November 2009 Archives


The start of the FootLocker Northeast Girls regional......

Our observers told us that the move to Long Island this year added about two hours of driving for runners from PA, DE and Maryland. The weather was tough, with very high winds, but Aisling Cuffe looked tough in the Northeast Regional.

Photos courtesy of


SPIKES Magazine ( is an innovative publication, developed in the UK by Haymarket Publications for the IAAF and UK Athletics, to add some excitement to the sport of athletics. After some very positive discussions, SPIKES is testing the interest in the US this fall and early winter with a distribution of 15,000 issues of SPIKES autumn 2009 across the country. Subscribers of Coaching Athletes received copies of SPIKES with the fall issue in October 2009. In December, the attendees of the USATF convention will receive sample issues, as well as the coaches who receive the Winter issues of Athletes Only.

Plans with Haymarket Publications is to have SPIKES in North America distributed to the readers of American Track & field, Athletes Only and Coaching Athletics, approximately 150,000 circulation. American Track & Field, Athletes Only and Coaching Athletics Quarterly are published by Shooting Star Media, Inc.

SPIKES intention is to publish two to four times in 2010, for the North American audience. " SPIKES magazine is a tremendous shot in the arm to today's athletics media, and we see it as a perfect complement to our athletics coaching and participant titles, " noted Group Publisher for Shooting Star Media, Inc., Larry Eder. Eder also noted, " SPIKES is well-written, topical and exciting, as as if proper coverage was given to the sport of athletics, SPIKES magazine should be in every track fans home!"

Watch RBR for more info about the exciting title! Congrats to Editor David Hall and his team for their awards!


Saturday featured races across the country for the FootLocker Regional Cross Country championships, which featured Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast Regionals. Special thanks to Walt Murphy News Services! Note the Midwest regional where Lukas Verzbicas won the boys and Emily Sisson took second in the girls, becoming one of few athletes who have made four FootLocker National CC Champs!

This is the highlight video of the Nike Border Clash XI, which was held on November 22, 2009, in Beaverton, Oregon of the Girls race, between Washington and Oregon. Special thanks to and Nike.

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Here is the highlight tape of the Nike Border Clash XI, for Boys, from the November 22, 2009 race. Special thanks to and Nike.

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In 2010, the Reebok Grand Prix NY will be no more. It will be replaced by the adidas Grand Prix NY. 2009 was its best year ever, with a SRO crowd of 11,000 plus, tremendous performances, including this come from behind win at 800 meters by 2009 find Anna Willard, who moved from the steeplechase to the 800 meters and 1,500 meters in 2009.

We look forward to the adidas team's meet, but wanted to congratulate Todd Klein, Jennifer Thomas, Patrick Joyce and the team at Global Athletics for making a major athletic meeting in the Big Apple a reality!


SAIL7076.jpg Lisa Coniglio with Meb Keflezighi, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, photo by

Most of the year, Lisa Coniglio and Victah Sailer are the photographers of the majority of the events that we cover. On Thursday, Lisa took pictures and also was in some pictures at the Thanksgiving Day Parade! SAIL6901.jpg

Lisa with Spiderman, photo courtesy of

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Shane Moskowitz and Amy-Eloise Neale, 2009 Nike Border Clash Champions, photo courtesy of

It was in 1998 that the first Nike Border Clash was held. The idea, profoundly debated over lunch runs, perhaps even an adult beverage, was the following: Who, just who, had better prep cross country runners? Washington or Oregon?

John Truax and Josh Rowe were the first inquiring minds who suggested an event on campus, and in November 1998, the Nike Border Clash became a reality! Now, in 2009, eleven years later, and in Nike Border Clash XI, the dream is a reality...but, be careful, what you wish for.....

All photos courtesy of and Nike.

Keflezighi_Meb-Macys09.jpg Meb with the Statue of Liberty, photo by

Meb Keflezighi, 3 time USA Olympian, Olympic Marathon Silver Medalist and the current ING NYC Marathon champion waved for 2.65 Miles with the current Miss America, Katie Stam during this morning's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Macy's Parade is one of the highlights of the NYC Calendar and draws over 3.5 Million along the parade route. It was one of the warmest in Parade History at 53F/ 11.5C.

Keflezighi, was the first ING NYC Marathon Champion to hold stage of a float during the parade. SPIRIT OF LIBERTY
Illuminated by a ring of stars, Lady Liberty Float returns to the Parade in all her patriotic glory. America's symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty, is immortalized on this 21-foot high, 19-foot long and 15-foot wide unit that features a replica of the head, shoulders and tablet of the beloved "Lady in the Harbor."

When asked about if his daughters were able to sleep the nite prior to the parade, "they couldn't sleep, I couldn't sleep, I was so excited, I thought I was running a major event this morning" Keflezighi was joined by NYRR CEO and ING NYC Marathon Race Director, Mary Wittenberg for an early 0530 run.

The staff of RUNOHIO would like to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving.

A little on the history of Thanksgiving from -

Many say the first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, to commemorate the harvest reaped by the Plymouth Colony after a harsh winter. In that year Governor William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving. The colonists celebrated it as a traditional English harvest feast, to which they invited the local Wampanoag Indians.

President Abraham Lincoln, looking for ways to unite the nation in 1863 he gave his Thanksgiving Proclamation, declaring the last Thursday in November a day of thanksgiving.

In 1939, 1940, and 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt, seeking to lengthen the Christmas shopping season, proclaimed Thanksgiving the third Thursday in November. Controversy followed, and Congress passed a joint resolution in 1941 decreeing that Thanksgiving should fall on the fourth Thursday of November, where it remain.

Thanksgiving has not only become a time to give thanks for all we have, it has also become a day for many to run a road race.

At Runblogrun, we wish all a very Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the day with your family and friends, perhaps a walk or run with your family might fit in! Thanks for reading us for another year. And yes, our Holiday gift guide will go up, starting this morning!

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Angela Bizzari showed her stuff last June in the US Championships, and really showed her stuff on the six thousand meter cross country course that was the NCAA Division 1 meet on Monday, November 22, 2009, where she won the NCAA XC title in the last three hundred meters!


Angela Bizzari, mid race, photo by


Jenny Barringer leads the NCAA Division 1 Womens race, Monday, November 23, 2009, Terra Haute, by

Well, your photographing troubador, Victah Sailer, did a few hours in Monaco to shoot the following photos from the IAF World Athletes Gala, held on November 22, 2009:


HRH, Prince Albert of Monaco, Sanya Richard, Usain Bolt, IAAF President Lamine Diack, World Athletics Gala, 2009, photo by

Cross country is a race where middle distance runners can challenge their limits. And, you are only as good as your last race. Oklahoma won with German Fernandez as fifth man! Villanova won the womens and Jenny Barringer collapsed, finished 143rd!

It both cases at the NCAA Div 1, Oklahoma and Villanova had to dig down and fight to the end. That is why cross country is such a team sport!


Usain Bolt & Sanya Richards, 2009 World Athletes of Year, photo by

Usain Bolt and Sanya Richard received the accolades of the global sport & media with their acceptance of the 2009 World Athletes of the Year at the IAF Gala in Monaco! Congrats to both! Also Congrats to coach Clyd Hart for his coaching award!


Cross Country action on XC Yearbook cover!

Hats off to North Central for winning the Mens Div 3 by largest margin ever! Wisconsin Eau Claire had to dig deep, winning 48-49! Special thanks to Walt Murphy for his excellent coverage. To subscribe to Walt's News Service, try [email protected]

Nike Border Clash XI, by Larry Eder



The official Nike Border Clash site, prepared by is

My favorite little big meet is less than 24 hours from fruition. The brainchild of Josh Rowe and John Truax, this meet is all about bragging rights between the states of Washington and Oregon on just who had the best prep cross country runners?

What I have loved about it is its simplicity: Forty top boys and girls from WA and OR duke it out over the trails on the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

We have just arrived in Portland, Oregon and the rain is coming down. The course should be nice and wet, good for cross country racing! Who will have the bragging rights this year? No one will know until tomorrow morning, when the boys race goes at 10 am, and the girls at 10:45 in the morning!

We will provide results and coverage of the races on twitter as well as a full discussion of the race on tomorrow night! Until then, check out the videos and features on the official Nike Border Clash site!

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The IAAF Council Meeting in Monaco is working on changes in the world champ schedules, modernizing the champs a bit, but still, issues remain in the very complicated issues surrounding Caster Semenya....


Here is my recap of the nine days of the World Champs 2009 in Berlin, Germany, August 15-23, 2009:


The Fukuoka Marathon, in its sixty-third incarnation, will feature a very tough field: from Tsegaye Kedede, the defending champion and Beijing and Berlin bronze medalist, to Evans Cheruiyot, the 2008 B of A Chicago Marathon champion.

Former S. I. writer Kenny Moore immortalized Fukuoka in "Consider the Chrysanthemums", comparing Moore's patience, and Frank Shorter's colorful antics in dealing with overseas travel, training, and nerves before racing. For the sixties and seventies, and much of the eighties, Fukuoka International Marathon made the likes of Buddy Edelen, Akio Usami, Derek Clayton, John Farrington, Frank Shorter, Jerome Drayton, Bill Rodgers, Rob de Castella global stars from their victories or high placings. The qualities of the fields were second to none. Reread "Consider the Chrysanthemums" and note Moore's details on the lead pack...that was sports writing.

Fukuoka continues to be a bellwether on the marathon stage, and this year will be no different...

The Semenya debacle continues...yesterday, the IAAF issued a release noting that a) the discussion of the Semenya issue had been tabled, and that b) testing of Semenya had not been completed...

Below is a thoughtful blog from Jill M. Geer, USATF Chief Communications Officer, and defacto, the voice of USA Track & Field, who has written a blog on the Myth of Fairness and the question of Gender. Jill has done a nice job of putting this sad stain on our sport in perspective.

At the end of her piece, I have placed several links from RBR coverage of the Semenya story. After re reading them, I still believe the following: a) the IAAF needed and still needs a thoughtful and discreet gender policy, b) ASA knew about the issue and should never have brought Caster Semenya to Berlin, and c) in the end, the life of an eighteen year old athlete has been irrevocably damaged...there is blame enough to go around everywhere...

Idowu_PhillipsA_WC09.jpg Phillips Idowu, Gold Medalist, Triple Jump, Berlin WC 09, photo by

Phillips Idowu, the best triple jumper on the planet, will be defending his Sevilla Indoor title at Doha. Idowu wowed the crowds in Berlin with his superb jumping. He is the cover story for the Autumn issue of Spike magazine!


Newsweek cover of Sarah Palin

In a copyrighted story in the British newspaper website, Telegraph (, a repurposing of a photograph of Sarah Palin, originally used in Runners World, and then reused as a Newsweek cover, has sparked some controversy. In this writer's mind, it is all about the context of the reuse. The line, " How do solve a problem like Sarah?" is obviously a play on a song from the popular movie, starring Julie Andrews, called The Sound of Music. The original song was titled "How do you solve a problem like Maria?". Remember my comment before, it is all about the context....


Leonard Chuene, ASA President, photo courtesy of

The Caster debacle continues. SASCOC, the Olympic committee of South Africa, suspened Chuene and the board over the mishandling of Caster Semenya. Then, Molatelo Malehopo, the suspended GM of ASA was physically escorted off the federation site, as he had entered the building and tried to disrupt an ASA meeting.

In the end, I believe, SASCOC will find a poorly run organization and that Ms. Semenya was used by the former ASA board to get one more medal for South Africa.

The loop hole that ASA were able to use though, should not have existed. The IAAF must have in place, and should have had in place, a protocal for gender testing, no matter how politically unpopular it is. We hope that the IAAF provides a protocal on how to deal with such situations in the future, as it was the worst kept secret in sports this past summer. In the end, a young athletes life has been shattered, and there are no excuses for that....


Stephanie Hightower, Chairman/President,
USATF, photo courtesy of USATF

I found this letter on the site, dated October 15, 2009. I had not read it and my guess was that many of you had not seen it. I encourage you to not only go to the convention, but also send Stephanie an email noting concerns that you have for the organization.

Evolution is a painful, invasive process. The changes in USATF over the past year have been many, and surprisingly, they have come with little bloodshed.

RBR will provide updates from the convention and also tweet important updates and information.


Jeff Risley, VP, Social Media Analyst, Barkley US

One of the highlights, for me, of the Running Event last week, in Austin, Texas, was the Social Media presentation by Jeff Risley. Jeff is the VP/Social Media Analyst/PR for Barkley Public Relations, one of the pr firms that actually "gets it", when speaking on social media.

We will be interviewing Jeff in the RBR interview soon, but, for now, download his presentation, which Jeff has graciously offered us, and check it out! It is worth some contemplation.

To reach Jeff Risley, try [email protected]

Special thanks to Running USA for sponsoring the conclave! For more on
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Ben Rosario, co-owner of Big River Running Company in Missouri, and a feature writer for Missouri Runner, finished eleventh in the half marathon in 1:11:16. Photo by

Over thirty-two thousand signed up for the RNR San Antonio Marathon & Half Marathon, which was held on Sunday, November 15, 2009. While Kenyan men and Russian women dominated the top five on each side, nice performances by Drew Polley, eighth, in 2:20:09 in the marathon. On the womens' side, the first American was Becca Pritchard, who finished seventh in 2:52:51. Josh Cox ran in the half marathon, in third, running 1:06:44 and congrats to Mo Runner writer Ben Rosario, who ran 1:11:16 for eleventh in the half-marathon.


Mark & Teresa Rouse, owners of Runners High 'n Tri receive their award, courtesy of Formula 4 Media

What a difference four years make! The Top 50 award was started four years ago at the premier Running Event. Like the show, the award has continued to grow and recognize the best of the best in specialty running stores, which are the present and future of our sport! Congrats to all fifty stores in the 2009 list and a tip of the hat to the Rouse's, who exemplify the quality in our business!

Tirunesh Dibaba, Beijing, August 2008, photo by

After injuries ended her Berlin dreams, Tirunesh Dibaba definitely shows that the injuries are over, with her fine debut over 15 kilometers. Running 46:29, Dibaba broke the former world record of 46:55!

Walt Murphy's News and Results Service ([email protected])
X-Country X-Press
(c)Copyright 2009-all rights reserved. May not be reprinted or retransmitted without permission.

The men's team scores at the Div.III West Regional have been adjusted, with Whitworth dropping from 4th to 3rd, and Colorado College taking over 3rd place. It's a significant change, since this region might get only one at-large bid.

WEST* Claremont,Ca, 11-14 MEN
1. Claremont-MS* 50 (21)
2. Willamette* 64 (12)
3. Colorado Coll. 93 (nr)
4. Whitworth 95 (34)
5. Pomona-Ptzr 121

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Congrats to Fleet Feet Sports Chicago for making it to one of the four finalists for the Store of the Year! Congrats to owners Dave and Lisa Zimmer!

Here are the regional results from Walt Murphy's XC XPress for NCAA Regionals, Division 3!

Most of the NCAA Division 2 regionals were last weekend, I just missed them traveling back from across the pond! Here we go on division 2, courtesy of Walt Murphy's XC Xpress!


The college cross country season is coming to its penultimate weekend, as the Regionals have been held! Walt Murphy's XC XPress provided us with the results of the NCAA Division 1 regionals!


Bai Xue, WC 2009 Berlin Marathon winner, photo by

In August 2009, Bai Xue won the Berlin World Champs marathon in front of a hundred thousand plus fans on the streets of Berlin. Bai Xue followed up her win in Berlin with a very tactical win at the Asian Games 10,000 meters...adding one gold medal to China's medal haul: 18 golds, 19 silvers and 10 bronze at the Asian Games.


Yelena Isinbayeva, Zurich, September 2009, photo by

Even twenty-six time world record holders get, Yelena Isinbayeva is really human...

Cover shot of People's Youth Daily, August 2008, by Larry Eder

Lui Xiang took gold at the Asian Games, as China went 1,2 in the last major event of the athletics 2009 calendar. What a difference a year makes, as Lui continues to surprise critics and fans with his strong hurdling. There were two false starts in this one, so Chinese fans were a bit nervous......

The Running Event has returned to Austin, Texas! Great weather, super participation, and four days of conferences and expo time shows that running is one of the few bright stars in our economy. Here is what I saw....


At a well attended banquet on Tuesday night, November 10, the Independent Running Retailers Association announced the class of 2009 who was entering the Running Specialty Hall of Fame. (The event was sponsored by Brooks, Crocs and Running Insight magazine).

The 2009 Lifetime Achievement Awards went to Dick Beardsley and Alberto Salazar. A short film clip on their 1982 duel was shown and the race where Beardsley and Salazar ran neck to neck was as thrilling now as it was to see in 1982. Dick ran 13 straight personal bests in the marathon, a Guinness book of world records. Albert won three straight NYC, one Boston and set ARS at the 5,000m and 10,000 m, as well as world records for the marathon. Both gave heartfelt speeches.

In the class of 2009, for Vendor-Influencer, Fred Doyle of Saucony and the late Kihaciro Onitsuka of ASICS were inducted. Fred was introduced by Richie Woodworth, President of Saucony, with a very thoughtful commentary. Richie called Fred " the Mayor of Running, ". Not a better description could be made of one of the nicest guys in our sport--it was an award well deserved. The Kihaciro Onitsuka was introduced by J. D. Denton, who reminded us that Mr. Onitsuka developed his first successful shoe, a basketball shoe, after having an octopus salad at his parent's home. Jim Hoff, the VP of Sales, proudly accepted the award on behalf of ASICS.

The Class of 2009 Retailers were Jane & Doug Alred, First Place Sports and Curt Munson, Playmakers. Both award winners gave thoughtful acceptance speeches but showed, more than anything, the clear enjoyment people have at being in this business!

The Expo starts Wednesday, from 10-6, and also runs on Thursday, from 8 to 1 pm.

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Usain Bolt, August 2009, photo courtesy of

In Guangzhou, China, it is the first day of the 18th Asian Championships, where China has already won two golds. In Jamaica, Usain Bolt has begun training for his 2010 season.

In Austin, Texas, nearly nine hundred attendees are inundating the Austin Hilton for the Running Event. This morning, Jeff Risley of Barkley US did a presentation on social networking and how stores and running businesses can use it.

Risley's closing statement was quite prophetic: " You can choose not to engage in social media, but you'll still be talked about in the space. There are many benefits of being involved in the conversation...."

As the IAAF determines who the best athlete of the year 2009 is, the Running Event, held in Austin Texas, will give indication to the 400-plus retailers and 200 plus exhibitors, who the kings and queens of performance running business are...conferences on Monday and Tuesday are followed by two days of exhibits...

So, I am flying back from London, and I get Frankie's email below: an amazing story about the Oregon State meet, and the victory by Central Catholic. It brought tears to my sleep deprived eyes. His writing is relaxed and honest, and his description of the meet has you feeling that you are in the race.

Frankie is Dave Frank. Dave is, among other things, a husband, father, brother, friend to many and coach at Central Catholic. I am fortunate to count him as a friend.

Dave Frank is, in my humble opinion, one of the best coaches that I have ever met. Central Catholic is very lucky to have such a thoughtful soul. Frankie knows that he is teaching life lessons, and he does it with a sense of humor, a thoughtfulness and an attitude of caring that makes one proud to know the man.

If your sons or daughters were coached by such a coach, you are very lucky. As an optimist, I know that, of other 17,000 high school cross country coaches working with 350,000 boys and girls this fall, most know that they are teaching their athletes about more than running.

I hope that you enjoy the piece below, presented as Frankie sent it, to his friends around the country. FYI, Frankie does a column like this most weeks of cross country and track season. He is a man for others, as Ignatius de Loyola once said.

30553.jpg Tom Bedford, Dublin Marathon, October 2009. The man celebrating is Tom Bedford. Tom had just won THE BET, where he promised to run a marathon under two hours, twenty five minutes, in a period of three years, and the wagers were 10,000 pounds to his favorite charity.

Like all great endeavors, Tom had his challenges. However, Tom, possessed of some running talent, and a young man who knows when to work hard and when to have some fun, got at it. Perhaps the memory of his late friend, Mike Long, was the impetus.

This past October, Tom Bedford ran 2:24:10, to win THE BET, and raised over $20,000 US for the Entoto Foundation. Entoto, founded by the late Mike Long, the elite race coordinator for the old Elite Racing events, loved Ethiopia and the youngsters he met there. Entoto provides needed medical care for kids who can not afford to get it. It does good things for good people and it is supported by good people. I am making a donation. I challenge our readers to give up one beer, or a six pack, a week for four weeks and send the money to Entoto. You will have done a good thing, and perhaps even loose some weight ( I lost ten pounds doing it! Now, for the other ninety!).

Below is the blog Tom does, and his piece on marathon day! Tom Bedford is a good man, and our friend, Mike Long, I believe, is looking down on Tom with a huge grin and a nice pint!


The battle for ING NYCM, November 1, 2009, photo by Merhawi Keflezighi is Meb's brother and agent. One normally finds him, in the background, after one of Meb's wins, checking on his brother, making sure that Meb's sponsors are managed, and checking in with the media. He is a man of quiet confidence, and I like him. He is a good yin to Meb's yang.

I understand the brother connection. Brothers speak without words, they are connected, as one has said, "by umbilical cord" throughout life. I have asked, and received, permission from Merhawi to reprint a note he sent to his media friends on some of the detritus that developed after Meb's win. I knew that some comments would come about Meb's family coming from Eritrea.

The fact remains, Meb's story is the story of nearly 300 million Americans: immigrant family, parents seeking better, kids go to school, work hard. In this case, Meb did all of his running in this country, much under two of our best American coaches. My family is Hungarian, Irish and German, each with a unique story.

Here is Merhawi putting the day, his brother, and his family in perspective:


Meb Keflizighi, 2009 ING NYCM champion, 2009 USA Marathon Champion, photo by

In discussing the decathlon, top decathletes will tell you that the athlete who makes the least mistakes wins the decathlon. Such can also be said with the marathon. Meb Keflizighi ran his race through the five boroughs of New York City masterfully, and without any mistakes. He was close enough to the front to know if a move was real or affected, and that the ING NYCM is a marathon of attrition. His move came at 24 miles, and right after that, near the place that is good friend, Ryan Shay, had fallen nearly two years before, Meb made, as Tim Leydon of Sports Illustrated observed, a sign of the cross, and charged to the finish.

Now, Meb is the toast of the U.S. marathon world, and we hope he makes a few bucks in his next marathon! But, where will it be? The selfish side of me hopes that BAA Boston takes the plunge and brings Meb back, who knows the second time at Boston just might be the charm!

If you need a link, for RunningNetwork TV: , and You Tube

Gentle readers, as a public service, I am inflicting a moving picture of me on you. The videopgrapher was Gary Morgan, who ran the race in the 3:40 range. Gary is my partner in video crime around the world. A former Olympian (1988-20k race walk), and member of the NYAC, Gary loves all aspects of the sport. We have filmed in Beijing, China, Eugene, Oregon, and yes, New York City.

This is the wrap-up show of the Running Network TV. The RN TV is the brainchild of Art & Jennie McCafferty. Art & Jenny have been doing digital TV on the web for nearly a decade, as part of their stellar coverage of our sport, from unique events and interviews, to the big news stories in our sport. You can subscribe to RN TV at You Tube, or Either way, we hope that you subscribe!

This is a synopsis of the elite races, and my partly coherent coverage of the race. I have to admit that it was a very exciting race, and to witness Meb win was especially important to me.

In the end, my theme on writing can be summed up: lessons hard learned, lessons hard won, and in the end, hopefully, the good guy or girl wins. It happened at 2009 ING New York City in way that was truly a celebration of New York.

Speaking of New York. On Monday night, after a day of meetings, I headed up seventh avenue to Central Park South and did my seventy minutes. On the way back, I ran into two young Frenchman, who spoke English, but noted by Deutschland jacket. They had both run the race on Sunday, in a tad under five hours and loved it. They had just finished a loaf of bread, some fromage and mais oui, a nice bottle of French table du vin rouge! They were now off to see the Knicks! What a first visit to the Big Apple!

To find Running Network TV in its normal state, please check :

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Rich Bourne, President & COO, ASICS America, photo courtesy of ASICS communications.

In the very highly competitive world of performance running footwear, no brand has its pulse on running like ASICS America. A sixty-year old brand, ASICS America, the U.S. subsidiary of ASICS, is numero uno in the battle of performance running footwear. ASICS America has proved that a great team, great product, strong customer service, a strong sales team and last, but not least, really listening to the consumer never goes out of style. To do well in running, one must focus on it. Stray from the real prize and you will loose your way and your resonance with the consumer.

ASICS has approximately 34 percent of the performance running business, that key, top of the running business. This means that ASICS is doing approximately $400 million of the $1.4 billion performance running footwear business in 2008. (The U.S. running footwear business was $7.5 billion, but we are focused on the $85 and higher business).

This is the most competitive business atmosphere in running footwear in the last thirty years. With Brooks, Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, New Balance, adidas and others trying to grab market share, ASICS America continues to grow in the performance category, and also in resonating with new women runners.

Human capital is key in this business. One of the long time players at ASICS America is Rich Bourne. Rich is the President & COO of ASICS America, and has held that position (he was also President under ASICS Tiger) for nineteen years. His longevity, in this business, amazes me. There are not many of his competitors who have had a President or COO who have held their position for that same time period. Updated November 3, 2009--Here is interview that appeared on October 29, 2009. We have updated with photo and a quick observation. The 2009 ING NYCM was one of the best in decades. An American male winner, five Americans in top ten on the male side. ASICS is a sponsor and a reported three million of apparel and footwear sales for ASICS at the three day ING NYCM Expo! Running is continuing to be one of the few bright spots in our economy. Rich Bourne was here with his team for the marathon, after having dealt with the flu as well as the exhausting week in the Big Apple!


The men's race starts, with not only the ING NYCM elite men's race, but also a US championships! This would be a historic race....

All photos by


Haile Gebrselassie is aiming for Dubai and the WR, photo by

Here is Pat Butcher's view of Haile G running the Dubai marathon...

Meb Keflizighi did a great job reading the Top Ten List on Dave Letterman's Late Night Show. For our generation, this is the iconic show that shows Meb has made it! Letterman was chuckling over 2:09:15, as a runner, he understood how fast the Mebster ran on Sunday! I have included the Top Ten List (plus alternatives) down below!

Special thanks to CBS and Mr. Letterman.



Irina Mikitenko and Sammy Wanjiru, World Marathon Major Winners, 2008-2009, photo by

The World Marathon Majors shows that the major events, with disparate sponsors, teams that are both creative and competitive, can play well together. This is the first step in bringing in global brand sponsors. My dream is to see events like Tokyo and perhaps a marathon in China as part of the group, but they have had an effect. A savvy global marketer could have a huge branding opportunity in this sport with sponsoring the World Marathon Majors.


In one of the best fields ever for men at the ING NYCM, Meb Keflizighi showed that experience counts. Meb is the first American male to win the ING NYCM since 1982!


Derartu Tulu showed her track background, and won the 2009 ING NYCM over the past 400 meters, showing her historic value to the sport of women's running!

Photos courtesy of


Derartu Tulu, RAK Half marathon, photo courtesy of

If there is an equivalent to Paula Radcliffe in modern women's distance running, it is Derartu Tulu. 1992 Olympic gold at 10,000 meters, 2000 Olympic gold at 10,000 meters, bronze in 2004 at 10,000 meters. On the World champs side, Derartu took the silver in Goteborg at 10,000 meters, and five years later, is victorious in Edmonton at 10,000 meters.

Here marathon career dates back to 1997, with a fifth in Boston in 2:30.28. On the World Champs scene, Derartu had a tough fourth in Helsinki in 2005, with her personal best of 2:23:30. Then, Derartu started her family..

Getting back into shape was quite hard. " I gained over twenty five pounds and it was discouraging as I began to train," noted Derartu in the post race conference. On September 20, Derartu showed her fitness with a fabulous 1:10:33 at the ING Philly Half marathon, a very swift course.

This is the story of her victory at the ING New York City marathon, not only one of the greatest upsets in marathon history, but also, finally, a clear reasoning noting that this women should be considered the Paavo Nurmi of female distance running: her breadth of racing, from road racing to track & field to cross country are inspiring....


Meb Keflizighi, running in London, April 2009, photo by

Running negative splits, staying out of trouble, Meb Keflizighi ran the race of his career. He had already won a medal at an Olympic Games, and now it was time, after ten attempts, to win a World Marathon Major. This should give you a better appreciation of the importance of his acomplish mentffm....


Meb from Falmouth, August 2009, photo by

Meb Keflizighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, came back from a discouraging 2008 Olympic Trials and ran the perfect race on this tough marathon course. Keeping his emotions in tact, Meb, who has taken second and third in the race, observed the race of attrition correctly, until it came down to Robert Cheruiyot and himself.

Just before twenty-four miles, Meb made a charge past Cheruiyot and did not look back. Charging away, Meb took five meters, and built it to 41 seconds over the last 2.2 miles!

This is the first win by an American male since 1982 and Alberto Salazar. Meb Keglizighi is a father of two, one of 11 children, who are a perfect example of what America has to offer! A family who escaped from civil strife in Eritrea, Meb ran well in high school and met up with Coach Bob Larson at UCLA.

Bob Larson, considered one of best U.S. distance coaches of all times, has worked with Meb for over a decade now. Meb's race today showed a maturity that comes with racing, training well, fighting the good fight. Today, Meb, an Olympic silver medalist, won his FIRST marathon ever, and lead six American males into the top ten!

Meb was very emotional after his race, " It is for me and for the U.S.A. I was thinking of my friend Ryan Shay..when you dream of winning the Olympics and win NYCM...I tried to test out for Robert, I knew I would give it a push, he let me go, I expanded the lead...USA has given me all of the opportunity, I am delighted to give it back to the US..."

Meb won in 2:09:15, and won $170k for first place and US championships!

(We were stopped on twitter due to reaching their day long capacity use in three hours! )

More details to come!

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Our media room, November 1, 2009, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 36th

The pack of elite women are off, hitting 5k in 17:53, with six in the front pack of 29 elite women starters. Three women nearly went down, Kosgei, Yuri, and Lewy Boulet.

I am covering event live on on twitter.

Women hit 5k in 17:53, 10k in 35:15, 15k in 52:38, ten miles in 56:27, hitting halfway in 1:14:04-slower than last year! In women's lead pack was Radcliffe, Petrova, Daunay, Tulu, Kosgei, with Lewy Boulet dropping back fifteen seconds at 11 miles. Women hit halfway in 1:14:04.

On men's side, 5k hit in 15:51, 10k in 31:04, with pack of forty. Down to seventeen, with Ryan Hall, Meb Keflizighi, Hendrick Raamala, Jouad Gharib, Bolata Asmeron, Jorge Torres in lead pack.

Men hit halfway in 1:05:07.

I have been on twitter, at, updating the event from the first steps to the winning steps of top men and women. I will follow up with a how the race was won, and a news item. Thanks for following our coverage!

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