September 2009 Archives

Over the past three years, we have been fortunate enough to interviewed many of the key players in our business. I must admit that Fritz Taylor is one of my favorites. I have enjoyed talking with Fritz over nearly the two decades that I have know him. I asked Fritz to give RBR an interview a few weeks ago. I sent him the questions, and here are his very thoughtful responses. You will notice the praise Fritz gives to his mentors and be the best, one must learn from the best...

IQZQGZASGBLKWMX.20090929232647.jpg Dan Steele photo, courtesy of University of Oregon

In the U.S., there are 30,000 head high school cross country and track coaches, and 3,100 head college and university track & cross country coaches. Becoming a head coach in a major college program in track & field is the track coaches' version of making the pros. A head college coach has paid his or her dues. Years as an assistant, years as an athlete. Such is the case with Dan Steele. Dan has spent the last seven years as the Associate Director of Track & Field at the University of Oregon, as part of the team assembled by Director of Track & Field/Associate Athletic Director, Vinn Lananna.

In college, Dan was an NCAA champion over the 400 meter hurdles! After college, he competed as a decathlete, taking fifth in the 2000 Olympic Trials. In 2002, Dan won an Olympic bronze medal in the four man bobsled in the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. No one competes in the 400 meter hurdles, decathlon and bobsled without having tons of drive and an inner need to challenge oneself. That Steele has focused that drive into a career of coaching is fortunate for many young athletes, as a coach leads by example.

A native of Moline, Illinois, Dan was praised by the the athletic department at the University of Oregon ( Steele worked all of those years under Vinn Lananna, one of the deans of American university coaches, who had nothing but praise for his former associate. In coaching, the praise and respect of one's peers is one of the best compliments a young coach can attain. Steele has received those accolades.

Dan's identical twin brother, Darrin, also competed with Dan in the decathlon, in fact, their scores are only one point apart-Dan has scored 8130, and Darrin has scored 8129. They both competed in the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, contributing to the first Olympic medals for the U.S. in bobsled in 46 years.

We congratulate Dan Steele and wish him the best of luck at Northern Iowa University!

To read more about it:

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AT&F has worked with Walt Murphy on the Cross Country Yearbook for a decade. The year book contains all of the major U.S. high school, college and open cross country results plus IAAF World XC results, plus Sean Hartnett's race report on the NCAA 2008 XC champs. This year, for budget reasons, we had to cut the XC Calendar at the very last minute. AT&F's fearless designer, Kristen Cerer, has posted the calendar on, and we have provided those links below. We hope that you pass it around and use it often!

We have also linked the digital links for AT&F Fall XC Yearbook as well below! We hope you like it!

This is an example of how we in the running industry can work together, use new media, and have some fun with our sport: PUMA Fast Forward. The contest is open to all runners, and for sending in a 30-60 second video, participants get a limited edition Usain Bolt poster. The winner of the contest gets to have the PUMA speed test sent to their fave school, club or team! We hope you take part! This should be fun!

Time to have some fun. Usain was at the PUMA store in NYC this past Saturday afternoon. Usain Bolt ran a hundred meters against ESPN employees on Monday afternoon, as part of his visit to the ESPN Headquarters. It is pretty obvious that Usain is having a blast and so is the ESPN staff.

Has Usain Bolt captured the world of sport? Yes. I think that Usain Bolt reminds people about how fun running, jumping and throwing is. He has fun before his races, after his races and sometimes, during his races!

It also shows us how much sports fans around the world can be drawn to our sport of track & field. The challenge is, how do we build on this? That is our challenge, but one thing is for sure, Usain has brought the fun back!

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Leonard Chuene Must Go, by Larry Eder


In the most recent column by Pat Butcher, (, Mr. Butcher continues his very thoughtful consideration of the debacle surrounding Caster Semenya. From the superb journalism of Mike Hurst (Australia), Pat Butcher (Globerunner), the blog, The Science of Sports (, (InsidetheGames.bizand others, the real story of a young athlete, used by a sports federation for their own benefits, has been sent all around the world, for thoughtful readers to consider.

Here are the facts: Leonard Chuene, the president of ASA, knew about the gender testing request from the IAAF, knew about the actual gender testing of Caster Semenya, and went against advice NOT to send Caster to Berlin. Instead, Caster Semenya, won the World Championships, and before she hit the finish line, her victory was being questioned in the stadium. Leonard Chuene then told AP, and others, that he had no idea about the requests for testing, and that the furor around Caster Semenya was "racist".


Leonard Chuene, Caster Semenya, photo courtesy of

Andy Baddeley won the men's race in a final push, with twenty meters to go, from Leonel Manzano, Boaz Lalang and Bernard Lagat!


On the women's side, Shannon Rowbury also used a last minute move to win her race, pushing her through a pack of three: Lisa Dobriskey, Sara Hall and Hannah England!


The Continental Fifth Avenue Mile has been, for the past 29th year, running's reminder that Fall is here and marathon season is upon us! Looking forward to seeing many of you at Bank of America Chicago and ING New York!

Photos from Continental Fifth Avenue, courtesy of


Usain Bolt is going to be in the Big Apple this weekend, for an ad shoot and some recreation. But, he is taking some time to hang out with his fans, so make sure that you make it to the Union Square West PUMA store, on Saturday, September 26, 2009. Usain will be there from 3 to 4 p.m!

Don't forget to check out the Fast Forward contest at

Special thanks to PUMA running for the alert.

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My son, Adam, sent this song to me. Slug is the singer, from the band Atmosphere. His singing/slamming is almost rhyming, his lyrics are poetry, and the lyrics create a picture, much like a photograph by Diane Arbus-emotional, intimate, and gripping. You can find some of his other works on You Tube. I like his song, Rooster. His slamming reminds me of Gil-Scott Heron, G. Love & His Special Sauce, and the late Jim Carroll. Lyrics come first, but Slug can sing or slam, whatever is called for. He has captured the zeitgeist of many a tragic soul in modern society.

After listening to it a few times, the song took me back a few years...Adam was a sophomore in high school, and we were walking late into the night. He was telling me about how rough high school really was: the gangs, the battle just to get lunch, the daily fights, the near anarchy in a school of two thousand plus high school students. This is not a condemnation of teachers, but the modern politics and culture that has made many high schools more like a reality show based on Lord of the Flies. Good kids drown in these conditions. If one does not find a sport, a teacher, a band, and does not have a strong group of friends, the student tries to stay afloat, paddling for dear life, hoping not to drown.

I remembered how I wanted to fix it, wouldn't any parent? Adam stopped, and said, "Dad, I don't want you to try and fix it, I want you to listen. I need you, to listen."

And that is what I did for the next ninety minutes, walking five miles or so, around and around the few blocks near our home, listening to each and every word as he explained what a day was like for him, knowing that I could not make it better...but, I could listen.

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Usain Bolt is a phenomenon. That, is a fact. He fills up stadiums, and he has captured the interest of general sports fans everywhere. PUMA's CEO Jochin Zeitz noted in a press conference that Bolt's marketing value was estimated to be at US $358 million, after Berlin. According to business reports, Mr. Bolt is making between two and three million dollars US, per year, for his services. PUMA has worked with him since he was a junior. PUMA made an investment in Mr. Bolt when he was quite young, and Mr. Bolt has been happy with PUMA. Mr. Bolt also has contracts with Gatorade, and several other companies. This writer wonders out loud why McDonald's has not picked him up, considering his love of chicken nuggets.


Usain Bolt, September 13, 2009, photo by


Tyson Gay, WAF, September 12,13, 2009, photo by

On Sunday, September 20, 2009, Tyson Gay ran 9.69, with legal winds, to set a new AR and become the equal second fastest sprinter ever, equaling the performance of Usain Bolt in Beijing in August 2008. On Wednesday, September 23, Tyson won a 100 meters at the Super Meet in Kawasaki, Japan, in 10.13. He has one more race this week, in Korea, on Friday, against Asafa Powell...Oh, Tyson Gay was named USATF Athlete of the Week for his 9.69 on Sunday!


The Decastar in Talence is one of the traditional ends of the year multi events meet. I remember in 1992, when Dan O'Brien went there to set the world record. In 1996, I believe, we did the program for the Decastar! Now in it's 33rd year, the Decastar is one of the key global events of the multi event year.

A tremendous event that gets little notice over here, I thought that it would give you a nice appreciation for the multi eventers-who toil day in, day out, for an extra centimeter in the long jump, javelin or a few less seconds in the 1,500 meters.....

In the Decathlon, Tom Pappas of the US had four points on the Ukranian, Kasyanov, with only the 1,500 meters to go. Read on, I am not going to spoil it....


Haile Gebrselassie, Duncan Kibet and the pacesetters, real, -Berlin 2009, Sept. 20, 2009, photo by

In this post race piece, Pat Butcher speaks to Haile about his victory at real,-Berlin yesterday. The race was to be a battle between Gebrselassie and Duncan Kibet, but after 20k, that fizzled. Then, with 12k to go, Haile was 36 seconds ahead, but could not stay on WR pace. His 2:06:08 is ONLY the 26th best spoilt we are. It was not that long ago when a sub 2:10 was pretty impressive...


Finish Line Area, real,-Berlin 2009, photo by


Haile Gebrselassie, real, -Berlin 2009, photo by

The roads were hot this weekend. Haile takes his fourth Berlin, in 2:06:08. Now we have to see him run NY, Boston or Chicago-or all of them! Haile would be worshipped over in the states!

Moses Masai wins Dam 10 miler in 46:16, over Charles Kamathi (2001 10k WC win over Haile), also in 46:16. Moses sister, Linet won the women's side of the ten miler, staged in the Netherlands, in 50:39!

Ryan Hall won the ING Philly Half marathon today in 1:01.52! It was described by some observers as an "easy effort " for Ryan. I can not wait to see how he runs in New York!


Haile Gebrselassie winning real, -Berlin 2009, photo by

Haile Gebrselassie did set a world record today, his twenty-seventh, at the 30k distance with his 1:27:49, eleven seconds ahead of the previous world record. However, it was probably the next kilometers, in 2:46, which put him over the edge.
Haile had run by himself from 20k on, as Duncan Kibet ran off the back just after the twenty kilometer mark, and dropped out at 30k. Francis Kiprop passed Kibet at 23 k and finished one minute back of the little Emperor.

It was just Saturday, when a keen observer of the sport said, " Hey, look, Haile is 36 years old, how much longer can he run this fast?" . Well, Haile gave all indications today that he is not ready to retire, citing in the press conference this past Friday that he intends to win gold at London 2012!

Today was just too much for Haile, as his last twevel kilometers showed. But, for today, with the huge crowd on the real, -Berlin course, Haile Gebreselassie was the mayor of Berlin!

(Oh, thanks to the real geeks who kept me awake during the live broadcast on . We tweeted the race, for all two hours, ten minutes, as we will do at
Bank of America Chicago Marathon and ING New York City.)

I like these Great NorthCityGames, something that could be tried in North America?


Haile Gebrselassie, real,-Berlin 2009 press conference, September 18, 2009. Photo by Haile Grebrselassie has rewritten the books on long distance running for nearly two decades. At the ripe old age of thirty-six, Haile has set the WR for the marathon twice in the last two years and won real,-Berlin for four times. He is formidable, having brought the current record to 2:03.59. On Sunday, September 20, 2009, Haile Gebrselassie and Duncan Kibet, who has run 2:04.27, will meet on the 26.2 miles of roads that make up the real, -Berlin marathon. While the weather could be warm (79 for a high is predicted), do not expect either marathoner to give any quarter. This race could be a race for the on about Pat Butcher's thoughts on Haile and the race....


Duncan Kibet, photo courtesy of, September 16, 2009.

Last April, Duncan Kibet ran 2:04.27. Last December, Haile Gebrselassie ran 2:03.59, setting a new world record (his second in two years). On Sunday, September 20, 2009,
Duncan Kibet and Haile Gebrselassie will line up together. Haile wants a new world record, and Duncan wants a personal best. Who will be faster? Read on.....



Map of FootLocker NE race course, moved to Sunken Meadow State Park on Long Island for 2009! Map courtesy of Keep reading for more details!

The FootLocker Cross Country is steeped in tradition. For 32 years now, many of the best American prep cross country runners have ventured on one of the four regional races, finished in the top seven and moved on to the FootLocker CC Finals, which will be held December 12, 2009 this year, in San Diego, CA. There has been a move this year for the NE regional race. Press release is shown below:


University of Oregon, Hayward Field, courtesy of University of Oregon website

The University of Oregon's Hayward Field is hallowed ground. Exciting meets, great athletes and knowlegable fans have filled the stands to overflow, for many an historic event. In April 2008, Nike gave a tour to media of the new facility. Vinn Lananna, the Oregon Track & Field Director, gave us about thirty minutes to speak on the meet we would see at the Olympic Trials, and also the new facility. He spoke very highly about Beynon Sports Surfaces, and that put them on my list to interview.

In American Track & Field magazine, we have worked with the ASBA (American Sports Builders Association) on columns for the past several years. We worked with the former trade group for the better part of a decade. Beynon Sports Surfaces is a member of the ASBA.

We interviewed Drew Beynon, VP of Beynon Sports Surfaces on a variety of subjects: the University of Oregon track, green surfacing and general questions on resurfacing. We thank Drew for his time and his observations.

Rebuilding a track facility is no mean task. We suggest that, before you take on such a feat, get information. We have listed some resources at the end of the interview. We hope that you find the interview helpful!


(Caster Semenya with ASA Prez Leonard Chuene, photo courtesy of All rights reserved by

In a copyrighted article from (, it is fairly obvious to this observer, and should be to our readers, that ASA Leonard Chuene, President of the South African athletic federation, is about to get caught, stretching the truth. When I was a child, it might have been called, "fibbing". In the adult world, it is called lying. As one prominent reporter once told me, "All that you know about a person when they lie, is that they are a liar."


Caster Semenya, WC 2009, photo by

In this world of blogging, where all want to know everything in the stroke of a clock, mistakes are made. I am writing this column to separate the facts from the fiction in the Caster Semenya debacle. I made a mistake in an earlier article and am correcting it with this blog (I will also repost the earlier column and correct the matters of fact in that article as well.)


Caster Semenya, World Champion, 800 meters, photo by

Let us consider, for the moment, the curious story of Caster Semenya, the gold medalist in the women's 800 meters at the Berlin World Championships. While it is hard to gather all of the facts, here is what we can confirm: Thirteen months ago, Caster was eliminated in the early rounds of the World Junior Track Championships, having run 2:11.98 for 800 meters. Three months later, Caster won the World Youth title in 2:04.3. In July 2009, Caster ran 1:56.72, decimating her personal record for 800 meters and becoming the holder of the best mark by a women at 800 meters in 2009. In the world championships, Caster Semenya ran 1:55.45, another world leader, to take gold in the World Championships!

This type of meteoric improvement can happen, but makes most keen observers of the sport skeptical. When the story leaked that the IAAF requested a gender test on Caster from the South African federation, then the story got murkier, and murkier, and today, still murkier.... (Updated September 16, 2009).

Since 1989, the numbers in high school sports have continued to grow, with Boys Track and Cross Country and Girls Track & Cross Country always among the top growing sports. In 2009, 789,459 boys participated in outdoor track & field (558,007), and cross country (231,452). On the girls side, 655,931 girls participated in outdoor track & field (457,732) and cross country (198,199). Girls track & field is the largest participatory sport in the girls top ten sports and Boys track & field is the second.


Cross country (shown here on cover of AT&F XC yearbook 2009) continues to
grow in the prep level.

This portends for continued growth in our sport, even as politicians and short-sighted boards of education consider cutting back on after school activities. I will say it again, give teenagers something constructive to do after school: sports, debate, art, music-they must have something. The great thing about cross country and track is that they are two of the lowest budget sports in the high school firmament. Athletics promote good health and a good sense of self worth and they teach you how to be part of a team.

In the pub, Coaching Athletics, I list my high school coaches, in cross country and track: Father Ralph Passerelli, Rich Grawer (my history teacher as a freshman), Jim Marheinecke, Steve Pensinger, Steve Polley, Mr. Ochoa, Fr. Devlin. All had an influence on my lifes' direction. It is in the little things, moments at the end of a workout, after a race, where there is the most benefit.

We will also have a link up on this piece for you to download the entire pdf and see how your state has done in terms of participation. At the end of the day, we need to salute the coaches, ADs and trainers who selflessly give of their time so that another generation of kids (remember, one of two high school kids are in sports) get the benefits of sports. The release from NFHS is listed below, in its' entirety:

Usain Bolt's season may have ended yesterday, but the accolades are just about to start. The full diplomatic status is a quite a nice acknowledgment to the first athlete to win a gold medal in the sprints for Jamaica at an Olympics, and within one year, break the 100 meters and 200 meters twice!


Usain Bolt running 19.68, WAF, September 13, 2009, photo by


Alan Turing, courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery>

Alan Turing is considered by many to be the father of the modern computer. Unknown to many though, was his contribution, described as major by several historians, in breaking the Enigma code, used by the Germans in World War 2 to communicate to German Wermacht, Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe. All top secret German memorandums were transmitted using Enigma during the war years. All communications with the deadly German U-boats was with Enigma. Without the breaking of the Enigma code, WW2 would have gone on much longer. That is a statement of fact. The seriousness of Turing's contribution can not be underestimated.

Even lesser known about Alan Turing was that he was a national class distance runner. Turing finished fifth in the 1948 British Olympic marathon Trials, held in Loughborough. Turing used running to clear his head from his work in mathematics, he told friends.

Pat Butcher wrote the following piece about the late Alan Turing, and how attitudes at the time pushed Turing to suicide. The original piece can be found at

Evolution is heady stuff. Yet, dear readers, evolution is not easy, nor is it linear. Some things end, some things are birthed, some things fuse. What we know, is that after seven World Athletics Finals, that party is over. Before that, it was the IAAF Grand Prix Final (which also had seven versions).

The lessons from the weekend, and the season, for me, were the following:

Usain Bolt--in two seasons, has brought many new fans to the sport. Especially young fans. Part of it is Usain's obvious enjoyment of the competition, and the fun it has brought to the sport.

The competition. The Usain Bolt vs Tyson Gay build up was great. Bolt and Gay running all out gave something for Bolt to race against. That is key.

Surprises. Defar, Isinbayeva show that our athletes are only as good as their last race. Defar and Isinbayeva also show that champions come back.

The medium is the message: The IAAF web site, Universal NBC, Versus, NBC, ESPN, BBC and Eurosport all give track fans somewhere to look and worship. Finally, our sport is behaving like other major sports and giving access to fans and potential fans on many a website, iphone, blackberry.

The Diamond League, and its fourteen events will be the future in 2010. Somethings will go well, somethings, will not. That is the nature of our sport, and the nature of sport in general. If we keep our eyes open, and ears clear, we will hear the sounds and see the effects of how our sport will react to this next, evolutionary act.


Usain Bolt showed that even he is human, ending his season with a 19.68 for 200 meters, (photo from WC 2009, photo by

In case you need a song for the day, might I suggest Warren Zevon's " Keep Me in Your Heart..." ?


Carmelita Jeter, qualifying heats, WAC 2009, August 2009, photo by

Carmelita has won the WAF 100 meter final with the time of 10.67! Into a headwind! What way to end the season! Putting it together in the WAF at the end of the year is pretty amazing!

K. Ken Nakamura, one of our favorite track experts, emailed some additional facts, on Jeter's performance: "Carmelita Jeter's time at WAF, 10.67 into 0.1m/s head wind, is the fastest time ever into the headwind. The previous record was 10.70 by Marion Jones in 1999 World Championships in Sevilla."

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After Steffi Nerius upset the javelin field and won on her home turf, in the last WC of her storied career, well the crowd was wild. Observant photographers, PhotoRun, caught this photo. Note not only Steffi getting hugged profusely by noted Berlin mascot, but the fascination of the photographers with the whole goings on! called it the Nerius Take Down!

Special thanks, as always to our friends at

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Golden League, Au revoir, created and photographed by Bob Ramsak

Description: A collection of snow globes depicting various cities with Golden
League athletics meetings.

A few days ago, Bob Ramsak, of, and a more than frequent contributor to the various media platforms of, sent this out to a few
of his friends, compadres, stalkers.

E. Garry Hill, Editor of Track & Field News, the bible of the sport, queried, " Is this what the IAAF means by going global?" Ever observant, I believe that Mr. Hill's thoughtful and speedy comment shows why he is, and continues to be, editor of Track & Field News.

I for one, will meditate on the snow globes as I journey around my small town in southwestern Wisconsin on a warm Thursday night, in early September, looking for a window to peak into, or a cold beverage to consume.

Sorry readers, long day today, and I am about out of gas, so have a good evening, and enjoy the snow globes!

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Caster Semenya on cover of You magazine, after a makeover.

The sad and strange phenomenon of Caster Semenya, the gold medalist for women's 800 meters at the WC 2009 continues. ASA claims to have given Caster a

Remember in the movie Blazing Saddles, and the homage to Marlene Dietrich (Lili von Schtupp) by the late Madeline Kahn, in the song, " I'm tired." Remember the little backup Prussian saying, ' My gosh, she's tired?" Well, now you get my drift. ( If not, google Blazing Saddles, the seminal Mel Brooks movie, a movie all humans must see to truly appreciate the human condition and western movies.)

Usain Bolt has finally shown us that he, is merely human. A mere human at 6 foot, four inches, who can run the 100 meters in 9.58, the 200 meters in 19.19 and God knows what he can run the 400 meters in? We will, dear readers, just have to wait.

So, our hero, the most popular athlete in the world in 2009, Usain Bolt is running in Thessaloniki, Greece this weekend and then, home to Jamaica, some chicken nuggets, a few late nights dancing with friends and sleep, glorious sleep. No trip to Asia, and a reported $500k payday.

Congrats to US on wining Decanation, 136 points to Germany's 105, Frances 91 and Russia's 83. US won 13 of 20 events! One person per event, per country. I want to check that one out next year.

UB%20Happy.jpg Usain Bolt, August 2008, photo by


Runners finishing the RAK Half marathon, photo by

I found this positive piece on exercise on the NPR daily news report that I just got about an hour ago. A bit anecdotal for running geeks, but it does make sense. I am curious to hear or read comments from our readers.

Here is the link:

I still believe that most injuries for runners come down to the feet. Deal with the problems in the feet, and most of your problems with running should go away. The recent series of pieces on barefoot running (most from research a decade or more old) have created a lot of interest. Some folks can run in real light shoes, or almost no shoes, and some can not. It is part of the journey one must do to find the best running shoe for your feet and body type.

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Gene McCarthy became the Senior Vice President of Footwear at Under Armour in mid August. A thirty year veteran of the performance sports footwear wars, McCarthy's resume includes Nike, adidas/Reebok and Timberland. A competitive middle distance runner through college, McCarthy uses that work ethic in his daily business dealings. Enthusiastic, affable, and very precise in his language, McCarthy's energy and experience will assist Under Armour as they develop a focused performance footwear line.

I found his observations fascinating and his view of the business world, and how sports interacts with it, to be the highlight of the interview.

This interview was conducted via phone on August 25, 2009:


Gene McCarthy, Senior VP/Footwear, Under Armour, photo courtesy of Under Armour Communications.


David Rudisha, WC 2009, 800 meters, photo by

Rieti has been one of the traditional end of season meets for nearly three decades. Asafa Powell has done quiet well here, and ran a nice 9.99 for the win. Wallace Spearmon won the 200 meters in 20.27. Robin Tobin won the 400 meters over David Neville, 45.30 to 45.39.

The best performances of the meet was David Rudisha's 1;42.01 win over Alfred Yego's 1:42.67 WC gold medalist Mblulaeni Mulaudzi's 1:42.86.

Congrats to former Badger, current Oregon Track Club (via Rolla, Mo) and Kimbia athlete, Matt Tegenkamp. Matt took seventh in the Ivo Van Damme Memorial 5,000 meters on Friday, September 4, 2009. Matt ran 12:58.56, breaking his best by six seconds, a 13:04 from 2007. We will work to get an interview with the former cheesehead, but for now, please check out the excellent series of videos, From Wisconsin to the World, part of the RW video series, co produced by Kimbia Athletics:


Matt Tegenkamp, in his 5,000 meter semi finals, World Champs, Day six, photo by

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Kenenisa Bekele, gold medalist, 5k, 10k, WC 2009, Berlin, photo by Photo

The last meet ever under the moniker of the Golden League was the 33rd Ivo Van Damme Memorial. Named after the silver medalist in the 800 meters, and 1,500 meters in 1976, Ivo Van Damme died tragically in the fall of 1976 in an auto accident. The meet quickly became one of the most important meets on the global circuit, a fitting tribute to one of the most talented athletes of of his era.


Yelena Isinbayeva set her 27th world record last week, photo from WC 2009 by

In the 2009 version, Sanya Richards ran a meet record, and world leader, winning the 400 meter sin 48.83, Yelena Isinbayeva, a week after her 5.06m (16-7-1/4), won here in 4.70m and Kenenisa Bekele played with a field, dragging seven under 13 minutes, winning in 12:55.31. Those three wins, which gave them undefeated seasons in the final GL season, allow all three to share the million jackpot of $ 1 million dollars!

Sanya Richards, shown here in the World Champs, shared in the final GL million dollar jackpot, photo by!

But there was much more in the meet, read the details below:

After my evening walk on Thursday, I ventured over to my favorite watering hole, the Velvet Lips, to watch ESPN Sports Center on a big screen and yes, have a glass of wine. Suffice it to say, Boise State's upset of the University of Oregon, which should have been the story, was not the focus of the airwaves. It was the after game punch from Lagarrette Blount to the face of Byron Hoot of Boise State. Now, some of the sports casters were sympathetic with of Blount. I was pretty disgusted. I found it ironic that less than two hours after Blount and his team had shaken hands with the Boise State team, Blount had punched Hoot. This was not a friendly hit, but a serious punch.

The next day, on my RBR reader, I received this superb column by Kevin Eubanks, from the Bakersfield Sports Examiner. Eubanks wrote an excellent column, praising the University of Oregon for responding to the incident as a University should--this was something that should not be tolerated. (

The University of Oregon, with a new President (Richard Lariviere, introduced to the fans at the USA Outdoor Champs), a new football coach (Chip Kelly) responded better than most of us would have in that situation. Kelly took the team into the locker room and told them that Blount's response was unacceptable. Lariviere wrote even more explicitly: a response like Blounts would not be tolerated at the U of Oregon, in fact, Lariviere used the word REPREHENSIBLE. Good word. Nothing lost in the translation there. The next response was that the U of Oregon's first year coach announced that Mr. Blount would not be participating in any more U of O regular season or post-season games. As Mr. Blount is a senior, his senior year just ended in a big way.

As a former coach, I applaud the actions and words of Coach Kelly and President Lariviere. The University of Oregon is a university, a place of higher learning, a place where both body and intellect are to be challenged. If one does not learn, early in life, that being an intercollegiate athlete comes with strings attached--ie., one actually goes to class, makes workouts, treats fellow competitors in victory and defeat with respect, then the chance to educate has been lost forever. Conflict is part of life, and good things can come from conflict. Punching someone, however, is not on my list of
positive outcomes.

Athletes must answer to a higher authority. Athletes are role models. They are the focal point of many who aspire to run faster, jump farther, throw longer, but, who, for a variety of reasons, just do not and can not. Athletes are heroes, and for that special treatment, they do have the eyes of the media, fans and the NCAA all over them. Pressure is understandable. Mistakes can and will be made. But, part of education is making sure that we learn that life is not easy, and that a price comes with all decisions in life.

We have seen a huge rise in the quality of the University of Oregon track & cross country programs over the past few years. We have seen an unbelievable Olympic
Trials in 2008, and Nationals in 2009. We have now seen a football coach put team legacy and University ethos above a won-loss record.

At Oregon, the Ducks do have wings.

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Blanka Vlasic shown here in her Rome Golden Gala victory, photo by Photo She has had two good jumps at 2.10m, when will that happen? Blanka Vlasic jumped 2.08m on August 31, 2009 in Zagreb, her national record, her personal best and the WL for 2009!

Check out the new rankings and commentary on the 52 jumps by women over 2.05m (41 outdoor, 11 indoor)! Usain Bolt and Sanya Richards lead the world rankings for 2009! Here is the link to


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Yelena Isinbayeva, shown here at the WC 2009, came back one week later to
soar to her 27th world record height, at 5.06m, or 16 feet, 7 1/2 inches! How long before she clears seventeen feet? This was just part of the story that made, per, Weltklasse Zurich the top ranked one day competition this season! See below! Photo by

Weltklasse Zurich jumped to the top position in the Competition Rankings in the Invitational/One-day competitions category.

Best regards,

Attila Spiriev World's most comprehensive athletics database website

Larry Eder comments: This is an amazing site. Attila Spririev has agreed to provide us with updates on rankings, competitions and athletes. We encourage all to subscriber to this wonderfully creative athletics site!

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With less than five weeks before the vote for 2016, Rio de Janiero may get a positive after the IOC Evaluation Commission report. The final four are Rio de Janiero, Madrid, Tokyo and Chicago. October 2, in Copenhagen will be the day that the decision is made.


RAK 09 Half Marathon, photo courtesy of

In a brilliant example of bringing one's brand to the consumer, ASICS commissioned a running survey in seven European countries, and the results are in: 54 percent of European runners (80 million) say that they run for fitness, while 40 percent claim they run to loose weight. 34 percent said they run for fun and 35 percent do it for stress relief.

The survey does not provide any real surprises, yet it does solidify the fact that running is a major global cultural phenomenon. It also notes that runners in different cultures view the activity through their cultures.

Kudos to ASICS for publishing such a survey! After the release from Sportsonesource, I have linked to the complete survey.

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