April 2012 Archives

The Payton Jordan Invitational, held the first weekend of May or last weekend in April, is one of my favorite meets of the season. It is also a rite of spring track & field. Athletes from 30 countries competed at the Cobb Track & Angell Field Complex on Sunday night, April 29.

The conditions were just about perfect for distance running. The last three sections of the 1,500 meters, two sections of the 5,000m and 10,000m are held in the evening, starting about 6:45pm. By that time, if history is an indicator, the winds calm down, the heat of the day leaves, and a sweater is needed if one is standing around, watching track & field.

Pierce_Anna1-USAout10.JPG Anna Pierce, photo by PhotoRun.net

The women's 1,500 meters, section 1, got the crowd rocking. Anna Pierce went by the field with 150 meters to go, flying down the track, running a world leading 1,500 meters, with her time of 4:07.00. Andy Baddeley, who has been racing  since January, won the men's 1,500 meters, with a world leading 3:35.16, and eleven men followed him under 3:40.00. Henrik Ingebrigsten of Norway ran 3:36.9, breaking the Norwegian NR for 1,500 meters, which dated back to 1976. Alan Webb, AR in mile, finished 11th in 3:38.99, and then, forty minutes later, ran 13:49 for the 5,000 meters!

Kipyego-FlanaganH-Payton11.JPGSally Kipyego, 2011 Payton Jordan 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net  

Sally Kipyego, who ran a 4:08 for the 1,500m at the Oregon Relays last weekend, ran from the front in the 5,000 meters, leading the entire way, to a world leading 14:43.11. This was to be her only 5,000 meters before the Kenyan Trials. The World Champs silver medalist at 5,000 meters in Daegu, Korea, Sally Kipyego should be very proud of her front running, which was inspiring. Julia Lucas ran 15:08.52, the new American leader. Six women ran under the Olympic A standard of 15:20.

Lomong_LopezFV1_USOut.Jpg Lopez Lomong, 2010 USA Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net 

In the men's 5,000 meters, Lopez Lomong again showed why he is such a talent. Running in the front pack, Evan Jager lead the pack through the mile, 4:13, and two miles, 8:30, then pulled off the track. Lopez, Matt Tegankamp, Kevin Chelimo, Chris Thompson and Thomas Farrell. On the 11th lap, Lopez Lomong let it fly, and dropped a 53.2 lap. I was sitting with the Aggie Track Club, right at the 100 meter start, their normal haunt. Fans figured out that Lopez had misjudged the laps. He developed a huge lead, stopped and then, three to five seconds later (keen observer Jeff Shaver swears it was thirty seconds) later, Lopez started running again, and ran the final 400 meters in 66.9. His final time was 13:11.63. Kevin Chelimo lead Matt Tegankamp, Chris Thompson and Thomas Farrell, all under 13:15.31.

What was amazing was Lopez Lomong. The man has huge reserves, and his 53.2 and 66 last lap was pretty amazing. My belief? Lopez will break thirteen minutes soon! And he has just complicated the Olympic Trials 1,500m or 5,000m events.

Both 10,000 meter races were wonderfully competitive.  Lisa Uhl lead for the first 20 minutes. Amy Hastings and Betsy Saina caught her just after twenty minutes and pulled away. Amy Hastings and Betsy Saina duked it out over the final 2,000 meters, until the last 250 meters. Betsy Saina, of Iowa State, improved her personal best by two plus minutes, running 31:15.97. Amy Hastings ran 31:19., the American leader and her personal best.

Levins_Cam-NBind12.JPGCam Levins, photo by PhotoRun.net

The men's 10,000 meters was even more competitive, coming down to the last 200 meters, as Cam Levins, the Utah State student, from Canada, running 27:27.96, with Sam Chelanga, then Chris Derrick. Derrick broke the American Collegiate record of Galen Rupp, running 27:31.38, which also is a Stanford school record. Derrick and Levins should make the NCAA long races pretty exciting.

Chris Derrick, (634), photo by PhotoRun.net
Not sure what WADA was trying to accomplish, however, CAS, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has ruled in favor of the WADA complaint that BOA was not in compliance with WADA, with its rule that drug cheats could not compete on British Olympic teams. With the ruling, Dwain Chambers could make the London 2012 team.

Chambers_DwainQ-EuroInd09.jpgDwain Chambers, photo by PhotoRun.net

This is our man on the field, Dave Hunter's second piece on the 118th Penn Relays. We hope that you enjoy it!
Great US teams at the 2012 Penn Relays! The short relays were quite good. Nice double by Allyson Felix, 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m. Killer anchor by Sanya Richards-Ross, so nice to see her so fit!

Leonel Manzano and Bernard Lagat really duking it out on the Nike DMR! And just some superb all around early season relays! Nice to see USATF and Nike supporting the most iconic of our relay meets.

Congrats to Dave Johnson, Penn's Meet Director, and his team, on making Penn Relays number 118 a huge success!

Lagat-ManzanoSF-OlyGame08.jpgBernard Lagat & Leonel Manzano, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Wallace Spearmon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Suhr_Jenn1a-USind11.JPGJenn Suhr, photo by Photorun.net

Simpson_Jenny1500e-USind12.jpgJenny Simpson, photo by PhotoRun.net

The 2012 Drake Relays, sponsored by ASICS, continue to attract. Some tremendous performances. Nice run by Wallace Spearmon, breaking Michael Johnson's 1996 record for the 200 meters. Jenn Suhr, AR in pole vault, is back, winning the mall vault at 4.65m and attempting 4.80m, and Jenny Simpson, WC at 1,500m, winning the 1,500 meters in 4:12.95!

Pat Butcher, our globalrunner, sent us this story on today's HASPA Marathon Hamburg, which had some fast performances. Here is Pat's take on the race...

Shami Dawit wins 2012 Haspa Marathon Hamburg, photo courtesy of Haspa Hamburg

Kiyara.jpgRael Kiyara wins 2012 Haspa Marathon Hamburg, photo courtesy of Haspa Hamburg

Allyson Felix, photo by PhotoRun.net

The 118th version of the Penn Relays had something for everyone this weekend. Our two journalists, Dave Hunter and Elliott Denman, have given  us two different views of the iconic event. In this piece, Elliott Denman, one of our longest tenured writers, telling us about the Wall of Fame, and why every major meet should have one....
The Payton Jordan Invitational, held April 29, 2012 at Stanford University, is one of the most important meets for middle and long distance runners of the season. It is the clarion call for the 10,000 meters this season. It will probably be one of the top three 10,000 meter fields of the season (Nike Pre men's 10,000m, Olympic 10,000m will be, in my mind, only two better pre-Olympic). Word is Chris Derrick may go for the Collegiate record (AR) for 10,000m. We also note that Alan Webb, US record holder at the mile, will be running the 1,500m. All in all, it is one of my favorite nights of the year. If you can not get to the track at Stanford, then make sure you watch the LIVE coverage, which we have embedded below. Runblogrun will do its LiVE Blog coverage, from the track tomorrow as well.
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Dwain Chambers, by PhotoRun.net

The BOA 's rule that drug positives are not allowed on their teams was challenged by WADA and will be decided by arbitration by CAS this coming week. One of the athletes it will affect in our sport is Dwain Chambers. More details to come....

The Payton Jordan Invitational, held at Stanford University on Sunday, April 29, will have some amazing distance races tomorrow. My favorites are the 5,000m and 10,000m. Alan Webb, US record holder in the mile, will be running in the 1,500m tomorrow. RBR will be there. Remember, our friends at Flotrack will be covering the meet LIVE. Do not miss it!
RBR will cover off our LIVE Blog program.

Blanka Vlasic, photo by PhotoRun.net

Blanka Vlasic, one of the high jump goddesses, is training well and on plan for London 2012. We are looking forward to the women's high jump. Great weekend of track, with Drake Relays, in Des Moines, Iowa and Penn Relays, in Philadelphia, PA.

Keep the family of Geoff Hollister, Nike employee number three, in your thoughts and prayers this weekend. The family is having a private memorial service for the long time supporter of grass roots running and track & field. He was a good man, and he is missed. His influence on the sport and Nike, is something that can not be measured, but should be appreciated. Remember, as Galen Rupp told us in February, Geoff helped bring on Alberto Salazar as a sponsored athlete for Nike...

On that note, we encourage you to purchase and read Fourteen Minutes, by Alberto Salazar and John Brant. Amazing book, Alberto is quite honest with his colorful family upbringing, his drive to be a great runner and his love of his family, friends and sport. A fun read. And an honest memoir.

Geoff Hollister with Steve Prefontaine, about 1973,
photo courtesy of Nike communications

Dave Hunter is a busy man. Mid April, he covered the Jesse Owens Track Classic for us, this weekend, he is at Penn! This is Dave's second day coverage of the Jesse Owens Track Classic, now in its 37th year!

2012 Track and Field Season - Jesse Owens Track Classic - Karen Dennis, Head Women's Track Coach, Ohio State.JPG
Bill Melton with Karen Dennis, Ohio State's Head Women's T&F coach,
photo by Margaret Hunter

Dave Hunter visited the Ohio State University Campus, home of the Jesse Owens Track Classic the weekend of April 14,15. We asked Dave to cover the venerable meet for us.

Jesse Owens was one of the greatest athletes EVER to run, jump and throw. Owens set five, yes, five world records at Ohio State in 1935, a preview of what he would do in 1936 in Berlin, Germany. His performances in Berlin were the things of legends. The late Bud Greenspan devoted an entire program to Jesse Owens revisiting Berlin in 1972, it is a must see.

Here is part 1 of Dave Hunter's story
on the Jesse Owens Relays

2012 Track and Field Season - Jesse Owens Banquet Program.JPG
Jesse Owens Program, photo courtesy of Margaret Hunter
Jenny Simpson is the 2011 World Champion at 1,500 meters. In 2012, Jenny has already won the USA Indoor titles at the 1,500m and 3,000m. Jenny and her coach, Julia Benson, are watching her racing opportunities as they focus on the US Olympic Trials and then, the big one, London 2012. The following is a nicely done video courtesy of the Team New Balance folks, who have woven her story from 2011 to now, as she looks to building on her victory in Daegu, Korea. Jenny Simpson is a talented runner over 1,500m, 5,000m, and the steeplechase. Her closing speed, and her sense of timing earned her the gold medal in Daegu, Korea. We wish her great things in 2012!
We asked Dave Hunter to cover the 118th Penn Relays, one day at a time, and this is his comments on the Thursday night affair. More to come!

M4x400-2-Penn04.JPGPenn Relays, Men's 4 x 400m, (this one, 2004), photo by PhotoRun.net

So, you are one of the top sprinters in the country, and the top sprinter, Tyson Gay, shows up and gives you a Golden Ticket. You are going to run in the Dream 100 at the adidas grand prix! Milesplit caught the reaction above! We hope you enjoy it. Oh yeah, get over to Randalls Island and watch a track meet on June 9 that will make your head shake!
Mary Keitany, 2012 Virgin London Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Kipsang_WilsonFV1a-London12.jpgWilson Kipsang, 2012 Virgin London Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Mary Keitany and Wilson Kipsang won their divisions of the 2012 Virgin London Marathon in a convincing fashion. And, then, it got muddy. So, when Athletics Kenya named its' men and women's Marathon teams, Toni Reavis, our running man of letters, went to work. What follows is Reavis' thoughtful assessment of the Kenyan team.

My thoughts go in a very different direction. I believe that the Kenyan and Ethiopian federations know that they are very close to the point, where the herculean effort it takes to make their teams lessens their chances of a medal in the Olympics or World Championships.
Kipsang and Keitany are two of the best marathoners on the planet. The issue is how many very fast and challenging marathons one can run in a year. The London 2012 marathon course will be very technical, with lots of turns and few places to hide.

Mary Keitany showed her maturity as an athlete. Instead of the impetuous run we witnessed at ING New York, we saw a calculating veteran, who wanted that first position, and negative splitted on the roads of London, running a new Kenyan record. How good is Mary Keitany? Not in the Olympics, but Mary Keitany can run 2:16 or better.

And then, there is Wilson Kipsang. A 2:04.57 in BMW Frankfurt in 2010, followed by a 2:03:42 in 2011 at BMW Frankfurt. Still, few gave him credit.
Kipsang took on Lilesa, Lel, Tadese and the rest, and churned them up.

I have to admit my sadness with Geoffrey Mutai and Patrick Makau not being named. Sharon Cherop could have been argued for as well. And then, my fave, the man with the kick, is Martin Lel; Martin is the kind of guy who outkicks three guys for the silver with 600 meters to go. He is one of the most under-rated marathoners and athletes in the world of athletics. But, then, I am not a Selector. A tough job, any way one looks at it.

A marathon in an Olympic environment is a crap shoot. There are always the favorites, and then, someone, from somewhere, who quietly, gently, put in those 130 mile weeks, with good quality, under the watchful eye of a coach with a dream, shows up, and puts it all together on the day. Someone will surprise. More than likely, this time, he or she will not be Kenyan or Ethiopian.

One final point: Toni Reavis and I are from the River City: St. Louis. St. Louis is a combination of the German, Spanish and French influences that abound in the area. Reavis has all of those. In his writing, there is the care of someone who loves his topic, and who is at great pains to show you why you should love it. A voice in the wilderness, Reavis has offered more cogent ideas on how to change our sport for the better than anyone I know. Toni Reavis is one of our sports' great resources and important voices.

Coaching Athletics Quarterly is one of our most popular publications. Focused on the high school and college coach, with the emphasis on technical information, CA is free to coaches of track & field, cross country, race walking and road racing.

We have embedded the current issue of Coaching Athletics Quarterly, for Spring 2012, below. If you would like a free copy (can be opened on ipad, iphone, android), just sign up at CoachingAthleticsQuarterly.

The death of Claire Squires during the Virgin London Marathon has elicited many responses. From Londoners who saw the article in their daily paper, and have donated over 160,000 pounds to her charity, it has been astounding.

Claire Squires had run one marathon before, and last year climbed Mount Kiliminjaro. She was thirty years old. Several papers in London and a website have continued to press for more information, even after the family and the Virgin London marathon had requested some silence and a time to mourn.

We are honoring the request of the family and Virgin London staff. Please keep Claire Squires in your thoughts and prayers.

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Big Sur Marathon, which has been called one of the most beautiful race courses in the world, now has a mobile app and also a Digital gift bag. More and more races around the world are looking at what type of carbon footprint that they leave.


ASICS America announced that they have signed Bryan Clay, and Olympic decathlete medalist in 2004 and 2008. In 2008, Bryan Clay won the gold medal. Bryan Clay is rounding into shape for the Eugene 2012 Trials. His goal in London 2012 is to be the first Olympic decathlete to have won three medals.

Clay is one of the toughest and fastest decathletes of this era. His speed, agility and determination are what make him good. Bryan Clay is competing for ASICS this coming weekend in Des Moines, Iowa at the fabled Drake Relays, an event sponsored by ASICS America.

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Dr. Le Roy Walker passed away on Monday, April 23, 2012, at the age of 93. A man who helped build our sport, Dr. LeRoy Walker lead by example. The first African-American head Olympic coach for the 1976 Olympics.

I was lucky enough to meet Dr. Walker when he supported the US versus Africa Meet at Duke in the summer of 1994. Dr. Walker worked to help our sport, he will be sorely missed.

"LeRoy Walker was one of the giants of our sport," noted one keen observer.

Dr. LeRoy Walker,
courtesy of USA Track & Field

The SPIRE Institute's Michael Johnson Performance Center is part of the amazing assets that you will find in Geneva, Ohio at one of the greatest sports centers on the planet. In our interview with Michael last spring, MJ noted that high school athletes today specialize a bit too early, and the cross training benefit from playing football, basketball and track just is not seen anymore.

The Michael Johnson Performance Center's Bryan McCall was just named to the advisory board of the Ohio State National Strength Training & Conditioning Association. Nice job, Bryan!

If you get a chance to see the SPIRE Institute, you have to do it, amazing facility!
Max Siegel was named the new CEO of USA Track & Field on Monday afternoon, April 22, 2012. It is early Tuesday morning in rainy old London, and I am packing for my return to Madison, Wisconsin tomorrow.

My phone has been ringing and the twitter world has been communicating. Sanya Richards Ross wished Max good luck. We did too.

12maxsiegelusatf.pngMax Siegel, USATF's new CEO, photo courtesy of USA Track & Field

I have met Max Siegel a half dozen times, for a few minutes. He seems sincere, has a good sense of humor and obviously understands marketing and sports marketing. Also, and this comes from my years of ad calls and marketing presentations, Max Siegel looks the part: fit, well dressed, positive and succesful, Max Siegel will walk into marketing groups and ad agencies and will be well received. Siegel gets it: he knows the talk, and can do the walk.

I have posted the observations of Toni Reavis, who is one of the most articulate writers on our sport, and his first observations on the process of naming a new CEO.

The truth is, we need a CEO who stays a while, can close and works at keeping his various constituencies in order. We also need a CEO who looks at all USA Track & Field does and focus on three things, not the many that will confront him on May 1, when he takes the position.

Last week, on April 16, the 116th running of the BAA Boston Marathon was hot, hot, did I say hot. Wesley Korir took the men's race and Sharon Cherop won the women's race with a two second lead, the fifth time that the women's elite race has come down to two or more women together at six hundred meters to go. The story of the 2012 BAA Boston Marathon really is how the community services, the race services and the community came together to make sure that, while the day was hot, the runners were cared for, when needed. The photo gallery below, prepared by Chuck Bartlett, RN Web director, with the photos of PhotoRun, are for you to enjoy!
One of the most amazing marathons that I have ever seen. Great races, real competition, and wonderful winners. Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany pushed themselves to great victories. Kipsang's 2:04.44 was dominating, as he fought a tough field, breaking them after 35k. Mary Keitany's win showed her ability to control what had been seen until then, as her impulsiveness. Her 2:18.37, run off a pretty conservative 1:10.53 half way split, was amazing to watch. Now, the real story begins, as the Kenyan and Ethiopian selectors for the marathon teams will be hard at work. Special thanks on photo gallery to Chuck Bartlett, RN Web Deity.
Usain Bolt, 2008 Beijing, photo by PhotoRun.net

London 2012 is less than 100 days away, actually, today is day 96, we believe. Usain Bolt will be rolling into his blocks on May 5, in Kingston, running the 100 meters. On May 6, Allyson Felix is opening in Kawasaki, Japan. On May 16 and 19, in Daegu, Korea and Shanghai, China, David Oliver, fresh off his 13.17 for 110m hurdles, will race Jason Richardson, 2011 World Champ and then Liu Xiang, 2007 World champ.
Stephanie Hightower, the Chairman of USA Track & Field and I saw each other at various events over the winter. On one occasion, Stephanie noted that USATF would reopen the CEO search, find the new CEO and name and place the CEO before the Olympic Trials in July 2012.

This very afternoon, I went to check my email and I saw the release and note from Jill Geer on the naming of Max Siegel as new CEO of USA Track & Field, a post that he will assume on May 1, 2012. They also held a press conference today. To say that USATF did this with precision is an understatement. As Runblogrun was in London covering the London marathon, we will request an interview with Mr. Siegel upon our return.

Here is the blog that Chairman Stephanie Hightower prepared for this moment. We have also posted the official release and we also reprinted a story about the board where Mr. Siegel, then a member (February 2011), makes some thoughtful comments on the sport and positioning USA Track & Field.

12maxsiegelusatf.pngMax Siegel, CEO, USA Track & Field,
photo courtesy of USA Track & Field

Max Siegel is the new CEO of USA Track & Field. A marketing and sports marketing executive with vast experience, Mr. Siegel was the unanimous vote of the USATF board. Here is the release on Max. We were unable to participate in the press conference today, however, we have requested an interview with Mr. Siegel and will keep you updated.

In the mean time, we wish Max Siegel best wishes. He brings a new energy to the sport we love and we will look forward to his new focus.

Several hours ago, Max Siegel was named the new CEO for USA Track & Field. A press conference was announced an hour later, and Max spoke to assembled media. Unfortunately, we were still in London, covering the Virgin London marathon and the build up to the 2012 London marathon.

12maxsiegelusatf.pngMax Siegel, photo courtesy of USA Track & Field

Mark Winitz, one of our long-time writers, texted me in London, and reminded me of the story he did in February 2011 for American Track & Field on the board of USA Track & Field. We have reprinted the opening and Max Siegel's thoughtful comments on where to take USA Track & Field. We wish him the very best and we believe you will appreciate his thoughts!

Version 2   February 24, 2011

The Future of Track and Field in America

Here's How Six USATF Board Members See It

by Mark Winitz

What's the future of American track and field? Is it flourishing, or dying?

    According to the latest National Federation of State High School Associations survey, outdoor track and field was the number one sport among high school girls nationally in 2009-2010 with almost 470,000 participants, and the second largest for boys (572,123 participants) behind football. And outdoor track and field gained more participants in 2009-2010 than any other high school sport. On the roads, according to Running USA, in 2009 there were approximately 10 million U.S. road race finishers, a record. That sounds pretty healthy.

    But many critics contend that in the last 25 years, track and field has lost its public face as a major American sport. In addition, governance at the highest levels has faced rocky territory--and plenty of criticism--over the past several years. A 2009 USOC-mandated restructuring of USA Track & Field cut USATF's Board of Directors from 31 members to 15, leaving many of track's diverse constituencies feeling they had no voice at the sport's highest level.

    Last September, barely two years after his hiring, Doug Logan, the track federation's "new" CEO, was abruptly released by the Board amidst concerns that he was not performing up to the demands of the job. A new CEO should be named this Spring.

    Sometimes overlooked by critics is the fact that USATF has recently made some significant strides forward:
•    In February, 2009, a "Project 30" Task Force issued a 69-page report that analyzed Team USA performance in Beijing and set a course for programmatic change to maximize Team USA performance in future Olympic and World Championship competitions. USATF subsequently hired a Chief of Sports Performance and a Director of Coaching, and rolled out a new High Performance Action Plan.

•    A joint USATF-Nike venture is scheduled to spend approximately $8 million dollars during its 8-year term to support athletes with medal-winning potential for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

•    In December, 2009, USATF announced a new strategic plan, outlining its mission, vision and strategies through 2012. Although the plan has been criticized for lack of detail (such as accountability and timelines for carrying out strategic objectives and programs), USATF's Board and the Board's subcommittees are using it as their guide for action (you can see the plan at: www.usatf.org/about/committees/BoardOfDirectors/strategicPlan.asp
•    USATF's USA Distance Project has grown to 10 distance training centers nationwide to help develop world-class American marathoners and distance stars. More than 50% of the top 100 U.S. distance runners train at these centers.

    In addition, the USA Track & Field Foundation, created in 2002 to financially support USATF programs and athletes, has become an important factor in the development of world-class athletes, annually distributing (via the generosity of a small group of passionate USATF members) almost a half a million dollars every year to important causes within our sport.

    To help American Track & Field readers get to know more about USATF's Board of Directors, we interviewed six of the 15 members--selected from a cross-section of backgrounds and experiences-- and asked each to describe their personal top three priorities for USATF, and for the sport in general.

Max Siegel, USATF Board Member, Board Operations Committee Chair
    Max Siegel is the CEO of The 909 Group LLC, a sports, entertainment and lifestyle marketing firm. He also practices law with Baker & Daniels in Indianapolis, with clients such as the Seattle Mariners, USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming, and NCAA. A leading NASCAR consultant, Max is the former President of Global Operations for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., a former executive with the Sony BMG/ Zomba Label Group, and a cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame School of Law.

Siegel's Comments

    Priority A:  Position the brand and the sport to create value and attract commercial targets. Creating value isn't just about marketing and visibility. It's really about return on an investment. One thing we've been doing is an assessment of our assets and coming up with campaigns that resonate with audiences. Track is a diverse sport. You can hit the health care sector, the female/minority demographic, etc. There are so many constituencies that are part of my idea of how we present the brand. In addition, track and field is a lifestyle sport. It's an international brand that is integrated in our lifestyle. It doesn't matter if you're an elite athlete, a race walker, or a youngster. Everything that you do has a health benefit and everyone can participate in it. So, I'm passionate about making sure that USATF develops grass-roots programs that resonate in communities, and that we develop media properties so sponsors can get returns by being involved.

    Besides doing this type of type of programming, USATF also needs to closely look at how it presents competitions on TV. Today's economy dictates that programming be directed at the grassroots devotees. This is the kind of programming that makes sense to appropriate commercial sponsors because it has the potential for a large viewer audience. Much of what I do with NASCAR relates to youth education--science, math, technology, and engineering as it relates to race cars. We also have a fitness program. These are the kinds of things that corporations and government agencies can get behind while adding value to their brand, and sending a message to the community.

        Priority B:  Increase USATF's available resources by bringing in new commercial partners and sponsors. But we need to do the first piece (position the brand) right before we can do this one. Human resources, program partners, and financial resources are all critically important. Part of my goal for the Board's Operations Committee is that we have the necessary resources in place to execute our business objectives in our strategic plan.
        Priority C:  Improve our service to the sport's constituency base. Galvanize this base, set some obtainable goals, and figure out what is needed to achieve them. At the grassroots level, whether it's masters or youth, we need to hear what the constituents want to accomplish. This constituent base needs to be unified in voicing the goals they want to achieve. In the end, the ability to achieve these goals will come down to financial resources and the manpower to execute them. If you have fragmented grass-roots programs that aren't tied into a broad, well-defined return on investment, it becomes even harder to secure financial resources.

MARK WINITZ is a longtime writer for AMERICAN TRACK & FIELD. He sits on USATF's national Men's Long Distance Running Executive Committee and Law & Legislation Committee. He also sits on Pacific Association/USATF's Board of Athletics and is a Certified USATF Master Level Official/Referee.

Great weekend of track & field! More results to come, watch for more info later today.....

Reese_BrittneyQ-Worlds11.jpgBrittney Reese, 2012 World Indoors, photo by PhotoRun.net

Wilson Kipsang, Kenya, February 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

In a men's field that had no weaknesses, Wilson Kipsang broke the field and went off on a very close chase for the course and world record. His effort, giving him victory and a near course record, puts him in the driver's seat for a position on the Kenyan marathon team. "That is up to the selectors," noted Wilson Kipsang.

Here is how Wilson Kipsang, on April 22, 2012 became King of the marathon world, as he won the 2012 Virgin London Marathon:
Wilson Kipsang training group, Kenya (February 2012), photo by PhotoRun.net

Busy weekend in track & field. Kansas Relays and Mt. SAC Relays saw some nice performances. I am in London, covering the Virgin London marathon (next weekend, Payton Jordan in Palo Alto, CA).

Dave Bedford, the man who orchestrates the Virgin London Marathon fields, noted, in an interview, that he believes there a no barriers to a sub two hour marathon. He is right, no barriers. But really look at what Mr. Bedford is saying. A two hour marathon means averaging 28 minutes per 10k, some mean running.

When will it happen? Who knows? But with athletes like Wilson Kipsang, and the success of the Kenyan training groups, we may see it in our lifetime. As you can see, I am not betting the house!
At Runblogrun.com, we are proud to publish all the geek stuff that is fit to print. Here, courtesy of K. Ken Nakamura, are how the stat world changed with Virgin London today!

Keitany_MaryH-RAK11.JPGMary Keitnay, 2011 RAK, photo by PhotoRun.net

Wilson Kipsang, 2011 BMW Frankfurt, photo by PhotoRun.net

Keitany_MaryWide-RAK12.JPGMary Keitany, photo by PhotoRun.net

Mary Keitany, defending her title from 2011, defended her title with amazing new Kenyan and African records, running 2:18.37. What was most shocking is Keitany, known for her impulsive front running, showed the self control of a middle distance runner! Here is how we saw the race:

Oscar Pistorius draws crowds where ever he goes. RBR has spoken to Mr. Pistorius and finds him to be a very humble, straight talking athlete. Oscar inspires athletes and fans. His chase of the 400 meter standard captivated the world. TIME magazine, on of the most influential publications in print and digital (follow them on twitter, great reads), named to Top 100 Most influential.

Pistorius_Oscar-Milan11.jpgOscar Pistorius,  2011 Milano, photo by PhotoRun.net

Major marathons are celebrations of the sport, celebrations of movement, and celebrations of the culture around running events. Part of that culture is the Expo. I liked the space, the adidas expo areas was not overdone, tastly done, and it gave the runners who came through a chance to see not only adidas product, but the race entries from various companies and most of the major footwear brands. Did like the Lucozade booth at the expo.

David Weir, five time winner of the Virgin London Marathon was called by one keen observer of the sport " the most talented athlete that Great Britain has,". That might be challenged, but the love of Mr. Weir by the British sports fan can not be challenged. The man is an amazingly talented athlete and a gutty one at that!

It was fitting then, that Mr. Weir spoke as the only elite athlete at the Virgin London elite athlete reception. What was fascinating was the Dave Bedford, the co race director, along with Hugh Brasher, did not speak at the event. Hugh Brasher, son of the late Chris Brasher, the co founder of the race, along with John Dinsely, spoke.

Hugh Brasher was both thoughtful and self depricating. He noted that while most decisions for the marathon were made this year by Mr. Bedford, that Dave had told Mr. Brasher, that if anything went wrong on Sunday, it would be noted that Mr. Brasher made all of the decisions. Hugh also said, " Welcome to the world's greatest marathons, oh, Sorry Mary." He said that, the same words that Dave Bedford had noted for several years, in a bit of competitive jest with Mary Wittenberg, President of the New York Road Runners.

Dave Bedford will remain part of the race, especially in the area of organizing the field. But Hugh Brasher, a man who has put on races with much success, whose Sweat Shop is a significant part of the run specialty business in the British Isles, will be the guy who the media focuses on in the future.

Veronica Campbell-Brown, photo by PhotoRun.net

Veronica Campbell-Brown, the current World Indoor 60m champion and 200m World Champion, will be opening her season in Gainesville, Florida on Friday at the Tom Jones Memorial. Campbell-Brown is preparing for the Jamaican Olympic Trials, and the battles she will have over 100 and 200 meters.
While many have spoken and written about the Kenyan and Ethiopian Trials, much more is happening in London on Sunday. Nearly 40,000 marathoners are running for various causes, 40,000 marathoners who have their own stories....

Yelling_LizWide-Frankfurt11.JPGLiz Yelling, photo by PhotoRun.net

The British Trials: positions are open for two athletes, and it will all about, who runs fastest in this race. Scott Overall, the only man selected for the British marathon team, is pacing his two potential team mates Benedict Whitby and Lee Meerien, focus on running fast and making the British selectors happy. Our keen commentator on British selection, when asked what the selectors want, noted one thing, " Whitby and Meerien have to run fast." 

On the women's side, one position is open and four women are contesting that position. Liz Yelling, one of the most respected of British marathoners, will have to contest the marathon with several aspiring to the single open position. That is the nature of the beast: our sport respects persistence, longevity and such, but, in a trials situation, he or she who runs the fastest is the winner.

How will the Kenyan and Ethiopian selectors behave? Will they pick the fastest runners in the world, or will they just negate the results of the month of April?

Live video for mobile from Ustream

The Kansas Relays is one of the largest relays in the US. Great performances abound at the Kansas Relays. Reese Hoffa has just defeated Christian Cantwell, 21.73m to 21.71m! The times of the Video feed are Fri: 9:50am-6:45pm and Sat: 12:15PM - 5:00pm. Both are Central time!

adidas will have on of its Golden Stripes 100m and Mile stops at the Kansas Relays as well, as they search for the best high school 100m and mile runners in the country.

mtsac_tv on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

The MT. SAC Relays, the largest track & field relays in the Western US, will have live video feeds this weekend. Times are Thu - 6:00-9:20pm, Fri - 5:50-9:40pm and Sat - 11:00am - 9:00pm, all Pacific time. Some amazing duels this weekend! Do not miss the Live feeds! mt_sac_logo_FINAL.png
Mary Keitany, by PhotoRun.net

Mary Keitany is a fearless runner. She demolished the field in 2011 Virgin London marathon, and in the 2011 ING New York City Marathon, she seemed hellbent on the same thing, but she learnt to respect the distance.

In the 2012 Kenyan Trials, Mary Keitany is intent to run very fast, and see who can go with her. Over the streets of London, Mary Keitany intends to run faster than just about any women who has run this course, except, of course Paula Radcliffe.

Video - David Bedford on the elite women's field

Dave Bedford, Long time race director of the 2012 Virgin London Marathon waxes poetically about the women's field in London. The race has so much on the line, for the athletes involved, that it is the one of the finest fields ever assembled.

David Bedford, one of the co-founders of the Virgin London Marathon, and former world record holder at 10,000 meters, speaks about the race that he has helped craft since 1981.

The 2012 men's field is one of the deepest in many years. With the Virgin London being the de facto trials for Kenya and Ethiopia, it also is the deciding race for the top two British Men and one women!

The truth be told, Bedford is like the late artist,  Lucian Freud, one of the greatest painters of the 20th century. He takes a thoughtful approach to developing his fields, and he does it because he understand and loves his sport. Bedford's fields are a work of art, period.

adidas adizero is everywhere! The Sonic 3 is their new launch, with a compelling promo with Robert Griffin III. Griffin is former Baylor athlete, and Heisman winner. Some think he will surpass the records of  Cam Newton!

Remember, sports marketing was virtually invented by adidas, with the late Horst Dassler, Jr. Their recent TV ads have drawn in Next Gen consumers. In the end, dear readers, it all comes down to one thing; when adidas makes killer product, consumers love the brand. adizero is lightweight and it looks great.

I know, if we had only stayed colonies, we could have a Royal family member give out trophies. Prince Harry would do well in the States, he has a bit of attitude, and it is suggested that he might have had an adult beverage some time in his adult life. Well, he would be welcome in Wisconsin, that is for sure!
It is Wednesday afternoon, April 18, as I sit in the Madison, Wisconsin airport. I am having a Sam Adams lager and updating your favorite blog. Thanks to Nicola Okey of the Virgin London marathon, we get updated on everything going on in London. This years race will be the virtual trials for Kenyan, Ethiopian and several other countries. The race should be very fast and extremely close. Watch for our updates starting tomorrow!
How does one decribe perfection? Well, that is David Rudisha. Last year, at the AVIVA London Grand Prix, David Rudisha gently spoke, for over an hour, with the assembled media on his admiration for Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Marcello Fiasconaro, and of course, Wilson Kipketer. Rudisha is a student of his event.


Last summer, in Daegu, Korea, David Rudisha lead from the start, to win the 800 meters the old fashioned way: he earned it, every step of the way.

That Rudisha is running in New York City at the adidas Grand prix means, dear readers, that you should hock that Joe Walsh t-shirt you have been saving and get yourself a ticket to one of the best meets in the world! Rudisha is coming!

Yelena Isinbayeva, by PhotoRun.net

Sergei Bubka cleared 20 feet, six and one half inches, and Yelena Isinbayeva has cleared 16 feet, 4 inches. Consider for a moment that a double decker tourist bus, such as one that could be found in London, is 14 and one half feet high. Now Ms. Isinbayeva is considering 5.10 meters. or 16 feet, 8 and one half inches!
This is a first person piece by M. Nicole Nazzaro, a long time freelancer for American Track & Field magazine. Nicole ran her twelfth marathon this past Monday, in the hot and humid conditions of Boston. Here is how she experienced the day:

FinishAreaRear-Boston11.JPGThe 2011 Boston Finish, much cooler than the 2012 version, photo by PhotoRun.net

Sharon Cherop, Wesley Korir, photo by PhotoRun.net

A great day of marathoning, albeit a very hot day in Beantown. The BAA and John Hancock handled it well, and the emergency services were prepared, but it was still very, busy.

This is our last posting for the day! Check out our coverage of the Boston Marathon coverage!
The last time we saw Jason Hartmann in the race was about 16-17, when he let the pack go, focusing on getting to mile 21. That thoughtful approach, in the midst of marathon combat, gave Jason his best performance as a professional athlete, as he took fourth in the 2012 Boston Marathon, one that will be remembered for heat, heat, did I say heat?

Jon Gugula wrote this for us, and we hope you enjoy his appreciation for a young man, who has fought the good fight, and now, is showing that at 6-3, and 165 pounds, when Jason comes charging over the last couple miles, you better get out of the way.....

Beat the Heat is what Jon Gugala titled his piece on the 2012 BAA Boston marathon. As many of you know, Jon, who hails from Santa Cruz, California, has been writing for us since last Fall at the ING New York City marathon.

Jon's thoughtful prose captures a tough day for marathoners, with nearly 23,000 stories of heroic running. Here is how Jon saw the 116 th running of the BAA Boston Marathon:

The Big Sur Marathon is one of the most creative race teams with one of the most beautiful race courses in the world! They just picked up three more sponsors! Nice job!
Jason Hartmann, photo by PhotoRun.net

Running a race that was both smart and challenging, Jason Hartmann became the fourth placer in the 2012 BAA Boston. Running a race that many have thought he the potential to do, Hartmann used that six foot three inch frame and 165 lbs to just mow down runners over the last ten kilometers.

Jason ran 2:14:31 for fourth place! He stayed back when the pace picked up in the hills, at sixteen or seventeen miles. He picked off all but three , so about fifteen runners, over the last ten kilometers. 

Here are some comments from Jason, in the media room, just after the race. A special thanks to the BAA team, who runs a wonderful press room.
Korir_WesleyFV-Boston12.jpgWesley Korir, 2012 BAA Boston, photo by PhotoRun.net

It was about two pm, and Steve Vaitones, the manager of the USATF New England office sat down next to me in the Fairmont Copley media center, and said, " it was not a dark and stormy night."

In conditions that have not been seen in Boston since 1977, Sharon Cherop and Wesley Korir battled the sun, the heat, the humidty and fields fighting to make their countries' selectors notice them in conditions that exhausted the two defending champions, putting the fastest man in the world, Geoffrey Mutai, on his back at 30 kilometers.

Cherop_SharonFV1-Boston12.jpg Sharon Cherop, 2012 Boston, photo by PhotoRun.net

Here are the numbers: In 2012, there were 27,716 official entrants in Boston Marathon. This past weekend, 22,853 picked up their packets for today's race. That means that 3,863 did not pick up packets. This morning, after the third wave, there were 22,426 official starters,  meaning that a 98.13 percentage of marathoners who picked up their packets, leaving 427 folks who picked up their packets not running.

By 1.30 pm today, the medical tents were working hard to keep people comfortable. They had already pulled 200 people off the course, and expected more after 3 p.m.

Cherop-KorirFL-Boston12.jpg Sharon Cherop, Welsey Korir, 2012 Boston Marathon winners,
photo by PhotoRun.net

The race up front was fascinating on both sides. The women elite went out slow, hitting the first 5k in 18:50, then 18:15 through 10k, 18:12, 18:08, and 17:37 for 25k. Caroline Kilel battled to keep control of the race, but for naught. Sharon Cherop and Jasmine Sumgong cut the pack from 11 to 8 to five to three, and then, Dado dropped back. How slow and brutal was heat? Women were two minutes behind last year's pace at 5k mark.

And then, at 35k there were two. It was not really until after 40k, heck, until 600 meters to go, that Sharon Cherop unleashed a vicious kick, to win by two seconds!

Sharon Cherop won the womens race in 2:31.50, with Jasmine Sumgong taking second in 2:31.52. Five years in a row, with women duking it out over the final 600 meters. 

On the men's side, an American lead for about seven kilometers, wearing a PowerBar logo. While the young man had a 2:20.54 PB, he was not a potential threat to this field and they knew it (Randall finished in 2:37).

Levy Matebo was pushing the pace from 15k (5k in 15.05, 10k in 31.02), in 46.49. Geoffrey Mutai, last year's winner, lead through 20k, in 62.42, then went into the pack, only to collapse after 18 miles, due to stomach cramps. Nic Ariniaga lead a pack of ten through 25k in 1:18.08.

Kisorio and Matebo, running side by side, put the hammer down 25k to 30k, with a 14.59 split, and the race was on! Levy Matebo continued to push, breaking Kisorio.

Un beknownst to Matebo, Wesley Korir, who had been back in the pack, began to move through the field, from seventh, to second, closing in on Matebo at 40k, hit in 1:56.48. In such punishing conditions, Korir had run 14:39 for the 5k, to reach Matebo.

Levy Matebo went past Wesley Korir, and one wondered, did Matebo have it? But, Wesley Korir moved up, from a fifty meter deficiit and reached Matebo at 40 kilometers. The men ran together, and on a downhill, Wesley Korir charged up the small hill and built a 26 second lead between 25 miles and the finish.

Wesley Korir won the men's race in 2:12:41, with Levy Matebo holding on for second, running 2:13.06.

2012 BAA Boston Marathon, men: 1. Wesley Korir, Kenya, 2:12.40, 2. Levy Matebo, Kenya, 2:13.06, 3. Bernard Kipyego, Kenya, 2:13.13, 4. Jason Hartmann, USA, 2:14.31, 5. Wilson Chebet, Kenya, 2;14.56, 6. Laban Korir, Kenya, 2:15.29, 7.Michel Butter, Netherlands, 2:16.38, 8. David Barmasai, Kenya, 2.17.16, 9. Hideaki Tamura, Japan, 2:18.15, 10. Mathew Kisorio, Kenya, 2:18.15

2012 BAA Boston Marathon, women: 1. Sharon Cherop, 2.31.50, Kenya, 2. Jemima Sumgong, 2.31.52, Kenya, 3. Georgina Rono, Kenya, 2.33.09, 4.Firehiwot Dado, Ethiopa, 2.34.56, 5.Diana Sigei, Kenya, 2:35.40, 6.Rita Jeptoo, Kenya, 2.35.53, 7. Mayumi Fujita, Japan, 2.39.11, 8.Nadezdha Leonteva, Russia, 2:40.40, 9. Svetlana Pretot, France, 2:40.50, 10. Sheri Piers, USA, 2.41.55, 

To see how the Marathon developed in real time, we suggest that you look at Runblogrun's LIVE Blog coverage:


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Bill Toomey, the 1968 Olympic decathlon champion told me, years ago, about his bag of tricks as he called it. In the bag, were dry clothes, extra track spikes, PediaLyte (did not have Gatorade back then), and sunglasses.

Sunglasses keep the eye fatigue down, Toomey told me.

Well move ahead forty years, and see companies such as Native Eyewear, one of the most innovative and popular sports eyewear companies.

the Shoe Addicts, our friends in the digital world, just finished a product video on Native Eyewears newest product. We have embedded it below. We have also provided the URL of Native so you can reach out and learn more about the product.

Kidane_Werknesh1a-Carlsbad12.JPGWerknesh Kidane, photo by PhotoRun.net

Nice runs by Ben True and Werknesh Kidane in the BAA 5ks! Ben ran 13:41 for the win and Werknesh ran 15:12, both new course records. Six thousand runners participated in the sunny and warm conditions. On the mile side, Collis Birmingham won the men's elite mile in 4:06 and Morgan Uceny, the number one rated women at the 1,500m for 2011, won in 4:43.8. A very nice addition to the Marathon weekend, the BAA 5k and elite mile has quite a draw, staged at the finish line of the marathon.

True_Ben-NYRR5k11.JPG Ben True, by PhotoRun.net

The BAA's Jack Fleming told us how please he was with the turn out and also reminded us that they would provide an update on the marathon conditions expected for Monday.

To keep up on the race conditions, please check www.baa.org.
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Dear readers, this is going be the hottest Boston marathon since the 1976 War of the Hoses, where Jack Fultz won the fabled race.

With temperatures predicted over 95 degrees, and early on in the 80s (predictions change each and every hour), the Boston Marathon team has been quite responsible and updating the issues every few hours.

Here is the gist of their points (can be seen below). SLOW DOWN. DRINK LOTS of WATER.

And if you have never raced in hot weather, consider deferring. If you are a bandit, and have not made your age group standards of qualification, DO NOT RUN OR CONSIDER DEFERRING.

And for those who have made the standards, don't be stupid. Tomorrow is probably going to be a long run day, and yes you will probably not make the Boston standard for next year. Think before you run. Hot weather can totally affect runners of all levels. This writer recalls going from 6.15s to 8.30s at 1981 SRI Chinmoy in SFO, and watching the runner in front of me collapse onto the ground in a heap, only to be picked up by a emergency vehicle and given a life saying IV.

So, be careful, marathoners. Run relaxed on Monday, be mindful of the conditions so that you can run for many years to come!

Bolt-Blake4x1-World11.JPGYohan Blake to Usain Bolt, 2011 WC 4 x 100m, photo by PhotoRun.net

Usain Bolt anchored team opened by Mario Forsythe, Yohan Blake, Kimmari Roach to 37.82 WL, "felt good". Despite the rain, Usain ran well. Yohan Blake ran a world leading 9.90 for the 100 meters, very early and fast for April.

Jeter_CamelitaR_Lausanne10.JPGCarmelita Jeter, photo by PhotoRun.net

Carmelita Jeter ran 22.31 for 200 meters at Rafer Johnson/JJK Invitational, and ran on second fastest 4 x 100m of the day. Allyson Felix anchored the Bobby Kersee All Stars to a World Leading 42.65.

Nelson_Adam1-NBind12.JPGAdam Nelson, photo by PhotoRun.net
In an epic battle of the shot put gods, Adam Nelson surpassed Reese Hoffa, 21.54m to 21.49m, at the Spec Towns Invitational. In just an amazing battle, Nelson has two fouls over 22 meters, per some keen observers.

Moses Mosop probably knocked himself out of contention of the Kenyan Marathon team with his third place at the ABN AMRO Rotterdam marathon, running 2:05:03! Talk about high stakes!
Freeman_OctaviousM1-NBO11.JPGOctavius Freeman, 2011 NB Outdoors, photo by PhotoRun.net

Here are the top Marks in the world, as of midnight, Saturday, 14 April 2012, courtesy of our friends at All-Athletics.com. We highly recommend that you subscribe (special offer on their site!).

Women's Top Marks, Outdoors

100mOctavious FREEMAN11.10
200mCarmelita JETER22.31
300mLauren BODEN38.20
400mRosemarie WHYTE51.13
600mMeg LOONEY1:32.95
800mTamsyn MANOU2:01.53
1500mZoe BUCKMAN4:09.26
MileKellie PALMER4:47.01
3000mSally KIPYEGO8:53.83
2 MilesKelsey SANTISTEBAN10:48.96
5000mJackie ARESON15:18.31
100mHSally PEARSON12.49
400mHTi'erra BROWN54.88
2000mSCBridget FRANEK6:26.66
3000mSCLennie WAITE9:48.35

Brigetta BARRETT1.95
PVAlana BOYD4.76
LJBrittney REESE7.04
TJDailenis ALCÁNTARA14.41
SPValerie ADAMS20.67
DTNadine MÜLLER68.89
HTWenxiu ZHANG75.72
JTMartina RATEJ65.24
10 kmV. J. CHERUIYOT30:47
10 MilesJellia TINEGA54:02
20 kmRuth VAN DER MEIJDEN1:11:16
HMM. J. KEITANY1:06:49
MarathonErba Tiki GELANA2:18:58
3000mWVera SANTOS12:55.2h
5000mWTanya HOLLIDAY21:21.25
5kmWOlga SHARGINA22:30
10,000mWEleonora Anna GIORGI45:08.24
10kmWNadezda LEONTYEVA44:32
20,000mWL. D. DEVI MALA1:41:54.57
20kmWElmira ALEMBEKOVA1:25:27
HeptathlonSharon DAY6337
4x100mKersee All-Stars42.65
4x400mOne Goal Athletics3:24.14

Men's Top Marks, Outdoors

Spearmon_Wallace1-USout11.JPGWallace Spearmon, 2011 USA Outdoors, photo by PhotoRun.net

100mYohan BLAKE9.90
200mWallace SPEARMON19.95
300mIsalbet JUAREZ33.43
400mOscar PISTORIUS45.20
600mAsbel KIPROP1:18.0h
800mDavid RUDISHA1:44.33
1000mMatt LINCOLN2:21.08
1500mDavid TORRENCE3:35.66
MileWill LEER3:58.49
3000mBolota ASMERON8:00.35
5000mCollis BIRMINGHAM13:15.57
10,000mStephen MOKOKA27:40.73
110mHDavid OLIVER13.30
400mHBershawn JACKSON48.49
2000mSCTom BROOKS5:48.18
2000mSCJairus KIPCHOGE8:19.14
PVAndrew IRWIN5.60
LJHenry FRAYNE8.27
SPAdam NELSON21.54
JTSergey MAKAROV83.39
10 kmKenenisa BEKELE27:49
15 kmMohamed TRAFEH43:23
10 MilesAllan KIPRONO45:15
20 kmM. K. MUTAI59:30
HMAtsedu TSEGAY58:47
MarathonAyele ABSHERO2:04:23
3000mWDane Alex BIRD-SMITH11:23.05
5000mWInaki GOMEZ18:45.64
10,000mWDane Alex BIRD-SMITH40:40.61
10kmWVeli-Matti PARTANEN38:59
20,000mWGurmeet SINGH1:20:22.52
20kmWAlex SCHWAZER1:17:30
35kmWSergey KIRDYAPKIN2:25:41
50kmWAlex SCHWAZER3:40:58
DecathlonWillem COERTZEN8244
4x100mRacers Track Club37.82
4x400mCentral TX All Stars3:01.54

Caster Semenya, photo by PhotoRun.net

Caster Semenya won her 800 meter title in her countries' championships, running 2:02.68 for the two lap race. Boston Marathon authorities, being proactive, are showing much concern for the field and the expected boiling conditions, with finish line area expected to be 91F to 96F (21C to 29C).

That means that many in the field, who run for charities, and who may not have experienced bad weather marathons, simply, should hang it up until next year. The BAA has a defer opportunity for 2013. Stay tuned.
New Balance opens iconic store in Boston's famous Copley square...we will be checking it out this weekend and update you on some of the innovations in the store!

James Gallagher, John Hancock Financial Services, photo by Photorun.net

It is the 150th anniversary of John Hancock Financial services being established. It is the 125th year of the BAA's existence and 116th year of the beloved BAA Boston Marathon. James Gallagher, Executive VP/ManuLife (Global Compliance and John Hancock Government , Public and Community Relations) introduced the weekend in fine fashion. Truth be told, John Hancock has been in a pivotal role to influence the direction of the professionalization of the sport of marathon running in general and the Boston Marathon in particular. John Hancock Financial services and adidas have been two of the longest sponsors in marathon history.

The elite press conference is where the fields are presented and media gets interviews and final insights into the race on Monday. The facts are hot marathon, so everything is up in the air. The Ethiopian team selection is so tight, an Ethiopian could win here and not make their team. Likewise, a Kenyan runner could win here, in a not so fast time, and not make their team.

I find this silly. Championship marathons are totally different cats than a big city marathon. Well, except in races like London, where a certain Mr. Bedford has so many elite marathoners that the battle will be fast and furious. But the fact is, Kenya and Ethiopia want the gold medals in London in the marathon (and the 10,000m, and the 5,000m, and did I say the steeplechase? well, that's another story). 

I am looking forward to seeing both Boston and London this year. Two mighty races, in one week! Oh boy!

I have to complement James D. Gallagher, the Executive VP of ManuLife. He noted the anniversaries this year, the athletes on the stage who had won 60 marathons between them, and the importance the media plays in providing the stories that inspire. Truth is, in the media, we only communicate what we see, or hear. There are 20,000 stories in Boston this weekend, and we hope to cover the most inspirational.


The Boston Marathon is an iconic event. The sponsorship by adidas, which has been in place for 23 years, is definitely adidas' most prestigious sponsorship in their marathon firmament, and also one of its most iconic.

The signage, outdoor, digital, the apparel, and footwear for Boston can be seen everywhere. Collateral such as what adidas does in Boston is a daily affirmation to the grass roots running committee of adidas's commitment to the sport.

In its 115th year, Boston becomes more and more relevant as the one race where you have to run fast, in relative terms, to get to the starting line.

In this release, adidas announces a new training program with Greg McMillan of the adidas McMillan Training Group. One of the most thoughtful coaches in our sport, Greg has helped runners of all levels improve their performances in the long distances and the marathon. We encourage you to read his suggestions and to heed his suggestions about warm weather running this weekend!

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Doug Todd, photo courtesy of PUMA Communications

Doug Todd is the Meet Director of one of largest Track & Field Relays in our sport, the Mt.SAC Relays. The Mt.SAC Relays have given many athletes, young and elite a chance to compete in the late April for over fifty years.

This years event is April 18-22, 2012, and we were fortunate to grab Doug Todd, Meet Director of the Mt.SAC Relays and ask him a few questions about the fabled meet. Note that Flotrack.org will be covering the PUMA Miles this year as many of the other parts of the Mt.SAC Relays.

We encourage one and all to attend and see a tremendous weekend of track & field. This year, will have some very fast sprints, the PUMA miles and also a superb Distance Carnival!
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Usain Bolt at 2011 Areva Paris, photo by PhotoRun.net

What a busy weekend in our sport! Rotterdam, Boston, Paris. An amazing weekend! Boston will be very, very hot on Monday, so please, dear marathoners, slow down a bit and also put water down you like you never have before.

Usain Bolt is running in a 4 x 100m this weekend in Jamaica, and Yohan Blake is opening up with a 100 meter race and the 4 x 100 meters this weekend.

Two toughest teams to make right now: Kenyan and Ethiopian men's marathon teams. In both cases, six to eight really in the hunt and between now and London, many of these athletes have to perform. 22nd place in terms of time, on Ethiopian qualifiers is one Haile Gebrselassie, at 2:08:34!  Talk about pressure!

Right now, Weather underground is talking of temperatures between 81 and 95 for the marathon. It changes every hour. My drop dead accurate way to do the weather is 1) sacrifice goat, 2) read entrails. Seems to work as well as meteorologists using Doppler.
Kenenisa Bekele, photo by PhotoRun.net

Kenenisa is running the roads, something he does infrequently, this weekend in the SPAR Great Ireland Run 10k, only his third time running a road ten kilometer race in many years. Steve Hooker is training well, and David Rudisha, along with Usain Bolt are announcing racing plans!

I am off to Boston press conference on a rainy Thursday
FinishAreaRear-Boston11.JPG2011 Boston, photo by PhotoRun.net

Nice program by BAA to offer CPR demonstrations. Will save Lives. If you get a chance, go to the demonstration. The more comfortable that you are with CPR, the easier it will be if you need to help someone you love.

Yohan Blake, photo by PhotoRun.net

Yohan Blake, the 2011 World Champion at 100 meters, and the fastest 200 meter runner of 2011 (19.23), is opening the 2012 season this weekend, April 14, running the 100 meters and also run on the 4 x 100 m relay with Usain Bolt. Should be fun!

Runblogrun heads up to lovely Boston for the 2012 Boston Marathon. We will be covering the marathon Live on on our Live blog! Do not miss a minute! We will announce the link on Twitter over the weekend!
Goeffrey Mutai, 2011 BAA Boston Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

This release is from EarthLink, who hosts the Boston Marathon official website. On the day of the marathon, this is one busy website! The key is this sportfans: oh, how much our sport has changed!

It was only in 1986 that the Boston Marathon moved to a professional format. John Hancock Financial Services came in and guaranteed strong fields. That, in fact, was my last year running Boston. Rob De Castella won that year and just blazed the course that year.

The Boston Marathon is the most iconic race in the US. It is all about the streets of Boston, the crowds, the excitement over the weekend. If one is in the business of the marathon, one must be at Boston, Chicago and New York in the US. Boston will be a fun weekend.

Bjorn Otto, 2012 World Indoors, photo by PhotoRun.net

Bjorn Otto cleared 5.82m to take the world lead outdoors in the pole vault
in San Diego this weekend in a low key meet. Otto and several other German pole vaulters are training in the San Diego environs..
Areson_JackieQ-World12.jpgJackie Areson, 2012 World Indoors, photo by PhotoRun.net

Jackie Areson ran a WL of 15:18.31 WL, in a close battle with Lisa Uhl (15:21.56) over 5,000 meters at the 2012 Stanford Invitational. Lennie Waite of the UK ran 9:48.35 for a world leading steeple. Dathan Ritzenhein has obviously not had any bad effects from the Olympic Trials marathon, running 28:21.48 for 10,000 meters.

Ritzenhein_Dathan-NYChalf12.JPGDathan Riztenhein, 2012 NYC Half, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Stanford Invitational is the opening big West Coast meet. Coming up, Kansas Relays, Mt. SAC Relays and Penn Relays in April!

Kirani James, photo by PhotoRun.net

Kirani James, the 2011 World Champion at 400 meters, will return to Daegu, Korea, to open his outdoor season in 2012. The meet, called the Colorful Meeting of Daegu, will be held on May 16.

Some amazing track & field action this weekend, with Florida Relays and Stanford Cardinal Invitational. A Happy Easter and Happy Passover to all!
San Jose State University has announced today that they will be adding Women's Outdoor Track to the SJS Athletics Department in 2013-14. One of the most prestigious track & field programs in the United States is coming alive once again.

Athletic Director Tom Bowen is doing it right. Giving the upcoming XC Director the year to begin recruiting and developing a program makes a ton of sense.

As a former coach in the Bay Area (Bellarmine, Santa Clara and Foothill), it makes me smile that SJS is getting back into the world's oldest (and we know, dear readers, the best), sport.

The late Bud Winter, who would allow Bellarmine athletes to run on the then best track facility in the area, should be smiling. The program he developed into a powerhouse will come back, modestly, and the SJS athletics department should be congratulated on that move.

This is the second program in the Bay Area to add track & field back into their programs. St. Marys College of Moraga, CA did so in November 2011.

Looking forward to seeing their first meet!

Hot off the presses, here is the digital version of California Track & Running News, the oldest running magazine in the Golden state:

Dear readers, This is our first true Digital issue for Mo Runner. We are testing some new software, so we beg your indulgence on this. We would also like to hear what you think of the issue and please, please, pass it around.

If you would like to sign up for your own personal copy, to be delivered via email link each issue (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter), please use the link below:
Track & Field athletes are quite versatile. Bernard Lagat, at the relatively advanced age (in elite track racing) of 37. Anyone who witnessed Lagat racing this past winter knows that Bernard is at the top of his form and that London 2012 should be a race to behold.

Lagat_BernardFV1-Worldi12.jpgBernard Lagat, 2012 World Indoors 3,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

 Lars Riedel, the great German discus thrower, has shown some versatility. Lars is now entering a variety of athletics and semi athletic endeavors. He recently competed in lost a boxing match, then came back and moved to the next round with his dance partner in the German version of Dancing with the Stars!

If you want an uplifting story about a young runner who perseveres over misdiagnosed injuries, regains her fitness and, in her debut, runs faster than all but one American women prepster, then, please, dear readers, you must read Doug Binder's blog on Cayla Hatton.

Cayla was a good runner her freshman year in high school, running a swift 4:38.8 for 1,500m. During her sophomore year, Cayla was injured playing soccer. The injury was first though to be a glute injury, but it did not heal. She was injured in 2010 track season. She did not finish track season in 2011 with a hip injury.  First doctor told her that she should not run anymore. She had a skeletal problem.

Cayla Hatton was grief stricken. Her parents and Cayla found another opinion. This expert, a physical therapist.  The therapist suggested that there were muscular imbalances that affected her running. It was suggested that if Cayla worked on building her quad strength, that she could run pain free once again.

Repeating exercises, day after day, week after week, for months, must have driven Cayla crazy, but, after several months, she was healthy again!

Hatton_Cayla-NBin12.JPgCayla Hatton, 2012 NB indoor GP, photo by PhotoRun.net

Some hard work later, and Cayla was running injury free. Last Fall, Cayla tried a 5k on the road on Sept. 5, and blasted a 17:34, two minutes faster than the next women and 17th in field of 2,000! This was her first injury free race in nearly three years, as her injuries dated back to her freshman year.

Between September and February, Cayla did her physical therapy and ran. From nice, gentle, to long, strong miles, Cayla, under the watchful eye of her coach, Boston Running Center's Joe McConkeyran 55-65 miles a week, with a long run of 13-15. Healthy again, and for the first time in nearly three years, Cayla Hatton must have felt like a runner again.

When I saw Cayla run a fine 4:51.37 at the New Balance Indoor GP on February 4, I still had no idea who she was. Obviously, Cayla Hatton was someone to consider, as she had held off the top prep miler in the country until the final turn of the race, finishing second.

At the US XC Champs, one week after that, Cayla entered the senior women's race, running against the likes of Sara Hall and Molly Huddle. She placed a respectable 13th, running 28:26 for the chilly 8,000 meter course in St. Louis, Missouri.
 Hatton_Cayla-USAxc12.JPGCayla Hatton, 2012 USA XC Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net

 Then, on April 1, at the SnowFlake Invitational, Cayla Hatton was entered in a mixed race 10,000m at Tufts University. Hatton went out in 82 seconds for the first lap, and noted that she ran 79 seconds a lap, focused on a group of men running together, in front of her...twenty five laps later, Cayla Hatton had used that strong distance base, and some nice mile speed to a distance six times the mile, and then some.

Her 33:17.28 for 10,000m is the second fastest time ever run by a prep woman. The only prep woman faster is none other than Mary Shea, who ran 32:52.5 in 1979. Cayla Hatton is ahead of the likes of Cathy Schiro (then she was Cathy O'Brian), Lesley Welch, Erin Davis, and yes, Melody Fairchild!

Already accepted at Stanford, the Andover Phillips Academy senior is looking to qualify for the 5,000 meters (15:50 is B standard).

We think she can do anything now!
Tirunesh Dibaba, 2012 RNR Carlsbad 5,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

Tirunesh Dibaba, just off her 5,000m win at the Carlsbad 5,000m, is returning to the NIke Pre Classic to run the 10,000m. Healthy again, after 18 months of injuries, Dibaba is arguably the most decorated 5k/10k women runner today. We look forward to seeing Tirunesh race in a very fast 10,000m at Pre!
Aries Merritt, photo by PhotoRun.net

When Aries Merritt won the 60m hurdles at the World Indoor Champs in early March, many considered it one of the great surprises of the World Indoor Champs. Not that Aries did not have the talent-many saw that for years. But, the difference is putting it all together, and Aries Merritt did that when he dueled with China's Liu Xiang!
Over the last three years, I have watched the sport that I love continue to miss opportunities, some, historical opportunities, to go forward. I have spent countless hours listening to sponsors, fans and athletes wonder out loud about where USATF is going. Over the same time, I have marveled at the quality and composure of our athletes.

Some may say that our federation is evolving. Evolution is difficult. It is not smooth, it is brutish, and many get hurt in the process. Some things will no longer exist. There will be steps forward, sideways, and yes, backward. Some things will succeed, some will not. No one should expect changes to come in our federation in any easy manner. 

The CEO search is the newest case in point. The most recent search may have been even more costly than the Doug Logan search, in terms of the federation's credibility. The newest search plans to have the new CEO in place before the Olympic Trials. The press release noted over 100 resumes in house, and that the sport needed an experienced marketing exec who has long term ties with the sport. The USATF press release on the matter, noted that a new CEO should be in position before the US Olympic Trials. 

Over the past several weeks, I have spoken to at least a dozen very talented people who love our sport, surpass the qualification standards. I must admit that I have been less than positive. Not because they were not good candidates, but because, I feel, that the process is, at the least, problematic. With the quoted 100 resumes, it might seem that the Search committee has some strong candidates. With the re-written job description, some might believe that the ideal candidate lie just beyond the Search committee's grasp. And there does exist the possibility that USATF' Search committee has an internal candidate. 

Some people, however, just will not give up. Take Tracy Sundlun.

TracySundlun.jpg Tracy Sundlun

Tracy Sundlun called me at the end of last week, and told me that he wanted to put his hat in the ring for USATF CEO, no matter what. Tracy is a great friend. He loves the sport. He is a businessman, and he is a closer. All of those are parts of what is needed to be in the position of CEO of USA Track & Field. I have to admit, I did not encourage him. 

Much better than I could have, Jim Spier, of the National Scholastic Sports Foundation, put his Foundation's support behind Tracy Sundlun, with his column on 3 April : Tracy Sundlun for USATF CEO. And then, today, Toni Reavis, one of our sports most important columnists, gave us this one: USATF CEO: Big Ideas and Wide Horizons.

I have known Tracy Sundlun for nearly twenty-five years. I have seen him action at major track meets and I have worked with him on various projects for much of the last fifteen years. He is a good and honest man.
He appreciates new challenges. He is also a good friend to the sport and those in the sport. 

Tracy Sundlun is an example of someone who is experienced in our sport, who has both the business, sport connections,management expe
rience, and love of our sport, to help guide it through the changes needed. It makes me feel good that there are people like Tracy, who want such thankless jobs.

We can only hope that the Search Committee for the USATF CEO have people of Tracy's quality on their short list.

Ryan Whiting, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ryan Whiting, the newly crowned 2012 World Indoor Champion, along with Reese Hoffa, Adam Nelson and Dylan Armstrong, 2011 World Outdoor Silver medalist, will be making the Kansas Relays Shot put a very hot event!
Jeter-FraserFH1b-World11.JPGJeter vs Fraser-Pryce, 2011 World Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net

We are just over a month away from the opening of the Samsung DL. Track & Field is just around the corner! Actually, we have already seen some fast times. adidas Grand Prix NYC announces the women's sprints will be very hot, with Carmelita Jeter, Kelly Ann Baptiste and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Jeremy Wariner has opened faster and earlier than in past years, and he is running the 400 meters at the adidas Grand Prix NYC. Make sure that you get your tickets NOW!

Wariner_Jeremy1_Lausanne10.JPGJeremy Wariner, photo by PhotoRun.net

Kenenisa Bekele, photo by PhotoRun.net

The world record holder at 5,000m and 10,000m, Kenenisa Bekele, is back in shape and ready to race! Bekele will open on May 11 in Doha, at the Samsung DL at the 3,000m distance! This is his earliest outdoor meeting since 2009!

Jacko Gill, the Kiwi phenom at the junior shot, will focus on the World Junior Champs, and not London 2012. New Zealand Olympic committee did not select Jack for the London 2012 team.

Atsedu Gay, who ran 58:47 at the Hervis Prague Half Marathon, will be running his debut marathon at the Maraton de Paris on April 15. In order to make the Ethiopian team, he will have to run faster than 2:04.54 to make the team! He is noted that he wants to run a 10,000m after the marathon to see how he looks at the distance. That is pretty steep, but Atsedu can run a fast marathon. 

My question, why run the marathon now? Work at the 10,000m and see how he can progress at the distance.

Nice weekend in Austin for sprinters. Texas Relays entertained and shows that many sprinters are rounding into shape well and early. Sanya Richards-Ross, running he first 100 meters in several years, and she cranked, running 10.89, though quite windy! Jeff Demps ran 10.01, also very windy. Wallace Spearmon and Doc Patton teamed up with two fellow sprinters and ran 38.34 in the 4 x 100m. Jeremy Wariner ran 44.66 for leg in 4 x 400m, time was 3:01.

Richards_SanyaSt1-USind12.jpgSanya Richards-Ross, photo by PhotoRun.net

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