December 2012 Archives

Congrats to USA for ranking as top track & field country in the country rankings by The Team USA team, with 29 medals, was one of the best teams that the US has fielded in years. A hearty congratulations to the coaches, officials, athletes, sponsors, and USA Track & Field (oh, yes, and the USOC). 

Carmelita Jeter, 4 x 100m relay, London 2012, photo by
a less complicated time, Drummond, 2004 Penn Relays, photo by

This article was originally posted on 12.01.12, we have reposted on 12.31.12, as we see the US relay performances as one of the most remarkable events of 2012. 

Jon Drummond, as an unpaid Sprint consultant, did something that few have done in our memory: put the baton around two times in the 4 x 100m, with gold and silver (WR for Women and gold, AR twice for men and silver) for US in the London Olympics. In the long races, the Women won gold in very fast time and men took silver, running a tough race. In the end four batons got around a track in a major championships. 

John Chaplin, former WSU director of athletics, and USATF chair for Men's T&F, once told me that a head coach of a world champs or Olympic team is remembered for one thing: getting that baton around the track. 

One of the other people who got the baton issue was Stephanie Hightower, President of USATF, who was over-whelmingly re-elected on Saturday, Dec 1 (Stephanie Hightower, 454, Matt Rigby 83, No Vote, 4, 

Here is Elliott Denman's feature on Jon Drummond, done at the USATF Convention in Daytona Beach! 
Usain Bolt, London 100 meters, photo by

Usain Bolt, who had a tremendous London Olympics, is the favorite of sports journalist around the world. Take a minute to think about it, are you really surprised? Such a great year for our sport. Let's see what 2013 brings. 
USA Track & Field does a very nice job celebrating its Hall of Fame each year the USATF Convention. The Hall of Fame includes historical figures, and more modern athletes and officials. Elliott Denman wrote this in early December. Our apologies for missing it then....
David Rudisha is the TFN Athlete of the Year. His world record run in the London 2012 Olympics was the most exhilarating performance of the Olympics. Track & Field News, the bible of the sport, recognized Rudisha's dominance of his event! 

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David Rudisha, photo by

Watching David Rudisha run a sub 1:42 in cold, windy Paris, after a strong rain, was pretty impressive. His London performance was just another. 

Valerie Adams, Lausanne, 2012, photo by

Valerie Adams is the most dominating female shot putter of her era. She is the gold medalist in the 2007, 2009 and 2011 world championships. She is the gold medalist in 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion. 

Track & Field News, the bible of the sport, recognized Valerie Adams as their Athlete of the Year for 2012. We congratulate Valerie Adams on her award, and look forward to her throwing in 2012! 
Runblogrun hopes that our fans enjoy and continue to enjoy the holiday season. Here are some updates on the world of track and field.

Usain Bolt, Photo by

Allyson Felix and Usain Bolt, photo courtesy of IAAF Communications Dept. 

Gentle readers, between December 25-Janury 10, Runblogrun will have limited daily posts. For December 25, I thought the post from David Hunter, written in October on the Male Athlete of the Year, might make an interesting re-read. Here you go:

Merry Christmas from Runblogrun!


Drake.jpg                            Drake Relays, getting even bigger in 2013! 
photo by

Dear readers, thanks once again, for supporting Runblogrun, and the RunningNetwork, in 2012! It has been an eventful year! Tremendous performances, great events, and a group of athletes that are a privilege to watch. 

We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Enjoy the day with family and friends and consider how lucky we are to be living in this time and on this planet. 

The world did not end on December 21, so, we should be here for a bit more. Enjoy your family and friends during the holiday season and thanks, once again, for supporting Runblogrun and the RunningNetwork! 

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays from the Running Network! In honor of our readers, both print and digital, we are making a donation to Habitat for Humanity and Second Harvest. Enjoy the holidays with your family, friends and, perhaps, in honor of the young students in Newtown, do a random act of kindness. More than anything in this world, and especially in this holiday time, it is the little acts of kindness that make us human. Hold a door, help someone with their packages,  a simple thank you, it is the little things that are most remembered. 
Alfons discusses the World Rankings for 2012 Athletics International newsletter. Some fascinating decisions on top athletes....
The winner of the 2012 FootLocker Girls Cross Country Champs, Anna Rohrer, recovered from a fall during the race, to finish in the first position in a very exciting girls championship race!

Anna Rohrer pulled a Virenesque (named after Lasse Viren, 1972, 1976 Olympic gold medalist at 5k,10k, who fell and then, set WR in 10,000m in 1972), moved, after her fall. Composing herself, the talented young runner
stayed focused on the task at hand. That task was winning the FL Championships, and she did in style

Anna Rohrer, photo by
The Dubai Marathon, aka the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, has the most expensive prize purse in the sport of marathoning with $250,000 for first place. While Ayele Abshero, the 2012 winner, will not be there (injury), the field is literally, unbelievable...

Ayele Abshero, WC 2009 XC Junior race, photo by
The 2012 FootLocker Boys' Championship Photo Gallery was created by the Web Director for the Running Network, Chuck Bartlett with photos from, our photo partners. The race, held on December 8, 2012, in San Diego, CA, gave the high school season of cross country its' end of the season! 

Robert Cheserek won the FootLocker 2012 race for the second year in a row, in 14:58. 

Robert Cheserek, photo by
In the late seventies, Brooks Johnson began his tenure at Stanford University. I was an assistant coach at Bellarmine Prep, in San Jose, and running for Santa Clara University. I had first heard of Brooks when he was coaching Steve Williams. I first read an article by Brooks in 1977, when he wrote a column for RW regarding American distance runners. His contention, then, as now, is that if you want to succeed in the global battlefield that is World class distance running, you better have a kick, oh, and stay up with the competition until you can use said kick. As Brooks was a bit indelicate, he infuriated more than a few folks. 

In living in the Bay Area, and training and racing in said area, I met many who were coached by Brooks, and they either loved him or did not love him, as is the case with most coaches. Brooks did not and does not suffer fools. Yet, in his conversations with you, in his writing, there are times when (and more often than not), that Coach Brooks gets it. 

Brooks Johnson, 2012 US Indoors, 
photo by

That was the case with his column on Suzy Favor Hamilton. For the past two days, I have been speaking to a few news organizations about showing some compassion when considering Favor-Hamilton's admission to being a call girl. In a conversation with ABC TV 27 in Madison, I tried to make the point that elite athletes, in all sports, are a unique sort, and that the fall from attention needs to be addressed. I also felt, and feel, that the good that Suzy has done will be overshadowed for some time, by her most recent actions. I also have to say, that I have an issue with publicizing issues between consenting adults, but that will have to wait for another place and time. 

Brooks Johnson wrote a column, as he does on his blog, that was right on the point. Please read the column, I wish I had wrote this one. And thanks to David Oliver for sending out Coach Brook's blog. 

In this column, written in Mid-November, Justin Lagat noted some significant changes in how elite athletes in Kenya are looking at training camps, which had been an institution in Kenya. 

Asbel Kiprop's training group, February 2012, photo by
The Fukuoka marathon in 2012 showed, that once again, the level of competition in the marathon is so high that there are no shoe-ins. This photo gallery was created by Chuck Bartlett, the RN Website Director, who does several photo galleries a week (you can find more at 

 The Fukuoka International marathon has been, for many of its years, the de facto year championship of the marathon. Derek Clayton broke 2:10 on the Fukuoka course, then went on to run 2:08:34 for a WR. Frank Shorter won four times in a row, as well as the Olympic marathon in 1972. Seko, DeCastella, the list goes on.

This year, Joseph Gitau won the race with a huge PB in 2:06.51. 

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Joseph Gitau, 2012 Fukuoka International Marathon, photo by
This is a column that Justin Lagat, our Kenyan correspondent, wrote on the Kass International Marathon, held in Eldoret, Kenya on November 23, 2012. Justin has been providing our readers with a weekly view from Kenya for nearly six months now, and we are most fortunate to have his insights into the Kenyan running community. 

The picture below is the Facebook picture of Justin Lagat, our Kenyan correspondent. 



Suzy Favor Hamilton, Nike Pre Classic 2003, 

photo by

Suzy Favor-Hamilton is one of the most successful American women middle distance runners of the past two decades. An Olympian in 1992, 1996 and 2000, Suzy Favor-Hamilton came within a 200 meters of an Olympic medal in 2000, in the 1,500 meters.

Before that, Suzy Favor ran for the University of Wisconsin, under the watchful eyes of Coach Peter Tegen. Tegen was the architect of the women's track & field program at UW Madison, developing the likes of Cindy Bremser, Kathy Butler and Suzy Favor-Hamilton. At the University of Wisconsin, Favor won 20 Big Ten Championships. In fact, the Big Ten Women's award is names after Suzy Favor-Hamilton. 

A tough competitor, Favor-Hamilton moved into her own realty business with her husband, Mark, had a daughter and made 50-60 motivational appearances a year, speaking to groups at Disney, Rock N Roll Marathons and the esteemed FootLocker series.

Favor-Hamilton is admired by fans, and athletes, young and old. She was in high demand as a motivational speaker by corporations who supported various running events. Suzy Favor-Hamilton should have been on top of the world. But, that is not how she saw the world she inhabited. 

                            Meb Keflezighi and Suzy Favor-Hamilton at 
RNR Viva Las Vegas promotional event, 
December 2012, 
photo by

Suzy Favor-Hamilton surprised most of her friends, family and admirers, when it was announced, in several media sources today, that she had worked for a high-end escort service for the past 18 months. Favor-Hamilton, who had worked under a nom de plum, told several of her clients who she really was, and one reached out to a media service. 

This story broke on the web this morning and it is trending on every digital medium. RBR received a call from a major newspaper today, as they were trying to digest the story. 

RBR was called this morning, and asked about Favor-Hamilton's fall from grace, literally within an hour of the story breaking on and, two of the most accurate new media sites. Favor-Hamilton admitted to the reporters what she had done, and took full responsibility for her actions. She also explained her life in excruciating detail. 

RBR is a track & field site, and not a gossip blog. However, Ms. Favor-Hamilton's fall from grace, we believe, has much to do with Favor-Hamilton's personal demons. The loss of her brother, who had been troubled for several years, and very close to Favor-Hamilton, to suicide in 1999 was very difficult for Favor-Hamilton, as it would have been for anyone. 

Such traumatic issues, not recognized, and not dealt with, through, counseling, in some cases, medication, and much hard work, will come back and haunt the person for years to come. In several pieces on this story, Favor-Hamilton suggests that depression had much to do with her so-called double-life. 

The story is riveting, and terribly sad, as Favor-Hamilton tells all, letting the chips fall where they may. All one can do is hope that Suzy Favor-Hamilton finds a way to cope with her demons and that her family, friends and supporters continue to support her. 

Again, not one to judge, but this will be all over the TV pundits by tomorrow. America does love to take a hero from the top of the mountain to the lowest point in the gutter with excruciating speed. 

To read the full story, from the smoking gun :

Yelena Isinbayeva says Nyet on indoor season, photo by

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Take the middle guy out, and Collins and Lemaitre over 60 meters will be fun! 
photo by

Raul Spank is not high jumping indoors in 2013, photo by
Kimberly Duncan and Cam Levins, 2012 Bowerman Award Winners, 
photo from Craig Macaluso

The Bowerman Award is the top award for collegiate cross country and track and field runners. It was presented last night, in Orlando, Florida, to Kimberly Duncan and Cam Levins. 

Started in 2009, the Bowerman award has been well received and gained support each and every year. This award is a natural in track & field. Well presented, sent out via Flotrack, the Bowerman Award is building attention each and every year. 
David Rudisha had a remarkable year in 2012. Here, Justin Lagat, our correspondent in Kenya, wrote a piece about Rudisha's recent eight awards in a two week period! 

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David Rudisha, 2012 Athletics International Male Athlete of the Year, 
photo by

Allyson Felix, Athletics International Female Athlete of the Year, 
photo by

David Rudisha and Allyson Felix were voted as the Athletics International male and female athletes of the year 2012. The Athletics International newsletter is the definitive global newsletter for track & field, edited by Peter Matthews and Mel Watman. The voting is done by the readers of AI, some of the biggest track geeks in the known world. That should be noted by Mr. Rudisha and Ms.Felix. 

Andy Caine and Wallace Spearmon, September 2012, Great North CityGames, photo courtesy of Nova International

I met Andy Caine about three years ago at an event in the UK. During that time, he was telling me about what he did. I had heard about the events, the CityGames, and the Great Runs.

But, until I actually visited Newcastle to see the Great City Games and the BUPA Great North Run this past September, I had no clue as to how amazing these events are. Nova International, the company that puts on these amazing events across Great Britain, are pushing the envelope in terms of making track & field and road racing a  huge participatory and sports entertainment event. 

This interview was done in early November 2012. I have waited, on purpose, to give you, our readers, the time to really appreciate the interview and the events. 

There is nothing even close to BUPA Great Runs nor CityGames in the US. They could be a huge way to draw fans and media to the sport. These type of events could take place in NYC, Boston, Las Vegas, LA. ASICS is the footwear sponsor in the UK for the Nova events. 

Andy Caine has a great sense of humor, and is a glutton for detail. Nova events are pretty amazing, I hope to see a few more and tell you about the story. 
With twenty-nine lines of performance running footwear at the 2012 Running Event, how does a run specialty store decide? The Running Network tracks 45-48 different brands at this time. Run Specialty puts on the wall, as one of the great Garys told me, "what pays the bills". 

They have to focus on the product that the consumer wants. New shoes, that is the toughest place to be, as run specialty is the top of the running footwear food chain. 

 The consumer at run specialty influences the other ninety percent. They are looking for the best shoe that they can get, price is about sixth on their list. Service is key. 

 How does a brand such as Ecco, which has made high quality shoes for fifty years, and has been in running for about five years, reach out to run specialty? 

That was the main question that the Shoe Addicts were asking Ecco's Eric Walcott. 

 Here was his very thoughtful answer:


Fabiana Murer, 2010 World Indoor, Doha, 

photo by 

Fabiana Murer, 2011 World Champion,  and Anna Rogowska, 2009 World Champion, will be dueling at the Russian Winter Meeting, on February 3, 2013 in Moscow. LoLo Jones has told RBR how much she enjoyed racing at the Winter Meeting. Murer and Rogowska are preparing for the goal of 2013: Moscow 2013, the World Championships. 

Anna Rogowska, 2012 London Olympics, 
photo by

The Pope himself has come out against banned substances in sports. He told a group of Italian Olympians note to be tempted to take short cuts. I know we will have reached real global supremacy when the Pope, using his new twitter service, makes a comment on track & field! 

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Mr. Harting celebrating his 2009 victory in Berlin, 
photo by

Speaking of the deity of the discus, Robert Harting was named German Sportsman of the Year! Harting is an exciting character in our sport, focused on being the best discus thrower in the world, and a man with a pretty good sense of humor. Harting is at his most outgoing after a major win! 

The Shoe Addicts visited the 2012 Running Event, looking to interview some of the key players in the industry. They grabbed Chris Lindner, Senior VP of Marketing & Sales at Saucony to get some thoughts on how footwear companies should approach social media, and the advertising mix to reach the consumer and inspire the run specialty staffer. 

Saucony is pretty hot now, and Lindner has a lot of plates to juggle. This is how he sees Saucony going into the 2013 season.
Andy Barr is the Global Product line manager for adidas Runnng. Andy is also Scottish, and there are times when, for some Americans, he may be hard to understand. Andy was at his best in this video. The unfortunate thing is that people were literally racing behind us! My suggestion is to turn down your volume listen to Andy as he shares the direction of adidas in 2012, but most importantly, in 2013....
I have said this before and I will say it again. The shoe people who really get running, who really understand the needs of the consumer, can fit into a school classroom. Pat O'Malley would be on my short list in that classroom. O'Malley is a lifer in the running business. A very good college runner, Pat spent time at Nike, then Reebok and now, for nearly a decade, at Saucony. 

O'Malley reinvented the Saucony footwear line. His aesthetic sense is seen in the shoes and he has developed a remarkable team around him, who shares his philosophy on making great running shoes. With strong support from Saucony management, O'Malley has developed a place for Saucony in the performance running shoe world that has given brand some its finest products. 

Here, Pat speaks with the Shoe Addicts on Saucony running and where the brand is headed for 2013: 
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Nijel Amos, photo by

Nijel Amos is one of the most promising athletes in our sport. The teenager has the World Junior record, a World Junior championship and a silver medal in the Olympics! How good is Amos? That waits to be seen. He is gutty in pursuit of fast times and races with good instincts. 

Christine Arron, a nine time medalist for France, and European record holder at the women's 100 meters, is calling it quits at the age of 39. Arron is pregnant and admitted to L'equipe that she just does not have the drive anymore.

UK Athletics has a choice to make regarding the London GP next summer, as the possibility exists, per London media, that the GP can be run at the Crystal Palace or London Olympic Stadium. 
One of the most innovative publishing teams in the Running Network can be found at Michigan Runner. Publishers Art & Jennie McCafferty is a big supporter of digital publications and his approach to providing the digital issue a week before print issue is available is bringing in core readers. One can usually find Jennie McCafferty and Art at various events each weekend. Gary Morgan, part of the Gary & Larry show, is an associate editor at Michigan Runner. 

Dathan Ritzenhein started his running in Michigan, 
photo by

Michigan Runner has been at the forefront of digital tv and video, producing Michigan Runner TV and Running Network TV for the past decade. Successful magazine publishers know that digital and social media have enhanced their relationships with their subscribers. 

Here is Michigan Runners January/February 2013 issue (found below on link). We hope that you enjoy another example of publishers using the multi platform approach to reach readers 24/7. 

Another example of innovation and how publishers embrace new approaches to technology and communication, improving the depth of the relationship between the runner and their local running community. 

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Usain Bolt at 2012 Golden Gala, photo by

Usain Bolt told the assembled media at the Barcelona IAAF Gala two weeks ago that he wanted to run very fast in 2013. " I want to go under nineteen seconds." He is serious about that goal. 
Abeba Aregawi can run for Sweden, photo by

Abeba Aregawi can run for Sweden as early as the 2013 European Indoors, per a column on EME News. Swedish track fans will be very happy to have such a talented athlete running for their country. Aregawi is married to a Swedish national and has lived in Stockholm since 2009. Aregawi ran 3:56.54 last summer in the Samsung DL. 
Bernie Moore, LSU, photo courtesy of ASBA

One of the great things that the ASBA does is certify builders. That means that ASBA certified builders think enough of their profession to study for a major test to show their understanding of building sports facilities. 

That is one of the major reasons you should use an ASBA member builder and team to develop your facility. If you want to do something right, find the people who appreciate that need. Check out the s site! 
Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, London 2012, photo by

Andrea Lalli, Cinque XC 2011, photo by

Mo Farah was quoted in the Guardian about training on Christmas Day. Farah is beginning the task of moving his mileage up from 70 miles a week to 120 miles a week. He has two goals for 2013: a baby son and two gold medals. I am not sure which will be tougher. 

The 2013 RRCA Champ series calendar has been announced. The RRCA is the largest running organization in the US, dedicated to grass roots running, with 1,300 plus clubs and 177,000 members. Runblogrun encourages you to support this fine organization...
I am sharing this video from Oiselle because it shows the level of work that a small company goes through to make sure that they have legal uniforms in international competitions. Look at Oiselle, and then consider the money and time spent by Nike, adidas, ASICS, Saucony, NB, PUMA and Mizuno, among others, on developing their compliant uniforms for World Champs, Olympics and Samsung DL events. 

Where will the logo discussion go? Stay tuned. But for the federations, USATF has given much ground in US competitions. Don't blame them for international level competitions. The groundswell of support for changes in logos and sponsorship opportunities will be fascinating to observe. 

Stay tuned. 

We congratulate Oiselle for putting their bucks into running and supporting athletes, events and the sport.  

The key to growth is keeping our present sponsors happy and showing them new ways to grow in our sport, as well as finding new sponsors. 

How do we tell our story? 

I always look forward to this video each year. The crew at Flotrack, inspired by, perhaps, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the one with Gene Wilder), take us to crazytown for the Brooks PR invitational announcement. The level of dementia has been increased this year. I like it. 

Actually, when I heard "conflict-free Cambodian Yak milk", I, well, was transfixed. The Brooks PR Invitational will be in its third year, and it is a strong success. Bringing the best prepsters from 60 meters to two miles and letting them run fast on a very fast track is a great idea. It is also important that Brooks, the top performance running brand in run specialty, continues to support the development of the sport. 

 Be there, at the Brooks PR Invitational, February 24, 2013, Seattle, WA!
The Kenyan Government is putting pressure on Athletics Kenya to get the drug testing protocals done or they will step in with an investigation. Teddy Tamgho says no indoor as does Svetlana Feofanova, the true veteran of the women's pole vault, who competed against Stacy Dragila! The 32 year old Russian vaulter has decided that she would rest during the winter season to prepare for Moscow 2013. 

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Grand Master Teddy Tamgho, No Winter TJ, Focus on Moscow 2013, 
photo by

Svetlana Feofanova, " I'm tired, " not vaulting indoors, 
photo by
I am starting to get caught up on emails and correspondence from a year that has been exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. I found the following note from David Frank, aka Frankie, about a post I did on the late Ryan Shay. 

I think it something worth passing around. This community, campagnie that we call running is amazingly diverse and vibrant. We are very, very lucky, in good times and in rough times...

Ryan Shay Bench, November 4, 2012, photo from Iphone
runningevent logo.jpg

The Running Event is the week that the business of running is celebrated in the city of Austin. From Sunday night, as many begin to arrive, until the following weekend, when most have left, there is not a bar or nightspot in Austin where minimalist shoes, protective socks, gluten free energy bars or perhaps, which is the best running store in the US, is discussed.

The group responsible for the event, Formula 4 media, took the chance less than eight years ago to put on the first version of this show. The running trade needed a show that catered to their needs and wants, and the show has grown. Nearly every major player in the business of running is somewhere in attendance. 

In 2013, from December 3-6, make sure that you are there! 

The U.S. National Club Championships for Cross Country is one of the events that makes a difference with our sport. The masters' events and elite events are well attended and have some pretty stiff competition. 
Andrea Lalli, Cinque XC 2011, photo by

Fionnuala Britton, 2011 SPAR Euro XC Champs, photo by

The SPAR 2012 European Championships were one of the largest in recent Euro Cross history. Andra Lalli and Fionnuala Britton took the senior individual honors. In the following story, courtesy of the IAAF's Phil Minshull, you get an eye witness view to a great day of cross country, just outside of Budapest, Hungary, held on December 9, 2012. 
This is just a quick scan of the entire flyer for the 2013 VS Athletics Clinic, to be held in Sacramento, Ca on February 2, 2013. Here is the link to the pdf that will be perfect size for your reading pleassure: Superclinic 2013 New Flier 8 x 11.pdf.

This is a great clinic to attend, the management knows their stuff and the clinicians will be superb! Runblogrun robustly endorses this event! 
Usain Bolt told us that his wake up call this year was the Jamaican Trials, where Yohan Blake defeated his twice, first at the 100 meters and second at the 200 meters. "It is much harder now, " Bolt told the assembled media in Barcelona, Spain on the 100th birthday of the IAAF. Bolt also told the media that 2013 is about running very fast. " I will be trying each time I go out to see how fast I can run. " Bolt also gave credit to where credit is due: his coach, Glenn Mills, his sponsors, his management, his team mates, his family, his fans. That should make 2013 even more fun! The following video is from the Shoe Addicts celebrating Usain Bolt's fourth IAAF World Athlete of the Year award. And from the sprinter himself, perhaps his hardest award to win, and the one he will savor...for now.
Wilson Kipsang, 2012 London, photo by

Wilson Kipsang and Valentina Galimova won the 40th Honolulu Marathon in front of nearly 30,000 runners and walkers. This is not a fast marathon, one endures here. Stephanie Rothstein Bruce finished third on the women's, the best US finish since 1995 and Amy Legacki.

Speaking of endurance, 2008 Olympic champion Bryan Clay and his wife Sarah ran the marathon in 4:46.31. 
This is a great idea. I am not sure how I can add to this. This makes tremendous sense...
I love this column by Walt Murphy. Today he honors Matt Guisto, Matt Downin, Carrie Tollefson, among others. 

Matt Downin, ING NYCM 2005, photo by

From 1990 to 1999, I missed perhaps one FootLocker champs. I remember Matt Downin and John Mortimer, as I had lived in New Hampshire for a couple of years, and was truly struck by the toughness of Downin and Mortimer in San Diego. 

My take on Guisto was that I had a hard time putting the monster on the track with the nice guy away from the track. Guisto was tremendously tough on the track, perhaps even tougher on cross country. Guisto ran with the likes of Jim Schankel, who was just, well, a beastmaster. At one time, Jim owned Cal Poly SLO records for 1,500m, 5,000m, 10,000m as well as mile, two, three mile and oh, yes, six mile. 

My memories of Schankel were always of a guy who ran his heart out. I watched him in 1980, at the Martin Luther King JR Games at Stanford, duke it out with Henry Marsh and Ron Addison over the steeplechase. Schankel would not give up, but Marsh was there to show who was the man in the steeple. Schankel could hardly walk afterwards, he lost by a few seconds in an 8:46 race. 
Simon Bartold, a consultant for ASICS, spoke to many about the evolution of the footwear running business and how to recognize true scientific research. An affable fellow, Mr. Bartold is wonderfully possessed, (as SI Writer Kenny Moore once said of Ron Hill) by the scientific method. 

His talk at the Running Event was not without its dissenters, but, Simon Bartold recognizes that additions to scientific knowledge of running footwear and theevolution of running footwear will continue to grow. He also welcomes the exchange of ideas. 

 The Shoe Addicts visited with Simon Bartold in the warm expanse of the ASICS booth in Austin  on December 5, and recorded several deep thoughts regarding the changing footwear landscape.
Anna Rohrer, FL MW, November 2012, photo by

Edward Cheserek, FL NE 2012, photo by

The FootLocker Cross Country Champs were held in Balboa Park in San Diego, CA on Saturday, December 8, 2012. The 34th version of the high school champs, the FootLocker has seen most of the best American distance runners for the past three decades. This year was no different, as Edward Cheserek and Anna Rohrer won the FL CCC Champs, Cheserek for the second time and Anna Rohrer for the first! 
The Zatopek 10,000m is held in honor of the great Czech distance runner and nationalist Emil Zatopek. Zatopek, a skilled tactician in athletics and a gracious sportsman, would great many of his competitors in their native languages before his great races. 

Neely Spence, Lauren Fleshman, photo by

The Zatopek 10 in Australia, has for nearly two decades, been a race where either runners end their seasons or begin the next one. 

Emmanuel Bett ran a sub 28 minute 10,000 meters and Neely Spence ran 32:16 to end their 2012 seasons....Lara Tamsett and Ben St. Lawrence won their Australian titles in the race...
Jessica Ennis, photo by

Be careful what you wish for...Jessica Ennis in 2012 earned a year that only be described as superlative. For the third of four years, Ennis wins the SJA British Sports Award. 

Ennis lead the hopes of her country with her win in London in early August, minutes before Mo Farah's 10,000 meter win and Greg Rutherfords' long jump gold. No one could have written a better hour in British athletics, even if they were a screen writer. 

For 2013, Jessica Ennis is said to be looking for a gold medal in Moscow and a score over seven thousand points, both eminently do able for such an athlete. 


Bernie Moore Stadium, LSU, courtesy of ASBA


Bernie Moore Stadium, LSU, photo courtesy of ASBA

ASBA has chosen the Bernie Moore Stadium at LSU as the 2012 Outdoor Facility of the Year for Track & Field. Here is the piece by Mary Helen Sprecher, a long time contributor to American Track & Field and ASBA consultant writer, who has provided us with some fantastic pieces on track facilities over the years. Truth is, for a track & field coach, developing a great facility is a once in a lifetime experience. To insure that you do it right, make sure that you read up, an the site is a great place to start! 

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Aries Merritt, photo by

The 2012 Samsung DL ended with a screaming WR! Aries Merritt reminded everyone how exciting track & field can be! 

What will 2013 bring? Usain Bolt has spoken about racing Yohan Blake less. 110m hurdlers and 100m hurdlers will race against each other, week after week, exciting fans worldwide. 

Ryan Hall has moved from a higher power advising his coaching to Renota Canova handling his day to day coaching. We wish Ryan Hall the very best, hoping that the most talented American of this generation shows his promise. The guy can break 27 minutes, 13 minutes and 2:04, some rareified air, if he focuses and puts his running first. My guess is that even that his former coach, aka God, would agree. 
2012 Distinguished Sports Facilities, courtesy of ASBA

The ASBA is the group that affects each and every neighborhood in US and few know it. At most high schools and colleges are track and tennis facilities, in various stages of repair or disrepair. The ASBA is the organization that encourages the professionalization of the business of building track and sports facilities across the US. I have been lucky enough to attend for the past decade and give out the Best Track Facility Award. This was the first year I missed. It is one of my favorite shows as the various companies, while competitive, really are working to make our facilities better and more accessible. I like that. 

Here are the distinguished facilities for 2012: 
The USATF Convention ended on Sunday in Daytona, Florida. We have heard good comments from the athletes, coaches, delegates on the Convention. Here is the wrap-up from Elliott Denman. 

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Aries Merritt reacts to his new WR of 12.80, photo by
The battle for the streets of New York may just be beginning. The NYRR and its insurers, per the article shown below, are having a strong difference of opinion over what the claim for the cancelled marathon.


This is a terribly complicated venture. Not only is there the possibility of refunded race entries (45-60,000 at $250, I believe), there is the issue over refunded hotel, airline and such, especially with EU travelers. 

In terms of negotiations, this will be time consuming. This claim will come down to some deft negotiations on the part of the NYRR, Lloyds and the legal fire power that comes with both. 

Per the, NYRR, which has revenues per WSJ at $60 million a year (let's agree to disagree and note, $55-$60 million), the NYRR, has to determine what Lloyds and its insurer syndicate are willing to pay in terms of a claim. It is only after that can the NYRR determine if they will give full refunds to applications for the marathon. 

We all know the story of the cancelled marathon. Well meaning is a catch all, but the race will be reviewed in PR and marketing classes for some years to come. What does not come out is how much money the sponsors and NYRR have put back into NYC to help Hurricane Sandy victims. The running footwear companies, on the Expo floor, donated real dollars to Hurricane relief with little prompting. 

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail...

This story will be updated.....

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John Mollanger, Chief Creative Officer, ASICS, 
photo courtesy of ASICS communications

John Mollanger joined ASICS on November 15, 2012. RBR received a press release that very day. We sent ten questions to Rachel Kapor and John was gracious enough to answer them.

Nothing earth shaking, but it is quite evident that Mr. Mollinger gets the reason for his new position: Getting the messaging down and communicating the brand to all the world! 

We wish John Mollanger much success and thank Rachel Kapor and John for his time and comments. 
Dawn Harper, who has gold and silver medals in the 100 meter hurdles in Beijing and London, is back in training. Athlete summit today at Disney in Orlando. First comments on USATF Convention have been positive. Indoor season is on for 2012-13 as many meets were held last weekend....Note, that as I will be at TRE from today until Thursday, watch for beaucoup de tweets from the Convention center off

Dawn Harper, London 2012, photo by
Joseph Gitau suprised all at the Fukuoka International marathon with his 2:06.58 win. His previous PB was over 2:20! 

USATF Convention finished on Sunday morning in Daytona Beach, FL. In Orland, the ASBA Technical Meeting, where the companies who build the finest track & field facilities get together and name the Facilities of the Year, meet Nov.30-December 4. 

RBR is in Austin, Texas for the The Running Event, Dec.3-6. Hope to see you there! 

Joseph Gitau, Dec.2, 2012, Fukuoka, photo from
Fascinating how sales of companies go. Two months ago, RunnersWorld posted that the owners of L'equpipe and Le Tour de France were looking to purchase the Competitor Group. Perhaps they were, but, in the end, it was The Calera Group, formerly Fremont Partners, who acquired CGI from Falconhead Capital. 

The following release an Q&A from Scott Dickey tells the curious sports media observer little but the obvious, which is what a good press release does. Time will show how CGI will react with a new owner. 

The Competitor Group has grown to an enormous event and sports media beast, with 83 events and seven sports media properties. Websites, print media both feed an event list that continues to both grow and draw running and endurance event enthusiasts. 

We are looking forward to seeing what 2013 brings for CGI and its new owner, Calara Group! 

Here is Elliott Denman's second column from Daytona and the USATF Convention. He focused on Kevin Young, the WR holder in the 400 meter hurdles. 
Yelena Isinbayeva, the 27 time world record holder at the women's pole vault, who took the bronze in London, will be opening her season indoors on February 3, at the Russian Winter event, held in Moscow.

Make no bones about it. Isinbayeva does not like loosing, and she is looking forward to battling Jenn Suhr in Russia next summer. RBR thinks that could one of the WC highlights! 

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Yelena Isinbayeva, photo by
The USATF Convention is where athletes, coaches, regional association staffs and volunteers meet with the national office to celebrate the sport and plan for the future. We asked Elliott Denman to provide us with his insights into the Convention. This is his story on the opening day....

Dr. Leroy Walker was remembered at the convention....
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Felix  Sanchez, 2004 Athens, photo by

Felix Sanchez, 2012 London, photo by

When Felix Sanchez blazed the semi-final in London, fans knew that Sanchez was there to run. Eight years after his first victory in an Olympics, Felix Sanchez took his second 400 meter hurdle title (same for Angelo Taylor, 2000 and 2008 and Edwin Moses, 1976, 1984).

Felix Sanchez has told EME News that he will be racing his distance for two more years. 

Stephen Sambu, 2010 NCAA XC, photo by
Sarah Baxter won the 2012 NXN race at the Portland Meadowlands, defending her title from 2011. The conditions, sunny and lots of mud, did not stop her, and Baxter held off a last ditch drive by Mary Cain, who came from eight to two seconds in the final 600 meters of the race to take second. 

Manlius continued its absolute domination of the cross country team title, insuring that this club is the best team for cross country in the nation. 

Oh, and one final point. Times mean nothing in cross country. In my mind, this was first real cross country race at NXN. The focus on times does nothing for giving athletes better racing experiences. Cross is about challenging experiences. Do not make cross country like track & field or road racing. 

Sarah Baxter from her 2011 win, this year, think MUD everywhere, photo from NIKE PR
A more complete story will come later this evening, but, in sunny conditions and much glorious mud, Sam Wharton, who was 21rst last year, took the lead late in the race, and just gutted it out, winning in 17:06, with Estevan Delarosa of Arcadia, taking second, three seconds back. Arcadia moved back to the winner's circle, upsetting American Fork of Utah! 

What was fun about this year was the absolute challenging course as the mud slowed down both races and made the NXN into a good old cross country race, where strength and guts were a match for speed...

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Arcadia team photo from a few years back, courtesy of Nike PR

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