World Marathon Majors: Will Someone Catch Makau? by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Marathon week in New York is in full swing. Here is your update on the world of athletics and also, the biggest question!

Wilson Kipsang, who missed Patrick Makau's record by four seconds is still not a definite for the Kenyan marathon team-can you believe that?

Looking forward to seeing who makes the Men's World Marathon Majors winner for 2010-11! We shall find out this weekend!

Thumbnail image for Makau_PatrickWR20238-Berlin11.JPGPatrick Makau, 2011 BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by




LAUSANNE (SUI): European Athletics is to announce the host city of the 2016 European Athletics Championships on Friday. The decision by the European Athletics Council in Helsinki (131st session) will be made following presentations by the candidate cities of Amsterdam, Istanbul and Split. The 2012 European Athletics Championships will take place in Helsinki through 27 June to 1 July. The Swiss city of Zurich will continue the two-year cycle of the event when hosting the 2014 championships through 12 to 17 August. The European Athletics Council, led by President Wirz, will decide on a number of important issues during the Autumn Council meeting set for 3-5 November. It is expected to decide on the host city for the 2013 SPAR European Cross Country Championships. Candidates are Antalya in Turkey, Beograd in Serbia and Dudince in Slovakia. There will also be reports from recent meetings of the Competition and Development Committees including final approval of different categories of EA one day meetings.



BOSTON (USA): The men's race for the 2010-2011 World Marathon Majors title will come down to the wire this weekend in the Big Apple. A cast of potential winners will toe the starting line on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in the ING New York City Marathon, the eleventh and final race of the two-year WMM cycle. The women's competition was won in October, when Liliya Shobukhova (Russia) broke the tape in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:18:20, and set an insurmountable 30-point lead in the standings to win the $500,000 prize. Things are much tighter on the men's side. Standings leader Patrick Makau of Kenya has used repeat victories in the BMW Berlin Marathon in 2011 and 2010 (25 points each), as well as a third place finish in the 2011 Virgin London Marathon (10 points), to build a five point lead over the pack. With his world record performance of 2:03:38 in Berlin coming just six weeks ago, his season is complete, his point total is set at 60, and he won't compete on Sunday in New York. In pursuit of Makau, the field is thick and talented. Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya (55 pts.), Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia (41 pts.), Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya (40 pts.), and Gebre Gebremariam of Ethiopia (35 pts.) are all statistically in the hunt to win the grand prize on Sunday. Moses Mosop of Kenya (40 pts.), is just four weeks removed from his 2:05:37 win in Chicago, and he too, will not compete in New York.



FRANKFURT (GER): Wilson Kipsang with his excellent second fastest ever 2:03:42 is bringing headaches for Kenyan Olympic selectors. They already gave two spots to World record holder Patrick Makau and World Champion Abel Kirui. Will the third be awarded to Kipsang? But what about Geoffrey Mutai and Moses Mosop who ran 2:03:02 and 2:03:06 respectively, admittedly with a wind behind them on a slightly downhill course in Boston in April; and Mosop later won not fully healthy Chicago. And many others. But that problem could yet get worse. It just so happens that on hand in Frankfurt this weekend was Peter Angwenyi, the public relations man for Athletics Kenya. Angwenyi told Pat Butcher that the selection of the Olympic marathon trio would not be made until after the London Marathon next April, the final one of the big spring marathons, which also include Paris, Rotterdam and Boston. So, who knows? Given the burgeoning talent coming out of Kenya, ready to burn the tarmac off the road surfaces of the world's marathon courses, there could well be another half dozen guys claiming world record credentials, and clamouring for a place in that golden trio. That would mean even Makau and Kirui are not selected for sure?



GENT (BEL): After Valencia in 2011 and Stuttgart, Paris and Leipzig for 2012 another indoor meet is out for next winter. The Belgacom Flanders Indoor meeting, a IAAF indoor permit meeting, will no longer be staged after 22 years. Organizers have not been able to convince telecommunications company Belgacom to invest in the event and have not been able to find another main sponsor. Organizers also explained they feel a lack of interest by the athletes and therefore will no longer organize the annual meeting. „Despite all the efforts we've made in order to promote the indoor athletics meeting, we have experienced that attracting spectators to this event is a difficult job. Also companies show little interest to use the meeting as a customer service tool. On top of that, every year athletes seem to be less focused on the indoor season, this applies to both national as well as international athletes," explains athlete liaison of the meet Marc Corstjens. But they still hope to have the meet back for winter 2013. The 23rd edition was planned for February 26, 2012.



MOSCOW (RUS): Russian Athletics Federation named its Athletes of the Year 2011 during the traditional end of the year conference. High jump world champion Anna Chicherova is the women leader ahead of javelin gold medalist Mariya Abakumova. Third place for 800 m gold medalist Mariya Savinova. Best male is 800 m Daegu bronze winner Yuriy Borzakovskiy ahead of walking winner Valeriy Borchin and high jump silver medalist Aleksey Dmitrik. Coach of the year is for third time in a row walking expert Viktor Chegin. Here second place for high jump coach Yevgeniy Zagorulko and third Aleksandr Sinitsyn who leads the preparation of Abakumova. In the poll participated conference delegates and guests. Another poll is organised for the readers of website and third poll is organised by Russian sports journalists. Results of this polls will be known later.



SANTO DOMINGO (DOM): Legendary hurdler Felix Sanchez (34) returned home with a 400 m hurdles bronze but also a bandaged right arm from PanAm Games in Guadalajara. He made a great effort to get a medal, jumping into the finish line that caused an injury to his right shoulder. Sanchez needed assistance from the medical team and walked for several minutes crying in pain. But his career is not yet completed and there is no date set for when it will be. He still plans for 2012 Olympic Games and 2013 World Championships and 2014 Central American Games. After that he wants to be a manager in the sport.







KINGSTON (JAM): Gabriel Byrne, Stanley Tucci, Brendan Fraser, Olympic Gold Medalist and "fastest man in the world" Usain Bolt, Giuliana Rancic, and a galaxy of other stars have joined Concern Worldwide's Your Dollar Our Future campaign to help get Haiti's children into school and out of poverty.


ZURICH (SUI): European marathon champion Viktor Rothlin closed his preparation for Sunday´s NYC Marathon with positive signals. It will be his 22nd marathon and the preparation went according to his plan. Without pacemakers he expects more a championships race than a race for a certain time. For him this is his second highlight of the year after London Marathon in April. His next goal is then the Olympic marathon 2012 in London. On Sunday he will run his third NYC Marathon after being 7th in 2005 and non-finisher in 2010.


BRUSSELS (BEL): European 3000 m and 5000 m record holder Mohammed Mourhit is thinking about a comeback into the sport. Mourhit, a Morrocan born athlete competing for Belgium, was highly accomplished at the end of the nineties but left the sport after a positive doping result at the World half marathon championships in Brussels in 2002. The now 41-year old Mourhit is aiming for the London Olympic Games according to Belgian Media. He should run a cross country competition later in November.


KINGSTON (JAM): Jamaican world junior 100 m champion 2010 Dexter Lee has reportedly changed coaches and was spotted taking instructions from coach Okeile Stewart, the former MVP masseur, who also coaches. Neither Stewart or Lee's former coach Claude Grant have confirmed the switch reports trackalerts.


LONDON (GBR): Double Olympic champion Edwin Moses has called for sport to be used more as a tool against conflict at the Laureus Sport for Global Good Summit. „This is a unique gathering of experts on what makes young people behave the way they do and we can learn vital lessons for the future," said the American the 1976 and 1984 Olympic 400 meters hurdles champion who is now chairman of Laureus World Sports Academy reports Insidethegames.


LAUSANNE (SUI): The IOC launches its first specialized seminar this week for cities interested in bidding for the Olympic Games. The theme of the meeting obviously is crucial for the six cities bidding for the 2020 summer Games but useful as well for any city or NOC contemplating a bid for the Olympics or the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Currently Baku, Doha, Istanbul, Madrid, Rome and Tokyo are officially in the 2020 bid race that is set to be decided in September 2013 in Buenos Aires.


INDIANAPOLIS (USA): USA Track & Field announced Tuesday the selection of all-time track and field greats Gail Devers, Maurice Greene, Vince Matthews, and Clarence Demar, along with standout coach Bob Timmons, into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. The five will be inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, along with 2010 Hall selection Craig Virgin, on Saturday evening, December 3, at the Jesse Owens Hall of Fame Banquet, which will be held in conjunction with 2011 USATF Annual Meeting in St. Louis.


TOKYO (JPN): Brett Larner reports on his Japan Running News blog that 2004 olympic marathon gold medalist Mizuki Noguchi left on Tuesday from Osaka International Airport for an altitude training camp in Boulder, Colorado. The goal of Noguchi's training camp is to strengthen her condition ahead of January's Osaka International Women's Marathon which she will run to earn a place on the London Olympic team. „I'm excited to get away and focus," she said of her mental state before leaving Osaka. „I want to build up a good distance base while I'm there." Larner adds that Noguchi is planning to run Holland's Zevenheuvelenloop 15 km on Nov. 20 alongside former men's marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie.







AREZZO (ITA, Oct 30): 13th edition of Half Marathon here winners were Kenyan Eric Chirchir 1:02:30 and Megertu Gelefu of Ethiopia 1:14:36.


NOOSA (AUS, Oct 29): At Asics Bolt 5 km race in Australia Collis Birmingham won in 13:53 ahead of Ben St. Lawrence 13:59. Susan Kuijken from Netherlands who lives in Australia during the European winter was the best woman in 16:12 ahead of Lisa Corrigan 16:14. From RRW.


TULSA (USA, Oct 29): Kenyan Josphat Boit improved upon his sixth place finish here last year to beat defending champion Macdonard Ondara clocking 44:10 and 44:13 in the 15 km Tulsa Run. Mulu Seboka easily won over former Wichita State runner Tonya Nero the women category (51:54 to 53:01). From RRW.


TAKAHATA (JPN, Oct 30): Olympic 7th placer and Japanese record holder Yuki Yamazaki returned to competition at All Japan walking meet. He won the 50 km competition in fast 3:44:03, second Ken Akashi was the only other one with sub 4 hours (3:58:45). Isamu Fujisawa won the 20 km in 1:22:01 ahead of Daegu 10th placer at 50 km Hiroki Arai who achieved new personal best 1:22:47. Kumi Otoshi was the best woman at 20 km (1:32:58).







DUBLIN (IRL): Correct winning times at Dublin Marathon were 2:08:33 for Geoffrey Ndungu and 2:30:55 for Helalia Johanes of Namibia, 2:30:55 also a national record.

For more on this subject, please check out the following:

New York Road Runners

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