October 2013 Archives

What is your greatest fear?

Calves McKenzie has many fears, and you will see a few of them here. Calves McKenzie keeps an entire Medical Center busy with his fears, phobias and terrors.

Calves McKenzie is the demented brain-child of Mike Deering and his compatriots at the Shoe Addicts. 

When I saw this video, I had to watch it ten straight times. Watch it if you dare. 

This is the Halloween Special on Calves McKenzie, from the Shoe Addicts! 


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Firewot Dado won in 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net

For Marathons to be watched, the stories to be compelling. The 1978 New York City Marathon was very compelling, as Bill Rodgers chased down a huge lead by Kirk Pfeffer, and his passing of Pfeffer made for great television. Again, in 1983, Rod Dixon catching Geoff Smith at 26 miles into the race was a huge moment in running television. 

ESPN is using a multi channel approach to tell the stories of the Marathon. We have posted their plans below and hope it is as compelling as it is complicated. 

In the end, the 40,000 plus stories in a major city marathon can be told thoughtfully, from the front, from the middle and from the back. It requires a team with vision, understanding of the sport, and most importantly, and appreciation for why the sports fan would watch people running 26.2 miles. 

Geoffrey Mutai winning 2011 ING NYCM, can he win in 2013? 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Firewot Dado, she won in 2011, will she win in 2013? 
Photo by PhotoRun.net 

The 2013 ING New York City Marathon is less than 72 hours away and the races are very tight. Who can win? Who will win the World Marathon Majors? Who will win the battle for the streets of New York? 

Alfons Juck, of EME NEWS, gives you his best idea in the article below! 
We always like to see young, American athletes supported by sponsors, so we post this note from Derek Lactaoen, consumer marketing for Brooks Running, as he wrote on Ryan Vail being re-signed by Brooks Running. 

Good luck to Ryan, who recently won the RNR San Jose Half Marathon on October 6, 2013, as part of his build up! 

As we note almost daily, the shoe companies are still the largest supporters of elite athlete worldwide. We need to change that paradigm. Races like Chicago, New York, Houston, and clubs like Brooks Beasts, Nike OTC, Nike Oregon Project and Team Minnesota and the new Boston elite project are some of the paradigm changing ways that our athletes can be supported. 

Ryan Vail winning RNR San Jose, photo by PhotoRun.net 

The Three Bills: Bill Jakunis, Bill Welsh, Bill Rodgers, by Ralph Giordano

Staten Islanders were treated to an evening with Bill Rodgers last night, organized by Jeff Benjamin, a long time correspondent of American Track & Field and RunBlogRun.com. Here is his note on the photo, that arrived in my mailbox this morning. 
This track workout should not beat you up, but gives you some pace work to remind you of your upcoming race this weekend. 

Duane Solomon and Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net
Athens Classic Marathon, photo courtesy of Athens Classic Marathon

The Athens Classic Marathon should be on your bucket list. The historic city where the marathon started, AIMS is honoring the Male and Female athlete of the year for the Marathon distance. Great idea! 
PHOTO: The ceremonial painting of the blue and yellow lines at the finish of the ING New York City Marathon. New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg is fifth from the left; to her immediate left is Tom Grilk, executive director of the Boston Athletic Association (photo by Chris Lotsbom for Race Results Weekly)

As my favorite former felon, home-making goddess and entrepreneur extraordinaire, Martha Stewart has said, "This is a good thing." 

I was walking in Central Park, listening to Counting Crows on my Soul earphones and I looked to my right, and saw Valeria Straneo out running. Her distinctive clipped running style was visible. I was wondering, wow, this women is truly a glutton for punishment, what the heck? After her run in Moscow, in the sun, in hot and humid conditions, I figured that she would be thinking of anything but another 26.2 miles. 

Here is Chris Lotsbom of Race Results Weekly on this fantastic story from Moscow, now running the streets of New York City....

Valeria Straneo, Moscow 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net 
Sally Kipyego, Shalane Flanagan, May 2011, Payton Jordan Invite, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Sally Kipyego has had a tough year dealing with injuries. In this piece by RRW's Chris Lotsbom, Sally looks to the NYRR Dash to the Finish 5k on Saturday, November 2, 2013...
My sincere apologies to our friend and correspondent, Justin Lagat. Due to last few weeks travel, I was behind posting his columns. Here is the first of three over the next few days. We hope that you enjoy! This first piece is about the Ndalat cross country race. What I most enjoy about Justin's writing is that he brings you onto the course with him. Justin Lagat, is, as one of my writing heroes, Kenny Moore, once wrote, a keen observer first. 

 Men in front are Cyprian Kotut, Joseph Ebuya and Hillary Kemboi ( about 9km point), photo by Justin Lagat

Women in front: Winny Chepkorir and Coreti Chepkoech -1817 ( about 3km point), photo by Justin Lagat
The following letter is a unique one, in our eyes. The International Athletics Consultancy, in light of several recent positing doping cases in Kenya, wrote the following letter to their clients and ask media, among them, RunBlogRun.com to consider publishing it.

The letter is well written, cogent and to the point. In this day and age, when an athlete test positive in a training group, or from an manager, the scuttlebutt is such that all of the athletes in that group or from that manager can be tarnished. Such is the nature of drugs in our sport. 


We applaud IAC on this letter and others who follow. 
Drugs are killing sports. Some note that once money got into sports, it was downhill. I disagree. In a global culture that celebrates personality whether notorious or laudable, some people search out fame at any costs. Money is huge, as if ANYTHING provides an advantage when athletes line up, it can make a difference. 

I believe the fight is on many levels. I celebrate the focus of many federations now, including IOC and IAAF, and WADA and USADA. I believe however, that drug testing is not enough. There is such a thing as ethical behavior. There is honor is doing ones' best and finishing second, third, etc. 

Drugs have cast an odor on all athletic performances. It is unfortunate but true. Only with out of competition testing, draconian punishments and education on fair play, ethics and yes, what is right and wrong, can we hope to change sports culture as it is today. 

Cross country is the meeting of the middle distance and long distance runner. It is all about challenges. One race I had in high school, we dashed through hills for 2.8 miles and finished by running across a creek! I destroyed my brand new racing shoes. Parents were not happy. We were laughing afterwards. 

Thirty-eight years later, we still talk about that race.

What will your memories be? 

Duane Solomon, Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net
The 2000 and 2004 Olympic Trials were two of my favorite events, period. Great competitions, great fans, great venues, and terrific performances. 

2004 U.S. Olympic Trials for 10,000 meters, Men, Sacramento, CA, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The 1995 US Champs, also held in Sacramento, was a fantastic meet.

And now, Max Siegel, CEO of USA Track & Field announces that the 2014 USA Outdoor Championships are going to Sacramento, California. 

Well, I have just three words to communicate to Mr. Siegel:

Well done, Max.

Few other cities in the U.S., besides Eugene, can put together well-run, well- attended US championships. Sacramento is one of few. Perhaps it is because they realize that, no matter what the venue, one must convince even the most die-hard track fans that four to six days of track & field for a U.S. champs is a worthy vacation that summer. 

Asbel Kiprop, photo by PhotoRun.net

Mo Aman, photo by PhotoRun.net

Bohdan Bondarenko, photo by PhotoRun.net

Mo Farah, photo by PhotoRun.net 

Usain Bolt, photo by PhotoRun.net

David Hunter and I spoke early this afternoon. We were speaking about how much we enjoyed the World Champs in Moscow. If you look at David's picks for the Women Athlete of the Year, last week, and the Men's Athlete of the Year this week, the World Championships were the deciding factor in 2013. As they should be...
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MollyHuddle, Duane Solomon, photo by Saucony Racing

The eighteenth week of training. That shows some real commitment. As we get into the tough part of the season(now), stay focused, find times to rest and simplify your day. Read a bit, watch a movie, stay off the texting a bit, just give yourself time to think and breath. 
The leaves have changed color. There is some cold in the air when you run in the mornings. And in some regions, you have already had snow. It is time for cross country season to get really serious, like conference and league meets, sectionals, state and NCAAs. 

Stay focused, this is the time that challenges you, but stay on task. 


Vincent Kipruto and Caroline Kilel lead 15,000 marathoners around the streets of Frankfurt. Add in marathoners from Venice to marathons in Jakarta (first), Casablana and Nairobi, and you have road races around the world this weekend! 

RunBlogRun will see you from the Big Apple in less than 24 hours! 

Caroline Kilel, Vincent Kipruto, BMW Frankfurt Marathon 2013 winners, 
photo by PhotoRun.net
The rain, the wind, came and left, on this fall Sunday in Frankfurt, Germany. The 32nd running the BMW Frankfurt marathon was a challenging day for many in the field of 15,000. However, even with the cool, breezy weather, many runners reached their personal bests! 

The races upfront were competitive, and quick, with the women having more runners under 2:24 than ever in German road race history, and the men's race having a wonderfully thrilling finish, where the top two were separated by one second! 

Here is how Globerunner saw it....


Caroline Kilel won the 2010 version of the BMW Frankfurt Marathon, In 2013, Caroline came back, won the race, lead six under 2:24.06, but also scored a two second personal best! She has already noted that she would love to race the streets of Frankfurt once again! In this interview, Andy Edwards of Trackwire speaks to Caroline about her fantastic race on October 27, 2013. 

In a thrilling race to the absolute finish, Vincent Kipruto had to use a 150 meter sprint to get a lead on Mark Kiptoo, in the 2013 version of the BMW Frankfurt Marathon. Trackwire's Andy Edwards interviewed the winner just after his amazing victory on Sunday, October 27, 2013. 

Caroline Kilel wins BMW Frankfurt for the second time! 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The women's race was fantastic today in Frankfurt! With six women under 2:24.06, BMW Frankfurt became the first women's marathon in Germany with such depth. 

As Caroline Kilel went on to take her second title in Frankfurt (she won in 2010), Kilel took a two second pb, leading the top three women runners to personal bests. As we celebrated Kilel's win, Flomena Chepchirchir held off Berhane Dibaba by one second for second place! 

Anna and Lisa Hahner, German twins who run well at the marathon distance, both ran personal bests today, in eighth and eleventh, running just over two minutes improvement with each! 

Races do not always have to be about course records! Great competitions are remembered longer than records. 

The field had started with 22 marathoners in the lead pack, and by the half marathon, it was down to nine, and then, eight, and then, six, five, four, and finally, it was down to Mark Kiptoo and Vincent Kipruto. 

The leaders hit 1:03.07, a bit slower than they wanted, but battling, wind gusts up to 20 miles per hour and rain, the gods of weather and gods of running played games with the 15,000 runners on the streets of Frankfurt today. 


From 32 kilometers on, Mark Kiptoo, in his debut marathon at the ripe old age of 37, and Vincent Kipruto, at the age of 26, were dueling. Kipruto would get ten meters, and Kiptoo would fight back, and take the lead. 

When the two hit 42 kilometers, I did not think that Kipruto could hold on much longer. Vincent Kipruto charged to a short lead and sprinted down into the FestivHall and took the win by one second. 

Better than a record, this race was competitive! 

In the end, our sport is about competition. The 2013 BMW Frankfurt Marathon reminded us of that today! 
Long runs help focus on your endurance and give you time to unwind from the stress in your workouts from the week before. 


With personal bests of 12:50.55 for the 5,000 meters, and 26:49.20 for the 10,000 meters, Moses Masai is a formidable athlete. Add to that his bronze medal in 2008 Olympic 10,000 meters and his sister, Linet Masai, one sees that distance running surrounds him. 

HIs debut marathon was the Dubai Marathon, where he ran 2:11 for 17th place in January 2013. With one behind him, Moses Masai is much smarter for the experience. 

Watch Moses Masai tomorrow, he could be dangerous. Here is his interview by Andy Edwards of Trackwire. 

Coaching Athletics replaced Track & Field Quarterly, a long time coaching publication for NCAA coaches. We have published this pub since 2005 and it is geared to making coaches better and giving them current and accurate information on the sport of track & field. 

We have not begun an ezine, which is monthly and includes print and digital editions. I love the new design, by Alex Larsen and think that we are getting on the cusp of some wonderful issues. The publication is free, so please pass it around and sign up for it at www.coachingathleticsq.com
Andy Edwards, of Trackwise, did this interview of Vincent Kipruto. Vincent is one of the quietest of the young Kenyan athletes, but he should never be underestimated. Kipruto has run a 2:05 time three different times. Kipruto has been training for Frankfurt since June. 

Vincent Kiprutto has the following race pedigree: 2008-Reims Marathon, third, 2:08.16, 2009-Paris, first, 2:05.47, Chicago, second, 2:06.08, 2010-Rotterdam, third, 2:05.13, Chicago, fifth, 2.)9.08, 2011, Rotterdam, second in 2:05.33, World Champs, Daegu, silver in 2:10.06, 2012-13th in London, 2:10.39, Hengshui/CHN, ninth in 2:13.20, and first in 2013 at Otsu/Lake Biwa, JPN, in 2:08.34. 

He is quoted in the media notes as saying, " I want to break my PB and run sub 2:05 in Frankfurt." 

Race on! 

Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net

Okay, this is what it is all about. Cross country racing is in full swing across North America. The major invitationals, and conference meets are happening across the US. Race well this weekend. Remember to learn from it! 
This is the fourth issue of American Track & Field for 2013. It is also our third ezine, which is done in print and on the digital world. Please pass this around to your friends and watch for our new subscription form on www.american-trackandfield.com that will deliver the ezine to your email address once a month! 

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Cover of AT&F SR Volume 20, issue 4. 
Gelete Burka has run 3:58 for the 1,500 meters, 14:31 for 5,000 meters, and 30:53 for the 10k on the roads. She is an accomplished World Cross Country runner, with three top ten finishes, and now, she is focusing her energy on the marathon distance. 

When Andy Edwards asked Gelete Burka what her goal was for the marathon, she noted; " Two hours, twenty."

Gelete Burka also noted, to me, " In 2014, I will race over 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters on the track,as there are no major championships." 

Here is her interview with Andy Edwards of Trackwise/Globerunner. 

ASICS America has been the sponsor of the ING New York City Marathon now since the 1990s. This year, in celebration of the GEL-Kayano's 20th year, ASICS did a special make for the beloved shoe for their sponsorship of the ING New York City Marathon.

If you want to see how a shoe company should produce apparel for a major event, you should go to New York or Boston. But, ASICS America's special store in the NYCM Expo is all encompassing-it is the largest part of the expo, and it is constantly full of runners, their families, especially the European runners, as the Euro gives them a fantastic rate on the products. 

Great apparel that is earned in races such as Boston and New York is worn all over the world. ASICS has done a great job with their footwear and apparel and the special color makes of the GEL-Kayano 20 will be well received in the Big Apple. 

As we have since 1986, watch for coverage by the RunningNetwork.com and  RunBlogRun.com, as well as RunningNetworktv.com and the Shoe Addicts, the digital partners of RunBlogRun.com

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Wilson Kipsang, running 2:03.42 in his debut at 2011 BMW Frankfurt, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

In 2011, Wilson Kipsang debuted in BMW Frankfurt, with a time only four seconds off the world record! Now, Kipsang is the world record holder! 

Just how fast will the hot fields in BMW Frankfurt run on Sunday, October 27. Five men with personal bests under 2:05.30, plus the debut of Gelete Burka, makes Frankfurt a fast and furious field. The women's field is fantastic, with four women under 2:23 and Hilda Kibet, whose pb is 2:24.27, is the slowest up front! 

Here is Jorg Wenig's piece from earlier in the week. It puts the fields in place and gives you a great basis from which to judge the event on Sunday, as 15,000 marathoners join the elite fields to race around Frankfurt, the second fastest marathon city in Germany! 

Gilbert Kirwa was training for Frankfurt 2012 and, one month out, hurt his back. Kirwa is now healthy and ready go. " I want to run in the 2:06 range, I am not ready to say I can run the course record." noted Kirwa in Friday's press conference. 

My take: watch out for Kirwa, he is ready to race. Andy Edwards, of Trackwise/Globerunner, interviewed Gilbert Kirwa. We thank Andy Edwards for this interview. We hope that you enjoy. 

Feyisa Lelisa, photo by PhotoRun.net

Feyisa Lelisa means business. What lurks behind the smile is a man who has run 2:04.52 in Chicago in 2012. A sub 60 minute half marathoner, Lelisa has won the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. 

When I asked him what he wanted to do, he said, not bragging, not with a big ego, " I want to run the course record, and I want to win the race." 

Lelisa is my pick for this weekend to really tangle with Vincent Kipruto. It should be a fantastic battle. 
Lilesa, Kipruto, Sefir, Kirwa, 2013 BMW Frankfurt Marathon PC, October 24, 2013, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The management and selection of race fields, in our sport, from track and field, to road racing, is an art, not a science. Meet Directors such as Ian Stewart and Mark Wetmore,  Marathon directors such as David Bedford and Carey Pinkowski, have shown the care and attention that it takes to put together a great field, and then, on the day, the luck of making it all come together: the fields, the weather, the race. 

Christoph Kopp, the elite coordinator in BMW Frankfurt, has done a fine job here. His mens' field is a who's who of tough and compelling Ethiopians, Kenyans and local German stars. 

Last night, when I spoke to Feyisa Lelisa, he told me that he wants the course record and a personal best. Comprehending that his personal best is 2:04.52, then one is taken aback. When, Feyisa noted this morning that he will not just break Haile Gebrselassie's record one day, but by many seconds, one does not see a bragging athlete, but an athlete who is confident in his training and racing. 

We can not wait until Sunday! 
Geleta Burka has run 3:58.79 for the 1,500 meters and 14:31.20 for the 5,000 meters on the track. Her 30:53 on the roads for 10k, is the Ethiopian National record. She has competed in four World Championships and won medals at three World Indoor Championships (2008-gold at 1,500m, 2010-bronze at 1,500m, 2012, bronze at 3,000 m). 

Gelete Burka, 2011 NIKE Pre, photo by PhotoRun.net 

So, Gelete Burka is running her debut at the marathon on Sunday, October 27, 2013, at the BMW Frankfurt Marathon. She has pbs of 30:53 at 10k and 49:26 for 15k on the roads from 2013. She told us of a 48 minute 15k effort in 2013.

When interviewer Andy Edwards inquired about her goal at the BMW Frankfurt press conference, Gelete noted that  two hours, twenty minutes was her goal. When Andy noted that in both English and the mother tongue, German, there was a cautioned response. Two hours, twenty minutes is a huge time in the women's marathon, perhaps like the four minute mile was for men in the 1960s. 

Can Gelete achieve her goal? We shall have to just wait and see. But, as you wait, please enjoy my piece on Geleta which appears below! 
Ryan Hall, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ryan Hall is out of the New York City marathon, and we all feel bad when an athlete is injured. 

I have watched Ryan Hall run since his sophomore year in high school. Hall has developed into one of our most talented, and mercurial athletes in a generation. As Kevin Mangan, our intern at American Track & Field has written, never, ever write Ryan Hall out. 

A few years ago, a few young Kenyans confided in me that they consider Ryan Hall a "White Kenyan". By that, they meant that he runs with the abandon of a Kenyan athlete and he is capable of great things-the highest complement. 

We want Ryan Hall healthy and fit, and racing smart for selfish reasons. But, for other reasons, as a track fan, I want to see a guy who is quite capable of sub 27 minutes in the 10k, sub 13 minutes in the 5k, just blast a marathon into the stratosphere. 

For Ryan Hall, that will require something that his current lifestyle does not seem to include: a solitary lifestyle. Distance runners, to be successful, need to be, during their buildup, quite selfish. They train, they eat, they sleep. They do not do charity build ups, they do not do tons of press conferences, and they do not fly to several places a week. 

Once a Runner, the cult novel on running by the John Parker (if you have not read this, you are simply, put, out of your mind), tells the story of Quentin Cassidy training to be the best miler he can be. Cassidy trains in isolation with a guy who has already won an Olympic medal. He focuses.

We want to see Ryan Hall focus and win the big ones that have eluded him so far. 

Kevin Mangan, who is less strident that me, puts it well on the ability of Ryan Hall, now injured. 

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Duane Solomon, Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net

It was in my third Center meet, my junior year in high school, that I figured out how to race cross country. We were racing on Crystal Springs, one of my favorite courses for cross country, and I was improving, but still not embracing the course. 

It was on a cool, crisp afternoon, in late October 1975, when I got a good start, that I decided to see what I could do. I took off on a downhill and then started pushing the hills, one after another. I ran hard, but controlled down the hills and did not look back. When I hit the last 500 meters, I gradually started to take off, in order not to get caught by my team mates, as I had the week before. 

Where will your break through race come? 
Hilda Kibet, 2013 BMW Frankfurt marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net 

One of the most fun interviews that I have ever done. Hilda Kibet has a wonderful sense  of humor and is amazingly focused both at the same time. Her 2:24.27 and her recent races show she is in top shape. I am picking her to be top three! 

BMW Frankfurt Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

The BMW Frankfurt marathon is one of the best marathons in the world. That is a fact. What, to me is most exciting, and a major reason for my first visit to the second fastest marathon in Germany is the history of the event. 

The development of the event, from the attention paid on the course to the weather conditions, to the treatment of the citizen runners, and the development of the elite fields, are the work of Jo Schindler and Christoph Kopp. 

Developing fast races upfront, with unique finishes and celebration at one of the oldest German races, has revitalized the event over the past eight years. 

RunBlogRun.com will be covering the race live for our readers on the RunningNetwork.com  and readers around the world. We will provide you with stories as the race weekend builds! 

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Duane Solomon, Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net

Cross country is for everyone! At my high school, outside of St. Louis, where I went for my first two years (DeSmet), Mr. Grawer was both cross country coach and basketball coach. I remember running JV races with the giant basketball players rushing by! Mr. Grawer had them train with us, run races and they had to break twelve minutes for two miles on our loop course to make his bball team. 

Lee Evens, the 1968 Olympic and World Champion at 400 meters told me once, in an interview, that Bud Winters, the long time coach at San Jose State in the 60s, had his 400 meter runners run cross country. " Four miles was long! " Lee Evens laughed as he told me that story! 

One of the most talented athletes in American distance running, Ryan Hall, has, once again, pulled out of a major event, this time, with a hip injury. This story by Chris Lotsbom, of Race Results Weekly, tells the sad story of how Ryan has been unable to break a cycle of injuries that dates back to early 2012. 

Hall is, without a doubt, one of the most talented athletes in American distance running. He is also, one of the most problematic, from coaching relationships with storied coaches and advisors, to moments of brilliance followed by moments of mediocrity. 

We wish Ryan Hall nothing but great racing. He is the American who could, on the right day, run a 2:03 marathon. The problem is, Ryan Hall has to stay healthy and focused, which seems to elude him at this time. 


Ashton Eaton, photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/IAAF 
for A Day in the Life, April 12, 2013

Ashton Eaton surprised a group of grade schoolers in Boise, Idaho to encourage them to get fit, but also, how fun it is to get fit. In a fantastic program from the USATF Foundation, an interactive program called Health Teacher is influencing kids in 12,000 plus schools around the country! 

Bravo to the USATF Foundation. These types of programs are what will not only encourage kids to run, jump and throw, but will help encourage life time fitness programs. 
Relax today on your run, and think about your upcoming big races. Remember that in the big races, it comes down to the finish. 

Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ashton Eaton is the world record holder in the decathlon, Olympic champion, World Champion: the best athlete at his craft. This coming year, Harry Marra, his coach and Ashton Eaton are considering focusing on some individual events, in order to give his body a much needed break!


Blanka Vlasic, high jump, photo by PhotoRun.net

Blanka Vlasic came back to the world of high jumping in 2013, after twenty months of injury issues. In 2014, being cautious, Blanka Vlasic not sure about indoor season, as she continues to recover. 

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Vivian Cheruiyot, February 2012, Kenya, photo by PhotoRun.net

Vivian Cheruiyot has had a baby! Congrats to Vivian and her family. We received the following note from Ricky Simms, Vivian's manager on Monday: 

Dear Friends,


We are pleased to announced that 2012 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Vivian Cheruiyot gave birth to a baby boy on Saturday evening at 7:45pm Kenyan time.


Mother and baby are doing well.





Ricky Simms

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Molly Huddle, Duane Solomon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Tempo runs are one of the most versatile workouts. It is also a workout we find in the training regimens of the most successful athletes. 

Deena Kastor with Frank Litsky, photo by PhotoRun.net

Frank LItsky will receive the George Hirsch Journalism Award on Friday, November 1, 2013. This award will be given out by George Hirsch, Chairman of the Board of the New York Road Runners, at ten in the morning at the NYRR Media Center. George Hirsch was the long time publisher of Runners World, founding publisher of The Runner and one of  the most innovative and respected magazine publishers in sports media. 

RunBlogRun congratulates Frank Litsky on this award. Frank has been one of the longest observers of our sport and other sports in modern journalism. I believe that Mr. Litsky and Mr. Dunaway, one of Frank's contemporaries, have been writing since time began. 

Frank's thoughtful approach to sports, his belief in the importance of sports journalism and his love of our sport has always come through in his writing. We congratulate Frank on this well-deserved award. 
BMW Frankfurt Marathon, which will be held on 27 October 2013, is the second fastest marathon in Germany. It is also a wonderful example of how a dedicated race team, a supportive city and, an enthused sponsors can build a race over a period of time into a tremendous event. 

Thanks to the management of BMW Frankfurt Marathon, RunBlogRun will be visiting the race this year and providing live English coverage of the event on RunBlogRun.com

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The start of the 1981 race.....
Monday's workout gives you time to recover from the long run over the weekend. How was your race? If you have questions, email us at [email protected]


Long runs are key to your development as an athlete. Long runs help build endurance and help you recover from hard workouts. Long runs are best when run with friends. 

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Molly Huddle, Duane Solomon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Florence Kiplagat won the 2013 BMW Berlin Marathon. This is her post race interview with Andy Edwards of Trackwise. Florence is one of our toughest marathoners on the global circuit. 

Desi Davila, one of the top three fastest American women of all times, is past her injury issues. This interview was done before her race at the BMW Berlin Marathon on September 29, 2013. Desi was interviewed by Andy Edwards, of Trackwise. We hope that you enjoy the interview of one of our most talented marathoners. Desi Davila runs for Brooks Hanson's Distance Project. 

Wilson Kipsang broke the world record for the marathon on the famed BMW Berlin Marathon on September 29, 2013. Here is the post race interview by Andy Edwards of Trackwise of Wilson Kipsang. What a tremendous performance! 

Race days are getting more and more important. The invitationals and conference meets are coming soon, so know that, all the work you have done for the past sixteen weeks is about to be used. Focus on the task at hand. 

Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net

Conference meets are about to start. Keep your focus on the upcoming meets. Sixteen weeks is a long time to stay focused. 

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Molly Huddle, Duane Solomon, 
photo by Saucony Racing
The Live Ultimate South Beach RUNcation is a unique approach to a running event/destination trip. Marc Wachter of Live Ultimate sent us an email two weeks ago about the series of races and fun activities his company is planning for South Beach for the weekend of December 13-15, 2013. We liked his ideas and asked for more information. 

We have provided a link to the information and a copy of the flyer he was sending out just below. 

As running has grown, consumer demands are pressuring for events that stand out, that one can bring family and spouses to. Disney was one of the first, and some of the RNR events are considered destination. 

The Live Ultimate RUNcation has tied in local hotels, with great rates and a series of races for the various interest levels in running. 

My college coach, Dan Durante, had this great hill circuit right behind his house. For six years we trained on it: 200 meters to the top, short flat area, then hard run down for 500 meters, a short flat, then repeat. We would build up to ten to twelve of these over six weeks and finish with a time trial over 8, which, would eerily parallel what we would run each year for 10,000m on the track. 

Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net

My senior year, I trained on that hill all winter, building up to 15 repeats. I was strong when spring roads and our short track season appeared. But, when I started racing, I panicked, because my early speed in the races left me a bit behind. I found that I would catch people near the end of the race, but the hills had built me up, and I had not taken enough recovery time. My times were a bit behind last year. I was dumbfounded. 

The Sunday afternoon after an okay race, I took a nap. I skipped the second run that day. The next morning, I felt better, and had a decent workout. So, I decided to run hard on hard days, and take easy days really easy. 

For the next six weeks, I worked on the track, short repeats two days, and a race or time trial on the weekends. I rested in between, keeping my long run, and then 30 minutes only on easy days. 

The end of the season came, and our final race of the season, which I had run 32:40 on the year before, I ran 31:10. I went out and five minute pace felt okay that day. It was only when I hit the track with 800 meters to go, and the guy sitting on my shoulder, a sub four minute miler, just put four seconds on me in the last lap. 

The hills were part of the program that worked, without the rest, the short stuff and the racing, my season would not have ended so well. Consider that when you race, when you have a tough day. Ask your coach, ask your training buddies, always stay open to learning. 

Nick Willis, Olympic silver medalist (2008), wins 2013 Fifth Avenue Mile, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

 Shalane Flanagan speaks to the media in advance of the 2013 Boston Marathon
 (photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly)

Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net

The NYRR announced fantastic fields for the NYRR Dash to the Finishline 5k, which will be held on November 2, 2013, the day before the ING NYC Marathon. Chris Lotsbom of Race Results Weekly wrote this piece on the announcement of the fields today. 

Geoffrey Tamu, photo courtesy of the Star (Kenya)

This sad story was on our emails this morning. The story, from the Star, a newspaper in Kenya, and the story, by Stanley Magut tells the tragic story of a Kenyan runner, Geoffrey Tamu, who died after leading most of the race. An autopsy will follow, plus an investigation by Athletics Kenya. This is quite unusual in races in Kenya. 

RunBlogRun journalist Justin Lagat noted, on FB that he knew Geoffrey and was quite saddened to hear about the death of the father of four, who was only 30 years old. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. 
BMW Frankfurt Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

The BMW Frankfurt marathon has the second fastest men's marathon course record in the world! Just how does one top that? Well, race director Jo Schindler works to develop superb fields, year after year, and the 15,000 runners who will be filling the course on October 27, 2013 will be looking for good times and a great time. The elite fields are impressive and, if the weather obliges, the men's time could be swift, and perhaps, for the women, a sub 2:20 marathon could be in order! 

Consider, for a moment, Abrahim Chebii. Chebii ran 12:52.99 for the 5,000 meters a decade ago. Chebii ran 27:04.2 on May 4, 2011, winning the race where Meb Keflezighi broke the AR of Mark Nenow for the 10,000 meters (27:13.8 for Meb). Chebii has also run a 60:07 for the half marathon and 42.40 for the 15k. For Abrahim, this distance pedigree will be put to the test over 26.2 miles in Frankfurt, which will be his debut over the marathon distance! How fast can Abrahim run? Remember those fast last laps on the track when he won his 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter races? 

It's athletes like Chebii that add some excitement to a field like the BMW Frankfurt marathon. Surprises make our sport even more exciting!

On the day after a hard day or race, you might feel some pain. Let your coach know. After a warm up, see how your body is feeling. In the stride outs, focus on good form, and remember to cool down properly. 

Molly Huddle, Duane Solomon, 
photo courtesy of Saucony Racing 
Brittney Reese, photo by PhotoRun.net

Meseret Defar, photo by PhotoRun.net

Valeria Adams, photo by PhotoRun.net

Sentayehu Ejigu winning Tufts 10k, 
photo by Chris Lotsbom, Race Results Weekly

The Tufts 10k is one of the true rights of Fall. Chris Lotsbom wrote this piece for Race Results Weekly...
Jeff Benjamin reviewed this wonderful book for RunBlogRun. As followers of RunBlogRun know, Jeff is one of our most enduring contributors. First, he wrote for American Athletics, our first title, and then, American Track & Field. 

RunBlogRun recommends this book for those who love the sport. The Greater Boston Track Club is one of the most enduring clubs in our sport. 
Desisa Lelisa, the 2013 winner of the Boston Marathon and Kim Smith, one of the sports top road racers, won the titles for the B.A.A. Boston Half Marathon, the final stop of the B.A.A. Boston Distance Medley. 
Desisa Lelisa, 2013 Boston Marathon winner, takes
Boston half marathon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Desisa Lelisa won the half marathon in 1:00.34. Stephen Sambu tied for second with a time of 1:00.41. But his time won him the overall title of the Boston Distance Medley, taking $100,000 home! 

Kim Smith is the New Zealand record holder at 10,000m, and half marathon. Kim has run well at the marathon, but many believe that she has an even bigger time in her. 

Her run over the B.A.A. Boston Half marathon course showed her talent: 15:52 at 5k with two challengers, then, 31.48.7 for 10,000m, and by herself-her final 10k was blazing, breaking the course record! 

Kim Smith, Boston Half Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Kim Smith, who had won the overall title of the Boston Distance Medley last year, did it once again, with her fine CR of 1:09.14. 

Kim Smith, Stephen Sambu, both $100k richer, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Tempo workout is for Tuesday. This workout is one of your most important of the week. Run it with some friends. 

29003-1_1.jpg                                   Saucony Carrera XC, by Saucony Racing
Patrick Makau held the World Record until September 29, 2013, when Wilson Kipsang broke the world record, on Berlin, with his 2:03.23. Sean Hartnett, who we call the Professor of the Marathon is a cartographer who teaches at UW Eau Claire. 

Here is Sean's map of how Patrick Makau broke Haile Gebrselassie's World Record in September of 2011. I found it fascinating, and think that you will too! Tell us what you think. Send me your thoughts at [email protected]


pdf download: 2011BerlinrMakauWRraceMap.pdf

 Dennis Kimetto of Kenya wins the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon in a course record 2:03:45 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

That Dennis Kimetto had an amazing win in Chicago yesterday. What is even more amazing is how short a period of time that Dennis has been in the sport. Kimetto has only been running for four years!  Dennis told us afterwards that he did not even know that he was close to course record or the world record. 

Rita Jeptoo's race was all in the final 17 kilometers. Jeptoo's run over the final ten kilometers gave her a 2:19.57 final time, the fastest women's marathon time in the world for 2013. 
Duane Solomon, Molly Huddle, 
photo by Saucony Racing 

As you get later and later into the season, workouts like this are even more important. 
The most amazing fact to me is that Dennis Kimetto has only run for the last four years. Geoffrey Mutai found him in a shopping centre and asked him to join his group. Kimetto just ran the fourth fastest legal marathon time in our sports' history. 

Someone on twitter said it best: "Dennis KImetto, Congrats on your Chicago win! Let's trade genes! "

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The long run gives you endurance, a chance to mend, and also, a chance to develop papers and friendships. 

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Here are some deep thoughts on three of the athletes that I interviewed this weekend: 

Moses Mosop with this writer, photo by Shoe Addicts/Mike Deering
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Rupp, Ritz and Tegenkamp, 2012 Olympic Trials, a 10,000m in a monsoon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is in a matter of hours. The four athletes described here: Dathan Ritzenhein, Matt Tegenkamp, Claire Santucci and Melissa Johnson-White are all on different journeys on Sunday, each one of them challenging, in their own right. 

David Monte, editor of Race Results Weekly, writes about the four top Americans in the Chicago Marathon. We wish them all safe journeys and fantastic personal bests! 
Molly Huddle, stretching, courtesy of Saucony Racing

This is the fourth week of racing for most high school cross country runners across the country. Major invitationals everywhere as the smell of fall, and the changing colors take place just about everywhere. Now 4 to six races into the season, you are starting to  get into this racing season. Focus on pushing a key part of the race today and remember to finish hard. 
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon always has great races up front. This year, should be no different. I would not be surprised to see Moses Mosop versus Dennis Kimeto. Kimeto was training with Wilson Kipsang, and word is, Mr. Kimeto is quite fit. Speaking of quite fit, Moses Mosop admitted that he was 85 percent fit in 2011, when he won. In 2013, " I am 95 percent fit." admitted a confident Mosop.

On the women's side, Atsede Baysa and Rita Jeptoo are back, but my dark horse is Aliaksandra Duliba. 

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The battle for Chicago, October 2012, 
photo from Chicago Marathon

On the American side, Dathan looks good for a 2:06 time, and I believe that Matt Tegenkamp will break Alan Culpepper's debut marathon AR of 2:09.41. 

Only time will tell. 

Watch for stories on Moses Mosop and Matt Tegenkamp on Saturday. 
Dathan Ritzenhein leads 10,000 meters, Des Moines, June 2013, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Dathan Ritzenhein came to Chicago in 2012, and after two months of great training, ran a 2:07.47, setting a personal best and showing, in his seventh marathon, that he might just have found his distance. 

Finding his distance? Ritz, as he is known, has run a former AR at 5,000 meters in 12:56.27, a 10,000 meters PB of 27:22.28, and a half marathon in 60:00-yep, that is sixty minutes flat! 
Outdoor track & field, on the high school level, is a monstrous sport. In 2013, 1,053,611 boys and girls competed in high school track and field. From the smallest towns to the biggest cities in North America, one can see the plethora of track facilities across the continent. 

Ajee Wilson, World Youth, 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net

Some schools still do not have tracks. My first high school, DeSmet, did not have a track in 1972-74. Yet, we had the 400 meter state champ, and the two mile state champ. Doing repeats up driveways was our way of working out. To learn the pole vault and the high jump, Mr. Burns, our football coach/art teacher/track coach, had the pits on the back of the parking lot. If we missed the pits, we rolled down a grassy hill. My best high jump was four feet, two inches, and I believe I cleared seven feet in the pole vault. Hence, in later years, I moved to the mile and two mile. 

Track & Field has over 25,000 head coaches and nearly 80,000 assistant coaches at the high school level. That does not even touch the number of officials and parents who provide help, from hosting food booths to driving the teams back and forth to events. Track & Field is also, one of the most diverse sports in the high school firmament. White kids, black kids, latino kids, Chinese kids, high schoolers learn that their world is diverse, and that just because the kid looks different than they do, that means nothing. What is important is how you run as a relay, or how that third in the shot put keeps your team in the hunt for a dual meet or conference win. Track & Field shows boys and girls how to focus on a goal, be part of something bigger than themselves and know that whats brings us together is stronger than what sets us apart. Track & Field teaches life skills. 

Special thanks to Kevin Mangan, AT&F intern and Breanne Ward, AT&F publicist, for their hard work on the three releases we have done on high school sports; cross country, indoor track and field, and now, outdoor track & field. 

Saucony Kilkenny, photo by PhotoRun.net 

This is the third big weekend of cross country racing across the country. The races are getting tougher, and you are feeling better. Check your shoes, make sure you get out of the wet race clothes as soon as possible, to avoid getting sick during this important part of the season. When you get into great shape, you are also very close to getting sick, as you are pushing the limits. So, be careful, be smart, and rest when you can! 
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Yemane Tsegay Adhane, race director Peer Pulles, Bazu Worku and leading Dutch runner Patrick Stitzinger at the 2013 De Lage Landen Marathon Eindhoven press conference

Here is a new piece from spainsports.com on the De Lage Landen Marathon Eindhoven. Peer Pulles, the race director, has assembled a field very quick on their feet! 
Bershawn Jackson, Daegu 2011, photo by PhotoRun.net 

Bershawn Jackson had a tough injury in Moscow this past summer. The 400 meter hurdler, known as "Batman" is focusing on the toughest battle of his athletic career: getting back into world class shape and competing with some of the toughest athletes in the world. 

Here is David Hunter's feature on Bershawn Jackson....

I went to my first indoor track & field meet in 1974. As a sophomore, I joined the upper classman from Desmet to watch them run the mile, 880 and 4 x 880 relay. The meet was run on the hardwood floor of an Armory in the St. Louis area. What mesmerized me was the team from East St. Louis that ran, and won the mile relay in high top Chuck Taylors, sliding around the turns and flying on the short straights. The crowd was small but loud, and I was hooked-this was so cool. 

On our mile relay team, was one of my classmates, Perez Maxwell. Perez was tall, fast and had the long, strong legs of a 400 meter runner. While Perez was fast, it was his good luck routine that amazed me. Perez had a large Afro, a very popular haircut in the 70s, and he placed his hair pick in his hair, and ALWAYS ran with it. I was amazed it never fell out. And Perez literally flew around the armory, which was three loops to a 440. 

I did not run my first indoor meet until 1980, when I ran a 3,000 meters on a 11 lap to the mile track. The bouncing, the closeness of the crowd, the excitement, I can still remember.

New Balance Indoor Games 2010, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

I went to my first Millrose Games in 1986, and that was a revelation. What a fantastic meet. In 2011, I finally visited the Armory and was caught once again, in the magic of indoor track & field! 

It is so fantastic to see the strength of the indoor track & field in 2013! Special thanks to our intern, Kevin Mangan and our public relations support, Breanne Ward in preparing this report! 

Saucony Carrera XC, photo by Saucony Racing

The hill workouts that you have done this past summer are helping you now, as your race during cross country season. However, one can not race hard and train hard day in, day out. 
The Marathon Eindhoven is looking to get even faster course records: Race Director Peers Pulles wants a sub 2:05 course record! And with his field, to run on October 13, it is looking quite possible...
PHOTO: Kenya's Allan Kiprono after winning the 2013 B.A.A. Half-Marathon in a course record 1:01:44 (photo by David Monti for Race Results Weekly)

A busy weekend is coming up with B.A.A. Half Marathon on Sunday, October 13, as well as Chicago and Eindhoven!

Here is Chris Lotsbom's piece on B.A.A. Half Marathon elite field....
The days where you run 45-50 minutes and do eight strideouts are recovery days.  This gives you the time to recover from the recent races or hard workouts. 


Matthew Koech, photo by Justin Lagat

Irene Chelegat, photo by Justin Lagat

Road running is coming of age in Kenya. Just like there are good athletes and good races, there are also some groups who go into road race sponsorship for less than positive reasons. In this article, Justin Lagat writes about a race that did not live up to its promises....

This piece was first run on RunBlogRun's facebook site on September 6. It has now been updated on October 8 for RunBlogRun.com and the Runningnetwork.com
Cross country is one of those rites of Fall. It is the a great team sport, and a great introduction, for many, into the sport of athletics. 

American Track & Field, the largest coaching publication in North America, has kept track of cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field for nearly two decades. 

RunBlogRun thought it would be important to show our readers how strong our sport truly is in North America. 

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NXN Cross Country, courtesy of Nike communications

Duane Solomon and Molly Huddle, photo by Saucony Racing

 The races are getting tougher and tougher. More is at stake as you get later into the season. Your weekly training has been building for this time of the season. Make sure that you eat well, get proper sleep and take it easy on easy days. 

The racing season is upon you! Make it count!
I was reading Alfons Juck's EME news updates today, and saw the piece on Mo Farah and the focus on the two hour marathon. Actually, the article said, he was looking at the possibility of the two hour marathon. Hopefully, that only took a few minutes...

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Mo Farah, photo by PhotoRun.net

I have one thought on that: Would you please stop the insanity? 

Let Mo Farah run some marathons and be successful at it. The world record is 2:03.23 at this time. To take three plus minutes off the world marathon record at this time makes little sense. Such a day requires everything perfect: perfect pacing, perfect weather, perfect hydration and near super human athletes. 

Paul Tergat, former world record holder and one of greatest distance runners of the 20th century noted for Letsrun.com that a serious attempt on the two hour marathon is close to ridiculous. 

Sebastian Coe is the champion of the London Olympics and a great sports politician. His comment on Mo Farah being "ambitious" is kind, it does not say that the two hour marathon is imminent. Sir Roger Bannister notes that Mo Farah is a most versatile athlete, and he notes that Mo Farah will not achieve this record in the coming year.

Can the world record drop? Yes, but a two hour marathon? 

Be serious. 

Taking the world record down fifteen seconds is one thing,
taking the WR down by three plus minutes is just not realistic. 

Stop focusing on merely world records, and focus on the competition! Mo Farah and Kenenisa Bekele had a fantastic half marathon at the Great North Run. 

Mo Farah is a fantastic athlete. It does him a disservice however, to put pressures on him to run a two hour marathon-it is unrealistic. 

Let's enjoy the competitions. And know that every marathoner in the world wants to show Mo Farah how hard 26.2 miles is. And, many of them will try. 

That will make for great racing, wonderful for the sport, but this two hour marathon goal is just something not based in the world of reality. 
This is final athletics results from Europe for the season. Special thanks to Carles Baronet, TRACK IN SUN. 

Zuzana Henjova, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Mondays are always pretty relaxed running days. Remember to see how you are feeling after the race on Saturday and long run on Sunday. 

Shay XC Racing, from Saucony Racing
Ryan Vail, Fernando Cabada, RNR San Jose, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ryan Vail wins, photo by PhotoRun.net

Natasha Wodak wins RNR San Jose, photo by PhotoRun.net

The RNR San Jose half marathon has grown to 16,000, now in its eighth year. This year, the warm weather greeted the sixteen thousand runners, with the start near 70 degrees at the start. 

Ryan Vail, a Brooks runner focusing on the ING NYCM, showed his fitness with fine win in 1:02.46, with Fernando Cabada in second in 1:03.14. 

It is great to see the RNR San Jose half in downtown San Jose, my hometown. 

On the women's side, Natasha Wodak, testing her fitness, won the women's half marathon in 1:14.39. 
Nick Arciniaga, photo by PhotoRun.net

Nick Arciniaga won his first US marathon title and did it by three seconds! Running 2:13.11, Arciniaga held off Josephat Boit by three seconds! Annie Bersegei, who defended her Medtronic title from last year, also won her first USA championships. 

Haile Gebrselassie is, well, at least 40 ( I believe that he is 43). That the little Emperor can run 61:09 and that is totally impressive! Haile still loves to run! He is a crowd pleaser where ever he goes and he is a true brand asset for adidas. 

If there is an icon alive in sport, Haile Gebrselassie is a king of the roads. 

And, as always, nice job by Nova International on the Great Scottish Run! 

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Haile, FBK Hengelo 2012, photo by PhotoRun.net 

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Wilson Kiprop, 2012 Nike Pre,  Eugene, Oregon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Valeria Straneo, Moscow 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net

Wilson Kiprop was hoping to run really, really fast. In Lisbon, in hot weather, he ran an amazing effort. Same is true for Valeria Straneo, the silver medalist from Moscow 2013.  We get way too obsessed about times and forget, somedays that our sport is still about the competition. 
Long runs are a key part of the long distance and middle distance runner's training program. Long runs are more fun when run with friends. If you are sore from yesterday, keep it easy and shorten the run if need be. 

The key is consistency, so remember to build and focus. And have fun!

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Duane Solomon and Molly Huddle doing strideouts, from Saucony Racing 
Nick Arciniaga, photo by PhotoRun.net

A well run marathon, as Kenny Moore wrote about in, The Long Blue Line, his story about the 1972 Olympic marathon, leaves one sore, tired, and truly wondering if one will ever run one again. Frank Shorter once compared the pain in a marathon, to the pain of being cut with a very sharp knife; the pain, over time, becomes excruciating. 

Tomorrow, the USA Marathon Championships will be held in Minneapolis. There are fifteen to twenty athletes who have a chance of winning or placing. David Monti, editor of Race Results Weekly, wrote about how open the race is tomorrow. 

His piece follows....
Andrew Carlson, photo by PhotoRun.net

What I like about Team USA Minnesota is that athletes in the Heartland get a chance to see how fast they can become. The cool thing about Team USA is that they are supported by several groups who care enough to support this club as they train and race. Thinking about how amazing such support is, I salute the sponsors of Team Minnesota USA. 
Way back in the 70s, Joe Henderson, the poet laureate of the first running boom, wrote that "Cross country is the meeting place of the miler and the marathoner." 

In 1975, at the World Cross Country, Ian Stewart won, the Euro and Commonwealth 5,000m champion, followed by John Walker, soon to be WR holder in mile and gold medalist at 1,500m and Bill Rodgers, soon to be AR holder in marathon. Anyone who was anyone competed in the World Cross Country. 

Then, things changed. Courses became whimpy. I heard recently that meet managers of famous invitationals were being told by college coaches that teams were not coming to said events because the courses were not fast enough. In this day and age, NCAA cross country seems to be track on a smooth golf course, minus any hills, not a place to challenge one's heart and soul with a few hills, muddy stretches, and chilling stretches to sprint to the finish. 

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NXN 2011, photos courtesy of Nike running

I went to the Stanford Invitational last weekend. I had run it first in 1974 as a high schooler, and then, ran in in college. Thirty-two years after my last race there, it was great to see how many cross country runners were there, with their parents, fans, coaches and meet management. Putting on a major invitational is no mean feat, and I am in awe of their selfless work. A day on the hot, warm course was a day to see old friends, meet new ones and share a day of cross country history. 

I was so happy to see the US men's team take second in the World Cross Country champs this year, as Ben True and gang took the challenge. What it showed was that, if one focuses, teams from around the world can actually compete with the Kenyan and Ethiopian teams. 

For the past decade, World Cross Country, one of our great events, has been marginalized by lots of well meaning ideas that have made many believe that it is impossible to complete globally on cross country anymore. My modest concept: find a muddy course, pray for snow and let the world show up for the one day event, and tie it to a great road race, so there are fans. Celebrate the uniqueness of real cross country: the courses should be hilly, loops and tortuous and all about the teams. 

Cross country is a great sport, with a great history. Cross country is about getting in shape running hills that made you gasp a few weeks before. Cross country means running on the paths and courses that runners have done for decades. 

Truth is, if you want to be a good middle or long distance runner, then compete in cross country.  But, you don't have to listen to me, read Jason Henderson, the editor at Athletics Weekly's feature on Mud, Glorious Mud! linked below! 
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Molly Huddle, Duane Solomon, photo by PhotoRun.net

Racing season is here. This is the second real weekend of cross country racing across the U.S. Good luck this weekend! 
This is just another example of how one must know everything that an elite athlete is putting into their body...

Jillian Camera-Williams, photo by PhotoRun.net
Ibrahim Jeilan surprised many in his stretch victory over Mo Farah in 2011 at the World Championships. In 2013, Jeilan was back, and his final drive in the 10,000 meters in Moscow may have been even more surprising, but, this time, Mo Farah was ready for it.

But now, Ibrahim Jeilan, is running the RNR Lisbon Half marathon on October 6. The guy is fit, so just how fast can he be over the half marathon? 

We will just have to wait and see, about 48 hours...

Ibrahim Jeilan, Daegu, photo by PhotoRun.net

A fine piece by Mary Pilon, appeared in the New York Times on October 2, 2013. Mary Pilon is a frequent writer on the sport of running for the New York Times. 

Photo below: Meb Keflezighi, photo by PhotoRun.net

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Keep it relaxed today, especially if you have a race tomorrow. Keep it light today. And see what you can do in the race tomorrow. 

Goofing off, Duane Solomon and Molly Huddle, photo by PhotoRun.net
So, here is our first Training Guide! The program we have written about for the last 14 weeks, the Saucony RBR Summer & Fall Cross Country Training Guide is now mobile! Just click on the link at the bottom of this note and find sixteen weeks of training, videos on Ben True, Ashley Higginson, and Molly Huddle, plus gobs of photos of Saucony racing shoes. 

Running is mobile. Save this link, and share it with your team mates! Here is the link, http://a.pgtb.me/CpcNLB.

Tell us what you think about the guide by emailing me at [email protected] 
Bill Toomey, the 1968 Olympic decathlon gold medalist, was the first athlete to tell me about the benefit of sunglasses. It was part of Toomey's bag of tricks, a bag he carried with extra socks, spikes, shoes, towels, a pre-Gatorade drink, to be prepared for everything. 

SaltCityOptics.com is a great idea. Eye fatigue is a real deal and finding glasses that fit, and saving a few rubles, makes sense. 

Saucony Carrera XC, awarded,  Best Racing Shoe, XC, 
by RunningProductReviews for the Running Network 

Saucony has taken the second position in the Running specialty channel, with 17 percentage points, the highest ratings for Saucony in its' history. Brooks leads the run specialty channel, with Saucony second and ASICS in third. 

The run specialty business is one of the most competitive channels in sports goods and footwear. Great competition means fantastic product. But, as the top three will tell you, moving up in this channel is difficult, and it comes down to consistent great product, consistent great cusotomer service, sales forces who listen and serve, and management who realize that they are nothing without human capital. 
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Jim Van Dine, Brand President of HOKA ONE ONE and Anhu, 
photo courtesy of Deckers Corporation

HOKA ONE ONE is an example of both how competitive the performance running market is, and also, how a great product matching up with the right parent company can make a difference between success and failure. 

HOKA ONE ONE was developed by a group of eccentric French designers and ultra runners. The product was a strong hit with ultra runners. It started to get a cult following. Boulder Running company's Johnny Halberstadt, who was selling HOKA ONE ONE in his store, sent a note to Jim Van Dine, who was at Deckers, managing the Anhu brand. 

Halberstadt wrote that Jim Van Dine and his CEO, Angel Martinez, both veterans of the run specialty wars, should consider HOKA ONE ONE, as the brand could do well with the Decker resources and Van Dine and Martinez's experience. 

Jim Van Dine, a long time runner, then tried HOKA ONE ONE and went from not running to running six days a week. He was hooked. Last fall, Deckers acquired HOKA ONE ONE.

 I sent Jim Van Dine these questions just after the OR show in August 2013. His answers reveal alot about how brand launches are still art much more than they are science. 

The belief by the team in a new product or brand has much to do with its present and future access.
This is the hill workout day, or, if you need speed work, try the 800 meter runs or 400 meter runs! 

MollyHuddle,Duane Solomon, photo by Saucony Racing

Congrats to the NYRR on finding a new long term sponsor for the New York City Marathon. Finding sponsors that fit the global nature of the New York City Marathon is a difficult task. It is great to see a major Indian company taking the global stage in the sport of global marathon racing! 

New York City Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net
Race Directors deal with all types of issues, but the government shutdown is not normally on your list of reasons to cancel a race. Steve Nearman, Race Director at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon, decided to postpone the race with the continued goverment shutdown. 

Please check out the event site and updates on how to get your numbers and when the race will be run. 
Spenco has launched a new brand ambassador program. Spenco was the company that developed insoles and footwear accessories over two decades ago. With so many competitors, Spenco has become the Xerox of footwear accessories. How does one stand out? Grass roots communications, and brand ambassadors is a smart start. The key for Spenco is to keep a consistent level of communication with the trade and the consumer. 
Your body takes time to recover from hard races and workouts. When you have a hard week, sometimes, the races in the next week find you worn out. You will come back. Just be patient. 

Saucony KIlkenny, photo by Saucony Racing
One of the treasures for distance runners on the web is the UJENA Fit Club site. Bob Anderson, the founder of Runners World magazine and my first boss, continues to love running and has developed this site to support his double-double race series-running a 10k, then a 5k, on same day after a short break. 

This feature in on Bob Schul, the only American to win the 5,000 meters in the Olympics. In that race, in 1964, remember, Bob Schul took the gold and Bill Dellinger took the bronze! Enjoy the piece by David Prokop and thanks to Bob Anderson for developing this site! 

bob schul.jpg
Bob Schul winning gold, 
photo courtesy of UJENA Fit Club

Saucony Kilkenny, photo by PhotoRun.net

The tempo run is even more important during your racing period. It gives you a great chance to build up your endurance and abilty to handle the middle parts of races, where most runners slow down. 

Saucony Carrera XC, photo by PhotoRun.net 

This is the fourteenth week of the Saucony RBR Fall Cross Country training program. Now, you are into racing season. Invitationals on Saturdays and dual meets during the week. 

Focus on the goals at hand, and the goals for the entire season. 
Terrence Mahon, one of the top middle and long distance coaches in the United States, will be heading up a new program sponsored by the B.A.A. and adidas, geared to develop high performance American athletes to compete in US championships, World Championships and Olympic competitions. 

Terrance Mahon with Jen Rhines, Eugene 2008, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

We applaud the Boston Athletic Association in this new endeavor, and Terrence Mahon, one of our top American coaches, is a perfect lead for such a program. This announcement comes at a time when some running events have decreased their support of elite athletes. At RunBlogRun, we believe that the B.A.A. and their partner, adidas, are sending the right message. Running is both an activity and a sport. And, anything tied into the most exclusive marathon in the world, outside of a World or Olympic championship,  the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, has to recognize the sporting nature of this sport we call running. 

We wish Terrence Mahon and the new training group that he will assemble the very best of luck and much success. We also congratulate the B.A.A. Boston marathon and adidas on once again, leading by example. 

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