February 2015 Archives

The running footwear business, at the performance level, takes no prisoners. At this time, our RN footwear editor, Cregg Weinmann tracks over 48 brands in performance running. To be a player in the performance running business, one must make consistently great product, have great consumer service, have a team that understands that their most important work is done on the weekends, at road races and track meets around the globe, and support the sport. 

Under Armour is getting that. Their first steps into running resulted in some very tough lessons. But, in this commercial, and with recent additions to their team, UA is showing that they get it. The commercial featuring UA athletes Natasha Hastings and Manteo Mitchell, with the alway fun Jamie Fox, is memorable. 

Why? Because UA has communicated their mantra in a setting that is real for runners, track athletes and sports fans alike. Jamie Fox uses humor and focus to show that those aspirations you have, whether on the dirt track in San Jose, California at the local junior high, or at the 200 meter indoor track at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, when the USA Indoors are on the line, and all place in between, your goals are important to Under Armour. 

Nicely done, Under Armour. 

Suppose that you had a great idea for a track meet, focusing on the jumps, vault and sprints, and could take those meetings to facilities who could not house a 200 meter track? That is what Bengt Bendeus, Rajne Soderberg, Lasse Johnson, Daniel Wessfeldt did in Malmo, Sweden, on Wednesday, February 25, 2015. 

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I enjoyed the meet and am fascinated with anyone willing to take a chance on something new in our sport. So, after the Birmingham Sainsbury's Indoor GP, I flew up to Copenhagen, and spent some time with my publisher, Christian Friis, a resident of Malmo, who publishes RunDenmark. 

I liked Malmo, Sweden, a city of 300,000. The weather was better than Boston, or Birmingham. And the facility was modern, and multi-use. The track was from Regupol, the company that did the 2009 WC track. The runways were good, the high jump area was also, and the sprint straights were well done as well. 

The event combined entertainment with track & field. Something for everyone. A very popular Swedish band performed several times during the evening. But, as one would have thought, the highlights were Mutasz Essa Barshim and his high jump performances, and Renauld Lavillenie and his search for the perfect vault. 

In the end, many high notes, and a fine first year. Malmo will be on my bucket list for year two. 
Just after the session, I sat in the seats, and recorded this commentary on the 2015 Malmo Games. Just after I finished, the kind Swedish security officer asked me to vacate, as they were closing down the facility. 

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Shannon Rowbury, Millrose 2015, photo by PhotoRun.net

We asked Cathal Dennehy to provide us his five best bets on great races this coming weekend, at the 2015 USA Indoor Champs. Cathal Dennehy is a track geek and partner with Jumping-the-Gun.com, one of Ireland's finest athletics websites. Here, Cathal gives you, the curious reader, his picks for the best events of the weekend. 
Rajne Söderberg is the meeting director of the new Malmo Games. This interview was done on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 at the Malmo Games presser. 

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Rajne Söderberg, courtesy of svenksan.se

Rajne Söderberg is a medical professional who loves athletics. Ragne managed the DN Galan Meeting for nearly three decades, and it thrived under his leadership. The skill set needed to put on a major meeting of global magnitude goes without saying. But perhaps, it should be said. The ability to encourage a community, a club, a country to get behind an athletics meeting, then to work with your team as you find sponsors and convince managers and athletes to support your dream is a long and difficult road. 

Rajne Söderberg has had the support of his three partners, Bengt Bendeus, Daniel Wessfeldt and Lasse Johnson. 

The 2015 Malmo Games has been a success. In this interview, learn about Rajne Söderberg's vision for the sport. 

Renaud Lavillenie is one of our sport's most daring athletes. He is also, one of our best interviews. Lavillenie makes it quite clear he wants to leave a legacy and he is proud of the tradition of French vaulters in our sport.

Renaud Lavillenie, photo by PhotoRun.net

This interview was done at the Malmo Games presser on February 24, 2015 in Malmo, Sweden. The next day, Renaud made three strong attempts at 6.03 meters, but had to settle for his 5.92m clearance, giving him the six highest jumps of the 2015 year.

We will see Renaud Lavillenie next during the European Indoor Champs, in Prague, March 6-8! 

I have known of Loren Seagrave for the past three decades, as his athletes have developed and he has taken athletes in trouble technically and returned them to success. Now, at the IMG Academy, Loren is working with athletes of all ages,  to hone their skills. 

David Hunter, our fellow athletic pilgrim, writes about one of our most important technical coaches, Loren Seagrave. Loren has lots to share from his vast experience as one of our sport's finest coaches. 

Loren Seagrave, photo courtesy of IMG Academy

Lost in my travels the past two weeks was this gem from Jeff Benjamin. Jeff, a long time writer for RunBlogRun, American Track & Field, and yes, American Athletics, writes about the story within the story. His piece on the Millrose makes one feel like you are in front of the media section in the Armory, watching the goings on at the 2015 NYRR Millrose Games. 

Nick Willis, Matt Centrowitz battle to the line, 2015 NYRR Millrose Games, 
photo by photoRun.net
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The Malmo Games site, 24 February 2015, photo by Larry Eder

If you wanted to start a new meeting in Sweden, or, quite frankly, anywhere else on our little planet, you would be hard pressed to find a better team. 

Bengt Bendeus, a former Swedish shot putter, and successful international businessman, ran the Malmo Games in the 1980s and 1990s. Rajne Soderberg was the prime mover behind the two plus successful decades of the DN Galan Meeting in Stockholm. MAI, the local, iconic track club, has secured the permit for the meeting. Bengt Bendeus, Rajne Soderberg, long time MAI club official and meet manager Lasse Johnson, along with well respected manager of athletes Daniel Wessfeldt formed Malmo Athletic International, to develop their innovative track meeting. 

Jordan Hasay is having a super indoor season. Starting with a two mile win at the Armory Track Invitational, Jordan Hasay has run a fine mile in NYR MIllrose and ran a huge PB of 8:50 at last weekend's Sainsbury's Birmingham Indoor GP.

Jordan Hasay, Carlsbad 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

Jordan Hasay did this interview with me at the NYRR Media morning on February 13, 2015. Special thanks to David Monti for putting the interviews together. 

Jordan Hasay is coming into her own, and racing well early in 2015. We wish her the very best this season. 

Early adidas track spike, courtesy of adidas Communications

(Editor's note: The following piece is on a new and innovative club in New Jersey, the adidas Garden State Track Club. We thanks Jeff Benjamin, a long time contributor to RunBlogRun, American Track & Field, and yes, even, American Athletics. )

Updated February 24, Last name is Schneekloth.

The Garden State Track Club
By Jeff Benjamin

In today's complex athletics world, it is difficult for post-collegiate American athletes to find a club willing to support it's endeavors, particularly those who are just below the cusp of regional and national levels. Coach Gagliano's NY-NJ Track Club has filled the void for many of the elites of the sport in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut tri-state area.area. 
However for an aspiring athlete performing below that level, there is a place--the Garden State Track Club. It's President and founder Chuck Schneekloth has now attempted to fill that void  . Setting standards of team camaraderie and inclusiveness throughout the state, the Garden State Track Club has emerged as a rising club in the area, filling a much-needed void.

I had the opportunity to interview Chuck recently--
Greg Rutherford, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics

Greg Rutherford did a fantastic interview at the Sainsbury's Birmingham Indoor GP Presser on Friday, February 20. 

Rutherford, the 2012 London Olympic Games champion continues to add to his resume as one of the finest jumpers of his era, but also one of the most relaxed interviewers in sport. With his wife and new son, Milo, at the meeting, Rutherford would set four PBs during the next day's meeting, finally winning the long jump with a final leap of 8.17 meters, after leaping 8.03m meters, 8.08 meters, and 8.10 meters. 

In his only competition of the indoor season, Greg Rutherford told us afterwards that he is now off to Phoenix and the World Athletics Throw Center for some winter and spring training. His focus in 2015? The World Championships in Beijing in August. 

Mo Farah, Galen Rupp, A Day in the Life, April 2013, photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images, IAAF

Mo Farah has finally taken a World Best, which is a world record by another name. The IAAF just does not call distances such as 2 miles worthy of World Records anymore. So, Mo Farah entertained fans in the BarclayCard NIA Indoor Stadium in Birmingham, UK last Saturday with a brilliant run over two miles. 

Farah had pacemakers hit 2:00.00 for 800 meters and 4:03.9 for the mile. Just before the 2000 meter mark, Mo Farah was off and running hard. As the crowd was wound up, Mo Farah did his best to take the record time of Kenenisa Bekele, who ran 8:04.35 in 2008, a  memory.

Using a 3:59.5 last mile, Mo Farah did get his world best of 8:03.40. Here is a tape of the last 400 meters of the race and my comments on the race right afterwards! What a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon! 


Murielle Ahoure, NB 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net

This is the European results for the week of 6 February 2015. Special thanks to Carles Baronet, Track in Sun. 
Kevin Borlee, photo by PhotoRun.net

This is results for European season up through 31 January 2015, from Carles Baronet! Sorry for the delay. 
This is an interview of Will Leer, miler, from the NYRR MIllrose Games presser, February 12, 2015. 


Will Leer winning the 2013 USA title, photo by PhotoRun.net

But, now the story I have been trying to write on Will Leer and my admiration of him. 

In my running years, there were three books that changed my life. The first was the Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, a novella by Alan Sillitoe. The second was the Self Made Olympian, by Ron Daws, which helped me hone my training, and the third was Once a Runner, by John Parker. 

Quentin Cassidy was the miler, and main character in Once A Runner, searching for perfection. Mentored by a character who seemed quite similar to a certain 1972 Olympic gold medalist at the marathon we know, Cassidy had a workout that literally would put him into a fetal position after the workout. Every runner at that time had such a workout. Miles were counted, races chronicled, and "Miles of Trials and Trials of Miles" (the term coined by John Parker, the author of Once a Runner) were badges of honor. 

My workout was called the Killer Diller. It was always on a Sunday. I would, every three weeks, run a 22 miler (I would vary 18-20-22), just over six minute pace, in the hills of Santa Cruz Mountains. My college coach, Dan Durante would put us through the paces on near his mountain top home on the weekends and Tuesday nights. The long run went downward through abandoned towns in the Santa Cruz mountains. That first half was conversation on philosophy, engineering, Russian history, whatever the topics of the day. Coach Durante would join us for the first ten or twelve. 

Dan's politics were pretty center to conservative. I was a raving lefty and as the conversation would always reach something on then President Reagan, my training partner, Paul and I would gently pick up the pace. Dan would cut off to one of his myriad trails and meet us at the house. 

Then, the running began, just as our coach had planned it...

At the half-way point, we turned around and started the long grind home. The last fifteen to twenty minutes were truly hellacious and my grunts, groans and sporadic creative blurting of four letter words, much like an outbreak of Tourette's syndrome,  broke the cool, crisp morning air. Paul and I, running by ourselves, would pump our arms, lift our knees and try to breathe. Paul just smiled as I would blurt out a cornacopia of expletives. Knowing that I could curse, running uphill, was a badge of honor. Paul knew, as I did, if I could curse, I could handle the hills, and he just concentrated on the effort. 

Afterwards, a nice cool hose washing of our legs was the response from a coach who had closely watched horse racing. 

That night, I would warm up and run 8k FCR (fast controlled run), trying to see how hard I could push the second session of the day. Returning home, I would shower, and crawl into bed, in near fetal position. I remember smiling as I fell asleep, knowing I " could take it." During the summer, as I worked on my mileage, I would extend that second run to ten miles. 

After this workout, I would remind myself at the end of races, when I was feeling poorly, that I could handle it. Thanks John Parker! I remember having someone with me on our home course, a god awful, mountainous course in the Santa Cruz mountains that teams refused to run after the first time. With 300 meters to go after six miles, we ran uphill straight to the finish. I smiled. I had run 20 times this hill for twelve weeks in the spring (my coach was total Lydiard & Squires). I caught the guy who had defeated me the year before by one minute and took control with 100 meters to go. I just wanted to grind him. My training partner had just finished and saw we were going 1,2 and he just smiled. "The Trials of Miles and the Miles of Trials." It was a great moment to share. 

So, I have digressed. What is new? 

Will Leer is a real runner, a real miler, an elite distance runner. He enjoys his world, and his journey, as he searches for his perfect race. Will Leer knows what "The Trials of Miles and Miles of Trials" means, as he lives it every day. 

I admire Will Leer for many reasons. His honesty, his sense of humor, the twinkle in his eyes because he takes time to enjoy his journey. Leer also lives the Quentin Cassidy character for Once a Runner. Like his friend and training partner, Nick Willis, Will is coached by Ron Warhurst, the maker of milers. 

Will Leer reminds me of an ee cummings poem. Honest, tough, a good heart. 

I have wanted to interview Will for several years. Then, it finally happened. David Monti of Race Results Weekly and the NYRR, had a press morning at the NYRR offices. Will Leer and I chatted for fifteen minutes. 

Listen to this, pass it around. Lots of great stuff. More than the running stuff, Will Leer talks about living an honest life, no excuses, and lots of learning. And his affection for his coach, Ron Warhurst, and his friends and supporters is clear. 

Watch Will Leer this spring, and summer. 

This was a Pre NYRR Millrose Games interview, my mistake, like a week before, February 12! 

Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theison Eaton, April 2013, A Day in the Life, Eugene, Oregon, photo by Doug Pensinger/ Getty Images, IAAF

This interview was done at the Millrose Games presser, on February 12, 2015 in New York City. I had finished several interviews and my interview app was clogged, so Ashton helped me clear my phone. 

The most highly visible track couple on the circuit, Ashton Eaton is the world record holder and Olympic and World Champion in the decathlon. Brianne Theisen Eaton is the Commonwealth Champion and World Champs medalist in the heptathlon. Having observed Brianne over the past two years and Ashton over the last five, I can tell you that they are a unique couple. 

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

Under the watchful eye of Coach Harry Marra, not only a keen observer of the multi events, but, in my mind, one of the best technicians I know, Ashton has honed his skills and Brianne is becoming a world beater. Harry Marra is a coaches' coach. Harry will tell you, that his job is to keep Brianne and Ashton healthy. That is no mean feat with multi eventers. 

Thoughtful answers come from both of their mouths. Ashton admits to worrying when Brianne competes, because he can only watch and not help, but, that is good. Brianne handles being married to a WR holder, and competing for Canada and that pressure, as well as being in different parts of  their careers.

They are both very patient with my questions and lack of technical expertise with my iphone app. For that, and their smiles, and thoughtful answers, I wanted to say thanks! 

One final note, go to You Tube and watch Ashton's hurdle race at Millrose. He leaped over the barriers at the end of the hurdles and fell off the track. That he was not hurt was not a miracle, but an example of the prowess of the World's Greatest Athlete. 

The sold out crowd of 12,000 plus in Barclaycard Birmingham NIA were entertained with a fine three hours of track & field. From Greg Rutherford's come from behind long jump win (his fourth indoor PB in the same competition!), to Katerina Thompson-Johnson's second NR in seven days (last week, the high jump in 1.94m and this week, the LJ in 6.93m), to Mo Farah's amazing 8:03.40 World Best for two miles (his first world record), the Sainsbury's Indoor GP did the job right. 

If you want to see how an indoor meet should be done, heck, how any meet should be done, come to Birmingham, and watch this meet. From the promotions, to the press conference, to the great seating and viewing for media and fans, the event showcases the sport, British athletics and their sponsors, Sainsburys and Nike, among others. 

Too bad that it will go to an every other year meeting in 2016. 

Mo Farah, photo by PhotoRun.net
The pressers at the Sainsbury's events, managed by British Athletics, are some of the best in the sport. A group of Britain's finest sports media, along with yours truly, were assembled around a table as Mo Farah sits on the other side. 

Galen Rupp, Mo Farah, A Day in the Life, April 2013, photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/IAAF

Tape recorders, old school and digital ( I use audacity.com and an app on my iphone), are marked on as it is announced that we have fifteen minutes with Mo Farah. Part of the marketing deal between elite athletes and British athletics events is two hours of media time, broken up for photos, TV interviews and pressers such as this. 

The media from various organizations agree on an embargo time on many of the interviews, out of respect for newspaper deadlines, and we are off.

I found Mo Farah quite relaxed. He spoke openly on his training and his social media issues with Andy Vernon. I thought that his response on the twitter war was well done, and should be the model for other athletes who letter their tweeting get them in a bit of trouble. In the end, Mo took his hit and explained his issue with Andy Vernon. Mr. Vernon did not come off as good, and he was lambasted in twitter world and British press. 

Note that while Mo Farah talks about wanting to get a PB in the two mile, he was careful to talk about a World Record. Forensically, I found out that the World record attempt had been in the plans for two weeks. A British pacer was found and Paul Koech was found to help the pace through 2 kilometers. 

Mo Farah is well liked by most of his competitors. Bernard Lagat noted that Mo Farah was quite clear with him that he would go with six laps or if the pace dawdled, Mo would go earlier. Bernard noted that most athletes are not like that. 

Mo Farah is a special one....

Katerina Johnson-Thompson, SOPOT 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

Katerina Johnson-Thompson is part of the present and future promise of British Athletics. Jessica Ennis-Hill, the 2012 Olympic champion, is back in training, after the birth of her first child. Morgan Lake, the World Junior phenom, is also doing quite well in 2015, as she did in 2014.

Over dinner the other night, I asked a keen observer of British Athletics why she believed that Britain was producing so many superb multi event women and yet, without Dean Macy, no promising male multi-eventers? She commented that the best male athletes in England, Wales and Scotland go to football or rubgy, whereas for women, athletics is where the most talented are going. 
Mo Farah, 2011 Nike Pre 10,000m, photo by PhotoRun.net

Mo Farah answered more than a few questions yesterday afternoon with his brilliant and stirring World Record (IAAF notes it should be World Best) over two miles. One starts out with a mile in 4:03.9 and runs, mostly on own a final mile in 3:59.5, and if you are Mo Farah, the only person to do that on this planet, one is the fastest man over two miles with his 8:03.40, surpassing Kenenisa Bekele's 8:04.35! 

Greg Rutherford's fine opener in the long jump (8.03m PB, foul, 8.08m PB, foul, 8.10m PB, 8.18mPB), showed that his training is coming along just fine, thank you. The 2012 Olympic champ, as well as 2014 European and Commonwealth Games champ will look for his first World Champs gold in 2015. 
Mo Farah, A Day in the Life, April 2013, photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images/IAAF

Birmingham, UK. February 21, 2015

In a classic way to end a sporting event, Mo Farah broke his first World record on home soil, in front of his home crowd. " It is nice to do it on home soil! I love to represent my country. That drives me as an athlete to have my nation behind me. The half marathon will be different. What drives me is getting results like this! " 

Mo Farah hit the 800 meters in 2:00.0, then the mile in 4:03.9. By 2000 meters hit in near 5:04, Mo Farah was on his own, racing for his first world record. It was a gutty, gritty effort, as Farah ran 3:59.5 for the final 1600 meters, and hit 8:03.40 for a new WR for two miles, breaking the former mark of Kenenisa Bekele of 8:04.35. 

Did it hurt? Of course it did. As Mo was entering the center of the track, after the race, to do a post race interview with Katharine Merry, he threw up a couple of times. 

Tough efforts require work, and we sometimes forget that fact. 

Congrats to Mo Farah on his first WR and his next event is a half marathon in Lisbon in March! 
Greg Rutherford, 2012 Great City Games, 
photo by Vernon Photography/Nova International

The press conferences for the day before the 2015 Sainesbury's Indoor Grand Prix featured Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford. Mo spoke about his new altitude training site in Ethiopia. At 9000 feet, it is two thousand feet higher than Iten, Kenya, his past training site. Mo Farah told the assembled media that he needed a week to acclimatise. The workouts left him exhausted at first. Mo Farah believes he is better shape than last winter. 

Greg Rutherford, the 2012 Olympic champion and 2014 Commonwealth and European champion at the long Jump, is only jumping once in the indoor season. Having put on 3 kilograms of muscle since last year, Greg wants to see how it will help him or hinder him in his jumping. Greg is one of the funniest athletes on the circuit. 
Cam Levins, "A Day in the Life", April 2013, photo by Doug Pensingner/Getty Images for the IAAF

Sabrina Yohannes is a freelance journalist, based in New York, who writes on athletics, much of the time, on Ethiopian athletics. This is Sabrina's first piece for RunBlogRun. Cam Levins was supposed to race this weekend in the Canadian Indoor Champs, February 20 and 21. As I am posting this (about 9 pm local time in Montreal on Friday night), we did not know if Cam had recovered enough to consider racing this weekend. 

Cam Levins started his 2015 off in grand style with a nifty double at the 2015 Armory Track Invitational, on 31 January 2015. Winning the mile (3:54.74) and the two mile (8:15.38), with a separation of less than thirty-two minutes was quite impressive. That Levins was barely off the NRs in both the mile and the two mile for Canada was more amazing. 

Cam Levins joined the Nike Oregon Project in the spring of 2013. Coach Alberto Salazar had to cut Cam's mileage, which approached 140 miles a week in college, to bring him into Salazar's training plan. 

In the summer of 2014, Cam Levins took a bronze medal in a very tactical, race to the finish Commonwealth Games' 10,000 meters. 

For his strong performances in January, and his amazing promise in 2015, RunBlogRun has given Cam Levins our SATV+RBR Male Athlete of the Month award for the month of January 2015. 

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Cam Levins, Galen Rupp, photo by PhotoRun.net
Genzebe Dibaba, photo by PhotoRun.net

On February 19, 2015, Genzebe Dibaba set a new indoor WR for the 5,000 meters, running 14:18.86 at the XL Galan meeting in front of the 1,500 or so estimated fans in Stockholm. 

For Dibaba, she now has the indoor WRS for 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters, 2 Miles, and 5,000 meters. 

One twitter note said it all though: four world records and you are the second fastest girl in the family!

Lopez Lomong, Millrose 2015, photo by PhotoRun.net

The NCAAs and USA Outdoors, which will be hosted at the University of Oregon and Tracktown USA this coming spring and summer, will have tickets on sale February 20, 2015! 


Mutaz Essa Barshim, photo by PhotoRun.net

Mutaz Barshim cleared 2.41 meters last night at the Atlone GP, in Ireland. His clearance indoors was a new Asian record. As Mutaz chases the world record, a height that some keen observers note, "is just a matter of time", fans are enjoying the excitement in the high jump with several men, including Bondarenko, Barshim and Ukhov chasing the WR!

Alex Mills wrote this piece on Barshim's fantastic clearance last night! 

adidas Garden State Track Club, one of the newer clubs in New Jersey, did very well at the Millrose Games. Here is their newsletter detailing their success in the Millrose Games, thanks to Jeff Benjamin, who sent us the newsletter! 
Bernard Lagat en route to WRs (3:40.20 for 1,500m and 3:54.91 for Mile), photo by PhotoRun.net

The Wanamaker miles were exciting in MIllrose Games this year. The men's mile was fantastic! Matthew Centrowitz fought to the finish with Nick Willis, gaining his second Millrose title. 

In fourth place, Bernard Lagat ran 3:40.20 + en route to his 3:54.91 mile-both Master's records! 

Here is Chris Lotsbom's piece on the Millrose Wanamaker mile! 
After seeing Nick Willis and Matt Centrowitz battle at the Millrose Mile, I am convinced once again, that we have the best sport in the world! The job of AAM, the Association of Athletic Managers, is to represent the finest athletes in the world. 

The Association of Athletics Managers is nearly eleven years old, having been founded in November 2004. Their most recent meeting was in Lisbon, Portugal, right after the New York City Marathon. 

We provided questions to the board in November 2014 and they responded in December 2014. We encourage all elite athletes to find a registered athletic manager. After reading this interview, please go to www.atheticsmanagers.com for more information. 

Willis and Centrowitz in a thrilling mile! photo by PhotoRun.net

The answers below are quite politic at times, and also quite honest as well. The AAM is one of the key players in the athletics community. As the sports looks at some important changes over the next several years, AAM should be playing a real part in those changes. 

RunBlogRun thanks the AAM for their consideration and support. 
Shannon Rowbury wins Millrose 2015,  photo by PhotoRun.net

Updated February 16, 2015

Shannon Rowbury is back in 2015 and she is running fast and waking more than a few people up! Her 4:22.66 was the fastest indoor mile since 2000 for a woman! It is the fifth fastest time for the indoor mile ever! Shannon has made it clear she wants to improve at the 1,500 meters and the 5,000 meters once again in 2015, as she did in 2014! 

The Shoe Addicts TV plus RunBlogRun recognize Shannon Rowbury as our January 2015 Athlete of the Month! 

Just to reinforce her fast mile in January, on February 14, 2015, Shannon came oh so close, running the second fastest mile by American ever, with her 4:24.32, as she won the Wanamaker women's mile. Shannon wants another shot at the best mile ever. She will get it. 

Emelia Gorecka, photo by PhotoRun.net
            Jeroen Deen with Aselefech Mergia and Lucy Kabuu 
in Dubai,
photo by Justin Lagat
The Masters of the Mile, Lagat & Coughlan, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Millrose Games for 2015 was another success. The Wanamaker MIles were exciting, but, in the men's race, there was extra drama as Nick Willis and Matthew Centrowitz, two of the most extraordinary milers of their generations battled to the finish. In fourth place, Bernard Lagat ran 3:54.91, a new world Masters record, which broke the 1994 record of one Eamonn Coghlan, who had run 3:58.15 as a masters almost 21 years ago! 

Lagat ran a 3000m masters WR, now a mile masters WR. I will watch him run the two mile next weekend, with Mo Farah in Birmingham DL! 

In the meantime, our long time writer, Elliott Denman waxes poetically on the wonders of the 2015 NYRR Millrose Games! 
Shannon Rowbury wins the mile! photo by PhotoRun.net

Shannon Rowbury had an off day and ran 4:24! Oh, if we all could be so lucky! Shannon had some fatigue issues at the end of the race, but she made it across the line! 

Cathal Dennehy wrote this piece on the women's Wanamaker mile...
Centrowitz and Willis battle at Millrose, photo by PhotoRun.net 

The 2015 NYRR Wanamaker Mile at the 2015 NYRR Millrose Games featured one of the finest mile fields assembled in many years. In the end, it came down to Nick Willis, 2008 Olympic silver medalist and Matthew Centrowitz, 2011 World Champ bronze and 2013 World Champ silver medalist. 

The crowd was on its' feet as both the seasoned New Zealander and the young American battled to the finish! 

I hope you enjoy this tape where I attempted to provide color commentary for one of the finest mile races that I have seen in many years! 

Matthew Centrowitz won the 1000m last weekend in Boston (and the mile this weekend), by PhotoRun.net

Cathal Dennehy, from Jumping the Gun, wrote this piece on a true classic mens" mile! 
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Lavillenie 602 WL, Collins remains unbeaten

BERLIN (GER, Feb 14): Second edition of ISTAF Indoor before 12 000 spectators proved again to be a top spectacle. Olympic winner Renaud Lavillenie continued in his winning tour (6 wins in 6 meets) and this time cleared another World lead 602 (also MR) in first attempt, his jubilee 10th six metres competition. Afterwards before the eyes of Sergey Bubka he tried three times at 617. Second Robert Sobera of Poland 581 PB with Valentin Lavillenie and Piotr Lisek getting 573. In the men hurdles Orlando Ortega of Cuba in his season opener clocked 7.51 and equaled the World lead (also meet record). Second Dayron Robles 7.53 ahead of Aries Merritt 7.58 and WL holder Dimitri Bascou 7.60. Kim Collins won again, the 60 m in excellent 6.50 ahead of Antiguan Daniel Bailey 6.57 and Berlin sprinter Lucas Jakubczyk 6.59 (he also clocked 6.59 in heats), fourth Yunier Perez 6.60 and only fifth Christophe Lemaitre 6.65. Collins is unbeaten this indoor season. European sprint champion Dafne Schippers improved her PB over 60 m to 7.09 (MR) over South African Carina Horn 7.20 PB, third Jessica Young 7.21. Home win for Cindy Roleder over the hurdles 8.06 against Panama´s Yvette Lewis 8.07 and Dutch Nadine Visser 8.08 PB. US Funmi Jimoh got the women long jump 674 ahead of Romanian Alina Rotaru who equaled her indoor PB 668. Best German Sosthene Moguenara only 5th (652). In the discus held after all events finished Shanice Craft achieved the women indoor All-time best 62.07 ahead of Nadine Muller 62.00. In men competition Martin Wierig with first throw 64.24 was the winner.

(Editor's note: Lavillenie continues to astound. His jumping this early suggests some grand heights later this season. I hope to see him vault in Prague.) 
Katarina Johnson-Thompson, photo by PhotoRun.net

Morgan Lake, photo by PhotoRun.net

Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Morgan Lake opened the UK Trials today with two fine high jumps. Slightly hinting at their brilliant futures, Thompson and Lake have been keeping the multi-event in UK alive, as Jessica Ennis-Hill had her baby and returned to training. 

Alex Mills writes about day one of the UK Trials....

PHOTO: Edward Cheserek, coach Andy Powell, and Johnny Gregorek of the University of Oregon in advance of the 2015 NYRR Millrose Games (photo by Chris Lotsbom for Race Results Weekly)

The NYRR hosted a series of press conferences today. Chris Lotsbom interviewed Edward Cheserek and Johnny Gregorek today. Johnny Gregorek is the son of John Gregorek, one of the finest distance runners in the US in the 1970s and 1980s--and one of the most versatile. In the 1980 Olympic Trials, John Gregorek made the US steeplechase team, by finished second in the Trials, in a down the stretch battle with Ron Addison. 

That fall, I remember watching John battle Chuck Aragon at the National Catholic Invitational at Notre Dame, a race that I was also running. I was about twenty people back, as Chuck and John battled each other over the last mile of the course. 

It is fun seeing the next generation of runners. I am looking forward to seeing Edward Cheserek and Johnny Gregorek race on Saturday. Enjoy this piece from Chris Lotsbom. 
Ray Flynn has had a colorful career as a world class athlete. In that career, which lasted over a decade, Flynn ran 86 sub four minute miles, and set records at the Mile, 1,500m and 5,000m for Ireland. Ray then developed an athletes representation business, Flynn Marketing, from which he represents athletes such as Deena Kastor, Jenny Simpson, and Lauren Fleshmann. 

Over the past four years, Ray Flynn and his team have help develop the move of the Millrose Games to the Armory. In this interview, I asked Ray Flynn about the fields were put together in 2015, and how he thinks the races would play out. 

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Shannon Rowbury, photo by PhotoRun.net

Shannon Rowbury had a fantastic 2014. Shannon Rowbury's and Molly Huddle's battles elevated the racing of American women distance running in the US and Europe. Shannon's pb's at 1,500 meters, 3000 meters, two miles , and 5,000 meters were impressive enough. 

Then, after a quiet fall and some rebuilding, Shannon Rowbury cranks off a 4:22.66 mile in Camel City. That mile has kept all excited, and this weekend, Shannon Rowbury will be running the mile at the Armory. 

Not any mile, mind you, but the Wanamaker Mile! 

My prediction is that an AR or perhaps indoor WR is in the making! We will have to wait until tomorrow! 
Mathew Centrowitz, 2015 NB Indoor GP, photo by PhotoRun.net

A wonderful press conference featuring Cam Levins, Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen Eaton, Matthew Centrowitz, Mary Cain, Bernard Lagat, David Oliver, and Shannon Rowbury. Emceed by Ian Brookes, the voice of the Armory, and with commentary from Mary Wittenberg, Dr. Norb Sanders, Ray Flynn, this was a fun Q&A with Paul Gambaccini and I asking many of the questions.  

Bernard Lagat and his fans, Albuqureque, New Mexico, 2012, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

Bernard Lagat has recently turned 40. Don't let that fool you. His 7:48 for 3000 meters last weekend broke the World Masters best by thirteen seconds! Later today, February 14, Bernard Lagat will take a shot at Eamonn Coghlan's WR Masters mile of 3:58.15. Many think he will decimate it. 

So does writer, Elliott Denman, in the following feature...
Chris Derrick celebrates his third victory, photo by PhotoRun.net

Laura Thweatt winning her first USA XC title, photo by PhotoRun.net

The USA XC took place last Saturday in Boulder, Colorado. With amazing warmth for February in Boulder (thank god, this global warming stuff is over rated), Chris Derrick and Laura Thweatt are the winners. 

Cross country has over 500,000 high school participants in the US. Collegiate cross country has just over 100,000 participants in the US. In 2013, the US men's team took the bronze. 

Cross country in Europe is going quite well. In the European Champs over 40 countries participated. Issues are being made in Europe now of recent emigrants in some countries representing their new countries as well as recent drug positives being repatriated into the sport. 

Yet with this success in North America and Europe, the World Cross has deteriorated to an every two year affair. It is not the sport that sucks, but the way it is being marketed and the small chance European nations feel with having their nationals actually medal. Many European countries forego the World Cross Country. 

Cross country is, as the fine writer Joe Henderson noted some thirty years ago, "the meeting place of the miler and the marathoner."  If we are going to revitalize our sport, careful consideration has to made on how sports like cross country are promoted, where the championships are held and how perhaps a World cross can be held same weekend and place as, perhaps, a World Half marathon and peoples' race. 

In the meantime, celebrate what Chris Derrick and Laura Thweatt have done. Great performances in sub tropical Boulder, and in February! 

PHOTO: Athletes and officials gathered with school children at a press conference in advance of the 2015 NYRR Millrose Games.  Adults (from left to right): Mary Wittenberg, President & CEO of New York Road Runners; Cam Levins, Canadian Olympian; Matthew Centrowitz, two-time 1500m medalist at IAAF World Championships; Ashton Eaton, 2012 Olympic decathlon gold medalist; Mary Cain, 2014 IAAF World Junior 3000m champion; Brianne Theisen-Eaton, 2013 IAAF World Championships heptathlon silver medalist; Shannon Rowbury, 2009 IAAF World Championships 1500m bronze medalist; Sanya Richards-Ross, 4-time Olympic gold medalist; David Oliver, 2013 IAAF World Championships 110m hurdles gold medalist; Bernard Lagat, 8-time Wanamaker Mile champion; Ray Flynn, NYRR Millrose Games Meet Director; Dr. Norbert Sander, President of Armory Foundation (photo by Chris Lotsbom for Race Results Weekly), used with permission. 

Chris Lotsbom wrote this piece on the Millrose Games presser, one of the finest press conferences that I have ever attended. Here is Chris Lotsbom's feature on the presser, and especially on the relationship between Matt Centrowtiz and Bernard Lagat. 
Laura Roesler, TrackTown14, photo by PhotoRun.net

Sarah Barker wrote the following piece on 800 meter specialist and 2014 Bowerman Award winner Laura Roesler. Laura is now training in Texas as a professional runner after a career at Oregon that saw Roesler named All American seventeen times and win five NCAA Championships! 
The 108th NYRR Millrose Games will be held on February 14, 2015 at the Armory. Now in its fourth year at the Armory, the Millrose Games has been revitalized, and the fields this year are better than ever! Special emphasis has been put on the Wanamaker Miles, and it shows.

We asked Cathal Dennehy, of JumpingtheGun.com , is one of our more prolific commentators. This week, he picked the five events to watch on Saturday. 

We think you will see this is a starting point on watching a crazy fun Millrose Games this year! 

Matt Centrowtiz, photo by PhotoRun.net

One final comment: And the tweet of the week, drum roll please, goes to Matthew Centrowitz, who was quoted as follows by me at the NYRR Millrose Conference: " If a girlfriend says do not worry about Valentines' Day, then you need to worry about it." 
Last summer, Dwight Stones proposed a series of pieces on changing the sport of track & field. This is the second, and in his series, Dwight Noise, Mr. Stones should annoy, intrigue and challenge a few of our readers! 

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Two generations of World Record holders: Sergei Bubka and Renaud Lavillenie, photo by PhotoRun.net

The truth of Dwight's words struck me in considering what I had experienced at the adidas Grand Prix this past June. In a period of twelve minutes, Essa Mutaz Barshim and Bohdan Bondarenko clear 2.42 meters. And, the announcer built us up to it! We knew that we were seeing history. We were caught up after the first jumper cleared 2.40 meters. 

The crowd watched two of our greatest jumpers ever, perhaps like Swedish fans viewed Arne Anderson and Gundar Haag as they chased mile records in the years of WW2, on small tracks in Sweden. 

For a dozen minutes, the sprint and distance mad crowd were all high jump fans. Our collective breaths were held as Barshim and Bohdan tried to grab the moon right out of the sky.  

And it was beautiful....
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Lavillenie 601 WL, Murer 483 WL
NEVERS (FRA, Feb 7): Olympic winner Renaud Lavillenie achieved in the final meet of the French series Perche Elite Tour new world leading 601 cm. He also tried at new World record height of 617 cm. "It was a rather successful evening. I missed the record but I made some nice attempts. I feel I can do it. I used the same pole when I broke the record. This is a good sign," he said for L´Équipe. Second Valentin Lavillenie cleared new PB 580 cm. 2011 World champion Fabiana Murer won the women competition with another World lead 483 cm. Behind her French Marion Fiack 450 and Marion Lotout 440. 

(Editor's note: You are seeing something very special with Renaud Lavillenie. A keen athlete, an ever keener competitor, the guy is fearless. I am Nice to see his younger brother improving quite well, not at 5.80m!)
On January 22, 20015, adidas launched the ULTRABOOST to the global media (about 200 attendees at the New York event), the newest evolution of the BOOST technology that has reminded many runners around the world about the tradition that adidas has in the sport of running. 

adidas Ultraboost, photo by the Shoe Addicts

The Running Network has given adidas four awards during the short time that BOOST  has been around. The technology was the result of a long time development project with BASF, a German technology company celebrating its 150th year in business in 2015. The little beads that are used to create the midsole of the adidas BOOST series of footwear has been called a "paradigm changer" for the brand.

Retailers in North America have told us that while they were caught off guard in 2013 when adidas BOOST launched, many are preparing to support the product as it has resonated like few adidas products in the recent past. Some have compared it to the Dellinger web, launched by adidas in the late 1970s and early 1980s. 

To see the video from Shoe Addicts TV, a new feature series from the Shoe Addicts, just go to the next section.

The adidas Ultraboost goes on sale globally on February 19, 2015, and will retail for $180 in North America.  

Hannah Melnychenko, Moscow 2013, photo by PhotoRun.net

Alex Mills wrote this fine piece about the upcoming heptathlon wars and the 2013 Moscow World Champion who is very much focused on Beijing. With the potential field in Beijing the heptathlon could be one of the hugely popular events in 2015! Alex Mills believes that Hannah Melnychenko will be there! 
How does a great athlete retire, and when? Does one go down fighting or, leave at the zenith of their career? 

Terrence Trammell, Moscow 2006, photo by PhotoRun.net

Terrence Trammell has been part of the American hurdle scene and World scene for nearly a decade and one half. 

In this piece, penned by Elliott Denman, Terrence Trammell speaks of his career as a tapestry of a period of his life: his joys, his frustrations, his wonderful letter from the great Harrison Dillard. 

A wonderful tribute to such an amazing athlete. 

We wish you best wishes on the next part of your journey, Terrence! 

Terrence Trammell, US Olympic Trials 2008, photo by PhotoRun.net
Mo Aman, photo by PhotoRun.net

Mo Aman is joining the OTC Elite club, adding another global star to the OTC roster! 
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Ashton Eaton on cover of ATF, photo by PhotoRun.net

Ashton Eaton and David Oliver are two of the highlights of the NYRR MIllrose Games 60m hurdles that will happen this Saturday, February 14, 2015. RunBlogRun will be covering the event LIVE and look forward to seeing you all there! 
So, Cathal Dennehy and I were chatting, as my Irish friend and I do between press conferences and Mr. Dennehy traveling the world. I asked him to build on his wonderful piece on the 2015 Armory Track Invitational, where he graded the Nike Oregon Track Club. 

So, a night after enjoying a few American micro brews, Mr. Dennehy decides that I am now producing a RunBlogRun Academy Awards show for each track meet. I of course, was excited, because there is nothing I like more doing than buying about a thousand people a dinner consisting of very dry chicken, some old green beans, a wilted salad and a half bottle of tepid two buck Chuck ( a local wine sold at Trader Joes, which comes in red and white). 

So, after our awards dinner, which was completely held in the brain of Mr. Dennehy, he wrote the following story....

Iryna Kovalenko, high jump, photo by PhotoRun.net
Jenny Simpson's AR over two miles, photo by PhotoRun.net

Are you a fan?

Brenda Martinez passes Nicole Tully: race is over after you pass the finish, WR DMR! 
photo by PhotoRun.net

For me, I have a list in my mind of the perfect concerts and near perfect track meets. My perfect concert was July 1977, in Oakland, where I saw Tower of Power and Blood, Sweat & Tears. A great evening of music shared with a wonderful friend, weeks before I was entering the seminary to become a Jesuit priest (well, that did not happen, but, yes, it was part of my journey). 

I now have a near perfect indoor track meet in North America. The 2015 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix had World records, an American record and five or six Meet records. But for me, the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix will be remembered for the efforts of the athletes and how they were embraced by the crowds. 

Emma Coburn, photo by PhotoRun.net

Emma Coburn is racing the 2000 meters tonight in Boston, at the Reggie Lewis Center. The fastest American steeplechaser ever, Emma is focused on Beijing 2015, qualifying for it, and challenging the best. We look forward to seeing her race tonight! 
Brooks Johnson's SpikesandFlats.com is perhaps the most thoughtful blog that I read. From comparing Jazz to the hurdles, from his brutally honest depictions of the dysfunction in our sport's bureaucracies, to his imperfections, Brooks lets you see it and read it, and comments be damned. 

I have known Coach Johnson for nearly thirty years and have come to not just admire him, but truly respect him and appreciate his voice. I am prejudiced in that fact that, even when I, in my younger years, would disagree vociferously, Brooks was one of the first who got what my ex, Christine and I were trying to do with American Athletics. He also offered to pay our rent a few times, knowing we were struggling to develop our first magazine, juggle coaching community college and keeping our son in food and shelter. One does not forget that. 

Now, on to Bruce Jenner... Brooks wrote the following about Bruce Jenner, who I watched train daily in 1975-76 at San Jose City College, and in respect of Bruce, we supported the Bruce Jenner Classic which was managed by Coach Bert Bonnano. 

Brooks wrote about Bruce Jenner and his new journey well....



CHEMNITZ (GER, Feb 7): After two years break the Chemnitz Indoor meet returned with 17th edition and was highlighted by meet record in men 400 m by the reigning World Indoor Champion Pavel Maslak 45.82. Second Rafal Omelko of Poland 46.68. Another top race men 60 m as Christian Blum equaled his PB 6.56 over World Indoor Champion Richard Kilty 6.57 and Julian Reus 6.60. Hurdler Erik Balnuweit also in good shape with 7.61 over Czech Petr Svoboda 7.72 and Alexander John also 7.72. Another home win for Robin Schembera 1:47.80 in the 800 m where Slovak Jozef Repcik was second 1:47.90 and Sebastian Keiner third 1:48.00. Poland athletes won the technical events. Adrian Strzalkowski long jump 797 (young talent Max Hess second 780) and Przemyslaw Czerwinski 550 (Holzdeppe did not compete). Hurdles Zurich medalist Cindy Roleder improved her 60 m PB to 7.34 as winner. In triple jump good German duel with Kristin Gierisch 14.18 and Katja Demut 14.16, Slovak Dana Veldakova third 13.85.

(Editor's note: Pavel Maslak has come back from injury problems and is rolling this early in season. Looking forward to seeing him at European Indoors in Prague.)


PEARSON 11.16 AND 22.97 PB

CANBERRA (AUS, Feb 7):  Olympic champion Sally Pearson has won her highly anticipated Australian Athletics Tour showdown at the AIS Athletics Track with rival sprinter Melissa Breen at the Canberra Track Classic and in the process recorded qualifying times for the 2015 IAAF World Championships in both the 100m and 200m, as well as a new personal best in the latter. In the 100 m Pearson got 11.16 (+1.8, second fastest of the career) over Breen 11.27. In the 200 m Pearson 22.97 (+0.8) PB followed by Ella Nelson 23.33 and Breen 23.47. "Obviously (I'm) happy (with a) PB and second fastest time ever in the 100m," said Pearson. "I'm not satisfied with the time I ran [in the 200m] because I felt I could go a lot faster. I think we'll see some really fast times this year. Kelsey-Lee Roberts thrilled her home crowd when she won the women's javelin competition and also recorded a World Championship qualifier. Roberts threw 63.78m in the second round and held off Kathryn Mitchell by just 8cm.  Mitchell also broke the World Championship qualification mark of 61.00m with her final round throw of 63.70m but fell just short of the win. The men's 800m was won by Australian record holder Alex Rowe in yet another World Championship qualifying mark 1:45.38.  Lauren Wells in 400 m hurdles 56.21, just 0.01 behind the World Champs qualifier. In the women's 100m hurdles, Michelle Jenneke moved into fifth place on the Australian all-time list by clocking a new personal best time of 13.04 (+0.8).  Brooke Stratton leapt 664 (0.0) to narrowly win the women's long jump from Chelsea Jaensch who jumped 663. Alex Hartmann ran a huge personal best time of 20.59 (+1.8) to win the men's 200 m. Nicholas Hough clocked a time of 13.68 (+0.1) to take out the men's 110 m hurdles. Junior talent Matthew Denny recorded a PB of 68.44m to win the men's hammer throw. In the men 400 m Craig Burns won in 46.03 over Alex Beck 46.09.

(Editor's note: Sally Pearson is starting her build for 2015 Beijing. The road to Beijing, for the 100 meter hurdles, one of the most competitive events in our sport, has begun.)



Sara Hall, Laura Thweatt, Kellyn Taylor, photo by Jane Monti, RRW, used with permission

Cross Country is the purest part of our sport. Mud, hills, mud, junk, slipping, sliding, snow, high altitude--now, doesn't that sound fun? But to runners like Sara Hall, Laura Thweatt, Kellyn Taylor, Chris Derrick, Ben True, Dathan Ritzenhein, it is all part of the world of being a classic distance runner. 

Joe Henderson, the long time RW scribe, wrote one time that cross country is the meeting place of the miler and the marathoner. Not a truer word has been said about our hallowed discipline. 

Watch out for the three women shown above. Sad that the leading previews did not even mention Laura Thweatt, but mark my word, and those of several keen observers-she is ready to roll! 
Jenny Simpson, Zurich DL 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

Jenny Simpson is at the top of her game. Her 2014 season was the dream of many. Her 3:57.22 was a tremendous time and her subsequent races in 2014 just showed how fine Simpson was and is. 

On top of that, Jenny Simpson has learnt something that only a few get. With a great year, the temptation to change up the training hits everyone. It is a wise athlete who realizes that another year of strong, consistent training will make one stronger and ready for the new challenges. 

Jenny Simpson and her team gets that. Watch Jenny Simpson in 2015. 
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Emma Coburn, photo by PhotoRun.net

At the beginning of 2014, Emma Coburn won the Shanghai DL in 9:19, with most of her competition wondering if she was a rabbit. At the US Championships, Emma Coburn won in the heat of Sacramento, again with a sub 9:20 time. 

Across Europe, Emma Coburn race gallantly and brilliantly, dropping her pb from 9:24 at the beginning of the season to 9:14 in Paris, then, 9:11.42 in Glasgow. In the heat of the moment, someone did not remind Emma that a doping test was needed for an AR. That USATF just notified her of it this week is pretty normal bureaucracy, but it does not make the pain of the fine race going unrecognized any less frustrating. 

I am the person who asked Emma Coburn her thoughts on the non ratification. Emma respectfully declined to respond. That is her prerogative. She wanted to focus on the race this weekend. 

Kudos to New Balance who paid Emma Coburn her AR bonus, not because they had to, but because, it was the right thing to do. 

HOKA ONE ONE has been doing all of the right things. Focus on making consistently fine product. Upgrade cosmetics of shoes. Upgrade customer service. Develop long term relationships with run specialty, races, clubs and the running community. Hire experienced team with street credibility. 

Their secret sauce? HOKA ONE ONE is working hard, and working weekends, because our sport has events on weekends. And because HOKA ONE ONE knows, shoe wars are won with one pair of shoe sales at a time. 

Ben Rosario is a former run specialty store owner, event promoter, coach and someone who loves the sport and develops athletes. 

Close observers of the sponsorship of Northern Arizona Elite have used the term, "game changer." Another emailed me, " this level of sponsorship is equal with Brooks Hansons and ASICS Mammoth Track Club. 

For the athletes involved, Ben and Stephanie Bruce, Matt Liano and Kellyn Taylor, this allows them to focus on the training and racing under the watchful and supportive eye of Ben Rosario. 

Kudos to HOKA ONE ONE for supporting the sport by giving a group of young Americans the chance to develop. 
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Matt Centrowitz, Athletes Only, Summer 2011  cover, photo by PhotoRun.net

In June 2011, Matt Centrowitz, a senior at the University of Oregon, won the 1,500 meters at the NCAA quite convincingly, with a kick that showed, no matter how close his competition, that there was one winner that day. This was just weeks after winning his third Pac-10 title on May 14. 

For many collegiates, the excellent adventure would have been over, but not for Matthew Centrowtiz. 

On June 25, Matthew Centrowtiz (pictured above) won the 2011 USA Outdoor title at 1,500 meters with a field that would have made others wet themselves. Centrowtiz that day possessed the quiet confidence and grace under pressure that makes him a medal contender in global championships....
Jenny Simpson is an athlete with poise and grace. She answers questions in a relaxed manner and in complete thoughts and sentences. A professional athlete since 2010, her brand, New Balance made a big gamble with her and it has paid off! 

World gold in 2011, World silver in 2013 and numero UNO ranking in 2014, as she took on all, from Abeba Aregawi to Sifan Hassan and all in between and kicked butt. Her battles with Shannon Rowbury at the end of last season were tremendous and exciting. 

Today, Jenny did a press conference, emceed by Toni Reavis, one of the most thoughtful and funny commentators in our sport. 

Jenny Simpson, NB Indoor 2014, photo by PhotoRun.net

A fantastic sprint field for the men in the 60 meters at the New Balance Indoor GP. And that is just the beginning of the great fields! 
Emma Coburn, photo by PhotoRun.net

INDIANAPOLIS (USA): USATF will not ratify Emma Coburn's 9:11.42 clocking from the Glasgow Diamond League as a US 3000mSC record as she did not submit a doping control at the event, report Runnersworld. USATF records keeper Bob Hersh explained: "When we inquired as to whether [a drug test for Coburn] was done, it wasn't. "There's not much you can do about that after the fact. "Since we started this requirement four years ago, this is the first time that we've ever had to reject a record because there was no doping control."

(Editor's note: Emma Coburn had a wonderful season last year. I was lucky enough to see all of her steeplechase races with the exception of Shanghai. It is a shame that Emma's 9:11.42 will not be ratified, but my guess is that she will go sub 9:10 this season. Emma Coburn is racing the 2000 meters on Saturday, February 7 at the New Balance Indoor GP. ) 
Running Specialty Group continues to forge ahead, as they pick up stores and make relationships that show that they want a stake in the running channel. Is there room for everyone? Not sure. 

Stay tuned. 

What the imATHLETE and RSG deal is about is cross marketing and the opportunities are endless. 

Now in it's forty-first year, California Track & Running News is the official publication of the four associations of USA Track & Field in California & Northern Nevada. 

We have embedded the issue, our first of five this year. We deliver a print version as well as a digital version. USATF members get the magazine as part of their yearly membership. Others who want to subscribe can write for info to f[email protected] 
Nick Willis, photo by PhotoRun.net

Nick Willis is an Olympic silver medalist. That, dear friends, is a fact. Think about that! Olympic medalists at 1,500 meters are a rarefied genus on this planet. 

At the age of 31, Nick is a contender in any race he enters. Competitive, possessing amazing racing skills and knowing how to get himself into the fight, Nick Willis could be around for two more Olympics! 

Elliott Denman caught up with Nick Willis before the Kiwi takes on a tough field at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday, February 7. 

Nick Willis, photo by PhotoRun.net
This is the second of two pieces we asked Cathal Dennehy to write about the Armory Track Invitational. I will say just this: it is a rarified world we live in, if an 8:17 two mile is unsatisfactory. But, when one is shooting for the stars, so it goes. 

Cam Levins, Galen Rupp, Armory Track Invitational, photo by PhotoRun.net
Ryan Whiting, photo by PhotoRun.net

Whiting 21.20 WL
POTSDAM (GER, Feb 3): World indoor champion Ryan Whiting won the special shot put indoor meet "K.O. through the shot". His best throw of the day was world leading 21.20 m. That happened in first round, in the final he won with 20.97 over Czech Tomas Stanek (no valid throw in the final). In the semifinals Whiting with 20.51 beat Jakub Szyszkowski of Poland 19.74 and Stanek Serbian Asmir Kolasinac 19.95. Another US thrower Christian Cantwell was out after second round due to injury (20.42 was his best of the day). 

(Editor's note: Ryan Whiting will be competing in New Balance Indoor Games on February 7! Looking forward to seeing the 2014 indoor World Champ compete in Boston! )

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Liu Xiang, 2010 Asian Games, photo by PhotoRun.net

BEIJING (CHN): 2004 Olympic 110mH champion Liu Xiang has said that there is only a slim chance that he will be able to compete at the 2015 World Championships, report China Daily. "I think the possibility (of competing) is pretty slim," explained the Chinese star. "I might be able to take part in the event in another role (not as an athlete)". Liu urged the media to focus on the new wave of Chinese athletes that are performing well on the world stage.

(Editor's note: Liu Xiang is an amazing athlete, and at his zenith, he was one of the world's finest hurdlers. China's finest athlete has battled back from crippling injuries to regain world class stature. One can only have so many achilles injuries as a hurdler.)
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Collins 6.48 over Kilty 6.57
TORUN (POL, Feb 3): Ever young Kim Collins showed his qualities at the 1st Copernicus Cup in Torun (EA Indoor Permit) when he equaled his world lead, national record and masters world best for 35+ category with 6.48. Second World indoor champion Richard Kilty with fast season opener 6.57. Third Sean Safo-Antwi 6.61 over US Keith Ricks 6.61. In men events Karol Zalewski debuted indoors over 400 m with 46.54 and Adam Kszczot won the 800 m as expected 1:47.05. Surprise 20.10 personal best in shot put for Polish winner Michal Haratyk over Russian Maksim Sidorov 20.04. Chinese Xie Wenjun topped the hurdles in 7.71 over US Ray Stewart and Dominik Bochenek, both 7.76. Piotr Lisek was the best in the pole vaul 570, another Chinese win in long jump for Li Jinzhe 798 over Adrian Strzalkowski 797. In women events another fast 800 m for Briton Jenny Meadows 1:59.85 ahead of European medalist Joanna Jozwik 2:00.01, indoor PB. US Jessica Young won the 60 m in 7.30 but second in the same time was Polish junior talent Ewa Swoboda also 7.30, she also achieved 7.30 in heats, both times are national junior records. Justyna Swiety won the 400 m in 52.73 and Briton Lucy Hatton the hurdles in 8.06 PB ahead of Panamian Yvette Lewis 8.08. Surprise in women high jump as Urszula Gardzielewska improved to 192 and tied for first place with favorite Justyna Kasprzycka. Third Hungarian Barbara Szabo also 192.

(Editor's note: Nice to see Kim Collins enjoying his racing still. The guy has always been fast out of the blocks, maybe the 60m is his perfect distance?)

Cathal Dennehy and Feidhlim Kelly are the minds behind Jumping the Gun, one of the newest partners of Fortius Media and the Running Network. Cathal is on the East Coast, doing all things track and field, and we asked him to write a bit on the Armory Track Invitational. 

When the sports is done right is Cathal's reflections on the Armory Track Invitational. 

Pat Casey, photo by PhotoRun.net
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Kim Collins, photo by PhotoRun.net

In my many years writing about our sport, one develops favorites. Kim Collins is one of those. Kim has always fascinated me: his running, his enjoyment of the sport, his longevity and his starts! Watch Kim Collins get out of the blocks. Collins used his power, and his strength like few others. Anyone in the stands in the 2011 WC saw a 33 year old sprinter take the lead in the final and nearly win the 100 meters, eight years after his 2003 WC win. 

Kim Collins is also a very good DJ. I will have to ask him for a playlist the next time I see him. 

Here is the story from EME News: 

Collins is unbelievable 6.48, Licwinko 201 NR
MOSCOW (RUS, Feb 1): There were three world leads out of 13 events at 24th edition of Russian Winter (IAAF Permit) meeting at Moscow CSKA arena. Ever young Kim Collins clocked 6.48 WL and national record (and World best for 35+ category) to win men 60 m final ahead American Mike Rodgers 6.56 and Cuban Yunier Pérez 6.61 (both with season bests). In men's 1500m Kenyan battle on the last lap identified the winner. Vincent Kibet sprinted past Bethwel Birgen to clock WL and PB 3:37.79. Birgen lost only by 0.02. Daegu world medallist Silas Kiplagat finished third with 3:38.28 followed by Collins Cheboi 3:38.44 and Russian Valentin Smirnov 3:38.74. Kamila Licwinko from Poland won in duel between two reigning world indoor champions with 201 NR and WL in first attempt. After successful jump at 197, she missed 199 and finally tried 203. Russian Mariya Kuchina went over 199 season best for second and 40-year-old Venelina Veneva-Mateeva was third with 190 what is World masters 40+ best. 22-yer-old Russian Dmitriy Semyonov improved his PB by 1cm with 231 in men's event. European U23 medallist 2013 Daniyil Tsyplakov showed the same result but lost in countback. Konstadínos Baniótis and Aleksey Dmitrik who cleared 228 followed them. Triple jump world indoor champion Yekaterina Koneva won women long jump 682 PB in third round (681, 666 and 645 in series). 20-year-old Yelena Mashinistova set PB 6.40 for second place. Greek Loúis Tsátoumas was the only one to overcome 8m in men field with 805 SB over Russian Pavel Shalin 794. Reigning 400m hurdles world champion Zuzana Hejnova from Czech Republic returned on the track but finished 4th over 400m with 53.83 behind Russian Yekaterina Renzhina 52.08 WL and Alena Mamina 52.39 (both PBs) and her compatriot Denisa Rosolova 52.64. Czech Pavel Maslák had clear win in men event with meet record and European lead 45.80 ahead of Pavel Trenikhin 47.23. Qatari Abdulrahman Musaeb Bala clocked 1:15.99 over 600m. 800m London Olympic medallist Yekateribna Poistogova won women 800m with 2:02.11 ahead of Renelle Lamote from France 2:02.52 and Russian Anastasiya Bazdyreva (2:02.63 PB). World leader Alina Talay of Belarus finished first in 60 m hurdles with 8.04. Ukrainian Hanna Plotitsyna clocked 8.10 PB for second place. In men's event Cuban Dayron Robles won in very close finish over Russian Konstantin Shabanov. Both clocked 7.69. Czech Petr Svoboda (7.75) became third. Ukrainian Olesya Povkh was fastest over 60m 7.27 ahead of young Russian Kristina Sivkova 7.37. During short break between two 45-minute session 800m Athens Olympic champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy has retired from athletics officially.  IAAF President Lamine Diack has sent special greetings.
Matt Centrowitz, Mike Berry, Eric Sowinski, Pat Casey, photo by PhotoRun.net

The new Distance Medley World record set on Saturday night, at the Armory Track Center, shows how exciting the DMR can be. For Elliott Denman, the addition of the DMR at the World Relays will be something to treasure, and oh, after their 9:19.93, he thinks the US might have a chance at it. 
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Dayron Robles, photo by PhotoRun.net

Dayron Robles won the 60m hurdles at the Russian Nights Meeting in Moscow earlier today. Here are the complete results of one of the meets I want on my bucket list for 2016. 
Shannon Rowbury, photo by PhotoRun.net

Shannon Rowbury ran a superb mile this weekend. In fact, the fastest mile indoors by a women in fifteen years! Does that catch your interest? Then read on...
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Cam Levins, Galen Rupp, photo by PhotoRun.net

What a day at the track that Dr. Norb built. In the Armory facility, the NIke Oregon Project was in attendance, with Cam Levins winning both the mile and the two mile. Jordan Hasay won the two mile, as Treniere Moser, Mary Cain and others duked it out over the 800 meters. The USA Mens DMR team set a world record with a great team! 

And to think, the Millrose Games is two weeks away! 

Cam Levins was spectacular, running the mile in 3:54.72, missing the Canadian record by the length of his Canadian Afro, and then, thirty-two minutes later, Cam ran 8:15.38 for the two miles. 


Matt Centrowitz, Mike Berry, Eric Sowinski, Pat Casey, photo by PhotoRun.net

The Armory Track Invitational was a huge success. On this day, the World record in the DMR, and Cam Levins were two of the big stories. Here is what David Monti wrote about a busy day in the Armory...

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