the world record, running 2:04.26 and Geta Wami won the women's race at Berlin, taking the lead in the Five Major Marathons bi annual contest. In the following piece by Pat Butcher, we see where both Geb and Wami are headed.

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