January 2011 Archives

Liu Xiang with fans after his stunning Asian Games comeback, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Liu Xiang will be running indoors this season, and the fans in Dusseldorf will be one of the crowds getting that treat! Congrats to Jessica Ennis and Jenny Meadows on their wins in Glasgow. Congrats to David Oliver and Dan Huling, among other US winners. LoLo Jones did not have a good day in Glasgow, but she will round into shape soon.

Impressive runs at the U.S.A. half marathon championships and the Chevron Houston Marathon. Ryan Hall is running well, as is Mo Trafeh and Patrick Smythe. On the women's
side, Jenn Rhines should consider the marathon if she is not for 2012, and Selena Burla
ran well, especially with her challenging year.

Moving up on the marathon food chain, Bekana Daba will be offered some nice paydays this spring and fall. Running 1:04:17 for the first half and 1:02:47 for the second, as well as running a pb of seven minutes and 36 seconds should wake up a few folks. Nic Arciniaga took his second pb in two tries and Stephanie Rothstein conquered dietary challenges to run a ten minute personal best with her third place in 2:29:35.

RBR has been at the last two Chevron Houston Marathon weekends. The team in Houston is well prepared to host both Olympic marathon Trials. The course will be challenging. I do have concerns, I must admit, about the u-turns on the course, however, it does make the race much more of a tactical affair.

More on this on Tuesday, as I am preparing for 20-25 inches of snow from Mr. Weatherman.

Bekana Daba run 2:07:04 at 2011 Chevron Houston Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Leg speed is a huge asset in marathon running, our example today is one Bekana Daba Tolesa, aka Bekana Daba. Read on, sports fans! 

The Chevron Houston Marathon continued its streak with a course record in three years, this time from Bekana Daba , who dropped seven minutes and thirty-six seconds off his personal best, running a fine 2:07:04, which also is the fastest time in the world for 2011! Nic Arciniaga, improved his time by fifteen seconds, running 2:11:30. (Note that some folks are referring to Daba as Bekana Daba Tolesa). Daba ran huge negative splits, 1:04:17 to a 1:02:47 return!

Mamitu Daska won the women's race in 2:26:33, giving Ethiopia its fifth straight women's champion at the Chevron Houston Marathon.

Daska_MamituFV1-Houston11.JPG   Mamitu Daska wins 2011 Chevron Houston Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net. 

Stephanie Rothstein, a young American runner with a gluten and dairy intolerance, went from a 2:40 marathoner to a 2:29:35, making her, along with yesterdays half marathon winner, Jenn Rhines, as two very tough candidates for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team at the marathon.

Five new athletes qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials today: Jesse Davis, Kristen Fryburg-Zaitz, Emily Harrison, Nicole Hagobian, Natasha Lebeaud and Sara Patrick. 

In fact, this was the fifth year in a row that either a men or womens course or state record has been run at Chevron Houston marathon.

In the humidity and rain, without lightning and thunder, 6,728 runners started the marathon today and 9,114 runners started the half marathon. And, as country singer Steve Earle noted, " and the rain came down..."

Ivan Ukhov at Nike Pre Classic, 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ivan Ukhov just about cleared another planet when he easily cleared 2.38m in the high jump on Saturday. He then scared the world record with an oh so close 2.44m! Think Mr. Ukhov is in shape?
Hall_RyanLeds5mile_Houston11.JpgRyan Hall leads at five miles, Aramaco USA Half Marathon Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Shorn of his beard, Ryan Hall got down to business on a challenging course, and was caught by Mo Trafeh, with less than a straightaway to go. Trafeh won in 1:02:16 with Hall in 1:02:20 at the USA Half Marathon Champs, sponsored by Aramco. Patrick Smythe, in third, also was quite impressive in this event!

Trafeh_MoFV-Houston11.JPG      Mo Shows em: Mo Trafeh wins Aramco USA Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Jenn Rhines, the classic middle distance runner, from the mile to the marathon, and a three time Olympian, dropped a 5:20 mile between miles ten and eleven and used that tactic to distance herself from Selena Burla, who finished second for the second year in a row. Great stories here, watch my Monday column on the significance of this race!


Jenn Rhines takes the Aramco USA Half Marathon Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net.
Lukas Verzibicas is one of the most talented prep athletes in the U.S. That is a fact. Lukas also   won the 2010 FootLocker Cross country and the 2010 Nike NXN title as well, making him the most recognized prep cross country. He is also a junior triathlon champion. Verzbicas is coached by his father, and his mother was a world class runner over 3k.

I tried to speak with his father at the adidas Grand Prix about his training and really just got generalities. Lukas was much more conversational, he was amazing running his 4:04 mile that day.

Verzbicas.jpgLukas Verzbicas winning the 2010 NXN Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Well, seems that Lukas was considering Stanford, University of Portland and Oregon. World from our friends at EME News and Oregon LIVE is that, the worst kept secret of the week, was the Lukas would announce that he will matriculate at Oregon next fall!

This young man has wheels. He has been compared to the late Steve Prefontaine. His stature and racing style remind me of, however, Jim Ryun. Tall, thin, aggressive, and fast, Verzbicas loves the triathlon scene as well as running. It actually may be why he does so well. Stay tuned on this one!

And on the 2012 Decathlon wars, Ashton Eaton won the first round, with a strong victory at Millrose this past weekend. The meet had a new production team for the TV, with a strong commentary by 1984 5,000m fourth placer Tim Hutchings. The issue has been that the crowd was the smallest in many years, and with little or no promotion before the event, one should not be surprised. Time to move the Millrose Games to the Armory. 
Usain Bolt has announced that he will be competing in the Rome Golden Gala meet on May 26. At the Houston Marathon press conference on Friday, Ryan Hall, the fastest active American marathon, who has had a quixotic last couple of years of racing, was sporting a beard which Ryan had started about three months ago.


Described as Jeremiah Johnson (Robert Redford portrayed this Western icon in the early 1970s), or just plain, "hairy", Ryan seemed bemused about all of the concern about his beard, his lack of a coach, and his conversations with his creator.

Ryan told the assembled media that his training has gone well, and that he was testing himself on his way to Boston (about eleven weeks from this weekend). Hall does wear his faith, which seems quite genuine, on his proverbial sleeve.

In this day and age, a cynic might find room to berate Hall, however, I believe that his faith is one of his core strengths. How he races on Saturday is the key.

14 of the 16 publishers in the Running Network LLC met in Houston over the Chevron Houston Marathon weekend to discuss recent and upcoming challenges in media. They will also be covering the U.S. half marathon championships on Saturday, and the Chevron marathon and Aramco half marathon on Sunday!  

Official seal of City of Houston

It is late on Thursday night in Houston. The official marathon and half marathon weekend in Houston begins tomorrow with the press conferences at 11 am. Ryan Hall is here, so is Jorge Torres, Jason Lemkuhle, Sergio Reyes, Dan Browne & Patrick Smythe. On the women's side,
Magdelena Lewy Boulet, Jenn Rhines, Katie McGregor, Colleen de Reuck and Serena Burla, Terra Moody and Zoila Gomez are all running the half marathon.

They will get a chance to race the new Olympic Trials marathon course under tough conditions on Saturday. Will this give them just that little bit of extra assistance to put one or more of them on the Olympic team for 2012? Only time will tell.

The 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials will be a war of attrition. No one is guaranteed a place on the team, and quite frankly, no one is that far ahead to be considered a definite for the squad, on the men or women's side. This may be the most open Olympic Trials marathon since 1984.

This is not a bad thing. The truth is, many of our men and women have been focusing on the 10,000m and the half marathon, which is where they need to be. The marathon is not an easy event, especially at the rarefied paces that elite men and women run the races these days.

The good news is that we have athletes, on both the men and women's sides, who can play with the world's best. Meb Keflizighi has been our best championship marathon runner for the guys. Why? Because Meb understands that the race starts at 22-24 miles. On the women's side, Deena Kastor's 2004 run is still, well, the standard. Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan and Magdelena Lewy Boulet have all run tough marathoners, got dirtied a bit, and have run some good times, but, to be in the top three in a World Champs or Olympics is a totally different story. That is what the next year is about. Who will take the time, to not only do the miles, and the tempo runs, but get their heads and spirit in the right place?

First, making the U.S. team will take a supreme effort, and then, eight months later, an effort that could not earlier be imagined, or one will be so agonizingly close....the road to London will begin this coming weekend, and not be answered until the middle of January 2012.

New Balance

The Reggie Lewis Center will come alive on February 5, 2011 for three amazingly competitive hours. Now in its 16th incarnation, the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix is an example of how to orchestrate a grand night of athletic competition!

The meet has been known for great high school miles and this year, there will be team scoring, which should make it more interesting (using a cross country type scoring method).

Also note the Lukas Verzbicas, the 2010 FootLocker XC Champ, the 2010 Nike NXN champ, and the adidas GP mile champ, will be running in the invitational mile-think he wants to run fast? More to come!


Jenny Simpson, after her debut at the NB Armory in 4:28:60, WL for the mile, January 22, 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Running in the armory that Dr. Norb built, Jenny (Barringer) Simpson started 2011 off on the right foot, running a smooth 4:28.60 for the mile, at the New Balance Games. When your sponsor supports such a sanctuary of indoor track & field, it is appropriate to run well at the NB Games, and Jenny did her friends at NB proud.

I was unable to interview Jenny face to face, due to a funeral in my family. Jenny was kind enough to answer thirteen questions that I sent from my stop at the Chicago airport. Jenny Simpson is just starting her second year as a professional athlete. And, she has quite the dilema-should she run the 1,500m, the 5,000m or the steeplechase, or  a combination thereof?

As the American record holder in the steeple, Jenny Simpson has the speed, endurance and technique to break 9 minutes, and battle for a world and Olympic medal. She also has the wheels to run 3:55 for the 1,500m, and 14:35 for the 5,000 meters. It will be fascinating to see how she makes her decisions.

She is good hands with coach Juli Benson, so we at RBR will wish her luck! We hope that you enjoy the interview!

In order for sports to grow, creative means to not only housing media, but distributing media are needed. C Africa is such a creative means to provide free sports media content to sub Saharan Africa.

In fact, that has seemed to be the picture in Europe recently, as well as the states. Terrestrial TV is loosing out in major European and American markets, as cable/Pay TV has taken over and lead with so much great programming.

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Dear RBRers & friends of Tom Sturak,

Tom Sturak was one of the most influential people in our sport. He, Pete Peterson & Goeff Hollister, were sports marketing in track & field and running. A man full of piss & vinegar ( I love that term, but it applies here), Sturak had time for those who loved the sport.

Mike Fanelli, one of our sport's keenest observers, wrote the following notes about Tom. Tom is having a tough time and his health bills are adding up. Runblogrun asked that you give up that six pack of imported Belgian ale and two burritos as large as your head and, instead, send the $20 to the address noted below. You will be doing a good thing.

The 2011 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon was the first marathon in four years where Haile Gebrselassie did not run. Two good races, the men's left some observers with questions about what Eliud Kiptanui and his manager, Volker Wagner, were planning, an honest effort in Dubai, or a WR attempt in a later race. It may have just been that Eliud Kiptanui was human that day... Thankfully, the women's battle gave many writers much to write about. In this photo gallery, we thank PhotoRun.net, who jumped from Mumbai, India to Dubai, Qatar, and then to NYC to cover the sport that we love! Thanks to Chuck Bartlett for producing the photo galleries!
                         Mariya Kuchina, Singapore 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net

Mariya Kuchina set the all time high jump best for junior women today, clearing 1.97m on her second attempt. Kuchina is the Youth Games gold medalist, and quite frankly, we may be looking at a future World Champs gold medalist in the high jump (say 2015)! This young women has some wheels! Watch for more from her in 2011 and 2012.

                     Jenn Suhr, adidas Grand Prix, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Jenn Suhr, the American record holder in the pole vault, the second highest women's vaulter in history, the World Champ silver medalist in 2009, is healthy and will be competing in Millrose Games this coming Friday night, January 28. Suhr will also be competing in the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix In Boston on February 5, 2011.

RBR will be heading to Houston tomorrow for the Chevron Houston Marathon and the Aramco Houston Half Marathon (the U.S. half marathon championships). Watch for our coverage on Saturday and Sunday!

Jenny Simpson running NB Games mile, January 22, 2011 in 4:28.60 WL, photo by

Great to see Jenny Simpson running the USA Indoor this year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Meet does not have a WC this year, so great to see it supported. What does have cache, however, is London 2012, and the folks in UK athletics may have a pr disaster on their hands, if the London stadium is torn down for soccer, and there is a 50/50 chance that it could, as of now.

The nightmare that just will not go away, or the athletics legacy for London 2012 was put off for about two months earlier today, as the powers that be soak in the stench of what might be the pr disaster of the London Games. It is obvious that football (soccer in U.S.) clubs could care a rat's ear if athletics has a viable legacy. Look no farther than the destruction of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic stadium in this country.

That one club will consider using the London facility as a multi use center and the other will consider razing the London stadium, but upgrading the Crystal Palace facility is surprisingly unusual. PR wise, it would be great to keep the London stadium as a multi sport facility. Athletics is on the upswing once again in the UK, and the facility would be a shining beacon for the sport.

What does one say about the Crystal Palace upgrade? RBR loves the AVIVA London GP each year at Crystal Palace. It has tradition, and is a fine facility. It is not, however, a place to house a World Champs bid. But after the 2015 withdrawal, one might consider the chance of London hosting a World Champs about the same as the U.S. hosting one in the next decade: pretty dismal. Trash the stadium, and London would not even have a chance to host the world walleye fishing championships in future decades. (We use walleye for fish fries over here).

Lord Sebastian Coe is right. This is how he put it to BBC 5 after both proposals were discussed live on BBC 5 sportsweek. Coe noted;

"I remember delivering a vision about a generation of young people being inspired to take up Olympic sports, I remember talking about young people in a poor community in East London fashioning their future through sport," he said.

"I'm prepared to revisit my words but I don't recall a whole heap about bulldozing down a publicly-funded community facility, replacing it with a football club and inspiring a generation of Tottenham season ticket holders, however many there may be on a waiting list."

Runblogrun encourages its readers to put any and all pressure on the powers that be, and support the London 2012 legacy and back West Ham's stadium plans. If the UK ever expects to be taken seriously in the global world of sport, the West Ham plan gives them future cache.

Teddy Tamgho jumping at 2010 adidas Grand Prix, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Teddy Tamgho started 2011 off on the right foot with a fine 17.46 m opener at a small regional meet in France! Galen Rupp had an asthma attack at the Boise Invitational which caused him to drop out of the mile last weekend. A busy weekend in indoor track & field.

Watch for the controversy over the legacy of the 2012 London athletics facility get caught in all kinds of legal wranglings. Insidethegames.biz suggested that Downing Street  never even considered that London would even win the 2012 Games, so the issue of the athletics legacy was mute.

On the contrary, the sales job by Lord Coe and former PM Blair may have been the best on record. Be careful what you wish for. London 2012 has to find a way to keep the athletics legacy going in UK, and work with the soccer club that sees athletics fans as sports fans, so another opportunity to grow their fan base.  Stay tuned....

                    Jen Simpson running 4:28.60 WL for mile at NB Games, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Hastings_NatashaFV_NBGames11.JpgNatasha Hastings, winning 400m in WL 52.29 at NB Games, photo by PhotoRun.net

Miller_CraigFV_NBGames11.JpgCraig Miller wins very tight mile, in 3:59.10, at NB Games, photo by PhotoRun.net

Miller_KyleFV_NBGames11.JpgCraig Miller winning 1,500m, in WL time of 3:41.99, at NB Games, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Well, Jenny Simpson (Barringer) lived up to her promise from last year's NB Games,where she promised to run at the Armory. And run she did! Jenny ran a world leading 4:28.60 to be one of four world leaders in the NB Games.

The NB Games are really the professional kick off of the indoor season in the U.S. The NB Armory will host over 60 events in 2011 with nearly 80,000 athletes getting a chance to make the Mondo track rock in one of the most important sanctuaries for indoor track & field. RBR looks forward to seeing more meets there in the future, and congratulates the participants in this excellent meet!

Special thanks to Ian Brooks and Dan Greene for the following story on the 2011 NB Games!

RnR AZ Embed

On January 16, 2011, over 30,000 runners and walkers enjoyed the 2011 P.F. Chang's RNR Marathon & Half Marathon. Besides winning the men's marathon in 2:17:32, Josh Cox went on to the local track, and finished 13 1/2 laps. The results of that additional run gave him the American record for the 50 kilometer run. Breaking his existing AR of 2:47:17, Josh ran 2:43;45, for a new AR. What may be more remarkable, is that Cox was seven agonizing seconds short of the world best! Just how good is Josh Cox? RBR, after consulting with a few road running experts, will still its proverbial neck out and say that Mr. Cox has a 2:10 marathon in his future. While you are contemplating that one, enjoy the plethora of photo memories from the P.F. Chang's RNR Arizona weekend! Special thanks to PhotoRun.net and Chuck Bartlett, RN website guru, for making the gallery!

Yamauchi_Mara-LondonMar10.jpg                   Mara Yamauchi, 2010 Virgin London Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Britain's Mara Yamauchi, the second fastest active British women marathoner, with a personal best of 2:23:12, run at London in 2009, has continued to have bad luck. With a hamstring injury that needs to heal, Yamauchi has withdrawn from the 2011 Virgin London Marathon.

Yamauchi has, since the 2009 London race, had a tough time. In 2010 Virgin London, it took Yamauchi six days to travel from New Mexico to London, and she subsequently finished tenth in the 2010 Virgin London race. She ran the 2010 ING NYCM marathon in November of 2010, only to fade badly and finish in 2:31:28 for 13th.

This injury means that Mara will still need to reach the Olympic A Standard, of 2:31, to make the UK team. Depending on the hamstring, it either means a fall 2011 or a spring 2011 race!

                    Jenny Simpson (Barringer), winning at 2010 Payton Jordan 1,500m, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Natasha Hastings, winning at the NB Games, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Badderly_AndyFV-NewB9E5095.jpgAndy Baddelley winning 2010 NB Games Mile, photo by PhotoRun.net

The New Balance Games is an awesome track meet. I was fortunate to visit last year, and the meet was, well, electrifying! Jenny Simpson and Ciara Mageean, the new Irish star, will be running the women's mile. Garrett Heath is looking fit for the men's mile, but do not discount the strong Ricky Stevenson from the UK, who ran a ten second pb in the mile at the 2010 NB Games (watch him, he runs like Ian Stewart, UK endurance director and 72 bronze medalist). Natasha Hastings is running against a resurging Mary Wineberg, who recently had a baby, and has been twittering away about her tough workouts.

RBR was hoping to be in the Big Apple, however we had to cancel due to a family emergency. RBR will provide coverage of the meet with a meet wrap-up and photo gallery!

Somnio is a footwear company based in Santa Cruz, California. They are all about making the running shoe experience personal to the runner's own experience. Having spent a day with them, I can say that their approach is unique, and that if the consumer does not fall in love with the footwear, their custom insoles should win one over. RN Footwear reviewer Cregg Weinmann found the link and well, we hope you enjoy.

The 104th Millrose Games will be happening on January 28, 2011 in the fabled Madison Square Gardens. The iconic track makes the races more of a survival of the fittest than really fast racing. It is all about the competition, as track & field should be!

Murer_Fabiana-WorldInd10.jpg    Fabiana Murur capturing the World Indoor Champs, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Suhr_JenNoDiamonds-nycDL10.JPGJennie Suhr, adidas Grand Prix, June 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

In the women's pole vault, Fabiana Murer of Brazil and Jennie Suhr of the U.S. will battle on the Millrose vault runway. A runway that has seen Sergei Bubka defeated by his brother, and Steve Hooker show the world how someone could challenge the WR of the afore-mentioned Mr. Bubka.

Cantwell_ChristianPuff-OsakaGP10.jpgChristian Cantwell,Osaka, May 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Christian Cantwell, along with Adam Nelson, Reese Hoffa and Ryan Whiting should give the 14-15,000 Millrose fans thirty minutes of throwing nirvana. Cantwell, coming off two tremendous years of throwing, has no free pass in the shot put. It just does not work that way. Week in, week out, the men's shot put is one of the best bets for a tremendous competition.

So, if you within driving distance (six hours), get your new Trente Starbucks iced Caffe Americano, a tank of gas and the remastered Led Zeppelin II, and perhaps, Curtis Mayfields'
soundtrack to Superfly. Pump up the volume and drive to see a most excellent track & field meet! Then, get a run in Central Park and have a real bagel (I prefer lox), at the Stage Deli.

What a weekend! ( Now if you need musical suggestions for the return drive, may I suggest the following: G Love & His Special Sauce (driving through Manhattan), Ryan Adams, and for the New Jersey turnpike, anything by the Roots, Portishead and for the last hour, perhaps,
Honky Chateau by Elton John or remastered Exile on Main Street, by Rolling Stones).


La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.

Image via Wikipedia

Andrew Howe, the silver medalist in  2007 world championships in the long jump, will be venturing for only his second time to the European indoor. In a thoughtful interview in La Gazeetta delle Sport, Howe spoke about how well his training is going in Doha, Qatar, how he wants to do well in Paris at the European Indoor and how he has some decisions to make regarding the 2011 Outdoor World Championships--we he long jump or run the 200 meters?

Howe is a talented athlete, who has had his share of injuries, but the obviously talented young man, with a little bit of luck, could make 2011 a memorable year for his country, Italy, his sport and for himself.

Kiptanui_Eluid1-Berlin10.JPG                   Eliud Kiptanui, 2010 -real, Berlin Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Just a nice gesture on behalf of New Balance. It is great to see the footwear brands giving back. Supporting a scholar athlete program encourages teenagers to put both education and physical fitness in the proper perspective!

Cox_JoshFV50k_AzRnR11.JpgJosh Cox, P.F. Chang's RNR Arizona, photo by PhotoRun.net.

So, Josh Cox wins the PF Chang's RNR Arizona marathon, then spends 13 1/2 laps on a track to finish his attempt at breaking the AR for 50k. Josh Cox broke his old AR of 2:47, by over three minutes, and missed the World record by seven seconds! Running 2:43:45, Josh hit the marathon point in 2:17:32, and then ran another 26 minutes, 13 seconds to complete his record attempt!

Kara Goucher finished second in her first race in over a year, running 1:14:02. Kara and her husband, Adam Goucher, became the proud parents in November of a son, Colt. The new parents spent much of the last week in an out of the hospital as Colt had developed an infection. The half marathon was probably the easiest part of her week. Thankfully, their son is doing much better.

Gouchers_Kara-Adam-Colt_AzRnR11.Jpg Adam & Kara Goucher with their son, Colt, photo by PhotoRun.net.
Schematic diagram of the proposed marathon rou...

All things  London 2012 have become interesting. Weeks agao, it was the outrage over the London 2012 marathon course. Now, the ticket plans for London 2012 will be announced later this week! Details below!

Yelena Isinbayeva, 2009 Zurich, photo by PhotoRun.net
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                                       Mo Runner, Jan-March 2011, Digital version

This is the digital version of Missouri Runner & Triathlete, now in its tenth year.  It is one of my favorite titles, as it keeps me in touch with Missouri, where I began running in 1972. We have a great team, Diana Minardi Strauss as editor and Richele Collins as designer, plus a group of very dedicated writers and photographers. With a circulation of 8,500 in print, it is has a real loyal following.

We will be posting the digital version of Mo Runner, (http://issuu.com/larryeder1958/docs/morun_janfebmar2011_lores/1) starting with the April 2011 issue, the day it mails.  We hope you enjoy the issue, and we do have some back issues, so if you have an event in the Show Me state, let us know ([email protected]), and we will get some copies off to you!

Free subs to coaches, running store owners and race directors. Subs are $20 a year for five issues. Also the Jan-March issue has an excellent poster from Nike, title Class of 2010, which features, among others, Phoebe Wright, Ashton Easton, Andrew Wheating, and five other top new Nike elite athletes. If you would like a free copy for yourself and your team, please send your name, address and number needed, limit of 25, to [email protected].

Oh, the website for Mo Runner & Triathlete is www.morunandtri.com.
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American Track & Field magazine, Winter 10/2011

The digital version of AT&F Winter 10/2011 is posted. We do that shortly after the magazine is mailed to our print subscribers. Starting with the April issues, we will be posting our digital issues the very day that the print issue is mailed. Here is the link, we hope that you enjoy (http://issuu.com/larryeder1958/docs/atf_winter_lores/1).

Also note that Brooks sponsored a poster in the AT&F Winter and AO Winter, for the Brooks
PR Invitational. We will be sending out 200,000 copies (33,000 available at 330 Brooks run specialty shops too!) in January. If you would like a copy for yourself, or your team, we will be happy to send you some, just give us your name, address and how many you want (limit is 50). Please send your emails to [email protected].

Established in 1989, as American Athletics, we changed the name to American Track & Field in 1994. With an average of 35,773 subscribers (coaches only), since 1989, AT&F is the largest coaching magazine in North America, (website since 1995: American-trackandfield.com) regardless of the sport concentration. If you ever need back issues, they cost $5 each, and we will happily send them out to you!

Coaches of track & field and cross country get free subs to American Track & Field magazine. Just send a note to [email protected]
John Kelai, two time winner, Standard Chartered Mumbai, plus 2010 Commonwealth Champ, photo by PhotoRun.net.

The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon will happen on Sunday, January 16, 2011. John Kelai is the focus of much attention, as the three time winner and also the current Commonwealth champion.

Our global photographer, Victah Sailer, is in Mumbai and should have some great pictures from Sunday's race!

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VS Athletics Track & Field SuperClinic
Sat, 22 January, 2011 -  Sacramento City College

This clinic is a must go for anyone on the West coast! The staff that Peanut Harms & Dave Shrock have assembled is unrivaled. The price is good, and like the great state clinics going on across the US, RBR encourages all coaches to venture to one of them this year! We are always learning!

Also note that coaches who attend the Super Clinic will be receiving issues of ATF and Cal Track, courtesy of Shooting Star Media, Inc. (We do this for about 25 clinics across the US, if you would like magazines for your event, clinic, email me at runbl[email protected]).

The five Olympic rings represent the five cont...

The IOC is standing by its 2008 ruling about banning athletes who receive a suspension for drug  positives of two years or more from the subsequent Olympics. That means LaShawn Merritt, the 2007 World Champ and 2008 Olympic champion at 400 meters will be unable to compete in London, due to his ill advised use of Extenze, a male enhancement product. The afore- mentioned product is considered by many, the reason for his positive tests just under 17 months ago.

While RBR applauds the IOC, USOC, USADA and WADA's robust protection of the Olympic brand name in regards to banned substances, the concern is where common sense should come to play. Testing and protocols done with just the hint of peer review, minute numbers used in controls and testing, which may or may not stand up in an international court of law, and the concern that, for the four groups mentioned, to stop the biggest players in the use of banned substances, one must get as dirty as the players to catch cheats must cause some thinking readers just a hint of alarm.

RBR does not have answers, and believes that a vigorous defense of sports is important. RBR's fear is that, weathly athletes and sports federations will be able to, too soon, develop protocols that can engineer human DNA. Sport has become much too complicated. Putting a line in the sand for the start and a line in the sand for the finish, asking all to line up, and say, Go! looks better and better each day. 
Brooks Sports

The release from Brooks running was sent to us on Wednesday night. On my walk, I considered what the importance of Brooks taking the top position in November 2010 really was. What is significant about the release is that we have an illustration of how
highly competitive or  nip and tuck the specialty running business is at this time. In 2009 and 2010, ASICS and Brooks shared the top two positions in running specialty, with Saucony, Mizuno, Nike and New Balance right behind them.

Brooks Running continues to astound. Strong product, Strong marketing, Investment in the brand, Custom service and communications, human capital. For any brand to have success, all of the above have to be part of the mix.

Watch the battle for run specialty get even more tight in 2011, as none of the top brands are going to want to give away any sales. In the end, as we have said before, and the top running specialty stores know too well, it comes down to selling one pair of running shoes at a time.
        Kara Goucher running the 2009 BAA Boston Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Kara Goucher will be running her first race since the birth of her son, Colt, this past November.
Goucher will be running the RNR Arizona Half Marathon this coming weekend, January 15-16, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Kara is focusing on raising her and her husbands' son, Colt and training for Boston 2011 and London 2012. This release focused on her new sponsorship package with Amway's brand Nutrilite. We wish Kara best of luck this coming weekend on her return to racing!
David Rudisha, Belgacom Van Damme Memorial, photo by PhotoRun.net

David Rudisha had one heck of a 2010. So, why change something that works? In 2010,
Rudisha ran 45.50 and a 1:43.18 in the early Australian season. Guess what, he's baaack! That's right, David Rudisha will start his 2011 campaign in the land downunder, running in Oz in March!

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Ryan Hall, 2010 BAA Boston Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ryan Hall, the second fastest American marathoner of all times, will return to where he started his iconic run to road running greatness, by running the Aramco Houston Half Marathon, part of the USA Track & Field road championship series! Hall, who is now self -coached, will be testing his fitness, over 13.1 miles. Hall is the AR for the 20k and half marathon distances, having set them in 2006 on the same course! RBR can not wait to see Ryan churn up the roads of Houston on January 29, 2011!

Asafa Powell, Christophe LeMaitre, Usain Bolt, Johan Blake, Areva Paris 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net

2011 is a big year in athletics. The European Indoors, the World Outdoors, and the second year of the Samsung DL makes this an important season. It is also only 351 days until the start of 2012.

Usain Bolt knows how important this year is. He rested after the 2010 season, hoping to recover from his frailties. In 2011, Bolt has to be complete, he has to have his game face on and his best game available. 2011 is the real thing.

The 2011 Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon will feature ten men under 2:10 and 8 women with personal bests under 2:30, including the 2007 and 2008 champion. 2010 champion Bizunesh Urgesa is back to defend her title. The race is managed by Hugh Jone's Pro Cam International group.

India has a strong running boom, with over twenty marathons and half marathons across the country. Their performances in the Asian Games give merely a hint of what kind of super sports power that India could become.

Our globe hopping photographer, Victah Sailer of PhotoRun.net, is on his way to Mumbai to shoot the race for us, so look forward to a fascinating photo gallery. We have included a few photos from the 2010 race, plus some links on this year's event:

Nike+Sportwatch GPS (powered by TomTom)

Nike introduced this category buster at the CES show, January 7-9 in Las Vegas. If Garmin never thought that they had a bullseye on them, they will now. Using technology from TomTom, Nike has gone to the front of the row with this product, and the consumers will be buying them as if they were the next coming. The Nike+SportWatch GPS is no longer a whisper-it will knock its competition over the head.

I have used all of the Nikeplus products since their launch in 2006, and the evolution has been fascinating. With products from Timex and Nike, Garmin now has, not only real competitors, but a competitor like Nike who can spend what they will on marketing such a product.

Like Apple, the Swooshvolk in Beaverton knows that design sells and cool design sells even faster. Using digital assets to get the word out, Nike included not only a press release, but also video and photos of the new product.

The Nike+SportWatch will be available in the US and UK around April 1. Watch for a review here as soon as we can get product.

Running Network

Galen Rupp finished second at this past weekends 2011 Bupa Great Edinburgh International Cross Country Team Invitational Match. Rupp finished second to Mo Farah, 25:41 for Farah and 25:50 for Rupp.

Galen Rupp spoke to the press right after his start to the 2011 season!  While admitting that
track is his favorite, Galen noted, that if you are good on the track, you should run well in cross country. Rupp discussed racing on the snow, the race, and the opening of 2011 season.

Superb publication from Australia, Inside Athletics should be on your desktop, check out this  link (http://www.insideathletics.com.au/magazine) to get subscription information. Nicely designed, well-written, and full of photos of some of the top Australian athletes. I particularly liked the emphasis on some of the new athletes. Inside Athletics uses the same digital publisher as American Track & Field. We hope that you enjoy it! 
Kim Smith, Shalane Flanagan, Rome 2009, photo by PhotoRun.net.

So, who is the best middle distance runner, distance runner or road racer in 2010? More importantly, which country possesses leaders in all of those events, and has the most depth?
All-Athletics.com has pursued the answers to those questions, and they should warm the cockles of any distance geek's heart. Enjoy the links below!
Mo Farah, in 2010 Euro 5,000m semi-final, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Mo Farah won the first BUPA Edinburgh Cross Country Invitational, with a nine second lead over the US's Galen Rupp. Farah, the 2010 European Champion at 10,000m and 5,000m, has started off 2011 in style.

Keep your thoughts and prayers with Germany's Ilke Wyludda, the 1996 women's discus gold medalist. Wyludda had a tough choice, either amputate a part of her  right leg or die from a bacterial infection. She choose to live. Wyludda, the 1990 and 1994 European Champion and silver medalist in 1991 and 1995 World Champs still has the second longest discus throw in women's track & field history. That throw was 74.56m.

USA Track & Field

Image via Wikipedia

In another innovative event at the BUPA series, team USA men took 2nd in the first BUPA Great Ediburgh International Cross Country Challenge. Team USA finished three points down from Team Europe.

Mo Farah, the European champ at 10,000m and 5,000m, won by nine seconds over Galen Rupp...

Shustov shown winning 2010 European Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Aleksandr Shustov, the 2010 Euro high jump championed, opened 2011 with a fine 2.32 m high jump, one his second attempt on Friday, January 7 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Shustov equalled his PB indoors with that jump, and then attempted 2.35m, which he did not clear. Last Friday, while running in Monaco, near her home, Paula Radcliffe was bitten by a dog, on her calf. She did spend several hours in the hospital, more details to follow.

Radcliffe-Goucher-NYC08.JPGPaula Radcliffe, Kara Goucher, ING NYCM 2008, photo by PhotoRun.net.

In business news, Under Armour, the iconic sports apparel brand that is venturing into sports footwear, has reached the billion dollar sales level. In separate news, Mark Dowley will be joining UA as their Chief Marketing Officer on February 1.

Seen on CNN (Friday morning): very nice placement of new Nike Sportswatch +GPS, with video from floor of CES show, which is being held in Las Vegas, January 7-9. The new watch becomes available April 1 in the US and the UK.

New Balance picked up Ciarra Mageean, in the largest deal yet for an Irish junior. Mageean, silver medalist in recent World Junior Champs, will forego the US college system to run for NB. She will debut for the brand in New York at the NB invitational on January 22, 2011.

Rudisha_DavidWR14101 copy 2.JPG
Surprised that David Rudisha's two world records for the 800 meters, 1:41.09 and 1:41.01, were recognized as the two best performances of 2010 by Track & Field News? Please note that photo above, which shows David Rudisha after his stunning 1:41:01 at Rieti, Italy, was from PhotoRun.net.

It was at the 2007 World Champs post event press conference, with Kara Goucher in Osaka, Japan, right after her 10,000 meter bronze medal, that it was completely clear to me that Alberto Salazar really got his athletes. Kara told us that, as she was going to the track before the 10,000 meters, she realized that Alberto had done everything she needed to be prepared for the race. She told the assembled American media that she knew then, she had done all that she could to prepare, so now, she could run her race!

Coaches, are, first and foremost, salesmen. They have to convince, or perhaps, the better term might be, instill confidence in the athlete. The confidence should improve as the athlete gets fitter and has success during the season. The athlete must have trust in their coach. Trust is key in all successful athlete-coach relationships.

1968 Olympic gold medalist Lee Evans told a few coaches, once,  about his relationship with the late Bud Winter, the head coach at San Jose State in the sixties. Winter was coach at a time when many African-American athletes voiced their disdain for their less than respectful treatment at some colleges. This was not the case at San Jose State. Winter was noted for treating his athletes with respect and they treated him the same way. Along with his influence to this day, on 200-400 meter training (ask Clyde Hart and Jim Bush, among others), Winter was an example of a coach who loved his sport and his athletes. 

I have been lucky enough to have observed Alberto Salazar now for about 30 years. In college, I recall being about 3/4 of a mile back as Alberto Salazar and Henry Rono battled along the last mile of the Pac-10/NCAA Dist. 8 Cross Country meet. I have thoroughly enjoyed observing Alberto as he developed as one of our top American distance runners. I was fascinated when Alberto first became involved in coaching. Part of the reason was, Alberto, like the rest of us, did not have to get involved in coaching. He had a growing family, and business concerns.

It is obvious that Alberto loves coaching. He is constantly learning, and he loves not only his athletes, but this sport.

The evolution from athlete to coach is not without its highs and lows. The interview above, by Losse Veter, is well done. Alberto is quite introspective, and I would recommend coaches sharing this with their athletes.

The late Emil Zatopek once told a small gathering of coaches that it was quite hard for elite athletes to be good coaches. Zatopek had admitted that he felt it was easier to get back on the track than to coach.

Alberto has been coaching for nearly twenty years now. He has brought in Jerry Schumacher and Mark Rowland to coach small groups of elite athletes, focused on improving the state of American distance running. We have all seen the athletes who have come out of those groups!

In a very short period, Salazar has, helped focus American athletes on focusing on being their best in global competitions.

Learning from one's own errors, a coach tries to instill on his or her athletes those lessons, as well as the other lessons one learns at clinics, or just sitting down, exchanging ideas after a track meet.

As the serious training is in full swing for 2011, I thought this might be a valuable video.


Mark Hoffman of the National Coaching Senate sent this on to me before the holidays, and
I forgot to post it. This looks like a very worthwhile event. RBR encourages all coaches, to go to their state coaching clinics each and every year and try a nearby state once in a while too! Coaching effectively is about always keeping one's eyes and ears open for new and innovative techniques and perhaps a new approach to a present conundrum. 

Ennis_JessicaJavH-Gateshead10.jpg         Jessica Ennis, AVIVA Gateshead, July 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Congrats are in order for Jessica Ennis, who twittered an engagement announcement. She is engaged to her long time boyfriend, Andy Hill, who asked her on Christmas Eve. Ennis and Hill will marry after London 2012. Ennis opens 2011 at Glasgow, running the 60 m hurdles. 

Cantwell_ChristianH-OsakaGP10.jpgChristian Cantwell, Osaka, May 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

And the fans at the PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf, on February 11 will be treated to a battle royale between Ralf Bartels, former European Champ and WC bronze medalist in 2009, and Christian Cantwell, 2009 WC, and global shot put icon. Should be a fun competition! For fans based in Chicago, remember, direct flight on Lufthansa to Dusseldorf, and you get your own
DVD player!

Bolt-Gay-Powell1-WCh09.jpgAsafa Powell, Tyson Gay, Usain Bolt, WC 2009, Berlin, photo by PhotoRun.net

What the world is waiting for, are some very tight races in Daegu! Our sport is all about the competition! Powell, Gay and Bolt in one race, and you have global TV audiences. I am not sure why they do not really have a dozen races like that a year!

Daegu, Korea will bring the best of the best, plus some surprises! So, who will be the new sensation in the sprints? Or will it be Tyson Gay and Usain Bolt, with Asafa Powell keeping them honest, in a battle for the sprint titles of the world? Should be fun!

Dathan Ritzenhein winning 2010 USA XC Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Face it, cross country is the beginning of most high school distance runner's love affairs with our sport. It is the first time they charged up a hill in a race, and ran out of control down one. It is the first time they put on racing flats, ran to exhaustion, puked and then talked about the race for the next hour. Cross country, is, as Joe Henderson so eloquently put it, decades ago, the meeting place of the miler and the marathoner.

And it is, just plain, fun! Well, Thom Hunt and his friends in the San Diego USATF Association are hosting the 2011 USA Cross Country Championships on February 5, 2011. It will be on the 2008 course at Mission Bay, California! It will be tough, it will be fun, and then it will be fun to watch the elite men and women duke it out for the World Cross Country Champs in March 2011!

(Oh yes, it is that Thom Hunt. The guy who ran on the best US World Cross Country Junior teams, who cranked a 4:02.7 mile in high school and who ran with Ralph Serna, Eric Hulst, Andy Clifford and all of the golden boys of California prep track and cross country! He continues to support the sport he loves).

Read on, cross country geeks!
Face it, big guys rule! First, Chris Solinsky breaks 27 minutes for the 10,000 meters, and then he runs sub thirteen minutes for 5,000 meters three times in one season. Now, rumor has it that 2010 European Champion at the discus, Piotr Malachowski, runs a seven minute personal best in the 10k road run at a race in Brzozie, Poland! Is he considering a move to the 10,000 meters? Inquiring minds want to know!

Malachowski_Piotr-Split10.jpgPiotr Malachowski, Split, 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Just consider the facts: In one year, the guy improves seven minutes in his 10k time, now running a stellar 60:16. Just think if he took on Haile Gebrselassie in a combo discus, 10,000 meter biathlon. Heck, Piotr could probably throw Haile over 150 feet!

Seriously folks, we should congratulate Piotr on his superb improvement! But for now, at least, Malachowski will leave the 10,000 meters, and the 5,000 meters to Solinsky....well, unless Mr. Solinsky decides to take up the discus!

(Sorry, kind readers, this one was done about 1 in the morning. After two Venti Iced Espressos, two bottles of water and a cup of chicken soup, and three magazines proofs checked, I needed something to consider.)
 Robert Kipchumba_full-prt.jpgRobert Kipkorir Kipchumba run 2:08:07 PB at the Xiamen Marathon, on January 2,
2011. Photo courtesy of IAAF.org and Xiamen race organizers

Robert Kipkorir Kipchumba made a huge improvement from his 2:09:54 at the 2009 Fortis Rotterdam marathon to win the Xiamen Marathon in a world leading 2:08:07, and only two days into the new year!
Well, Haile seems to be over his injuries. Breaking the course record and putting 29 seconds on the fastest 10,000 meter runner of 2010 (Josephat Kiprono), Haile Gebrselassie ran 28:05 to start off the New Year of 2011 in style! The race was the 55th running of the Sao Silvestre race in
Luanda, Angola! 

Haile wins Dubai 10.jpg
     Haile winning Dubai Marathon, way back in January 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net.
Happy New Year to all! 2011 will be an amazing year in our sport. European Indoors in March in Paris and World Cross in March in Spain. The second Samsung Diamond League in 2011 and the World Outdoor Champs in Daegu, Korea! It will be track geek heaven!

In this column, Alfons Juck, our intrepid man about the world, looks back at 2010 and gives you his moments and big performances ( I will give you mine this coming weekend). I agree with the Juckster on many of his comments. The one we do completely agree is the 2.05m high jump AR for Chaunte Howard, and then, her 6.90m long jump! I have to admit I was worried that she would get hurt that day, but Chaunte proved me wrong! What a day!

Chaunte Howard, USA Outdoors, June 2010, photo by PhotoRun.net

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