September 2010 Archives

Kara Goucher, Paula Radcliffe, NYRR Mini, June 2010, photo by

Congrats to Paula Radcliffe and her husband, Gary Lough. Paula had their second child, a boy, Raphael, in Monaco on Wednesday night, September 29. Per Gary, Raphael and Paula are " doing good."

This is just a few days since Kara and Adam Goucher had their first, a boy, who was born last Friday, September 24, in Portland, Oregon. Their boy's name is Colton Mirko Goucher.

Congrats to both families!

This is a fund raiser focused around the SunTrust/Richmond Marathon. I thought you should know about it......


                   Sammy Wanjiru, Bank of America Chicago 2009, photo by

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is just over one week away, and we are counting down the days! I love the B of A Chicago Marathon, and have had the privilege of writing on the race for over a decade now!

The team at B of A Chicago have put together a superb field on both the men and women's sides. Sammy Wanjiru is back to training well and will be defending, so he should be hard to beat. Nick Arcinaga, who ran 2:11 at RNR last June, has been running well and could run a nice Personal Best here. Jason Hartman, a former Duck with a pb just over 2:12 could also surprise. Also, never, ever discount Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot, who will also be running the streets of Chicago.

On the women's side, Irina Mitkentenko, the Berlin and London champion, will make the women's race a real battle. But, my money is on Liliya Shobukhova, who won Chicago and London last year. Shobukhova is the former European record holder for 5,000 meters and just has that advantage of speed over the last 3-5k.

Desiree Davila, the American who ran 8:51 for 3,000m indoors at the world indoor champs, 32:22 for third at USA Outdoor for the 10,000 meters, could break the 2:25 barrier this year. Watch for Magdelene Lewy Boulet, who looks like a 2:24:30 marathoner with her strong fitness level. Zoila Gomez is my other pick for a strong showing, she could drop five minutes off her personal best, with a 2:27 in Chicago, this time around.

See many of you in Chicago next weekend! RBR will begin coverage from the press conference on Thursday!

1958 Commonwealth Games 3d Stamp

1958 Commonwealth Games Stamp

The Commonwealth Games has a long and storied past. The matches in athletics alone have been amazing. The 2010 version, which opens this weekend, is having both media and security problems. Neither of those have helped ticket sales, which are at a paltry 200,000 out of an estimated 1.7 million tickets available.

Security concerns have kept many athletes away. While UK athletics and many other teams have kept a stiff upper lip, elite athletes have several concerns: security issues, the absolute exhaustion many face at the end of a ten month season, and how to prepare for 2011-2012.

India has huge potential in the global sporting world. They have had some outstanding athletes in track & field, and I believe we will see many more to come. They apparently understand cricket there as well, which, I assume, like American baseball, is a wonderful excuse to watch a sporting event while consuming adult beverages in a warm climate.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games are not getting a break now. Caster Semenya, the World Champion from South Africa, has pulled out of the Games. Citing a continuing back injury, her team SA announced her withdrawal earlier today. 

9780007371396 (2).jpg
                    Cover of Usain Bolt's Autobiography, in stores October 15, 2010!

I have a large cardboard box next to my desk. It is my mail box, and it says, Larry's mail.
It is filled with book galleys, press releases, various sports curios.

Yesterday, I received the advance copy of Usain Bolt's memoir: Usain Bolt, My Story. Well designed, amazing pictures, crisply written (I am reading it, full review later this week), it is
a sports fans dream!

I will review Usain's book later this week in this column, but wanted to give you a head's up.
I would suggest putting it on your Christmas list!

         Ryan Hall runs through Wellesley, Boston 2010, photo by

Ryan Hall has decided not to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 10, citing fatigue. His sub-par performance at ING Philly (1:03:58), and two weeks of disappointing workouts were cited as indications of fatigue. Hall noted that if he could not perform well, and he had to face the reality of the situation, he was not doing himself or his fans any good.

                                  Ryan Hall, Boston 2010, photo by                              

While we would love to see Ryan Hall race, we applaud his honesty and the support of the Bank of America Chicago race director Carey Pinkowski. Race Directors have interesting jobs, and Carey knows that one day, when Ryan is fit, he will see Hall on the Bank of America Chicago Marathon course gunning for the AR.


RBR wishes Ryan Hall a return to good health and great racing!

                      Leonard Patrick Komon, Campaccino XC, photo by

Leonard Patrick Komon ran a world record of 26:44 for 10k in Utrecht, Netherlands on
Sunday, September 26. This breaks the 27:01 run by Micah Kogo, also run in the Netherlands
in 2009!

Tom Raynor is one of the more fascinating people in this business. Tom purchased Fleet Feet from Sally Edwards many moons ago.  With the help of a superb team, lead by the quiet and smiling Jeff Phillips, Fleet Feet has 90 franchisees today. Visit a few of the 90 FF stores and you see Tom Raynors vision and Jeff Phillips focus at work. 

I ventured to several Fleet Feet conventions over the past half decade, sponsoring a cocktail party, as is my modus operandi. I do those sponsorships to a) support the brand, b) build relationships between Running Network and FF stores, but also c) to learn about successful entrepreneurs.

Tom Raynor, once asked me what I thought of the Fleet Feet meetings. I put is succinctly, " FF is Amway meeting meets South Baptist revival." Tom smiled. I was trying to be funny on one side, I did mean it as a huge complement.

The conventions are affirmation of the hard work the FF franchisees have done, and a time to focus the product and their stores, by learning from other store managers. Raynor and Phillips work closely with their stores to help them stay focused and give them fire power: with 90 stores on the front lines, most brands have a relationship with FF.

In the stores I have observed, one person has that financial thing, one has that vision thing, and both have the running thing. Fleet Feet is a particular example of what specialty running stores are doing across the country. The one store models, the several store models make it when the owners understand that they are developing a brand.

Fleet Feet Sports is acquiring Phidippides Encino, a store with a rich and vibrant past, and now, with a rich and vibrant future. Under Raynor's new passion, SRDC, he is finding a way to pass onto a second generation of ownership, the specialty running store mantle. I am curious to see what Mr. Raynor will do next! 

                      Patrick Makau wins real, Berlin 2010, photo by

Following the real, Berlin marathon from my home in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin was,
a bit frustrating this year. Universal sports did not cover the race this year, so I tried
to rely on German tv, which did not work. As we were able to update our twittter
followers with updates the entire race, a follower in Seoul, Korea helped us with a
link to Eurosports, where we watched what the rest of Europe saw: very little, due to
the rain, and overcast skies.

In that 52 degree weather, with rain, and little wind, two great races developed on the
fast course. Patrick Makau, who has won all five of his previous races in Berlin, did it
again, winning over Geoffrey Mutai by two seconds! Makau is the fastest marathon of
the year from Rotterdam, now his race in Berlin, was the fourth best performance of the

real, Berlin has opened the fall marathon season! Let's see what happens at the Bank of
America Chicago and ING New York over the next month!

                                          Patrick Makau, Rotterdam 2010,

Patrick Makau of Kenya underlined his ascendancy over compatriot Geoffrey Mutai,  when he won a rainswept 37th edition of the real_Berlin Marathon on Sunday morning, in 2.05.08, two seconds ahead of Mutai, with 20 year old Ethiopian Bazu Worku third, in 2.05.25

                                          Patrick Makau, Rotterdam 2010,

Patrick Makau of Kenya underlined his ascendancy over compatriot Geoffrey Mutai,  when he won a rainswept 37th edition of the real_Berlin Marathon on Sunday morning, in 2.05.08, two seconds ahead of Mutai, with 20 year old Ethiopian Bazu Worku third, in 2.05.25
Kiptanui, Mutai, Makau, real, Berlin 2010 press conference, photo by

real, Berlin has proven itself to be a very, very fast course, when the Little Emperor is running it. But now, with Haile gone to ING New York, can Patrick Makau or one of the three men above break the WR set on this course two years ago? Pat Butcher has a theory, real the global runner's thoughts below!
Berlin Marathon

The real,- BERLIN-MARATHON will be shown live on the internet worldwide. The new broadcasting partner of the World Marathon Majors (WMM) race, German TV station n-tv, streams the whole programme online as well. The race can be seen on the internet at:

The programm starts at 8.30 am and ends at 12.00 (local time). Commentary will naturally be in German only, but the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON will provide a detailed English live web report. All major developments and all important split times will be published at:

USA Track & Field

So, the AP did a story  Friday morning, on Doug Logan, the former CEO of USA Track & Field, who seems to be unable stop talking about his former job. After reading this most recent piece, and his less than sensational news that he was given a raise just before the process began to evaluate his job performance, when in fact, it was a reduction of his former compensation, I am, well, speechless:

There does not seem to be any plot here. The board of directors, who was NOT the board who approved his election (four were part of the 29 who approved his election, with at least four, possibly 11 abstentions), were to evaluate Doug Logan's performance in his 26 month tenure. Information made it clear that the board asked him about three areas: relationships
with the coaches, agents, athletes, a brand plan, and a TV strategy for track and field. He was given this request on July 15 and was to prepare
a presentation on these three areas. 

In speaking to members of the various constituencies, including board members, it seems that Doug Logan was unable not listen to anyone. That was his achilles heel: Logan listened only to his own counsel. His inability to gain support within the various constituencies, and his "my way or the highway", became too large of a problem for the board to ignore.

What I am confounded about is why he continues to speak? He obviously wants to make the board look bad. In the end, this is all about money. Doug Logan thinks that by embarrassing the board, and embarrassing the brand that he was hired to improve, he will be given money to just be quiet. 

Not sure how well that is working for him.

                             Patrick Makau, can he get WR? photo by

Patrick Makau is thinking WR at real, Berlin. For that, he may need some help from his Kenyan compatriots, but that will be fascinating to watch. While Universal will not be showing
real, Berlin, RBR has a way for our readers to watch. We will post a link tomorrow for the live broadcast from Germany!

Athletics tracks finish line

Image via Wikipedia

Conway Hill does a blog called The View from the  Finish Line. He is a thoughtful track geek, who puts his love of the sport into his blog. I encourage you all to check it out. Conway gave me permission to post his most recent blog, The Tribe Has Spoken-You've been voted off the island, which I really enjoyed. His take on L'affair Logan, is, in my mind, right on the mark.

To find Conway's blog, please go to:

I have reprinted the piece below: (Used with permission of Conway Hill, The View from the FinishLine):

Our friends at the New York Road Runners Club will be sponsoring the Live showing of the Continental Airlines Fifth Avenue Mile this coming Sunday at 9 AM Eastern time! Do not miss it. We have embedded the screen right here and will have it on twitter too, so you can watch two great mile races!

Kudos to NYRR for making this possible!

High school cross country is a sacred tradition in much of this country. My first race was on September 12, 1972, at DeSmet High school, where I ran a freshman race over two miles. Paul Heck, the soon to be Missouri State Champion, ran 10:01.5 over the tough, two mile course that skirted the borders of the De Smet campus. (Paul Heck went on 8:47 for the steeple and a 2:22 over the marathon, I think he went to Penn State). All of the frosh thought Heck was a god, and he was. But, he was also accessible and very helpful and patient with the frosh. I ran two miles that day, near the back of the pack and lost a shoe with about two hundred meters to go. My shoes cost $4 at K-Mart, a knock off of a Converse sneaker. The shoes were white, but the blood from my two weeks  of running and loosing much of my toe flesh, had turned them almost red.

38 years later, cross country is still one of my favorite sports. I miss coaching with my buddy, Joe Mangan, who I coached with from 1990-1996 at Foothill college, and Terry Ward, who had me cracking up, from 1977-1982. I am enjoying it from afar as Dave Frank, Coach at Central Catholic, sent out his newsletter on his teams race in the rain in Portland, Oregon.

Frank is a former Stanford standout, an 8:38 steepler, and one of the best coaches that I have ever met. His enthusiasm is infectious, and his sense of humor, well, kept most of us in stitches when he joined us for workouts in the early 90s at the Stanford golf course. I have got to watch Frankie with his son, Jackson, who tolerated me driving with him and his father to Indy for the nationals a few years back. 

Read Frankie's missive on the race. Close your eyes and remember your cross country past, but Dave exemplifies the devotion and love of the sport that the 16,000 high school cross country coaches out there should use as an example. Then, go on a walk, or run, tonight! 

Frank Gagliano, November 14, 2009, Photo by Terry Taylor/

Frank Gagliano is a coaches' coach. He is loved by his athletes, present and past. As the late Sam Adams (UCSB long time coach/decathlete mentor) would say, Frank is an educator. Well, Gags is back! Doing what he does best, taking athletes who need some guidance and focus, and encouraging them, cajoling them and inspiring them to the next level. I sure hope a savvy footwear company or well off former track star find it in their hearts to help the as of yet unnamed team with some resources.

Sabrina Mockenhaupt, real, Berlin 2010 press conference, 23.09.10,

Sabrina Mockenhaupt is the top German woman at the real, Berlin marathon this year. As her father has run a 2:24 marathon, her mother a 2;40 marathon, Miki, as she is called, has the world records for father-daughter and mother-daughter, with her 2:25.

Pat Butcher, our globalrunner, and official marathon apologist, will be sending us his thoughts on the real, Berlin marathon, which happens September 26. Yours truly was unable to go this year, but you should see me at Chicago and NYC this fall. (Watch for our twitter Live coverage as I stay up til 3 am and cover the event live on Sunday from the warmth of my sofa in Fort Atkinson, thanks to the wonders of wifi).

Morimoto-Bekele-Mockenhaupt-Berlin10.JPGTomo Morimoto, Bezunesh Bekele, Sabrina Mockenhaupt, real, Berlin 2010, 

                                                      Doug Logan, Oregon 2009

On September 13, the Board of Directors of USA Track & Field announced that they would begin a search for a new Chief Executive Officer. That was preceded by two days of meetings by the board in the lovely city of Las Vegas.


Okay, I know, SI cover, with of all things, football on the cover! But, hey, Tim Layden, one of our favorite writers, did a missive on Andrew Wheating, for which, you need to buy SI Sept 20. The story is called, "Off to a Blazing Start!"

To get the observations that were edited out of the piece, Tim did the following blog,  which are even more fascinating, check out

                               Christine Ohuruogu, Berlin 2009, photo by

Christine Ohuruogu won the 2007 Osaka World Champs and the Beijing Olympic 400 meter
races, those are facts. Ohuruogu ran her races in 2007 and 2008, defeating Sanya Richards at her own game. In 2009, it was a different story, as Sanya Richards owned the 400 meters at the World Championships in Berlin. Ohuruogu has been battling injuries since then.

The Commonwealth Games, starting October 6, is loosing some major athletes due to the time of the year, the level of absolute exhaustion of world class athletes, some who have been racing since last January! With the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons coming up, the World Champs in 11 and 13 and Olympics in 2012, beg the elite athlete to consider the next three years, rest and prepare in earnest for the three challenging years.

On top of that, I am heart broken to see that the European Champs will be run in 2012. In my mind, that just minimizes the meet, which was so special this year. Perhaps the powers that be can reconsider what many track fans consider to be the most accessible continental championships in our sport.
                    Haile Gebrselassie, real, Berlin, September 2009, photo by

The World Marathon Majors is about to resume, with real, Berlin on September 26, Bank of America Chicago on October 10 and ING New York on November 7. Patrick Makau will lead the fields in Berlin, Haile in New York and the battle of the Titans in Chicago: Sammy Wanjiru verus Tsegaye Kebede. Throw in Ryan Hall in Chicago for some American running, and you have three very tough races this fall! 

The women's marathon fields feature Liliya Shobukova, who took her 5,000 meter European record speed and won both Chicago and London. Irina Mitkitenko and Salia Kosgei will challenge Shobukova, reminding Liliya that the race for the grand prize is not over until the final race of the season is over!

The World Marathon Majors has been a unique way for the major marathons to promote the sport, their events and showcase the professionalism of the top events to a sports media focused on soccer, golf and American pro sports (football, basketball, baseball). In the spring, the World Marathon Majors will feature the BAA Boston Marathon and the Virgin London Marathon.

The World Marathon Majors is road running's equivalent to the Samsung Diamond League, that conglomeration of 14 meets this year that thrived even with Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay racing each other once during the season. In both road racing and athletics, it still comes down to competition.

Hats off to the support the World Marathon Majors give to innovative programs in our sport.Don't miss our live coverage of all five events, on RBR, twitter and the Running Network. 

The Lewis and Clark Expedition sights the Grea...

                                   Lewis & Clark

The Lewis & Clark Marathon & Half Marathon gave runners in the Metro St. Louis area a major fall event to enjoy. L&C complemented the Go! St. Louis Marathon & Fitness weekend. The Lewis & Clark event was managed by Fleet Feet St. Louis, one of the FF franchise top stores, which has a tremendous reputation in the St. Louis area.

Competitor Group has now added the fall marathon and half marathon to their RNR series for 2011. No official name as of yet. And the event is licensed, not purchased out right. Perhaps this is a way to test a property and see if it fits into the RNR niche.

The Lewis & Clark Marathon & Half marathon will have its last running this year, on October 3. In 2011, the rebranded race becomes a RNR marathon & half marathon. The Lewis & Clark name will live on as a proposed 10 miler, which will be added to the spring local race calendar, as a build up to the Go! St. Louis Marathon & Fitness weekend!

Huddle_Molly-Brussels10 copy.JPG
                          Molly Huddle, Belgacom Brussels Van Damme Memorial

Molly Huddle has an excellent season. Her summer track season ended with a fine
5,000 meter AR of 14:44.76. On Sunday, Molly won the 5km USA Champs at 15:48
in Providence, Rhode Island.

Keep your eyes on Molly Huddle. She should continue to improve over 5,000m and
10,000 m distance. Her stride is classic and she runs like the female version of Garry
Bjorklund, who had a stride so clean and light, all around him looked like pretenders.

                    Meseret Defar, 2010 ING Philly Half , September 19, 2010,

Burning up the streets of the Philadelphia, Meseret Defar won the ING Philly Half marathon, in her debut, running 1:07:44! This is the fourth fastest debut in half marathon history and makes Meseret Defar a real threat over this distance, and eventually, when she runs the marathon distance!
Max King and Lauren Fleshman won the XTerra Trail Champs this weekend. Both are elite class track & field athletes, who, in King's case, have developed a reputation on the trail. Lauren Fleshman had won her first track champs in four years in Des Moines this past June, over 5,000 meters. She was back. like King, to defend her XTERRA title. Congrats to both on their victories!
Tyson Gay is happy with his 2010 season. The guy has had his best season since 2007, and this year he defeated Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt! His 9.78 in the cold, wet weather of London on the AVIVA GP night may was the icing on the cake of his defeat of Usain Bolt. 2011 will be another year, but Tyson should savor 2010, for he has now made the sprints real races once again!

Tyson Gay, AVIVA London GP, August 2010, photo by
I have been on the road for about two weeks. The first week was vacation, and the second was
visiting our partners. In each discussion, as the coffee needs a warmer, there is the inevitable questions about the demise of Doug Logan.

As a public service, I will make an attempt to tackle what the past CEO missed and what the future CEO needs to understand before he or she tackles the next two years. I do this forensically, meaning as a post-mortem.

Note that most of the points that will be made were provided to me in discussions by various people who observe the sport, work in the sport and most of all, want the sport to succeed.

   Doug Logan, former USATF CEO

Finally, an award that recognizes the immense influence that George Hirsch has had on running journalism!  In my garage, I have a box with all of the issues from The Runner, one of the major reasons why I decided to get involved in running publishing. By the time George launched The Runner in 1979, I believe, he was considered one of the most innovative publishers in the big Apple. By the time I started working at Runners World in 1981-82, The Runner was taking a huge bit out of the advertising buys of Runners' World. With writers like Merrell Noden, Marc Bloom, Craig Masback, Kenny Moore and James Dunaway,  The Runner, championed by George Hirsch, changed the way the sport of running was viewed, written about and discussed. As the publisher of The Runner, then Runner's World, George mentored two generations of media professionals. He also took the combined books, under the RW mantle to heights never imagined. From 1986-2003, George published Runners World for Rodale Press. I am not sure that they truly appreciated that he took a challenging investment for Rodale and turned RW into an icon.

That the award recognizes Dick Patrick shows that some real thought went into the award. Since 1986, Dick Patrick, through his column in USA Today, and since 2004, with his column in American Track & Field has been the most read voice in our sport. Patrick is the archtyple journalist, a reporter who stays on the story until is properly covered. Dick Patrick is pretty
modest, but, in reading anything by Patrick it is obvious of two things: he loves the sport and
he takes his position as a mandate--for the sport to change, transparency is key.

I worked for George Hirsch for about two years, as RW and The Runner were fused. In retrospect, I must have drove George stark raving crazy. To his credit, he would always
keep his cool and found a way to help me focus my ADD driven days. Our conversations now
are fun, and his thoughtful notes make my day.

Kudos to the New York Road Runners for presenting this award at the ING New York
City Marathon. It adds another star onto the already star studded ING NYCM marathon
weekend. The George Hirsch Journalism Award will be given to Dick Patrick on November
5, 2010.

USA Track & Field

Image via Wikipedia

I was asked about some comments on the CEO issue, watch for those on Thursday, September 16. I need some time to digest and check with some of the key players in
our sport.

I am trying to find all the columns on the Logan situation and will be posting them.

In the end though, for the federations, it is all about the wins and records.


INDIANAPOLIS (USA): USATF will hire a new CEO after the board of directors voted for new leadership. Current CEO Doug Logan was in position for 2,5 years but after taken a performance evaluation the board decided they needed new leadership in order to move the sport forward the USATF writes in a press release. Logan still had three years left in his contract and reportedly is owed 1.8 million dollar. „I know I've made people uncomfortable, maybe some people have reached their threshold. I knew with the agenda I came to work with, this end was entirely possible." Logan was quoted in The Washington Post. Chief Operating Officer Mike McNees will take over the day-to-day leadership while the board commences its search for a new CEO. Des Moines Register writes that Logan's ouster could be a concern for Drake University, which tried to put its best foot forward for Logan during June's USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines. Drake wants to host the 2016 U.S. Olympic trials, but lost potentially one of its biggest supporters in Logan. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that USATF will have to give Logan a substantial payoff, possibly in the neighborhood of $1 million, unless there is cause for firing him. Logan is owed almost $2 million for the remaining years on his contract that was to have expired in December of 2013. Logan, who had alienated some in the volunteer-based organization with his outspoken, slash-and-burn style, is best known for the independent report he commissioned after Team USA's disappointing performance at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing that levied heavy criticism throughout the organization. He also set a public goal of winning 30 medals at the 2012 Summer Games in London. The U.S. track and field team won 23 in Beijing. Stephanie Hightower said the USATF board will meet in Indianapolis the first weekend in October to consider a proposed hiring timeline and other recommendations from a personnel committee. By mid-October, she said, a search for a full-time CEO likely will be underway. Logan, the former commissioner of Major League Soccer, assumed the helm of USATF after former Washington attorney Craig Masback left the organization to take an executive post with Nike, a USATF sponsor.



SYDNEY (AUS): Sprint world record holder Usain Bolt has touched down in Sydney and may even stretch out his famous legs at Wednesday´s night's Athletics Allstars meet at Sydney Olympic Park. Writes The Australian. Bolt suggested on his arrival at Sydney Airport that he might run the anchor leg of a celebrity 4x100 m relay, alongside cricketer Brad Haddin, boxer Danny Green and retired sprinter Melinda Gainsford-Taylor. "I will probably a run a relay but I don't think I will be doing anything serious," he said. Bolt is primarily on a promotional tour of Australia, to launch a new Gatorade product that has been named in his honour. He was sipping from the bottle of his sponsor's product as he faced the media pack at the airport. Flanked by a Jamaican posse, Bolt signed a few autographs then was whisked away to his hotel in a black Audi. Wednesday meet will feature for example Dani Samuels or Fabrice Lapierre in serious pre-Commonwealth Games competition.







MONACO (MON): Steve Hooker looks forward to representing his country at the Commonwealth Games in India and is very satisfied with how his past season has developed he wrote in his IAAF online diary. Hooker especially mentioned the crowd and atmosphere at the IAAF Continental Cup in Split and the extra motivation he felt when competing for Asia-Pacific. Hooker will also jump this weekend at Great City Games in Newcastle.


AMSTERDAM (NED): Tariku Bekele has been announced as one of the favorites for the Dam tot Damloop in Amsterdam on September 19th. Bekele will replace Sileshi Sihine, who had to withdraw from the race. Previously announced were Moses Masai and Dutch top athletes Koen Raymaekers, Rens Dekkers and Patrick Stitzinger. In the women's race Lornah Kiplagat and Hilda Kibet will toe the starting line.


ABUJA (NIG): Former world junior champion and Nigerian relay member Uchena Emedolu has been banned by the Nigerian national sports commission. Emedolu allegedly dropped the baton on purpose at the 2008 African championships "One cannot understand why Uchenna Emedolu decided to frustrate his teammates at the championships. The dropping of the baton was not just once" Director General Patrick Ekeji was quoted in Vanguard Nigeria newspaper.


KINGSTON (JAM): Fast sprinter Yohan Blake wants to improve his start and then beat Tyson Gay. He said that for „I had a wonderful season in 2010. I did well on the circuit with positive influence from Usain Bolt," said Blake who is part of coach Glen Mills Racers TC and improved to 9.89 and 19.78 this summer. „I need to work on my start and then I can get him," said Blake about potential duel with fastest US sprinter. On the other side he expects tough races also within the domestic scene. With Usain Bolt as title defender in both 100 m and 200 m Jamaica will still be able to send to Daegu three more sprinters in each race. The end of June Trials will be so very hot races with likes of Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter, Mario Forsythe, Michael Frater, Steve Mullings and world junior champion Dexter Lee.


NAIROBI (KEN): Eliud Kipchoge has been called up to replace Edwin Soi in the 5000m at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in India. African champion Soi has pulled out citing fatigue after competing in both the African championships and the Continental Cup in Split. 60 Kenyan athletes have moved into a training camp near Nairobi on Monday in preparation of the Games, in addition Kenya is entering relay teams for such a global event for the first time since Barcelona 1992 writes The Daily Nation.


LAUSANNE (SUI): Sweden's Gunilla Lindberg will be head of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Evaluation Commission that will assess the three cities bidding to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, it was announced, writes The 63-year-old, who was the IOC vice-president from 2004 and 2008, has been chosen because of her vast experience earned working on Coordination Commissions for five Olympic Games and her role with the Evaluation Commission for the 2006 Turin Olympic Winter Games. She will head an 11-strong panel that will visit Munich, Annecy and Pyeongchang in that order between February 8 and March 5 next year before producing a report that is due to be published a month before the IOC Session in Durban on July 6, 2011, where the host city to follow Sochi will be chosen.


CHORZOW (POL): Polish media are informing that construction has began on a 43,000 sq metre roof to cover the Silesian football stadium in Chorzow, south western Poland - the biggest such construction in Europe. The stadium will be able to seat 55,000 spectators and will be the largest facility in Poland. The owners of the stadium have already applied to host the European League final in 2013 and were thinking about to bid for the World Athletics Championships in 2015, but later withdrew. For athletics important is that the stadium will have a track.


MOSCOW (RUS): More post-season athletics weddings in Russia. European 800 m champion Mariya Savinova married last Friday with middle distance runner Aleksey Farnosov. They plan their honey-moon in Croatia, both belong to one group of coach Vladimir Kazarin. On Sunday olympic relay gold medalist Yulia Gushchina married with former 400 m runner Ivan Buzolin who now works for Russian Athletics Federation. Their next destination is Portugal for the honey-moon.


MADRID (ESP): Top spanish middle distance runner Reyes Estevez (4th in Barcelona, but has world medalist from nineties) announced he will try at steeple distance in future. At age of 34 he tried in past years also 10 000 m and road races, but never a 3000 m steeple race.


PARIS (FRA): Surprise European 200 m winner Myriam Soumare of France will resume her training later this week. She ended the season after Weltklasse Samsung Diamond League final in Zurich and plans for indoor races in 2011. The main objective in winter will be European Indoor Championships in Paris next March.


ATHENS (GRE): Greek media are informing, that high jump world medalist Kyriacos Ioannou of Cyprus was included into the team for Commonwealth Games in India. He lost some time of preparation due to injury and subsequently could not jump in Barcelona. He achieved 230 in July at Athletissima in Lausanne. His participation in India is anyway still under doubt because of a personal matter. In next two weeks the final decision will be made. At 2006 Games in Melbourne he won a bronze medal.


SOFIA (BUL): Double World Junior Champion in 100/200 m Tezdzhan Naimova of Bulgaria will have her two years doping ban ending on September 29. She said for Bulgarian media she is in full training and plans to compete during indoor season next year. Naimova was banned in 2008 for tampering and attempted tampering during the doping control end of June that year.


MAYAGUEZ (PUR): The Caribbean Business website reported that Puerto Rico's Racheal Marchand has been stripped of her silver medal in the 5000m and bronze medal in the 10,000m for failing a doping test. Marchand tested positive for the blood booster EPO (Erythropoietin) at CAC Games, but she denied wrongdoing. „This is an error and I'm going to pursue this to the end," Marchand said. Marchand ran for the University of Iowa in the NCAA ranks, finishing third at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships in 2009 at 5000m. Informs RRW.


EINDHOVEN (NED): Eight Kenyans with sub 2:08 bests will headline the men´s field for Eindhoven Marathon (Oct 10). The fastest is Paul Biwott with 2:07:02 in Amsterdam 2009, but the fastest this year is Alfred Kering who posted 2:07:11 as second in Paris in spring. Great history is behind the name of Patrick Ivuti who won in past Chicago and Prague marathons. Other names Isaac Macharia, Charles Kamathi (former track world champion), Felix Keny, Nicolas Chelimo and Stephen Kibiwott. Women also will have fast runners in the start list. Ethiopian Atsede Habtamu won last year Berlin in 2:24:47, Anne Kosgei is last year Venice winner (2:27:46). Interesting debut for 10 000 m 1997 world champion Sally Barsosio from Kenya at age of 32 years. Informs RRW.


BATON ROUGE (USA): World Indoor Hurdles Champion, Lolo Jones just completed another successful campaign. Now it is time for a rest and to begin mapping her plan for capturing the next global title on offer, the IAAF Outdoor Championship. It is stated in a release published by „You can't help but be disappointed by not winning the Diamond League", said Lolo. „Look, I am in this thing to win every chance I get to race. The competition is fierce in our event. Not a single one of the girls in a race expects to come out second. I think every meet the women in the hurdles provided the best entertainment for the fans. The stakes are a lot higher next year with a World Outdoor Championship on the line. I want that title. So, I have to be as ready as I have ever been. Training this go around is going to be important. Going back to fundamental things and fixing every flaw is critical. I had a great indoor season and a pretty good outdoor one. I'm not satisfied. I won't be until I can have a great season from the start to finish. That's what I'm shooting for in 2011."


LAUSANNE (SUI): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has awarded broadcast rights for the London 2012 Olympic Games to Grupo Albavision, it was stated in a release by IOC. Grupo Albavision has acquired free-to-air television broadcast rights and radio rights in Bolivia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Uruguay. In August, Grupo Albavision provided coverage on the same platforms in these territories for the inaugural Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.







TEHRAN (IRI, Sep 12): At 3rd round of Iranian Club Champs Ehsan Hadadi achieved 65.90 in discus. Solid also the 220 in high jump by Keivan Ghanbarzadeh and new national walking record 1:27:33 at 20 km for Ebrahim Rahimian. Informs Heinrich Hubbeling.


ZIELONA GÓRA (POL, Sep 12): Euro medalist Przemyslaw Czerwinski cleared 540 in pole vault at 48th edition of Vintage meeting. Karolina Tyminska in preparation for Talence this weekend leaped to 616 in long jump.


CHORZÓW (POL, Sep 12): World record holder Anita Wlodarczyk got another 70+ mark with 71.54 win here in the hammer throw.


PRETORIA (RSA, Sep 11): At altitude national CC champions were Steven Mokoka winning the 12 km in 37:32, Juan Van Deventer the 4 km (12:04) on the men side. Malawi´s Mirriam Thole was the best in the women 8 km (29:05) but the title went to Lebo Phalula as second (29:39). The 4 km women winner was Mapaseka Makhanya (14:56).


USA Track & Field

Image via Wikipedia

The press release went out Monday morning that the USATF Board of Directors had decided to look for a new CEO. That means that Doug Logan, the CEO of USA Track & Field for the past 26 months, no longer holds that position.

The meetings, which took place over the weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, showed the sport how a board of directors is to work. They were selected to make the hard decisions, to do what is best for the sport. In announcing that USATF would be looking for a new CEO, they made a very tough decision, but a decision that RBR applauds.

The decision must not have been easy. In a Reuters story, written by Gene Cherry only 14 hours ago (Sports chief still in dark over future with USATF (, Doug Logan noted that he had not been told nor was he aware of any decision. RBR spoke to Jill Geer this morning, and she was polite and official, noting that, "IF there was anything to know from the meeting, RBR would be on announcement list. " That is her job. Contain leaks until all of the board are signed off. USATF kept the message under control.

                                 Ryan Hall, Boston 2010, photo by

Ryan Hall will be defending the ING Philly half marathon next weekend. Ryan Hall will be using the Philly half for preparations for his run at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on
October 10.

Matt Turnbull, the elite coordinator for the Competitor events, has put together quite a field, on both the men and women. Meseret Defar and Shalane Flanagan will lead the women's elite field for the half marathon as well.

Ryan Hall's win last year at the ING Philly Half was the first time since 1986, that an American
male had won the race. Mark Curp was the winner in 1986. Hall has significant pressure on himself to win a major marathon. He has run fast times, but his only marathon win was his tremendous victory at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials. We wish Ryan Hall good luck at ING Philly and also Bank of America!

Ivan Ukhov, Nike Pre Classic 2009, photo by

Ivan Ukhov cleared a world leading 2.36m high jump on Saturday. What a way to end the season! The Philly Half Marathon women's field features Defar and Flanagan!

Can Allyson Felix win the double in Daegu?

Allyson Felix told the bible of our sport, Track & Field News that she is seriously considering the double, 200m and 400m in Daegu next summer! I think that she can do it, and would heartily encourage the double. Lots of challengers, from VCB and Sanya, but Felix is not the fly by night dilettante, this women can fly. She will be challenged on both events, but RBR believes that she is not near her best as of yet over 400 meters. It would be the supreme test.

And would Felix then still run the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m? Allyson Felix is that good. Knowing
Coach Kersee, Felix will not run it if she is not completely prepared.  

Christian Cantwell, Greece 2009, photo by

The track season is coming to a close and the marathon season is just starting. Japan next weekend, and the Philly Half marathon next weekend! real, Berlin and B of A Chicago within the month! Thanks for your patience this week, have been on vacation, but back on road Sunday night and have been working through some provocative columns for next month!

Need to mention that 2004 Olympic champ, Stefano Baldini is retiring on October 9. After a long and illustrious career, Baldini will retire from racing after a final race in Italy. I also wanted to thank Mary Wittenberg and Carey Pinkowski for giving us two fall U.S. marathons with superb fields. A fun fall marathon season about to unfold! 

(Need to see Rachel Gets Married, an amazing moving with Anne Hathaway and tremendous
cast. Also saw I love New York and Paris, Je t'aime, both on Sundance, both fun series of short vignettes, written and directed by actors and directors who have ties to both cities. Get your hands on Monterrey Pop Festival film (Hendrix doing Wild Thing, then lighting guitar, and Joplin, stunning, Who, well, energetic, but Mamas and Poppas, and well, Otis Redding, phenomenal. Listening to Pete Yorn, Al Green ( I have Al Green and Lyle Lovett duet), Arcade Fire, Allman Brothers, remastered, Eat a Peach, and New Riders of Purple Sage. Also Cat Power, very cool,reminds me of It's a Beautiful Day. Rereading Gore Vidal's Burr, novel about Aaron Burr,one of our more colorful Vice Presidents and a time when there was a bit more political intrigue in the country than the present.)

This coming weekend, per EME News, USATF CEO, Doug Logan, is making a presentation to the USATFBoard, at their meeting in Las Vegas. With all of the rumors swirling all summer about Mr. Logan's viability as the CEO, some are saying that this might be a pivotal presentation for Logan.

Carl Lewis, nine time Olympic medalist has come out in favor of Doug Logan. I would have loved to have been a fly in that room. Lewis says that Doug Logan should stay in his job and that his detractors are, well, ignorant of the current world of sport. In his short tenure, Doug Logan has profoundly changed USATF, from the size of its Board, to the process of governing. Logan's influence, whether in or out of office, will be a constant.

In my mind, whether Doug Logan stays or not, is the decision of the board at USA Track & Field. I am not sure that they know what they are looking for in a CEO. They may know what they are NOT looking for, but that is not the same.

The challenge for a CEO of USATF, in this environment, is to bring in sponsors and develop additional opportunities with current sponsors. Doug Logan has communicated to the masses, pitched ideas out there (Jamaica-USA meet) for events that do not exist, and spent much of his time, representing USATF.

What the CEO of USA Track & Field needs to understand the complex relationship between the 10-12 shoe companies that support the sport (through various athletes and events), the love-hate relationship between road running and track and field, and most of all, which athlete managers and coaches to reach out to. This is not a problem just with Logan, as USA Track & Field has never given the various footwear companies a chance to understand how the organization and their brands could work together. Consider what Nike contributes to the sport, but also ASICS, adidas, Brooks, Mizuno, Saucony, to name some of the largest. Consider what New York, Chicago, Boston, LA, to name the biggies do to contribute to the sport around the country. No one seems to know what assets that USATF has-that needs to change.

The politics of the sport of athletics, cross country, road running, track & field and race walking is like politics in the Balkans. Constant tribal warfare. What has given us success over the past few years, is that key people in the various constituencies have risen above their local needs and are looking out for the sport. That is key to our very survival.   

The CEO's job at USA Track & Field is a mine field. On any day, half of the board and constituency could hate you. Not a fun job. But, that is leadership. The CEO's job is
part Barnum and Bailey and part Jerry McGuire. At the end of the day, it is all about the sales. $20 million should not be the target, $100 million should. From physical fitness to Go USA!, the sport has not figured out how to market itself--we have not figured out our assets, from the superb athletes we have, to the numbers of 9-18 year olds running every day, to the thirty plus million adults running in this country. 

It has not helped Doug Logan that many have questioned the entire process in which he was chosen. Instead of digging up rumors, it needs to be faced that the entire process was flawed,
as there was never any transparency. That needs to be repaired in the next go round, whenever that is.

USA Track & Field has been a tragically flawed and complicated organization. RBR has applauded the changes in the organization over the past 18 months. However, the board needs to decide what is best for the sport, in the long term. London 2012 is under 700 days away and the world has a bullseye on USA Track & Field.

The CEO of USA Track & Field, must understand the sport, know and communicate with the current players in the sport and future stars, and most importantly, must have a rolodex that gives him or her access to Fortune 500 companies. The CEO of USA Track & Field is our sports top sales person. The CEO of USA Track & Field must get up each morning, and know
he or she has the best job in the world and a plethora of assets with which to sell the world's greatest sport to seven billion people. 

Our sport has a great window with London 2012 and Rio 2016. Let's not blow it.

                          Christophe Lemaitre at IAAF VTB Continental Cup,

Lemaitre, fresh off his win at Split, is now running in Milano in front of an appreciative crowd on Thursday. Mike Rodgers defeated both Justin Gatlin and Dwain Chambers in the 100 meters yesterday. Gatlin came back and won the 200 meters.   

As brands evolve, in this extremely competitive landscape, the need for senior
management, with experience, becomes more and more apparent. Saucony
continues to fire on all cylinders, and as the brand positions itself for the next
several years of growth, CEO Richie Woodworth's announcement about a
new CMO is an example of a commitment to that growth plan. RBR congratulate
Chris Lindner on his new position,  wishing him the best of luck, and RBR looks forward to picking his brain in the near-future.

Chris Lindner.jpg
                   Chris Lindner, Senior VP/CMO, Saucony, photo courtesy of Saucony
In a well contested global event, Europe won the IAAF VTB Cup over the Americas. Some great performances, but on Sunday, the crowd pleaser was none other than World Champ Blanka  Vlasic, who entertained her 20,000 Split fans and showed who was the queen of the high jump, ending a very long season! Some great performances, with a double by Bernard Lagat and a strong 100 meter win by Christophe Lemaitre.

Blanka Vlasic, AVIVA London, August 2010, photo by
Greene_DavidFL=Split10.jpgDavid Greene had something to celebrate, an upset of Bershawn Jackson and a 47.88!
photo by

David Greene became the first Brit in fourteen years to duck under 48 seconds, and first European in four, when he duked it out on Saturday with Bershawn Jackson at the IAAF/VTB
Continetal Cup. Over the last barrier, Bershawn had to do a quick save, and David Greene
got the advantage, blazing a fine 47.88 for the win.

                    Lagat winning the IAAF VTB Continental Cup, 5,000m,

Running a brilliant last lap in 51 seconds in a pedestrian, but oh so familiar 5,000 meter championship race, Bernard Lagat won the 5,000 meters at the IAAF/VTB Continental
Cup. He will be running the 3,000 meters on Sunday evening! (Last 1,000 meters in
just over 2:24)!

Thumbnail image for makau.JPG
                    Patrick Makau, photo by

Patrick Makau leads the field for men at this year's real, Berlin marathon, to
be held September 26 in Berlin, Germany. Renowned as one of the fastest
marathon courses in the world, Patrick Makau, RAK half marathon winner, and
Fortis Rotterdam marathon champion, running 2:04.48 last year, will put the WR
holding course to the challenge. Watch our coverage of Berlin on September 26!
Coat of arms of the City of Christchurch

Having lived through a couple decades of earthquakes, including the Oakland/SF 1989 quake,
my heart always goes out to those enduring nature's surprises. Christchurch, New Zealand was hit on Saturday with a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, which cancelled the NZ Road Champs. So far, thank God, no fatalities, but much structural damage! Keep our Kiwi friends in your thoughts and prayers.


(Art is coat of arms for Christchurch, New Zealand)

     Justin Gatlin, Rovereto, Sept 2010,

Justin Gatlin won his first race in his comeback from his drug suspension. Note that media is not really giving him a break. I am not expecting them to, but I do notice that he is creating
a bit of a stir in the meets that does run. I need to get my head around Justin's return. I have to  admit that I really liked Mr. Gatlin and was disappointed in his positive test. To his credit, he did serve out his suspension, but where do we draw the line? It is complicated by the peculiarly American consideration that if someone serves their sentence, they should be cautiously welcomed back into society. I am curious to hear what others think.
Lukezic_Chris-BostonIn09.JPG            Chris Lukezic, Rbk Boston Indoor Games, February 2009, has encouraged USADA and WADA in their development of protocols for drug testing. We have asked them to make sure that their information was solid, that their research was peer-reviewed and that, most importantly, that their investigations are legally solid; they can not afford to loose big cases with shoddy research or relying on gossip or hearsay.

 One of the major toxins that performance-enhancing drugs have unleashed onto our sport of athletics is cynicism. Great performances are always suspect, no matter who the athlete is. Is it fair? Absolutely not, but it is, well, quite human. When something like performance-enhancing drugs is spoken about in hushed tones, gossip becomes fact. Rumors destroy careers. It is the cult of personality that engulfs most of modern media.


       Tyson Gay speaking with BBC, Aviva London,

All the stars are arriving in Split today. The Continental Cup is looking like a pretty good way to end a non championship year. Looking forward to some fun end of season matchups 

One more thing. I just read this stuff about Usain Bolt, in Huffington Post, noting that he runs for big races and Tyson Gay, "probably hates his guts?". Was it a slow news day? Both of these sprinters are supposed to be professionals. And they both comport themselves that way. My frustration, like all track fans, was that once Gay beat Bolt, Usain Bolt called it a season due to his sore back. The frustration is not about his sore back, but not seeing them race more in the early season.

The great thing about this sport is that, all is decided on the track. In 2007, Tyson Gay was on top of the world. In 2008, Usain Bolt was, as he was in 2009. In 2010, after two years of stunning running, Usain's body showed that, yes, he is human after all.

In 2011, when it comes to that hot, humid night in Daegu, when a billion track fans are watching the World Champs on TV, web or in the stadium, the tension will be felt. The finalists for the 100 meters and 200 meters will line up, wait for the gun, and put four years of emotions into under ten seconds for the 100 meters and 20 seconds for the two hundred meters. The key is being healthy then, and in London 2012.
2010 EAB12K jumping girl.jpg
Diamond Foods owns Emerald Nuts. Emerald Nuts has sponsored the Across the Bay 12k race for eight years now, and just renewed for 2011! The management team at Rhodyco, who have been around Bay Area running for centuries, have created strong events and renewed sponsorship in this day and age is something to celebrate! Congrats to Dave Rhody and Kathy Henning at Rhodyco, in their 27th year of event management! 



I am from St. Louis. I have to admit that I am very proud of Nancy Lieberman and her team in putting on the Go! St. Louis Marathon & Family Fitness weekend. Growing from 2,500 in 2001 to 23,000 this past April, the event also gives runners and walkers a view of the history of St. Louis. From the Spanish to the French to those going West, St. Louis has so many eclectic neighborhoods and influences! Tying into that culture is why the race is so successful.

Go! St. Louis is an example of making a running and fitness event resonate with the local culture and community. We hope that they sell out even faster in 2011 than in 2010!

Huddle_Molly-Brussels10 copy.JPG
                    Molly Huddle, 14:44.76, AR, Belgacom Brussels,

Molly Huddle broke Shalane Flanagans' AR by .04 of a second, in the 5,000 meter
race in Brussels last Friday evening. Photographer Victah Sailer sent us a text that
he shot pictures of Molly, then, not knowing she had set the AR, rushed over to the
DL press conference. It was only on the way back to the hotel, on the bus, that Molly
and her agent quietly told Victah that Molly had set the 5,000 meter AR! " I would have
never known, Molly was so quiet..." . Congrats to Molly Huddle who set prs in the 5,000
meters two separate times, dropping 34 seconds this season (from 15:17 to 14:44.76)!

Yohan Blake over Justin Gatlin, August 31, 2010, photo by

The end of the season meets continue to draw attention to the sport. On Tuesday, it was
Rovieretto, Italy, where Yohan Blake finished first to Justin Gatlin's comebacking second.
Gatlin has been running a little better each race, picking smaller, more obscure meets, because, due to his drug positive, are some of the few places he can compete. The European
meet directors will not let an athlete convicted for two or more years to compete in their meetings. Gatlin continues his comeback, quietly and race by race.

I do try to appreciate both sides. I have listened to a prominent British meet director who does not want drug cheats in his races.  I do also remember being told by a prominent coach that he hoped and prayed that Ben Johnson, clean, would run a 9.85. His reasoning was that people thought that drugs made the athletes, and this coach noted, "you can not make a race horse out of a work horse." Banned drugs do not make super humans, they allow athletes to recover faster and therefore get weeks, perhaps months more training benefit than their more human competitor in the next lane. Because so many athletes are talented, and the difference between first and seventh is perhaps, .2 of a second in the 100 meters, then an advantage like an additional month of training could make a difference in a final. That is why we have drug testing and that is the concept of an even playing field.

I do worry that, if an athlete has no way to go but out, the secrecy about illicit drugs gets harder and harder to break. Gatlin served his time, it will be interesting to see how he conducts himself, and how the sport, having observed how he served his time, determines how to bring him back into the sport.

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