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69403_1653033327978_1270650_n.jpgThe members of Slap Central: Paul Merca, Larry Eder and Jim Gerwick, 2010 Chicago Marathon

Through the magic of Zoom video conferencing, paulmerca.blogspot.com is pleased to present the first of a series of video interviews with some of the influencers and athletes in the sport.

In this first episode, I'm joined by Larry Eder, the publisher of RunBlogRun.com, and Jim Gerweck, a former writer for Running Times magazine.

Larry has covered numerous Olympics and world championships in his career, while Jim has made a name for himself, particularly on the East Coast, not only as a writer, but as a coach (he coached 2019 world championships marathoner Carrie Dimoff in high school), and a race director and course measurer.

We talked about the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, recapped the 2020 indoor season, the US Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta and the shoe controversy leading up to the race, and got some thoughts on a possible 2020 outdoor season, once the go ahead is given by the government agencies and medical experts.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns about the video content, please don't hesitate to click the envelope at the bottom of the post or in the comments section of the YouTube channel.

Here's the video:

Eliud Kipchoge_GQ0420.jpgShirt, $1,850, by Hermès / Pants, $5,200, and shoes, $980, by Gucci / Socks, $37, by Bresciani / Sunglasses, $895, by Jacques Marie Mage

The other day, Ashlee Bobb, Senior Communications Manager at GQ, sent me this amazing piece on Eliud Kipchoge. Knox Robinson, a fine writer, did justice to the zen Master of the Marathon, giving us a view into the training camps, and Kipchoge's particular talents, world class leg speed, an ability to handle lots of mileage consistently, and the ability to focus on the most challenging distance in athletics.

Enjoy the article and Eliud Kipchoge doing the fashionista thing.

RunBlogRun opines: The coverage of the COVID-19 coronavirus shows both the good and not so good in the conundrum of being part of the modern media. Allow me to explain. By the time January 2020 hit, I was getting, from sources with China and those in the medical community, that the coronavirus was something to respect. As someone who is in his sixties and who has 3 stents, plus just recovered from thyroid cancer, I am the poster child for those in the coronavirus food chain. So, I did some things. I cancelled a month long trip to Europe. I cancelled plans to go to World Indoors. I meticulously wash my hands. I take Vitamin C daily. I workout and sleep well.

Common sense things.

The speed of modern media is also its weakness. This column, from Journalistresource.org, , is a primer on how to cover a health crisis, when media speed in almost instantaneous, and the chance for grevious errors are huge. I might also suggest that the themes presented here can be guidelines for covering other types of issues as well.

CDC_2019-nCoV_Laboratory_Test_Kit-720x480.jpgLab test kit for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Lab test kit for the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

So, one of the things I do at TRE most years is to settle down, with my iced Americano in a paper cup, and solve the world of running's problems, with a few fellow prognosticators. I have given these alleged key players the protection of anonymity, and asked them to tell us one brand killer each....

Here it goes.....this, is a rant...

il_340x270.1615620689_fiim.jpgSoviet era track spikes, courtesy of Vintagdrims

bannister doc.jpgCongrats to our friends at Kimbia Athletics on the film, Bannister: Everest on the Track winning top prize at International Athletics Film Festival.

The IAAF, in a press release, introduced its new name and logo. The video below, and the press release below are the newest release on an amazing rebranding, the first after 107 years.

What does it mean? Too early to tell. Obviously, much money was spent on the branding study and managing the design. Truth is, the communication is aimed at the consumer, and media and potential sponsors.

Read the release, check out both of the videos, and take it all in.

The new logo of IAAF (short film)

One of my biggest beefs on athletics media is geo blocking events. I salute Runnerspace and Flotrack on covering events for a subscription, but, I believe the big events should be free with no geo blocking. We want our sport to grow and with most of Europe having IAAF major championships on paid TV, we are loosing many younger viewers. I salute EAA showing so many events via streaming.

When Peter Connorton sent me a note that he would stream his 2019 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, now in its 20th year, with no geo blocking. The link is http://bit.ly/2019DubaiMarathon_Live.

To complement the fine streaming coverage, featuring Paula Radcliffe and iconic author, Pat Butcher, @runblogrun will update kilo by kilometer, top notes on FB and twitter PLUS Instagram photos. Our audience tends to follow the streaming with our pithy commentary and images! A fantastic way to begin the year of 2019!

Mosinet.jpgMosinet Geremew leads seven under 2:05 in 2018, what will happen in 2019? photo by Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

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Confessions of an Insecure Heart

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I originally wrote this for Linked in. It is Thanksgiving evening, and I am in San Jose, CA for the first time since my heart crisis. I walked 5.31 miles today, my longest since June 2016. We have a lovely holiday dinner with family and loved ones, and it was much needed.

On Monday, Dr. Matthew Wolff, my cardiologist gave me a clean bill of health after six months. He told me to walk, jog, travel. My heart has recovered from surgeries. That made me feel good.

The previous Saturday, I met Dr. Tim Hacker, 1985 NCAA Cross Champion and cardiologist at UW. Tim found me a cardiologist, but more importantly, got me into see Dr. Wolff the next day, instead of a six week wait. While in Dr. Wolff's office, I was sent to the hospital and my stents were put in the next day. I had 3 blockages at 90 percent. I was a ticking time bomb. I met Dr. Tim Hacker at NCAA Cross Country. Joe Hanson, a mutual friend introduced us, saying, "Hey Tim, this is Larry Eder, you saved his life."

I write this in order to encourage my dear readers to take care of themselves. My story could have been quite different. A final special thanks to Sean Hartnett, who put me in touch writh Dr. Hacker, who took the time to save my life.

IMG_1653.JPGWorking with the Shoe Addicts in NYC, adidas GP, photo by Mike Deering/The Shoe Addicts

The idea for conversation with Larry came from my son, Adam. We have been doing them for the past two years. So the idea is, I can speak about anything I want, but I have to a) stay focused and b) limit to three to four minutes.

IMG_8804.jpgLopez Lomong, Garrett Heath, 10,000m, June 21, 2018, photo by Mike Deering/The Shoe Addicts

We shoot them on the road. Mike Deering and Adam shoot the videos. The Shoe Addicts manage and produce our videos. This series is alot of fun. I hope you enjoy them. If you have ideas on things for me to chat about, please reach me at [email protected].

I did this video about the changing stars of our sport. Media reports, including mine, showed our disappointment over the stars who would not be in Des Moines. The truth was, it was really fun to see some of the new stars. From Noah Lyles to Katie Nageotte, from Darrell Hill to Keni Harrison. The meet, for those who were there, had many moments of emotion, and many moments of excitement.

DSC04879.jpgThe fans in Des Moines, photo by Adam Johnson-Eder/The Shoe Addicts

Our sport does not welcome change. We are creatures of habit in athletics. For some reason, we keep the meets we hold nearly a secret. That we get the crowds we have, considering little or no publicity, are surprising.

The good news is that our sport is fixable. The assets are our athletes, our history, our fans and our sponsors. The infighting, the political squabbles, and the problems of doping, athlete allegiances and some athletes who do not seem to know their ages, are fixable.

They are fixable because of the true strength of our sport, our amazing athletes.

I was watching the FBK Games on Sunday, and was amazed how strong the streaming video was from Hengelo. An abbreviated schedule for the meeting, some entertainment and some fun just outside of the stadium showed that Global Sports Communications was reinvigorating the Fannie Blankers-Koen Games.

Here's a column I published on my LInked in last month. With such a big track weekend coming, I thought that you might fight it worthy of a read!

Breaking2_Group_Lelisa_Zersenay_Eliud_native_1600.jpgBreaking 2 PR from May 2017, courtesy of Nike communications

Manyonga_LuvoR-Rome18.jpgLuvo Manyonga, Rome DL 2018, photo by PhotoRun.net

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