May 2012 Archives

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Kimberlyn Duncan, photo by

Not just another fast sprinter,  Kimberlyn ran 22.22 for the furlong, the fastest time in the world at 200 meters, and also, a new collegiate record! Just how fast can Kimberlyn go? We shall see over the next few weeks!  Congrats to Kimberlyn on being named the USATF Athlete of the Week!
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Tyreek Hill, 2012 Golden South Classic,
photo courtesy of adidas communications

Tyreek Hill ran very, very fast this past weekend. Well, for 200 meters, the prep super star ran 20.14, which is the second fastest prep time EVER at that distance. The folks at adidas, who sponsor the adidas Golden Stripes Track & Field Classic, sent us a nice video link from FloTrack. We have linked it below, and know that you will enjoy it.

Tyreek Hill is running at a level that could make him not only quite dangerous at the Golden Stripes 100m final, to be held in New York on June 9, at the adidas Grand Prix New York, but perhaps, the Olympic Trials? Only 12 high school preps have made US Olympic teams in the past. It will be fascinating to see how far this young man can run this year.

As someone said, out of dreams come reality.

Robby Andrews will be running for adidas, per a press release hot off the wire. Andrews, who ran a fine 3:34.78 at the recent 2012 USA High Performance Oxy meeting, finishing third to Mo Farah and Galen Rupp, left the University of Virginia track program to go professional over the spring.

Now focused on his dream to make the 800 meter and 1,500 meter teams for the US Olympic team, Robby Andrews has the solace of knowing that he has a sponsor, adidas. Andrews will also be racing the 800 meters on June 9 at the adidas Grand Prix NYC.

Robby Andrews, Mo Farah, 2012 USA Oxy High Performance,

There are few things that infuriate me more than that hearing a women athlete has been told that she is fat, or needs to loose weight. Truth is this, with proper nutrition, eight to ten hours of sleep, and a good workout schedule, your body will get to the weight that it is supposed to be. 

Two to three hours of exercise a day will put your body in a place where you are probably more worried about maintaining weight than loosing.I coached sixteen years, at high school, community college, university and club, six years with young women, and I would never have considered such a statement. 

The key for a coach is to provide the tools for the athlete to grow, not just during the two plus hours a day you work with them. You want to show them how to make healthy decisions. Whole grains, fresh fruit, veggies, water, fresh fish, lean meat, legumes. Much of the time, it is what athletes eat-junk, soda-that can affect workouts, and racing. A healthy diet, strong workouts, take care of most issues.

Jessica Ennis, photo by  

So, when I heard that Jessica Ennis was told that she may be "too fat" for her event, by an official, I was, well, shocked, but not surprised. Pat Butcher, the author of the following article, goes a bit further. 

The title of this article is ironic, and is the title given by the writer, Pat Butcher. Pat is writing about heptathlon star Jessica Ennis, who, after two consecutive seconds in major competitions, not only defeated both of the women who claimed victories over her, but she broke the 6900 point level in the women's heptathlon. Ennis is now number 8 on the All time list. Whose in front of her? Oh, Carolina Kluft, Jackie Joyner-Kersee are a couple of the names on that list of seven people in front of her. 

Pat Butcher has observed our sport, and run in the sport, since the invention of the modern running shoe. He possesses a wonderful command of the English language with a wee bit of cynicism, and a huge sense of humor. 

The story of Jessica Ennis' success, on the eve of the most challenging competition of her young life, is complicated. With lots of family support, a great coach, a supportive fiance, Jessica Ennis is focused on 2012. That she is also the poster girl for many of the global companies hoping to gain positive brand thoughts from her success in London is obvious for anyone who looks at global sports marketing. 

I have been lucky enough to observe Jessie in several competitions, when she has won gold, and when she has taken silver, and endured much second guessing. I must say that I have never seen an athlete show such class as Ms. Ennis during her silver medal performance in Daegu last summer. 

After the British record, smiles were seen on the faces of Jessie Ennis and her coach, Toni Minichello.

 A good weekend, now back to the track in Sheffield, for some running, jumping and throwing. It is less than two months to London.  
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Kenyan 10k Olympic Trials Candidates, arriving in Portland International

Tirunesh Dibaba, AVIVA London 2010, 
photo by

Phillips Idowu, photo by


Maggie Vessey, photo by

Stephanie Brown-Trafton, 2011 WC, photo by

The NIke Pre Classic is now a two day affair, with the Hollister Night at Hayward, a celebration of our sport, dedicated to a man who spent much of his life at the tiniest of track meets, road races and cross country events, from Turku, Finland to Seaside, Oregon. 

The Kenyan 10,000m Olympic Trials for men, and the women's 10,000 meters should be two of the highlights of Friday night.

Runblogrun will be there, both nights, covering the events on Live Blog, and providing geeked out reports

Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Roma 2011, 
photo by

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Phillips Idowu, Jessica Ennis, British Olympic uniforms, 
photo by

Jessica Ennis, 2011 WC 800 meters, 
photo by

The week is getting busy. But, still, the Jessica Ennis story, with her rallying from an uber bad high jump, to a studly javelin throw (an event that has provided challenges for her), scoring a Beamonesque 6900 plus points, the kind of scores that JJK used to get! 

Mo Farah raced 1,500m and 5,000m within 90 minutes, pulling a Paavo Nurmi (who did same in 1924 Olympics, albeit a bit slower), then, nine days later, won a 10k road race off the kick. Think Alberto Salazar must be preparing him for something big? Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, Dathan Ritzenhein and Matt Centrowitz training in Park City, Utah. Word is that Mr. Centrowitz may have some real talent. (Of course he does). 

David Rudisha, in a global press conference today, said the following:" I ran 1:44 in Australia, then 1:43 in Doha, so in New York, I would be happy with 1:42. " The guy is not kidding. Rudisha can run 1:40. Sooner than any of us think. He also noted that he would love a shot a the 4 x 400m in Kenya, if they make the final. His father was 1968 Olympic medalist at 4 x 400m for Kenya. Rudisha cannot and should not be underestimated: he studies his event like a biblical scholar. 

One of the clashes at Nike Pre that I am very excited to see: Phillips Idowo versus Christian Taylor and Will Claye. This will be EPIC. The triple jump is grand sports theater. Who will jump a big one early? Who will wait til round six and drop the bomb?  Amazingly technical with huge challenges to the human body, the triple jump, per Sebastian Coe, may be the most challenging event to the human body in the sport of track & field. One other point: all three of these guys (plus Teddy Tamgho), have the capacity to  jump 18.50 plus meters (60 feet). 

I can not wait until London

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Uceny_Morgan-Lausanne11.jpgA great meet will be held in Rome on May 31, and one of the clashes will be over the 1,500m, featuring Morgan Uceny, the number one 1,500m for women in 2011. photo by

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The 2012 Ostrava Golden Spikes meeting was a very competitive meet, with an SRO crowd, and some fascinating performances. Bear in mind, dear readers, that this is my first time on the IPad,which has had it's frustrations. However, it should be fine, after a few meetings.

Below: Usain Bolt at 2011 Ostrava, photo by


Donn Cabral, photo by

This piece, on the tremendous program at Princeton, is second in weekly series, written by Dave Hunter. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Princeton's Track & Field Journey
Cabral's Break-Out Spring Highlights
Princeton's Drive For National Recognition

by Dave Hunter

Friday night at the USATF Oxy High Performance Meet in Los Angeles, Princeton senior Donn Cabral turned in a stunning performance by winning the 3000 meter steeplechase over a star-studded field.  The sole collegian in the fast section of the steeple, Cabral displayed a poised and tactical racing approach that saw him patiently running his own race in the middle of the pack for most of the race.  Moving up over the last three laps and kicking hard over the final furlong, Cabral overtook Dan Huling and Evan Jager - who took an unplanned dip after clearing the final water jump - to capture the win in a record time. 

The Princetonian's winning mark of 8:19.14 not only established a new Princeton and Ivy League record, it also represents a new American Collegiate Record - taking down the old standard of 8:19.27 set by Weber State's Farley Gerber way back in 1984.

In vanquishing a covey of elite Americans who had gathered on the Occidental campus in search of the prized Olympic steeple "A" standard [8:23.1], Cabral bested a bevy of talented runners such as Huling, Jager, Billy Nelson, and Steve Slattery - all of whom have previously qualified for either U.S. Olympic or World Championship teams.  Cabral's winning time is the fastest in the nation this year and thrusts him into the forefront of a growing number of legitimate contenders for the three steeplechase positions on the U.S. Olympic team.

Prior to this spring, only ardent track and field fans were likely to be familiar with Cabral's prior accomplishments.  True, in the past two years, he has been the only Div I athlete to score NCAA points in both the steeple [2nd both years] and the 5000 - a very tough double. Only the most rabid track fans dig for and appreciate track stats that granular. 

But this spring has been quite different.  After All-American seasons last fall in cross country and this past winter in indoor track, the Princeton senior hit the outdoor season ready to go.  Last month at the Penn Relay Carnival,  Cabral unleashed stirring anchor legs on the Tigers' winning DMR and 4 x mile relay teams - distinguishing Princeton as the first school to pull off that double at Penn in 51 years. He has since built on that success: with a double win [10,000 and steeple] at the Heps Championships earlier this month; followed by his break-through steeple win at Oxy.  This Tiger is roaring.

And while Donn Cabral and his magical senior outdoor season  - and it's far from over yet - has proved to be the marquee story of this year's Princeton track and field team, it should be underscored that Princeton's track & field program is blessed with many athletes performing at high levels.  "We have four guys [Cabral, Joe Stilin, Trevor Van Ackeren, and recovering Peter Callahan] who can run under 4:00 for the mile," notes Fred Samara, the Tigers' long-standing head coach of track and field.  And Princeton's stand-outs excel in areas other than the distance events. Dave Slovenski has vaulted 16' 8¾". Super sophomore Conor McCullough has a collegiate leading mark of 242' 9¾" in the hammer and is the odds-on favorite to win the NCAA title.  Stilin [13:38 in the 5000;3:39 in the 1500] and Van Ackeren [3:39 in the 1500] not only are likely to earn podiumpositions at the NCAA championship meet, but also are tantalizingly close to qualifying for the Olympic Trials. Indeed a full complement of 17 Princeton athletes will be traveling to Jacksonville this weekend for the NCAA Div I Preliminary Championship Competition. "This is the best, well-rounded team I have ever had," adds Samara.

There is a perhaps more compelling back story to tell about track and field at Princeton University.  Few American universities, if any, can claim a longer and more storied track and field heritage than Princeton.  Collegiate track and field is said to have originated at Princeton in the mid-1870's.  Over the past 140 years, a number of gifted performers have excelled for the orange and black.  In the 1930's, Bill Bonthron set the American record in the mile and the world record in the 1500 as a Princeton undergraduate.  Later on, Craig Masback developed into one of the world's top middle distance runners in the 1980's.  More recently, Tiger high jumper Tora Harris has won several national collegiate and professional titles.

This heritage - and heritage is accorded utmost respect at Princeton University - is fully appreciated by Samara and his accomplished distance coach Steve Dolan.  Quietly, and without fanfare, Samara, Dolan, and the rest of the Tiger coaching staff have been building a track and field program that is coming into full bloom.  More than just a strong Ivy League team, or a power limited to the East Coast, the Princeton University track and field program is now emerging as a more fully-balanced, properly-trained, highly-disciplined group of athletes that is well equipped to compete effectively at virtually any college venue across the country.

The Tiger track & field program is not likely to be content to rest on its laurels.  Noting that its incoming class of recruits looks, "pretty good," Samara says that "it [Princeton's emergence] is like a snowball rolling downhill; we have good momentum going now.  Our goal is to become one of the best teams in the country."

Not lost in all of this are the teachable moments that wise coaches like Samara look for - those rare and often-fleeting instants when a coach can effectively connect with the athlete to make a point that transcends the sport.  And with all of the media attention and opportunity for distraction that comes with success, Coach Samara is not likely to allow his athletes to drift away from the underlying principles that have served as the foundation of the Princeton program.  Notes Samara, "Our program is about teaching our athletes to learn to 'believe in yourself.'" Several times this season there has been evidence that Samara's message has been embraced by his charges.  After anchoring the Tigers to victory in the 4 x mile relay at Penn to complete the rare distance double,Cabral observed, "We did a really good job of keeping our composure, and we dealt with the pressure that was on our back.  To a man, we competed well and stayed levelheaded.  That was more of a feat than any of our times, or our kicks, or anything like that."  Samara's track and field athletes who learn those types of lessons will possess valuable tools that will help them be successful not only in track and field, but also in life. 

Most of my waking hours, I spend doing something that I really love. I feel extremely lucky about that.

But, I learnt that from our parents, who instilled, in my three sisters, my brother and myself, the idea that we should follow our muse, and see where it leads us. As we were starting up various projects, hanging out at our parent's house, sharing our worries and our successes, would help us make it another week. 

If it did not work, you would get a good cry, a good laugh, but then, we were encouraged to try something else. I tried to be a Jesuit priest. Was not my calling. But I did like this running stuff, and I loved the written word. 

I have attached an article about my brother and his partner, who developed the SubZERO Festival in downtown San Jose, California. I know this downtown like the back of my hand, as I ran there, for fifteen years, every day, every night. Brian & Cherri have made downtown San Jose a fun place to hang out once again.

As I visit San Jose frequently, to see family and friends, I am taken by how much energy Brian and Cherri have added to the city and how amazing the artists, the art and the art culture that they make their lives in, parallels our own sport.

In the article, Brian & Cherri speak of failing gloriously. The notion is that we must take chances, and that we should consider the attitude that in taking a chance, sometimes, things just, well, don't work out.

For the SubZERO Festival, and for downtown San Jose, California, the festival has grown gloriously. Please read the article, and on your walk or run, consider how taking some chances could make your sport or event better.

Building a Better Street Festival
How SubZERO made downtown San Jose cool again
Veronica Campbell-Brown, Ostrava 2011, photo by

Soi_EdwinFV-Hengelo11.jpgEdwin Soi, 2011 FBK Hengelo, photo by

Bolt_UsainH-Rome11.jpgRichard Thompson, Usain Bolt, Christophe LeMaitre, 2011 Compeed Golden Gala Roma, photo by

Lagat-Koech-Pre11.JPGBernard Lagat, Peter Koech, 2011 Nike Pre Classic, photo by

One month from the Olympic Trials, two months, two weeks from the Olympics, track & field is heating up around the globe! RBR will be at FBK Hengelo, Nike Pre and the adidas GP NYC, plus the Olympic Trials and Olympics this summer. We head out tomorrow for Hengelo, and will cover the street shot put as well as the meeting on Sunday.

Usain Bolt, Ostrava 2010, photo by

Usain Bolt plans to run very fast in Ostrava, per his comments in Alfons Juck's update on his meet, the Golden Spike in Ostrava. I had hoped to go this year, but it will have to be 2013 now. Looking forward to seeing the races on Friday, May 25.

Wallace Spearmon, photo by

Sanya Richards-Ross, photo by

Wallace Spearmon and Sanya Richards-Ross reinforced why they will both be serious players in Eugene (June 21-July 2) and London 2012 with their wins at the Powerade GreatCity Games in Manchester. 

Spearmon ran 14.87 for 150 meters, with a half second victory of Dwain Chambers. Sanya Richards-Ross hit the 150m in 17.01, fast enough to win the 150 meter race, and pressed on, to win the 200m straight in 22.70.  
Haile Gebrselassie is running well, and his world leading 10k on the roads can attest to that! His 27:39, which gave him a seventeen second victory, at the Bupa Great Run Manchester.  Please note that, Haile is scheduled to run the 10,000m at the FBK Hengelo Meeting, which is next weekend, Sunday, May 27. 

Haile Gebrselassie, photo by (2012 Tokyo Marathon)

Final of the Brazilian GP meetings. Lauryn Williams took third in 100m in 11.32. Nicole Denby won the 100m hurdles in 13.24. Fast women's steeplechase, and triple jump of  17.17 by Alexis Copello, the Cuban triple jumper, who could be a surprise in London 2012. 

Alexis Copello, photo by
Please enjoy the photos of the 2012 USATF Oxy High Performance Meet, held Friday, May 18, 2012. The photos are from Special thanks to Chuck Bartlett, the Web Director of the Running Network.
Edna Kiplagat, photo by

Edna Kiplagat is one of my favorite athletes. As a marathoner, Edna spends a lot of time running. Long distance runners are quite introspective. Brendan Reilly sent this to us, and it deserves some comments and thoughts. She does not believe that there is anything special about Kenyan runners.

In that, I beg to differ. I think that, success in distance running requires dedication, hard work, focus and luck. Edna Kiplagat has all of those. She is such a good athlete, and works so hard, that she makes her own luck.

Her race with Mary Keitany in the Virgin London race was one of the most chilling races that I have seen in a long time.
Robert Harting threw his personal best, and the World and European leader of 70.31m, Piotr  Malachowski threw 68.94m and Laurence Okaye threw 68.24m, a new British record! Harting continues to pursue the perfect throw. A student of the event, Harting will throw even farther this year.

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Malachowski_Piotr1-Doha12.jpgPiotr Malachowski, photo by

Okoye_LawrenceWide-WJunior10.JPGLaurence Okaye, photo by

Malachowski is the European Champion, Olympic silver medalist, and one of the key players in the Olympic discus scene. He is remarkably consistent. 

Okaye, who has been throwing less than three years, and that is what makes him dangerous. He has true talent, and with those levers, Laurence Okaye can throw far. He is one of the true successes of UK athletics athlete development programs.

He was a former rugby player, and is, in my mind, one of the guys who could just as well win the gold as take ninth in the discus. Reason being: Okaye is new to the event, the discus is about getting to know your event, throwing 40,000 times a year, and dealing with the high level of stress in the compeition. Laurence Okaye is a very talented athletes, who could be the spoiler this summer.

The men's discus has just gotten more interesting.

To the delight of all of Shanghai, Liu Xiang won the 110m hurdles in the final race of the Shanghai DL. That he won the race in 12.97, over David Oliver, Jason Richarson and Aries Merritt.

Shanghai Press Room, photo by Jeff Shaver/TOKIO

Our man from Tokio, Jeff Shaver, told us that the press room after the meet was mayhem. Jeff covered the Shanghai meeting for us last year. His comments about the meet this year noted how that the meet had winds and tough rains (which you could see on the Universal coverage).

DSC00403.JPG David Oliver, Liu Xiang, Jason Richardson, photo by Jeff Shaver/TOKIO

The crowd came alive during the meet when Liu Xiang showed up. There had been great meet up to that time, even with the rain. Asafa Powell won a windy hundred, with a time of 10.02, giving him a victory over Mike Rodgers and Kim Collins.

I do get tired of comments about Asafa Powell. First, the guy has run 78 times under ten seconds, and he has won bronze Olympic Medals as well as a Olympic medal (gold, I might add), in the relays. To get to an Olympic final is more than most of the six billion people on this planet can do. To make a 100m final, you are one of the nine best 100 meter runners in the world. To win an Olympic medal, you are one of the three best in the world.

Kenenisa Bekele finished fifth in the 5,000m in 13:13.86. Reese Hoffa wins the shot in the rain, in 20.98m throw, over Dylan Armstrong, and Ryan Whiting.

Phillips Idowu made sure Will Claye and Christian Taylor knows that the 2009 World Champion is back, and can jump in the most challenging conditions. Will Claye, the 2012 World Indoor Champ was second, and Christian Taylor, the 2011 World Outdoor champ was third.

Angelo Taylor, who has already run 44.77 in the 400m, won his first 400m hurdles of the year. Bershawn Jackson did not show, twittering that he had waited too long to get his VISA. 

Andreas Thorkildsen was fifth today in the javelin. It should get the most consistent javelin thrower in the world a wake up call, so that we can see some long throws. Veseley, the Czech thrower, won the javelin in 85.40m WL.

Veronica Campbell-Brown won the 200 meters over Carmelita Jeter. Our keen observer said that Jeter was starting to move later in the race, but VCB was on, and in truth, this could be the weather in London.

Genzeba Dibaba ran a world leading 1,500m in 3:57.77. Pretty amazing, in the rainy, windy conditions of Shanghai.

Fascinated with the high jump win, on jump off, with Chaunte Howard Lowe.

Chemos WL and MR of 9:15.81 was pretty impressive, again, in the conditions.

But, in truth, if the only event of the day had been Liu Xiang's hurdle race, the Chinese fans would have loved it! A great day of racing on a windy, rainy day. Watch for more coverage from us tomorrow. 


The 2012 USATF Oxy High Performance Meeting was one of the best meets of the new outdoor season. It may have been also one of the most revealing of the racing and fitness levels of some of the todays major distance talents.

Shannon Rowbury, photo by
The 2012 USATF Oxy High Performance Meet is an example of what happens when major players in the sport come together. Here, just minutes before the meet begins, are the surprises that Jon Gugala, our man on the track, think you should know about. Enjoy the meet!

Erica Moore, photo by
Bernard Lagat, World Indoor 2012, photo by

Bernard Lagat has decided to focus on the 5,000 meters for Eugene 2012 and also London 2012. With his win in the World indoors, and his focus on one event, Bernard Lagat has just upped his chances of being on the medal podium.

Lagat, the American record holder at 5,000 meters, both indoors and outdoors, is one of the best tacticians at the middle distance in ages. Lagat is at his most dangerous with 50-75 meters to go in a race, where his acceleration is frightening.
Allyson Felix, 2012 Doha DL, photo by

Allyson Felix, at the age of twenty six, has competed in four World Championships, and two Olympics already, and is aiming for her third Olympic team. Her brilliant run in Doha, running a fine 10.92 for the 100 meters, showed that her fitness level is high and that, technically, Allyson Felix may be in the best shape of her life!

Nice to see USA Track & Field giving her the notice she deserves!
Kirani James versus LaShawn Merritt, photo by

Thumbnail image for Wariner_Jeremy1_Lausanne10.JPGJeremy Wariner, photo by

McCorory-Montsho-Felix-World11.JPGMcCorory, Montsho, Felix, 2011 WC 400 meters, photo by

Well, you will have to go far and wide to find better 400 meter fields. Oh, I know, the Olympic finals, perhaps. Tremendous men and women's fields in the 400 meters are two of the highlighted events on June 1 and June 2 in Eugene, Oregon. RBR will be covering the meeting LIVE, both days, and we are looking forward to it! More match-ups to come!

Oliver-Robles-World11.JPGDavid Oliver, Dayron Robles, 2011 WC, photo by

When you have the world record and you also are the defending Olympic champion, you have a few people who might want to bring you down a few pedestals. Such is the life of Dayron Robles, the Cuban hurdling deity, who not only has the world record and Olympic title, but has a few bits to settle this year.

In Daegu, Korea, in a particularly physical race, Dayron Robles was disqualified in the final, which gave Jason Richardson the gold medal, Liu Xiang the silver and Andy Turner the bronze. The 110 meter hurdles, to paraphrase a retired Russian coach, is not ballet, one does not get points for form or technique.

Robles_Dayron1-Hengelo11.jpg Dayron Robles, 2011 FBK Hengelo, photo by

So far this season, Dayron has run a 13.47 in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Dayron will run at Nike Pre on June 2, and then, arrive in New York, to race at the adidas GP NYC on June 9.

Robles_DayronPC-Lausanne11.jpg Dayron Robles, photo by

The 110m hurdles will be one of the most competitive races in London 2012. With the quality of the event this year, New York should give us a good view of how the top hurdlers are doing, and it will also be the last time we will see American hurdlers before they head to Eugene for the Trials. 

Olinger_Brian-LondonDL11.jpgBrian Olinger, 2011 AVIVA London,
photo by

Brian Olinger is racing on Friday, May 18, at the Oxy meet in California. Brian is running the steeplechase, his specialty. That he has run 13:26 for 5,000m at Mt. SAC, and 27:50 for 10,000m at the Payton Jordan would tell the keen observer that Mr. Olinger is ready for a strong steeplechase. He needs 8:23.1 for the A standard. My educated guess is that he is in 8:16 shape.

Dave Hunter wrote this piece for us. One of our new writers over the past year, Mr. Hunter is a track fan, who gives us a great view of the sport, from his unique perspective. This is a fun article on Brian Olinger, who I have lucky enough to watch run for many years.
Liu Xiang, 2010 Asian Games, photo by

Merritt_AriesQ-USind12.JPGAries Merritt, 2012 US indoor, photo by

Richardson_JasonQ-World11.JPGJason Richardson, 2011 Daegu, photo by

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Oliver_DavidFV1_USOut.JpgDavid Oliver, 2010 USATF, photo by

Some amazing races on Saturday, May 19,  in Shanghai, China, at the second of the 14 Samsung Diamond League events for 2012. The race could be the men's 110m hurdles, with Liu Xiang, Jason Richardson, Aries Merritt, David Oliver. In the women's 200m, VCB versus Carmelita Jeter. That will be an awesome race. Our roving reporter, Jeff Shaver will be in Shanghai. RBR will cover the meet LIVE.

The meet at Oxy, held Friday, May 18, which will be a beast master of a meet, will have hot steeplechase, 1,500m and 5,000m among others. Dathan Ritzenhein is going for the A standard in the 5,000m and Galen Rupp is running the 1,500m. Watch that event on Flotrack tomorrow! Watch for updates there as well!

Demus_LaShinda-Shanghai10.jpgLaShinda Demus, 2010 Shanghai DL, photo by

How often do we have to see this story? A BBC writer, wrote this piece about Is Track & Field a Dying Sport in US (

At the Olympic Summit, LaShinda Demus noted, and I quote, ""When we get on the track we know we are taking part in a dying sport,". Understand the sentiment, but for an athlete who is making a nice salary from the sport, is that the smartest thing to say, in front of the largest media gathering for Olympic sports outside of the Olympics?

Now, I love LaShinda Demus. I have written about her since she was a junior in high school. I loved watching her win her gold medal and set the AR in Daegu. Her life story is enough for a movie that is captivating to sports fan and just plain human alike. And, the truth is, she has her perception of the sport, and perception is reality.
The Ponce, Puerto Rico Meeting had a tremendous crowd and they were treated by Javier Culson's World Leading 48.00 for 400m hurdles, and Ryan Wilson's victory over Dayron Robles and Jason Richardson. (Oh, and don't forget Tianna Madison's 100m, 200m and long jump triple! ). Special thanks to the IAAF for the story.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Culson runs world lead and Wilson surprises Robles and Richardson in Ponce - IAAF World Challenge


Javier Culson on his way to victory in the 6th Ponce GP in 2012 (Fernando Neris)

Ponce, Puerto Rico - Javier Culson delivered again in front of his home crowd with a world season leading 48.00 second performance in the 400m Hurdles, while Ryan Wilson upset the script at the expected Dayron Robles-Jason Richardson duel with a fine win in the 110m Hurdles on Saturday 12 May at the Francisco "Paquito" Montaner Stadium in Ponce.

To read the rest of the story, please click on Ponce IAAF World Challenge

Kastor_Deena1b-LosAngeles11.jpgDeena Kastor photo by

Skin Cancer is something that many of us do not even consider. Deena Kastor, the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon has joined the Outrun the Sun foundation to encourage all to participate (and you can do it from anywhere), by running or walking in the month of May. The note below gives you the details and also provides a strong website.

And remember to pass this around to your teams and your friends and family. Getting checked for skin abnormalities can save a life!

The Running Network, along with USA Track & Field are sponsors of the Outrun the Sun in May race, and encourage all to get a skin check up!

Here is part 4 of Chasing Bolt. Thanks to the PUMA marketing team, we will have the other episodes over the next few days. Usain Bolt is the track & field athlete who has fans in all of the sports world. He can gather a crowd in Daegu, as well as Berlin, as well as New York. He is not merely a track star, he is a global sports phenomenon. Usain Bolt should show the track & field world what the sport can be, with a focus on the competition, and then the entertainment of great competition!

In 2010, when Jenny Simpson signed with New Balance, there were many armchair critics behind the scenes. The competition for Jenny Simpson (then Barringer), was pretty intense by the brands, and the money was more most American women distance runners were getting at the time.

New Balance ended up sponsoring her, and I remember Tom Carleo, the GM of Running at New Balance, introducing Jenny in New York and admitting that he was taking a big chance.

Tom Carleo credited Josh Rowe, his new marketing manager, on much of the work at bringing Jenny Simpson to New Balance.  

The RunningWarehouse is one of the most well respected and fastest growing run specialty digital stores in the country. That Joe Rubio, CEO, uses Shoefitr, tells you two things: Shoefitr must be providing great assistance to the consumer and that Joe Rubio rarely misses a beat.

It also gives me a chance to make a point about the conversation with the consumer. Hire a consultant and they will tell you to have a strong digital presence, one must have a conversation with the consumer. But, how do you do that?

Provide unique content is one. Provide it consistently is another. Make your site easy to spend time on is another. But, the most important, is to provide tools that allow a conversation to happen.

For brands, that means, giving the consumer a 24/7 opportunity to have a conversation, at their leisure. Brands like RunningWarehouse do that. Applications like Shoefitr give the consumer more information, and a recommendation on product that fills the needs of the consumer.

Remember, don't dictate to the consumer, be open to the conversation.

Christian Olsson, 2011, adidas Grand Prix NYC,  photo by

Christian Olsson, the 2003 World Champion, and 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump loved his discipline. He sustained over six surgeries to stay jumping, finishing sixth in the 2011 World Outdoor Champs, with a jump of 17.23m.

Olsson_Christian-World11.JPGChristian Olsson, 2011, World Champs, Daegu,  photo by

His best jump ever was 17.83m. This was the world indoor record in 2004. 

Olson_ChristianWR-Worldi04.JPGChristian Olsson, World indoor record, 17.83m, 2004, photo by

He won the gold medal in Athens with a jump of 17.79. With three World Champ golds, one silver, an Olympic gold and two European championship gold, Olsson spent two years recovering from injures, in 2007 to 2009.

Olsson_Christian-FL-Athen04.JPG Christian Olsson, 2004 Athens, gold medal, triple jump,
photo by

Olsson was a world class high jumper as well as a triple jumper, with a pb of 2.24m outdoors and 2.28m indoors.

Olsson_Christian1-Euros06.jpg Christian Olsson, 2006 European Championships, photo by

Christian Olsson was always a thoughtful interview, he will be missed. Per EME News, Olsson sustained an injury recently as he was training for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Sebastian Coe, once told a sports journalist, that the triple jump must be one of the most damaging events in athletics. The pounding that it takes, on the joints, the back, the achilles, can not be underestimated.

Christian Olsson paid much for his dedication to the triple jump. He also had magnificent moments, which is the most all of us can ask for, in our vocations and avocations.


Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, 2010 World Juniors, photo by

Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, the 2012 World Indoor bronze medalist, continues to improve in 2012, as he gets closer and closer to London 2012.....
This invitation from Norwegian Federation was lost in my spam folder. My apologies.

Blocks-US07.jpg Blocks, photo by

Mikal Peveto talks shoes, photo courtesy of adidas communications

We asked Mikal Peveto, adidas director of running, North America, to fill us in on the new adidas ClimaCool Seduction, one of adidas' newest launches. Here is what he had to say about adidas newest launch:

This is the information for the USA Junior T&F Outdoor Championships. We were asked to send it to our readers. If this makes sense for some of your athletes, we encourage you to read on and get your athletes to the event!

Blocks-US07.jpgBlocks, photo by

Wanjiru-Home3-Nyahururu09.jpgSammy Wanjiru, photo by

Sammy Wanjiru ran the Olympic marathon in 2008 like a man on fire. His blazing performance, in the humid conditions of Beijing just built on his legend. His wins in London, Chicago, and his comeback from injuries just gave a hint of how amazing an athlete he was. Several keen observers of our sport, have suggested that Sammy Wanjiru may have been the greatest marathoner who ever lived. 

His tragic death is still wrapped in mystery.

A new book titled, Death Runner, and written by Fritz Conijn, will focus on Sammy Wanjiru. The book has been published in Dutch. The book will be published shortly in English.
Dwain Chambers, photo by

Dwain Chambers & Sanya Richards-Ross will be two of the major athletes competing in the Powerade Great CityGames Manchester, one of the most creative sport marketing presentations of track and field ever. The company that puts on the event, Nova, is the same company that puts on the Bupa events.

Founded by Brendan Foster, the former British track star and Olympic (bronze medalist 1976, 10,000m), who was a former Nike executive, Nova Inspiring Events, manages some of the top fitness events in the UK.

Quite frankly, the Powerade Great CityGames Manchester are the kind of events that should be run in the United States.
Robles_DayronPC-Lausanne11.jpgDayron Robles, photo by

Dayron Robles, the world record holder in the 110m hurdles, and the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, will be visiting the US in the coming weeks. Robles is one of the most popular athletes in track & field and also one of the most traveled Cuban athletes of his generation.

Last summer, Dayron Robles was disqualified in the final of the 110m hurdles. It was, in many keen observers minds, a questionable decision. This past winter, RBR met with Dayron Robles in Birmingham at the AVIVA Indoor Grand Prix at the NAI Stadium in Birmngham, UK. Robles took second to Lui Xiang in that race, over 60 meters.

Robles is a student of the sport. He and David Oliver had a wonderfully animated, and humorous interview together last summer in Paris, just before the AREVA Paris meeting. Both athletes knew how many times that they had raced against each other, win-loss, etc. Robles is a consumate hurdler and sprinter, who understands his craft, is highly competitive, and races well with lots of competition nearby. 

Dayron Robles will be competing in the adidas Grand Prix NYC on June 9. The 110m hurdles in New York will feature Jason Richardson, 2011 WC, David Oliver, Olympic bronze medalist, and Aries Merritt, 2012 World Indoor Champ and fastest 110m hurlder in 2012 (13.03, 12.98 wind aided).
This is, the best 110m hurdle race of the year, so far. 

Robles will also be running, the week before, at the Nike Pre Classic (June 2). Two great races in one week, should be an excellent adventure for Dayron Robles.

Robles_Dayron1-Hengelo11.jpgDayron Robles, photo by 

Phillips Idowu, photo by

Gebrselassie_HaileR1a-Tokyo12.jpgHaile Gebrselassie, 2012 Tokyo Marathon, photo by

Wells-Powell-Jones-Carruthers-Doha11.jpgWells, Jones, Carruthers, photo by

The 2012 FBK Hengelo Meeting, will be held on May 27. This will be the 30th running of the meet. There were some financial challenges for the event in 2012, however, many who cared about the meeting have come to support the event. Phillips Idowu, Haile Gebrselassie, LoLo Jones, Kellie Wells and Danielle Carruthers will all be at the event. On May 26, there will be a shot put held on the streets of Hengelo, a lovely city about two hours from Amsterdam.

The Ethiopian federation will be holding its 10,000 meter trials at the Hengelo meeting.

Bobblehead Image.JPG
A Matt Cain runner bobblehead will be given out, in limited numbers, at the SF Giant Race, to be held September 16, 2012. Hey, bobbleheads are more fun than a t-shirt, don't you think? Anyways, if you want to find out how to get your very own, please read the release below!
Jeremy Wariner ran 45.04 for 400 meters, at George Tech International on Friday. And then, Charles Jock finished 1:44.75 to Ryan Martin's 1:44.77 in Irvine at Big West Conference.

At the Big Ten Outdoor Track & Field Championships, it came down to the 4 x 400 meter relay for both championships. On the men's side, Wisconsin took the win and on the women's side, Ohio State took the title. Over 3900 fans watched the third and final day of the Big Ten Outdoor T&F Championships. (The meet was held in Madison, Wisconsin). Link to Big Ten story  ). This was first title for Wisconsin men since 2007!

Wariner_Jeremy1_Lausanne10.JPGJeremy Wariner, photo by

Deressa Chimsa, photo by

Here is the coverage of the VW Prague Marathon, done by Andy Edwards and Pat Butcher, which happened earlier today.
Culson_JavierSF-Worlds11.jpgJavier Culson, photo by

Madison_TiannaESPN-USind12.jpgTianna Madison, photo by

At the Ponce Grand Prix, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, 15,000 fans were treated to Javier Culson's fast win over Jehu Gordon and Bershawn Jackson, in a world leading 48.00. Demetrius Pinder won the 400m in 45.15. David Payne won 110m hurdles heat 1 in 13.45 and Ryan Wilson won the second in 13.43.

On the women's side, Maggie Vessey won the 800 meters in 2:00.19. Natasha Hastings won the 400m in 50.72 from Dee Dee Trotters' 50.90.

Quite impressive for the day, was Tianna Madison's triple, of 11.01 (pb) for 100 meters, 22.37 (pb) for 200 meters, both wins. She added the long jump, in 6.46m, for third. Many readers will recall that Ms. Madison burst onto the scene in 2005 with her gold medal in the long jump Helsinki.

Robert Harting, photo by

LeMaitre_ChristopheR1-EuroInd11.jpgChristophe Lemaitre, photo by

Robert Harting throw a world leading discus of 68.52m/224 ft-9.25 inches, so he has obviously recovered from his surgery this past winter. Harting is a perfectionist. When I met his last summer in Hengelo, he was cordial but just not happy with his throwing.

Christophe Lemaitre opened a stadium the right way, running a French best and World Best for 250 meters, with a time of 26.25. Obviously, Lemaitre's coach wanted Christophe to get in some over distance racing and a 250 meters sounds pretty good for early season for 200 meter runners.

Don't underestimate either of those athletes.

2012 Doha Women's 100m (Stewart, Campbell, Fraser, Felix), photo by

In the first Samsung Diamond League meeting of the year, elite track & field is off to a great start! The big upsets? Allyson Felix winning the 100m over VCB, Bekele finishing seventh in the 3,000m are among them.

Please enjoy full results, my comments on events and photos from Doha!

The first Samsung DL meeting of the year, Doha, was a great opening for the season! Not only was there fast races, but just some great competitive events!

Felix_Allyson-Doha11.jpgAllyson Felix, photo by

Steve Hooker, photo by

Steve Hooker, the 2008 Olympian and 2009 World Champion, is back in shape. He cleared 5.72m this weekend and has made the A standard for the London 2012 Olympics. One of our most colorful athletes, Steve Hooker has one of the three highest pole vault jumps in history....

Steve Jobs-max-250x250.jpgSteve Jobs, courtesy of Crunchbase

The following piece was written by Peter Abraham. Peter is a friend of mine who has spent his adult life in the media world. We text each other, tweet each other most days, and converse on the world of media and our sport, track & field. The following column came out of several observations by Peter, and I asked him to follow up with a thought piece.

Tell us what you think. You can reach me, anytime at [email protected] or [email protected].

Kenenisa Bekele, photo by

The 2012 Samsung Diamond League starts this Friday in Doha, Quatar (May 11). That is followed up by Shanghai on May 16. In both events, Kenenisa Bekele will be running the 3,000m in Doha and the 5,000m in Shanghai. Runblogrun will have Live Blog in local time from both events.

LaShinda Demus, the 2011 World Champion at 400m intermediate hurdles, will run in Ostrava on May 25. Demus just ran an 800 meters in 2:07.49 at Oxy this past weekend. It will be fun to see her race. LaShinda Demus is quite an amazing story, and I love watching her race so gutty around the hurdles.
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Patrick Makau, Haile Gebrselassie, 2011 BMW Berlin, photo by

The Bupa Great Manchester Run 10k will feature Patrick Makau, WR in marathon and Haile Gebrselassie, the former WR holder, one of the 27 he has set. This epic battle over 10k is May 20, seven days before Gebreselassie's run in Hengelo over 10,000m, as part of the Ethiopian Olympic Trials.

Aries Merritt over the weekend ran 13.03 PB, after a wind-aided 12.98 over the 110m hurdles. Lui Xiang opened in 13.09 in Kawasaki, Japan. David Oliver has opened fast as well! Some strong hurdling action early on!

Still getting over Lopez Lomong's 13:11 for 5,000 meters the hard way at Payton Jordan Invitational. So, which event will Lopez run? The 800m? The 1,500m? The 5,000m? Or will he mess us all up and jump into the steeplechase? Inquiring minds want to know! 
Peanut Harms, photo from Robert Mapplethorpe collection

Look into this man's eyes. Well, sorry about that. You are looking at a legend, a tour master, coach, bon vivant, and one fast Anglo-Saxon. This is Peanut Harms. And, the man knows rock n roll. Even Keith Richards would be impressed....

Nut, as his friends and those of us who shared a room at the Lindsay Lohan wing of the Betty Ford would attest, is a good and thoughtful man. He has a colorful vocabulary and can tell stories until the morning light shines, and perhaps after Coach Larson's bedtime, but, in the end, the Nut is the light on the long journey into track & field nirvana.

Every four years, weary business people throw off their Brooks Brother suits, Izod shirts and Rolex watches and head to Eugene, Oregon, where the flip flops, Cheap Trick t-shirts, cheap sunglasses (ZZ top), and colorful golf shorts to see the BEST TRACK & FIELD MEET in the World! This wonderful demographic group, wanted by all of corporate America, will be living in the Wild Duck Cafe. 

Peanut Harms is one of the handful who actually knows what is going on in team track & field. He is also a masterful coach (along with with his wife, Tina), who has that amazing ability to converse with the 14-18 year olds of the world, who listen to every word. Sad thing is, if a brand actually listened to Nut about how to market to the 1.4 million 14-18 years olds in our sport, they would make some money, but, hey, that's corporate America (I digressed).

On this, be certain. On nine evenings in Eugene, if one walks into the Wild Duck Cafe, you will find the largest concentration of athletes, coaches, industry vips and fans outside of the stadium. You will also have a great time, good food, and perhaps, just perhaps, a nice, cool beverage of an adult nature served by someone who actually cares what you are singing very quietly.....

Runblogrun and Running Network encourage one and all to support the Wild Duck Cafe and USATF/VS Coaches Super Clinic!

Read on, gentle readers....

Jason Richardson, photo by

Merritt_AriesQ-USind12.JPGAries Merritt, photo by

Oliver_DavidFV1_USOut.JpgDavid Oliver, photo by

The hurdle battle at the adidas Grand Prix NY, on June 9, 2012, will be epic. David Oliver, Jason Richardson, and Aries Merritt, three of our fastest 110m hurdlers, will be competing in New York, as they build up to the Olympic Trials, to be held later in June. In fact, while there is not an easy event on the Olympic Trials schedule, the men's 110m hurdles is one of the toughest teams to make. We have the World Outdoor Champion and the World Indoor Champion.

The adidas Grand Prix NYC continues to add to its fields, so that over a week, we will have both the Nike Pre (June 1,2) and adidas Grand Prix NYC (June 9). Runblogrun will cover both meet via Live Blog. We look forward to see you at
both meets. 

Blocks, USA Outdoor, 2007, photo by

We really liked this piece by Roy Stevenson, one of our key writers for American Track & Field and Athletes Only. Pass it around to your teams, please.
The promising story of Serena Burla's seven minute personal best at the Seoul Marathon in March, after a very disappointing Olympic Trials. Serena had taken second, two years in a row, at the Aramco/USA Half Marathon Championships. This, after an amazing recovery from cancer.

Serena is a thoughtful person, who speaks from experience, as her live was rocked to its core less than three years ago. One of our most talented runners, Serena is showing her promise, and that the mantra, one learns more from failues than successes, holds much truth. We encourage your to read this story by Duncan Larkin.

Serena Burla, 2012 Seoul Marathon, photo courtesy of Duncan Larkin

We asked Dave Hunter to spend a few days in the city of Brotherly Love, to see his first Penn Relays. This is his third article on the Penn Relays, regarding Saturday, Day three. We think you will enjoy his keen observations.

Also, nice to see Mike Rodgers,Justin Gatlin, Doc Patton and Walter Dix, four of this writer's favorites, run a crisp 4 x 100m relays in 38.40. They are a great team.

Justin Gatlin, Doc Patton, Walter Dix, Daegu 2011, photo by

Joseph Kiptum over Mergessa Bacha, TUI Marathon Hanover, 1/3,
photo by

Chikuala-KiptumFV1-Hannover12.JPGJoseph Kiptum over Mergessa Bacha, TUI Marathon Hanover, 2/3,
photo by
Joseph Kiptum over Mergessa Bacha, TUI Marathon Hanover, 3/3,
photo by

A great weekend of track and field and road running this past weekend. Take a look at the photos above, Joseph Kiptum and Mergessa Bacha finished in the same time of 2:09.56 at the TUI Marathon Hanover, and finished within a step of each other! Pretty amazing.
Liu_XiangQ-Worldi10.jpgLiu Xiang, photo by

A strong early season meeting in Kawasaki, Japan. Liu Xiang of China ran 13.09 for the 110 meter hurdles, to open his 2012 season. Mike Rodgers took second in the 100 meters, running 10.04.

Felix_AllysonR1-World11.JPG Allyson Felix, photo by

Allyson Felix won the 100 meters in 11.22. Amantle Montsho ran 50.52 to win the women's 400 meters.

The season has just begun.

A great meet last night in Kingston, Jamaica. Usain Bolt opened with 9.82 for 100 meters. Yohan Bolt ran 19.91 for 200 meters. Two other world leaders were Carmelita Jeter, who ran 100 meters in 10.81. Brigitte Foster-Hylton ran a superb 100 meter hurdles, in 12.51. The 2012 journey to London is getting more and more interesting.

Jeter_CarmelitaQ-World11.JPGCarmelita Jeter, photo by

Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt, photo by

Well, any questions about Usain Bolt's fitness level were answered last night, when the fastest man in the world ran 9.82 for the 100 meters. It is the fastest one hundred meter opening by Usain Bolt so far. Yohan Blake ran 19.91 for 200 meters, another world leader.

A very busy evening in Kingston, Jamaica, and four world leaders!

Stephanie Brown-Trafton, photo by

Stephanie Brown Trafton, the 2008 Beijing Olympic champion is rounding into shape once again, at the right time. Setting an AR in Maui should remind a few that Stephanie has been in the gold medal circle before and has the levers to put the discus into the stratosphere. Should be fun in Eugene and London.
Solinsky_Chris-USAout11.jpgGalen Rupp, Chris Solinsky, Matt Tegenkamp, photo by

Chris Solinsky has decided not to compete in the Olympic Trials, coming June 21-July 2, 2012, which will be held in Eugene, Oregon. Per an article in the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, Chris Solinsky is still coming back slowly from his hamstring surgery, and will not be ready for the June Trials.

EUGENE (USA): World 2009 finalist Chris Solinsky, the first American under 27:00 for 10 000 m and the second fastest ever at 5000 m, is still on the road back from major hamstring surgery and has elected not to enter the US Olympic Trials in Eugene in June. "I'm going to have to bag it this year and swallow the hard pill that it's not going to happen," Solinsky told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

Rutherford_Greg-Pre11.JPGGreg Rutherford, photo by

Greg Rutherford tied the British record on Friday, May 3, in the San Diego, California, with his jump of 8.35m. Chris Solinsky has decided not to run at the US Olympic Trials, as he is still having challenges with his hamstring
Kenenisa Bekele, photo by

Farah_Mo1-NBind12.JPGMo Farah, photo by

The Nike Pre Classic is one of the most exciting meets in the world. The men's 5,000 meters will be one of the highlights. Watch Kenenisa Bekele and Mo Farah duel over twelve and one half laps, with Galen Rupp, Matt Tegenkamp and many others in tow. Should be a barn burner. So, save up two weeks of money for Taco Bell and get yourself a ticket at the House that the three Bills built (Hayward, Bowerman, Dellinger).

The Nike Pre Classic will also give us another chance to see who is coming into shape for the best nine days of track & field in this country-the US Olympic Trials.

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The Weltklasse Zurich meeting, one of most prestigious and iconic athletic events on the Samsung Diamong League circuit, will be held 30 August and is part of the DL finals. Here is some more information on the 2012 Samsung Diamond League:
  Brett Gotcher, fifth placer in US Olympic Trials-Marathon in January, ran a 28:21 for 10,000 meters last weekend at the Payton Jordan Invitational. Here is a short video of Brett running in the adidas Supernova Glide 4, a shoe that was given best shoe Neutral by the Running Network in its Spring 2012 shoe review.
Katherina Dorre-Heinig, Leah Malot, Katrin Dorre-Heinig, photo by

The TIU Marathon Hanover will be run on Sunday, May 6, 2012. Leah Malot, shown in the picture above, has her eyes on a new personal record. Katherina, daughter of Olympic Bronze medalist and three time London winner, Katrin Dorre-Heinig, ran 2:42:10 here last year, with a stress fracture. She is healthy this year and is hoping to get under 2:40, perhaps in the 2:35 range. (Katherina was born one year after her mother won her bronze medal in Seoul, Korea in 1988). Keeping it all in the family, Katherina is coached by her father, Wolfgang.

Estrada, Diego-004-DG_1.jpg
Men's 10,000m, Payton Jordan, front pack, photo by Don Gosney

The ten thousand meters, a race for 24 laps, where one gets as close to
the red line, and holds it, for as long as one can. Look at the picture above.
You see Diego Estrada, Cam Levin, Chris Derrick, Daniel Meucci, Sam Chelanga, Simon Bairu, all running together, near the end of the race. The strain of the effort is on their faces, as they get closer and closer to their goals, the Olympic A Standard.

Athletes from 30 countries ran at the Payton Jordan Cardinal at the Cobb Track & Angell Field Complex on Sunday night, April 29, 2012. The successes of the night were many, as athletes found their form, and using the cool conditions, and great fields, made the most of this gathering of champions, present and future. 

In the following piece, Mark Winitz, our most tenured writer from California Track & Running News, wrote about his observations on the 2012 Payton Jordan Invitational. We think that you will like it.....

 The video is two minutes and thirty seconds long. Don't let that fool you. The music, the voice-over, but most of all, the stunning video, and of course, Gary Muhrcke, who is at his best in this video, make the time go by quickly . In fact, the length is perfect, as this viewer wanted the experience to last longer. 

The voice-over, done as a gentle conversation as we view Gary Muhrcke, a man who has run over 150,000 miles in his life, continue to
traverse the world's greatest city park.  

The happiness of the long distance runner is the theme of Muhrcke, a man who ran 2:31.29 to win the first NYC marathon, and went on to build, with his wife Jane, one of the most influential run specialty chains in the country. Muhrcke gives the viewer a personal tour of his Park, where he has run, in rain, snow, sun. Treadmills? Not for Gary Muhrcke. Gary finds his strong, to use the Saucony vernacular, in Central Park.  

The music, the quick interviews of the two other runners, just show Central Park for what it was built for: an oasis in the urban jungle that is the wonderfully vibrant and crazy city of New York. The video also shows one of the more iconic characters in our sport as the cheerful road warrior, and will put a smile on those who know Mr. Muhrcke. Those who don't know Mr. Muhrcke, will, after this video, want to run in Central Park with him.

The video is part of the Saucony Find Your Strong Project, encouraging people to run, to move and to find the currency (Find Your Strong) that
makes running a viable way to exercise for them. 

We are looking forward to more videos from the Saucony team.

Bolt_UsainPose1_Lausanne10.JPGUsain Bolt, Lausanne, photo by

A fun contest showcasing one of the most compelling stories and athletes in our sport. Nice job IAAF on this one! The contest: send in a photo, in the Usain pose, and the grand prize is a trip for two to the Herculis Monaco meeting!

Strike the Usain Bolt Pose - IAAF and Usain Bolt launch exclusive online contest


Monaco - The International Association of Athletics Federations in partnership with World and Olympic champion Usain Bolt are pleased to announce a brand new online contest open to all fans around the world with only one week to go to the Samsung Diamond League series.


Ever dreamt of meeting Usain Bolt?

Ever dreamt of attending a Samsung Diamond League meeting?

Ever dreamt of going to Monte Carlo?


All of your dreams can become true in just one shot!


Take part in the exclusive Strike the Usain Bolt Pose contest and you could be the lucky winner of a trip for 2 to attend the Herculis meeting in Monaco, part of the prestigious Samsung Diamond League circuit, and a chance to Strike the Usain Bolt Pose alongside World and Olympic champion Usain Bolt!


All you have to do is Strike the Usain Bolt Pose wherever you are, in your backyard, in the mountains or by the sea... take a photo or a video of your Usain Bolt Pose and upload it to the IAAF World Athletics Club Facebook page.


Make it fun, make it creative, make it breathtaking, make it unique coz Usain Bolt will personally select the best photo or best video.


The winner of the Strike the Usain Bolt Pose will be announced on 5 July 2012.


Play at
The Compeed Golden Gala Roma meet is held in the grand setting of the 1960 Olympic stadium. Last year was my first attendance, and it was tremendous. This year's meet, held on May 31, will feature a battle between Vivian Cheruiyot and Meseret Defar! Should be a great competition! 

Cheruiyot-Defar-Masai-World11.JPGVivan Cheruiyot, Meseret Defar, Edith Masai, 2011 WC, photo by

Merritt_LaShawn4x4Q-World11.JPGLaShawn Merritt, photo by

LaShawn Merritt has opened well for 2012, with his 44.73 in Meeting Guadelupe. The 2008 Olympic and 2009 World Champion is running towards Eugene 2012. Looking forward to seeing him racing more.

Very deep fields at last weekends' Payton Jordan. With athletes from 30 countries, the next biggest to US, was Canada and then Great Britain and Japan. Cobb Track & Angell Field is a great complex to watch middle and long distance races. For sprints, there is this well groomed palm tree that does make it interesting to watch the sprints, but I digress.

Congrats to the Stanford staff and team, lead by Coach Floreal, who did a great job once again at a true fixture on the college and elite circuit!

Special thanks to Sarah Hunninghake for the following comments from Jason Richardson, 2011 World Champion over 110 meters and Aries Merrit, 2012 World Indoor Champ at 60 meter hurdles. Both young hurdlers were World Junior Champions, and both have exciting futures. Watching Richardson and Merritt race is a lot of fun as both are such different hurdlers. We learn a bit about them in these excerpts from the adidas GP NYC press conference today:

Richardson_JasonQ-World11.JPGJason Richardson, photo by

Merritt_AriesQ-USind12.JPGAries Merritt, photo by

Jordan Hasay had a rough race at the Payton Jordan Invitational, taking tenth in the 5,000 meters in 15:44.87. Per Alfons Juck, EME News, she is reconsidering her Olympic dreams in London. Stay tuned.....Hasay-Sisson1-USAout10.JPGJordan Hasay, photo by
Collective Brands has been purchased by Wolverine Worldwide, Blum Capital and Golden Gate Capital, ending months of speculation on the new purchaser of one of the more innovative footwear holding companies in the world. Their portfolio included brands such as Saucony, Sperry Top-Sider and Keds. Their portfolio also included 4,300 PayLess & Stride-Rite International stores.

Koji Murofushi, photo by

Koji Murofushi is the 2011 World Champion in the hammer throw. He spoke to media in San Jose, California this week and told them how much he is looking forward to competing in 2012. Nike Pre Classic announced Mo Farah and Kenenisa Bekele have committed to the 5,000 meters on June 2.

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