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
Moses Mosop ran and won the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on five weeks of training. His coach, Renato Canova, a quite eccentric and talented Italian, told us that ” Moses was only 85 percent fit.” Moses ran 2:05.37.
Remember Moses has run 2:03.06, the second fastest time under all conditions, in Boston on April 18, 2011. On April 15, 2012, Moses ran 2:05.03 in Rotterdam.
And, one of his most under rated runs, in my opinion, was his 25k and 30k world records in Eugene, on June 3, 2011, where he ran 1:12.25.4 and 1:26.27.4. When I asked Moses Mosop about the world record track run, he said, ” I liked it, and it was not too hard, but I was 100 percent fit then.”
Right now, Moses Mosop is 95 percent fit.
I feel bad for the rest of the field.
On the track in Osaka, Japan, in the final of the 5,000 meters, Matt Tegenkamp figured out, with seventy meters to go, that he could win a medal. I remember watching Matt start to move, with tremendous speed, and he barely, oh so barely missed the bronze medal. His fourth place surprised everyone, but his coach, Jerry Schumacher.
Matt Tegenkamp has made two Olympic teams, one at 5,000 meters and one at 10,000 meters. Now, Teegs, as he is called by his fans, is debuting at the marathon.
Matt told this reporter about a run of 22 miles in early September. ” I had run 20 miles pretty hard and then Jerry asked me to give him all I had over the last two miles, ” noted a smiling Tegenkamp, remembering the workout as if it were yesterday. ” Afterwards, Jerry said that, perhaps, just perhaps, I might be a marathoner afterall.”
Tegenkamp knows that his future lies in the marathon. How fast will he run? This is from a guy who shunned worrying about fast times, and ran to win. And win, he has.
Matt Tegenkamp told us about road racing, which he is liking and how one can be together for 18-24 miles, and then, ” it comes down to gutting it out for the the last two miles.”
Feel bad for whoever is with Tegenkamp. The guy has run two miles in 8:07.07, an American record.
Tatyana was born with spina bifida. She lived in a Russian orphanage until she was six, when her Mom found her and brought her to the US.
Tatyana found track and field, but it was not nice to her at first. After winning two medals in the Paralympics, at the age of fifteen, she tried to compete for her high school track team. Her high school coach would have none of it. Her mom even asked the coach, the coach said no.
So, Tatyana and her mother, after having spoken to the school and coach several times, sued the school, school district and state in order that athletes with disabilities could compete in high school sports. She won. And seven months ago, a new federal law, called Tatyana’s law, was signed by President Obama.
When you meet Tatyana, one is taken by her strength and thoughtfulness. With so much adversity in one’s life, one thinks that she had every excuse to be bitter. She is not. Tatyana is a fighter, and an athlete of immense strength.
She has done videos on Vine with LoLo Jones on training, and she has met some of the top male football players at the ESPYs, who were impressed with her “guns”-her shoulders and asked to take pictures with her!
Tatyana McFadden is focused right now. You see, she has won Boston and London in 2013, and now, she wants to win Chicago and New York-as no one has won all four marathons in one year!
Her focus after New York will be nordic skiing, which she recently took up. You see, she wants to be first paralympic athlete to make summer and winter Olympics. And Sochi, Russia, is near her orphanage.
She has miles to go before she sleeps…..