October 2010 Archives

Kipsang_WilsonPC-Frankfurt10.JPGWilson Kipsang, 2010 Commerzbank Frankfurt Press conference, photo by PhotoRun.net
               Haile Gebrselassie, 2009 real, Berlin Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Lots on the marathon in this report from Alfons, also please check out Jere Longman's
superb piece on Haile and his chances in ING New York City. His piece can be found
at the www.nytimes.com website.

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                    Ron Hill at the 2010 Athens Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

If I was not heading the wedding of friends, I would be in Athens, observing the celebration
of the 2,500th anniversary of the Marathon. Ron Hill, 1969, European Champ, Rosa Mota,
1982 European champ, both won on the Athens course, arguably, one of the toughest
courses of the major marathons. 20,000 runners will be running one of several races this
weekend. Joan Benoit Samuelson is there. Joan won the 1984 Olympic marathon, the first
for women, and three weeks ago, ran a 2:47 marathon, and the next day ran the Tufts 10k
in just over 40 minutes.

Our roving marathon reporter, Pat Butcher, a man who has a fleet of airplanes named after him with his lifetime air mileage (attempt at a joke), will be covering the Marathon weekend.
I hope you enjoy! Please note, that I am on vacation through next Thursday, so no more than one update a day!

One of the coolest things about the ING NYCM week is that they have something fascinating going on each day of the week. The Abebe Bikila Award has been a high point for me each year and this year, it goes to Paul Tergat, former WR holder and the man who pushed Haile Gebrselassie so close in Sydney!

Also, on Friday, November 5, Dick Patrick will receive the George Hirsch Award for Running Journalism. Congrats to both deserving individuals!

                            Paul Tergat in Lake Biawa, 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Some people are just starting their break from 2010 and for some, like Usain Bolt, the road to Daegu, Korea is beginning. In fact, three years of championship events, 2011 World Champs, London 2012, and World Champs 2013. That is longer than many elite athletes careers at the top! Bolt_UsainTurn-Ostrava10.jpg                   Usain Bolt running the 300 metres in Ostrava, photo by PhotoRun.net

Usain Bolt just told the IAAF that he is excited about beginning his training once again!

This photo appeared in my email the other day from Associate IAAF Web Editor, Bob Ramsak.
Per IAAF Web Editor Chris Turner, Bob is off for two weeks vacation in Vietnam. Bob sends out some fun pictures from his various environs.

Apparently, Bob was on a motorcycle taxi and saw this Li-Ning shop in Hanoi, with the large picture of Yelena Isinbayeva. He convinced the taxi driver to stop and shot this picture for your global entertainment. Thanks, Bob!

VS logo.pngFor more years than I can remember, there was a great track & field coaches clinic in Palo Alto, CA. The spirit of that clinic is with this one, and it has moved to Sacramento! I heartily encourage all who can to attend.

The great thing about clinics is the free expression of ideas. The clinics are great, as one can learn many things. I learnt more, however, sitting down, picking a few friends brains after a clinic like this!

I am very proud of our friends at VS Athletics, from Billy Smith to Peanut Harms, one of my spiritual mentors (along with Jan Johnson and John Powell). The best thing about our sport are the great people involved.

Our dear friend, Rick Milam would have loved this one! If you live on the West Coast, get there by train, plane or even, hybrid vehicle


Our friend, Tom Bedford, used the Dublin course to win a very hefty wager about his athletic ability just a year or two ago, I believe. He put the wager to good use, raising money for a fine cause. Nice to see so many marathoners in Dublin as Moses Kangogo Kibet of Kenya ran 2:08:58, and Russian Tatyana Aryasova ran 2:26:13-both negative splitting! 

                                                  Siraj winning 2010 Beijing, photo
by PhotoRun.net.

Gena Siraj won a rain soaked 2010 Beijing Marathon in 2:15:46. Then, why is Pat Butcher, our global runner waxing so poetically about the race? Read on, inquisitive readers.....
Though this video is in Portugese, you will get the feeling of the relay. Nicely done video, featuring TV celebrities in Brasil. Enjoy! Rio to Sao Paulo!

22,000 runners ran the BUPA Great South Run in Portsmouth, England on Sunday. World Cross Country Champ Joseph Ebuya cranked a fast 45:16 for the ten mile course, breaking the course record by forty seconds! Congrats to all of the finishers this weekend!

If you thought track was done, Christophe Lemaitre ran 20.8 this weekend at the French Club championships. It's gotta be time soon for Mr. Lemaitre to relax, sip some rose and take a couple weeks off!

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          Scott Davis, Sr., the voice of American track & field, photo courtesy of IAAF

Walt Murphy has sent us a note from Tom Jordan, Nike Pre Classic meet director, on a
memorial fund for Scott Davis, friend of many, voice of American track & field and iconic
story teller.

              Verranzano Bridge, Start of the 2009 ING NYCM, photo by PhotoRun.net.

The ING NYCM will celebrate its fourtieth anniversary this year. From humble beginnings, being five loops around Central Park in 1970, the race became a race of five boroughs through the eccentric genius of Fred Lebow and a large cast of friends!

NYRR club's Fred Lebow's vision, and his sponsors' belief of that vision (including George Hirsch, who was publishing New Times and did the race program), made the great city marathons, half marathons and the running community that we have today.

Way back in 1977, in Mariah magazine, John Jerome waxed poetically about Frank Shorter's run in Munich, " by putting twenty-six five minute miles together, Frank Shorter invented running...." . To paraphrase John Jerome, by moving the ING NYRR marathon from Central Park to the five boroughs, Fred Lebow, Allan Steinfeld and their supporters re-invented the marathon...

In the following article,Walt Murphy, who is found at most ING NYCM marathons, tells us about the 1976 race, won by Bill Rodgers....see you in NYC in two weeks!
Radcliffe-Coe2-IAAF07.jpg      Lord Sebastian Coe & Paula Radcliffe, IAAF Gala, 2007, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Sebastian Coe has a tiring year and one half ahead of him. As the voice of the 2012 London Olympics, Coe is either slammed or praised, depending on the day, and how he breathes,
regarding every type of decision that goes with the London Games. Recently he has been dealing with keeping an athletic legacy for London after 20102. This last week it was noting the huge cuts in athletics and culture support from the besieged and fused government.

Most recently, Coe was asked about LaShawn Merritt. Merritt, the gold medalist from Beijing and Berlin, tested positive after using an over the counter product called Extenze. The quick jokes aside, it became quite apparent that the athlete had not taken into consideration what was in the product, and that he was now facing a ban from competition of 21 months, shortened from 24 due to his 'exemplary behavior".  An arbitration hearing, held
by AAA,  claims that Merritt should not be kept from competing in London 2012. The IOC
disagrees, and Lord Coe supports the IOC rule. 

While Merritt's ban goes 21 months, allowing him to compete in World Champs in Daegu, Korea in August 2011, he will not compete in London 2012. The IOC adopted a rule in 2008
noting that if an athlete had a six month or more suspension, that they were not allowed to compete in the next Olympic Games.

So, who is it going to be for 2010? Let Walt Murphy be your guide as you pick your three favorite men and women athletes in the sport of track & field for 2010!

The saga continues......
        Haile in Berlin, 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Tyson Gay is going to be at the ING NYC Marathon. He is not there to run, but to
watch his adidas team mate Haile Gebrselassie run the five boroughs! I am looking forward to
seeing that race as well!

Congrats to Berlin Marathon as their new title sponsor is BMW! BMW will take over from
real,-, the supermarket chain who has supported the race so well!

And, Stephanie Hightower, President of USATF sent out a press release on the lawsuit by Doug Logan, former CEO of USATF, noting that the legal matter would not affect the day to day operations of the governing body of the sport.

Yours truly had a successful eye operation, thanks to Dr. Anderson in Madison, Wisconsin and his thoughtful staff. I now have two working eyes, after cataract surgeries in 2005 and now, 2010. Thanks for the nice thoughts and notes! Eyesight is a miracle.

NB Falmouth Road Race Logo.jpg

The Falmouth road race is an icon. It is New England Summer road racing at its best, and its warmest! But, a few days on the beach, perhaps a clambake, and of course, a cool adult beverage after the race makes 12k go that much faster.

Congrats to New Balance for signing on as the title sponsor of the Falmouth Road Race! A good move by NB making sure no one forgets that they are focused on running!

NB Falmouth Road Race.jpg

Photo caption: New Balance Falmouth Road Race logo unveiled at Nobska Light: From left, Christine Frazier, Falmouth Road Race board member; Josh Rowe, running marketing manager at New Balance; Bob Minihane, owner of New Balance Mashpee and Burlington retail stores; Kathy Sherman, Falmouth Road Race co-director. photo by PhotoRun.net.


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The Brooks Hansons Run Machine, photo courtesy of Tamara Hill, Brooks

So, on a recent visit to the land of Brooks, I spent a few minutes with Tamara Hill. Tamara is the media goddess at Brooks, and she keeps the running media informed. I had asked her to send me all releases on running and anything with a bit of an edge.

So, this picture shows up with a little note, " Larry, thought you might find this interesting." Was Tamara right! While it is not the Brooks Cavalcade of Curiousities, it is a surefire hit!

Brooks Hansons continues to develop athletes to their fullest-look no further than Dez Davila who finished fourth in the 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2:26.20!

So here is the deal, send me in your running related van, old bus or car with 1,000 shoes glue on it. I will show my favorites and try and wax poetically about them! Send your photos to
[email protected].

The Euro Meetings are being held in Zagreb this week. Yesterday, they upheld the Euro one day meetings agreement not to accept athletes who have received a two year ban to compete in their events...congrats to Boston Marathon 2011 for selling out in less than one day!

I do believe that we have to draw a line in the sand where drugs in our sport are truly discouraged. I do think the Euro meetings agreement makes sense. 

Only one or two RBR updates Tuesday and Wednesday, as I have eye surgery on Tuesday and will be out for about 48 hours!


                                        2010 BAA Boston finish, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Congrats to Boston Marathon for selling out today for the 2011 race in less than one day! Read the story below to get the particulars!

Last year, registration for the Boston Marathon filled in just over two months.

This year, it took just a day. Registration opened this morning and closed this afternoon, Boston Athletic Association officials have confirmed. BAA officials shut down registration at 5:03 p.m. today.

The 115th Boston Marathon will be held on April 18, 2011. Last year, there were 26,790 entries, 23,177 starters and 22,721 finishers. Officials said they expect the same amount of entries in the 2011 race.

Earlier in the day, BAA officials sensed there would be a rapid sellout of available spots in the race because of a high volume of traffic to the BAA's web site where registration was conducted. A minor technical issue that prevented some applications from processing was resolved, and by noon more than 12,000 had signed up for the event.

Special thanks to Victah Sailer/PhotoRun.net.

      Haile Gebrselassie, 2009 real, -Berlin, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Bob Schul, Bob Beamon, Bill Dellinger are the iconic athletes that captured October 18
forever, in the following piece by Walt Murphy. Will Haile Gebrselassie be one of the greats?
Surely, his 25 world records, world champs and Olympic medals make him our modern equivalent of Paavo Nurmi? His most recent world records have been amazing.

Consider this for a moment though. Bob Schul delivered the goods with the whole world expecting it. Bill Dellinger, in his third Olympics, dug in deep, and chased down Michel Jazy
for the Olympic bronze medal. Bob Beamon, four years later, put the long jump so far out of reach, at the record lasted from 1968 to 1991!

Haile wants to put the marathon record out of reach, do you think he can do it? Send us a note and tell me why or why not?

           Tyson Gay vs Usain Bolt, Stockholm, August 6, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Athletes Only has been published since 1995, and goes to 150,000 plus high school and college cross country and track & field athletes. Here is the digital edition of AO, please enjoy. It is a strong issue and follows some of the top American athletes from the summer of 2010!

For more on Athletes Only, or to get a free subscription for your team, please check www.atf-athlete.com, or email [email protected].

Due to popular demand, another video has been thrust upon us. This video is probably rated PG-17, so, if you find it offensive, deal with it. Again, may I suggest viewing this, after your run, with your favorite beverage, and a sense of humor is required. In this video, Calves McKenzie, one of the characters in this ensemble, reveals how his shoe addiction began. Almost heartbreaking. Again, no shoes or humans were harmed in the making of this video. For more on theshoeaddicts, please click.
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Here is report on how the US teams fared at the IAAF Half Marathon Champs in Nanning, China today. Special thanks to Jim Estes.
Everyone wants to win a race. From the time running became more of a sport, of course that might have been after man was the primary dinner feast for saber tooth tigers. The vase we show above showed running in the times of the ancient Greeks. My guess is that they somehow survived without YouTube.

Once again, the video shown here was sent to RBR. I have watched it several times, played it backwards (don't worry, it does not say backwards, "Paul is dead"). Anyhow, I post it here for your Saturday afternoon viewing, preferably after your run. Please note, that no creatures or shoes were harmed in the making of this video. For more videos by theshoeaddicts, check out You Tube.

    Teddy Tamgho, triple jumping at adidas GP, New York 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Teddy Tamgho, the WR Indoors for TJ, will be considering the long jump for 2011. In a recent interview, Tamgho will determine if he can jump 8.30-8.40m, which he sees as a medal winner in the TJ. The TJ is highly competitive  and has been such over the past decade. 
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Gui Jing seat cover, photo courtesy of Bob Ramzak

There are times when I am struck, well silent. Such a situation happened when observant reader Bob Ramsak, one of the key voices of global track & field, as he writes daily on the IAAF.org site, sent me this wonderfully photographed toilet seat cover. I did ask Bob for his permission to run the photo and have waited until after the race has started in China. Again, I would really appreciate these types of signage in the restrooms in North America. Leaving such protocols to local interpretation can be, well dangerous.

Of course, I did add a few related articles. Read at your discretion.

The Belgrade Race thru History is one of the best videos that I have seen on a race! The 16 minute plus race was covered in about 4 minutes. Great video and stunning course. Intimately done, the race unfolds and keeps your interest! Nice Job. I would give this video 4.95 stars (out of five).
                        Kebede at Virgin London, April 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

In the media room last Sunday after the race, Chicago columnist Philip Hersh asked
Tsegaye Kebede if he would run ING NYC with the outside chance that he could defeat the
fresh field assembled for the Nov.7 race. Kebede played a bit with Mr. Hersh, and it took
a response from Kebede's agent to end the rumors. In the news report from Alfons
Juck, it is clear that Kebede realizes he could have a long career ahead of him, if he does not do things like two world class marathons in four weeks. 

Pat Butcher, our roving global runner, tells us how Josephat Menjo, who in a period of 11 days this past August ran 12.55.95 for 5000 meters, a 3.53.62 mile, and a 26.56.74 for 10,000 meters, end his season today with a course record at the Belgrade Race Thru History! For more on
Pat Butcher, please check out www.globerunner.org.

The XC Yearbook has been a decade long collaboration between Walt Murphy, Sean Hartnett, James Dunaway and myself. It compiles the major events from 2009-10 season, the full calendar of 2010-11, a photo report on the 2009 NCAA XC Champs and, of course the writings of Dick Patrick (Starting Blocks) and James Dunaway (Exit). We also have columns by Don Kopriva, the ASBA and John Godina. 35,000 copies have been mailed out, as we have done with AT&F since its predecessor, American Athletics in 1989. We hope that you like it! Please pass it around, as we want to get more people reading AT&F!

Cross country is, for distance and middle distance runners, one of the key building blocks to success in the spring and summer track seasons. It is also a mental break from the grinding track workouts or tough series of road races. Note that we put Molly Huddle on the cover, new AR at 5,000 meters. Molly started her 2010 season on the US XC team, taking 19th at the World XC, then ran a full track season, and finally, on October 11, won the US 10k champs in 32:00 over Jenn Rhines and Katie McGregor!  Like Shalane Flanagan, Magdelena Lewy Boulet, and Des Davila, all run cross country as part of their seasons preparations.
The opening ceremony of the 1896 Summer Olympics.


The Exit column is the last editorial page of American Track & Field. The column is the territory of James Dunaway, the editor of American Track & Field.

Dunaway and I penned a column on the Coaching Registry in June, which caused a bit of controversy. Our take was, the timing of the Registry, not the Registry itself showed that Doug Logan was not in touch with the 80,000 coaches who work with over 3 million athletes in cross country, track & field and race walking in junior highs, high schools and colleges.

Our issue with the removal of Doug Logan was why he was there in the first place. Todays actions where the USATF Board hired a search firm, is, in the eyes of one heavy hitter in the running industry, " the first professional thing that USATF's board has done."

James Dunaway is 82 years old and has been credentialed for the last fifteen Summer Olympics. He is, full of "piss and vinegar", to use someone else's description. He also loves the sport and is amazingly well-connected. The vitriol that has been spilled to him over Doug Logan, the removal of Logan and the concerns over how the new search would be handled could fill a very large pool. Suffice it to be said, the various constituencies are watching every move of USATF's Board.

I did not sign this note with James Dunaway. My operating style is not to hit someone over the head. But, I am concerned and I am worried that the sport that I love will continue to flounder, and get caught up with the task at hand: to build our sport both inside the country and out.

As Dick Patrick just noted, for forty years, we had two CEOs-Ollan Cassell and Craig Masback. Craig changed the sport in his eleven year tenure. So did Doug Logan and he only had twenty-six months.

Is our board strong? Time will tell. I believe that there are good people on the board, and they need to look into themselves to find out how they can make our sport better. James Dunaway is trying to wake up the board and give them some talking points. Tell us what you think, please email us at runblogrun.com with your thoughts!
2009 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships


Dick Patrick wrote from 1986 until 2010 for USA Today. I have been lucky enough to have Dick write for American Track & Field since 2003. That was the work of our editor, James Dunaway. This piece was originally done for American Track & Field XC Yearbook 2010, which is in the mail to our 35,000 readers. Note that we will have a digital version up on RBR later this week.

Dick Patrick has a lot to say in this one. Read it, take a run, and read it again. Our sport is at a cross roads. Let's view this process with some common sense.

And the journey begins once again. The press release by USA Track & Field notes some positive signs: a search committee has been established, a professional search firm has been found and no current USATF board members will be candidates.

What has become evident is that our sport needs a thoughtful leader who can sell, encourage and listen. It also should be evident that, after the most recent experience, that the person should understand and appreciate the vagaries of this sport. 

This vetting process will probably be a fairly brutal process, so, as Stanley Tucci's character noted in The Devil Wears Prada, " Gird your loins."


As our sport matures, the challenge of how major events pass on their heritage, culture and management to another generation becomes a challenge. We applaud the process and the example that London Race Director has used to name his successor, named below, and the
process on how they will develop the new Race Director's position and skills.

We wish new Deputy director Hugh Brasher the very best wishes and congratulate Dave Bedford on his forethought. Bedford will work with Brasher through 2012, with Brasher taking
Race Director title in 2013.

One of the most exciting stories to come out of the 2010 Bank of America Chicago marathon,
is Desiree Davila. Des has had an extraordinary year. In March, Des made the U.S. team for the World Indoor Champs. In Doha, Qatar, Des ran 8:51 for the 3,000 meters, and the final of the World Indoor Champs!

Davila_Desiree_USOut.Jpg              Desiree Davila, USA Outdoor Champs, 10,000 meters, photo by PhotoRun.net.

In June 2010, Des ran a brilliant 10,000 meter race at the USA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Davila finished third, running 32:22.

In speaking to her coaching team, the brothers Hanson, RBR learnt that Des did not have a perfect marathon buildup. She missed some time about five weeks into her marathon training. As Davila noted in the post Chicago press conference, she had confidence in her training and she ran the race very smart.

Running from behind, Desiree Davila rushed into fourth place over the last several miles, running a fine 2:26:20, making her the fourth fastest American ever in the marathon! Only Deena Kastor, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Kara Goucher have run faster.

Des ran her personal best, even with less than perfect training. Des Davila showed also, that with the support of a sponsor (and most of our top athletes are sponsored by a major running footwear company), athletes have the time to develop their talents! Congrats to Des Davila
and her fine race on 10.10.10.

Sammy Wanjiru, 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net.

The Bank of America Chicago marathon had two great stories: Wanjiru's determined battle with Kebede over every step of the marathon course.  Shobukhova's brilliantly tactical race, where she raced past Baysa between 30-35k, and set a new Russian national record!

The media finally got the idea of the $500,000 prize, as Wanjiru and Kebede battled over the last three kilometers  of the marathon course! As Virgin Marathon race director David Bedford noted, " If all the races were this exciting, fans would get our sport!"


  Shobukhova Wraps Up World Marathon Major Win with Victory at Bank of America Chicago Marathon Wanjiru Races to Victory; All but Ensures World Marathon Major Title

CHICAGO, October 10, 2010- Liliya Shobukhova set a new Russian women's marathon record when she finished in 2 hours, 20 minutes, 25 seconds taking home the Bank of American Chicago Marathon victory and the World Marathon Major Title. In the men's race, Samuel Wanjiru of Kenya finally broke away from Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia just after mile 26 to win by 19 seconds in 2:6:24.

At the beginning of the day, Wanjiru and Kebede each had 50 points in the World Marathon Major standings. After staying close throughout the race, Wanjiru and Kebede ran side-by-side and traded off the lead at mile 26, before Wanjiru surged to the front and never looked back. His strong finish gave Wanjiru 25 points, bringing his total up to 75 and the lead with only one event, the ING New York City Marathon, remaining in the series. Kebede's second-place finish (2:06:43) gave him 15 points, bringing his total to 65. The only opportunity for Wanjiru to be defeated would be for Kebede to make a quick recovery to run New York, and finish second or better.

In the women's race, Shobukhova took hold of the lead around the 35K mark and did not face any competition the rest of the race, with Astede Baysa of Ethiopia finishing second, over three minutes behind. In addition to a personal best and the Russian women's marathon record, the victory gave her an additional 25 points in the World Marathon Major standings, bringing her total to 85 and guaranteeing her the title and $500,000 purse.

The top five men and women finishers at the Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, New York World Championships and Olympic Marathons will earn points in a $1 million two-year series to crown the World Marathon Majors champion. The 2009-10 series will conclude at the ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 7. The men's and women's champions will both win $500,000. The points breakdown is 1st -25, 2nd-15, 3rd-10, 4th-5 and 5th -1.

The current 2009-2010 World Marathon Major standings are:

Place       Name                                 Country            Point Total
1             Samuel Wanjiru                   KEN                 75

2             Tesgaye Kebede                  ETH                 65
3             Deriba Merga                       ETH                 35
3             Emmauel Mutai                    KEN                35
5             Jaouad Gharib                      MOR               30

Place      Name                                  Country             Point Total
1             Liliya Shobukhova                RUS                  85
2             Irina Mikitenko                     GER                  41
3             Salina Kosgei                      KEN                  36

4             Teyba Erkesso                    ETH                   30
5              Xue Bai                             CHN                   25
5             Bezunesh Bekele                ETH                   25
5             Atsede Habtamu                 ETH                   25
5             Aberu Kebede                     ETH                   25 
5             Derartu Tulu                        ETH                   25


  Lilya Shobukhova wins 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, photo
by PhotoRun.net

Lilya Shobukhova ran her race at the Bank of America Chicago marathon on Sunday, October 10. The highly visible promotions done around Chicago mentioned 10.10.10-the tenth day of tenth month of tenth year of century. The stories that have come out of this race have made some call the race the best marathon that they have ever seen.

Lilya Shobukhova ran her own race. Her agent told RBR, at dinner on Sunday evening, that Lilya was prepared to break two hours, twenty minutes. But, with the weather and the pacers, Lilya made some decisions to guage her strengths at half way and after. Shobukhova had expected the pace makers to hit 71 minutes and 72:30 minutes for halfway. Astede Baysa, Mamitu Daska and Askale Tafa Margasa went out like the proverbial bats out of hell.

Shobukhova was fifteen seconds back from Baysa and Daska at the halfway point, as Baysa hit the halfway at 1:09:45 to Shobukhova's 1:10:10! Baysa ran with fierce emotion, taking her lead to 20 seconds at 25 kilometers: Baysa hit the 25k in 1:22:42 with Shobukhova at 1:23:02.

What people were not following were two other racers: Maria Konovalova, who hit 25k in 1:24:02 and Desiree Davila, of the US, who hit 25k in 1:26:33, and Magdelena Lewy-Boulet right behind Des, running 1:26:36 for 25k.

Remember Shobukhova has run under 14:30 for 5 kilometers. Her stride, not overly long, is elegant and looks effortless. Shobukhova is focused. Shobukhova had moved up to second by 30k, but Baysa had opened 28 seconds on Lilya-was that going to prove to be too much? As the race got hot, the weather got hot. By 9 am, it was 77 degrees, though with little humidity, and a swirling wind.

Between 30 kilometers and 35 kilometers, Lilya Shobukhova showed running fans why she has been so effective at Virgin London and Bank of America Chicago in the past year. This year, 10.10.10, was very, very warm. Shobukhova ran 16:44 for the 5k between 30 and 35 k. Astede Baysa ran 17:26 for this 5k, and Lilya floated by Baysa, putting fifteen seconds between the Russian and the Ethiopian in that difficult 5k! Maria Konovalova moved into third and Desiree Davila moved into fifth position as the race moved into the race it or loose it stage.

The final 7.22 kilometers of the race, Shobukhova continued to move, faster and faster. She went from probably top three to breaking the Russian record and putting three minutes and fifteen seconds between Shobukhova and Bayso, 2:20.25 to 2:23:40! Maria Konovalova, who was basking in her success Sunday evening at dinner, improved her pb by eleven minutes in this crazy weather! Maria ran 2:23:50, nearly taking second from Astede Baysa!

Desiree Davila, who had some injuries five weeks into the marathon training, ran a personal best of 2:26:20, putting her in some royal American distance running company: Deena Kastor, Kara Gotcher and Joan Benoit Samuelson are the ONLY women from US who have ever run faster than Davila. Davila finished fourth, just ahead of Mikitenko.

Magdelena Lewy Boulet finished in seventh in 2:28:44, with a pit stop. Tera Moody, ran her best marathon with a terribly painful bunion, in 2:30:53.

Today was Lilya Shobukhova's, in the women's race, who showed that speed, endurance and judgement is key to being the top women marathoner in the world. Her brilliant race in Chicago, also made her $500,000 richer, thanks to the World Marathon Majors victory! 


Lilya Shobukhova winning 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, by PhotoRun.net.

Shobukhova became the 10th fastest marathon runners of all time.  All nine runners ahead of her have broken 2:20.  It was also the 15th fastest performance. 

Her time, 2:20:25, is the fastest time since Mikitenko's 2:19:19 in 2009 Berlin marathon 

The average of her top 3 time since 2008 is 2:22:16, second only to the top 3 average (since 2008) of Mikitenko, which is 2:21:55.

            Sammy Wanjiru wins 2010 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, by PhotoRun.net

Wanjiru's winning time was 2:06:24, faster than 2:06:32 he ran in warm Beijing Olympic Games

Thus Wanjiru's 2:06:24 and Shobukhova's 2:20:25, are probably the fastest time ever recorded in the race ran mostly in temperature over 20C. For the next time, I will compile the all time list with temperature above 20C.


                    Lilya Shobukhova, Virgin London 2010, by PhotoRun.net.

Lilya Shobukhova showed self control when needed, and went for the win near
twenty miles, and then, like a great painter, used the Bank of America Chicago
course as her canvas, to create a great victory and a Russian record of 2:20:25! 

                    Jason Hartmann, photo by PhotoRun.net.
Sammy Wanjiru, Tsegaye Kebede, B of A Chicago Marathon press conference, PhotoRun.net.

In a battle literally down to the last 1,000 meters, Sammy Wanjiru showed why he is the top marathoner in the world. After having dropped out of London in April 2010, and an Italian 11k road race this past summer, there were doubters.

On Friday, Sammy walked the Chicago Expo, and I met him in the Nike booth with Frederica Rosa, his agent. I asked Sammy, " how are you feeling, ready to win.", Sammy, who speaks fluent Japanese noted, " I feel great, I want to win!"

The 1968 Olympic gold medalist at the decathlon once noted, " The guy who wins the gold medal covets it the most." Well, Sammy Wanjiru wanted to win today, and he fought to the finish line, pointing two fingers up to the sky, showing the fierce pride to a top competitor!

Here is how Sammy Wanjiru won the 2010 Bank of America Chicago marathon:

Irina Mikentenko versus Lilya Shobukhova, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Wanjiru-Kebede.JPGSammy Wanjiru versus Tsegaye Kebede, photo by PhotoRun.net.

So, running does not have big paydays? You might reconsider that when you consider, that, on Sunday, October 10, 2010, one man and one women, from the two men and two women shown above, will split $ 1 million dollars from the World Marathon Majors Jackpot! 

                                          Boulet in Rotterdam, April 2010, photo by

I love the throws. Throwers and distance runners get along because they work out long hours, consume mass quantities of food products and beverages, and are the mellow part of the sport of athletics. Perhaps the addition might be that they both are mellow until they either enter the ring or hit the start line of the race...

I met John Godina in 1992 at an TAFWA Indoor Luncheon in Manhattan that I was fortunate enough to be at. I watched John compete in Goteborg, Atlanta among other places. I always enjoyed his sense of humor, and also his competitive nature.

John's dream, the world throws' center, is his baby. Godina is coaching, and Dan Taylor is one of his athletes. Hats off to the World Throws Center for sponsoring the National Throw Coaches Clinic and Convention. Good things, and good people build our sport. This is a " good thing".

John Godina Setting Indoor WR in 2005, courtesy of You Tube
                    Blanka Vlasic, European Female AOY, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Lots going on in the world of athletics today. Blanka Vlasic wins European Female AOY today.

However, the Class act of the day: Bank of America donating $500,000 to youth fitness programs in Chicago, in honor of Mayor Daley and his wife, Maggie.Carey Pinkowski, race director of the Bank of America Chicago marathon noted, " We have the best marathon in the world and the best city mayor in the world! " Most of Chicago would agree!

Here is the behind the scenes track stats from K. Ken Nakamura on day 1 of the Commonwealth Games, held in New Delhi, India.
USA Track & Field

Image via Wikipedia

A very helpful blog from USATF board of directors, regarding the 2010 USATF Budget. Kenneth Taylor does a good job at explaining the budget, what is over budget and what is on budget. He also reveals the USATF travel reimbursement rules and regulations.

I sent him a comment, thanking him for his thoroughness. My only question was, does USATF have the revenues to warrant such a budget? Stay tuned for the answer...

The Notre Dame Invitational has a storied past. One of the premier cross country invitationals in the Midwest, the 8k course is fast and a great race to watch. The likes of Herb Lindsay,
Greg Meyer, Chuck Aragon all ran the ND cross country course. 

The course also hosts the National Catholic Invitational, which I ran in 1980, 1981. From 21rst place, I watched John Gregorek and Chuck Aragon duke it out over the last mile in 1980. Now, as then, Coach Joe Piane (at ND since 1976 I believe), is a great host!

Special thanks to O. Patrick Holleran/Shannon Digital Photography for the photos and Chuck Bartlett for putting the gallery together. We hope you enjoy! 

Who says running can not change the world? Dubai, after the success of their marathon, is offering a women's only race, in Dubai on October 22. The Gulf News, posted below, provides all of the particulars on the race. Nice move by the UAE!


              View from BurjKalifa, in Dubai, courtesy of PhotoRun.net.

Yes, Meb and Blake sure know their way around the city of San Jose. The fastest half marathon in California continues its well known reputation. Meb's 61:45 and Blake Russells' 71:55 showed that both are ready for the ING NYCM to be held on November 7, 2010. Thanks again for PhotoRun's wonderful photos, 13,000 San Joseans, a fast, fast course, great weather and Matt Turnbull for putting together two great athletes to lead the fields! Thanks to Chuck Bartlett for producing the photo gallery!

Great races on the streets of Philly! Fast times and 15,000 runners and walkers tour the city! Special thanks to PhotoRun for the photos and Chuck Bartlett, the RN Webmaster for producing the photo gallery! Congrats to Competitor Group's Matt Turnbull for putting together great fields on the men and women's sides!

Special thanks to PhotoRun for dealing with the cool, rainy conditions in
Berlin, and for Chuck Bartlett battling a bad cold, producing the RN
Photo Gallery!

New Balance

The first time I saw New Balance shoes was on a team mate in high school cross country, on the Crystal Springs course, in Belmont, CA in the fall of 1975. I raced in a pair of NB 305 at the Christmas Relays in 1975, which was a 50 mile relay from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay (I did the 10.5 mile final leg). At the time, there were about five recognizable running shoe brands, today, there are over 35! The level of competition at the performance level is fierce. Recognizing your challenges is the first step in changing what may or may not be working. NB "re-orging"  their specialty sales, and providing a specialty team is a step in the right direction. It is all about perception. As the Rolling Stones ads from a decade ago noted, Perception=Reality. If the store owners believe your brand cares about their needs, and your reps actually show up, with the right shoes, you have won half the battle.

The brands in top performance running positions, ASICS, Brooks, Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, New Balance, all know that great product, plus great support, plus consistent and resonating marketing are key to survival in this industry.

Fleet Feet announced that they were up in sales 11 percent for the first half. Jeff Phillips, Fleet Feet's President,  also noted in an interview with SportsSource One,  that Brooks has overtaken ASICS as their top footwear brand and noted increases from Saucony and Nike.

"Brooks and Saucony are dialed in," Phillips is quoted. He also noted that Moving Comfort and Nike are in a "dead heat" in sports bra sales and that Nike apparel is doing quite well.

The battle continues.....

Medals_Chicago09.Jpg       Medals from 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Nearly 40,000 runners will be checking the Mile by Mile newsletter for final updates on the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, numero 33! Technology, from chip timing to email blasts, has changed the way the sport is managed and produced. Nike's running.com websites, the adidas mi-coach website and Map my run are three of the more prominent ways that runners and walkers have used technology to enhance their running experience.

What is fascinating to me is how quickly information is disseminated. The announcements of the elite fields, the withdrawal of Ryan Hall, go from iphone/android to the coffee room. Our sport has changed, and will continue to do so, as it attracts more runners to our sport!

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon course is a course made for personal bests. It is flat and fast. In cool weather, with great pacing groups, citizen runners can find the pace that suits their goals. After having observed the race since the mid 1990's, it is still amazing to me how many runners and walkers get around this course!

So, what will be the big stories of 2010? Will we have defending winners or will we have big surprises? In five days we will find out! See you in the Windy City!

                    Mylar blankets from the 2009 Bank of America Chicago marathon, photo
                    by PhotoRun.net.

                         Meb wins RNR San Jose in 1:01.45, photo by PhotoRun.net.

                    Blake Russell wins RNR San Jose in 1:11.45, photo by PhotoRun.net

San Jose was my home for twenty plus years. I was able to watch the race two years ago, and
I am happy to see Speed City have a fast half marathon! Meb came back this year, as he is training for the ING NYCM, which he won in 2009. This year, Meb ran 1:01.45 (he ran 1:01.00 last year).

Blake Russell is also running the ING NYCM this year. Her coach, Bob Sevene and I spoke about her training in June as she was running the 10,000m in Des Moines. Off about six weeks of hard training in June, Blake ran a super 10,000 m. Her half marathon here shows that she is fit and ready to run a strong race in the Big Apple!

Congrats to all 13,000 runners and walkers who ran the streets of San Jose today!

Brendan Reilly, of the Boulder Wave sent us this story on Antonio Vega. I was lucky enough to watch Antonio run his 61:54 at the Aramco Houston USA Half Marathon champs, and he is a great athlete to watch. Congrats on his victory and congrats to USATF's Jim Estes for championing this series.

Vega_AntonioFV1-Houston10.JPGAntonio Vega winning the USA Half Marathon Champs at Aramco Houston Half Marathon, January 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Katie McGregor won the women's USA 10 Mile Champs and Sergio Reyes won the men's USA Marathon champs, both held at Medtronic Twin Cities races today! A busy weekend in the Twin Cities!

                             Katie McGregor, NYRR Distance Carnival, photorun.net
Sergio Reyes, who runs for the ASICS Aggies, won the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon today, running a personal best of 2:14.02, seven seconds up on second place!. The USA Marathon champs winner, Reyes aslo has the option to represent the US at the World Champs in Daegu, Korea in 2011.

                             Sergio Reyes, 2009 Bank of America Chicago, photorun.net.
I was finishing up Athletes Only, and worked in this piece on Andrew Wheating, I hope that you like it....


              Andrew Wheating, Oly Trials 2008, Eugene, photo courtesy of PhotoRun.net.
     Adam, Kara, and Colton Mirko Goucher, courtesy of

Check out the piece that Adam wrote about being a new father, and the nice pictures of Kara and their new baby. Congrats once again to the Goucher family.

EME NEWS (OCT 1, 2010)




OSTRAVA (CZE): Organisers of next years European U23 Championships in Ostrava (July 14-17) presented its two mascots and ambassador 400 m runner Denisa Rosolova who comes from the region and was local athlete for many years. She finished 5th at European Championships in Barcelona in her first year at the distance. They also announced major sponsorship contract in cars support category. Vice-mayor Lubomir Pospisil promised new sitting tribune at the place of the current standing at the back-straight. This should be in function already for the prestigious Golden Spike Meeting on May 31. The mascots are prehistoric hunter with his woman as in Ostrava region a statute from before 21 000 years was found Song of the championships is called "To be Athletic" and is performed by local group The Love Songs Orchestra.



NEW DELHI (GBR): British media are informing about interesting family background of hurdler Lawrence Clarke who is European junior champion 2009 and is competing next week at Commonwealth Games in India. His senior best is 13.69 from this summer at 110 m hurdles. Charles Lawrence Somerset Clarke, a 20-year-old former Etonian and heir apparent to the baronetcy held by his father, Sir Tobias Clarke, would like to get one thing straight. Seriously posh he may be, with Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg for an uncle and a family tree that includes prime ministers, presidents and high-ranking diplomats, but he is determined to be judged on his own abilities, not his background. He is coached by respected Malcolm Arnold.



LONDON (GBR): World champion and double Diamond Race winner Allyson Felix will visit London next week. The American will be in town to watch her beloved LA Lakers take on the Minnesota Timberwolves at The O2 arena on Monday 4 October.



KOSICE (SVK): Increase in overall participation is the best sign of growing interest into running at the oldest marathon in Europe. The 87th edition of International Peace Marathon of Kosice (eastern Slovakia) closed the registration at 5448 figure for all races. Last year this number was 5074. For marathon itself 1000 runners are expected, for half-marathon nearly 1500. First record is there in terms of participation, but organisers are hoping for attacks at the course records. Last year Ukrainian Olena Burkovska in her marathon debut improved the women event best after 20 years to 2:30:50. This Sunday (October 3) it will be 30 years since women were competing here for first time, as special guest invited for this is German Christa Vahlensieck who won in Kosice record number five times in the eighties. Three Ethiopians will fight for the win and overall prize 6000 E for the winner. That amount will be increased for 10 000 if breaking the course record and to 15 000 if going sub 2:26. Haftu Tesema (2:30:55), Letay Negash (2:31:13) and Alemu Bacha (2:33:20) are having similar level. Russian Kamila Khanipova has so far two marathons on her credit, fastest 2:41:32 as 9th at national championships in May in Moscow. Slovak olympian and 2:17 runner Marcel Matanin should be helpful with women pacing. In the men´s race 6 Kenyans will run against 2 Ethiopians for top honours. Two of the Kenyans are having sub 2:10 bests (Peter Chebet 2:08:43 and Solomon Bushendich 2:08:52), and Gilbert Chepkwony has the fastest 2010 time 2:10:45 from winning Padova in April. Also running from Kenya Jonathan Kibet (second here in 2008), Augustus Kavutu and debuting Kipkoech Ruto with 1:02:34 half best. Course record from 2007 by Kenyan William Biama is 2:09:53 so far the only sub 2:10 in the history of this race. Two names from Ethiopia are Berhanu Girma (2:12:51), Fekadu Lema (2:14:39). Men´s winner will get 10 000 E, if running course record it will be 15 000 and if 2:07 it will go to 20 000 E. Favorite for Slovak national title is local runner and title defender Imrich Pastor who hopes for his first sub 2:20 (2:21:59 so far). Former Slovak prime minister and current minister of foreign affairs Mikulas Dzurinda should compete in his 26th marathon after running 3:39:01 last weekend in Budapest. In total now 273 sub2:20 men times and 175 sub 3:00 women times are registered in the history of the race. The weather forecast for Sunday is 14-13 degrees and sunny, no winds.







MINNESOTA (USA): A championships-packed day of racing is set to take place Sunday in Minnesota's Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul as four USA Championship events will be contested as part of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon race festival. The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon will play host to three national championships: the USA Men's Marathon Championship, and the USA Masters Marathon Championships for both men and women. Headlining the men's championship event is Fernando Cabada, the 2008 champion and current 25 km American record holder. Joining Cabada and making his marathon debut will be Mo Trafeh, the current leader of the USA Running Circuit (USARC), which concludes this weekend in Minneapolis. Writes RRW.


NEW DELHI (IND): Long jump global medalist Khotso Mokoean is in a row with South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee as they want to him to compete at Commonwealth Games. Sascoc said Mokoena was fit to compete at the games, but the Beijing Olympics silver medallist insisted that he was injured. "Sascoc are trying to force me to go to the Commonwealth Games. It''s not fair because I have not been training for more than two months," Mokoena said per SA media.


LONDON (GBR): The Government and London mayor Boris Johnson are in danger of undermining the capital's bid for the 2015 World Athletics Championship by not providing financial guarantees, UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner has told Telegraph Sport.


NEW DELHI (IND): Head of the Commonwealth Organizing committee Suresh Kalmadi believes the hosting of the Commonwealth Games could lead to India hosting the Olympic Games in the future. Kalmadi is convinced this month's Games will work as a springboard for an Olympic bid The Straight Times writes.


MONACO (MON): Andreas Torkildsen looked back at this 2010 season in his latest IAAF online diary entry and considers the past season as his most successful ever after winning the European championships, the Samsung Diamond league, the Continental Cup and performing the world leading performance in the javelin. Torkildsen will be involved in a lot of promotional and sponsorships work before taking a break.


NEW DELHI (IND): The Athletes village for the Commonwealth Games is finally ready and clean, 2 days before the opening ceremony of the Games writes insidethegames. The condition of the Village had come under intense criticism over the last few weeks due to the horrendous state in the apartments which the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) had described as "filthy and unliveable".


KOLN (GER): At Koln Marathon on Sunday the daughter of former world class runner Katrin Dorre-Heining will debut at the distance. Katharina Heinig (21) will run her first race at 42 195 m. 2006 10 000 m European Champion Jan Fitschen will debut in the half-marathon.







CHIBA (JPN, Oct 1): During first day of 65th National Sports Festival Rikiya Saruyama won the long jump with windy 794 (+2.1). Women 5000 m race winner was Tomoka Inadomi after 15:30.34.


NITRA (SVK, Oct 1): Best Slovak walker Matej Toth won the international road competition in his home city at 5 km in 19:28. Second was European medalist Grzegorz Sudol of Poland 19:36 and third Anton Kucmin 20:14. In women race also Slovak win for national record holder Zuzana Malikova in 21:57 over Poland´s Agnieszka Dygacz 22:11 and Hungarian Viktoria Madarasz (22:32).



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