November 2007 Archives

Cal International is one of those races, that unfortunately, gets taken for granted. The truth is the team, lead by John Mansoor and his team, have developed this event into a fine Winter marathon. The preview , by Bob Burns, a former Sacramento Bee reporter and
the man who survived both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Trials media centers, is nicely done. We hope that you enjoy!

Pat Butcher is one of the best travelled correspondents in our sport, as well as one of the most insightful and articulate. (Yes, Mr. Butcher will owe me a beverage at our next meeting). As he travels to events, he provides us with some colorful columns on the stories that we would not expect from the marathon circuit. This is one of those stories...

It has been nearly a decade since Craig Masback stepped into the shoes of the CEO of
USA Track & Field. He inherited an organization that was nearly bankrupt financially, and leadership-wise, was in nearly the same position. USATF was not leading the sport, it was letting the sport lead it.

Times have changed, and USATF has, most importantly, cleared up the finanicals disasters that....

The proper role of athletics?

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My university, Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, was a rareified atmosphere, to say the least. During my tenure there, from 1976 to 1982 ( a year in the seminary, and working in an auto plant included), I finished degrees in European History, Fine Arts/Painting and came close to a third degree in Modern Dance (my son will love this). Also during that time, I ran cross country, track invitationals and road raced to my heart's content, knowing that the small band of runners at the school were never going to .....

I am now over 160 days of blogging, one hour or so a day, at least. One of my most prolific topic is Marion Jones. Earlier this week,I suggested that clearing the records and life of Marion Jones from the record book, while perhaps good to fellow competitors, allows the sport to forget who she was. I also suggested that the IAAF deleting here records was similar to Mr. Josef Stalin in the good old Soviet Union and his rewriting of
history....reader Chris Lundstrom did not agree and here, in his letter to me, which he allowed to be published, is his reasoning:

On Role Models

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The following letter is my publishers' column for the Winter issue of American Track & Field, which mailed recently. It is on Role Models. Just last week, my sisters, my brother and I had a surprise fiftieth anniversary party for our parents in San Jose, CA. The grandkids were all there (four of them) and they were mesmerized by the stories our parents friends told them about our parent's lives...

On Erasing Marion Jones' Records


In Stalinist Russia, one of the ways that Mr. Stalin kept control was the rewriting or unwriting of history. There are books of photographs where Stalin or his KGB had famous people taken out of the pictures or their names removed from history texts..
is there something similar to this with the Marion Jones saga?

Foot Locker Cross Country is one of the many reasons that American distance runners have continued to develop over the past three decades. From Rueben Reina, to Bob Kennedy, to Charles Alexander, to Ceci St. Geme, to Dathan Ritzenhein, prep American distance runners had the four regional races to dream of, where they could square off with the best prep runners from their region, run a hard 5k, and IF they were in the top ten boys or top ten girls, move on to....

Tyson Gay's amazing 2007 season, with his double wins at Indy and then his triple golds at Osaka, and Meseret Defar and her outstanding 5,000 meter world record in June, plus her defense of the World 5,000 meter title have been recognized. At the World Athletics Gala, held Sunday night in Monte Carlo, Tyson Gay and Meseret Defar were recognized for their great seasons!

The following article, written by Bob Ramsak, of Track Profile Report, a newsletter supported by Shooting Star Media, Inc., tells the story. Your favorite blogger was in the middle of a four hour flight, then three hour bus ride to get home to Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin from a week long trip to the West coast.

Tyson and Meseret deserved the accolades-great seasons from great athletes. Congrats are in order for Global Athletics & Marketing-Mark Wetmore and Rich Kenah, who represent these fine athletes!

On Friday, November 23, 2007, the IAAF announced their deliberations regarding Marion Jones. I have included the complete decision, in english and french, in a link at the end of my blog today....

To wear Ear Phones or not?


USA Track & Field has a rule about stopping the use of earphones on Ipods, Mp3s during sanctioned running events. Certian events have now come out and said they will not honor the rule..USATF is getting hit with questions on their policy...I think the point has been missed....

Matt Tegenkamp, A short conversation


At the Border Clash each year, Nike brings in a few of their top athletes, this year,
it was Matt Tegankamp and Kara and Adam Goucher as well as Michelle Sykes. I spent a few minutes with Matt and this is what he had to say...

Oregon is on a roll


The rise of Oregon back to the top of the heap in both Men's and women's cross country mirrors the rise of Stanford a decade ago under Vinn Lananna...

On September 5, 1986, Mark Nenow, running in the Ivo Van Damme Memorial, ran 27:20.56, breaking the American record of Alberto Salazar. Nenow had run 27:28 in Oslo in July, in a 10k against Said Aouta. Nenow raced from 1981-1989, with 1985-1989 his best years, Nenow was unquestionably one of the best distance runners ever to don a U.S. racing vest...

The NCAA Division 1 Cross country was a race to end the season! I watched it in the Nike offices, as I was visiting to write about the Nike Border Clash. ATF's intrepid writer, John Nepolitan covered the race in great fashion. I have published his comments below.

First, though a couple of mine-Oregon is obviously a threat in XC again, for the first time since 1978, on both men and women's. That is Vinn Lananna and his team. Peter Tegen, the women's coach at Stanford, formerly the founding women's coach at Univeristy of Wisconsin, continues to show his talent in developing fine women distance runners!

All in all, a great year for cross country, a super year for Oregon and their very young team! And congrats to Josh McDougal, who continues to develop into a fine distance runner.

After nine years, the weather has decided to show who was boss. Seven years of superb weather have now given way to two years of rain. This year was cold, bone soaking, but the 40 high school boys and 160 high school boys and girls, the top runners from Washington and Oregon made it a memorable day....

Why is Cross Country so Popular?


Cross country participation at the high school level, in 2007, will be it's best year ever.
With nearly 190,000 boys and 170,000 girls, and programs in 13,000 boys' high schools and 11,500 girls, the sport is thriving....

The Weekend of Cross Country


This weekend is the NCAA Division 2, 3, NAIA cross country championships. And on Monday, in Terra Haute, the NCAA Division one championships. I will be heading out for one of my favorite events this weekend, the Nike Border Clash....

This story hit the newswires middle or end of last week and the new story showed up on the New England Runner enewsletter. An employee of a printer somehow found a copy of a Nike Catalog, and tried to sell it to several of Nike's did not work out how he expected..

The Top 50 Running Stores in America


As the Running Event ended its third day, the highlight of the evening was the top 50 Running stores of America event. The night announces the best stores in the Northeast, South, West and Midwest, IRRA's top vendor and top product, the Ubutu Award, from Balega and the best store in America award.....

The Running Event, 2007


The Running Event, held in Austin the past two years, is the meeting place for the running industry. This year's event, held from Sunday, Nov. 11 to Wednesday, Nov.14, had 175 expo booths, 200 plus retailers and 500 attendees. Most importantly, this blogger believes, it has given the specialty running biz a place to meet, talk and look to the future....

Why We love Brian Sell


This story was told to me twice over the past few days and has been fact checked. Read it and realize that the team we are taking to Beijing is something special, but speaking of work ethic....

Davila Wins Porta HP 10,000 meters


In a 10,000 meter track race last weekend, Desiree Davila of Hansons-Brooks ran 33:20.7
to take the race over Melissa White, who ran 33:24.1. The weather was unseasonably warm, but in the end, these runners, most of them focused on the Marathon Trials....

Walking on Veterans Day


After a week of dealing with a cold, your blogger desired a nice, relaxed walk in Austin, Texas. After a nice night sleep, I rose early and headed up Fourth Street to Congress, as the city was preparing for its' Veteran's Day celebration...

On Friday night, needing a break, I journeyed to Madison, Wisconsin, forty-one miles from my home of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. I wanted to see a movie at the Sundance Movie Theatre, the first of a would be chain of theatres to be built by Mr. Robert Redford. The movie I choose to see was Lars and the Real Girl and I am glad I saw is why...

Some reflections on this year...


I am spending three hours in the Denver Airport on my way to Austin, Texas. I was able to spend a few hours with my son this morning, and then head to the airport. It was a good time to consider the year in distance running, Ryan Shay, who is buried tomorrow, and the fragility of life.

The Association of Athletic Managers met in Miami, Florida this past week, with
many of the European meet directors and the prominent footwear companies. The Association represents 29 of the major reps for the top track and field athletes in
the world. At their meeting, they agreed to not represent an athlete who has tested
positive for banned drugs and faced a two year ban from the sport...

In Praise of Michigan Runner TV


Michigan Runner was one of the first regional running magazines in the U.S. Along with New England Runner, RunOhio and Running Journal, among others, Michigan Runner blazed a trail in the regional running business that should be addressed and respected.
One of the trails that Jenn and Art McCafferty have blazed is the area of web based television shows....

Cal International has been one of those best kept secrets for years. When a runner in Northern California wanted to run fast, they went to CIM. The race, under the watchful eye of John Mansoor and his team, has grown this event into one of the most important in the country!

The press release below, from Bob Burns, one of the real sports writers in the Sacramento area, tells it all!

The truth is, our sport continues to grow, and it is because of races like the CIM!

The New York Times, one of the most important newspapers in North America, devoted most of two news paper pages to an excellent piece on Ryan Shay.

The piece is written by Jere Longman, one of the top sports writers in the country, and the piece gives an even better picture of what happened leading up to Ryan's collapse on the
marathon course last Saturday....

London 2012 revealed their plans for the new London Olympic Stadium today. We have linked to a superb column on : After reading about the new stadium and how London will use it after the Olympics...

Dear Readers,

Walt Murphy, a long time track fan and long time fact finder for most major track and field broadcasts, as well as publisher of XC Xpress and Eastern Track, has compiled the following information on Ryan Shay, his life, and the reactions to his surprising death during the Olympic Trials marathon, as well as his funeral arrangements:

In Praise of our new Olympic Team


Ryan Hall, Dathan Ritzenhein and Brian Sell all ran the races of their lives on Saturday, November 3, 2007 at the USA Olympic Marathon Trials for Men. The course was a wonderfully challenging course, and the outcome was something to behold. Here, in this column, the blogger will speak of the three men who made the team......

The 2008 Men's Olympic Trials Marathon showed what many were thinking-that the American male marathoner is back. 134 marathoners lined up, and 104 finished the five loop, criterium style course in Central Park. The 20,000 fans who lined the course and,
in many cases, ran across the park to see the racers, were treated to a great race, and a superb team, here is the story of the race....

The Men's Marathon Trials lived up to its billings. A tough course, a great race, and 15-20,000 cheering fans running around the course on this blistery morning made for one memorable race. I am now sitting in the Chicago airport, on my way home, reflecting on the race, the outcome and for this column, the death of Ryan Shay, all of 28, who collapsed just off the course at 5.5 miles....

Dear readers, I finished this column before I crashed early on Saturday morning. I just noticed that it did not get posted, so I have just added it up. I will write my story on the race, and a piece on Ryan Shay, later this evening, when I reach home, Fort Atkinson, WI.

Dear readers, When I got up this morning, I was surprised to find that a weeks' worth of my blogs had disappeared. I assembled the October 29 blog but noticed that nothing went out for Oct.30 and 31. So, we will find those and repost them, hopefully, in the next few days, but today, I will regale you with my final picks for the marathon......

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