November 2012 Archives

A nice commentary on the two final cross country racing opportunities for high school athletes that happen Dec. 1 and Dec. 8. The NXN and FootLocker Cross Country give the best athletes in the country two choices on how to end their seasons. And for Toni Reavis, and also for this writer, that is good....

Nike NXN, 2011, photos courtesy of Nike PR
The Drake Relays has sold out every year for the past thirty-one years. For many in the upper Midwest, Drake means track & field season is open! 

Drake Relays, photo courtesy of Drake Relays

Yesterday, Hy-Vee, Inc. was announced as a new presenting sponsor of the Drake Relays, for the next five years. A $500k prize purse enticed some of the biggest names in track & field, including the gold, silver and bronze medalists in the men's 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, gold in the women's pole vault and silver and bronze in the 100 meter hurdles. 

In making such a long time commitment, Hy-Vee, Inc. has shown that, large relay meets, which include the entire community, and their outreach road races, are great investments for a company looking to create a higher quality of living in the local community.

We applaud Hy-Vee, Inc. on its support and Drake Relays on creating an event that warrants such generosity from major corporations. 
Jordan Hasay has been in our eyesights since she was an eighth grader in San Luis Obispo, California. Coached through much of high school by Armando Siqueros, one of the most thoughtful coaches (and nice guys) that I know, Jordan ruled the track in high school. At the University of Oregon, Jordan has continued to improve and lead, by example. 

Here is a very nice piece by David Hunter, one of our weekly columnists...

Hasay_Jordan1-NCAAxc10.JPGJordan Hasay, NCAA Championships, 2010
Photo by

Cam Levins, NCAA Champ and now, Nike pro athlete, won the Canadian Cross Country Champs over the weekend. Many eyes were on the IAAF Gala for the 100th anniversary of the federation. This was my first Gala and I was most excited about meeting some of my heroes and interviewing them, so watch for upcoming interviews! 

Now, off to Barcelona, Airport, then Munich tonight and Chicago tomorrow! 

Cam Levins, photo by
Allyson Felix was the IAAF Rising Star nine years ago, at the IAAF Gala. Nine years later, she has earned the most competitive award in our sport, the World Athlete of the Year. Allyson Felix, as she always is, was most gracious. She admitted that after Beijing she was devastated with her loss. She called something from within, and went to work on changing her results in London from Beijing.

 And that, she did. 

Her London runs, the personal best in the 100 meters, the 200 meter victory and the relays legs, on the 4 x 100m, her team set the WR, and in the 4 x 400m, her team won the gold! 

 How tough was it to get into the finalists positions in 2012? 

Valerie Adams, the gold medalist in the shot put had dominated the event for five years and Jessica Ennis had climbed from silver to gold in a year in the heptathlon and broke the British record! 

So, to win the World Athlete of the Year honors, Allyson Felix just had to have her best year ever, set a 100m PB, 200m victory, and run skillfully and fast on the long and short relays. 

 For Allyson Felix, this is an award that she will savor.
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Dr. Neil Black, UKA HIgh Performance Director, 
courtesy of UK Athletics

Dr. Neil Black, UKA's new performance director, sure does not waste time. Just as the track world was wondering how many US coaches he was hiring and many British coaches were getting the proverbial ax, UKA released the following press release on their new UKA Performance structure.

Centralizing coaching site locations to Loughborough, naming five coaches (Rana Reider, Terrance Mahon, Fuzz Ahmed, Aston Moore, Steve Fudge) who will, per Dr. Black, be " forming the bedrock to guide athletics through Rio 2016 and London World Championships 2017". Two Americans, three British coaches. 

This approach to make coaches accountable for their successes and failures has come under some some criticism in Great Britain. In UKA's defense, with the money behind athletics, UKA has to perform or risk loosing the support. 

The system seems to work, just look at the performances in London 2012. UKA has to keep the interest up, and athletes performing for 2013, 2015, 2016 and of course, 2017. 

The note also says that there will be news on some additional appointments forthcoming.
Usain Bolt won the 2012 World Athlete of the Year award on Saturday, November 24, 2012. This is his fourth World Athlete title, and it may have been his toughest. The other finalists were David Rudisha, who ran the world record for 800 meters with no pacer in an Olympic final, and Aries Merritt, who destroyed the 110m hurdle record, running 12.80, after he won golds in London 2012 and the 2012 World Indoor. 

To win the 2012 World Athlete of the Year award, Usain Bolt won the 100 meters in a new Olympic record. He then won the 200 meters, and came back to anchor his team to a new world record of 36.84 in the 4 x 100 meter relays. 

Is Usain Bolt a Legend? Heck, he may be the greatest sprinter that we have ever seen. In the media's mind, perhaps, Bolt is a Legend, but Usain Bolt knows better than anyone, that, in this sport, where victory is measured by hundredths of a second or, centimeters, victory is fleeting. You are only as good as your last race. As he trains each day, Bolt has a twenty-two year old who reminds him, day by day, that this sport of track and field is about the competition.

My observations of Usain Bolt this year? He came to run in London, and he had to use all he had to defend his titles. Usain Bolt is no longer that fast guy from Jamaica, he is the best male athlete in the world, period.   
Jeroen Deen, with Mary Keitany, 
photo courtesy of Jeroen Deen
Justin Lagat, our correspondent in Kenya, spoke to physiotherapist Jeroen Deen, after his return from the cancelled ING New York City Marathon. Here were some of his thoughts and observations: 
U.S.A. Track & Field is looking for some junior cross country runners to represent their country. RBR heartily endorses opportunities like this for young up and coming athletes to learn about racing and traveling around the country and the world! 

Dathan Ritzenhein, photo by
Allyson Felix, Usain Bolt, 2012 IAAF World Athletes of the Year, photo by Giancarlo Columbo/, and courtesy of IAAF Media Dept. 

The weekend of festivities celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the IAAF, in 1912, was a celebration of all things good with our sport. Allyson Felix and Usain Bolt were named athletes of the year in a year so competitive that hurdle great Sally Pearson and double London gold Mo Farah were not included in the final three candidates. 

The celebration of Aries Merritt as the Most Inspirational (12.80 WR for 110m hurdles), Female Performance of the Year (USA 4 x 100m WR team, Tianna Madison, Bianca Knight, Allyson Felix, Carmelita Jeter), and Male Performance of the Year (David Rudisha), celebrated all that is good in the present. The future: Look to Antonique Strachan, who won the 100m and 200m at the World Juniors, and Keshorn Walcott, the young man who won the World Juniors, then, the London Olympics, giving Trinidad its second gold medal ever, and Ato Boldon, Trinidad's first gold medalist, the shock of his life. 

Celebrating the past, the IAAF instituted their Athlete Hall of Fame. In the first class were many who had not lived to see the Hall of Fame. There were 24 living Hall of Famers, criteria being a world record setter, Olympic or World Champion, out of competition for a decade. (Sadly, 91 year old Harrison Dillard, who had golds in 1948 (100m), and 1952 (110m), but never set a world record, can be be part of the Hall of Fame). 

Celebrating the present, past and future of the sport, the IAAF has to be congratulated for the several days of festivities! Watch for more interviews and comments to come. 

First Class of the IAAF Hall of Fame, 
photo by Phillipe Fitte, for the IAAF Media Department
(Iolanda Balas, Sergey Bubka, Sebastian Coe, Betty Cuthbert, Alberto Juantorena, Wang Junxia, Kipchoge Keino, Stefka Kostadinova, Edwin Moses, Dan O'Brien, Peter Snell, and Irena Szewinska)

The 32nd Beijing Marathon had many challenges this year. The first was the changing date of the National Communist Party meetings, which moved the Marathon from its original date in mid October to November. 

Here is how Mirko Jalava wrote about the race: 


Tariku Jufar winning 2011 Chevron Houston, photo by 

25 November 2012 - Tariku Jufar of Ethiopia and China's Jia Chaofeng were with winners of the Beijing Marathon on Sunday.

Jufar won the men's contest in 2:09:39 while Jia Chaofeng clocked 2:27:40 to claim top honours in the women's.

The 32nd edition of this IAAF Gold Label Road Race was staged in freezing conditions. The competition was held much later than the normal mid-October date and that really made life difficult for the runners. The weather forecast promised temperatures down to -3 degrees Celsius, and fortunately for the runners the mercury didn't dip that low. Temperature was around 2 degrees C during the competition with most of the runners equipped with hats and gloves at the start.

To read the rest of the story:

To read the rest of the story, please click here: 

Walt Murphy has published XCountry XPress for longer than some of you have been on this planet. We re publish his reports, to share the world his fantastic and unique information. We heartily suggest that you continue to support or buy subs now to XCountry XPress. He puts a lot of work into this, and while RN pays for use, having a paper copy makes total sense. Just like our sport's performances take work, so does the media that makes the sport so inviting. Give up two six packs of that imported German beer you drink and a sprout filled burrito, and buy a sub to X-Country X-Press. You can do that at [email protected]

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Katie Knight, Nike Border Clash 13, Nov. 2011, photo courtesy of Nike Communications
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HSH Prince Albert, Usain Bolt, Allyson Felix, President Lamine Diack, IAAF,
 photo courtesy of IAAF communications

In a live global broadcast from Barcelona, Spain, hosted by 1997 WC at 200 meters Ato Boldon, the IAAF announced a series of awards for 2012. The most prestigious were the Inspirational award (Aries Merritt), Female Performance (USA 4 x 100m WR relay team) and Male Performance of the year (David Rudisha, 800m WR, in Olympic final, without pace setters). 

The top individual awards were to Allyson Felix as the World Female athlete of the year. Allyson Felix thanked the IAAF, her family and support network. " After Beijing I was devastated, but I found my focus and worked even harder. London was beyond my dreams and this award is very exciting."

On the Male side, the World Athlete of the Year was Usain Bolt. " This award is important to me. I want to thank my sponsors, my family, my friends, and my fans, who are very important to me."  

Allyson Felix, Usain Bolt, IAAF press panels, 23 November 2012, 
photo courtesy of IAAF media. 

" This year was different (at the Olympics). The first time (Beijing), it was new and now, I have responsibilities of sponsors, fans, the sport. I thought I was in pretty good shape when Yohan beat me in the Trials. That was my wake up call. I pulled out of Monaco, and I prepared for London. When I asked my coach, Do I have anything to worry about, he said no. My coach means a lot to me. He understands me. I respect him. Next year is about one thing, running fast. I will line up in my races and try to run fast each time...I want to get under 19 seconds in the 200 meters." 
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Vitaly Mutko, Anna Chicherova, Anatoliy Polinsky, courtesy of IAAF

The following update came from the IAAF media department today on the progress of the Moscow 2013 World Championships. ARAF President Valentin Balakhnichev announced that Liame Diack, President of the IAAF and Sergey Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow, were discussing a track only facility, to be built after the World Champs, seating 20,000 and in Moscow. 

The over riding issue were questions on Media housing and pricing in Moscow, known as an expensive city. A keen observer of the sport, and long time traveler noted, " the media hotels will work out, they always do." 

When Kirani James dueled LaShawn Merritt at the World Championships in 2011, I was not stunned, but surprised that the eighteen year old could take down Merritt so easily. In 2012, in London, I watched James defeat the best in the world over 400 meters once again. 

This third press conference today, featured Ato Boldon, the 1996 Olympic silver medalist at the 100 and 200 meters, and Kirani James. 
Kirani James, London 2012, photo by
Joanna Hayes, 2012 Olympic Trials, photo by

The day of interviews started with Joanna Hayes, 2004 Olympic gold medalist at 100 meter hurdles and Sally Pearson, 2012 Olympic gold medalist at 100 meter hurdles. Hayes, a coach, mother of one (soon to be mother of two), came back in 2012 to race, without a sponsor and made it to the US Trials. Sally Pearson, the top 100 meter hurdler of her era, is getting into her best form yet, while battling back problems. 

Sally Pearson, AREVA Paris DL, photo by
The Moscow 2013 team, of Vitaliy Mutko, Minister of Sports, Valentin Balaknichev, President of ARAF, Anatoly Polinsky, were confronted by questions on the availability of hotels at the morning press conference that started off the Thursday briefings. 

The press conference revealed a possibility of a new Moscow stadium, seating 20,000 ONLY for track & field, and Anna Chicherova's focus on the Moscow 2013, which will keep her chances down of competing indoors in 2013.


Alberto Juantarena and Seb Coe, 2010 IAAF Gala, photo by

There was no press briefing today, apparently the IAAF Council meetings were a bit longer than expected, but here are the summaries: 

The IAAF Council Meetings went today and I have posted the complete statement from IAAF on World Champs, drug testing, Certification, and Medical and Anti Doping. 

I liked that the IAAF will recognize that the first fifteen in the World Cross Country senior races will be considered to have reached the 10,000m standard for Moscow 2013. 

Note that a new event has been added to the schedule, the Beijing World Challenge Meeting, to be held on May 21, 2013! 

Anyone who does not get number 25, that track & field is the heart of the Olympics, just does not get sports, period. Here are reasons 21-40 from our friends at
Okay, the folks at got themselves some some serious coffee and went working! Check out their list! Quite fun! Here are reasons 1-20! 
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Dai Greene, photo by

In 2010, Dai Greene came on the scene winning the European Champs. In 2011, he surprised all but himself in winning the World Champs. In 2012, Dai Greene struggled, like many athletes have, from injuries and then trying to run up to one's assumptions in front of a home crowd. 2013, Dai Greene wrote in his IAAF Diary, he should be back, ready and focused for Moscow 2013.

Dai Greene is one of the toughest 400 meter hurdlers in the world. His endurance and hurdling technique put him as dangerous player when he is fit. The issue in the 400 meter hurdles, like most track and field events, is that if you are not 100 percent, someone or several others are! 

Dawn Harper is one of my favorite athletes. The 2008 Olympic gold medalist and 2012 Olympic silver medalist, Dawn Harper lays it down on the track and gives no one any quarter. Her battle with Sally Pearson in London this past summer, in my opinion, was a better race than she ran in Beijing.

Our folks at the reborn, did the world's fastest interview with her today. We hope that you enjoy it! 


Poster for Sevilla 2013 maraton

Marathons, as most know, are big business. And running a marathon in Spain? Oh, come on, how can you miss? Run the Sevilla marathon, then hang out a week and learn about flamenco dancing! Also walking around Sevilla is like a lesson in Spanish history! When I was there, I took an afternoon and found the birthplace and burial site of Miguel de Cervantes, the writer of Don Quixote. 

Marathons in the US are growing as are marathons around the world. Find a race in a city you wanted to explore, take the week after the marathon off  (Spain is quite reasonable, as are other venues), and have some fun! 

We asked Elliott Denman to write a column about Ashton Eaton and Allyson Felix and their Jesse Owen awards. Elliott wove the death of Milt Campbell, one of the greatest athletes our country has ever produced, into the piece. We are sure you will like it! 

Harry Marra, Ashton Eaton, photo by
Virgilijus Alekna, photo by

It is 9 am in Frankfurt, Germany, where I am at the moment. I am on my way to Barcelona, Spain for the IAAF Centenary. 

In the US, many Thanksgiving day races. In particular, the Manchester Thanksgiving race will feature Amby Burfoot, 1968 Boston champ, who is running his 50th Manchester race. Amby is one of the most thoughtful writers our sport has ever produced. His greatest skill, besides his running, was to guide Runners World in the 1980s and 1990s to the editorial fortress that it is. Amby got it. He told many of us (I was a former RW person in the 1980s) that one did not edit a magazine for oneself, but for the readers. He was concerned with each word printed. We wish Amby Burfoot a very special 50th race experience.

In San Jose, California, the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot has developed into one of the biggest 5ks in the country and a very fast one at that. Most years, I find myself in San Jose, CA, where my family resides and where I finished high school (Bellarmine Prep), and college (Santa Clara University). 

I will be in San Jose in thought today, as I travel to Barcelona, Spain. Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family in US.
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Arthur Lydiard, Bill Squires, courtesy of the Lydiard Foundation

Coach Bill Squires is turning 80. Anyone who has a modicum of understanding of American distance running should recognize that Squires is one of the most important coaches of our era. Squires has not only coached, but influenced some of the most prominent distance runners in the US, from Alberto Salazar and Bill Rodgers, to Greg Meyer, Bobby Hodge, and the Greater Boston Track Club. 

Bill turns 80, and one of his athletes, Toni Reavis, wrote this thoughtful piece about Coach. 

For some reason, a song is going through my head, " A Pirate looks at 40", by Jimmy Buffet. Not the theme of the song, but the looking back in a warm, thoughtful manner. 

Congrats Coach Squires! 
Blanka Vlasic is recovering, finally, and is looking forward to the 2013 season! The 2011 World Champ, and 2008 Olympic silver medalist, Blanka Vlasic is looking forward to a return to competition, per EME News. Vlasic had surgery last year and was taking much longer than anticipated to recover. She missed the 2012 Olympics and the Olympic season. 

Blanka Vlasic, photo by
The following release, courtesy of the IAAF, updates our readers on the 100th Centenary celebration of the IAAF, to be held in Barcelona, Spain this coming weekend. Runblogrun is fortunate enough to be there, and will provide some exciting interviews and updates on the events! 

We will have a series of interviews open to us as well as a viewing of the 100 years of track & field artifacts that will be uniquely displayed. 

Looking forward to updating you on all of the celebration from Barcelona, Spain! 

adidas 1928 spike, courtesy of adidas communications
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Sergey Lebid, 2009 XC Campaccio, photo by

Sergey Lebid has won the SPAR European Cross Country champs nine times, and is looking for his tenth. Reminds me of our US champs, the late Pat Porter, who won nine cross country titles and Lynn Jennings, who won the US title nine times and three world cross champs title as well. The European cross title is December 9. 

Upcoming US titles: NXN on December 1, in Portland, Oregon, and FootLocker XC, in San Diego, CA on December 8. 

Below is ad from Nike, circa 1991, celebrating their athleticism. Lynn Jennings, we have heard is doing quite well in crew. 


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Ben Bruce wins Big Sur Half in 1:04.46

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Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce wins Big Sur in 72:19

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Newlyweds, Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce, Ben Bruce

This was a husband and wife event, as Ben Bruce and Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce took the top honors at the Big Sur Half Marathon today, November 18, 2012. Three weeks after their marriage, Ben ran 1:04.46 for the win and Stephanie ran 72:19 for the win, the second fastest time EVER by a women on the Big Sur course. Photos courtesy of BSIM.ORG

Updated November 19, 2012

This piece is on Amby Burfoot and his fifty year love affair with a road race. 

Amby Burfoot is one of the greatest editors of running magazines that I have witnessed in my lifetime. He was also the American record holder in the marathon and winner of the Boston marathon.

He was also the editor of Runners World while I worked at Rodale Press, and a very special friend. I was fortunate to run with him only a few times, but enjoyed them immensely. His most important words to me were " we don't edit magazines for ourselves, but, for our readers."

Please enjoy this story on Amby Burfoot by David Hunter:

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Lydia Cheromei continues to show her toughness over the lasts seven kilometers of a marathon. Cheromei, in stiff winds, still set a course record and put three minutes between her and second place! At the end of the day, The Yokohama Ladies marathon has a new champion and a new course record of 2:23:07. 

Lydia Cheromei, 2011 Prague marathon, by

Richards_Sanya1-Stockholm12.jpgSanya Richards won her 400 meter gold in London the old fashioned way: she earned it through some very tough years. Her anchor on the 4 x 400 meter relay was superb, and her team put the long relay out of reach. Now, two of my favorite ladies in sports, Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards Ross will be dueling over 400 meters. Would love to see someone like Proctor & Gamble sponsor an eight race series of duels over 400 meters! It would be like a Gillette series of 100m, 5,000m races for men. 

Cheromei_Lydia1-PragueH11.jpgLydia Cheromei won the 2012 Yokohama Ladies Marathon today in a course record of 2:23:07! This piece is from, courtesy of Brett Larner! We encourage all to check out Brett's English language observations on Japanese running,

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John Mollanger joins ASICS Corporation, photo courtesy of ASICS Communications

John Mollanger started in his new position today for the ASICS Corporation, in Kobe, Japan. Mr. Mollanger is the Managing Executive Officer and General Manager of the new Global Product Marketing Division as well as Chief Creative Officer for the ASICS Corporation. 

Like many companies, ASICS is seeing the need for clear and focused messaging and communications on a global scale. Mr. Mollanger will be the person who oversees global marketing. 

We wish him the best and look forward to interviewing him at an upcoming ASICS event. 

Renee and the author, Friday, October 5, 2012, Chicago Hilton, 
photo by Ron Wayne/Mizuno

Ron Wayne came up to me during the days before the Chicago marathon and introduced me to several of his athletes: Patrick Rizzo, Craig Leon and Renee Metivier Baillee. 

Ron Wayne is a pretty calm character. The longest tenured employee for Mizuno in the US ( thirty-one years, I believe), Wayne is one of the top US marathoners from the 1970s. His debut marathon was a 2:27.03 at Boston in 1972. In 1974, he battled down to the final lap on the track for the US marathon championships. Wayne was also 4th in the 1974 Boston Marathon, being the first American finisher. Ron has seen a few marathons. Ron has also seen a few marathoners. He was excited about Renee. 

Ron told me, " Renee can run 2:27 or better. She has progressed well, and she is in fantastic shape, make sure you watch her." 

Duly noted, I intereviewed Renee. Renee was relaxed, confident in her fitness, and a bit cautious. I liked that. . I put a note on my tablet, under her name, "Watch her."

Renee Metivier Baillee's debut marathon of 2:27.17 was the third best debut by a US women marathoner ever. 

RBR sent these questions to Renee in late October and she responded in early November. 

A special thanks to Renee Metivier Baillee for her time and Ron Wayne for his photos and suggestion. 
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Aries Merritt, photo by

Aries Merritt & Jenny Simpson are two of the top performers who will be racing February 2 in Roxbury, MA at the 18th New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, one of the premier indoor meetings in the world. The Reggie Lewis Center, which hosts over 80 indoor track events during the year for high school and college athletes, is the home for this sensational event. 

Jenny Simpson, 2011 NB Armory, photo by

Aries Merritt, how do we start? On September 15, 2012, Aries Merritt ran 12.80, destroying the world record for the 110m hurdles that had stood at 12.87! Right afterwards, Colin Jackson, who holds the fastest time indoors at 60 meters, wanted to know if Aries will make a run for the fastest time indoors? Aries response, " That's fast!" 

Jenny Simpson was the wunderwomen of 2011, with her gold medal in the 1,500 meters in Daegu. 2012 just did not work out that way. Simpson made the Olympic team and made it through the first round, but the finals were just not in her year in 2012. 

Our sport is a sport of ups and downs. Who will be the stars in 2013? It is anyone's guess right now, as many begin training for the long year of 2013. 

What is fun about the New Balance Indoor Games is the intimacy within which one can absorb the meet! Five thousand people, who are real fans, cheer their favorites and make noise as the evening builds to its crescendo! Normally, the Men's mile, women's 3000m, or men's two mile, the final three events of the evening send people away with a great feeling for the sport.

So, get those tickets now and be ready for February 3! Who will be the stars of the 2013 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix? Well, they are training now, all over the US, Kenya, Ethiopia and North Africa, focusing on the prize. 
Allyson Felix, photo by

The conventions are about to begin. USA Track & Field, American Sports Builders, The Running Event, and the USTFACCA. With Nike Border Clash this weekend, and the NXN in a few weeks, followed by FootLocker are the close to the 2012 season. 

As this year ends, indoor season is about to begin and we begin all over. For Indoor 2013, Allyson Felix has decided to not run indoors. Taking an extended break, Felix is enjoying some outside of athletics activities. We wish her well and look forward to seeing her in the Summer of 2013.

While Hurricane Sandy occurred less than two weeks ago, the efforts to clean up and recover from the Hurricane will be going on from some time to come. Please keep, in your thoughts, and prayers, the people all over the Mid-Atlantic, who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. 

The Shoe Addicts made this video to encourage the running community to continue what the NYRR, and their sponsors, and many runners have done: support the recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy. 

At the end of the video, the Shoe Addicts have provided some suggestions on how to show that support. 

Give up a night at your local pub and text that money to a worthy cause. 

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Seb Coe, photo by

Our friends at Let'sRun wrote about this, and they were spot on! 

This piece from the Guardian is supposed to be a review of the new book by Lord Coe. 

Decca Aitkenhead seemed genuinely unable to find anything of interest in either the interview with Lord Coe or his autobiography, Sebastian Coe, Running My Life, An Autobiography. Ms. Aitkenhead went out of her way to note that she was nearly nodding asleep during the interview. At first, I thought she was joking, but she was not. Decca Aitkenhead makes the point that Seb Coe wrote nothing revealing in the autobiography, noting where she also felt he left out what she would have found interesting on his family, his competition with Ovett, or with his political life. 

So many autobiographies come out now, as well as memoirs. Some give the reader a view of the life lived by the writer, some act as an apologists for the writer, and some tell amusing anecdotes. Seb Coe, has been a public person for most of his life. He has to be adept at keeping his private life private, as much as that is possible in British public life. What is obvious is that Seb Coe was not revealing any juicy tidbits of his life was not appreciated by the reviewer.

Decca Aitkenhead  just does not hide her disdain for her subject, or for her frustration that he did not reveal, in her mind, anything in his new book, Seb Coe, Running My Life, An Autobiography

I will be trying to get my hands on the book to give you my read on it. Until then, enjoy the review and read the comments, which are amazing.  


                                     Allyson Felix, photo by


                                      Ashton Eaton, photo by

Allyson Felix and Ashton Eaton are the 2012 Jesse Owens award winners, as announced by USA Track & Field. They will be given their awards at the 2012 USA Track & Field convention, to be held in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Harry Marra & Ashton Eaton, 2012 Olympic Trials, 
photo by

Coaches in our sport, work with athletes for years for the athlete to develop. On the high school and college tracks, track & field and cross country coaches work 46 weeks a year, six days a week, two hours, fifteen minutes a day (at high school level, triple that as a college coach) with the 1.4 million athletes at high school and 300,000 at college level. 

Athletes who continue on, pursuing the elite world of the sport, are focused on their sport for ten to fifteen years. Good coaching, and a strong coach-athlete relationship are key in the success of an athlete.

Harry Marra was named the 2012 Nike Coach of the Year by USA Track & Field and I have to note how happy I am for Coach Marra. 

Harry Marra has championed multi events for thirty plus years, and this year, one of his athletes, Ashton Eaton set the WR in the decathlon plus won the Olympic Trials and the Olympics! 
Luguelin Santos, 400 meters, London 2012, photo by

The 400 meters in London was lead by a 19 year old, Kirani James, and an 18 year old, Luguelin Santos. Santos has decided to give the indoor circuit in 2013 a serious approach, so it will be interesting to see Santos on the global circuit. 

US circuit looks to be New Balance Indoor (February 2), Millrose Games (February 16) and USATF Indoor (March 2-3). European Indoor Champs in Goteborg, Sweden, March 1-3. 
Imane Merga, photo by (Campaccio 2012)

Imane Merga is one of the toughest distance runners in global athletics. Possessing a wicked kick and very good left upper hook, perhaps Mr. Merga should have considered American ice hockey or Australian rules football. 

Mr. Merga clearly won the first IAAF Cross Country event of the 2012-2013 year, in Burgos, Spain, at the ninth Attapuerca Cross on November 11. Several keen observers have told this writer, that distance running is not ballet, and that there are no points great form. Running against Mr. Merga means that one will be challenged throughout the course: he does not give up. 
Mo Farah, the most powerful person in British Athletics in 2012, 
photo by PhotoRun

Athletics Weekly has completed its first Most Powerful persons in British Athletics. Their top twenty is lead by Mo Farah,then Lord Coe, then, Usain Bolt. Pretty good top three, and many included in the next 18 that make sense. 

I was curious why Alan Pascoe was not listed, and Jon Ridgeon, as well. Both men helped position UK Athletics financially over the past decade so that Nils De Vos had the money to support the sport and rebuild British success in athletics. 

Still, three months past the London Olympics, I continue to be impressed by the quality of the events, the great performances and the ability to get around London during the height of the Olympics. UK Athletics used its talents well, and the development of athletes for the future is impressive. 

Nice job AW on the first list. Lists such as this are provocative and fascinating to read. Looking forward to 2013. 
This is a funny, yet strange video. Red Bull has done many things to get their name in the 24 hour media circus, and this time, well, it is pretty funny too and ingenious. All to deliver a can of Red Bull. 

We were sent this under the guise of LoLo Jones hurdling for the first time since London. Now, being inquisitive sorts, and also that, like LoLo Jones 360,000 plus twitter followers (58,000 in May), we like to see LoLo Jones hurdle, we embedded the video.

Fun, Rube Goldbergesque, inventive, and, most of all, well done. Red Bull wins the RBR first annual Rube Goldberg award for fun, inventive, goofy approaches to modern issues. This time,
with the help of, Red Bull figured out how to deliver a can of Red Bull in a quite inventive way. 

LoLo Jones ready to roll, 
photo courtesy of Cameron Baird/Red Bull Media House

LoLo Jones hurdles during Red Bull Kluge, 
photo courtesy of Cameron Baird/Red Bull Media House

LoLo Jones enroute, Red Bull Kluge, 
photo by Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Media House

Red Bull Kluge shoot, LoLo Jones, 
photo by Chris Tedesco/Red Bull Media House

A Kluge? A Red Bull Kluge? 

Well, dear readers, the folks at Red Bull are at it again. A Kluge, from the German"Klug" is an inelegant, eccentric approach to something in the world. This time, the Kluge, developed by, took a humorous, almost Rube Goldberg (1883-1970) approach (Goldberg would build these contraptions in the 1920s-60s that were non-sensical, but fun, on transportation, communication-making the simple incredibly complicated (like our government?), just for the sake of a good laugh).

The Red Bull Kluge used it's contract athletes to perform one of their talents as part of delivering a can of Red Bull. LoLo Jones hurdled, for the first time since London (she has been working on her bobsledding skills). 

Nice job Red Bull, a nice respite from a strange Monday. 
This is the final issue of the regular season for X-Country X-Press. We suggest, if you want to receive Walt Murphy's cross country, indoor and outdoor coverage, which is detailed beyond belief, you do the old fashioned thing and subscribe. All of Walt's subscribers will receive the 2012-2013 XC Review from American Track & Field in early January 2013. 
Raymond Bett, Athens 2012 Winner, photo by

Cosalter Chemtai Yadaa, Athens 2012 winner, photo by

The course that gave us the historic marathon, the Athens Marathon, is the site for the AIMS convention each year. Here is Pat Butcher's story on the race. Pat Butcher, does a fantastic blog at
Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt, Photo by

Yohan Blake wants to be the best sprinter in the world. Problem is, his training partner, great buddy is the fastest guy in the world. How does one deal with that? It is one of the lessons that young athletes learn from our sport. 
Darya Pishchainikova, London 2012, photo by

The Russian Anti-Doping Association has confirmed that silver medalist Darya Pishchainikova has had one sample with a positive for steroids. Her second sample will be tested within the next two weeks. If the second sample is positive, and as Pishchainikova has had a two year ban before, she would be banned for life. 
ASICS continues to stay focused on the prize, performance product leads the game. In this release, ASICS Brazil names a new president of a key ASICS territory with the upcoming Olympics. 

Giovani Decker, photo courtesy of ASICS Communications

David Bedford, photo courtesy of  World Marathon Majors

David Bedford was one of my running heroes. Still is. I have the Runners World from 1971, where he is featured, running 200 miles a week, churning through interval workouts, and even a picture of Bedford vacuuming his small flat!  After meeting him, like meeting Ian Stewart, it was hard not to stay a fan. Fascinating men in their own, distinct ways. 

David Bedford, along with Brendan Foster, Ian Stewart, Alan Pascoe, John Ridgeon, Wendy Sly, Steve Cram, Tim Hutchings and Sebastian Coe, are among the British athletes, who, truly put something back into their sport in the UK. Bedford, Foster and Stewart are involved, one way or another, with the major road and track meets in the UK. Alan Pascoe saved British athletics, period. I have much admiration for Pascoe.  

John Ridgeon has managed Fast Track for several years, putting together superb sponsorships in many sports. He showed much class when UK Athletics did not renew with Fast Track. In the end, men like Ridgeon, Pascoe and Stewart, get it, one must keep lines of communication open, as the world of commerce, sports commerce in particular, seems to evolve. 

Hutchings and Cram (add Katherine Merry and Euan Thomas) are among their strongest TV and event announcers. Wendy Sly works with young athletes, giving them a feel for what it was like to compete at a world class level from the 1,500m to the 15k. And Lord Coe, well, you will be able to read his book around the holidays on the successes of London 2012. 

Bedford is one of my favorites. A man who ran like David did, has had time on his hands. The mischievous smile, with the classic Bedford mustache disarm the keen observer. Bedford is bright and little gets by that mind. He cares for the sport, but realizes, more than many, that to grow his sport, to save his sport, he needs to focus on the important  parts of the puzzle. 

The influence that the men, and women noted above, had had on the sport in the UK, and in bringing the sport back from its nadir, has some interesting lessons for track & field and road racing in the US. 

We hope that you enjoy Elliott Denman's feature on David Bedford. 
The week that was October 29-November 4, 2012. A crushing reminder from Mother Nature to the Mid-Atlantic, insuring that many along the Mid-Atlantic would remember the week as a time that they were a) without power, b) had water in their basements, c) had their homes destroyed d) lost loved ones.

 that was the week that was, 11/04/12, ING NYC, 
photo by

Some marathoners ran in Central Park on Sunday, November 4, 2012. By my counts, 10-15,000 ran several laps or more. Other marathoners showed up on Staten Island, delivering food, and helping with the clean up. As the George Hirsch Journalism award winner, Kenny Moore, put it so eloquently, " 40,000 runners would run through their grief". 

The cancellation of the ING New  York City marathon, and the story around it, continues to be told as some try to learn from it and some try to forget it...

Here is Toni Reavis's commentary on the race and where the running community goes from here...
Wilson Kipsang training group, February 2012, photo by

Justin Lagat ran the half marathon at the Standard Chartered Race, here is how he describes his experienced: 
Usain Bolt, Aries Merritt and David Rudisha are the finalists for the IAAF Male 2012 World Athlete of the Year. Who will get this prestigious award? 

Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, photo by

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Aries Merritt, photo by
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David Rudisha, 800 meters, London 2012, photo by

Carmelita Jeter, 4 x 100m WR, London 2012, photo by

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Usain Bolt, 4 x 100m WR, London 2012, photo by

Elena Lashmanova, 20k RW, London 2012, photo by
Nijel Amos, 800m WJR, London 2012, photo by

The IAAF recognized the superlative performances that are world records, coming from this past summer. Here are the new records that were recognized:

2012 ING NYCM Finish Line, Sunday, November 4, 2012, photo by

The ING New York City Marathon did not take place in 2012, for all of the right reasons. Here is the column by David Hunter on supporting the decisions of the past week. 
Lord Coe, IAAF Gala, November 2010, photo by

Lunch with FT is a regular column in the Financial Times of London, one of my favorite daily reads. The FT gives its readers an intimate view of a writer, musician, philosopher, playwright over lunch with one of the top editors at the Times. The stories are always well done, but one of the things that I enjoy is that, by tradition, the lunch menu is shown on the story page, with accompanying costs.

Lord Coe has much to be happy about this Fall. His successful support of the London 2012 bid, his work with former PM Tony Blair as his personal sport consultant, then, in the final bid, Blair and Coe brought London 2012 to their country. 

The success of the London Olympics can not be underestimated. The success of athletics at the 2012 Olympics should not be underestimated. Sebastian Coe was the face of the Olympics for eight years. Now, as he moves on to new opportunities, it will be fascinating to see how he makes those decisions on where to place his energy over the next decade. 

The interview below appeared on November 3, 2012 in the weekend FT. I thoroughly enjoyed it and believe, that you, dear reader, will as well!  The piece was written by Gideon Rachman, one of FT's top political writers.

Sebastian Coe, November 2010, IAAF Gala, photo by
The recent performances by the Kenyan distance running community in London surprised many. The Kenyan media, Kenyan federation and now Kenya Revenue Authority will be charging a 30 percent tax on their prize money. Justin Lagat, our Kenyan correspondent, wonders if this is fair? 

David Rudisha, photo by
ViziMen's jacket, courtesy of Saucony communications

ViziWomen's jacket, courtesy of Saucony communications

Saucony sent us this release on their updates to the ViziPro apparel line from last year. ViziPro is all about increasing running safety and comfort on those cold, snowy, winter evening runs...
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ASICS America was the number one performance brand in run specialty for nineteen straight years. Brooks took them off their pedestal, but as with all successful brands, ASICS has come back in fighting form. 

ASICS is another example of the competitive nature of the run specialty business and the need for innovation and constant vigilance in this high energy sector of running. 
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Kenny Moore, photo courtesy of Constance Johnson

Kenny Moore, the 1968 and 1972 Oympic marathoner, made his legacy by writing on the personalities, events and themes of the global sport of running. As a runner at Oregon under Bill Bowerman, a two time Olympian and former American record holder in the marathon, Moore understood the sport. He also had a unique empathy for athletes and coaches.  

 Moore' first foray into sports journalism was quite successful: Gil Rogin, Sport's Illustrated's long time editor, asked him to write an essay on cross country, putting some sense to a series of cross country photos.  His next piece was on Frank Shorter's victory at the Fukuoko Marathon in December 1971. For me, it was his piece on Lasse Viren in 1976. A collection of his stories, Best Efforts, published in 1980, has never been far from my bedside reading table. 

Kenny Moore gave the reader insights into the character of those he wrote about. He found the glimpse that many had not considered, and built his essays around that unique view. For the twenty minutes of so I would take at the first read of a piece by Kenny Moore, the world stopped. 

Joan Benoit Samuelson told me that " Kenny took the loneliness out of being a long distance runner with his writing,". Well said.

We asked Elliott Denman to tell us about Kenny Moore. Here is what he wrote: 
Athletes Only magazine  is giving Runblogrun readers a unique opportunity. Take a look at the three cover versions noted below, #001, #002, #003. Consider which one you like the most and send an email, to [email protected], with your vote on who should be on our cover, of the three. Deadline is November 15, 2012. 
The World Marathon Majors has announced the addition of the Tokyo Marathon into their fold. By adding an Asian partner, the World in World Marathon Majors should be emphasized. With Berlin, Chicago, New York, Tokyo, Boston and London, the World Marathon Majors has recognized the growth of running in Asia, especially Japan. 

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2012 ING NYC Marathon, photo by

The 2012 ING NYC Marathon will be a case study in PR, legal and sports marketing classes. It was, in my mind, the ING NYC Marathon and the effects of Hurricane Sandy created the 'Perfect storm'. 
This is a fantastic organization doing good for the sport world. Keith Peters, one of my great friends from my days in the sport in the 80s, 90s and now, 2012, is a man of integrity. His organization helps the running community figure out how to create events, meetings and projects that respect the world we live in. RBR encourages you to get involved. 
World Marathon Majors announce Geoffrey Mutai and Mary Keitany as the champions for the 2011-2012 WMM series. Mutai and Keitany will win $500,000 each, the largest prize in our sport. 

2012 New York City Flash Marathon, photo by

The city of New York, graced by a beautiful sunny day on Sunday, had marathoners out on Staten Island, providing assistance to those hurt by Hurricane Sandy. In Central Park, RBR estimates over 10,000 people ran loops in Central Park, some going for the entire 26.2 miles. Fans were out, some people were giving water, it was, a flash marathon. 

The past week has been devastating for those living in the Mid-Atlantic. The past week, for the New York Road Runners has been difficult for the sport of running. A race cancelled was not the issue, it was how it was done, and how it was managed. In the end, the NYRR, while well meaning, were caught in the politics of the now, where limited resources are in play, and where media, especially the New York Post, while not fabricating, pushed the editorial envelope with comments on how much NYRR was using of city services. In the end, the decision to cancel the race was important. The cancellation of the NYC marathon will be case studies in both public relations and legal classes for some time to come. 
Ryan Shay's bench, 4 November 2012, photo by

Updated Monday, November 5, 2012

My hour walk in Central Park was full of emotions. I wondered just how many would be there. I estimated 10-15,000 when I got into the park about 10:15 am. Chile France, Spain, a shirt saying the new state of Catalonia (Spain), Germany, and there were fans. People running clockwise, counterclockwise. Some running three miles, most run 5, 10, 15, 20, some the entire distance. 

Fans were there. " You make me cry with your running" said one lady, over and over again to those running by. Fans of all ages were there, it was a good old fashioned fun run, like we used to do in the seventies. Fred Lebow would have been proud. 

I had decided to go by and see Ryan Shay's bench, placed in honor of the fine young runner who died in November 2007 during the Olympic marathon Trials for men. I remembered being with Joe Piane, the head coach at Notre Dame, when Ryan finished a fine 10,000 meters at Stanford in the early 2000s. Piane, the long-time coach of Notre Dame, loved his athletes and Ryan Shay was no different. Piane was so happy with Shay's finish in the 10,000 meters at Stanford.

 I then remembered when Tom Carleo asked me how Ryan was, if I had heard anything about him, minutes after Ryan had fallen. Eyes moisten, breathing becomes heavy, just kept walking to the bench. 

Saw the other name tags on benches, thoughtful, loving messages. Two ladies were in front of Ryan's nametag, but shoes were there, dropped off by Brian Mahoney, Saucony promotions manager, earlier in the day. 

I took a picture through tears, not sure why I was so taken. The thought came over that Ryan Shay would like this, a flash marathon run, in Central Park. I walked back onto the course, on the side of the road so as not to get in the runners ways.

On Friday, Kenny Moore, the recipient of the George Hirsch Journalism award had spoken about the cleansing that the marathon would bring. He noted that 40,000 marathoners would erase much of the grief from Hurricane Sandy. Even with the official marathon cancelled, the flash marathon gave 15-20,000 a chance to grieve. Other runners were on Staten Island, trying to help.

I walked back to the Hilton, tears drying up, knowing that, on this sunny day in November, runners, walkers and their loved ones got what running is really all about, as Fred Lebow and Ryan Shay got in their lifetimes, and Kenny Moore has gotten for his sixty plus years. 

Time to head back to Milwaukee and see my son, as he turns 26. So it goes, as Kurt Vonnegut, the esteemed American writer would say. So, it goes. 

If you would like to make a donation in honor of the Hurricane Sandy victims, we suggest you go to

Toni Reavis put together this thoughtful commentary on the cancellation of the New York City Marathon in 2012: 

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Priscah Jeptoo, RNR Lisbon Half marathon, photo by
I paid a visit to the Olympic silver medalist at this year's Games, Priscah Jeptoo, at her training place in Kapsabet to ask her a few questions concerning her experience at the Olympics, her training and her future plans. This is what she had to say as we chatted over a mug of 10 O'clock tea in her sitting room.
Runblogrun:  What was your experience at making it to represent your country at the Olympics?

Jeptoo:  First of all, an athletes' big dream is to make it to the Olympics one day and I was so excited when this dream finally became a reality to me -there were many others who were hoping to take my place. I saw it as a great opportunity to establish my name in the field of running. At the Games, I was so elated at how the world regards athletics, judging from the treatment and the respect which was being given to the athletes there. I also made friends there with Tiki Gelena among other athletes from the rest of the world. We exchanged contacts and can now communicate occasionally.
Runblogrun: Did you expect to win a medal?

Jeptoo: No. My target was to at least try and make it to the top five. Judging from the PB times of my competitors, I felt I didn't have a chance. Towards the end of the race where there were only a few of us leading, with only myself and Mary Keitany being the two Kenyans still at the leading pack, I had hopes that Mary Keitany was going to win and I wanted to stay close to her and give her the morale of running in the company of a compatriot. In my mind I wanted a 1-2 win for Kenya and I was ready to settle for a second position behind Keitany.

Before I could know what was going on, Gelena of Ethiopia surprised us by pulling away quickly and accelerating towards the finish. I tried to react, but was a bit too late. I could see that I was actually beginning to gain some ground on her as we approached the tape and I may have gotten to her had the distance been extended a little. All in all, I actually learned a lesson that anyone can win a race and we should not always expect it to go to the pre-race favorites.
Runblogrun:  What do you think worked in your favor as compared to the pre-race favorites?

Jeptoo: I think it was because I did not put it in my mind that the weather was unfavorable.  I had run before in rainy weather at the Turin Marathon and so the conditions were not new to me. I was confident in the training I had done and was ready for anything.

Besides that, while the rest of the Kenyan Olympic marathon team went to a residential training camp in Iten, I was left to train with my coach here in Kapsabet after I felt uncomfortable with the climate at Iten.
Runblogrun: Are any of your siblings into running as well?

Jeptoo: I am the first born child, the rest are still in high school and a second born, now in form two, is already showing some talent in running as well and I guess she will take after me.
Runblogrun: Compared with their male counterparts, the Kenyan women are not dominating the long distance running as much across the world. Why is it so?

Jeptoo: The number of Kenyan men who have undertaken to run is by far greater than that of the women. Before a Kenyan man makes it enough to be noticed here, in order to get an agent to register him in a race abroad, he has to encounter a very tough competition in the local races here. This makes the Kenyan men train extra hard, and anyone who gets lucky to go and run abroad is well prepared, and will even find the races out there much easier. On the other hand, the women face little competition here locally because of their fewer numbers. They also easily get noticed by agents in the local races before they train hard enough.

Also, when women athletes make some wrong decisions in life, like getting married to the wrong person or having a kid, most of them find it hard to come back to running again.

However, at the moment, more women here in Kenya are beginning to take running seriously after watching the recent success of others, and I am optimistic that very soon Kenyan women will increase in their numbers and begin dominating the events as well.
Runblogrun: What race are you going to run next?

Jeptoo: My main focus now is on the London City Marathon next year. However, I will be running a number of other races before that as some form of training and preparation.

Since I ran at the Olympics, I have not run a long run that has exceeded 1hr 40 minutes and only did two speed workouts before going to run in the Lisbon half marathon recently. In fact, I was surprised when I won it as I had just gone there because my appearance had been requested by the race organizer. I was going there purposely for the sake of my appearance only.

I will run some cross country meetings early next year to better my speed, and if I will find a half marathon with a fast course around February or March, it will be good for me to try and improve my time in the event. In any decision we are going to make with my coach, our priority is on the London Marathon and any other race will only act as a build up to the marathon.
I concluded the interview with the promising star and thanked her. She did the same to me adding that she was happy to share her experiences.
Dellinger Invite, Sept 2012, photo by Patrick Holleran/Shannon Digital Photography

The results below feature some of the NAIA conference meets from this weekend, November 2-4, 2012, courtesy of Walt Murphy at XCountry XPress.
FL photo by
A big weekend for high school cross country meets, across the United States....
The last week has been a nightmare for many in the Mid Atlantic. While mid town Manhattan does not show much of the damage just miles away, the frustration of many in NYC was focused on the support by the Mayor and the intention of the New York Road Runners to hold the 2012 ING New York City marathon. While that was not the Mayor nor the NYRR's intention, the overwhelming support in New York City vanished for the marathon and the Mayor's office and the NYRR cancelled the race on Friday evening. 

On Saturday, many went to the NYC Expo to get their numbers, and purchase product where the proceeds, nearly industry wide, would go to hurricane relief. 

The forensic investigation of who did what in New York really does not matter at this time. Mary Wittenberg and George Hirsch held a meeting with managers and elite athletes today, and took the hit, also noting that they would treat the elite athletes with fairness and compassion. RBR also learnt that Mary Wittenberg, CEO of NYRR, met with European tour operators today, as there will be a sizable request for compensation, due to European Union law, on how travelers are to be treated on events being cancelled. This will not go away quietly. 

While many may question why the event was not canceled on Tuesday, or why a five borough wide tour was not done to assess the damage on Tuesday before announcing the marathon, it is a mute point. Good people can agree to disagree. Suffice it to say that the New York Road Runners and the Mayor's office saw the event as a way of healing, and it was misinterpreted. 

In the end, on Friday afternoon, it became apparent that the New York Police Department would be overwhelmed with the already growing burden of protecting the city and providing aid  to those hurt, in harms way or damaged in the aftermath of the Hurricane. RBR learnt that over one hundred emergency vehicles, in need of diesel fuel, lay idle as neither the city or state had been able to find fuel for their deployment. 

This is a city and area in crisis. Normalcy will come in months and weeks ahead. 

Please consider donating to in the name of survivors of the Hurricane Sandy. 
The runners who were here for the 2012 ING NYC Marathon showed up in droves at the NYC Expo today. They were there to pick up their numbers, a souvenir for a marathon that would never happen. They were also there to purchase footwear and apparel that had been discounted industry wide and proceeds donated to Hurricane Relief. ASICS, Saucony, New Balance, Mizuno, Brooks were among the companies putting their money where their mouths were.

It has been a bittersweet weekend. I have not processed all that happened so far. But here is a piece on the Expo that I spent time walking around today, speaking to vendors, runners, and fans of the sport...
Around 5:15 pm on Friday, November 2, 2012, one of the most curious moments in our sport began., then ABC Channel 7 in New York announced the cancellation of the marathon. I went to twitter as I received two confirmations from keen observers and as I posted a tweet, the Mayors' office denied the announcement. Less than five minutes later, the Mayor's office and NYRR issued a joint statement, note below.

Around 6:30 pm a press conference with Deputy Mayor Harold Wolfson, CEO of NYRR Mary Wittenberg, and Chairman of the Board of NYRR George Hirsch spoke to assembled media.  Wittenberg, distraught, but professional, Hirsch was poised and statesmenlike and Wolfson was, in this writer's eyes, running the show. 

More comments to come but here was the theme. Wolfson noted that the city needed to focus on taking care of those harmed by the Marathon, "it was not a time for a celebratory event". Wittenberg and Hirsch, mostly Wittenberg noted that they had considered a ten mile race, an elite race, all kinds of things, but Wolfson stood firm, and said none would honor the theme of the five borough race. 

Wittenberg announced that the NYRR was committed to helping the city recover. She was serious and completely on the level on her concern for those hurt by Hurricane Sandy. In the end, many people on both sides misinterpreted signals until it became to hot of a topic for the Mayor's office to handle. " We did not have time to answer questions about the marathon, it had become divisive," was how Wolfson, obviously tired having slept in his office for the past night. Wolfson was right.

This cancelled event will be studied in PR classes and marketing classes for some years to come. Forensically, after a night sleep, I will put a few more thoughts together, but the City should have shut this down on Monday or Tuesday. 30-40,000 marathoners are in town, with no marathon to run. Several million people in the local area have been affected by Hurricane Sandy and while the marathon has been an event where New Yorkers loved the world for a day, it would not have been in 2012. Too many people in New Jersey, New York, Delaware, VA, across the Mid Atlantic are hurting. Many ways to view this, but there was no one, in either the Mayor's office or NYRR, who could see the writing on the wall: the marathon just would not happen this year. 

The ING New York City marathon in 2012 was the first marathon cancelled due to social media. I have had more negative comments, from runners and non-runners on the holding of the race. Be careful what you wish for! 

Positives? People in the city, runners in the city, money being spent in the city, when, the little guys need it. 

More thoughts tomorrow. 
The ING NYC Marathon will be run on Sunday under some extreme circumstances. While, above 34th street in Manhattan, there are few reminders of the Hurricane that has killed over 65, and put several million in unheated, unpowered homes. "When one is worried about keeping the milk cold, and where to find gas for the car, the marathon is not really on the landscape," is how one East Coast resident explained the conundrum to me.


George Hirsch, Chairman of the Board of the New York Runners, put it this way, " We hope that this race will be part of our road to recovery." Kenny Moore, the writer honored today with the George Hirsch Journalism award, compared the outpouring of grief and a need for a positive outlet for that grief with Hurricane Sandy, to what Moore, Frank Shorter and Jack Bacheler faced with the massacre of the Isreali athletes in Munich in 1972. Shorter told Moore and Bacheler to go run, and with that, they put their grief on display as they ran the 26.2 miles along the blue line through Munich. 

Kenny Moore put it this way, " My certian knowledge is that to run the New York City Marathon this year is to challenge the grief 40,000 times, and we will be the better for it. 
Vodafone is new title sponsor of Istanbul marathon, now called Vodafone Istanbul Eurasia Marathon! ING NYC Marathon has cancelled 5k road race, and is keeping Central Park closed as all energies of NYRR are focused on the marathon on Sunday. A very subdued Manhattan greeted this writer on his speedy arrival from White Plains today. Taxi drivers and personal auto drivers are finding it difficult to find gas in Manhattan and environs. Reminds RBR writer of the gas rationing in US in the Jimmy Carter years, late 1970s. 

Saw one of my NYRR contacts, who looked beat, obviously not much sleep since Monday. Most of rooms not used by elite 5k field were given to emergency teams in NYC to help with the recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Many hotels without power, so hotel rooms are at a premium. 

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2011 ING NYCM, First water station, photo by
NYRR, Rudin Family and ING Foundation put the money where their mouth is, announcing a donation of $26.20 per 40,000 marathoners, in name of marathoners who are scheduled to run 2012 ING NYCM , which totals $1 million , to aid in the recovery of those who have been hurt by Hurricane Sandy. Much of the money will go to the Red Cross and the Mayors' Fund. 

RBR applauds this: simply a great gesture to show the city, and the world, that runners can be part of the solution to the damage brought on the area by Hurricane Sandy. 
Bill Rodgers, 1975 BAA Boston Marathon, 2:09.55, photo courtesy of BAA 

I remember seeing Will Rogers (sic) in the paper when Bill Rodgers new American record was first reported in April 1975. I had known about Bill through his third place in the World Cross Country behind Ian Stewart in March 1975. 

For many of my generation, Frank Shorter, per the late writer John Jerome, "invented running by putting twenty six miles at five minutes per mile together", but Bill Rodgers made it fun. Rodgers, from 1978 to 1979, running thirty seven races and winning thirty two, made the professional part of the sport accessible. 

Rodgers was tough. 140 mile weeks with Randy Thomas, Bobby Hodge, and other members of the Greater Boston Track Club, under the watchful eye of the grand eccentric himself, Coach Bill Squires. Those were special days. 

David Hunter, who has been providing Runblogrun a column a week, did a strong salute this week, on the one and only, Bill Rodgers. 

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