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The Week That Was May 25 - May 31, 2009

May 25, 2009

By LetsRun.com
To read last week's LRC Week That Was, click Here.
To read any 2009
LRC Week That Was, click Here.

Lots of action/news to get to from last week. We'll start with things we can recap quickly before we get ready for Usain Bolt to move to the 400, break down the Reebok Grand Prix in depth, heap praise on Anna Willard and officially write off Alan Webb.

A Quick Breakdown
Title IX struck again as Quinnipiac, fearing a lawsuit, reinstituted women's volleyball and cut men's track and field, Nick Symmonds opened his 2009 outdoor season in fine form with a 1:46 800 on the Nike campus (in a race where Kara Goucher impressed with a nice 800/1,500 double as her husband struggled in the mile), Christine Ohuruogu announced she won't try to win the Golden League jackpot in the 400, and Sammy Wanjiru made it official - he's going for the world record at the Berlin marathon and won't be running the Berlin world championships. Don't feel too bad for Kenya. Wanjiru - the best marathoner on the planet may have dropped off the Kenya WChamp team - but it's not like they are hurting for replacements. Kenya's replacement for Wanjiru? Only 4-time Boston winner Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, who was an alternate.

Usain Bolt Wants The 400-Meter World Record/Talk of An Olympic Triple/Oh, Wait - He May Have Some Competition At 100/200
The biggest off-the-track news last week may have been the fact that Usain Bolt said last week that he wants the 400-meter world record and that he anticipates he'll actually train for the 400 next year. Bolt even said he's willing to lose the title of "world's fastest man" as he thinks his 100-meter training will suffer when he focuses more on the 400.

Despite Bolt's belief that training for the 400 would hurt his 100, the IAAF didn't seem to listen to Bolt as they immediately said they'd look into making the 100, 200, 400 triple possible at the 2012 Olympics.

That triple is insane, but if anyone could do it, it would be Bolt. Just the other day, we were wondering ourselves about Bolt picking up another event - the long jump. Could he not go at least 27 feet?

Not sure what would make the most sense on that front. Do you pick up the long jump while you are still a 100/200 runner or do you do it at the end of your career after the 400?

All of the pie-in-the-sky talk was fun early in the week but later in the week reality struck and we got to salivate something even more exciting and certainly more immediate than hypothetical 2012 Olympic triples for Bolt. How about Bolt having a real rival in 2009?

The Performance of The Week without a doubt was Tyson Gay's 19.58 - the 3rd-fastest in history - at 200 meters at the Reebok Grand Prix. Bolt has only run faster than that once in his life and it's clear that Gay is on course for a stellar 2009. That performance also reminded people that Gay was the double champ just two years ago - in 2007 - and that Gay is the one who ran a 9.68 last year - albeit wind-aided. We here at LetsRun.com have always been big Tyson Gay fans and we helped keep the hype up during his injury-related absence. Glad to see him not getting some props in USA Today and the New York Times.

We found 110 hurdle great Allen Johnson's comments about Gay's performance in USA Today to be entertaining, "It sends a message to Bolt. You better bring at least your B-plus game."

It'll be interesting to see just how good Bolt is in 2009, but a 19.58 would have be more than his B+ game. That would be an A- in our book, unless of course last year's Olympics were just the start for Usain.

We'll get an idea of just how good Bolt will be in 2009 in a week-and-a-half when Bolt runs his only North American race of the year in Toronto. The Canadians are getting excited for Bolt. Check out what columnist Steve Simmons wrote about Bolt in the Toronto Sun. He says he's personally going to buy a ticket to watch Bolt run and compares seeing Bolt to seeing the Beattles (and he trashes Michael Phelps in the process).

    "After 30 years of writing sports, you don't get mesmerized all that often.

    But every once in a while along comes a Muhammad Ali, along comes a Michael Jordan or a Mario Lemieux, and you stop, you catch your breath and remember how fortunate you are to have the best seat in the house.

    Usain Bolt did that to me. He ran fast and froze everyone else around him in amazement.

    I was seated not far from the track at the Bird's Nest late on a summer night in Beijing when Bolt shattered the world record in the 100 metres.

    It was the fourth time in my life I had witnessed the record change in person -- but clearly this time was different, completely captivating.

    It was enough to bring me back to the track to watch him run his ridiculous time in the 200 a few nights later and back again for the 4 X 100 metre relay: Three races, three gold medals, three world records, three breathtaking performances.

    You can have your Michael Phelps and all your swim medals -- I've seen a bunch of them the last two Summer Olympics -- but I wouldn't necessarily pay to watch him swim.

    I'm buying tickets so my kids can say they saw Usain Bolt run in Toronto.

    The way my brother saw The Beatles when they were here.

    The way so many went to Woodbine to watch Secretariat run.

    A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a once-in-a-lifetime kind of athlete. This isn't any paid political announcement. This is from the heart. If Bolt does what only he can do, he is worth the price of admission, even these lofty prices."


If a sports columnist is that excited about Bolt, we suggest you should be too. Living in upstate NY, we can tell you the weather in Toronto in early June is normally stupendous. So pack your bags and take a little mini-vacation if you aren't already going down to swelter in Arkansas at the NCAA meet.

Reebok Grand Prix - An Awesome Meet
RIP Alan Webb

We want to give a Thumbs Up to Reebok and the people in charge of the Reebok Grand Prix for putting on another great meet in NYC. A very big Thumbs Up for the Jamaican fans for showing up and filling the stands and a thumbs down for American fans for once again making excuses as why they couldn't pay to attend a meet. Reports are that the crowd was 90% Jamaican. Unbelievable.

It would be impossible to recap the whole meet but we'll try to give out some props to the big winners.

Let's start with a Thumbs Up to Khadevis Robinson for taking down a great field in the men's 800 as he beat 2008 Olympians Gary Reed, Boaz Lalang, Nate Brannen and Lopez Lomong by running 1:46.00. Thank God he didn't retire after last year's Olympic disappointment.

In the women's 1,500, a big Thumbs Up to 2008 Olympian Christin Wurth-Thomas, who got the win, meet record and PR (4:03.96), as Canadian Malindi Elmore also got the A standard. Heartbreak once again for Amy Mortimer, who once again cam up just short of the 4:07.00 A standard as she ran 4:07.19 - the 4th time in the last year that she's run between 4:07 and 4:08. Her pursuit of the sub-4:07 mark is starting to remind us of Sam Bair III's pursuit of the sub 4:00 last year, as he four times went under 4:01 and 6 times under 4:02.

Thumbs up to 19-year-old Linet Masai for slaying Tirunesh Dibaba in the women's 5k. We don't care if it was Dibaba's first race or not - any time you beat the double Olympic champ, you deserve praise.

And praise to Michah Kogo for taking down the US all-comers record with his 13:02.90 win in the men's 5k and props to 2nd placers Bernard Lagat (13:03.06) and Dejen Gebremeskel (13:03.13) for also breaking the record and for giving us a hell of a race. Too bad the race couldn't have been in better weather or we would have had the first sub-13 on US soil (to watch the race in its entirety with no commercial breaks, click here to get instructions).

Leo Manzano also deserves praise for his win in the men's 1,500 in 3:34 (race video here).We said in our preview that "if Webb or Manzano or Lukezic win this race in 3:35 or better, they will be on their way to a stellar 2009. Anything less than that and we say, don't expect much from them this year." It's clear that Manzano is going to have a strong 2009.

RIP (For 2009): Alan Webb


Leo Mananno winning the 1,500 at the Reebok GP

It's also clear that Alan Webb (and maybe Chris Lukezic) are in a LOT of trouble. In less than two years, Webb has gone from being a guy who was #1 in the world on the stopwatch in the 1,500/mile in 2007 to being in dead last - nearly 4 seconds off the pace at 800 in a domestic 1,500, where he runs 3:42 as he did at Reebok. After his subpar indoor season, people were hoping he was just training through and getting ready for outdoors. After his mediocre 3:59 and 4:00 wins to open the outdoor season, people were saying "Oh he did win both races and the guy he beat both times - Peter van der Westhuizen - has gone on to run faster." Well, van der Westhuizen ran 3:35 in New York this week and Webb was nowhere close.

Now people are saying, "Hey, Manzano ran 3:56 for 1,500 just two or three weeks ago at the adidas meet, let's just hope this was a similarly bad race for Webb and he'll be fine in a few weeks." Webb's agent Ray Flynn told USA Today Webb had been feeling "flat all week."

No. Stop it. We have to stop deluding ourselves. It's time to call a spade a spade. WEBB IS FINISHED FOR THIS YEAR.*

Hell, we here at LetsRun.com somehow were deluding ourselves up until this weekend. Although we had no real confidence he would do so (we had great confidence in Manzano making the Worlds team), we for some reason foolishly picked Webb to win in New York as we so desperately hoped he could do it. But what we said in our preview is what we are sticking to now. "If Webb or Manzano or Lukezic win this race in 3:35 or better, they will be on their way to a stellar 2009. Anything less than that and we say, don't expect much from them this year."

Facts are facts. Here are Webb's pro races so far this year: 3:57.64 indoor mile at Reebok, 4:06.60 indoor mile at Tyson, 3:45.82 indoor 1,500 at USAs, 3:58.90 outdoor mile at Kansas, 4:00.61 outdoor mile at Drake and now a 3:42.58 1,500 at Reebok outdoors. That's six races in 2009 and he's only convincingly broken 4:00 for the mile (or the equivalent of a 4:00 mile) in one of them - his first one. Yes, that's right, Webb if anything has been getting worse as the season has gone on.

The guy ran 3:53 in HIGH SCHOOL. Right now, he's a sub-4:00 guy on a good day with an all-out effort.

Seriously, the more we analyze the stats, the more depressed we get. In 2007, he was a 3:46 miler. In 2008, he was a 3:53-5 guy (maybe his 3:35.86 1,500 last year was a 3:53). Indoors this year he opened up in 3:57 but now he's struggling to break the equivalent of 4:00. Seriously, it seems that he's losing roughly 2 seconds every 3 months.

How someone can fall so fast so quickly is beyond us but something needs to change immediately. Webb immediately needs to get all sorts of blood work done and immediately be looking for him to change locations, coaches - everything. There is no reason why someone should be feeling "flat" all week of one of the few races he runs in the US each year.

As for Lukezic, he doesn't get nearly the same attention that Webb does, but this was a guy that went pro early largely because Reebok paid him a ton of money thinking he would be the one to challenge Mr. Webb. Lukezic ran great at the USA meet while at Georgetown as he was the runner-up in 2005 and went on to run 3:35.22 that year. In his first full year as a pro, he ran 3:33.28 in 2006. But since then, nothing faster than a 3:36.95. His 3:37.32 at Stanford on May 2nd, however, was pretty good even if he did lose to several collegians. But his 3:43 in NY was disappointing. Probably can't totally write him off yet, but in all honesty, we feel we are probably not just writing him off out of hope that he turns things around.

*And let us get back to Mr. Webb. There is one guy in the US who for the last 8 years makes you curious as to how he is going to do every single race - Alan Webb. He is a phenomenal talent. Just 2 years ago, he was nearly #1 in the world at 800 and 1,500 (on time). No other mid-d runner born outside of Africa has his talent, so we hope he can somehow put it all together again. Talent like that doesn't evaporate overnight. We put the asterisk up because we'd say if anyone could go from where he was at Reebok to somehow on the WChamp team, it would be him. Like if he got diagnosed with anemia or something, he might be able to pull it off.

And one more thing - those of you who said he should move up to the 5,000 last year are nuts. His 2008 year was baffling, but for a guy who nearly ran the fastest 800 and 1,500 in the world in 2007, to think the answer is to suddenly move up to 5,000 is crazy.

How Good Is Anna Willard?
Moving on from a depressing showing, we thought we'd end our comments about Reebok with some uplifting praise for Anna Willard. Willard took a staggering 2.43 seconds off her PR and won the 800 in 1:59.23, defeating two women who had been running very well in 2009 - Jamaica's Kenia Sinclair, who won the 1,500 at adidas, and Hazel Clark who had won the 800 at adidas. You can watch the race video here. Willard comes from way back in the last 50.

Willard is having a fantastic year. If they ran the US Champs right now, we'd probably have to pick her as the favorite in the 800, 1,500 and steeple. There is probably zero chance she runs the 800. The crazy thing is that the event she is most likely to run - the steeple - may be the one she has the least chance to win. Willard's chances are very, very good in the steeple, we'd probably have to consider her to be the favorite in the event but her competition in the steeple - Jenny Barringer - is having the best year of any US distance woman not named Willard.

Speaking of Barringer, she ran a ridiculous world-leading 9:26.20 in steeple at her regionals in Norman, Oklahoma. Now you may be wondering why we say 9:26 is ridiculous for someone who has run 9:22. Well, it's because we believe it was 88 degrees at race time (we checked our iphone after we heard the time and it said, "Norman, OK - 88 degrees.").

The other big news coming out of NCAA regionals (although it has barely been reported on as it seems no papers outside or Oregon and Arkansas actually write about college track) was that the winner of the last two NCAA 800 meter titles, Jacob Hernandez, didn't run due to hamstring issues. Therefore, he will not defend his crown, which is a huge break for Oregon's Andrew Wheating, whom many fail to realize has never won an NCAA individual crown. Wheating's quest for NCAA title #1 in our minds will have to go through the University of Texas's Tevan Everett, who is a hell of a talent. Based on what we've heard behind the scenes, we think Everett may be the most talented 800 runner in the collegiate ranks. We also think Wheating caught a break when Georgetown's Liam Boylan Pett, who split 1:46.00 and came close to walking down Hernandez at Penn - opted for the 1,500 instead.

More NCAA Regionals Coverage: The Link Of The Week - A Must Click: All NCAA Regional Results - Event By Event On Same Page *IAAF Recap of NCAA Regionals
The NCAA regional meets were awesome this weekend yet again (and perhaps for the last time in a while as big-time coaches want to do away with the competition). Highlights include
#42 in a row for the Baylor 4 x 4, Galen Rupp and Centro Jr. battling in the 1,500 (watch highlights of the 1,500 here), Miami's Murielle Ahoure breaking records in the sprints (and the same for Texas' Alexandria Anderson), 3 guys under 10.10 in the 100, Jenny Barringer running CR and WL 9:26, PSU's Fawn Dorr and Gayle Hunter anchoring the 4 x 400 like bats out of hell (52 splits for each) .2 Must Reads! *1. Oregon News Heading Into NCAAs: Wheating Wins From Front, Rupp (3:39 1,500) *Rupp's Post-Race Interview *Wheating's Win Video*2. Baylor Bears Win 42nd Straight Collegiate 4 x 4, Running 3:02 With 44.5 Anchor To Win By 0.03 Day 1: Big Shocker - Winner Of Last Two NCAA Titles At 800, Jacob Hernandez, Is A No Show *Oregon, Behind Rupp's Victory In 5k, Has Good Day

More Reebok Coverage: Usain's Got A Rival: TYSON GAY 19.58!!!
*
Post-Race Quotes From Event Winners *Ethiopian Press: "Out of Shape Dibaba Loses In NYC"  It seemed that since the Olympics everyone in the sport (but us) had forgotten that the fastest man in history (all conditions) at 100 meters is a Mr. Tyson Gay. Gay's 19.58 200m shows that when he's healthy, he can challenge Bolt. *In other action, the meet was unreal. Leo Manzano won the men's 1,500 in 3:34 as Alan Webb basically embarrassed himself with a 3:42 showing (although he did beat Lukezic, who ran 3:43) that has sparked pleas for him to change coaches or just give up. Webb wasn't the only star to do awful as Asafa Powell was terrible in the men's 100. The men's 5k was absolutely stellar, as three guys ran faster than anyone had previously had on American soil. Bernard Lagat ran 13:03 and lost to Micah Kogo. In the women's 5k, Linet Masai upset double Olympic champ Tirunesh Dibaba. Wurth-Thomas was spectacular in the women's 1,500 (4:03). So much more, including a great men's 400h race. Allyson Felix got a win in the women's 400 as Anna Willard ran 1:59.23 to win the 800 and KD got the win in the men's 800.
*
Overall Meet Recap Here *
South African Milers Move Up To 3rd And 5th In 1500 All-Time In Reebok

Easy Money At Road Races

Before we get into this, we want to warn guys who were competing in the early 1980s to brace yourselves for a shocker as the following item will likely make you cringe.

Ok this news is actually a week old but it's worth mentioning. Do you think you could run 20km at 5:46 pace (71:45)? If so, you should have run in May 22nd Ogden Newspapers 20km race in Wheeling, WV as you would have got 2nd and won $1,000.

We guess we'll give a Thumbs Up to Kansas City's Rikki Hacker, who picked up the easy money but a Thumbs Down to the overall depth of road racing in America. If a foreigner doesn't show up, the times are just awful.

In that same race, third place went to John Brockenbrough, who ran 74:45. Instead of giving a Thumbs Down to the fact that a 6:05 pace won someone $750 bucks, we want to give Mr. Brockenbrough a huge Thumbs Up for getting third at age 50.

The easy money was the result of the fact that the newspapers all across the country are struggling, so the elite budget was way down. If you don't pay appearance money or at least travel money (for example, we know that some of the contestants who finished out of the money in the NYRR Healthy Kidney 10k in New York got $2,500 to show up), it's hard to expect good people to show up in West Virginia.

Kind of sad to see the Ogden Newspapers 20k struggling, as Steve Jones and Catherine Ndereba are past champions.

Easy money also was to be found at the Buffalo Marathon, where Brian Caldwell ran 2:39:23 for 2nd and picked up a grand.

And to think when the Boston marathon was still a an all amateur affair that 83 runners, most of them American, broke 2:20 in a single race.
More: Man Wins $1000 For 2:39 Marathon *50-Year-Old Man Gets 3rd In Ogden 20k And Wins $750

Only In Texas/Most Interesting Message Board Thread Of Week
To make the Texas state track and field meet, you have to finish in the top two in your region or you don't go - period. Well, according to messageboard poster jabronii in region two this year, third place was 9:04, 4th was 9:13 and 5th was 9:18. Imagine being a 9:04 guy and not going to state. Hell, being a 9:18 guy and being nowhere close might even be worse.
*Fastest Distance Runner to not make state?

Dick's Sporting Goods Bolder Boulder 10k (& Last Week's Other Memorial Day Action)

The Bolder Boulder 10k was held last Monday on Memorial Day and many of you, including some of us at LetsRun.com, may have just glanced over the results as it came on Memorial Day. However, it was an event with a lot of compelling story lines that need to be told.

Where to begin? How about with the race itself.

The Race Itself
The first mile of a 10k was covered at altitude in 4:07. Yes that's right 4:07. American James Carney, who ended up 4th in 29:53 had a great quote on the fast start- our awesome Quote of The Week #1:

"If I just ran one mile, I don't think I could have gotten there before they did," Carney said of the blistering pace set by the Ethiopians.

The Winner - Tilahun Regassa
In the end, the race was won by 19-year-old Tilahun Regassa. Regassa is a stud as he ran almost set the junior world record in the half marathon last year when he ran 59:36 in Lille. That being said, his life story is even more amazing.

Ethiopiaplanet.com had an awesome profile of Tilahun Regassa that we and apparently nearly everyone ignored (from what we can tell it's only been viewed 68 times). At age 15, Regassa's father died and he ended up homeless and living on the streets for three years. Somehow he overcame these obstacles and the Ethiopian federation recognized his talent. Now he's one of the top road racers in the world. We highly recommend that you scroll down to the bottom of this article to lean about Regassa's rise to the top. It's simply unreal as summed up by the following few sentences:

"For three years he lived in the streets. He worked for a stone company and when hungry, heíd go to a local hotel where theyíd give him food.

He developed stomach problems, which he continues to have, but local coaches told Makkeí about his promise. He found him last year living in the streets of Nazret. He hadnít run competitively in five years, but the Ethiopian system put him in a hotel, fed him and trained him. In his first half-marathon, in Lille, France, last year, he ran a 59:34, nearly breaking the junior record."

The New Finish
This year the Bolder Boulder changed the timing of the elite start so that the elites would finish in the stadium just prior to the Memorial Day observation (in past years, the elites would finish in a largely emptying stadium after the observation was over). The time change was a huge success as the elites ended up running into a stadium full of 40,000 screaming spectators.

The Denver Post's John Meyer wrote of the successful format change, which was widely praised by the athletes including 3rd-place female Yurika Nakamura of Japan who said, "Big stadium, so much cheering, it gave me the feeling of coming into the Olympic Stadium last summer." Nakamura was 13th in last year's Olympic marathon.

And last week's Week That Was also didn't have mention of the LA Marathon, which was also held on Memorial Day. Former Louisville runner Wesley Korir picked up almost $200,000 with a spectacular run.

More: Bolder Boulder: 19-Year-Old Tilahun Regassa With Smashing Victory Over Central Park 10k Record-Setter Tadese Tola *Simon Cheprot in the Citizen's Race. *Men's Photos At Bolder Boulder Results: Men Women
LA Marathon:
It's Korir Day! 2:08:24 And $189,000 For The 2:13 (Formerly)/13:40 Louisville Alum Wesley Korir ... LA Course Record! Ron Mann
-coached Wesley Korir breaks away for the surprising win and huge pay day. Epic! Korir trains alone in Kentucky at 0 ft. altitude. His previous running career highlight was getting 3rd at NCAAs and now he is almost $200,000 richer. *LRC Memorial Day LA Marathon Live Blog*RRW: Wesley Korir Is Big Winner At LA Marathon *LRC Los Angeles Marathon Thread Video: Men's Highlights *Women's Highlights *Full Video

The Next Big Craze In Road Running/Reality TV - Avoid Getting Eaten By A Lion
Last week, we didn't really mention the richest road race in Kenyan history - the Sotokoto half marathon. This week, we got to read more about the event and were intrigued by the fact that it was held in the Nairobi National Park.

Men's race winner Philes Ongori gets our Quote of the Week award for summing up what it feels like to race inside a natoinal park in Kenya.

"To finish inside a game park knowing that wild animals could come out any time was exciting."

(Editor's note: The Lions are making a comeback at the Park)

More: *David Taurus & Philes Ongori (Japanese based) Won $15,000 *Another Recap Of Race *Sotokoto Half Marathon Was Run In Nairobi National Park.

Drug News
Busted Steroid Dealer Says He Dealt Drugs To Washington National & Capital Players "You name the sport, and I've sold steroids to athletes who play it."

Recommended Reads From Last Week
The Transformation Of Anthony Famiglietti/Eat Well
Joe Battaglia
of Universalsports.com wrote a great piece on the resurgence of Anthony Famiglietti after his poor 2007 season. The piece gives you great insight into Fam and provides an example for parents who had kids that don't want to obey and instead want to be rebels. Fam is a guy who once ran a road race in a collared shirt and sweat pants.

Some excerpts:

Fam on why he didn't want to be a runner at first. "I think what it was, was the people who were involved in the sport early on were the short-shorts guys with band-aids over their nipples,Ē Famiglietti said. ďI was like, ĎMan, I donít want to be a part of that. Thatís not my style.í I donít wear short shorts. I think for a lot of younger athletes in high school itís not appealing. I didnít join the wrestling team because I didnít want to wear one of those unitards. Track guys wear short shorts. When youíre a kid, those things matter to you."

How Fam adopted a skateborading/rebel mentality to running.
"That was the start. I was this rebel skateboarder kid. That was how I was living my life and I took that attitude toward running, anarchy. Iím going to do what I want to d and train how I want to train. Iím going to run the races I want to run, when I want to run them. Iím going to eat whatever the hell I want, and go to bed when I want to go to bed."

How Fam now realizes, he can't always be a rebel to be successful.
"The stuff I read and learned about talked about finding the middle path. There are extremes in life and Iíve obviously lived those extremes. I accepted who I am and at the same time found things that grounded me."

1) Unhealthy Lifestyle Nearly Ruined Famiglietti Fam's disasterous 2007 is explained as the guy's diet was a joke.
2)
Awesome Profile of 19-Year-Old Bolder Boulder Winner, Tilahun Regassa - From Homeless To A Star in 4 Years
3)
Canadian Olympic Columnist - Buy Your Tickets For Bolt Race Now: "You can have your Michael Phelps and all your swim medals -- I've seen a bunch of them the last two Summer Olympics -- but I wouldn't necessarily pay to watch him swim. I'm buying tickets so my kids can say they saw Usain Bolt run in Toronto. The way my brother saw The Beatles when they were here. The way so many went to Woodbine to watch Secretariat run."
4)
Reuters Profile Of Zersenay Tadese - The Man Who Is Bigger In Eritrea Than David Beckham Is In Britain The guy has had a remarkable journey. He started as a cyclist and now is known as the former world XC champ but in his first international XC race, he didn't even know to start when the gun went off.
5)
Ryan Hall Gets Advice From Stoned-Out Hippie

Looking Ahead: It's Gonna Be A Great Next Two Weeks - Prefontaine, NCAAs and Usain Bolt
Professionally and on the amateur front, it doesn't get any bigger than the next two weeks. This weekend, you have the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon - normally without a doubt the best single meet in the US each year (although the Reebok Grand Prix is getting to be pretty damn good) - then the NCAA D1 championships start on the following Wednesday and then that weekend Usain Bolt makes his only North American appearance of 2009 when he runs the 100 meters in Toronto.

Remembering The Last Week With The Quotes of the Day - Day By Day:

Monday: "Texas A&M's Justin Oliver and Texas Tech's Gil Roberts got out quickly over the first 200 meters of the anchor leg, building as much as a 20-meter lead over the Bears. With 100 meters to go, Roberts, the nation's top 100-meter runner, held a stride's advantage over Oliver and a 15-meter lead over Quentin Iglehart-Summers. But the Baylor senior had a kick left, making up ground over the last straightaway and lunging across the line ahead of Roberts in a photo finish."
- 42 and counting for the Baylor Bears 4 x 400 against collegiate competition, as their anchor Quentin Iglehart-Summers splits 44.5 in a come-from-behind thriller over Texas Tech and Texas A&M where all three teams ran 3:02.xx in the NCAA Midwest Regional. If anyone has a video, we'd love to see

Saturday/Sunday:
Tyson Gay: "We're running a track meet Saturday. You don't know any of the athletes? A lot of big names."
Security Guard: "I know Usain Bolt."
- NY Times article on Saturday's Reebok Grand Prix in NYC (if you'd been coming to LetsRun.com all week you should have won 1 of 50 free tickets on the finishing straight). The article focuses on Usain Bolt who isn't even running in the meet. The meet does however have stacked fields and perhaps the best 5k in the US outside of the Olympics.

Friday:
"The 100m will suffer because it would be difficult to do all three, the 100, 200 and 400. But it doesn't matter that I may lose the title of the fastest man in the world because I want the 400m world record."
- world's fastest man Usain Bolt talking about his plans to move up to the 400 next year. In response, the IAAF quickly said they might change the Olympic schedule so the 100, 200, 400 triple is possible for Bolt in 2012. IAAF: "If Usain continues to do amazing things, is super motivated, we'd be insane not to consider it."

Thursday:
"I got to the top and there was this guy smoking a joint, he looked like he was homeless - white hair, white beard - he looked like an old sage. He was pointing out all these mountaintops. I was like, before I go, I've got to get some wisdom from this guy. I was like, 'Just give me a few good words.'

He was kind of taken aback - I don't think he gets that question very often. What he said was so awesome: 'Don't waste your time.'

It kind of pricked my heart. I was just having fun, but I thought, how cool is that? 'Don't waste your time.' As often happens, a life lesson served as a running tip, and vice versa. What our sport is all about is not wasting time, making the most of every second you're out there. I also think about time in the sense of making sure we're having fun out there, enjoying the process and learning."

- Ryan Hall talking at a promotional appearance before the Bolder Boulder about what he learned on a run last weekend up the mountains in Colorado.

Wednesday:
"If I told you what my diet was, you wouldn't believe me. I never ate fruit during the day, ever. I never ate any vegetables besides tomato sauce on pizza. It was ridiculous. I remember when I was really young, my mom took me to the doctor and told him the way I was eating and what I was eating and he shook me and said, 'If you don't eat fruits and vegetables, you're going to die.'"
- One of about 12 quotes from an interview with Anthony Famiglietti that had us laughing. The piece focuses on 2007 being a turning point for Fam (and his diet) when he ran unreal 5ks and 10ks but got beaten by Thomas Brooks and Aaron Aguayo for the last steeple spot in Osaka.

Tuesday:
"At the start of the race I thought my chance of winning was zero."
- Wesley Korir after winning Monday's LA Marathon and $160,000 and a new car in a course record 2:08:40. Korir was a pretty good runner at Louisville (3rd at NCAAs one year) but Monday's race was a huge, huge breakthrough.

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