March 2009 Archives

The way the first running boom SHOULD have started was from health clubs. People with core fitness, some strength work, adding running to their regimen. Not merely guys running as many miles as possible (remember the 1970s?) for as long as possible, before many were chronically injured. Health Clubs are a great way to get started on the road to personal fitness.

The SGMA is one of the major organizations that has championed sports participation and the sports industry in the sports community. We have provided the full release below because there are some very important concepts to get down. The key is this: running, our sport, revolves around a dedicated participant. Whether the person races or not, they buy shoes, socks, apparel, and as their sporting activity is one thing that they can control in their life-running is not going away.

Happy race finishers can be found the world over, this photo from RAK half marathon, courtesy of

Michah Kogo's superb run last Sunday over 10k, where he ran the fastest legal time in the world over that distance-27:01! Ricky Simms, the manager of Micah Kogo, sent us more information on Kogos' record run from Sunday, plus a chance to watch it!

We have been able to provide you both a link and an embedded file of the race. Note Kogo's smooth running style and his comments after the race. Kogo noted that he had been hoping for a fast time since 2007. Well, he has one now!

Photo courtesy of

The Chinese philosopher Lao-Tse was supposed to have said " a journey of one thousand miles begins with one step,". Well, watch the British distance ranks. Ian Stewart, new UK endurance mentor was very straight forward, as is his modus operandi, on the British cross country squad sent to Amman. His comment on the Amman course, " a fast 10,000 meter track race with one uphill," puts the 37th IAAF XC Champs in perspective.

Photo courtesy of

Micah Kogo, the Beijing 10,000 meter bronze medalist ran 27:01 for 10k at the Parelloop in the Netherlands today, bettering the seven year old record of one Haile Gebrselassie by one second!

Micah Kogo, from CIGNA Falmouth 2008, courtesy of Victah Sailer,

While the West Coast enjoys warm weather, and Denver is covered with snow, nearly 14,000 tough midwesterners dealt with the snow and cold to run the real beginning of spring in the Windy City: The Shamrock Shuffle.

Emmanuel Korir and Deena Kastor, Kastor in her first race since her injury in Beijing, had slower than normal times on this fast course, but, considering the conditions, both showed their fitness. While 30,000 plus had signed up, 14,000 choose to run and just under that amount finished. Runners used their heads, and bundled up, which was a smart thing to do in those conditions.

Congrats to Carey Pinkowski and his team, who have dealt with hot weather in the marathon, as well as cold, and their email communications with their athletes helped in this case!

Congrats to Deena Kastor, again for getting herself back into shape and running so well in tough conditions.

Alfons Juck updates us on the World Cross Country in Amman, Jordan....note that German Fernandez had an injury the last two weeks before the World cross and is taking off the next month....

Constantina Dita made a huge gamble when she made her move at halfway in Beijing, and went on to win the Olympic marathon title. One of the most prolific and successful women marathon runners on the circuit. ASICS has signed her for the next four years, according to her management team, Boulder Wave, Inc.

ASICS head of global marketing Masao Hijikata, Constantina Dita, and Boulder Wave President Brendan Reilly following the contract signing in Tokyo. (Photos courtesy of Boulder Wave, Inc.) ( and several of its associated sites will be down for the next three days due to a server upgrade and scheduled maintenance. "We have been moving our calendar, plus our ftp site has had great usage this spring, so we needed an upgrade, " noted Chuck Bartlett, the manager for the RunningNetwork website. "Note that sites just linked to the should not be affected, but the new upgrades will also allow us to handle our increased traffic and use, " noted Larry Eder, President of the Running Network LLC.

The Running Network, LLC, established in 1986, started its first websites in 1995. At this time, there are twenty four print publications and twenty three associated websites plus the portal for running enthusiasts. The Running Network is composed of sixteen regional magazines and websites plus eight national titles and seven national websites. The goal of the Running Network is to enhance the relationship between the running enthusiast and their local running community or culture.

Running Network LLC Partners are: American Track & Field, Athletes Only, Athletics (Canada), Austin Runner,California Track & Running News, Club Running, Coaching Athletics Quarterly, Colorado Runner, Get Active!, Greater Long Island Running Club's Footnotes, Latinos Corriendo, Michigan Runner, Missouri Runner & Triathlete, New York Runner, Running Journal, Racing South, RunMinnesota, RUNOHIO, Track & Field News, USATF's Fast Forward, USATF/New England's Exchange Zone, The Winged Foot (NYAC), The Winged M (MAC), Youth Runner

For more information, please contact Chuck Bartlett at [email protected] or
[email protected]

One of American Track & Field's earliest contributors, Jeff Benjamin, forwarded this link from the London Telegraph ( on who the telegraph called, 'perhaps the Greatest Living Englishman',
Sir Roger Bannister.

In the piece, it was nice to note that, at 80, Sir Roger is able to run, he calls it "shuffling" again. He was in an auto accident in 1975 and was unable to run again until he found a simple running shoe used by Kenyan athletes. Now, he runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Sir Roger Bannister was the first man to break four minutes for the mile on May 6, 1954, at Iffley Road Track at Oxford University. The weather that day was far from perfect, but Bannister and his training cohorts, the late Chris Brasher, and Chris Chattaway, persevered. His time of 3:59.4, was considered the athletic equivalent of reaching the peak of Mt. Everest. It gave the British people, who were still suffering from the effects of the second World War, something to cheer about.

Bannister had done the unthinkable. In 1939, the late Brutus Hamilton, one of the great coaches in American athletics, had written his list of untouchable records. I found this, published in 1958, I believe in one of the little Black Books, a compendium of track esoterica. Hamilton firmly believed that 4:03 was probably as fast as a man could run.

We wish Sir Roger Bannister a very happy, if belated 80th birthday and hope that he has many more! His run, and his book, the First Four Minutes, affected most runners for his conviction, his focus and his ability to do the unthinkable-breaking four minutes for the mile, and helping the sport of athletics conquer its Mount Everest.

For more on what Sports Illustrated called 'the original Sportsman', please click

All that is new in our world of sports plus info on upcoming meets and events....Usain Bolt is number two in Sky Sports magazine list of greatest sports stars--Tiger Woods was number one! Remember, Tiger Woods once said he would be a 200 meter runner if he was not playing golf!

Kara Goucher went out quite fast, but held on in the Lisbon Half marathon, winning by thirty seconds in 1:08:30. She is four weeks out from her race at the Boston Marathon. Jeremy Wariner, who we were able to interview in Santa Monica last week (watch for the interviews next week), opened this weekend in Waco in 20.77 for 200 meters! The first weekend in spring has happened! We hope that you enjoy the results!

Kara Goucher is in the middle of her training for the Boston Marathon, which she hopes to win, in April 2009. After a great fall marathon, a good indoor season, and some strong training this winter, Kara and her coach, Alberto Salazar, are in Lisbon for the half marathon tomorrow. Salazar has been quoted as noting that Kara Goucher is in fine shape, and should be able to run in the 1:06 range. Do not be suprised is Goucher runs 1:05 and change, she is that fit. (My pick is 1:05:30).

Photo by

The start of the Lisbon course has been changed and a $50,000 bonus has been set for a world record on the course. Samuel Wanjiru is running there, looking for a world best as well on the men's side.

For the first time in many years, the US has top prospects on the men and women's side at Boston. While Lisbon is important in Kara Goucher's training, the focus is on Patriots' Day in Boston, in less than one month, when Kara Goucher lines up with a formidable field, to race, and with luck, to win at the 103rd version of the BAA Boston Marathon.

Part of the story about Jim Scherr's ousting from the USOC and the current crisis in Colorado Springs is the current relationship with the IOC. Under Peter Ueberoth and Jim Scherr, while there were issues with the IOC, the US interests were well-represented. This is not exactly the case with Mr. Probst and the current level of intercine warfare within the USOC.

In the global politics of the sports world, the USOC internal squabbles surely do not play well. Chicago 2016, which is up against major competition in the Rio and Tokyo bids, among others, is not a done deal by any means. As the USOC tries to deal with budget cuts, and now the attention of the media on the Scherr firing, it seems that concentration on the 2016 Chicago bid vote, which comes up in October, would be difficult. In the next six weeks the IOC will visit Chicago for a site evaluation.

The battle with the IOC is over TV dollars for the USOC. They need a strong advocate, someone who has had experience with global sports and who has friends within the IOC. Current leadership within the USOC does not suggest anyone who has that type of stature. In this case, the USOC has shot itself twice in the foot. For Chicago 2016's sake, we hope that the USOC board can find a way to present a professional, and strong front instead of the balkanized, power hungry picture that is appearing from several fronts.....Where is Mr. Ueberoth when we really need him?

Autobiographies are everywhere. To stand out in this genre, however, the juicier the stories, the more like reality TV ( a genre this writer can do without), the better the book will sell.

My guess is, the publisher of Dwain Chambers autobiography, which has been serialized in British media, is quite happy, as the controversy over the book has given it headlines in the UK. Chambers has harsh comments on several prominent athletes, managers and former athletes. There is the distinct possibility that the IAAF could ban him for causing damage to the image of the sport. However, I find it about 50/50. Such a ban would only give the book more airplay and popularity. Watch closely folks, as this could be a hot one!

Ah, the opportunities for a three time gold medalist! Usain Bolt will be running a 150 meter race in Manchester, England before the BUPA Great Manchester 10k, which will be featuring Haile Gebrselassie. This is all part of the Great City Games over the weekend of May 16-17. Runblogrun salutes Manchester and BUPA for putting together such a creative event!

Photo by

adidas global invited a group of media to Santa Monica, California for a few days of meetings on new product, interviews with athletes, and a chance to run or observe a training session of some of the world's greatest athletes!

When Haile Gebrselassie showed up, repleat in adidas garb, and telling all who would listen, " We are running 4:00 mile pact today, and then, laughing," the assembled media joined him for a nice run, jog or walk along the Santa Monica pier.

For my pace, I saw him at the beginning of my walk and the end, but it was fun to see him running with a pack of runners. As we walked down the paths along the beach, we saw Jenn Rhines doing some strideouts. Ah, running geekdom!

In a copyrighted article from the Denver Post, it is evident that the word has gotten out that the "decision" by Jim Scherr, the former USOC CEO was the work of the a) board and b) may have been self serving for the board. The article,, suggests that the turmoil within the USOC has just begun.

Beset with the challenges of Chicago 2016, a frightening global economy and pressures to cut staffing and costs, it has become obvious that the USOC board pressured Jim Scherr to resign. Stephanie Streeter was named interim CEO. This "personal decision" began to show its Machiavellian roots pretty soon after the USOC press release less than two weeks ago. The person who seems most responsible for that is Larry Probst, who recently replaced Peter Ueberroth as USOC chairman.

Several of the USOC related sports governing bodies were aghast with the recent decision and also there were suggestions of conflict of interest for the interim CEO, Stephanie Streeter, former CEO and Chairman of the Banta corporation, and a known foe of Mr. Scherr. Ms. Streeter has defended the moves by the USOC board, as typical business board room protocol. What, dear reader, does that mean?

The governing bodies are concerned about the ethical look of the situation. With the recent economic situations accelerated by some businesses' focus on short term profit above all else, federations are rightly concerned about how the USOC looks at this time. The word "Olympian" , as interpreted by the American public is a "higher authority" and a "higher level" of behavior. Typical board room politics will not be accepted in this day of AIG and other "typical" business actions that cross the ethical line of most Americans.

Perception equals reality in the Olympic chess game and Chicago 2016 could be hurt by a negative feeling over the USOC. Changing CEO's just before an important vote is being looked upon by many as surprisingly poor timing at best and just plain global sports suicide at worst.

Doug Logan, the CEO of USATF, a man who had the support of both Peter Uerberroth and Jim Scherr in his nine months at the helm of USA Track & Field said the following to the Denver Post: "I think too much minutiae is being attempted, trying to look under a rock with regard to people's motives," Logan said. "I can give you countless examples of where boards have reached from within. Boards generally pick people they think are the most adept, competent, and have the tools to do the job."

Minutae perhaps, but as Doug Logan knows, perception and reality are intertwined in the global sports business and this is not one of the USOC's greatest hours.

For more on the USOC, check

In the stands last summer in Beijing, Kappa, the Italian brand, was fairly prominent. Mostly young Chinese were wearing the brand, which made sense, as the Kappa logo rights are owned by Dongxiang, a Chinese sports apparel company. Ironically, Kappa had sponsored US national track team uniforms in the 1980's , until, during the company's financial upheaval and non-payment to USATF, Nike took over in 1989.

Donxiang signed an agreement today with the Norwegian team, according to

Robbie Andrews, the young prep who won the Millrose prep mile so convincingly, ran a fine 1:49.21 at the NYC Armory this past weekend at the NSSF Meet. Between the NSSF and the Nike Indoor this past weekend, new prep records abound!

Photography by

Over the past thirty years working in the sport of running, I have been fortunate enough to work with some exceptional individuals. You have recently read some columns by Mark Bossardet. Another one of the friendships that I have prized is Michael Payton, a man, who helped me appreciate the need for public relations and marketing communications in our sport. In our current economic turmoil, public relations, marketing communications and advertising, which many American companies race to cut during down times, can make the difference between a brand thriving and a the collapse of a brand.

Michael Payton is the President and Founder of THE PAYTON GROUP, a full-service integrated marketing and sports communications firm located in Barrington, Rhode Island. Payton's client list is a whose who in the running industry: Reebok, Mizuno, FILA, Salomon and Karhu. He recently completed a project for the Institute For International Sport as well as a relaunch of Karhu brand of running footwear.

I recently asked Michael his opinion on how to use Public Relations and effective communications strategies in our current economic upheaval. Payton had some fascinating things to say. In full disclosure, I have been fortunate enough to have worked with Michael on most of his various projects and have been fascinated, not only about he creatively reaches to media and consumers, but also, his ability to deftly present a message or product in environments that would not always be considered open to a new technology, much less, a new vendor.

We hope that you enjoy the interview:

The NCAA Division I Indoor at College Station, Texas was a huge success! Tennessee won the women's title and Oregon took the men's. Galen Rupp won three titles: 5,000 meters and DMR on Friday and 3,000 on Saturday, becoming the first man to ever do that.

Jenny Barringer continues her excellent adventure in elite distance running. This past winter, she set the American collegiate and CR for 5,000 meters with her 15:01, then ran a collegiate leader of 4:25 for hte mile , and also a very strong 3k. This was on top of her AR at the steeplechase last summer, where she ran 9:22.26 during the Olympic steeple final, taking ninth!

On Saturday evening, Jenny Barringer showed her stuff, at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships came to an end, as she churned out lap after lap in the 3,000 meters, extending her lead to ten seconds over second place. Barringer's time of 8:42.03 broke the collegiate record of 8:48.77 set by Sally Kipyego. Barringer is now fourth fastest of the year with the fifth fastest ever!

Well, the first day at Reggie Lewis showed that the Nike Indoor move to Boston was the right move! Ironically, Brad Hudson, one of the high school greats and a superb elite coach ( he has Dathan Ritzenhein in his group), still held the indoor 5,000 meter record until last night. In a period of several hours, first in NYC Armory, and then at the Reggie Lewis Center the record dropped first to 14:22, then to 14:18. Read Victor Sailer's chronicle of the amazing evening, which we have pasted below!

Lucas Verzbicas, winning the Nike Indoor 5,000 meters, breaking the HSR by five seconds and setting the new freshman high school record! photography by

Fam doing his steeple thing, photo by

If you want to win a road race in these days, you better have some leg speed, or the party is over! Fam, aka Anthony Famiglietti and Amy Yoder Begley used that track speed and those little pink fast twitch muscles to good use and pulled literally last ditch kicks to win USA titles over 15k! Who says that road racing is boring? ( I just want a hammer throw demo while people are standing around the finish line, but that is just me.)

I am a huge fan of Amy Yoder Begley. The young women knows how to work, and she grinds them at a level of Jenn Rhines. Begley ran a gutty 3k at the US Indoor, just taking it up a notch, lap after lap, until the damage was done and her race was won. Here, Amy had to pull those fast twitch muscles into gear over Katy MacGregor over the last few meters!

Galen Rupp and his Duck team mates are off to a good start. Galen ran 13:41.5 for the Men's 5,000 meters, and took the 5k. An hour later, the Ducks too the Men's DMR, with Rupp contibuting a 3:57.1 mile. Sally Kipyego won the women's 5,000 meters, giving her nine NCAA individual championships, one behind a certian Suzi Favor Hamilton. Congrats to the Villanova womens DMR of Phoebe Write Britanny Jones, Chanelle Price, Sarah Bowman who ran a world best of 10:50.98! Word on the College Station facility is very positive!

Rupp earlier in the season. Friday night was 5k win and Oregon win over DMR! Photo by

As part of our goal at to leave no discus, shot, or hammer unused for too long.....

Dwain Chambers won the European Indoor Championships last weekend with a time of 6.42 for 60 meters-the fifth fastest on record. Chambers is constantly drug tested, and claims to be running clean. However, faster than his sixty meter race, has been the outpouring of vitriol and condemnation from writers, coaches and former athletes in the UK over some of Chamber's allegations in the book, Race Against Me, My Story, by Dwain Chambers.

In my mind, it was time for a some verbage from Pat Butcher. Butcher, the sports columnist for the Financial Times, and an writer and observer of our sport for the past forty years. Butcher wrote a very thoughtful column, In my mind, it was time for a some verbage from Pat Butcher. Butcher, the sports columnist for the Financial Times, and an writer and observer of our sport for the past forty years. Butcher wrote a very thoughtful column, In my mind, it was time for a some verbage from Pat Butcher. Butcher, the sports columnist for the Financial Times, and an writer and observer of our sport for the past forty years. Butcher wrote a very thoughtful column,

Ryan Hall, shown here in his superb FLORA 2008 London race, is one of the announced field in the 2009 version of the BAA Boston Marathon. Kara Goucher will be the top American women in the field. Both Hall and Goucher will have their hands full with very challenging fields on both the men's women's sides. Photos by Photo

The VISA Indoor Series, which consisted of the Millrose Games (Jan.30), Reebok Boston Indoor Games ( Feb.7), Tyson Invitational ( Feb. 13), and the VISA USATF Indoor Champs ( Feb. 28-March 1) had a nice improvement in TV Ratings.

Jenn Stuczynski broke the AR twice during the VISA Indoor Series! Photo by

Olympic shot put champion Tomasz Majewski with Fernando Botero's ‘Adam’, Casino Gardens, Monte Carlo, Monaco. Photo by Bob Ramsak

Last weekend, Galen Rupp broke four minutes, on an oversized indoor track, with his 3:57.86. This has been a superb indoor season for Galen, running a 7:44 for 3,000 meters at the Reebok BIG, then the AR for 5,000 meters with his 13:18 at Tyson and now this. This coming week, Rupp will be running the NCAA Indoor Championships. Rupp is preparing for bigger and better things, such as Berlin 2009 and London 2012, but it seems that Mr. Rupp it taking one thing at a time. Allowed to be a normal college student at track mad Oregon, Rupp is maturing into one of our top distance runners. We wish him luck this weekend !

Rupp running 3,000 meters at Reebok Boston on February 7, 2009. Photo courtesy of

It was less than two days after Liu Xiang had withdrawn from the 110 meter hurdles in Beijing, shocking his nation, that this wall poster from People' Youth Daily, showed up near a watering hole/coffee shop that Pat Butcher, JIm O'Brien and I frequented, in the Gu Luo region of Beijing (the bell Tower). My favorite sign in the coffee shop was a small sign, in Chinese and English, stating: No gambling allowed. No drug trafficking allowed, no prostitution allowed. My comment to Mr. Butcher and O'Brien was this place must have rocked before the games...

The response to Liu Xiang was even bigger than the reaction in the U.S. Dan O'Brien in 1992--Chinese felt betrayed. The government reacted quickly, clearing off negative blog comments, and emails. However, moving through the nine Chinese TV stations, it was like a major leader had passed-Liu Xiang was that huge in China. Xiang's victory in Osaka was huge, and all of China knew of their famed hurdler. If ever a man had the weight of four billion people riding on his race, Liu Xiang felt that pressure.

Our sport is funny like that. As the late Payton Jordon once said, track & field is the world's first sport-and luck is involved in all competitions. One is only as good as their last race, and champions tend to rise from the ashes of unfortunate performances and injuries.

Liu Xiang is that type of athlete. In 2012, Xiang will be 27 years old, prime for a 110 meter hurdler. The 2007 World Champion wants to win, and has as a former U.S. president called it, " that vision thing." Xiang will work hard for the next four years, and if he is healthy, the race in London should be a tremendous one. Lucky for us athletics fans, Liu Xiang, Dayron Robles, Terrance Trammel, David Oliver will all be around--it should make the hurdles exciting!

Photo of Beijng People's Youth Daily, (600,000 circ), by Larry Eder

Usain Bolt came out of Beijing as the track & field version of Micheal Phelps. As his management team has made sure that the global fans have a realistic view of the young man, chicken McNuggets and all, Bolt continues to roll.

Usain Bolt now has actor in his resume, photo by

adidas Group is the most recent company to report positive earnings for the fourth quarter of 2008. Recently Brooks, Saucony and PUMA also announced strong earnings and growth for their last fiscal years. Word coming in on several of the focused running brands, such as ASICS, Brooks, Saucony, Mizuno is optimistic: first quarter sales are up, returns, which put most into panics, and could still cause issues later in the year, are less of an issue than some expected. Specialty running stores are now focusing on spring running and the push that 900,000 high schoolers and 1 million junior high kids asking their parents for running shoes give their stores! Lesson to be learnt-all business is local.

Runners are shown above finishing the RAK half marathon, that experienced a nice growth in numbers, even in hot and windy conditions! Photo courtesy of the world, road racing is continuing to grow, even in our recent economic challenges. In an essay on the Universal Sports site,, Jim Hage, one of sports premier columnists, notes that most of the major events are fairing
very well in these tough economic times.

Inside the Games blog announced that Steve Ovett, the 1980 Olympic champion at 800 meters, is taking a position in his adopted home, Australia, to help improve the hopes of Australian distance running for London 2012. The complete story can be found at:

Since July 2008, when Doug Logan was unanimously selected as the new CEO of USA Track & Field, he has shown that he is a) a brilliant writer, b) deftly uses media to the sport and his benefit, c) has used his personal charisma to keep the infighting to a minimum and d) gives his staff a wide reign in their day to day activities and, most importantly, e) understands our sports' current zeitgeist: track & field is about one thing-head to head competition, and finally f) realizes that getting the sport in the news is half of the game: Andy Warhol spoke of everyone's fifteen minutes of fame-Doug Logan wants to get track & field to have a daily couple minutes of our mindshare-and with this proposal, he did just that.

After careful consideration of the press release noted below, and checking with some of the major stakeholders in our sport, I have a new appreciation for Mr. Logan. This press release, and the release of his letter to Mr. McCook, upset many of the people who read it the first time. The facts are that Mr. Logan had not contacted key stakeholders in the sport, those who would play a part in making this proposal a reality. But, in my mind, that was not the raison d'etre for Logan's missive, and particularly, for its timing.

Logan has proposed a USA-Jamaica dual meet series, how does that become more than a proposal? photo courtesy of

Bob Ramsak keeps us updated on Day 1 of the 30th European Indoor Champs, in Turin, Italy....

With less than a two months before the IOC visits the U.S. for a site selection visit of the Chicago 2016 bid, and with recent layoffs at the USOC, Jim Scherr, the Chief Executive officer of the USOC surprised many by resigning effective March 31, 2009.

Photo courtesy of the USOC.

Six hundred athletes have arrived in Turin, Italy for edition number 30 of the European Indoor Championships. Bob Ramsak is in Torino, and here is his first update.... (Picture of one of adidas's very first spikes, courtesy of adidas communications.)

One of the wonders of our Guttenberg Galaxy is the speed by which information can be disseminated. This morning, a writer from RN, a web sites for RNs, sent me this very nicely done piece on Fifty Sports Applications for Runners with I-Pods. Special thanks to Kelly Sonora for sending me the link!

Our sport of athletics, which includes track & field, race walking, cross country and road racing in the world's oldest sport. It is also, our most primal. Remember, when you were a child, what did you do? You ran across the school yard, threw rocks to see how far you could throw, and jump, to see who could jump farthest across the big puddle of mud.

Running is, again quite basic, like walking. One of the things that drew many to the sport of road racing was the simplicity: race from point a to point b. Alas, our sport has grown.

Coaching Athletics Quarterly is one of the eight titles published by Shooting Star Media, Inc. The magazine has a focus of sprints in the Spring, Throws in Summer, Jumps in the Fall and Distance in the Winter. In the recent Winter 08/09 issue, we have some tremendous interviews with Chris Solinsky, Kara Goucher and Bernard Lagat. My two favorite pieces are on training however. There is a piece on 10k training by Danny Grimes, former coach and 1987 World Championship Marathon team member. There is a tremendous interview with Valeriu Tomescu, husband and coach of Constantina Tomescu-Dita, the 2008 Olympic marathon gold medalist.

Valeriu shows, that like all good training programs, one must experiment and one must work hard over a long time to develop strong distance runners. Special thanks to Brendan Reilly for the very nice release ( shown below). I encourage all to read the article.

At the Melbourne Track Classic, Asafa Powell won the 100 meters in 10.23, Collis Birmingham of Australia, won the 5,000 meters in 13:16.26 over the 13.20.99 of Andrew Baddeley of Great Britain. Steve Hooker continues vaulting well, with a 5.80 win here. Sarah Jamieson won a close race, in 4:11.62. Tasmyn Lewis took the women's 400 meters in 51.86. All in all, a strong meeting with some great early season performances!

Steve Hooker, from his record breaking tour of North America, where he set the Australian indoor vault record of 6.03m this past February! Photo courtesy of

Paula Radcliffe after ING New York City Marathon, November 2008. A recent injury, to her second toe on her right foot, is causing the withdrawal from FLORA London! Photo courtesy of

I have loved our sport of athletics for some thirty-five years. I ran my first race in 1972 as a freshman for De Smet Jesuit High School in Creve Coeur, Missouri and as an athlete, coach, and magazine publisher, and now, blogger, I have never found anything in sports that compares with the excitement of head to head competition.

I was reminded of this at both Osaka in 2007, and Beijing in 2008, when, amidst the heat and humidity, the competition shone through!

What has disheartened me is how, in most human endeavors, the ability to look at the bigger picture is lost, and infighting destroys many a great idea or project. The theme of the Diamond League is that, despite the normal difficulties of disparate meetings, agents, meet directors and such, the real story is that, the Diamond League shows that difficulties can be overcome....

In the end, our sport is all about the competition!

Mark Adams, 45, a champion of innovative uses of various media platforms to reach key young audiences, has taken the Director of Communications position for the IOC. The key will be, how much control the IOC tries to put on Adams. His position starts May 1, and he will be challenged with communicating to the IOC bigwigs such things as how YouTube, Facebook, and other social media can help the Olympic movement, not hinder it.

The Olympic ideal, while tarnished in some circles, is still quite strong among the world's sports fans. We wish Mr. Adams the very best and look forward to his impramatur on Olympicspeak.

Usain Bolt will run his first 100 meters of the 2009 season on March 14, 2009 in Kingston, Jamaica. The three time Olympic Gold medalist, Bolt has run two races at 400 meters so far this season, running a fine 45.54 in his second race, plus the anchor in a world leading 38.10 for the 4 x 100 meter relay.

Usain Bolt's performances and enthusiasm has made him one of the most popular athletes in all of sports. He was also the first Jamaican to win gold medals in the sprints in an Olympic Games. His footwear sponsor, PUMA has seen some strong positives from their involvement with Bolt and the promotional use of YouTube, and also the grass roots enthusiasm over an athlete who races so well has made Bolt one of the most well paid and welcomed athlete on the global track & field circuit. For more on the March 14 meet, please check the IAAF article:

Photo courtesy of

For more on the sport, please click

The IAAF has announced, for the 2010 season, a series of one day track meets, all over the world, to celebrate the one day track meet format and classic track & field! Reebok Grand Prix NY and Nike Prefontaine Classic will be the two meets in the US. We have included the official press release below.

Once we participate in the upcoming press conference, we will update on any new information!

Alfons Juck compiled information on some of the final teams for the 2009 Indoor European Championships in Torino, Italy, March 6-10, 2009....

Jenn Stuczynski, the number two rated women pole vaulter in the world, showed her stuff tonight, clearing 4.83 meters for a new American indoor record on the second day of the USATF 2009 Indoor Championships. Her clearance of 15-10, done on the second attempt at this height, showed her improved strength and athleticism. Her continued improvement, under the watchful eye of coach Rick Suhr, suggests some exciting duels this summer in Europe with a certian Russian vaulter.

All photos courtesy of Special thanks to Lisa Coniglio.

The first day of the USA Indoor had one of the best crowds at a US Indoor in many years, but it still was not the crowd of the recent professional meeting, Reebok Boston Indoor Games, held the in early February.

However, there was enough star fire power, and some exciting young athletes to beg the question-why don't we put this meet into two three hour sessions, promote it right and remember that track & field is the ultimate sports entertainment!

Usain Bolt, shown here winning the 200 meters in a world record last Summer in Beijing, (photo by, anchored a world leading 38,10. On the other side of the world, Asafa Powell ran 45.94 for fourth place, behind Sean Wroe, but also anchored an MVP relay in Sydney, Australia to 38.96.

Even with German's dynamic double yesterday, his eyes are focused on Amman, Jordan and the World Cross Country Championships! Photo by German Fernandez will be fun to watch this spring over 5,000 meters ! I see a 13:10 soon in his future!

In a move that will shake up the professional level of the global sport of athletics, Alfons Juck provides us with information on a dynamic new series of events which will be presented to IAAF President Lamine Diack over the next two days...part of the program will guarantee the commitment of several of the global stars: Bolt, Robles, Isinbayeva, Bekele.

Global stars, like Yelena Isinbayeva would be required to compete in six of the twelve Diamond meetings! Photo by

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Subscribe to RunBlogRun's Global News Feed

* indicates required