April 2013 Archives

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Will Leer, USA Indoor 2013, Mile, photo by PhotoRun.net

Here, for your geeking pleasure, are the major and not so major USA Weekend results from Carles Baronet, Track In Sun. We will be posting these, starting next week, on Wednesday for all past weekend results. 
Runblogrun.com has established an agreement with TrackInSun's Carles Baronet to provide us with weekly results from Europe, once a week. We hope that you enjoy this service and please send us a note and tell us what you think, at [email protected]

Emma Green, European Indoors 2013, 
photo by PhotoRun.net 

Jan Winschermann, Race Director, MetroGroup Dusseldorf

Jan Winschermann did this brief interview, but he got his point across: first, he wants to improve the quality of course records on MetroGroup Dusseldorf. Secondly, he will do that by increasing his committment to developing elite fields. Thirdly, he is not a happy camper when it comes to performances of German marathoners, so, he will be refocusing that energy to an international field. And fourthly, Mr. Winschermann wants to look outside Germany to bring in more marathoners, which he sees as a long term project. 

When the local elite marathoners do not do the job, race directors tend to look outside. In turn, they loose interest from local media. It is a tough call. If the studious race director can bring in foreign athletes who, a) speak English or local language and b) have a story, then interest can grow. It is a slippery slope. 
Our friends at Race News Service, a running news service based in Germany, provided us the break down on the Metro Group Dusseldorf Marathon: 

Djere Tulu, Men's winner, MetroGroup Dusseldorf Marathon
photo by PhotoRun.net 

Melkam Gizaw wins MetroGroup Dusseldorf Marathon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Dave Hunter's final piece on the 119th Penn Relay Carnival should put the historic meet in perspective for you, kind reader. In quoting Sebastian Coe, on his first visit to the Penn Relays, Lord Coe noted that one is taken at Franklin Field not only by the history of the meet, but the passion of the athletes and fans. 

Nick Willis, 2005 Penn Relays, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

This is a piece we thought that our readers on Runblogrun.com would find important. Thanks for listening...

In the hours after explosions rocked the Boston Marathon runners began reaching out and reacting. CNN's Emma Lacey-Bordeaux reports on the resiliency and determination of this community.

Payton Jordan, Men's 10,000m start, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

There is something about distance running and Stanford University. The distance carnival dates back to the late 1970s (I ran the 10,000m there in 1980) at Stanford. Over the past two decades, Stanford Cardinal Invite, in late March, and then, the Payton Jordan Invite, late April have become two events which the real track geeks from Northern California try not to miss. I have to admit, that the Payton Jordan is one of my favorite meets of the year. I missed this year, after two long weeks on the road. 

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Diego Estrada, Cam Levin, Chris Derrick, Payton Jordan 2012, 
photo by Don Gosney

Some interesting races last night. Nice to see Ben True and Evan Jager, duking it out over the 5,000 meters. Ben St. Lawrence, from Australia sets a world leader in the 10,000 meters. Jordan Hasay breaks her own pr by 39 seconds and sets an Oregon school record in the 10,000 meters. Betsy Saina came back from last year and won the 10,000 meters.

Kim Conley showed her guts with a tough and exciting win over 5,000 meters. Anyone who thinks Kim is not serious about the 12 and one half lap race, well, they are mistaken. 

And Trenier Clement Moser, running 4:06.40 for a stadium and meet record, put herself numero three on the world list last night at 1,500 meters!  

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Ben True, 2012 Olympic Trials, 10,000m, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Also great to see our friend, Chris Solinsky, who has learnt from the miles of trials and trials of miles as the character Quentin Cassidy (Once a Runner, by John Parker, read it, buy it, procure it, a must read) would note. 

Ben St. Lawrence, 2011 Payton Jordan, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Emma Coburn broke the stadium record and ran a world leader in the steeplechase, one of my favorite events. Coburn is a sublime hurdler, and has the ability to challenge not only the AR, but down the road, a global medal. She is that good!

Emma Coburn, 2012 Olympic Trials, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

There is something about the 10,000 meters at Payton Jordan that is special as well. I was there when Meb Keflezighi broke the AR of one Mark Nenow. Then, there was Chris Solinsky's AR of 26:59 run there in 2010 (I missed). Last year was a year of depth and sub 27:30 could put you tenth! 

This year, Ben St. Lawrence put it all on the table to win the 10,000m at the end of the race, to the appreciative crowd, who knows distance running, loves distance running and who come to this hallowed track twice a year, as perhaps the meet they will not miss. 

Cloudless evening in Palo Alto, 2011, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The cool, cloudless nights at Payton Jordan, the amazing crowd, and six months of training are all key to the success of the event. And then, as if the gods of distance running are smiling, the winds die down, and the races begin...

I will be back next year. 

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Reese Hoffa, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Reese Hoffa threw the world's lead, of 21.71 meters at the Drake Relays. Nick Willis won the mile at Drake as well. Nice to see two strong TV broadcasts this weekend, one on Drake and one on Penn! 
The Decathlon at the Drake Relays: 
Jake Arnold, 
photo by John Barnhart, ASICS America

The decathon was officially recognized in 1912 at the Stockholm Olympics. Now, in it's 101rst year, one of the most historic decathlons is at the Drake Relays, now in its 104th year. 

John Barnhart, a photographer for ASICS America, sent us a fascinating series of photos of the Drake Relays. Here is the first photo gallery, featuring the two days of the decathlon. We hope that you enjoy them. Jake Arnold finished second in the decathlon. 
Penn Relays, starter, 
courtesy of PhotoRun.net (circa Penn 2005)

This is Elliott Denman's coverage of the Penn Relays Saturday edition and why he so happy with Manteo Mitchell's healed fibula! 
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Jenny Simpson, 2012 Trials, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Jennie Simpson has shown that she is in real shape for 2013: a 4:03.35 win, by 40 meters, and in Des Moines, Iowa the end of April, does not lie. Yarislay Silva of Cuba has jumped 4.85m outdoors, making her the fifth best women vaulter ever. 

And to top it all off, Andrew Riley defeats Aries Merritt and wins $25,000 for first prize! And yes, thanks to Hy-Vee Supermarkets, the increased level of support for Drake made this an incredible event in Des Moines, Iowa. And Hy-Vee will be supporting Drake for the next four years! 

Here is a piece from the IAAF, by AT&F's James Dunaway! 

Penn Relays, (circa 2005), photo by PhotoRun.net

Here is Dave Hunter's piece on the Penn Relays on Friday, April 26, 2013. We think that you will like it! 

Meseret Defar, Roma 2012 Golden Gala, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Aries Merritt, April 9, 2013, A Day in the Life, 
photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images, IAAF

The Diamond League is less than three weeks from its start. Aries Merritt and Meseret Defar will be running in Shanghai. Yohan Blake, nursing a small injury, will not race until the Jamaican Championships. Sally Pearson, 2012 Olympic gold medalist at 100 meter hurdles, has resumed training....
Penn Relays, 2004, 4 x 400 meters, 
photo by PhotoRun.net 

So, our fearless correspondent, Elliott Denman has a dream, what if the NCAA allowed a relay championships? Sounds cool, doesn't it? 

April Steiner, Drake Relays Mall Vault, 
photo by John Barnhart, ASICS America

The HyVee sponsorship in the Drake Relays is one of the most important stores in sports marketing in track & field in 2013. It is also, one of the most under written and sourced. 

The Drake Relays Mall Pole vault features strong field on both the men's and women's sides. Bjorn Otto defeated Renaud Lavillenie in the mall vault, that was a result read around the world. 

Great performances to come on Friday night and especially on Saturday, April 27! 
Yuliva Zaripova, 2012 London, 
photo by Photorun.net 

Yuliya Zaripova is the European Champion, World Champion and Olympic champion in the steeplechase. Watching Zaripova run from the front in London did not allow the crowd of 80,000 to realize just how brilliant this women is over the women's steeplechase. 

Less than a week later, on August 17, 2012, I remember watching Zaripova run at the DN Galan games in Stockholm. Zaripova is a very good hurdler, and couple that with her very strong running between the barriers, and you have a distance runner who, in virtually any race that she runs, Yuliya Zaripova is capable of challenging the world record. Her 9:05.02, run solo, was the fastest time in the world for 2012, in fact, it was the fastest time in the world since 2008. 

This summer, Yuliva Zaripova will run for gold medals in both the World Championships and World University Games, both being held in her beloved Moscow. Zaripova, even at 90 percent, is capable of defeating any other runner in the world over this distance. 

Just how good is Yuliva Zaripova? I believe Yuliya Zaripova is to the women's steeplechase what Sergei Bubka is to the men's pole vault. Zaripova is that once in a generation athletic genius who could put the world record below 8 minutes, 55 seconds. 

Duncan Koech, Dusseldorf Airport, 
photo courtesy of Victah Sailer/PhotoRun.net

The METRO GROUP Marathon Dusseldorf will be held on Sunday, 28 April, 2013, in Dusseldorf, Germany. Here is the view from Race News Service, on how the race looks upfront! 

Dave Hunter wrote the following piece about the Thursday night Distance carnival at Penn. It is one of those nights that only the true distance geeks show up, in their winter coats with a cold one in a paper bag, or so, I have been told. 

Mr. Hunter captured the beauty of the night and the unique nature of the Penn Relays distance championships. 

10,000m (this one from 2010 Payton Jordan), 
photo by PhotoRun.net 
Dan Pfaff, World Champs 2011, 
photo by Photorun.net 

Dan Pfaff is one of the most knowledgable coaches in the sport of global athletics. After a three year stint in the UK, Dan is (thankfully) back in the US of A and is now head coach at the World Athletics Center. 

Pfaff has coached many of the great jumpers of the modern era: Steve Hooker, Brad Walker, Greg Rutherforld and recently, Holly Bleasdale. And don't forget, the Dan was the coach of 1996 Olympic gold medalist at the 100 meters, Donovan Bailey of Canada! 

In speaking to Olympic gold medalist and long jumper Greg Rutherford last fall, Rutherford had high praise for his coach. " Dan helped me change my approach to the long jump and my approach to the sport."

Pfaff has taken the knowledge and experiences that he has had in a 39 year career in coaching athletics to the World Athletics Center. The World Athletics Center, has been developed by Olympic medalist and World Champ John Godina, as a year round training center for athletes from around the world. 

Naming Dan Pfaff as Head coach at the World Jumps  Center and Human Performance Director at the World Athletics Center shows just how serious Mr. Godina is in developing his training center. 
New Balance put their money where their feet are, and donated one million dollars to the One Fund Boston. This is an example of how members of the industry have reached to the city of Boston in their time of need. It should not be surprising to anyone that companies who make their living in running have been among the first to put together programs to raise money for the victims and families of those injured or murdered in the Boston bombing. 
Ezekiel Kemboi, 2011 Nike Pre Classic, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The steeplechase is one of the most challenging events in the middle distances. The successful steepler, or so it was thought, was a strong middle distance runner who could hurdle. Former Washington State coach, John Chaplin was fond of saying that one should take your 1:48 class 800 meter runner and put them in the steeple. In Kenya, they put some of their best middle distance runners into the steeple, and while their hurdling may be wanting, their running BETWEEN the hurdles made it tough on their competition. 

In 1968, Amos Biwott changed the steeplechase for good. Having been told that there might be crocodiles in the water pit, Biwott was ungainly over the barriers, but he used his speed to wear down the world record holder at the time (Kerry O'Brien of Australia) and the great George Young of the U.S. After that, the Kenyan dynasty in the steeplechase really began. With the exception of the 1976 Olympic Games, and 1980, one has see 1984 and since as the time the steeple has been owned by Kenya. 

Ezekiel Kemboi, the clown prince of the steeple, was the 2012 Olympic champion. Kemboi leads a stellar field in Eugene on June 1. Kemboi is an animal. He hurdles and races and stays out of trouble. Just how fast will they go? That is anyone's guess. Now that we have two very strong steeplers, in Evan Jager and Don Cabral, it will be fun to see how fast these two gentleman can run! 
Merritt, Parchment, Richardson, 2012 London Olympic Games, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Otto, Lavillenie, Hozldeppe, 2012 London Olympics, Pole Vault, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Jenn Suhr, 2012 AVIVA Birmingham Meeting, photo by PhotoRun.net

This coming weekend in the US is a huge weekend of track & field. Track fans will be able to see both the Drake Relays and Penn Relays on TV this weekend as well. In Drake, the Hy-Vee Supermarket chain is in their first of five years, bringing 18 London Olympic medalists to Des Moines, Iowa.

The Penn Relays, sponsored by Nike, and USATF, has some amazing relay teams this year. RBR is putting Penn on the schedule for 2014. 

We applaud the companies such as adidas, Saucony, New Balance and many others who are putting money where their proverbial feet are. This #BostonStrong program is a wonderful example of how the industry is coming together to support the victims and families of the Boston Marathon carnage. 

My suggestion: order a medallion, and order a shirt, then go out for a run, or  a walk, and consider the four people who were killed in the Boston Marathon,  including the MIT police officer, and the 181 injured. Their days started out like normal on April 15, and ended in horror. Also consider the amazing medical staff, Boston volunteers, and law enforcement, who were able to save so many on the day that war was declared on being a runner. 

2012 U.S. Open, LoLo Jones, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

LoLo Jones, one of the most popular elite athletes of the modern social media age, has re-signed a sponsorship agreement with ASICS America, one of the premier performance running brands in the world. 

LoLo Jones came within one hurdle of winning the 2008 Beijing Olympics, fought back through injuries in 2009-2012, and finished in fourth place in the London 2012 Olympics. Her story, in the extremely competitive 100m hurdles, is even that more enduring with social media. 

With sponsors such as BP, Proctor & Gamble, Red Bull and ASICS America, LoLo Jones captured the hearts of many sports fans in America with her dead honest, many times quirky responses on social media. At times, Ms. Jones revealed heretofore intimate details of her life, such as her desire to stay a virgin until she was married. That honesty was welcomed by some and also made her the poster child for whack jobs who wrote about, and in intimate detail, how they could help her, with what, in modern day, may be considered unusual: announcing one's virginity in a world obsessed with sexual innuendo. Truth is, LoLo Jones may be too truthful for her own good.

LoLo Jones has made a splash, not only with her athletics but with her photogenic qualities as seen on the covers of Outside magazine, Runners' World magazine and SPIKES magazine. I did not understand the level with which some athletes and managers looked at LoLo's success until I was accosted by several managers over the summer of 2011. 

Face it. LoLo Jones is a tremendously gifted athlete who rose above a young life that can be seen as colorful at best and tragic at worst. Having myself spent a couple hours asking Ms. Jones what most of her fans would over two hours, I found a very complicated women, who is at one time savvy, and at another, concerned with who does or does not like her. 

But, the issues that challenge LoLo Jones personally, giving her the American patina of smart, talented women overcoming a rough beginning, has also challenged her elite development. Athletes are supposed to be selfish, in fact, in training, they must be to survive. LoLo seems to thrive on the publicity, and the travel can be hard, but she thrives on much of the elite track & field circuit: fly, train, sleep, race, repeat. 

Jones recently signed with Paul Doyle, of Doyle Management, a well-respected sports management firm (Ashton Eaton, Bryan Clay, Trey Hardee, Adam Nelson, Janay DeLoach), after having spent much of her career with Robert Wagner, a Swiss athletics manager, who, for many years, put Jones into some of the best fields in Europe. Having a veteran, smart manager in elite track and field is a key to, first, survival and second, growth and sponsorship. 

As any agent would tell you, reputation of said agent and athelte may get the athlete in the field, but the athlete would then, have to perform. Jones is a draw, but there are performances that are both good, and yes, not up to her standard. Her mercurial racing is also a key to why she does well when stakes are most high. 

LoLo Jones' athleticism is without a doubt. Moving to the bobsled over the past year, LoLo Jones looks like a very good possibility to do well in the Winter Olympics as well. LoLo Jones, like all great athletes, has the desire, the need and the ability to make a third Olympic team. Jones's key is focus, focus, focus. 

For a brand like ASICS America, LoLo Jones is a perfect brand spokesperson. Ms. Jones gets social media, is fantastic on TV, revealing just enough to get the interviewer entranced, and keeping the sports media monster, a 24 hour/ hundred outlet world, that needs information constantly. 

ASICS America, has seen the benefits of LoLo Jones in the past. With some luck, they could finally have a WC outdoor or Olympic medalist. It would be a story book ending to a sports career that is enduringly American.

2013 will be an interesting year for LoLo Jones. Her bobsledding again showed her athelticism. For LoLo Jones to make the U.S. hurdle squad, the toughest in the world to make, period, no discussion, LoLo will have to be on her A game. She did so in 2012, and just missed a medal in London. It will be fascinating to see how LoLo Jones does in 2013.

And her sponsors, such as ASICS America, should be smiling the entire way.

Early season in Kenya sees runners of all talents and distance pedigrees beginning their racing season. Here is how Justin Lagat, our correspondent in Kenya relates one of the meets...

Kogo, Gebremariam, Desisa, 2013 B.A.A. Boston, 
photo by Photorun.net

In his first marathon, Micah Kogo takes second in the 2013 B.A.A. Boston Marathon, much to the surprise of many in the US and Kenya. Here is how Justin Lagat, our correspondent in Kenya, sees how Micah Kogo looks now and could be a contender in the future....

Natalya Antyuhk, London 2012, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The Nike Prefontaine Classic is now seven weeks away and the fields continue to get more exciting. In the women's 400 meter hurdles, for example, all three medalists from London and 
the number one in the event as well.

The beauty of the Prefontaine Classic is that, one field after another, gives the fan great competitions to watch and talk about later. Our sport is all about the competition, and I think close races outweigh fast races. Give me a close race everytime.  The thing is, when you have fast, or high, or WL and competitive, it does not get any better than that. 

Traveling back from London today. A great weekend coming up with Drake and Penn Relays! 

Three years ago, in Eugene, Oregon, Mo Farah won a tremendous 10,000 meters that was high on pressure, and challenging tactics. Later that year, Mo Farah took the silver in Daegu, Korea in the WC 10,000 meters and won the gold at 5,000 meters in a race that was more technically sophisticated. 

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Mo Farah, Nike Pre Classic 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

In London, under intense pressure, Mo Farah won two gold medals, in the 10,000 meters and again, in a scarily tough 5,000 meters, where his challengers literally lined up behind him, as Mo Farah took the field through a sub four minute last mile and a final 400 meters in the 52 second range. 

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Mo Farah, London 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net

The 5,000 meters in London was 12 and one half laps where one could make a mistake. That the field allowed Mo Farah to just dawdle and let the pace slow down to 1972 levels meant several things: one, the field had no clue how fast Mo Farah could close, two, they had no clue about how past Champions had won, and three, perhaps they had no plans. It was obvious that Mo Farah did, as he wound up the pace and with three increasingly faster laps, just took the kick of men like Dejan Gebremeskel. A final, last 400 meters put the icing on the cake, so to speak, and Mo Farah won the London 5,000 meters. 

Lauded for his tactics and his coach, Alberto Salazar's attention to detail, why would anyone be surprised that Mo ran the first half of the 2013 Virgin London Marathon? 

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Tsegaye Kebede, 2013 Virgin London Marathon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net 

At the final press conference of the Virgin London Marathon, held on the morning after the race, a very stiff walking Tsegaye Kebede tentatively went up the stairs to the press seats. He was, admittedly, very, very sore. Tsegaye told us that he finally was confident of winning right after 41 kilometers, just before he passed Mutai. 

The marathon, if run properly, can do much damage to the body. Most of the physical damage clears up in a few weeks, but the damage psychologically can be immense. Running fast for 26.2 miles is something only a few humans can do. 

Mo Farah was part of the highlight of this final press conference. Mo told us that the managing of his drinks, taking time with the press, are all areas that he needed to see before next year. 

Next year, Mo Farah will be running 26.2 miles on the Virgin Money London Marathon. Virgin London becomes Virgin Money London in 2014, the year that Mo Farah will run the full marathon, running just as he does in the 10,000 meters: to win. 
This is the second piece by David Hunter, one of our top commentators, on day two the 2013 Jesse Owens Track Classic....
The midwestern region of the U.S. can give you rain, wind, sleet and snow, and this is in April. Running track and field outside in ever changing weather conditions is one of the challenges of meets in March, April and yes, even early May in the midwest. 

David Hunter, our roving correspondent of all things track and field, wrote two pieces on the Jesse Owens Track Classic, one of the nations' newer, but still, venerable meets. 

Chris Fallon-1.JPG                             Chris Fallon, photo from Ohio State University
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Carmelita Jeter, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Carmelita Jeter's primal scream in London was, well iconic. Destroying a record from the early 1980s was past being cool, it was, well, one of my favorite moments in London. Carmelita ran a fast relay at Mt. SAC, but had a cramp in the 100 meters. She is fine, per her twitter feed. And that, is a great thing. 

Le victoire, Tsegaye Kebede wins 2013 Virgin London! 
photo by PhotoRun.net

One could not have written a more exciting script for a marathon finish. Emmanuel Mutai has 38 second lead at 35km, and then 33 seconds at 40 km, and yet, Tsegaye Kebede won by twenty-nine seconds! 

This is how the race was won! 

Priscah Jeptoo, 2013 Virgin London Marathon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Priscah Jeptoo has spent the time since last August considering her run in the London Olympics, where she was second. Today, she improved on that performance with a gutty, bone churning run over the last eight miles, in a duel with Edna Kiplagat. Running alone from 22 miles, with a beautiful run for home, with a run in 2:20:15, just a second off her personal best. Here is how the race was won: 

The Big Meet, now in it's 119th year, is a classic track & field duel between Stanford University and University of California-Berkeley. Cal and Stanford duel have many who savor the event. I have fond memories of watching the meet and enjoying when it came down to the 4 x 400m, a proper ending to a fine meet. 

Thanks to Stanford's David Kiefer, one of the hardest working in the world of SID associates. If others want to send us info on track and field for runblogrun.com, send to [email protected]


Ashton Eaton, Brianne Theisen, and coach Harry Marra, April 11, 2013, A Day in the Life, photos by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/IAAF

Think Ashton and Brianne are rounding into shape? Ashton ran a 200m pb at Mt.SAC on Friday in 20.76. Brianne ran 13.13 for the 100 m hurdles. Will Leer fan a fifteen second PB with his 13:21, for his 5,000 m pb! 
Defar vs Cheruiyot, Doha 2012 DL, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

This is what the Diamond League is all about-competition! The Diamond League starts May 11 and Runblogrun will be there for you! Watch for our coverage during the Virgin London marathon! 
Here are results from Carles Baronet from last weekend, April 11-14, 2013.....
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Luzhikhi Stadium,Moscow,Russia, photo courtesy of IAAF

It is nearly five am in London, England, on Saturday morning. My son, Adam,  sent me a video from the Boston Red Sox game where it was announced, that justice had been served. The crowd erupted in huge applause, and I sat in my room, with tears in my eyes. 

adidas has introduced a t-shirt about helping Boston. Now sold in the US, the response has been so high, it will soon be sold in Europe.  But, in truth, until that little girl who lost one of her legs forgets about her brother, who was robbed from her, the adidas Boston shirt should be sold around the world to remind everyone that evil never sleeps.

I understand people's needs to have independence. I also understand that my countries' independence was hard fought, and was an ugly, brutal war, soldier by soldier, house by house, until the new country called the US was independent. In my history, it is hard to process an eight year old's death, the maiming of his sister, and the horrific wounding of their mother, minutes after hugging their father at the iconic Boston marathon finish line. The image of a baseball hat-wearing evil doer, in pictures in newspapers across the world, makes the moment even more horrifically surreal. 

I am certain that the bombings in Boston will bring attention to the civil war in Chechnya within our country. The two brothers' desire to affect the U.S. may have come to fruition, but not in the way that they hoped. By bombing runners in the iconic city of Boston, these young men were foolish, to say the least. Americans first, Bostonians second, may seem polarizing in many cases, but we are all Bostonians now, we are all Americans now, and running is now an act of defiance against people who despise our way of life.

One more thing, fundamentalism is out of season. Get that right. No matter the color, or the accent, we are Americans. We are Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, agnostics, pagans and yes, atheists.  Our founding fathers established a country that allowed us freedom from religion, not freedom of religion. Our founding fathers believed that religion and government were separate entities. It is difficult to fathom sometimes, but it is part of a society that has created great thought, great science, great technology. 

The man who convinced me to triple major in college was a man born in Pakistan, who first taught me about Islam, a religion founded in the same place as Judaism and Christianity. Most Muslims who have come to this country, from Eritrea, Russia, and other parts of the world, love America as much as we all do. The majority of them have no interest in harming our country and see the bombings in Boston with as much heartache as we do as a nation. 

These two brothers who lived in this country for a decade or more, are, as their grandfather described them, "losers".  My heartfelt prayer is that the nineteen-year old who was caught lives on to a ripe old age in one of our accomdating federal prisons. Only then, will he understand how wrong he was to bomb one of our finest sporting establishments.

People who do bad things to our country complete their evil actions in deceptive ways. 9/11 perpetrators hid their faith, and disliked, no, change that, hated, our open, secular society, that allows people of all faiths, or no faiths, who live in our country, as long as they respect others, to live their dreams. 

Today, and in the near future, we are all Bostonians. We are all Americans. We are all runners. 

Ich bin Bostonian.  

Ryan Whiting, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Ryan Whiting is opening up well at Kansas, as is Reese Hoffa. While I am in London, covering the marathon, my heart is in Boston. Please keep in your prayers the three dead, 180 plus injured, and now, the twenty-six year old, MIT policeman who was killed in the line of duty pursuing the evil doers who bombed the Boston Marathon. 

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Guy Morse, 

Guy Morse was the Executive Director of the Boston Marathon from 1986 until last year, 2012, when Tom Grilk took over those duties. In retirement, Guy continues to work for the marathon. 

He sent me this note on Wednesday. With his permission, it is reprinted here, as a way to encourage all about one of our sports' greatest icons, the B.A.A. Boston Marathon. 

Guy Morse, a great friend of the sport, wants the world to know about the good people of Boston, and team at the marathon, and the importance Boston Marathon in our sport.

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Priscah Jeptoo, RNR Lisbon 2012, 
photo by Photorun.net

Priscah  Cheptoo(Jeptoo), who has a pb of 2:20.14,wants to overcome her tactical error from London Olympics. This interview was done on 18 April by Andy Edwards of Trackwise/Globerunner.

Cheptoo says she's learned from Olympic tactical error and also that London offers chance to restore hope in wake of Boston tragedy.

After the twenty-three second introduction in Russian, NIck Davies, IAAF Deputy General Secretary/Communications Director, is interviewed in English regarding Russian chances in the 2013 World Championships. CHIK Radio (Moscow) is the media interviewing Nick Davies on why Russians should go to the World Champs. The 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow is the key championships for athletics in 2013. 

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Thompson, Bolt, LeMaitre, 2011 Golden Gala, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Usain Bolt will finally be running in the London DL, it has been confirmed. Watch for some huge fields in London. Just arrived from Washington D.C., so, Runblogrun, once I get a nap, should be producing several pieces on the London Marathon!

Kenenisa Bekele, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Kenenisa Bekele won the SPAR Great Ireland 10k on Sunday, April 14, 2013, in challenging conditions. We look forward to see how he returns to fitness this Spring. That will be key to his success this coming Summer. 

Patrick Makau, 2:03:38 WR, 2011 BMW Berlin, 
photo by Photorun.net

Andy Edwards for Virgin London Marathon, recorded the following interview of Patrick Makau, the current world record in the marathon. Patrick Makau is in great shape and believes that the world record is in danger once again. Patrick believes the world record can be broken on the Virgin London course. What do you think? Listen to the interview and tell us what you think, email us at [email protected]

I was posting stories on RunBlogRun.com on the elite races when we heard two definite explosions. Less than five minutes later, Marc Davis, manager of communications of the Boston Marathon, told the media in the Fairmont Copley that there was a Lockdown. Very quickly, we found photos and video posted of the carnage. 

Toni Reavis, who was one of the TV commentators for the marathon, was in the media center with us after the bombs went off. The following is his column, raw, profound and also with the pathos and knowledge that our sport has been irrevocably changed. 

There is not much more to say after what has been said below. Over past 24 hours, I have only seen the community come together in this tragedy. Walking around Copley Square today, one has to come to the realization of what is truly important. On Monday night, I was searching for that, and I saw Tom Grilk, the new Executive Director of Boston, with his children, in the Fairmont Copley. I could not wait to see my son and hug him. 


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This took too long to write, and in part it's because there really are no words to describe how we all feel right now.

On this surreal Tuesday, in the immediate wake of this incredible, tragic, senseless act of violence that took place quite literally at our doorstep, we are deeply saddened for the loss of life and the injuries sustained by the multitude of victims. We send our prayers, thoughts, and positive energy to all who have been affected by this act.

As a company at the epicenter of the running community in Boston, we feel it is our duty to respond. We will not respond with any commentary on those responsible for the attack; that would merely validate their actions. We will focus instead on the incredible sense of solidarity, of unity, and of love within the running community and Boston at large.

We are incredibly grateful that the members of our staff on site at the time of the attack are, miraculously, safe, and we are proud of the individual decisions our staff made in the face of inconceivable circumstances. And the outpouring of prayers, offers of help, and love from all corners of the running world is heartfelt and appreciated.

The decision to help one another through tragedy can be instinctive, and those very instincts are native to the running community, and part of what makes it such a special group of people in the first place. While running is very much an individual sport in many respects, we all strive to celebrate and triumph together, united by a common pursuit. Whether celebrating a first 5k, a PR, or a lifelong pursuit of crossing the finish line on Boylston Street, we all train, race, and celebrate together.

And because of this, we will persevere. As Bostonians - which we ALL are on Marathon Monday, native or not - we are strong, stubborn New Englanders to the core. As runners - we are unified through love for one another, love for our sport, love for the thrill of crossing finish lines, and for (sometimes) beating the clock.

Yesterday's events will cause us to cherish those triumphs all the more, in honor of those who no longer can. Know this: Boston will not stop running. We will run again, and we owe it to those who can't.

#PrayForBoston and donate to the Red Cross

Marathon Sports


Mayor's Hotline - Call (617) 635-4500

Google Person Finder - http://google.org/personfinder/2013-boston-explosions/

American Red Cross "Safe And Well" -


If you have any information about this attack, please use the TIPS hotline - 1-800-494-TIPS


And we are imploring all those who have the means to donate to the American Red Cross. Give money, or wait a week and give blood, it all helps.

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Lelisa Desisa, 2013 BAA Boston Marathon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

It is just twenty-four hours since the acts of evil in Boston, and the two biggest changes in Boston was the absolute increased positioning of the Boston Police Department across the city and the number of media outlets that showed up in the Boston Commons area. 

Police and Federal security were everywhere. What has to be noted, was how kind most people were in the face of such depravity. Today, as I was trying to get to my hotel, there was a young man on his bike taking coffees to police offers who had, at the word of Police Commissioner Davis, cordoned off twelve blocks around Copley Square. Going around Boston today, one could see the increased Police presence everywhere. 

The most recent numbers were three dead and over 180 injured. What has not been said is that, if the bombings had gone off earlier, the carnage would have be increased. Medical personnel were everywhere and the Boston marathon team reacted quickly. 

One of our writers, the ubiquitous Gary Morgan was stopped at 25.7 miles and directed off the course, after the second bomb. 

In fact, nearly 22,000 finished, and 4400 were diverted off the course after 40k. 1400 runners did not make it to 40 kilometers. (We will provide exact numbers once they are provided). 

Please keep the dead and injured, their families and friends in your thoughts and prayers. 
SKINS Compression has relocated to Encitas, CA for their new North American HQ. SKINS is one of the top brands in compression and recovery clothing...
It was about 2:50 PM today, give or take a minute, that our sport was brutalized. Two explosions, which were clearly heard by my ears, from the Fairmont Copley, changed our sport. The first bomb went off in front of Marathon sports store, about twenty meters in front of the Boston finish line. The second went off in front of Lord & Taylor about 300 meters up the road. 
There was chaos.

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Rita Jeptoo, photo by PhotoRun.net

It is now 8:15 PM. Two are dead, including an eight year old child. Ninety-eight injured. Up to six devices, if you believe news reports, which are similar to putting a string between two cans in this modern age, have been found. Tensions are high. We have been in lockdown for nearly five hours and my hotel is probably a crime scene, hence, off limits. We shall see.

The act of terrorism is a conscious act to disrupt modern life and destroy healthy communities who do something offensive to the terrorist: It can a society that is too secular, too healthy, respects women's ability to live a modern life. 
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Lelisa Desisa, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Today, someone picked the most iconic race in the world, the Boston Marathon, on the most American of days, Patriots Day, to attempt to destroy a day that has been celebrated for 117 years. 

For the evil to succeed, all we need to do is stay away next year....

For them to succeed, all we need to do is stay away next year....
Lelisa Desisa, 2013 B.A.A. Boston Marathon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

In a race that was more of a fartlek workout than a race, it came down to three: Lelisa Desisa, Micah Kogo and Gebre Gebremariam. Dave Hunter wrote this piece about the dramatic finish in the mens' race...

Rita Jeptoo, who last won the race in 2006, has had a magnificent last ten months. After having a baby, then coming back slowly, Rita Jeptoo took the bronze medal in London 2012. In October of 2012, Rita took second. And now, on a windy, beautiful day, in a very tactical race, Rita Jeptoo won the 2013 Boston Marathon. 

Rita Jeptoo wins her second Boston Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, A day in the life, April 13, 2013, Nike campus, 
photo by Adam Johnson Eder/Shot Addicts LLC/IAAF

This is the results from April 4-6, 2013, from Carles Baronet, Track In Sun. This will be a new feature from Runblogrun.com
A Day in the Life of Aries Merritt,by Doug Pensinger/GettyImages/IAAF

Kirani James versus LaShawn Merritt,2011 Zurich DL, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

A busy weekend of track and field! Monday will have the BAA Boston Marathon and next Sunday, we have the Virgin London Marathon. Kirani James opened his 2013 season with a 44.72 for the 400 meters and LaShawn Merritt ran 20.34 for the 200 meters. Darvis Doc Patton ran 10.09 to win his 100 meters and Aries Merritt, our Day in Life feature, ran his first outdoor race in Fayetteville, Arkansas in a time of 13.21. 

Mary Nicole Nazzaro has written three stories for RunBlogRun's coverage for Boston in the last 24 hours. This is her third, on the U.S. women running the 2013 Boston Marathon this coming Monday, April 15, 2013. It may be her best, after writing on Jacqueline Hansen, 1973 Boston winner and Jason Hartman, 2012 Boston fourth placer...

Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce, Serena Burla, Alissa McKaig and Joan Benoit Samuelson, the 1983 Boston champ and first woman to win the Olympic marathon for women, in 1984. 

I would not be surprised to see four to five US women in the overall top ten, they are that good. Shalane Flanagan's recent 31:04.5 for 10,000 meters shows she is ready ( I pick her for top three), and Kara Goucher ran a conservative 31:46.5. I find Kara is one who races way above her current shape, so I am picking her for top five. Burla, Rothstein-Bruce are on rolls right now and McKaig is fit. 

See you all in Boston tomorrow. I am heading to my red eye from Portland to SFO to Boston. More on that tomorrow....

Shalane Flanagan, 2012 London Olympic Games, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Kara Goucher, 2012 London Olympic Games, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Today, April 13, 2013,  is the tenth anniversary of Paula Radcliffe's Beamonesque moment, when she ran 2:15.25 for the women's marathon. We have been fortunate to have a note from David Monte, editor of Race Results Weekly, and his unique column on Paula Radcliffe, as RRW was the only US media covering the event live from London....

Radcliffe_PaulaFV1-London03.jpgPaula Radcliffe for the World Record at 2003 London Marathon
Photo by PhotoRun.net

Wilson Kipsang Training Group, February 2012, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Justin Lagat wrote this piece about trying to find a track during the rainy season in Kenya. As athletes of all levels train on the few tracks, he was not surprised to see David Rudisha on his day of intervals....

Jason Hartman is now the top rated American male marathoner entered in the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, 2013. Jason finished fourth last year in a very hot Boston Marathon. We have followed Jason from his junior year in high school on, as he would run well in FootLocker with his friend, Dathan Ritzenhein. 

We asked Mary Nicole Nazzaro, a long time contributor to American Track & Field, follow up with Jason before the Boston Marathon. Here is her piece.....

Josh Hartman, photo by PhotoRun.net 

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The picture above shows two of the most important women in the sport of running. To the left, Joan Benoit Samuelson, 1983 Boston champ and 1984 Olympic gold medalist. To the right, Jacqueline Hansen, 1973 Boston champ, former world record holder in marathon, and a major reason why the women's Olympic marathon is part of the Olympics. 

Jacqueline's spirit is infectious. She has a wonderful sense of humor, and her determination is unceasing. 

The article below is written by a long time contributor to American Track & Field, Mary Nicole Nazzaro. Watch for two more of M. Nicole this weekend. 

Ryan Hall may be the most talented marathoner ever seen in the U.S. Since his venture onto the roads in 2006, Ryan Hall has had great races and some not so great. In 2012, we saw moments of brilliance stopped by moments of injuries. Ryan Hall's most telling comments in this interview regards what would happen if he could train healthy for a year. 

In his senior year, Ian Dobson and Ryan, team mates at Stanford, went 1-2 in the 5,000m in the NCAA. At the US champs, Ryan Hall ran 13:16, and ASICS picked him up as a pro runner in the summer of 2006. 

Ryan Hall created much controversy in 2010, when he parted with the Mammoth TC and noted that God was his coach. In 2012, Ryan added Renota Canova to his coaching team. 

Ryan Hall and his wife Sara Hall, a top U.S. middle distance runner, spend much of their time and money working with charities and important causes. They lead by example. 

We gave Ryan Hall the following seventeen questions, and he answered them in depth and with honesty. We wish Ryan Hall gets healthy for a few years so he can show just how amazing of a runner he can be....

Ryan Hall, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, photo by PhotoRun.net
Blanka Vlasic, Rome Golden Gala 2011, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Blanka Vlasic will be competing at the adidas Grand Prix on May 25, 2013. Vlasic sees her recovering coming along well enough to begin jumping outdoors. We look forward to seeing her jumping once again.

USATF CEO Max Segal announced today, on the steps of the Oregon state capital, that the 2016 U.S.Olympic Trials will be held in Eugene, Oregon, at Hayward Field, the home for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Trials. 

Runblogrun was fortunate to spend the day with Ashton Eaton, London gold medalist and WR in the decathlon, Brianne Theisen, Canada's number two heptathlete and Canadian record holder in the pentathlon. Harry Mara, their coach, was also present. Watching both Eaton and Theisen work out, on a sunny day in Eugene, Oregon was really a treat. We interviewed both
today, and will post some of those interviews shortly. 
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Yelana Isinbayeva, photo by PhotoRun.net

In the sport of athletics, the closest we have to a diva is Yelena Isinbayeva. If you think, for one moment, she took Jenn Suhr's gold medal in London in stride, then I have swamp land for you in Florida that can be developed.

Isinbayeva is one of the most talented athletes in our sport. She has been amazingly dominating for a decade. But, she is coming now to a point where, if Jenn Suhr can stay healthy, and Yelena can be healthy, the Moscow 2013 World Champs can be truly a battle. And never, ever forget about Silva or Bleasdale for that matter. 

Yelena Isinbayeva will open in Shanghai. Let's see which version of Yelena Isinbayeva shows up there, and for that matter, who shows up in Moscow from August 10-18, 2013. The women's pole vault could be a great competition! 

Andreas Behm and Aries Merritt, photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/IAAF

I spent the last two days with Aries Merritt and coach, Andreas Behm. Fascinating team and watch for series of articles and tremendous photos on what makes Aries Merritt tick and the huge risk they took last year to learn the seven steps technique. 
Shalane Flanagan, DN Galan, 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net

On Friday night, April 1, Shalane Flanagan ran a world leading 10,000 meters, with Kara Goucher and Jordan Hasay running strong races at the Stanford Invitational. The Stanford Invitational has created, for the past fifteen years, its position as the place to be to run a great distance race in early April. 

Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher are running the Boston Marathon on April 15. Jordan Hasay wanted to debut at the 10,000 meter distance. All three succeeded....

We asked Kevin Mangan, our new intern for Runblogrun and the RunningNetwork, to give us his view of the 10,000 meters women's race. Kevin runs at the University of Washington (Seattle), and recently wrote a piece for us on Brooks PR Mile. We think you will like Kevin's observations....
The Mezamashii Project, or Brilliant Run project is Mizuno's plan to develop a conversation with their consumers. I applaud the program. From checking out the videos and content, Mizuno fans are getting involved, sending pictures, writing haiku (Japanese poetry). Why are they doing this?

Media is changing daily. Most ad agencies are pushing their clients to embrace digital communications as that is the way of the social world. Facts are that social media has revolutionized communication between marketers and their potential consumers. But how to make it work?

We believe it is about creating an on going conversation. That is what Mizuno is doing with this project. 

Mizuno's Brilliant Run (Mezamashii) program has been in existence for just over a year. Mizuno seeded product, and developed a long term approach on developing a conversation with the consumer. They followed great product with a continuing level of communication, and sharing of assets. That is good. 

Several brands are doing this well. Some however, do not communicate with the consumer, they dictate to the consumer, when they can read the content, how they can read the content, when they can interact. 

Running consumers are highly intelligent. They want their content when they want it, how they want it and where they want it. As a media company, we deliver curated content twenty four hours a day, via digital, via web, via social media, via alternative print, via measured print. Cut any of those parts of the puzzle out, and brands loose the strength of their conversation. In this day and age, one must be on ipads, tablets, mobile devices, and yes, I know, how archaic, print. Your consumers are there, you create a vacuum when you discount one of those areas. 

Not only are you influencing the consumer, you are also, as a brand person in running, trying to influence the 23 year old on the floor of a running store. Between sales, they are playing with their phone and reading the running magazines delivered to the store. It may not be sexy, but it is reality. In the end of the day, one sells running shoes. How does one build on the brand? How does one introduce the brand to running store staffers? One can not have tech reps everywhere. 

Conversation is a two way street. Brands have to listen. Right now, some brands, the successful ones, are listening. Many are not. "Brilliant Run" has created a strong level of interest from Mizuno's consumers. 

I applaud Mizuno's Mezamashii Project. The videos are well done, the content is giving consumers insights into Mizuno.It  is a good second step for Mizuno. The first step, like any running brand, is to create consistent, authentic performance running product. Without that, your marketing plan is pointless... 

College Station, Texas, photo by Shoe Addicts

We are spending a few days with Aries Merritt, the world record holder in the 110m hurdles, the London Olympic gold medalist and 2012 World Indoor Champion. He is coached by Andreas Behm and Vince Anderson, and trains at Texas A & M. 

Here is the first piece that we have done on Aries and the significance of his World Record. 

Moscow preparations are going very well, per the announcement today of President Lamine Diack of the IAAF. The World Championships in Moscow are August 10-18, 2013, and the stadium is on schedule for the stars of athletics to arrive. 

Kirani James and Renaud Lavillenie are competing in the Golden Spike event in Ostrava in June. Boston Marathon is April 15, 2013, and London Marathon is April 21, 2013, Runblogrun will be covering both events. 

Watch for a short piece on Aries Merritt later today from our Day in the Life series....

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Luzniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia, photo courtesy of IAAF 

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Gladys Cherono, 2013 Hervis Prague HM, 
photo courtesy of Hervis Prague HM

Gladys Cherono ran a swift 66:48 at the Hervis Prague Half Marathon on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Globerunner was able to interview Gladys Cherono just after her triumphant run! Click below to hear her interview! 

Andy Edwards, of TrackWise/Globerunner interviewed a very happy Gladys Cherono, after her surprise course record! Tell us what you think of the interview, by emailing us at [email protected].

Ezekial Kemboi, 2012 London, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ezekial Kemboi was the 2012 London Olympic steeplechase champion. Other stories about Kemboi came to light in the media over the fall. Justin Lagat provides another look inside the great steeplechaser, who works with a group of 40 athletes, and just last weekend covered their expenses to race in a Kenya Athletics event....
Jacob Kendagor wins Vattenfall Berlin Half, 
photo courtesy of SCC Events/Media4

The Vattenfall Berlin Half marathon is another example of the strength of road running in Europe in general and in Germany, in particular. Jacob Kendagor and Helah Kiprop lead 31,194 runners through the historic course. 

Gladys Cherono sets CR of 66:48 at Hervis, 
photo courtesy of Hervis Prague Half Marathon 

Tadese has a race ! 2013 Hervis Prague Half Marathon, 
photo by Hervis Prague Half Marathon

The 2013 Hervis Prague Half Marathon had a record 12,500 runners braving the cold, as Zersany Tadese of Eritria won the mens race by a lean at the tape, in 60:10! In the women's race, Gladys Cherono flew around the course, running 66:48.  More details below! 
Kenenisa Bekele, 2011 Brussels, photo by PhotoRun.net

Last June, at the Nike Pre Classic, I was fortunate to have a few minutes with Kenenisa Bekele. He carefully explained to me that he was finally, after two tough years, getting back into what he considered racing shape. I asked him, with the plethora of races he was doing at the time (back to back 5,000m, a 3,000m, and then a 10,000m), if he was, in fact, racing himself into shape. He smiled and said, "Yes". Kenenisa Bekele was fourth in the 10,000m in London. And only Kenenisa Bekele knows, better than most, that just a percentage of lower fitness or more importantly, racing shape, could cost him a medal. 

Kenenisa Bekele, the world record holder at 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters, is regaining his fitness once again, and will start 2013 on April 14, when he runs the SPAR Great Ireland 10k. Bekele won the ran in 2012, running 27:49. We wish him much luck! 
The 2012 World Indoor Champion, the 2012 London Olympic champion and the current World Record holder in the 110 meter hurdles, Aries Merritt, will be racing in Des Moines, Iowa the last weekend of April 2013 at the 104th Drake Relays! 

Aries is just one of many top athletes who are competing in Des Moines in 2013. Hy-Vee Supermarkets has signed a long term deal with Drake Relays to up the ante in the venerable relay meet! At least sixteen London Olympic medalists will put it on the line for some serious paydays! Hy-Vee has invest ed $800,000 to $ 1 million a year in the Drake Relays. With paydays that reach $50,000 for first place in key events, Drake Relays may be the best pay day in North America! 


Aries Merritt showing his sartorial as well as hurdling skills, 
photo from Peter Baker Studios


Aries Merritt showing off his new Nike speed suit, 
photo courtesy of Peter Baker Studios


Aries Merritt in deep thought,
 "just how fast can I run the 110m hurdles?", 
photo by Peter Baker Studios 

A. Merritt announced for Drake Relays, by Alfons Juck, EME News

DES MOINES (USA): Olympian and Des Moines native Lolo Jones is set to join the field for the 2013 Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee, Drake Relays director Brian Brown announced.  Jones is one of more than 50 elite athletes that Brown has recently added to an already stellar field that now features 25 Olympic medalists from the 2012 Olympics set to compete in a series of London Rematch at Drake Stadium, April 25-28. Jeremy Wariner will compete on the Blue Oval as part of a 400-meter London Rematch field that already features Luguelin Santos, the silver medalist from the London games. Jones' inclusion in the women's 100-meter hurdle field gives the event an added boost as it already features the 2012 silver and bronze medalists in Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells, respectively. Virginia Crawford, Queen Harrison, Danielle Carruthers, Tiffany Porter and Kristi Castlin join that trio.  Highlighting additions to the men's events is a new London Games Rematch in the shot put. The incredibly deep and talented field currently features American bronze medalist Reese Hoffa, 2012 World Indoor Champion and Olympic finalist Ryan Whiting and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Christian Cantwell competing for the 25 000 USD purse in the event. Brown also announced exciting additions to other fields for the London Rematches, including filling out the women's 1500 m field with three 2012 Olympic finalists in Morgan Uceny, Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury. Adding to the excitement in the deep field will also be high school phenom Mary Cain.  New athletes in the men's hurdles strengthen an already stout field as four new competitors in Ryan Wilson, Andrew Riley, Antwon Hicks and Jeff Porter in the 110-meter hurdles join gold medalist/world record holder Aries Merritt, silver medalist Jason Richardson, bronze medalist Hansle Parchment and Olympic finalist Ryan Braithwaite.  Four of the top 30 ranked athletes from 2013 are also set to join the 400-meter hurdle London Rematch with Eric Alejandro, Justin Gaymon, Jamele Mason and Johnny Dutch set to race. They'll fill out a field that features another complete London Rematch between silver medalist Michael Tinsley and bronze medalist Javier Culson. The event web site informs.

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Zersaney Tadese and Shalane Flanagan, Lisbon 2012, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Zersenay Tadese has run 58:23 for the half marathon. Tomorrow, Saturday, April 6, Mr. Tadese will challenge his own best time in Prague at the Hervis Prague Half Marathon. You can watch the Half marathon live, watch for the link on the Runblogrun Facebook page! 

Wallace Spearmon, artwork created by the Shoe Addicts, 
photos from PhotoRun.net

 SPIKES magazine has done a recent UK issue, and their daily site is fantastic!  We just embedded the Russian version of the SPIKES magazine. There should be several more before the Moscow 2013 World Championships.

Here is the most recent Russian issue:

Ken Martin, one of the top US steeplechasers in the late seventies, early 1980s, moved to the marathon. By 1989, he had run a 2:09:38, and taken second in the NYC Marathon. Today, he is battling cancer and trying to find the link between cancer and exercise. You will be inspired by his bravery....
Valerie Adams, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Valerie Adams, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Valerie Adams, 
photo by PhotoRun.net


Valerie Adams, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Valerie Adams, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The Nike Prefontaine Classic is two days of track & field nirvana for track geeks in the land of track and field enchantment in the Northwest: Eugene, Oregon. The Pre Classic celebrates the life of the late Steve Prefontaine, the James Dean of athletics, who held ever AR from 2,000 meters to 10,000 meters. 

The meet has expanded to two days, with the free night of track and field on Friday, which last year honored the late Geoff Hollister, the second promo guy at Nike (Pre was the first). 

Nike puts a huge effort into this meet. For most of its first fifteen-twenty years, the Pre Classic was the only meet in North America that dared to compare itself to summer European meets. The Pre Classic lead by example, with great fields and three hours of top notch competition. It is, for this keen observer of the sport, the yearly litmus test on where track & field in particular, and running in general ranks with key players of  Nike, Inc.  There are many years when one can find the major power brokers within the Swoosh in attendance, as well as many of the top managers and agents. 

Geoff Hollister, Steve Prefontaine, circa 1974, 
photo courtesy of Nike Communications

In the 1995 meet, Frank Shorter showed up and told the assembled masses how Pre's death changed his view of life. There have been exciting moments in the positive sanctuary that is Hayward Field, and the majority of them have been about amazing depth of fields and great mano a mano and womeno a womeno competitions. 

In 2001, Alan Webb destroyed the high school boy's outdoor mile record, and was greeted by Hicham El Gerroujj at the finish line. In 2011, Mo Farah won his first foray into the 10,000 meters in a brilliant run. In 2012, Tirunesh Dibaba showed that, after two years of bad health, she was ready to defend her 10,000m title in London.  Those are a few of the many moments that make the Pre Classic so special. 

Mo Farah, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

This year is no exception. In the men's high jump, men's pole vault, the fields are impressive. Today, the Pre Classic announced that the TFN Women Athlete of the year, Valerie Adams, the first women shot putter in three decades to be athlete of the year, will be competing in Eugene. 

Valerie Adams, of New Zealand, has been the most dominant women thrower of the past half decade. From 2007, in Osaka, when she took the gold at the World Championships, through her fine performance in London 2012, where she ultimately received the gold in the shot put, Valerie Adams has shown her competitiveness, but also her sense of humor, her focus and her class as an athlete. 

Valerie Adams has provided Runblogrun.com with some fun interviews, and we look forward to seeing her go 22 meters in Eugene, Oregon! No Pressure, Valerie! 
I am not sure how to explain Calves McKenzie..... 

 The first time I saw Calves on a video, I was alarmingly fascinated and unnerved. Yet, like a crowd clapping at an older gentleman walking down a beach in Florida in a florescent yellow thong, I feel that Calves McKenzie will develop a huge following. 

 His second video is a Love Letter to LoLo Jones. Like the nearly half million folks who follow LoLo on twitter, Calves McKenzie is obsessed with Ms. Jones. This video reminds me of a 1970 Barry White video, with the exception of the choice of music...

The bubble bath, the line about Hands Across America, all add to the mystique. We promise to print the response from Ms. Jones, if any. 

Dante had his muse, her name was Beatrice. Calves McKenzie has his muse, and her name is LoLo Jones.....

We suggest that Ms. Jones realize that Calves McKenzie means no harm, and his love is real, well as real as Calves McKenzie and his charmed, warped little world...

A warning, this video will offend many, but should also make them smile....unless you do not possess a sense of humor, then you have much more difficult issues....
One of the most important stories post-London Olympics in the US has been the investment by Hy-Vee, a Midwest based super market chain, in the Drake Relays. With an estimated value of $800,000 to $1 million a year, for the next five years, Hy-Vee has put Drake Relays in a position to move the venerable relay meet into the big times. Yet, besides features by American Track & Field in October 2012, Track & Field News coverage, and re-posts on Runningnetwork.com sites, very little has been written about this new era of the Drake Relays.

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Drake Relays Weekend, 
courtesy of Drake Relays

At Runblogrun.com, we salute Hy-Vee for their support of the Drake Relays. In truth, it is a savvy move by a very keen marketer. Hy-Vee has made grass roots marketing moves in their local markets part of their business operations. Drake Relays is a healthy sporting event that is supported by families, men and women who are looking for healthy lives and who, Hy-Vee hopes, will shop in their supermarkets in their eight state market. Fact is, Drake Relays have been a sell out for the past thirty-five years. 

For the past several years, ASICS America has been presenting sponsor of the Drake Relays. With Hy-Vee's appearance, ASICS America has continued its commitment. Like their involvement in the ING NYCM, ASICS seems to see that a non running related investment in a sports marketing event is key for the sport to grow. We applaud ASICS on their support of the Drake Relays.

There are sixteen London Olympic medalists assembled so far for Drake Relays. The men's pole vault and the men's 110m hurdles should be two highlights with all three Olympic medalists in both events. If this does not inspire an entire generation of Midwestern track athletes, I do not know what will. 

The same weekend as Drake is the Penn Relays. Both events will be televised on the weekends of April 24-27. We encourage all track fans to watch both meets, which are litmus tests of how the sport has huge grass roots support, and the support of keen marketers. In the case of Drake, Hy-Vee and ASICS America have made the commitment, in the case of Penn Relays, it has been Nike and the huge support of local sponsors of the venerable event. 

The sport needs marketers to grow. Without robust media coverage, (digital, TV, social, print), our sport will not grow. If sports marketers do not see that coverage, that grass roots support of an event, they will not open their check books.

With the permission of American Track & Field magazine, we have reprinted the column by ATF long time senior editor Dick Patrick.  

David Hunter is on a roll. This piece on Chris Fallon of Ohio State, and the pursuit of the four minute mile, is a fun read. The four minute mile has become a litmus test to the growing strength of American distance running. Running four laps in 60 seconds a piece has been done by just over 396 Americans in the past fifty years. Sometime this spring, we will hit 400 Americans who have broke four minutes for the mile! 

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Chris Fallon, Big Ten Indoor Champs, 
photo courtesy of Ohio State website...

Carles Baronet launched an athletics newsletter a couple of years ago called Track in Sun. Based in Spain, Carles provides many track fans with results from around the world. We thank Carles for sending us this past weekends results, including the Texas Relays, Stanford Relays, North Carolina Relays and Bobcat Relays....

2011 AREVA Paris DL, photo by PhotoRun.net 
Ashton Eaton, Athletes Only Cover, July 2012, 
photos from PhotoRun.net
Design by Alex Larsen

Ashton Eaton has been training in Santa Barbara, CA and will be competing this coming weekend in Santa Barbara after throwing the shot put in the Stanford Invitational this past weekend. As Eaton prepares for Gotzis, he has already new pbs in the shot put and the javelin. More to come! 
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Asbel Kiprop, Silas Kiplagat, 2012 Doha SDL, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Justin Lagat wrote this column on March 16,  in anticipation of the first outdoor meeting of the season in Kenya. Lagat speaks for track fans everywhere, about the surprises that can come at major events, and one would expect some surprises with the early season meets in Kenya as the 2013 season begins...

Erik Sowinski, 2013 U.S.A. Indoor Champs, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Erik Sowinski showed up at Millrose, and few were considering him in the 600 meter race, which was considered the duel between Duane Solomon and Nick Symmonds. Erik came off the last turn in texbook form, not missing a beat or using any extra energy. Sowinski used the Eamon Coghlan rule: one move and make it big. Sowinski just flew by Duane Solomon and rushed to the finish, winning the Millrose Games and setting an AR.

We asked David Hunter to catch up with Erik. Coached by Joe Woody, a World Champ medalist at 400m hurdles and a gutty relay runner, Woody has used his experiences to become a fine middle distance coach. Erik Sowinski was a 1:54.2 kid as a senior in high school. As a senior in college, he ran 1:45.90. 

Working at Running Wild, and working out with Joe Woody, Erik Sowinski has miles to go before he sleeps, perhaps a few more 800 meter personal bests before he puts his spikes away. David Hunter gives us a view into this "overnight star". 

Jenn Suhr, photo by PhotoRun.net

Runblogrun.com asked Elliott Denman to speak with Adam Schmenk, the USATF Associate Director of Broadcasting on his thoughts on where TV and track and field were going. He had some good things and positive things to say about this indoor seasons' broadcasting. 

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