The Week That Was Jan. 29 - Feb 3, 2008 Feb 5, 2008
*Last week's week in review can be found here By LetsRun.com
The Week That Was: Week 5: Jan 29 - Feb 3 of 2008 This week's action was very hot on the track with two huge meets. The granddaddy of them all - Millrose in NYC - was on Friday night (Letsrun recap here, NBC race videos here). Saturday night, arguably the best pro meet of the European indoor season took place in Stuttgart. We recap the action this week within our Thumbs Up/Thumbs
Down awards below.
To Australian Craig "Buster" Mottram
for continuing to be his refreshing self. His post-race interviews are
always must-watch tv. Last year, after winning the two mile at the
Prefontaine Classic he told a US national television audience. "It
comes down to the size of your balls really." This week after
finishing second in the Wanamaker mile to Bernard Lagat, he was
explaining how he had a flight to catch within 90 minutes so he needed
to be quick as he had a 2nd race to run - to the airport to catch the
plane. NBC's Bob Neumeier asked if he was going to take a shower. Mottram responded, "Yeah, in the toilet on the plane I think."
Thumbs Down: Jeremy Wariner To Jeremy Wariner for dumping the greatest 400 coach in history, Clyde Hart,
at the start of an Olympic Year. Yes, Wariner is very, very good and
the defending Olympic champion. Will he win without Hart? It's
certainly a big possibility.
That's not the point. A) To change something as important as a coach
in an Olympic year is plain stupid. B) We don't like people throwing
people to the curb. Loyalty is one of our favorite traits. Hart said
Wariner told him, "It's just business."
No - it's just greed. Wariner is only 24. He's got a lot of good years left. Plenty of cash to go around.
Thumbs Up: We Love HGH
To 71 year old Professor Peter Sonksen.
Who the hell is Sonksen you ask? Well the emeritus professor of
endocrinology at St Thomas' Hospital in London apparently has invented
the holy grail - an HGH test that works for 2 weeks. For
years, we in the anti-performance enhancing drug camp have been told
there isn't a good HGH test on the market. Apparently, that may have
been a lie as Sonksen's has a test that catches illegal use in the last
Sounds to be good to be true doesn't it? Now
the real kicker. Apparently, Sonksen's test was designed in time to be
used for the 2000 Olympics. Shockingly, it was never used. Conspiracy
theorists including Sonksen himself are having a good time trying to
explain why it wasn't ever used.
"There is no rational explanation. Maybe they think it is going to catch too many athletes. The IOC won't say. Some
people have gone so far as to say that the IOC don't want to catch
people because it would make sport seem dirtier than it seems at
present when we only catch two per cent,' said Sonsksen.
He then added. ďIt wonít surprise me if they donít use it in Beijing.Ē
Assuming the test is everything it appears to be, not using it in Beijing isn't an option - it must be used.
Daily Express article with the above quotes is full of useful
information. Interesting to learn that the funding for Sonksen's work
came from the IOC and the European Union and it cost £1.5 million. Not
sure, why they never implemented it. The good news is a different
article says UK Sport last year took another look at Sonksen's work,
became convinced it's credible, and is now pressuring WADA to use it.
Thumbs Down to New York (and Northeast) Track and Field Fans. The Millrose Games is most prestigious indoor race in the world. The indoor
circus has been going on for 101 years. Nice fields were assembled and
yet only some 12,000 odd fans bothered to show up. Maybe New Yorkers
were too busy getting ready for the Super Bowl but it always is
mind-boggling to us that so many track fans will say track isn't
popular. The same people who complain about it are the same people who
won't pay to go to Millrose. Put your money where your mouth is.
bet it would never happen but blacking out the meet in NYC area from tv
coverage might help. As track fans, there are a lot of events that
people don't really want to watch. Thus they probably think "I'll just
tivo it, watch the distance events and it will only take 20 minutes."
Instead of going to the meet for 5 hours. Sound reasoning but going to one
pro event a year and making it an event with the family should be
required of all runners. Support the sport, have fun, etc.
the meet should be on a Saturday night. Lots of HSers and their coaches
are likely getting ready for Saturday meets on Fri night.
(Unnoticed) Performance Of The Week: Steve Sherer The
big-time pros get lots of press and make a decent living. However,
there are ton of talented guys - minor leaguers of sorts - who are
hoping to reach the top level. Given the lack of serious money, a lot
of guys don't even try to pursue their dreams after college unless they
are NCAA champs. This website has the motto "Where your dreams become
reality" and was founded in part to try to inspire others to purse
their own dreams. Hence we are always looking to pump up guys who are
pursuing their dreams and making the big-time breakthroughs.
This week our "Unnoticed" Performance of the Week goes to Steve Sherer.
Sherer is an American who ran collegiately at Michigan State. He
clearly accomplished some good things there as he was indoor
All-American running 7:59 for 3k and also getting 6th in the mile one
year. But we'd never heard of him. Anyway, he ran the mile this weekend
at the University of Washington. As the pack was hitting 1200 in 2:59,
Sherer just exploded into the lead and never looked back. Powering
home, he absolutely destroyed the field and ended up with a US leading
3:56.00. Now that's the proper way to break 4 for the first time - just
We're going to interview Steve later this week and try
to get his whole story but we hope his performance inspires you to
pursue your dreams.
Thumbs Up To Sammy Wanjiru
The 21-year old is arguably the greatest marathon hope in history. An
African born stud runner running the marathon in his prime. Not after
no-longer being able to rule the 5k/10k.
He clearly is the
greatest half-marathoner in history. Already the world record holder,
Sammy opened up his 2008 solo campaign with a 59:26 clocking in the
21st Mitja Maratů de Granollersí Half Marathon in Spain. It's
ridiculous how good this guy is at the half-marathon. Sub 1:00 halfs
are ho-hum casual affairs for him. When Ryan Hall became the first
American to do it last year in Houston, it practically made our decade.
60s aren't too tough for Wanjiru as he said after the race that he
missed a lot of valuable training due to the instability in his native
Kenya (Wanjiru is Japanese based but was in Kenya for the holidays).
Originally, Wanjiru was going to try to go after his world record in
this race but had to reset his goals for a sub 1 hour half. Scary to
think he can go sub 1:00 with less than ideal training.
he's in pretty good shape. He now has his sights set on the London
marathon which will serve as the Kenyan Olympic Trials and then Beijing
assuming he makes it.
Thumbs Up From 101st Millrose
The 101st running of the Millrose Games took place on Friday night. LRC was on-site providing you in-depth event by event coverage not found
anywhere else. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we encourage you to
read our 2008 Millrose Games Recap.
We will give out thumbs up to the big winners in our mind. Kara Goucher
impressed us a great deal. A world 10k bronze medalist winning a mile
indoors - impressive. Clearly she's got good range. More thumbs up to
her for stating she's excited about the concept of running a marathon -
maybe even the 2008 ING NYC Marathon. Thumbs up of course to Bernard
Lagat for starting off 2008 with his 2nd win in two weekends - and for
nabbing his 6th Wanamaker title. Thumbs up to shot-putter Adam Nelson
for putting on a hell of a show in the men's shot. Yes, we are a
distance site but the guy is great tv (and plus he was in the Heps with
Thumbs Up: World Leaders Galore in Stuttgart
The other major indoor this meet took place in Stuttgart on Saturday. While it doesn't have the tradition of Millrose, it clearly has a lot of cash to go around. Thumbs up to the following for earning world leaders - Meseret Defar (8:27.95 in the women's 3k), Yuriy Borzakovskiy (1:45 58 in the men's 800), and Tariku Bekele (7:31.09 in the men's 3k). We'll even hand out thumbs up to hurdlers Dayron Robles and Susanna Kallur for becoming the 2nd fastest
60 meter hurdlers in history (Robles 7.36, Kallur 7.72) as well as British long jumper Chris Tomlinson who set a British record with his 8.18 meter jump.
*IAAF Recap From Stuttgart
Thumbs Up To Mo Greene: A Pioneer in the Sport
Mo Greene and His Tongue Out
This week (well it was next week in Beijing) the legendary Maurice Greene from the track and field. Mo Greene will definitely be missed.
Mo Greene wore a tattoo, "G O A T" on his biceps which stood for the "Greatest of All Time."
While not the greatest sprinter of all time, Mo was damn good. 7 Olympic and World championship golds and a world record speak for themselves.
Mo Greene should most be remembered for taking sprinting to another level . Prior to Mo, the sub 10 second 100 was a rare event. Mo spoiled us all in that he made it common. 52 times Mo Greene went sub 10. Truly remarkable
Besides his performance, Mo will be remembered for his personality and confidence. When Mo ran, fans expected and got a show. Never one to run and just leave the track, Maurice never forgot that track and field superstars are also entertainers. Mo loved to talk the talk, and just as importantly he walked the walk.
Too many of today's track stars seem content to get their paycheck and go about their own merry way. Mo attempted to reach out to fans and help promote the sport. His personality and bravado are something the sport desperately needs.
At the 2005 USA nationals, Mo hosted the afterparty and in the middle of the evening it was announced the drinks were on Mo. We never thanked him for the beers. But we'd like to do it now. But more importantly we'd like to thank him for 8 years of greatness. You'll be missed, Mo. *Australian Age Writes About Mo Greene "That's "greatest of all time," in case you missed it, and if
Greene may have fallen just short of that status, it wasn't for
want of self-belief. It also wasn't by much. Greene was cocky, but endearingly so, and never short of a line
for the media." *Mo Greene Retires BBC Audio: Runnerville Podcast #3 Wejo thanks Mo Greene for his greatness and style.
Thumbs Up to 76 Years of Greatness: Cinque Mulini XC Race The Cinque Mulini clearly is a world class cross country race. Anything, especially an XC race, that can be going strong 76 year after it has started is doing something right.
Thumbs up for Perseverance: Benson Barus and the San Blas Half Marathon
This Beautiful Area is Nakuru Where 12 People Were Hacked to Death
All Benson Barus wanted to do was run the San Blas Half Marathon in Puerto Rico with its $8000 first prize (for a sub 1:04 clocking). The problem is with the ethnic violence in Kenya traveling through the country can be very dangerous. Barus couldn't take the direct route from Nakuru to Nairobi, so he tried to go north to Eldoret (where he would likely fly to Nairobi). Eldoret is a hotbed of violence so he had could not go directly there. Instead he had to take a 25 hour circuitous journey by bus to get to Eldoret, if this story is correct. Oh by the way, Eldoret and Nakuru are only 75 miles apart. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it took him 25 hours to go 75 miles. You might be saying no way, but you've probably never been on a Kenyan bus. The roads are really bad and we can only imagine what it is like if you are trying to take side roads to avoid a rioting mob (12 people were hacked to death in Nakuru less than 2 weeks ago).