Week That Was: Geoffrey Mutai Amazes Again, Adam Goucher Retires & Lukas Verzbicas Calls It Quits

By LetsRun.com
November 15, 2011

Below, we recap the last two weeks in running for you. We start by analyzing which was better Geoffrey Mutai's 2:03:02 or his 2:05:06 and the result may surprise you. We then defend Ryan Hall from Phil Hersh's twitter rant before praising Adam Goucher, piling on Lukas V and giving you a lot of great quotes that didn't quite make it as QOD.

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3 Thoughts Related To The Men's Race In New York

1) Geoffrey Mutai's 2:05:06 Seems To Actually Be A Superior Performance To His 2:03:02

Geoffrey Mutai's 2:05:06 was an incredible performance. The fact that the course record in New York, which is technically point-to-point but which features hills and a fairly demanding layout, is now faster than Chicago's, which is basically totally flat, is simply unbelievable.

Trying to quantify how it compares to other great performances, like Patrick Makau's 2:03:38 world record in Berlin or Mutai's 2:03:02 in Boston, almost in our minds takes away from the greatness of the performance itself - but hey, it's the nature of sports. In an ideal world, iconic sports moments would be allowed to stand on their own, but it's human nature to try to compare them.

We asked the LetsRun.com nation what marathon performance in 2011 as the most impressive and they said it was Mutai's 2:03:02 in Boston.

Which Which 2011 WMM Course Record Was Most Impressive?
 Geoffrey Mutai's 2:03:02 CR in Boston 40.5%
 Geoffrey Mutai's 2:05:06 CR in NYC 37.7%
 Patrick Makau's 2:03:38 CR WR in Berlin 17.1%
 Abel Kirui's 2:06:54 CR at World Champs 2.6%
 Emmanuel Mutai's 2:04:40 CR in London 1.1%
 Moses Mosop's 2:05:37 CR in Chicago 1.0%

  Total votes: 2677


Geoffrey Mutai

Well, we decided to get emotion out of the equation and ask LetsRun.com's in-house stat genius John Kellogg (JK) to compare the performances from 2011. John should know, as he is the one man on the planet who actually predicted the possibility of a 2:03 in Boston before the race happened. Well, John Kellogg didn't agree with the LetsRun.com nation.

After Mutai's 2:03:02 in Boston, John Kellogg wrote a lengthy analysis of that run and said basically that it equated to something very close to the then-world record of 2:03:59 - basically 2:04 flat. He thought the hilly Boston course is normally 1:15-ish slower than a flat loop course but that the tailwind provided at least a 2-minute advantage. As JK wrote in April:

"That's just great ... you're calling the winning Boston and London performances virtually equal and if you put them at Berlin, they'd be very close to Haile Gebrselassie's 2:03:59 world record. Way to be evasive and wishy-washy, Kell-Dog." But is it really a cop-out? I think it reflects the state of elite marathoning in the world today that the winners of two separate major races can run 2:04 on London's course and the equivalent of that on a wind-aided day across the big pond on Boston's trickier, quad-busting course. The best in the world these days can run 2:04s on loop courses if they have to and perhaps dip under the official world record on the easiest loop courses. Ryan Hall can and has run 2:06 in London. It adds up.

Well, JK says that Mutai's run in New York is even better than his run in Boston, which might have beaten Haile G's then-WR. The general public may have trouble getting its collective head around the fact that a 2:05:06 could somehow be better than 2:03:02, but John Kellogg can. John says that he's always felt that the nature of the New York course statistically results in it being in the neighborhood of 1:30-1:40 slower than a flat loop course. Subtract 1:30-plus from 2:05:06 and you get something slightly superior to Makau's 2:03:38 world record.

"I think the New York performance by Mutai is the performance of the year. Based on prior stats from various courses, it equates to 2:03-mid on an easy loop course, perhaps sub-2:03:30, whereas his Boston performance was closer to 2:04 flat," said Mr. Kellogg. "Even after the legit 2:03s this year, I'm not going to go back on what I said about Boston. After the fact, so many people wanted to act like the wind didn't play a huge role there, but it obviously did. There are probably more sub-2:04-capable guys out there than I thought back in April, but there is no way I would have talked about the possibility of a low 2:03 in Boston before the race if it wasn't clear that the wind was going to aid things in a major way. Yes, we know now that a few guys can indeed run in the mid-2:03s on record-eligible courses, so they must have been capable in April. But that doesn't mean they actually produced that performance in Boston. Even if they run 2:02 next time out, it still wouldn't make the Boston race as good as the current world record."

2) Ryan Hall Bashing, His Faith And Tim Tebow

We've always defended the work of Phil Hersh and are pleased he's one of the last remaining Olympic journalists at a major newspaper. We've even defended his right to question Ryan Hall for always being upbeat about his performances.


Ryan Hall  London 2007

Last week there was a mini-uproar and we felt Hersh crossed the line after New York when Hersh tweeted: "Ryan Hall, you're no Meb Keflizighi (sic)."

Being critical is one thing, but just attacking someone is another. However, even in the Twitter universe with its 140-character limit, things have context. The full series of tweets by Hersh are not as negative. Hersh tweeted "Meb Keflizighi stops at 22 miles, vomits, keeps going, runs his fastest mara (2:09:13) ever on relatively slow NY course ..." Next tweet: "While Ryan Hall stops running with leaders about halfway on fast Chi course, runs 2:08:04 ..." Next tweet: "and Hall acolytes rip me for criticizing him." And finally: "The point is: Ryan Hall, you're no Meb Keflizighi."

Ok we see Hersh's point. He wants Ryan Hall to stay with the leaders longer.

Don't get us wrong; it was incredibly inspiring to see 36-year-old Meb Keflezighi go out with the leaders in New York in 63:18. It was incredibly inspiring to see him stay with the leaders through 20 miles and it was incredibly inspiring to see Meb run a PR at age 36. Meb is a star and we're glad he got a lot of positive publicity, as there no doubt that at times Meb is overlooked when compared to Ryan Hall. For example, we thought in 2010 that Meb actually ran a better race than Ryan Hall in Boston, since Meb stayed with the leaders longer - but few people noticed it as Hall ended up 4th to Meb's 5th. We're sure a lot of you will just say, "Look at the scoreboard - 4th place is better than 5th place."

Hersh's criticisms of Ryan are not totally accurate, however.

Because Meb has a New York victory and an Olympic medal, there is little doubt that Meb has had a better marathoning career than Hall has, but Hall's accomplishments at the 26.2 distance are incredibly impressive.

Yes, we'll agree with Hersh that Meb's run in New York this fall, where he hung with the leaders for 20 miles, was more impressive than Hall's run in Chicago even though Hall ended up placing higher (4th versus 6th) and running faster (2:08:04 versus 2:09:13), as the New York course is more difficult and the field was way deeper in New York than in Chicago.

That being said, has Hersh seemingly forgotten the following?

1) At the 2008 London Marathon, Ryan Hall went out in 62:15 - more than a minute faster than Meb did in New York - and was still in touch with the leaders at the 35 km mark.

We don't care if London is way flatter than New York. 62:15 is crazy fast and at 25k in that race, Hall told the rabbits to pick it up, and at 35km, he was still in touch with the lead pack.

Ryan likes to run his own pace and sometimes that means running with the leaders, even pushing them, and sometimes it means running by himself.

2) This spring, Ryan Hall finished just 1:56 behind Geoffrey Mutai. On Sunday, Meb finished 4:08 behind.

In our minds, Mutai's race in New York was better than his Boston race, but it was by no stretch of the imagination 2:12 better in a relative sense.

3) Five times in his career, Ryan Hall has finished a marathon in under 2:09, whereas Meb has never done it - and Hall's races include a wind-aided 2:04:58 and a legitimate 2:06:17.

4) Hersh seemed most upset this fall that Ryan Hall was somehow pleased with his 4th-place showing in Chicago, even though at no point was he a threat to win. Well, guess what - Meb was very pleased with this 6th-place showing in New York and at no point was he a threat to win. Yet he received no criticism from Hersh.

As a fan of US marathoners, Hersh has the right to be frustrated that Hall has never come close to winning and that Hall only occasionally displays the magical 2:06:17 form that he first showed in London in 2008, but we feel the anger has gone a bit too far.

The strong reaction to Ryan, however, got us thinking if perhaps some of it is related to Ryan's strong Christian faith. Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos running quarter back gets a ton of attention, both positive and negative. Sure, he's a very unorthodox quarterback, but also he's one of the most vocal Christian guys out there. The same thing applies to Ryan in the running world. In a very uncertain world, Ryan is very certain what he believes in and makes no apologies. He goes about things his own way, just like Tebow. So it may mean dropping off at 13 miles and then afterwards discussing the role God had in your race. It's our hunch if Ryan's faith weren't so openly in the discussion, the reaction by many would not be quite as strong.

More: Phil Hersh Takes Another Shot At Ryan Hall Via Twitter Tweeted, "Ryan Hall, you're no Meb Keflizighi (sic)." *MB: Phil Hersh - Bashing Hall (Again)

3) Weather Makes A Big Difference

Geoffrey Mutai took advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime tailwind in Boston to run 2:03:02, and in New York, he took advantage of ideal marathon weather - mid-40s, low wind - to run 2:05:06.

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Anyone Remember Goucher, Ritz And Kennedy
All Racing USATF 5,000m In 2001?

Adam Goucher Retires
Last week, the career of one of the greatest American distance runners ever came to an end as Adam Goucher retired.

People under the age of 20 may not full appreciate Mr. Goucher and actually may only know him as the guy who is Kara Goucher's husband. Well, we want to make sure he is fully appreciated as we're too caught up in the present if we don't stop and pay homage to Adam.

Goucher is one of just two US men who has won a Foot Locker HS title as well as an NCAA XC title and an NCAA outdoor title. The other is Bob Kennedy. Both Kennedy and Goucher won a lot more to boot, as they were both Olympians and won NCAA indoor, USA XC and USA outdoor titles as well. One might argue Goucher's pro career wasn't as good as his HS or college careers, but it had quite a few memorably memories.

The one we will always remember is in 2000, when at the Olympic Trials, Goucher - who was coming back from his latest injury - scratched and clawed to barely make the 5,000 final as a time qualifier. What did he do in the final? Win it.

A Foot Locker champ is no doubt incredibly talented, but talent alone doesn't result in wins like that one - desire and guts do.

Goucher was a true competitor and when healthy enough to run, he almost always impressed. He made 4 World Championships/Olympic 5,000m teams and each time at Worlds/Olympics, he made the final.

Don't know much about Goucher? We highly recommend Running With The Buffaloes, which chronicles his senior XC season at Colorado. Goucher also has is own book which recently came out.

More: Adam Goucher Retires *MB: Adam Goucher retires

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Lukas Verzbicas NCAA Talk Below the 12 Quotes

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12 Quotes Of The Week (That Weren't Quotes Of The Day)

#1 - Sally Pearson Admitting She Was Surprised To Win IAAF Athlete Of The Year Honors

"It was a little surprising that I won. Vivian (Cheruiyot) was a three-time world champion and Valerie (Adams) just dominates every time she's out there. She's the role model athlete everyone should look up to."

- Pearson was surprised, but she did have a great year, as she became the 4th-fastest 100m hurdler in history (12.28) and only lost once all year - and that was when she fell in the Diamond League final.
More: Athletics: Adams a role model says world's best athlete

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#2 - New York 5th Placer Kim Smith Admitting She Doesn't Love The Marathon

Q: Why do you love the marathon?
A: There is a lot more hype than for other distances - millions watched the New York marathon. I wouldn't say I love marathons - the marathon is more of a love-hate business. It is pretty painful at the time. The point about the marathon is that you put so much time and effort into one race and if it doesn't go well, you can't go out and do another one the next week. I kind of like that - it's a tough situation but when you do well there is such a feeling of accomplishment.

More: Athletics: Papakura girl aiming for top of the world

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#3 - Coach Gabriela Nicola Talking About How All Of The Money Is Now In The Marathon

"The track and field market is done."

"The marathon is the only remaining market. Track is [Usain] Bolt and clapping hands," he said, meaning that the reward for many track athletes is adulation from the crowd as opposed to big money. "In Kenya, if you don't go to the marathon, you remain a farmer. So talented athletes are coming right to the marathon without spending time in track."

The quote comes from a David Epstein article in Sports Illustrated. We particularly liked how Epstein described major marathons in the article: "... the major marathons have become lucrative, celebrity bedecked mini-Super Bowls of running."

More: New York City Marathon shows speedy evolution of 26.2-mile race

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#4 - 800-Meter World Record Holder David Rudisha Talking About His Plans For 2011 And How He'll Stay On Top In 2011

"I'd like to begin again in Australia with perhaps another fast 400 metres. It's always tough for a champion to maintain your position when you're on top. But the most important thing is to be disciplined. It's important to keep in mind that what I have done has already passed. What is important is what will come tomorrow."

More: Rudisha targets Olympics redemption

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#5 - Marathon World Record Holder Patrick Makau Talking About The Hardest Thing He Faced While Growing Up Poor

"The hardest part was going to sleep when I was hungry. Then to wake up and go to school when I had an empty stomach."

"Sometimes I had only one meal a day, but sometimes none."

More: Makau Talks About Growing Up Poor (Scroll Down)

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#6 Chad Hall Talking About The Advice His Brother Ryan Has Given Him For His Senior XC Season

"He's encouraged me throughout all my seasons, but especially this one. Kind of just, 'Get out and enjoy it. Do your best and leave the outcomes up to God.' We've both dealt with disappointments and stuff. His message to me is about having disappointments and coming back and doing well."

- Hall qualified for NCAAs last week by finishing 8th in the West Regional.

More: Hall going out with a flourish

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#7 UK Athletics Chief Ed Warner Talking About Why London And Not Doha Needed To Be Awarded The 2017 World Championships

"It's almost now or never for western European bids for the World Championships. If this does not go to London a number of other cities in western Europe that might have contemplated bidding for the championships will look at it and say 'What do I have to do to win? Is it impossible?'"

"If you have a strong foundation you can afford periodically to take it to new territory. But if you chase the short-term sugar rush of virgin territory too often, you might turn round and find your sport is built on foundations of sand."

London did get awarded the WChamps in what in our minds was a no-brainer decision. We also loved what Phil Hersh wrote about it: "I mean, why have a track in the Olympic Stadium of the country with a long and deep track tradition if the sport's global leaders would rather have the biggest event under their control in a place that almost certainly will never care about track and field?"

More: London's 2017 World Athletics Championship bid billed as "now or never" by UK Athletics chief Ed Warner

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#8 Portugal's Jessica Augusto Admitting She Was Scared Before The Start Of The 2011 ING New York City Marathon

"I'm scared. This is my first New York marathon. I've trained so much for this event. And now this is the big day, the most important day for us. People are nervous."

- Augusto apparently had reason to be scared, as she'd drop out after the 30km mark after going through halfway in 1:11:18. A stark contrast to the great debut Augusto had in London, when she ran 2:24:33.

More: For the First to Run, a Separate Peace

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#9 Wisconsin's Big 10 XC Champ, Mohammed Ahmed,
On What His Teammates Mean To Him (A Lesson Lukas V Never Learned At Oregon As He Started Late And Left Early)

"When I made my move, I wasn't really thinking about the individual title. I was just trying to get rid of some of the Indiana runners who were on us, and it worked. It is amazing. We really love each other, and everybody has that brotherhood that you need to be contending. If you have that brotherhood, you have that trust with each other, and we really have that."

More: Lucky No. 13: Near-perfect performance powers Badgers to title

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#10 Ken Young, Co-founder Of The Association Of Road Running Statisticians, Explaining To The Wall Street Journal How In The Early Days Race Organizers Certainly Didn't Care About Time

"Back when racing started, they didn't even time it. You hold a race, you run it from here to there, and whoever came in first, that's the winner."

More: A Runner And His ... Entourage? By Ditching Pacemakers, The New York Marathon Puts Tactical Running Above Pure Speed

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#11 Coach James Li Talking About How Great His Freshman Harrier Lawi Lalang Is

"I just don't see people beating him. He's obviously very, very talented and I think he's coming here and really for the first time in his life, he's having really systematic and solid training, ..."

"He's fast even for Kenyan standards. I have not seen someone in college running as well as he is and I've had a lot of Olympic-level athletes over the years. He's very exceptional, this one is for real."

More: AZ Student Newspaper Profiles The Amazing Lali Lalang, Who Gets Tons Of Praise From Coach Li

#12 Celebrated Japanese Author Huraki Murakami Talking About Why He Runs

"I run in a void, or maybe I should put it the other way: I run in order to acquire a void."

The quote comes from his book: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

More: Running As Therapy

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NCAA XC Regionals Are Held And Some Big-Time Powers Are Left At Home

The 2011 NCAA cross-country regional meets were held and a few big time names were left at home - namely the Oregon men and Arkansas men plus the Providence women (and W&Mary men). We've always hated how convoluted the system is that the NCAA uses to select the at-large teams to Nationals, but we don't feel much sympathy for the teams left at home for one simple reason.

A few years ago, there was a proposal to go to a Super-Regional. Two weeks before conference instead of Pre-NCAAs, teams would run Regionals. The top 10 from each region would then advance to the Super-Regional, of which there would be 3. Take the top 10 or 11 from each Super-Regional and there is your NCAA field - all earned fairly on the course, head-to-head, late in the season and not early in the year.

But the system was voted down, as the schools that most disliked the proposal were the ones that always dislike every common-sense proposal - the big-time powers like Arkansas (at least at the time they were a huge power) - as they seemingly hate any and all change. Well, karma sucks, doesn't it?

In 2006, one of the men's top 10 teams missed out on NCAAs when UTEP missed out, but little became of it because the team was all foreign. Will this year's exclusions make any more noise? We doubt it.

Track and field/cross-country should be the simplest sport in the world to understand in terms of qualification - the top xxx go - but for some reason, bureaucrats love to make it complicated.

More: *2011 Regional Results *LRC MB: NCAA X-C system is broke (from 2006) *At-Large Appeal (from 2003)

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We Have Held Our Tongues
And Not Made Any Triathlon Jokes

Lukas V Leaving Oregon For Triathlon
Two-time Foot Locker champion Lukas Verzbicas' career at Oregon is over - after just two months. Lukas V became the 2nd Foot Locker champ (Chad Hall was the other) in just five years to decide Oregon wasn't it was all hyped to be when he announced last week he was giving up competitive running to focus on the triathlon, where he was world junior champ. It's very hard to believe one of the best high school runners' college careers lasted less time than Kim Kardashian's marriage. And it's hard to believe no adult told him to wait until after the season* ... wait a minute - it's hard to believe the adults are all gone and having teams jump from conference to conference with no loyalty whatsoever. In the year 2011, self interest rules.

We've taken some flak for coming down hard on an 18-year-old, but we've got to call a spade a spade. His decision to leave the team right before Regionals is basically indefensible. People can say that perhaps Oregon put him in a bad spot by not red-shirting him this year, as he had no base but that's not why his decision rubbed us and many the wrong way. Leaving a team just days before Regionals is a selfish act. End of story. Even at a place like Oregon where individuals have been given a lot of leeway over the years to pursue their own tangential goals.

That being said, we want to clear up a few misconceptions out there, as it seems a lot of people are letting emotions and falsehoods cloud their judgment on this on the message board.

1) The 2012 Olympics Has Zero To Do With Lukas' Decision, As Lukas Can't Compete In The Olympics For The US (He Isn't A US Citizen)

Many people defending Lukas have tried the argument, "Well, time is of the essence. He needs to get ready for the 2012 Olympics." Ignoring the fact that many triathlon people think he'd have little shot of making the US team anyway, the facts are that Lukas is ineligible for Olympic competition because he isn't a US citizen. One can compete in international triathlon events as a non-citizen but not the Olympics. Since Lukas likely has zero interest in competing in the Olympics as a Lithuanian (as it would kill his future endorsement deals), people need to stop incorrectly using this argument.

And while we're talking about Lukas' citizenship, German Fernandez still has the US high school record for 2 miles as Lukas wasn't a citizen last year. It may not be the fastest time by a kid at a US high school but Fernandez is the fastest by a US high schooler. A lot last year was done to give the impression Lukas was an American. In the New Balance Boston Games, Lukas was originally listed on the entrants as representing Lithuania and then in the results is listed as USA. Triathlon can have whatever rules it wants, but being a citizen of the United States means something.

And speaking of citizenship, Lukas intends to become a US citizen. The immigrant dream has helped make America and we wish Lukas the best. Yes, he has to do what is best for himself, but he should have waited 2.5 weeks until the end of the cross country season. Doesn't make him a bad kid. Just means he made a mistake. We're sure a lot of you made dumb decisions when you were 18.

2) Had Lukas Run Regionals For Oregon, It's Almost Certain They Would Have Made NCAAs

Lukas wasn't running all that well by his standards during his short college career, but he still was in Oregon's top 5. At Wisconsin, he finished 3rd for the Ducks - 1:23 ahead of their 6th man. At PAC-12s, Lukas finished fourth four the Ducks in 23rd, some 50 seconds ahead of their 6th man. At PAC-12s, the three closest West region competitors to him were Arizona's Patrick Zacharias (same time), Stanford's Joe Rosa (2 seconds behind) and UCLA's Dustin Fay (2 seconds behind). At the West Regional, those three finished 24th, 19th and 27th, respectively. Oregon's 5th man was 69th at the West Regional. So clearly Verzbicas' absence cost the Ducks big time.

Had Lukas run, the Ducks would have been 5th in their region for sure (as they were only 2 points behind 5th) but most likely 4th (34 points ahead) and possibly third (53 points ahead) and made NCAAs in all three scenarios.

One could argue the Ducks likely should have made it without Lukas, as their #3 man didn't run great at Regionals, but that's not the point. One shouldn't quit mid-season.

3) The Drop Date At Oregon Should Have Had Nothing To Do With Lukas' Decision

Some have tried to defend Verzbicas' decision by saying, "We don't know all that was going on. Maybe he was behind on his classes and the drop date was coming."

Ignoring the fact that Lukas said nothing about having academic difficulties at Oregon, this argument makes no sense, as there is no GPA requirement for mid-term grades for freshmen in the NCAA. You could be failing all your classes and be eligible for the NCAA Championships as a freshman.

More: Lukas V Leaving Oregon For Triathlon *Oregon Release *USA Triathlon Release
*Message Board: It's Official Lukas Is Leaving *Any U of O people want to speak their mind about Lukas? *Shut Up with all the "Team Values" Crap Already *Lukas speaks *LV officially screwed Oregon over

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Recommended Reads

*
LRC 2:05:06!!! Geoffrey Mutai Caps Year In Style
*LRC Mary Keitany Beats Herself
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Jere Longman Looks At Why Women's Marathoning Is So Far Behind Men's
*
SI's David Epstein (A LRC Fan) Writes A Great Piece On The Evolution Of The Marathon
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NY Times Recap: Geoffrey Mutai Wins New York Marathon With Course Record
*
Great WSJ Article Praising NYC For Ditching Pacemakers - A Runner and His ... Entourage?
*
AZ Student Newspaper Profiles The Amazing Lawi Lalang, Who Gets Tons Of Praise From Coach Li
*
Indy Star: IU Men Ran Boldly In Trying To Beat Wisco - Hoping They Would They Crack - But In The End, The Hoosiers Cracked
*
Science Of Sport: The (r)evolution of the marathon: An unprecedented era
*
Track & Field Superfan: "Five Things We Learned In New York"

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Other News Of Note From The Last Two Weeks

RIP Former Oregon Runner, Rhiannon Glenn Hull Hull drowned in Costa Rica while swimming at the beach with her youngest son. She was able to hand her son to a nearby teenager before being pulled under.

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Quotes Of The Day From The Week:

Monday 11/14: "Thank you for showing me the attention (by doing an interview with me) in this difficult time, it means a lot. Many are spitting in my face right now but life is not on hold and because an athlete's career isn't a lifetime I must move on and make the most of the time I have."

- Lukas Verzbicas in a Q & A with triathlon site Slowtwitch.com.

Calling Lukas out for his decision to abandon his teammates mid-season is called criticism. If anyone got spit on, it was his teammates. *MB: Lukas speaks


Sunday 11/13: "I've said this to Yohan (Blake) already and have said to a lot of my friends: the 200 is my favourite event. And I won't let Yohan beat me over 200 metres. In the 100 maybe, he might have a chance, but the 200 is my favourite event. I've worked hard to perfect it over the years. I told him already that I won't let it happen."

- Usain Bolt, a somewhat controversial Athlete of the Year selection over Yohan Blake. Bolt was asked about the prospects of his training partner Blake beating him in the 200. Bolt also indicated he may run the 4 x 400 next year.


Saturday 11/12: "I don't know how I will feel later, but I can't see myself now running a 2:03 marathon or a 12:35 for 5,000, which is what it would take to be the top world level."

- Lukas Verzbicas on why he quit on his Oregon teammates 3/4 of the way through the XC season to pursue triathlon full time. The article says Lukas' dad wanted him to stick with running longer. Lukas shows he's still a kid without a lot of perspective, saying of his two subpar races at Oregon, "I think you have to go through a lot of downfalls and such to be at the top."


Friday 11/11: "I have a passion for running.

I don't have the same for triathlon."

- Lukas Verzbicas on June 18th. Yesterday he announced he was leaving the University of Oregon mid season (2 days before the Regional meet) to pursue triathlon full time. Facing some adversity might have been good for the kid, but he's out quicker than Kim Kardashian.


Thursday 11/10: "It's the best call I've ever gotten at 4 in the morning."

and

"I think most people were assuming we lost him. We were hoping for a miracle and we got it."

- Alaska-Anchorage Athletic Director Steve Cobb and cross-country coach Michael Freiss, reacting to the great news that after being missing for 2.5 days outside with no gloves or hat that Kenyan runner Mark Cheseto was found alive, albeit with extreme frostbite.


Wednesday 11/09: "In a nutshell how do you chase a spot that isn't there? Whether the ban was lifted or not I realise that the biggest hurdle I face is not my age, desire, commitment, injuries, qualifying standard, financial burden, or [the] poor choice I made. Rather it lies in being accepted. I have no interest in going through another legal battle, they take a toll on your soul."

- New Zealand Olympic marathoner Liza Hunter-Galvan, explaining why she won't try to make the NZ team for the 2012 Olympics even though the IOC rule barring athletes with previous doping bans (she served a 2-year ban for EPO) from missing the next Olympics has been overturned. The rule was overturned by CAS last month in the case with LaShawn Merritt.


Tuesday: 11/08: "Meb Keflezighi is like a zombie. Every time you think he's dead, he just keeps on coming back. Last spring he was without a sponsor and couldn't get an appearance fee at a marathon. Literally no one wanted him. His race results didn't suggest anything big was coming. But today, in his tenth year of marathoning and some seven years past his greatest race, he broke his PR. Who breaks their PR in their tenth year of marathoning? That's just ridiculous."

- Track & Field Superfan blogger Jesse Squire, talking about Meb Keflezighi's 2-second PR at the NYC Marathon at 36 years old (despite having to stop to throw up). Listen to our interview with Meb here.


Monday 11/07: "When I am running, I run with no fear. I try to perform like that. If somebody even follows me, I don't have fear."

- Geoffrey Mutai after smashing the NYC course record by 2 minutes and 38 seconds to cap a fabulous 2011 (Boston champ and Kenyan XC champ).


Sunday 11/06: "If you'd said to me five or six years ago that I would be involved in another bid, I would have responded I think you might need to put me in a white coat and sit me quietly in a corner of a room. ... I never envisioned doing this."

- Seb Coe, talking about now having to work to secure London a 2017 World Championships bid after already going through the bid process for the 2012 Olympics.


Saturday 11/05: "Everybody expects more from Gebremariam this year because he's the winner last year.

I did my training very well, and I am in a good health, so we will see. We will see."

- Defending ING New York City champ Gebre Gebremariam talking at Friday's elite men's press conference.
Elite men's preview video show is available on the right.


Friday 11/04: "If you'd said to me five or six years ago that I would be involved in another bid, I would have responded I think you might need to put me in a white coat and sit me quietly in a corner of a room. ... I never envisioned doing this."


- Seb Coe, talking about now having to work to secure London a 2017 World Championships bid after already going through the bid process for the 2012 Olympics.


Thursday 11/03: We Had Two QODs: #1
"I'm confident I can handle pain. I'm confident I can handle the length of time, but my biggest fears come from things like, what happens if I have to, like, go poop? I mean, what do you do? Really. Do you stop or do you just do it?"
- American Lauren Fleshman, talking to ESPN W about her biggest fears about her marathon debut this weekend in New York.

and
#2

"The more you move away from time as the steward of the sport, the better. If it becomes a time chase, there's no personality. You're taking a personality and matching him or her against a clock. How exciting can that really be?"

- Mary Wittenberg, talking in a great WSJ article on why the ING NYC marathon has eschewed pacemakers.

It includes a quote from WC meadllist Viktor Röthlin, who adds, "There's nothing wrong with going for world records, but if I had the choice of watching a marathon that's designed to chase a world record or one where maybe 10 athletes are challenging each other and the stories are being written on the road, I'd choose the second option." Discuss: Great WSJ Article Praising NYC For Ditching Pacemakers - A Runner And His ... Entourage?


Wednesday 11/02: "I just want to be in the mix in the race.

My coach thinks that you should definitely have that as your mindset. (He) Doesn't see the point of standing on the start line if you don't think you're going to win."

- Kim Smith talking about her goals for this weekend's 2011 ING NYC Marathon.


Tuesday: 11/01: "To my fellow Kenyan athlete and world record holder (Patrick) Makau, the message is that I'm closing down the gap ... the world record is on the way ... it is coming."

- Wilson Kipsang after running 2:03:42 and missing the world record in the marathon by 4 seconds at the BMW Frankfurt Marathon on Sunday.

****
Last Week's Homepages

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