September 2012 Archives

A few weeks ago, I was having an adult beverage with a friend. We were chatting about how some companies and some institutions will look at a position or group of positions and believe that they can do it better. " I fly on airplanes a lot, ' said my friend, " that does not mean that I can run an airline."

Coaching high school athletes is, in some ways, like herding cats. You can throw so much technique at them, work them hard, but in the end, it is all about the encouragement and life lessons. Teen agers listen to their own drummers. A successful high school sports coach understands that.

The following article in the local Healdsburg Press Democrat is a case in point. Hiding behind press releases suggesting that they are looking out for their students and parents, instead of self serving decisions which, if one has done a bit of research, might suggest an administration that has forgotten who they serve and what they are actually there for. The coach in question, who has run a small program with much success for 13 years, and has been named coach of the year twice, was fired with no advance warning. This would be sad, and it is, but it seems to be the modus operandi of this administration. They actually fired a recent AD twice. 

Parents and athletes should file a complaint with the local district against the school administration if they believe it is warranted. In the mean time, as a former coach, I would gently suggest to coaches local to Healdsburg be quite careful in supporting a school administration that does not seem to support coaches or the athletic administration. 

The superintendent, Jeff Harding, and Principal Chris Vanden Heuvel, seem to be covering up something. Vanden Heuvel noted that parents play no roles in determining staffing, which is just silly. Perhaps some parents were upset that their kids were not playing. Sorry, parents, that happens. Not every athlete is going to make varsity, and the kids know that better than parents. 

The article suggests that an inordinate amount of fine coaches were let go, and this seems the case. Sad when somebody decides to conduct a witch hunt. The way Healdsburg coaches were let go does suggest someone was complaining and the administration caved in. 

We will keep an eye on this story. Perhaps the superintendent and the principal will come to their senses, but having read the past histories of 
departed coaches, that is highly unlikely. 

In sports, athletes learn life lessons. What life lesson has the Healdsburg administration taught the community on this one? 

I would welcome comments from either community, please send to [email protected]
This year, I learnt of the BMW Berlin results from my home in Wisconsin. I woke up this morning, in my own bed room, in my own home, in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. That has been unsual in itself this year, with the Olympics and World Indoors. 

As my alarm sounded, I quickly looked for a press release from Pat Butcher, and I found that Geoffrey Mutai had run a fine 2:04.15, with Denis Kimetto, his training partner, in 2:04.16! Not a bad debut? In fact, it is the best debut at a marathon, EVER. 

Mutai hit the halfway in 62:12, and then, 62:03!  That is some fine running! Nice to see Mutai salvage something out of 2012, after his dnf in Boston and not being part of the Kenyan team in London 2012. 

Aberu Kebede had high hopes of getting under 2:20. That was not to be in 2012, but she did run a three second pr in taking her second win in Berlin, in 2:20.30. 

Enjoy Pat's column on the BMW Berlin Marathon. In 2013, I hope to return to Berlin to see the marathon and enjoy the wonderful city of Berlin. 

BMW Berlin Bonanza: Geoffrey Mutai, winning in 2:04.15, Denis Kimetto, in 2:04.16, ! photo by jiro [email protected]

The best way to get results for cross country is through XC Xpress. Here are the results from Paul Short, in Bethlehem, PA and Notre Dame Invitational, in South Bend, Indiana....
Mizuku Noguchi, photo by

Mizuki Noguchi, Tariku Bekele, photo by

Mizuki Noguchi, the 2003 silver medalist from the World Championship marathon and the 2004 Olympic gold medalist in the marathon will be running the Lisbon Rock N Roll Half marathon on Sunday, September 30, 2012. 

Teriku Bekele, 4th in the 2012 Olympic 10,000 meters, younger brother to Kenenisa Bekela, will be making his debut in the half marathon at the Lisbon Rock R Roll Half marathon. 

The fields for Lisbon are pretty strong, considering many top marathoners are looking for half marathons to test their fitness for upcoming October and November marathons. The elite fields are attached just below this note. We will also attach the link where you can watch the Lisbon RnR Half marathon for free on Sunday morning, 5 am EST, (6 am CST and 2 am PST). 

Geoffrey Mutai, 2012 BMW elite men's press conference, 
photo by

So, can the fastest marathoner in the world, all conditions, get the world record on the fastest legal course in the world? 

Geoffrey Mutai, the winner of the 2011 Boston Marathon, had a rough year in 2012. His Boston dnf was all the reason Athletics Kenya needed to not pick him for the London Olympics. 

Mutai is a man on a mission. As is race director, Mark Milde, who has assembled a field that will keep the pace fast and honest, as Geoffrey Mutai attempts to enter a territory that only he and Moses Mosop have entered: sub 2:03:30 marathon territory. 

Here is how Pat Butcher saw the 2012 BMW Elite Men's Berlin Marathon conference. 
After viewing the videos presented by ASICS America, I determined to categorize them as digital theatre. ASICS America, after a slow start on the digital culture, gets it. 

Theater was the way most people, in the middle ages and renaissance, learnt about the happenings in the world, took their entertainment, and learnt about their local world. The digital world has provided a plethora of sound bites, and information, much of it worthless, but still shoved in our face at an alarming rate and with much fanfare. 
To engage the consumer, or potential consumer in a conversation, one must provide them with something of interest, or something that catches the eye. A consistent approach to media, or giving the consumer some time to absorb  or  to see the aforementioned digital messaging, helps create not only a habitual behavior, but also, gives the consumer a chance to absorb the messaging. Fascinating how so many media experts and agencies think shoving a message down a consumer's throat is going to get the desired effect. 

Too many brands in our business are treating the consumer, or potential consumer as lemmings. Lemmings, as some may know, a tiny mammal who would jump over the proverbial cliff when nature or nurture provoked them, due to over population, lack of food, a bad reality TV show, etc.

In this day of multi-platform branding, it still comes down to the classic Mad men precepts: Keep the messaging clear, engage the consumer, and give them time to develop a comfort zone. 

In the thirty-five years I have been in this business, advertising comes down to three themes: the loneliness of the long distance runner, making running shoes sexy, or how enlightened one is when they run. 

Minimalism was not only a reaction to footwear that may have been too much, it was also a critique of the messaging and the branding of running footwear in particular. Don't believe that? Then, grab a copy of Run Simple, see the message--to truly enjoy the sport, keep it as simple as possible, from the feet up. 

At this time, the Running Network reviews over 45 brands of running footwear, broken down to trail, performance running and minimalist, among others. How does one stand out? As most brands do no advertising, or marketing, it comes down to the top 15 brands or so to distinguish themselves with their messaging. 

ASICS America has taken three videos, made them interesting, thought provoking, and then allowed, you, the consumer to consider the brand.  

This first video is fun, light, but gets the point across. The ASICS Light reflective gear can be seen. You are seeing it. How will it make you feel when you run at night, worrying about the driver near you, on the phone and telling his kids to quiet down in the back seat? Will that extra bit of reflective technology make the difference? 

That is the message. You think, you engage, you get it. An inventive way to get across a technology message that could save your life. 

Justin Lagat has been writing for us now for a few months, and we enjoy his insights into running, training and living in Kenya. In reading this column, I was taken back to the fall of 1976, when I entered Santa Clara University. 

Emmanuel Mutai Group, February 2012, 
photo by

I joined Tony Fotinos, Pat McVeigh, John McVeigh along with my best friend, Bob Lucas, on daily runs. Fotinos and both McVeighs were all sub 4:15 milers, and they gave training about 90 minutes a day: warm up, bash a rush, shower, then back to the books. Most days were a mile or two of chatting, then someone would take off ,and soon, we were flying, for us, and as it tipped under six minute pace.  The freshman (Bob and I), watched as Tony Fotinos would just drill one of the guys over the last couple of miles,  finishing fast. Drenched in sweat, gasping for air, I wondered if all the runs that fall would be the same-they were. We tended to get pretty fit, we thought. 

Our first conference meet was held in Reno. The UNR team that year was a who's who of running: Domingo & Miguel Tibiduiza, David Murphy, Tom Wysocki, the late Eric Hulst were the host team. The race was started with the blast of a tank's main turret gun. 

The 5.5 miles were complete hell, I was sucking air and knew that I was in no shape to race these beastmasters. To add to the humiliation, there was place on the course where, with 3/4 of a mile to go, I saw the UNR boys, all together and Wysocki and Murphy telling jokes. They had crushed University of Portland and us. Somehow, we had taken third in the conference, so we were quite pleased. 

The pecking order in training groups is a global thing. Fun to see how similar to US groups that the young Kenyan training groups are. Well,except that they were sub five minute pace for much of the run! 
Aberu Kebede, 2010 BMW Berlin Marathon, 
photo by

The talk seems to be, most years, about how fast the men run in Berlin, but fast times for women, on the course are part of the 39 year history of the BMW Berlin marathon. Pat Butcher, our roving troubadour of the global marathon, wrote about today's press conference in Berlin on the elite women's field.
Besides a longbow, and an old wagon, this hat reminds me of my wayward youth. Fond memories, of hunting rabbits with Andy Wurm outside of St. Louis, Missouri in the late sixties and early seventies (that was mostly with long bow though). 

Next time I saw them, twenty-five years later, was in Northern California at Junior College Xc meets, where some of my favorite coaches would have duck boots and Bomber Hats. With flannel shirts, they could have been in Wisconsin, but alas, we were looking for our runners through the Tule fog. 

And with the winter we should have this year, the Ergodyne Throwback N-Ferno Classic Bomber Hat will be part of my winter Wisconsin look for walks in the snow, ice fishing, heading to a local watering hole, observing a road race, all of the above. Thanks to observant reader, Chuck Bartlett, Running Network's web director, who sent me the link with a note, " while this might make me laugh, you probably have four of these...." I can only wish. 


The Trailer has its newest podcast on Matt Gabrielson, who has decided to retire and focus on his family and coaching. The Trailer dedicated a podcast to Matt, who, with Jason Lemkuhle, put Team USA Minnesota on the map! 


Medals, 2011 Athens, photo by

The journey from Marathon to Athens honors the final miles of the messenger Phiddipidees, who told of the Greek victory at Thermopolae, and then collapsed. The Athens Classic marathon will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary. Pat Butcher's column is on the 30th Anniversary of the Athens Classic Marathon as well as the thirtieth anniversary of the AIMS organization, that helped push the global marathon push. (Make sure that you read Pat Butcher's columns at
Running as a business and sport continues to grow. On Line registration is key to most races' success or failure. is one of the next gen companies, using new technologies and social media to engage the running community. We received this release last weekend, sorry for the delay! 
So, I am trying to catch up on my emails, only 6,000 to go! Anyway, I find a note from Mr. Gugala, who, my son, Adam reminds me, writes very well. 

So, Jon sends me a note about the photo blog called Runnin" the Streets. It has taken me twelve days to post, sorry Jon. These women have something to say, and I am, to say the least mesmerized...


Runnin the Streets is the magnum opus of Erica Moore (800m World Indoor Bronze medalist), Phoebe Wright (5x NCAA Champ), Kathryn Seiferth (wedding reception dance champion, junior high lj champ, writer). Just their bios get you and I will now look at Phoebe Wright with even more respect! 

Their commentary is crisp, humorous, honest. The pictures are fun too. All they needed was my 1968 VW bus and their journey would have become an Odyssey. Read it, look at it, ponder it, repeat....thanks to Jon Gugala, for sending me a thoughtful note on this one....

The key, dear readers, in developing a blog or commentary site is to reveal just enough of yourself for the peeps to indentify. Well done, Runnin the Streets.
Missouri Runner & Triathlete, now in its eleventh year, has just released its Fall 2012 issue, as a digital edition, and it is has some great articles. From the 2012 Running Network Shoe Review, to pieces on the Top ten moments from the Olympic Trials, Top Moments in the Summer Olympics to Go! St.Louis upping the prize purse ante on the half marathon! This and more! 
Vivan Cheruiyot, London 2012 5,000 meters, 
photo by

Stephen Kiprotich, London 2012 Marathon champion, 
photo by

Justin Lagat, our correspondent in Kenya, wrote this column a couple of weeks ago about one of the top training camp sites in Kenya. Both Stephen Kiprotich and Vivian Cheruiyot train there, among the other top Kenyan and Ugandan distance celebrities. Will Kaptagat become the next Eldoret? 

Greg McMillan is one of the most sought after coaches in the country. He has taken his knowledge of coaching elite runners and provided it in ways that citizen runners can use each and every day. Many are familiar with the McMillan Running Calculator.

McRun application

Greg McMillan began working with Peter Abraham, one of the few marketing guys who gets how to promote and market the sport of running in this multi platform world we live in. Peter has been talking about this new app for a few months. 

It is pretty exciting to see an app that helps you improve and gives you information in junks you can understand. The McMillan Running Calculator is an example of an app that helps rather than clutters your daily runs. 

Buy it, use it, enjoy it. 
Dave Hunter has turned his attention to some very special coaches over the past few weeks, and this week, we have Coach Jason Vigilanta aka Coach Vig. We hope that you enjoy David's column on Coach Vig. 

2011 New Balance Indoor Games, Jenny Simpson leading the mile, 
photo by

The running industry continues to thrive, in these strange and troubling economic times. As has been said before, running is one of the few things that we have control of in our lives. 

New Balance just sent us this release on their successes over the past year. Their NB stores are doing well, and their business has picked up in run specialty, minimalist product and trail. 

Focusing on key products and key channels makes sense today. One can not be all things to all people (except if you are Walmart). Focus on key markets, and key products should be the mantra for today's footwear strategist. 

Jenn Suhr on pole vault runway, Fredonia, New York, 
photo courtesy of Jenn Suhr

Jenn Suhr entertained the crowd who showed up to see her pole vault on Sunday, September 23, 2012, in Fredonia, New York. Jenn Suhr cleared 4.83 meters, the highest vault in the world in 2012. She has two more competitions before the end of 2012 season. Jenn Suhr now has a gold and a silver Olympic medal in the pole vault after her performance in London.

Jenn Suhr won the Olympic pole vault in London in August 2012 with a clearance of 4.75 meters. She is doing a three city tour of Western New York to celebrate with her local fans. 
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Paul Raley addresses the pep Rally in Benton, Wisconsin, 
photo courtesy of Brooks Running
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Paul Raley with Brooks Golden Spike award, 
photo courtesy of Brooks Running

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Paul Raley with athletes, former athletes, family and friends, 
photo by Brooks Running

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Paul Raley with Angela Bizzari and Tiffany Herman,
 photo by Brooks Running

Paul Raley has coached for 34 years. His first coaching position was at Benton High School thirty years ago. In 2007, Paul comes back to Benton, finds that the school no longer has a track program. Raley not only restarted the program, he funded the program. 

Paul has coached basketball, cross country and track. He is also a teacher. His athletes love him and showed up to tell the rally about how Paul Raley had changed their lives. Paul Raley was surprised that he had won Brooks Most Inspiring Coach award, but, in fact, he is the epitome of what makes the 37,553 head high school cross country and track coaches in the US. 

Paul Raley is an example of the type of people who go into coaching and how they change the lives of the athletes and student that they coach. Paul Raley told the crowd that " I want to continue to coach for many years to come."

Raley is an extraordinary coach. Consider this: team of 17 athletes, out of 78 in high school. Of the 9 girls, on team, six made state meet, of the 8 guys, several made state meet. Without a track at the school, Paul juggled finding places to run and work out each and every day. 

Brooks picked a perfect example of the good people who coach high school sports. Coaches change lives. Brooks gets that and picked a fine example in Paul Riley as their 2012 Brook's Most Inspiring High School Coach. 

Matt Centrowitz wins the Nissan Fifth Avenue Mile, 
photo by

Brenda Martinez wins Nissan Fifth Avenue Mile, 
photo by

The Fifth Avenue Mile is the grand daddy of road miles. It has become, for many of the top middle distance runners, the official end of the season. While in Newcastle, UK last weekend, Bernard Lagat told me that he would be in the Big Apple, as did the resurging Brenda Martinez. 

Matt Centrowitz lead 11 men under four minutes with Bernard Lagat and Leo Manzano right behind him. Brenda Martinez showed that her two 800 meter PBs in one week put some fast finishing speed into her legs, as she won both Newcastle and the Fifth Avenue Mile. 

We asked Elliott Denman, a long time contributor to American Track & Field and runblogrun, to give us a keen observer's view of a very successful day of miling...Nice job by New York Road Runners...
Updated September 23, 2012

Liliya Shobukhova, the Russian record holder in the marathon, is running her fourth Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 7, 2012. She is going for a fourth win in four tries, unprecedented in the Windy City. 

Shobukhova runs her own race. She has let the leaders go, only to increase her pace over the second half and catch the fading leaders. Liliya Shobukhova is reknowned for her finish over the last 2.2 kilometers. In the Virgin London race in 2010, Shobukhova ran 6:29 for the last 2.2 kilometers. Picture this: you have just run 24.6 miles and you run the last 1.6 miles in 4:40 mile pace!

 The Shoe Addicts salute to Liliya Shobukhova was done with the assistance of Nike sports marketing to recognize Liliya's amazing three straight victories and her focus on winning a fourth. Join Runblogrun to view 40,000 runners, including Liliya Shobukhova on October 7, 2012 running the streets of Chicago in the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. 

 But, for now, enjoy this short film on Liliya Shobukhova, whom the Shoe Addicts celebrate....
World Records are rare. David Rudisha's World Record 800 meter run brazenly ignored the rules of middle distance races in Olympic events. Most medals are won with conservative races, and big kicks. David Rudisha wanted to show that he was not only the gold medalist, but also the man who would break his own world record. 

 David Rudisha lead from the start. Not only did David Rudisha lead from the start, he won going away, setting a new World Record of 1:40.91. The Shoe Addicts, with the kind assistance of adidas, developed this digital salute of David Rudisha's World Record and gold medal performance in London. 

 Here is the Shoe Addicts celebration of the new World record holder....
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Mariya Savinova, London 2012, photo by

Mariya Savinova, the dominating force in the women's 800 meters in 2011 and 2012, will seek a title in Moscow in 2013. Defending her 2011 title, Savinova will face many of the top athletes who seemed to be rounding into form once again in 2012. Semenya, Jelimo, Montsho should all be in the hunt. 
Cross country season was always my favorite season in high school and college. In high school, while in St. Louis, we raced on the Saint Louis University High School home course in Forest Park. I ran for DeSmet and we wanted to crush the SLUSH, as we called them. 

Leonard Komen, Campaccio XC 2009, 
photo by

When my family moved to California, I ran for Bellarmine Prep, and we raced at Crystal Springs four to five times during the season. The Belmont 2.9 mile course was tough. I remember watching Mitch Kingery run 14:35 on the course: he was god like to us. 

In college, we had a course at Coyote-Hellyer Park, the 5.8 mile course, two laps, was fun and fast, with one tough hill near the end. My reward for winning my first meet as coach and athlete, (27-29, SC vs Loyola Marymount) was being thrown in the pond. Enjoyed that very much! 

Here are the first week of Coaches Polls for Division 1, 2, 3 for NCAA Cross Country. 

Dave Frank, aka Frankie was a fine steeple chaser at Stanford University in the 1980s, running 8:38 for the steeple. I am not sure when I met him, I do believe it was in the early 1990s, when I returned, once again to the Bay Area.  

Frankie would show up with a training group I helped coach on Tuesday nights at Foothill College, in Los Altos, and regale us with stories, always colorful and did I say, stories? One found that, with laughing, five times the kilometer or six times a mile on the Stanford Golf course went much faster.

In spending time with Dave, I found a man who loved his family, his friends, his sport. It was, and is, not about just coaching the young athlete, but helping them grow as humans who contribute to the world that surrounds them. 

I did a road trip with Frankie and his son, Jackson, to Indianapolis one year. It was fun, fast and enjoyable. 

Dave Hunter met Frankie and asked to do a story on Galen Rupp's other coach. I concurred. We hope you enjoy the feature....

Sally Pearson is Australian. At fifteen, Sally started hurdling in a sun drenched country that desires its sports stars to be the best. Not second best, not silver medals here, but gold medals. Sally Pearson, over the past decade, has developed into the premier women 100 meter hurdler in the world. 

The 100 meter hurdles is a race that requires speed and agility. Sally Pearson has both. In the early season each year, Pearson runs the 100 meters and the 200 meters to work on her speed. And, the swift Aussie has speed, mark my word.

In Beijing 2008, Sally Pearson took the silver medal to Dawn Harper of the US. In 2011, Sally took the gold in the World Champs, with Harper taking the bronze and the US' Dawn Carruthers taking the silver.

The 2012 season had few hiccups for Sally Pearson. She won the 60m hurdle title at the World Indoor Champs in Istanbul, Turkey in March 2012. In July 2012, Sally finished second, only the second time that had happened in a 100m hurdle race since 2010, to Kellie Wells, the US hurdler. 

The final in London had everyone who was in top form at the time. And just before the final, it started raining, lightly, cooling down the stadium. Just enough to cause some people a bit of trepidation. However, Sally Pearson got out well, as did Dawn Harper. By the fourth hurdle, Kellie Wells and Lo Lo Jones were fighting for the bronze and Dawn Harper and Sally Pearson, neck and neck, were dueling. 

They went over hurdles five and six, with Pearson right along side Dawn Harper, who was not giving an inch. Pearson did not loose her cool. She stayed on task over hurdles seven, eight and nine. Over hurdle ten, Sally Pearson took and slight lead, and used that sprinting power to rush to the finish line, outleaning Dawn Harper for the gold medal, 12.35 to 12.37! 

When Sally Pearson says, " I can see a world record in the future", listen sports fans, because Pearson can do it. 

The following video, from our digital partners, the Shoe Addicts, LLC, captures what makes Sally Pearson, 2012 London Olympic gold medalist, so special: 
Safaricom recently rewarded both the Olympic and Paralympic medalists in Kenya. Our correspondent, Just Lagat, was quite impressed not only by how they awarded the athletes, and their guides, but, also in the spirit with which the support was given. Here is Justin's view of the rewards from Safaricom:

Photo of David Rudisha courtesy of
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Mamuta Daska winning the 2012 BMW Frankfurt Marathon, 
photo by

The BMW Frankfurt marathon has become one of the most important marathons on the global stage. Besides the care of the citizen runners, BMW Frankfurt has built a cast of athletes who are running world class times. Mamitu Daska and Bezunesh Bekele are looking to run sub 2:20 marathons and they want to do it at BMW Frankfurt. This years' event is October 28, 2012. 
Teddy Tamgho enjoying his World Indoor Record, 2011 Euro Indoors, 
photo by

Teddy Tamgho, one of the most colorful and mercurial characters in our sport, is planning his return to the triple jump. Tamgho has been dealing with injuries since 2011 indoor season. Christian Taylor could have some more challengers for 2013. 
American Track & Field is the largest coaching publication in North America. With 37,553 subscribers, AT&F sends 30,000 via print and 80,000 digital versions out five times a year. Started in 1989 as American Athletics, in 1994, the name was changed to American Track & Field. The goal of AT&F is simple: give the high school and college cross country and track coaches a publication where they can keep up with their ever changing world. AT&F is the meeting place of the science and art of coaching, and its practical applications. 

This issue is focused on Galen Rupp and how he got his final sprint, Ten Tips for Better Cross Country Running, and the 2012 Fall Shoe Review, with some up to the minute news on the sport by Dick Patrick. We hope that you enjoy it! 

Carolina Kluft, 2007 Osaka WC, photo by

The Toyota brand has been supportive of the IAAF for many years. Dentsu, the IAAF marketing agency, has announced that Toyota will stay on board until 2017. Good news! 
The 110 meter hurdles is an event that has required the attention of some of the greatest athletes in our sport. Renaldo Nehemiah, Greg Foster, Rod Milburn, Guy Drut, Dayron Robles, Allen Johnson, Liu Xiang, Colin Jackson, and now, Aries Merritt, have given the event their very best.  The event continues to attract great athletes. 

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Aries Merritt, World Record, 110m hurdles, 12.80! 

The 110 meters is also about the competition. Jason Richardson, the 2011 World Champion, and Aries Merritt, the 2012 Olympic champion and now World record holder have not avoided each other in competition. They race each other on a sometimes weekly basis. This type of competition brings out the best in athletes.

The 110 meter hurdles requires speed and agility. It is the favorite event of many track & field fans. It is one of my favorites. 

Jason Richardson, the second fastest 110m hurdler in 2012, and the Olympic silver medalist, during an interview last weekend in Newcastle, England,  noted the following: " I enjoy racing against Aries Merritt. He is now the world record holder and I wanted to congratulate him on his fantastic season and world record." 

Thanks to Aries Merritt for taking some time out of the celebration of his 12.80 new World record (and manager Rich Kenah for finding Aries), to answer our questions. 

One final comment: Aries Merritt did not just break the World Record, he just destroyed the record. One keen observer doubted if we will see the record broken in the next decade.

What a way to end the 2012 track & field season!
From 1990 to 1996, I coached with Joe Mangan at Foothill Community College. One of the best times of my life. Lived in Los Altos, Adam was in grade school, near the family. Joe Mangan and I still keep in touch. We share the same dream: how can track & field takes it's rightful place among the most popular and largest sports in world? 

We can learn a lot from soccer/football. In my travels, I have learnt how my friends identify with their local football teams in Europe. I watch my son, Adam, with his fantasy American football and his love of the 49ers. 

I just got back from the CityGames in Newcastle, seeing some things that would work over in the former colonies, but seeing some things that would not transfer to the U.S. The CityGames brought 20,000 people to downtown Newcastle, for youth races, and to watch British and US teams compete against each other, with some stars and some possible stars down the road. 

For athletics to grow, we need global big money sponsorship, not footwear or apparel related, that sees the big picture. The key is, how to bring those companies to our sport? 

Joe Mangan sent me a great link about how good the Olympics were for adidas, but how great Soccer is for adidas, Nike, Heineken and the other major sponsors. Here is the link:

Joe Mangan sent me the link with a great note. He noted that the piece we miss in track & field is the individual marketing of athletes. "Why not t-shirts with Allyson, Sanya Richards-Ross, Galen Rupp? Fans could show who they support, who is their key athlete?"

This comes after a weekend of interviewing Jason Richardson and Ryan Wilson, both talking about how to promote track & field. " Fans need to be able to empathize with athletes they know. Media needs to concentrate on stories on athletes, build a following for our sport to grow." 

After seeing 155,000 people in stands in London (75,000 in am, 80,000 in pm), it is clear to me that we are just not getting it in US. We do not translate the excitement of great events, great competitions on US television. We do not alert fans early enough to plan on indoor or outdoor elite meetings. We have the fans. Last year, 50 states had outdoor state track meets with tracked paid attendance over 400,000 (we had 468,000 in 2006, when we checked each state). 

So, tell us what you think? How do we make Track better? Stop whining about how bad stuff is, make a difference and give us some suggestions? We will publish the good ones, the strange ones, the unique ones. Send them to subject: Making sport better, to [email protected]


Fast times lead the 20,000 runners in the RNR Philly Half Marathon, one of the fastest courses in the country. Stanley Biwott won the half in 60:03. On the women's side, Sharon Cherop won the women's race in 1:07:21. 

Dathan Ritzenhein, RNR Philly 2012, photo by

Dathen Ritzenhein, who is training for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon ran 60:57 for third, running the fastest time by an American in 2012! We wish him luck in Chicago! 

The Nova International event manager, Andy Caine, invited me to his home town, Newcastle to see the Bupa Great North Run (Sept 16) and for today, the Bupa Great North CityGames, sponsored by ASICS. The event has been fantastic. 

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Mo Farah, London 5,000m, photo by

20,000 people were in the center of the revitalized city of Newcastle, as a team of athletes from Great Britain and Northern Ireland competed against a team from the US in a winner take all match, which the US won, 6-3. 

Mo Farah, tired from the World Champs, dropped from the half marathon to run the 2 mile invitational. A good time was had by all, as before and after the meet, held on the streets of Newcastle, 5k runs were run, with parents and  youth also in youth runs. 

This event should be run in the US. CityGames could be a big hit in the US. 
Mo Farah is ending his 2012 campaign today, in the Invitational two mile at the Bupa Great North City Games in Newcastle/Gateshead. Mo is the new gold medalist in both the 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters. Exhausted, and rightfully so, after his amazing 2012 season and, in late August, the birth of his twin daughters, Aisha and Amani, Mo will take two weeks off after this race today. 

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Mo Farah winning Olympic 5,000 meters, photo by

Here is what Mo Farah told a small group of journalists yesterday a the Press briefing for the Great North City Games:
Jenn Suhr, photo by

Jenn Suhr is giving her local fans a chance to see her jump and share her Olympic experience with a three event street pole vault tour in Western New York. RBR thinks this is a great idea. Nutrilite and adidas are sponsoring the series of events. 

And now, for something I have been wanting to write about all summer. 

Social media has been the topic of the summer. Social media is used by Runblogrun, as we do with publications at the Running Network. There is a point of no return though. Most footwear companies are developing strategies around social media, if they have not so far. How does a coach or adviser speak to their athletes about their involvement or over involvement in social media?

One wonders if athletes consider that the energy they spend on pushing social media and social agendas can adversely affect their competitions. In the end, anything that takes one's eye off the prize needs to be considered. This summer, we saw several elite athletes under the guise of athlete rights, and better sponsorship, not only articulately speak their mind-which we always support. Not sure, however, when one outs race directors for not bringing them into an invitational event, or writes that they were insulted by an offered appearance fee (this one in question was moderate five figures) offered to an athlete, that such an action has any positive outcome. 

A bronze medal is worth more than fifth place. Any medal or making a final is worth more than not making the final. In this social world, athletes still have to juggle when it is important enough to risk their current success or future success for the betterment of all. 

In a sport that can be over in a flash with an achilles tear or hamstring pull, track & field careers are fleeting. Social media has been embraced by fans who love the attention that they get from their heroes. Posting videos on training and races, and an athlete's normal life go viral every day. Giving fans a true view into your world is fascinating.  And face it, for the most part, digital media and social media have changed our sport for the better, bringing in an entirely new generation of athletes. 

Social media and digital communications, however, does not mean that social responsibility goes out the proverbial computer screen. When one feels that they have been insulted or hurt, that is the last time to send an email or twitter. Yet, we all do it. 

Common sense and common courtesy can still be used in this modern age. 

Our sport is in need of change. London 2012 showed many things. One is that social media has changed our sport. Two is that 155,000 fans a day in London's Olympic stadium for track & field means that our sport is pretty darn healthy even with the many ways we shoot ourselves in the foot each and every day. And three, that there are many sponsorship opportunities, in local, national and global markets, for our sport of track & field. We need to think out of the box, or, in a contrarian way. 

Shoving change into someones' face just makes no sense. Likewise, using 50,000 twitter followers to chastise sponsors, meet directors, key players may seem like a good idea at the moment, but it could have long term consequences. 

There are ways for us to work together for the common good. I know that we do not see it in politics at all, but let's sure not model our theme of change after how the Democrats and Republicans daily eat their young in Washington D.C. Our sport is much better than that. 

Nancy Lieberman has been a friend for many years. The guiding light behind the Go! St.Louis marathon, Nancy has now upped the ante, with a new sponsor, and support from like minded Saint Louisans. Their half marathon will have the fourth largest prize purse in the country, with $10,000 going to first place. 

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St. Louis Arch, December 2011, photo by Larry Eder

My running routes are in Missouri, having started running at DeSmet High school, and racing the old Forest park XC course, that was home to St. Louis University High School, our arch rivals. Great runners and track athletes come from the St.Louis area. Running however, has been an afterthought to the local business community. Well, that was until Nancy Lieberman came along. The Go! St.Louis race director, who has climbed Mt. Kilimijaro and finished full Ironman Triathlons is the epitome of persistent. 

As someone born in the River City, and who went to St. Agatha's near the Anheiser Busch plant as a kid, took the Gravois Street bus to see the St. Louis Cardinal Games, I salute someone who wants to bring change to the Saint Louis sports scene. 

Toni Reavis, another former St.Louisan,  has written a super piece recognizing the work that Nancy Lieberman has put into this fantastic event! I hope you enjoy it, and remember, run the Go! St.Louis events! 
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Neil Black, one of the most well known physios in the sport, has been named UK Athletics' Performance Director.  "Neil is the best physio in the world, you can not find anyone who does not think highly of Neil. In fact, he came and helped me last January when I had some issues in Portland, " commented Mo Farah.

Charles Van Commenee, the UK athletics Head coach, who has announced his departure as of January 1, 2013, has high praise for Black as well. BBC TV reported that Charles Van Commenee was very happy to hear that Neil Black will be UKA's performance director, noting, " Neil will be in the position to help the second part of the ten year plan to revitalize the sport."

UK Athletics has changed the future of the sport of athletics in the UK. From the redevelopment of track meet presentation and sponsorship championed by Alan Pascoe's FastTrack, which no longer represents UKA, to the successes of the British athletes in London 2012, UK athletics continues to evolve. It will be interesting to see how they use the legacy of London to push change and build a higher profile for the sport. 

Key to UKA success is also the growth of the sport and event business in the UK. With major events overseen by Sebastian Coe, David Bedford, Brendan Foster and Ian Stewart, all major players in the UK sport business, athletics has been pushed front and center. 80,000 fans in the evening and 75,000 fans during the morning sessions in the London Olympics is a standing tribute to the dreams and support that these men have given to their sport. 

Neil Black seems to be another positive move in UKA moving forward towards Moscow 2013, Beijing 2015, Rio 2016 and of course, London 2017. 
One caveat, evolution is a chaotic, ruthless process, with ups, downs and paradigm shifts. How the economy affects the sport globally and regionally can not be underestimated. In the UK, the good thing is that much of the sponsorship for athletics is in place, although sponsorship renewals after 2012 will be managed by UKA. Those announcements will be watched with much anticipation. UKA has become a modern model of success for many federations around the globe.

For more on eightlane, please link to
Jenn Suhr, 2012 London Olympics, photo by

Jenn Suhr added an Olympic gold medal to the Olympic silver medal that she already possessed, in winning the 2012 London Olympic pole vault. In recognition of the support she has received in her Western New York environs, Suhr will share her Olympic experience in a pole vault tour in her local area in NY. 

Jenn Suhr is the American record holder, indoors and outdoors, and the first American women to break the sixteen feet barrier in the vault as well. Coached by her husband, Rick Suhr, Jenn was originally a college basketball player. And the rest is, well, history...
David Hunter has been putting together some fine pieces on the art of coaching and men and women who understand the art and science of coaching. The following piece on Steve Dolan, who was the coaching behind American collegiate record holder Donn Cabral makes interesting reading. 

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Donn Cabral, photo by

Toni Reavis is one of the most important writers on our sport. He finds ways to make us think differently on a subject. Well versed in the English language, Toni Reavis understands that a commentator must interest his reader first, and then show him the way to truth and enlightenment. This is one of Toni's best columns....


by Toni Reavis

On one hand...

As the professional fields for the 2012 BMW Berlinand Bank of America Chicago Marathons have been announced, it reminds us that the marathon requires a different combination of strengths than its shorter-race cousins where contact is the name of the game.  In the longer race you can moderate early, and still strike late.  Last year in Chicago, Wesley Korir made the first major move at 30Km, but it was eventual winner Moses Mosop who made the last.  That said, it is very difficult mentally to allow others to "get away" without responding in the initial engagement or not to get too discouraged with one's inability to match that first move.  Patience remains key in the marathon.

The same principle holds in politics where the instant response can, in the long run, be ill-advised or misguided.  We saw an indication of that this week when Mitt Romney issued a harsh condemnation of theObama administration after the attacks at American embassies in Benghazi, Libya and Cairo, Egypt on the anniversary of 9/11.

"It's disgraceful that the Obama administration's first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks," the candidate said in a prepared release.

Of course, the response he denounced wasn't released by the White House, but by the American embassy in Benghazi where hostilities were mounting outside their compound.  Also, their statement came out before the assault which led to the death of American Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.

There is an old Washington adage that partisanship ends at the water's edge.  In times of crisis, goes the theory, Americans of all political stripes rally to our elected leaders - like we did for President Bush 11 years ago on 9/11 - not only because they hold the constitutional reins of authority, but because they are privy to more information, so we must assume they know things we don't which might color their decisions.

Therefore, even if we disagree with their response or policies, we wait to voice those disagreements until information clarifies the situation in the aftermath of crisis.  Only then do we assert our opposition and rally others to vote on our behalf.  But ambition is a powerful lure, especially in the heat of a presidential election, especially when your side has recently come under fire from your own partisan punditry for lack of clarity on the financial positions you propose to adopt if elected.

"A slave has but one master," wrote 17th century French essayist Jean de La Bruyère.  "An ambitious man has many masters as there are people who may be useful in bettering his position." This may well be the fault line of the Romney candidacy, a lack of fixed political views now subordinated to those who may be useful, but whose passions and prejudices outpace the wisdom required of the office he seeks. Read more of this post

Saucony has developed the first app in the running industry to help fight Childhood Obesity! Check it out! This program makes a lot of sense! And remember, September is National Fight Obesity month. 
Bernard Lagat was relaxing in the dinner area of the Great City Games in Newcastle this evening. Lagat is one of my favorite athletes, and besides that, he is just a plain nice guy. One of the smartest tacticians in the sport, Lagat still loves to race and heaps praise on his competitors. 

Now racing the 5,000 meters, Bernard took fourth in the London Olympics. Lagat would have been in a medal position, but he was nearly tripped and cut off near the end of the race. Bernard loves when he gets a chance to run the mile or the 1,500 meters. The 1,500 meters, Bernard will admit, has been his favorite distance in his career. 

Bernard Lagat, 2012 London Olympics, photo by

The Bupa CityGames is an event that celebrates the revitalization of Newcastle and Gateshead, England. Bernard Lagat will be running the mile here, like Jenny Simpson, the World Champion from 2011. With races from 100 meters to 200 meters, a mile and two mile as well as a long jump and pole vault, the event brings a vitality to the city center. I hope some day we see these events in the US! 

Jenny Simpson, 2012 London Olympics, photo by

Jenny Simpson did not have the Olympics she wanted. Jenny wowed the track world in 2011 with her 1,500m victory in Daegu. To do that two years in a row is a tough task and this year was just not her year. Jenny Simpson has taken on the mantle of being America's premier 1,500m runner well, even in rough years. Her ability to speak about her sport, her sponsors and why she loves running has added to the our sport. Truth is, we have some magnificent athletes in this sport and if one listens to their stories, they would appreciate how much athletes like Simpson and Lagat add to the sport. 

Both Bernard Lagat and Jenny Simpson will be finishing their seasons in the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile. The Fifth Avenue Mile is the grand daddy of all the road miles and some of the greatest runners in the world have raced there. Mary Wittenberg and her elite field developer, David Monte, love to put together fun fields for this race within a series of races. Besides the elite miles, there are several thousand regular humans who run the mile before and after the elite fields. 
Lisa Uhl, photo by

Lisa Uhl is heading back to Iowa to train with Corey Ihmels, her college coach, and to live back in the Midwest. Lisa Uhl has been training with Shalane Flanagan under Jerry Schumacher in Portland, Oregon. Details below...
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Ryan Bailey, photo by

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Wallace Spearmon, photo by

Wallace Spearmon and Ryan Bailey will be running 150 meters on an elevated track down a city street in Newcastle/Gateshead for the Great City Games on Saturday, September 15. There will be 15-20,000 screaming fans watching the events of the Great City Games, produced by Nova International. On Sunday, September 16, 55,000 runners will then run through Newcastle and Gateshead in the Great North Run, which may be the largest half marathon in the world! 
Inside the Games just announced that Nike has entered into a four year deal with IOC to clothe Federations without sponsors and members of IOC upper echelon. Nike has replaced Mizuno in that position as Mizuno is focused on supporting Tokyo 2020 bid.
Medals-Houston12.JPGCongrats to Vicki Oddi on her new position at The Houston Marathon. Nice to see good people working for the betterment of the sport. Houston did a tremendous job in 2012 with the Trials and their regular events.

David Hunter wrote this piece on the Hood to Coast Relay for your reading pleasure! We hope that you enjoy! Hunter's experience as a relay runner on past Hood to Coast's and driver this year gave him a real insider view of the heralded event! 

davehunter_hoodtocoast.jpgHood To Coast: Hammarley And Hunter At The Beach

The BMW Berlin Marathon is September 30. With Geoffrey Mutai and a very tough field, we could see some very fast marathoning. From the field that BMW Berlin has assembled, we could see some very tough competition for Mr. Mutai. Berlin marathon logo.jpg

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Bank of America Chicago Marathon, photo by

Marathon season is about to enter the Fall phase. BMW Berlin is September 30 and one week later, is the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I have not missed a Chicago marathon since 1992, I believe. 

The event is not only a celebration of great elite running, but a celebration of the sport and 45,000 marathoners, walkers and charity runners cover the streets of the Windy City. 

Carey Pinkowski and his team work very hard to put together some of the most amazing fields. Fans have seen Liliya Shobukova win three years in a row, and now going for a fourth. Wesley Korir, 2012 Boston marathon champ and Olympic 10,000m runner Dathan Ritzenhein will be joining a top notch field! 

Runblogrun will be in the Windy City, see you October 7! 
Usain Bolt, photo by

Usain Bolt is just one of the reasons why the Jamaica Gleaner asked out loud if Glenn Mills is the best sprint coach in the world? Alfons Juck relates a very good argument for the moniker to be added to Coach Mills...
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Aries Merritt, 110m hurdles, 12.80, worth 1,291 pts on IAAF Scoring tables, 
photo by

Usain Bolt, 100 meters in 9.58 WR (2009), worth 1,356 points, 
photo by

Jan Zelezny, Javelin WR of 98.48 meters is worth, 1,346 pts on IAAF Scoring Tables, 
photo by

Some people like football, some like basketball. How do you compare the athleticism of specific athletes in those disciplines? In Track & Field, we use the IAAF Scoring Tables, which compare the various disciplines within our sport. Aries Merritt's WR of 12.80 was pretty impressive, but with 1,291 points, it is behind Usain Bolt's 9.58 for 100 meters, which is worth 1,356 points and Jan Zelezny's 98.48m for the javelin, which is worth 1,346 points! To have the equal score of Usain Bolt's 9.58, the 110m hurdle record would have to be 12.47! 
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Geoffrey Mutai, 2011 Boston Marathon, by

Geoffrey Mutai has run the fastest men's marathon, all condtions,  of all times, with his 2:03:02 on the Boston marathon course. Whether it is a record or not really does not matter. The important idea is that Mutai is fast, and that he should fly on the BMW Berlin marathon course. 

In twenty days we will find out just how fast Mr. Mutai will go this year! 
The Virgin London Marathon continues to lead by example, here is an announcement for the IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup, to be held in conjunction and association with the 2013 Virgin London Marathon.

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Ryan Hall, the fastest American marathoner ever, has withdrawn from the ING New York City marathon, it was announced today. Hall continues to suffer from injuries that have nagged him for the past year. He recently dropped out of the London Olympic marathon, due to injuries.

Ryan Hall, photo by

Ryan Hall burst onto the scene in 2006, running well in London. His career has its' high highs and its' low lows. His 2011 Boston Marathon was his fastest, with a 2:04:58. His racing career has been quixotic at best, and with his last two marathons, London Olympic and ING withdrawal, he will have much pressure on him upon his return. 

Ryan Hall has created quite a stir in the running business due to his talent, his popularity and he and his wife, Sara Hall's support of charities. Hall was the first American under one hour for the half marathon, eclipsing the 1:00.55 of Mark Curp, that had stood since the late 1980's. In 2008, when Ryan Hall ran a 2:06.17 in the Virgin London marathon, it looked like Hall would join marathon royalty soon after that. 

It has not happened that way. Ryan Hall continues to show his talent, but his other activities are what have kept him in the media eye. In Houston in 2011, Ryan wrote that his coach was none other than God.  Hall relies on his discernment of the suggestions of a higher being as well as an eclectic group of advisers. 

Ryan Hall is a huge talent. That is a fact. His injuries are showing that something is not right. Perhaps, as one coach told me, Ryan might pray as if all depends on God and act as if all depends on earthly actions. A human coach might be what Ryan Hall needs right now. 

At the end of the day, an Olympic or World Championship medal is out of the possibilities for most athletes. For Ryan Hall, it is not out of the possibilities. Hall has to focus on his running, cut everything else out, and use the gift that God gave him, and run with control and focus. 

To be able to race with the best, Ryan Hall needs to get that 5,000m and 10,000m time down, and rest and train. An earthly coach would provide some daily assistance that most great athletes need. 

Ryan Hall is at a cross roads. He has to decide if his talent is best served focusing on the next two to four years or not. It is a decision only he and his wife can make. It will be interesting to see how he uses the amazing talents that he has. 

RBR wishes Ryan Hall a speedy recovery. 
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Amy Hastings, photo by

Amy Hastings and Julia Culley lead top notch American women's field in the ING New York City marathon. Hastings, the 10,000m Olympic Trials champion and Kim Culley, the 5,000m Olympic Trials champion will be part of the elite ING NYCM field for 2012.

Julia Culley, photo by 

Hastings and Culley, two of the top US women distance runners in the US were courted by ING NYCM team to run the five boroughs marathon. Hastings has run two marathons and Culley, a 5,000m will debut over the distance in New York.

ING NYCM, along with Marathon Majors Chicago and Boston, have developed programs over the past decade to support some of our youngest
and best US marathoners. New York, Chicago and Boston have supported US marathoners in their events, providing special purses for American performances.

This piece showed up on Not sure what to make of it. 
Carmelita Jeter, photo by

Track fans in Zagreb enjoyed the IAAF World Challenge on Monday, September 4, 2012.  Ryan Bailey won the 100 meters in 10.02. Reese Hoffa won the shot put in 21.80, and Carmelita Jeter won the 100 meters in 11.07, with Allyson Felix winning the 200 meters in 22.35. 
Ryan Bailey, Usain Bolt, Kim Collins, 2012 Belgacom Van Damme Memorial, 
photo by

Aries Merritt, 2012 Brussels DL, 
photo by

How do you upstage a 9.86 run for 100 meters by Usain Bolt? How do you upstage a 19.54 run for 200 meters by Yohan Blake? 

Well, Aries Merritt upstaged the victories by Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake in the Brussels DL with not only a win in the 110m hurdles, but also an amazing world record. It was not the WR that took people by surprise, but the size of Merritt's destruction of the WR. 12.87 was the former World record, set by Dayron Robles in May 2008 in Ostrava. 

Aries Merritt ran 12.80 for 110 meter hurdles, the new World Record, breaking the world record by .07. The last time the world record was broken by more than that was in 1981 (by Renaldo Nehemiah). 

The Brussels DL was the fourteenth of the fourteen Samsung DL meetings for 2012. The 47,000 fans enjoyed some great performances, capping a season of great competitions and an Olympic year! 

Aries Merritt celebrating his new WR! 
Justin Lagat is our correspondent from Eldoret, Kenya. Through his writing, we get a view of the world in Kenya. In this column, Justin explains why we see new athletes surprising us on the global road scene and track scene. 


Wilson Kipsang Training Group, photo by

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Patrick Makau, photo by

Patrick Makau is the world record holder in the marathon. On October 28, Patrick Makau will run the BMW Frankfurt Marathon. His 2012 so far has been frustrated by injuries. But, with his training going well, and his desire to show just who is the best marathoner in the world, the BMW Frankfurt Marathon will continue to grow in stature. 

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Aries Merritt, New WR, 12.80, 110m hurdles, 
photo by

September 7, 2012: At the final Samsung Diamond League meeting, held in Brussels, Belgium today, Aries Merritt, the London gold medalist delivered on his promise of running a fast 110m hurdles. Merritt, who was also the US Olympic Trials champion this year, and then the London Olympic champion, ran a superb and mind-blowing 12.80 for the 110 meter hurdles. 

Aries Merritt destroyed the former record of Dayron Robles, the 2008 Olympic champion who set the prior WR in Ostrava in 2008. 

Aries Merritt had an adequate start. However, by hurdle four, Merritt was in control, and from hurdle five, Merritt was lower over the hurdles than he had been in Birmingham. " All I wanted was a sub thirteen second race." noted Merritt in his post race interview. Aries Merritt ran 12.80m, winning by .25 seconds over London silver medalist Jason Richardson's 13.05! Remember when 13.05 was fast? It still is! However, Aries Merritt is now the Fastest man over 110m hurdles in the world! 

Aries Merritt, as all of the world record holders before him, make it look easy. Merritt however, was focused and obviously on a mission when he took off at hurdle five. He ran hard through the finish! 

One keen observer texted RBR, "this record will stay for a long time. " Aries Merritt had been looking for a fast time since his gold medal in London. He had one false start after London, in Lausanne, when, perhaps, he wanted that record too much. In Brussels race, he took control halfway and then just hurdled superbly and sprinted to the finish, doing a proper lean at the line, netting a 12.80 new World Record! 

Looking relaxed from the start, Aries Merritt took control over hurdles 4 and 5, and started to really move away from Jason Richardson. His 12.80 World Record for the 110 meter hurdles certainly outshone anything else that happened in meet 14 of this years ' Samsung Diamond League! 

We have attached the link on the World record from and also the video of the race is attached below! Congrats once again to Aries Merritt, who has had hamstring pulls, and a multitude of tough things during his career. His Indoor World in in Istanbul, his Olympic Trials and London Olympic wins, and now, his World record capped a proper end to a fantastic 2012 for Aries Merritt! 

Watch for an upcoming RBR interview with the new world record holder! 
Olympic silver medalist Nijel Amos is looking to the Samsung Diamond League in 2013 and the World championships. The teenager has recently signed a deal with Nike for four years and he surprised even himself this year. Alfons Juck wrote the following piece on the budding superstar, who is all of eighteen! 

A world junior title and a world junior record, plus the Olympic silver medal, and Nijel did not think he would race in an Olympics until Rio! 

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Nijel Amos, photo by
Usain Bolt, photo by

Yohan Blake, photo by

Aries Merritt, photo by

The Belgacom Ivo Van Damme Memorial meeting, held on Friday, September 7 in Brussels, Belgium will be the last of the 14 Samsung Diamond League meetings this summer. In its second year, the Samsung Diamond League has attracted most of the best track & field athletes in the world.  

The crowds have been terrific at nearly every one. The performances have been very good as well. TV shows its promise and its challenges. When producers are either not familiar with athletics, or trying to save a buck, TV can be less than supportive of the sport. I watched several of the broadcasts, Lausanne and Birmingham, on Canadian Broadcasting and they were superb. The same program, on Universal, has been fraught with challenges. When Universal works, it is fantastic, when it does not, as it has not for me for the past two seasons (even with payments), then I have been happy to find Canadian Broadcasting. 

The other benefit of the CBC model is that you can watch the entire meetings at your leisure on their replay, and that is fantastic. 

Samsung has evolved over the past two seasons. This season, with Blake, Bolt, Gay, Merritt, Jeter, Fraser-Pryce, among others. I would like to see the hammer as part of the events, because the sport then shows a united front. 

This summer, in the US, ESPN had no meetings on during the summer. It was not that many years ago, that we were shown a memo from ESPN talking about the high profitability of track & field. Perhaps they should consider non-Samsung meetings, like the IAAF Challenge series: good track & field is good track & field. And the demographic of track & field: high demo graphics, nice household incomes, sports fans, is good for any network. 

I am looking forward to watching the Brussels meeting and hope you support it as well! 
Bjorn Otto, photo by

Bjorn Otto, photo by

Bjorn Otto, photo by

Bjorn Otto, the Olympic silver medalist, just jumped the highest height in the world, with his 6.01 meter clearance. Bjorn also set a new German record, breaking Tim Lobinger's 6.00 meter jump from 1997. 
Christophe Lemaitre, photo by

The end of the season is coming up. Lots of tired athletes out there, and still, some fascinating performances. Lemaitre, Adams, Savinova are going to Rieti. Kipruto running in Brussels. 
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The Running Event is the trade event of record for the run specialty business. That, is a fact. If  you want a place to meet run specialty owners, see who is presenting what in the business, find a place to interview the best of the best in the business, then go to the Running Event. The Formula 4 Media team has done a great job developing the trade show and events surrounding it. 

Runblogrun heartily recommends you to attend The Running Event, December 3-6 in Austin, Texas. 
Kirani James, the 400 meter Olympic and World Gold medalist, is being celebrated in Grenada, as he returned from his victorious visit to London. James has handled himself very well on the global circuit. At 19, he has won the World Championship Outdoor gold and Olympic gold at 400 meters. Where will he go from here? 

Kirani James, photo by
Tiki Gelana, the Ethiopian women who won the Olympic marathon this past August, will be running the Bupa Great North Run on September 16. 


Matt Tegenkamp, photo by

In his second road race, Matt Tegenkamp won the USA 20k championships, with a charge 650 meters from the finish, winning by 18 seconds. Renee Metevier Baillie takes the women's 20k title, after recovering from achilles surgery. 


NEW HAVEN (USA, Sep 3): Eight kilometers into USA 20-K road running championships, hosted by the Stratton Faxon New Haven Road Race, pre-race favorite Matt Tegenkamp was running in a big pack with the other top contenders including Tim Nelson, Brent Vaughn, Sean Quigley and Andrew Carlson. The problem was that he was 20 seconds behind former University of Oregon star Luke Puskedra who had just crossed that checkpoint in a swift 23:10, on his way to a 28:34 10-K split. Tegenkamp's move--which actually came with 650 meters to go--was so powerful that he managed to gain 18 seconds to the finish line, clocking a championships record 58:30 in the longest race of his career. Second Puskedra got 58:48. It was second USA road racing title for Tegenkamp (he also won the 5-K in 2009) and he found the distance challenging. Three Kenyan-born athletes--Augustus Maiyo, Joseph Chirlee and Robert Cheseret--took the third, fourth and fifth places, respectively in 59:39, 59:54 and 1:00:00. Sean Quigley, who won the title in 2010, took sixth in 1:00:02. The women's contest also came down to two athletes, Renee Metevier Baillie and Molly Pritz, both of whom are training for fall marathons. Baillie, 30, who's only other national title was at 3000m indoors in 2005, said she felt strong despite having surgery on her right Achilles earlier this year. She simply outlasted Pritz over the final kilometers to get the win in 1:07:08 to Pritz's 1:07:21. Like Tegenkamp, she won 9000 USD in prize money. Informs Race Results Weekly.



Carolina Kluft, 2006 European Championships, photo by

Carolina Kluft, from 2002 to 2007, owned the heptathlon in European, World and Olympic competitions. Indoors, Kluft competed in the pentathlon and long jump. Kluft's victory in Osaka, Japan, where she scored 7,032 points in the scorching heat, gave her the second best score EVER behind only JJK, yes, Jackie Joyner Kersee. 

Kluft has dealt with her share of injuries. On Sunday, Carolina ran the third leg of the Swedish 4 x 400m relay, which won and ran 3:26.20. The meet was the Finland vs Sweden meet, a 100 plus year old track meet that is taken quite seriously by athletes from Finland and Sweden. 

I remember an interview given at the Reebok centre by Carolina Kluft in Osaka, Japan, after her win there. " I always want kids to think that sport is fun. For me, sports has always been fun." 

The Zurich Weltklasse Meet was the 13 of 14 meets in the Samsung Diamond League. After watching this meet on CBC Sports, I enjoyed it so much, that I wanted to embed it on our site. A great meet, get in a run, or walk, and then watch the meet! 
Cregg Weinmenn sent us some comments on the Newton Running Launch. Cregg is the footwear and apparel review reviewer for the Running Network. Cregg was footwear editor of California Track & Running News from 1988 to 1998. In 1998, I asked him to take over as RN's footwear reviewer. In developing the RN Shoe reviews, with the help of Kristen Cerer, designer and Christine Johnson, project manager, and of course, Marg Sumner, our proofreader, Cregg has focused his goal on helping our readers find the best shoe for their footstrike. 

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Recently, RN asked Cregg to develop As part of RN's daily coverage of running footwear, Cregg will also be commenting on releases and reviews he finds of interest: 
Jason Richardson, photo by

Jason Richardson won the 110m hurdles today in the 26th edition of the Citta di Padova. Some very good races, some fast performances such as Nesta Carter's 10.09 win! 

Here is how Alfons Juck wrote about the Padova meeting:
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Aries Merritt, photo by

This has been a very long season. Yet, in the last two weeks of this season, there will be some fun performances. Aries Merritt continues to shine, running 12.97, his, by my count, eighth time under 13 seconds, Merritt shows that he is at the top of his game. Reese Hoffa continues to show how tough he has been in the shot put since the London Olympics. Robert Harting, the 2012 Olympic champion, just won his 33rd straight competition. 

The Berlin Stadium had over 55,000 paying customers today, to watch a great celebration of our sport. Here is how Alfons Juck spoke about it! 
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Robert Harting, photo by

Kellie Wells, photo by

Pamela Jelimo, photo by

German Fernandez, photo by

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Aries Merritt, photo by

I have to start this note with an apology. There are times with you, dear readers, that I communicate in a bit of a short hand. My son, Adam, who has dealt with my embrace of the vague, gently reminds me sometimes that even he has a hard time getting my drift. So, this time, I will try and stay focused and direct, taking in as many points as I feel I need to, in describing the significance of this summer of track & field that we will refer to for many years as simply, London 2012. 

As someone who has competed, coached and worked in an industry that I love, I take it for granted that all of our readers just get it. The truth is, many don't appreciate the significance of great performances, epic competitions and sanctuaries of sport. 

To make an Olympic team, in most of the 209 countries that sent teams, is an amazing task. To make one of the positions on the Team USA track & field team, that, dear friends, is near impossible. First, you have 1.4 million high school kids running, jumping and thrower. Then, you might make it to a US college, so you are down to 1 in 7, about 200,000 competing in college. Then, perhaps, you were in the top six in an NCAA final, and you find some sponsorship. For most, it is equipment and some performance bonuses, but you need a job during the day to pay for rent. This is where most athletes call it a day.

But, perhaps, you have that vision thing, you see yourself with an Olympic uniform on, and you make an Olympic Trials. In your first Trials, you do not make the semi finals. In the second, you make the semi finals, make the finals, and with 100 meters to go, you are blocked in by three runners, someone falls, you go over them and kick like you never have before, you make the team. Hard work, good competition skills, a thoughtful coach and support system, and lots of luck play a significant part in those who make a US Olympic track & field team. 

Making an Olympic medal? You are then, on that day, one of the three best in your event. You have to show up and perform. No one gets an easy day. 

The Team USA track & field team may be the hardest team to make in the world. In 2012, it worked. 29 medals is no mean feat. Everyone was earned, and some athletes came terribly close. All of that takes work. 12-15 years to make a US track team. Allyson Felix, one of the most talented athletes you or I have ever seen, takes difficult workouts and discussions from Bob Kersee most of the year. Clyde Hart, working with Sanya Richards-Ross, helped her get to the place where many thought she could go, and finally, she is racing Amantle Montsho, and winning. 

This has been a long season. ISATF Berlin is one of the last meets of the year. Robert Harting of Germany, wins his 33rd discus competition against a field with, once again, some tough discus throwers, Kellie Wells wins the 100m hurdles in Berlin, having grown past a hamstring tear in 2008, and long, tough season,where she took bronze in the 100m hurdles. Pamela Jelimo gets back to the top of the world, taking an Olympic silver and wins the 800 meters. 

And German Fernandez, one of the most talented Americans ever, who has suffered through college years where his heart could handle more than his skeletal system, runs a nice 3:34.60 with every kicker at 1,500m in one race. German is now sponsored by Nike and under the watchful eyes of Jerry Schumacher. 

Any athlete who gets to this level should be applauded. Our sport has epic battles each and every meet, because, dear friends, it is all about the competition. For years, I have thought that most sports fans get it that nothing comes easy in this sport. 80,000 fans each night and 75,000 fans each day in London surely got it, now we need to take that message around the world. 
Jason Richardson is one of my favorite athletes. I have to admit, I really enjoy Jason and his fellow hurdlers because, like virtually all the athletes in our sport, they are easy to interview, and have some great observations. Richardson told me one time that hurdlers race against each other nearly once a week, because, their pay can be modest and to make a living one has to race a lot. 

Robles, Richardson, 2011 Zurich Weltklasse, photo by

Jason Richardson won the 2011 World Championships gold medal in the 110m hurdles. In 2012, Jason took second in the US Olympic Trials, then the silver medal in the Olympics. Jason is in Padua, Italy today, racing the 110m hurdles. 

Jessica Ennis just showed why she is the best multi eventer on the women's side in 2012, and, for some time to come. Her performance, in front of 80,000 fans in the evenings and 75,000 fans in the mornings, for two days, showed that her Coach was right: Jessica Ennis is an amazing athlete. 

Jessica Ennis, 200 meters,  photo by

So, when a major football team (soccer to you US readers), like Sheffield Union renames their stands after Jessica Ennis, that is a pretty impressive show of respect. 
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Patrick Makau leads Haile Gebrselassie, 2011 BMW Berlin, photo by

This picture, in my mind, is quite significant. While pretenders to the throne held by Haile had tried to take him out on the roads, it was Patrick Makau who went by in BMW Berlin, and set the WR. 

Patrick Makau broke the World record. He is the current record holder. Unfortunately, he had a rough race in London, or he would have probably made the Kenyan Olympic team. My guess is that, as part of the inquiry into the Kenyan Track team's challenges from London. 

Patrick Makau has something to prove. Watch Mr. Makau run fast in this 10k, and then watch him fly through the course in BMW Frankfurt. 

Wallace Spearmon has told EME News that his 200 meters in Zurich will send his season. In 2013, Spearmon is considering doubling at 200 and 400. Spearmon's 200 meter finish is what Wallace has been known for his finish over the last 50 meters. It will be interesting to see what he can do over 400 meters. And, oh, Wallace Spearmon has run in 45.29. 

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Weltklasse Zurich was the thirteenth of fourteenth meets of the Samsung Diamond League circuit in 2012. Athletes dealt with cool temperatures and rain for much of the meet. There were some stellar performances, the 100 meters for both men and women, the men's 5,000 meters, men's 200 meters. 

We have had three months of stellar track and field. The London Olympics may have been, the best presentation with the best performance and best crowds for track & field that we have had in decades. 

Usain Bolt, photo by

The question really is, where do we go from here? Global marketers that want a sport that crosses all borders and transcends languages? Look at track & field!  Across the world, kids run, jump, throw, anytime that they are together. Athletics is a primal endeavor. It is a universal experience. The Weltklasse Zurich is a superb example of our sport's strength and promises. 
ASICS release on the Best New Shoe award from the and Editor's Choice award from Runners World. As we always tell you in the RN Shoe Reviews, please use our reviews as a starting point on your search for the right shoe for you, and also, always purchase your shoes from a run specialty store. There are 450 of them around the country, you should have one pretty close by....


-GEL-Scout receives Runner's World "Editor's Choice" and GEL-Lyte33 is awarded "Best New Shoe" from Running Network-


ASICS America is proud to announce the GEL-Scout™ and the GEL-Lyte33™are the latest shoe styles to earn top honors from two significant running authorities. Runner's World magazine has awarded the GEL-Scout the "Editor's Choice" award in the October Trail issue and Running Network has named the GEL-Lyte33 the "Best New Shoe" in the Fall shoe guide.


"We are honored to be recognized by two leaders in the running community," says Jim Monahan, ASICS Vice President of Footwear. "This recognition from our peers in the industry validates the research, technology, and design efforts that we put into making the most innovative products. We are delighted to continue to receive such accolades for our shoes year after year."

The Runner's World "Editor's Choice" award is given to an outstanding shoe that successfully combines the highest-quality design and technology. Winners received the highest marks from the Runner's World Shoe Lab, the "wear-testers" and the editors. According to Runner's World magazine, the worldwide authority in running, the GEL-Scout "offers a smooth, pillowy-soft ride reminiscent of the Cumulus and Nimbus--ASICS' popular neutral-cushioned road models."  The article points out features such as the "protective bumper at the front of the shoe that shields your toes" and "the closed-mesh upper which helps keep out moderate amounts of water and dirt." Overall the GEL-Scout is "a well-cushioned ride that feels light and nimble." New for Fall 2012, the GEL-Scout offers protection, comfort and durability on the trail in a lightweight (12.1 oz. men's, 9.8 oz. women's) package. It retails for $120.


In addition, Running Network has presented ASICS with the "Best New Shoe" award in the Fall shoe guide for the GEL-Lyte33. Running Network has 23 print and digital publications as well as 29 websites and social media channels. The reviews can be seen at and on sites. Testers are fitted for their biomechanical needs and run 100+ miles to evaluate the shoe's performance. According to the Running Network article, "While spare, the GEL-Lyte33 doesn't feel skimpy under the tongue or in the ankle collar. Its lightweight, sleek design, and excellent cushioning were responsible for the Gel-Lyte33 receiving our award for Best New Shoe." The GEL-Lyte33 debuted in April as the newest additional to the ASICS 33 Collection™. The shoe is not only the lightest model (8.6 oz. men's, 6.8 oz. women's), but also the most flexible while still providing high levels of comfort and cushioning. According to a tester, "The best thing is they are really light and really fast!" The GEL-Lyte33 retails for $100.


For more information, visit

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