The Weeks That Were In Running: April 9-29, 2012

To read the last Week That Was, click here.

May 3, 2012

So much has happened the last few weeks that we haven't been able to stay on top of it all. We've been so busy trying to cover one big event and preview the next big event that we haven't had time to do our weekly recap. But no worries - we get everyone caught up on the last three weeks with a monumental week in review that includes five thoughts about 2012 Stanford, five thoughts about the 2012 Boston Marathon, and five thoughts about the 2012 Virgin London marathon. Along the way, we hype Lopez Lomong as a gold medal favorite, try to make sense of Kenenisa Bekele's return and wonder if Matt Tegenkamp is still relevant anymore.

5 Thoughts About Stanford

1. Welcome back to relevance, Lopez Lomong.

In 2008, Lomong was a media darling as he was the US flag bearer and has a great story as a "Lost Boy" from Sudan. The weird thing is his PR at the time of 3:36.36 wouldn't even get him into the Games this time around, as the Olympic "A" standard is 3:35.50. Since then, he's improved to where each year he's been a regular 3:32-3 guy at least once each year, but in some ways he's lost relevance, as many of his US counterparts were either running faster (Andrew Wheating 3:30.90) or showing the tactical savvy/late wheels needed to get a medal (Matt Centrowitz).

Well, Lomong is now officially relevant again - very relevant. In the first serious track 5,000 of his career (he did run one over 14:00 in college), Lomong was spectacular in Stanford. Yes, he kicked a lap too early or his 13:11 win might have been a 13:07-8 win, but it was still good enough to make us think he can be in the serious medal contender - possibly gold medal contender - in Beijing London. Yes, you read that right ... gold medal contender.

If you haven't watched that race, you have to watch it.

With apologies to the message board poster ventolin^3 who thinks that 1:49 800 speed is super in the 5,000, the thought that jumped out while watching the race when the kick started is the following: "It's amazing how talented the top guys in the world are. Those two guys kicking in David Torrence and Lopez Lomong have 800 PRs that are very close to US collegiate 800m stars Elijah Greer and Cas Loxsom. How amazing is that?"

And that thought still exists even if it was a lap early. Torrence didn't kick early himself; rather, he just tried to hang with Lomong's move and eventually realized that Lomong had miscounted.

Lomong's first serious 5,000 debut instantly made him a medal contender in our eyes. And yes, we know that blowing away guys who are in 13:15 shape in a kick is a lot different than blowing away 13:00 guys in a kick. But after the race was over, when we asked coaching/stat guru John Kellogg for his take on the race he said, "You know who Lomong reminds me a little of? Vénuste Niyongabo."

A little history lesson for people who are too young to remember the 1996 Olympic Games. Niyongabo is forever in the history books as the Olympic gold medallist in the men's 5,000.

He won in Atlanta despite the fact that the world record was 12:44.39 at the time and Niyongabo's PR at the time was and still is 13:03.29.

Niyongabo was a guy who was primarily a 1,500-meter runner. In fact, the results database site  only shows seven 5,000 competitions for Niyongabo's entire career with the Atlanta Olympics being #2. We're not sure if it's 100% accurate, but it shows that after winning told in 1996, he didn't even run another 5,000 until 2000.

But the thing about Niyongabo is he had the wheels to get the job done at the end when the premiere talent of the era, Haile Gebrsleassie, opted just for the 10k. Could that be the case for Lomong if the premiere talent of the current era, Kenenisa Bekele, opts just for the 10k?

Seriously, who really runs the 5k nowadays anyway? Lots of the potential sub-13:00 African talent is running the more lucrative road/marathon circuit. One of the things Italian coach Renato Canova says about the Kenyans is most of them don't really have big enough wheels to win the men's 5,000. Lomong definitely has the wheels. Remember, the Olympic 5,000m is often a tactical affair that comes down to the kick.

A championship 5,000 is hard for a distance-based guy to win anyway. Without help from teammates, it's hard to run away from people. Lomong's clearly not going to get dropped unless maybe it's a low 12:50s race.

Take a look at the medallists and their times from the last 6 Olympics and tell us a 1,500-based runner moving up isn't way more suited for a medal than a 5,000/10,000 type who speciailizes in rabbitted time trials.

With just what he showed at Stanford, Lomong's already a contender for a medal in all of those races except for maybe 2008.

GOLD Kenenisa Bekele, ETH 12:57.82
SILVER Eliud Kipchoge, KEN 13:02.80
BRONZE Edwin Soi, KEN 13:06.22

GOLD Hicham El Guerrouj, MAR 13:14.39
SILVER Kenenisa Bekele, ETH 13:14.59
BRONZE Eliud Kipchoge, KEN 13:15.10

GOLD Million Wolde, ETH 13:35.49
SILVER Ali Saïdi Sief, ALG 13:36.20
BRONZE Brahim Lahlafi, MAR 13:36.47

GOLD Vénuste Niyongabo, BDI 13:07.96
SILVER Paul Bitok, KEN 13:08.16
BRONZE Khalid Boulami, MAR 13:08.37

GOLD Dieter Baumann, FRG 13:12.52
SILVER Paul Bitok, KEN 13:12.71
BRONZE Fita Bayissa, ETH 13:13.03

GOLD John Ngugi, KEN 13:11.70
SILVER Dieter Baumann, FRG 13:15.52
BRONZE Hansjörg Kunze, GDR 13:15.73

2. How good is collegiate running these days?

At Stanford, there were seven collegians who hit the Olympic "A" standard. Very impressive.

Some of them may not have gotten their due in our Stanford men's recap or Stanford women's recap, so we wanted to give them their due, because the fact of the matter is if an athlete doesn't become a name in college then they are unlikely to get a good pro contract. So what better way to help them become a name than to introduce them to the hundreds of thousands that visit LRC each month.

What is almost as impressive is how big of PRs some of the athletes had in the race. Below, we give you the collegians who got the "A" standard and their previous PRs.

Men's 5k
5. Thomas Farrell              Unattached/Ok. St.    13:15.31/13:26.59

Men's 10k
1 Cameron Levins               Southern Utah        27:27.96/debut
3 Chris Derrick                Stanford             27:31.38/28:26.65  
5 Diego Estrada                Unattached/NAU       27:32.90/28:40.19  
6 Mohammed Ahmed               Wisconsin            27:34.64/28:57.44

Women's 5k
6 Jessica Tebo                 Colorado              15:19.43/15:25.58

Women's 10k
1 Betsy Saina                  Unattached/Iowa State 31:15.97/33:13.13  

For those redshirting, we sure hope everyone paid their own way to Stanford to stay in compliance with NCAA rules.

Given the form some of those guys are in, we'd think they'd want to be running for their teams as they all have great shots an elusive outdoor NCAA track and field title.

3. Remember - talent never goes away.

Alan Webb In His Prime

We've always loved the mantra: "Talent doesn't go away." But we've got to admit that we ourselves almost gave up on that mantra until last week.

The transformation of Alan Webb over the last 3+ weeks is remarkable. Seriously, three weeks ago, when we last did a "Week That Was," we were wondering if Alan Webb was done oursleves.

After all, when he ran a 1:54/3:54 at the Florida Relays in early April, Webb looked like a guy who would struggle to make an elite college's conference squad. 3+ weeks later, he's running 3:39/13:49 and at a minimum is in good enough shape where he'd be a contender for an NCAA title if he was in college. (in case you missed it, one week after the 1:54/3:54, Webb ran 3:43.28/14:15.54). Webb at one time may have run 1:43.84, but his chief asset is not his speed, but the fact he is an aerobic beast. Now under coach Vig, he clearly has found the right mix of training he needs to be doing. Webb's career has coincided nicely with the existence of Three weeks ago, for the first time ever, we were contemplating the end of Webb's career as a runner (don't worry; we were already wondering if Webb could dominate the triathlon). Now he's as fascinating as ever to watch as a runner.

Webb wasn't the only one to come back from the dead. Anna Pierce, who didn't break 4:10 last year, found the magic over the last 200 and blew away the field to win the women's 1,500 in 4:07.00.

Now, 4:07 and 3:39 are still a ways off from where Pierce and Webb need to be, as if they don't run 3:35.50 or 4:06.00, there is no chance they go to London, but it certainly gives their fans some hope.

4. Our thoughts on Matt Tegenkamp's 13:15.00.

If your brains our like ours, we know some of you thought, "Wow, it's amazing how quickly Tegenkamp has lost relevance. Three years ago, he was running 12:58 in Europe and now he's barely being mentioned on an Internet broadcast of a 5,000 in the middle of the night."

We say that's basically what we thought, but we're not sure if it's a 100% fair sentiment.

The fact of the matter is 13:15.00 is the fastest 5,000 opener of Tegenkamp's career (last year, he opened in 13:16.27 in Australia).

Additionally, in 2009 when Teg ran 12:58, he only started with a 13:22.60 at the very same Payton Jordan meet, although it should be pointed out that the race was won in only 13:22.36 and Tegenkamp finished second there, not fifth.

But on the negative side, it has to be pointed out that Teg is now 30, which is starting to creep up in age for a 5,000 guy.

Bob Kennedy was born in 1970, and from 1994 to 1999 he ran 13:06.62 or faster each year.

After the start of his 30th year (2000), he never ran faster than 13:17.51.

Can Teg still make the Olympics? Yes. Do we think he can contend for a medal? No.

5.   Here is an updated list of  your Olympic "A" qualfiiers in the 5,000 and 10,000 for the US.

The events where Americans hit the "A" at Stanford were the 5k and 10ks. As a result, we've updated the list of "A" qualifiers for those events for you below. Maybe we'll give you an early OTrials prediction next week.

You can see our previous list from February, which included the 800, 1,500s and steeples, here.

Men's 5,000 - 13:20.00 - 7 "A" Qualifiers
12:53.60       Bernard Lagat (Nike)  Monaco DL   07/22/11
13:06.86       Galen Rupp (Nike)   Birmingham DL   07/10/11
13:11.63       Lopez Lomong (Nike Otc) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
13:14.75       Matt Tegenkamp (Nike)   Monaco DL   07/22/11
13:16.26       A. Bumbalough (Nike Otc)  Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
13:16.53       David Torrence (Nike)  Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
13:19.58i      Chris Derrick (Stanford)  Millrose 2/11/12

13:24.11        Ben True (ITA)  New York DL 06/11/11
13:25.82        Brandon Bethke (unat)   Cardinal Inv    05/01/11
13:26.14        Elliott Heath (Stan)   Cardinal Inv    05/01/11 13:26.94        Brian Olinger   Mt. Sac    04/20/12 (added)

Women's 5,000 - 13:20.00 - 15 "A" Qualifiers
14:45.20       Shalane Flanagan (Nike) Paris DL    07/08/11
15:00.57       Lauren Fleshman (Nike)  London DL   08/06/11
15:08.52      Julia Lucas (Otc) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
15:08.64       Desiree Davila (Hansons)  London DL   08/06/112 3
15:10.01       Molly Huddle (Saucony)  USATF   06/24/11
15:10.44       Jen Rhines (adidas) London DL   08/06/11
15:11.47       Kara Goucher (Nike) Eugene DL   06/03/11
15:11.49       Jenny Simpson (New Balance) Mt SAC  04/15/11
15:14.25       Magdalena L. Boulet (Saucony) Stockholm 07/29/11
15:13.87      Julie Culley (Asics/NYAC) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
15:14.31       Amy Hastings (Brooks)   USATF   06/24/11
15:15.34       Liz Maloy (New Balance) Lignano 07/19/11
15:16.04       Angela Bizzarri (Brooks)    USATF   06/24/11
15:18.31       Jackie Areson (Nike) Stanford 04/06/12
15:19.43      Jessica Tebo (Colorado) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
15:21.56      Lisa Uhl (NIKE OTC) Stanford 04/06/12
15:21.75      Christin Wurth-Thomas (Nike)    Mt SAC  04/15/11
15:22.39      Brie Felnagle (adidas) Stanford 04/06/12

Men's 10,000- 27:45.00 - 7 "A" Qualifiers
26:48.00        Galen Rupp (Nike)   Brussels DL 09/16/11
27:24.67        Bobby Curtis (Reebok)   Cardinal Inv    05/01/11
27:28.19        Tim Nelson (Nike)   Cardinal Inv    05/01/11
27:28.22        Matt Tegenkamp (Nike)   Cardinal Inv    05/01/11
27:31.38        Chris Derrick (Stanford) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
27 :40.21       Brent Vaughn (Nike Otc) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
27:41.17        Ben True (Saucony) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
27:50.58       Brian Olinger (Reebok) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12 (added)
27:51.01       Aaron Braun (adidas) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
27:51.78       Scott Bauhs (adidas)    Cardinal Inv    05/01
27:51.07       Ryan Vail (Brooks) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
27:53.52       Bobby Mack (Unattached) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12

Women's 10,000 - 31:45.00 - 7 "A" Qualifiers
30:39.57        Shalane Flanagan (Nike) Cardinal Inv    05/01/11
31:16.65        Kara Goucher (Nike) USATF   06/23/11
31:19.87        Amy Hastings (Brooks)  Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
31:28.66        Molly Huddle (Saucony)  Cardinal Inv    05/01/11
31:30.37        Jen Rhines (adidas) USATF   06/23/11
31:35.50        Lisa Uhl (Nike Otc) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12
31:37.14        Desiree Davila (Hansons)    USATF   06/23/11
31:33.50       Janet Cherobon-Bawcom (Unattached) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12 (added)
31:48.58        Magdalena Lewy Boulet USATF   06/23/11
31:49.23       Deena Kastor (Asics) Cardinal Inv 04/29/12

5 Thoughts About The 2012 Boston Marathon

1. The winner of the 2012 Boston marathon in our minds is a household name. So well known in fact, her name is known by all worldwide - the weather.

In 2011, mother nature blew the runners to mind-boggling times just as a few people basically predicted. Afterwards, many foolishly claimed the weather had little to do with the fast times. It seemed as if Mother Nature almost felt insulted by the lack of appreciation for her once-in-a-marathon-career weather from 2011, so she showed everyone in 2012. Seriously, if you don't think the wind made the times way faster in 2012, then we're not going to let you say the heat slowed them down in 2012.

Because in 2012 the weather was so hot, it's almost pointless to spend too much time analyzing the race because in our minds running in hot weather and running in ideal conditions are for some people two different sports. But a few more thoughts.

Ryan Hall In Boston
Last Year

2. Kudos to message board poster "speaker of truth" for coming up with the following thread after Boston was finished: Would Ryan Hall Have Won Boston Today?

The idea is a fascinating one. Ryan Hall is certainly known for running his own race. After all, this is a guy that once ran a 59:43 half marathon all by himself. While people like Phil Hersh have ripped Hall in the past for not going with surges, the race in Boston showed that the point of the race is to get to the finish line as fast as possible. In the past during Hall's career, he's fallen off the lead pack only to regain contact later, as was the case in 2008 London. The problem with this style of running is that in a modern marathon, most often a lead group of 6 or 7 aren't all going to implode. But in the heat? Hey, it can happen.

The facts are Wesley Korir's PR on a legit course is 2:06:15. Hall's is 2:06:17. To win a major, we've always thought an American-born male is going to need to get some help. Korir got it.

3. We know it was hot, but we were sort of stunned no one ran faster in Boston this year.

Remember, the weather was very similar in 2004 and Timothy Cherigat still ran 2:10:37 that year for the win and marathoning in the year 2012 is certainly better than it was in 2004.

Our only explanation is that it seems as if just a bunch of the top guys were totally off in Boston this year (or maybe with the sun out it felt a lot hotter than in 2004 - we can't remember if it was sunny in 2004 or not).

4. Now, we know some of you are thinking, "How did Alberto Salazar run so fast back in the Duel in the Sun in 1982?" Answer. Because it wasn't all that hot that day.

The high in Boston on race day in 1982 was just 70. And there is a huge difference between 70 and 80 and in Boston this year, it got up to 87.

This type of thinking got us to do a little bit of research to compare some of the hottest Boston marathons during the last 40 years. All stats are for Boston, MA from

  Mean Temp Max Temp Avg Humidity Wind Winning Time
April 16, 2012 - Korir Steals It 73 87 59% 10mph SSW 2:12:40
Apri 19, 2004 - Timothy Cherigat Wins 66 86 60% 12mph SSW 2:10:31
April 19, 1982 - The Duel in the Sun 56 70 37% 15mph WSW 2:08:51
April 19, 1976 - The Run For The Hoses* 76 89 39% 10mph W 2:20:19

*Note, we are assuming has the dates wrong for 1976. We listed the temps for April 20, 1976 and not April 19, 1976, as they show April 19th as only getting to a high of 89 and it was way hotter than that.

5. Kudos to the non-sponsored Jason Hartmann for getting fourth.

We love the non-sponsored guys.

5 Thoughts About The 2012 Virgin London Marathon

Mary Keitany Pulling Away
From Edna Kiplagat In Mile 23

1. Mary Keitany's final 10km was pretty spectacular, but we're not sure it's equal to a sub-28:00 10k.

We aren't sure what her final 10km was run in, but it may have been as fast at 31:28 and perhaps as "slow" as 31:40. Either way, it's all very, very fast.

On the message board, people are saying that according to the IAAF scoring tables, a 31:40 10,000 is equivalent to a male running a sub-28:00 minute 10,000.

We aren't going to argue with facts but aren't sure if that's the best way to think of it.

With the disclaimer that it's a bad idea to try to compare men's and women's performances, we've come up with another way to think of it. Try this:

If we say assume she ran 31:40, then realize that 31:40 is 5:05.8 pace or 4.1 seconds per mile faster than Paula Radcliffe's marathon world record pace of 2:15.25 (5:09.9 pace). Well, how fast would a man run 10k if he ran 4.1 seconds faster than the 4:41.55 pace that gets you to 2:03:02 in the marathon? 28:43.

2. Keitany's final 10k was ridiculous, but that doesn't mean she can beat the world record of 2:15:25.

Keitany's final 10km was amazing and it certainly gets us to think she easily can become the 2nd fastest women in history. Keitany already is third at 2:18:37 and the #2 performer all-time is Liliya Shobukhova, who ran 2:18:20 in Chicago last fall. So with a faster start, 17 seconds shouldn't be a problem for Keitany. We're certainly not going out on a limb there. So we'll go farther and say might be able to put up the second fastest performance in history at sub 2:17:18 (in addition to her 2:15:25, Radcliffe also has run 2:17:18 and 2:17:42). But people need to remember that 2:17:18 and 2:15:25 are far, far apart and Keitany's 2:18:37 is even farther apart.

As we said earlier, Radcliffe's run averages out to 5:09.9 pace for the whole 26.2 race. Keitany only had 6 sub-5:10 miles in the whole marathon. Yes, we know she didn't really hammer until mile 20, but her second half of 67:44 is slower than Radcliffe's overall pace.

Below you can compare Keitany's final 16 miles to Radcliffe's final 16 from her WR.

Mary Keitany's
Approximate Splits
After Mile 10

11 5:08
12 5:25
13 5:35
HM - 70:53
14 5:17
15 5:13

16 5:18
17 5:13
18 5:07
30km - 1:39:53
19 5:18
20 5:17
21 5:09
22 5:10
23 5:07
24 4:59
40km- 2:11:46
25 5:02
40km to finish: 5:01.3 pace.

Paula Radcliffe's
Approximate Splits
After Mile 10

11 56:58 (5:10)
12- 1:02:14 (5:16)
13 - 1:07:38 (5:16)
HM - 1:08:02

14 - 1:12:38 (5:08)
15m - 1:17:48 (5:10)
16m - 1:23:01 (5:13)
17m - 1:28:08 (5:07)
18m - 1:33:19 (5:11)
30km - 1:36:36

19m - 1:38:26 (5:07)
20m - 1:43:33 (5:07)
21m - 1:48:44 (5:11)
22m - 1:53:50 (5:06)
23m - 1:59:03 (5:13)
24m - 2:04:06 (5:03)
40km - 2:08:29

25m - 2:09:14 (5:08)
40km to finish: 5:05.0 pace

3. We're not sure if people are appreciating how good men's winner Wilson Kipsang was in London.

He destroyed one of the greatest fields assembled in marathoning history and his 2:07 was the largest margin of victory in 30 years.

If that stat doesn't resonate with you, remember in 1982 the London marathon was in year 2 of its existence and white guys were still winning it regularly.

If that doesn't mean anything to you, please realize he took off before halfway and threw down a 14:09 5k from 20 to 25km. Ridiculous (that's 1:59:20 marathon pace for that 5km stretch).

Martin Lel Sprinting Home For 2nd

4. Maybe Ryan Hall is right, trying to go with surges isn't smart/Martin Lel we love you.

The people who surged and went for it in Boston blew up in the heat. In cooler London, they didn't all blow up, but 2 of the 3 did as those that tried to go with the 14:09 5k ended up more than four minutes back at the finish.

One man who didn't go with the surges is Martin Lel, who ended up 2nd in 2:06:51, meaning that all five times he's run London he's finished 1st or 2nd.

Lel is an elite that the common runner can relate to as he's had to battle back from some debilitating injuries. No marathons for almost three years from August 2008 to April 2011 but now he's been second at London the last two years. So if you are down and out with an injury, let the 5-time major winner inspire you.

5.  The depth at London seemed amazing - the 10th place man ran 2:08:20 and 9 women broke 2:26:00 - until we remembered that in Dubai, 15 men broke 2:08:30 and and 11 women broke 2:26.00.

That being said, we don't think a marathon should be judged by its times.

What To Make Of Kenenisa Bekele's Return

One of the things that also happened over the last few weeks was Kenenisa Bekele returned to action with a win and course record at the SPAR Great Ireland Run on April 15th. Bekele smashed the course record by 46 seconds and won by more than a minute.

But his competition wasn't exactly elite by his standards. The results certainly were encouraging for Bekele fans but what does it really mean? Well, we tried to figure it out.

Below are the five men who finished closest to Bekele in Ireland. After their names, we give you their best 2012 accomplishment as well as a career highlight.

1:01 down - Ayad Lamdassem - Spain - 2:14 marathon in March/ Broke 28:00 in 10,000 in 2005-2009.
1:02 down - Daniele Meucci
 - Italy - Ran 27:32.86 at Stanford last weekend/13:24/27:44 in 2011.

1:12 down - José Manuel Martínez - Spain -
62:55 half this year/2:15 marathon in 2011. 40 years old.

1:17 down - Nick McCormick - GBR -
13:32.88 5,000 this year/13:25 in 2006.

1:35 down - Jesús España - Spain
- 28:26 track 10,000 in March/13:04 5,000 last year.

The stats show that Bekele killed some pretty good runners.

Now it's hard to figure out if once Bekele got ahead if the others just packed it in and went for place, but he did beat a guy by a minute who just went on to run 27:32.86.

Our verdict? Bekele probably was in sub-27:00 shape in mid-April.  Assuming there are no setbacks, he'll be in the hunt in London.

Recommended Reads

*LRC Special: 8 Days For Glory - A Kenyan Flavored Preview Of The Upcoming Men's Marathon World Record Assault
*LRC Moses Mosop Goes For Glory: "Moses Has Speed That Has Never Been Seen"
*LRC Marathon Series #2 A Look Back At Boston 2011 And A Look Ahead To Monday's 116th Running
* LRC The Electrifying Abel Kirui The two-time World Champion has dominated non-rabbited races. Can he do the same in London on Sunday? Learn about his training, his set-up in Iten, as he talks about phantom planets and more from Employee #1s trip to Kenya.
LRC Meet Mary KeitanyThe half-marathon world record holder destroyed the best women's field in the world last year in London. Then on the hilly New York course she went out faster than Paula Radcliffe during her world record before falling apart miserably. Now she has to qualify for the Olympics in London and faces NYC and World Champ Edna Kiplagat, 2:19 runners Lucy Kabuu, and Florence Kiplagat, plus Priscah Jeptoo and former World #1 Irina Mikitenko. Not to mention the proming Ethiopian Ejegayehu Dibaba. Without question the top women's marathon in the world. Get to know Mary Keitany.
*Keitany Photo Gallery *Getty Images Photos From Kenya
LRC Meet Wilson Kipsang: "If I had to compare him to an NFL quarterback, I'd compare him to Peyton Manning." We share with you this unpublished segment on Wilson Kipsang from Employee #1s final piece in the 8 Days of Glory Series. Short segment with video interview with Kipsang overlooking the Rift Valley.
*LRC Men's Preview: 2012 Boston Marathon Men's Preview: Can Anyone Possibly Stop Geoffrey Mutai?
*LRC Women's Preview: Can Kilel Defend Against NYC Champ Dado?
*Andrew Wheating Talks About His Comeback, Making The '08 Games, And Looking Ahead To The Trials
*Running Times: "Often underrated, enigmatic Abdi Abdirahman has quietly made four Olympic teams"
*NY Times: The Footprints On A Path To Gold, Amantle Montsho Overcomes Obstacles To Become A World Champion
*Worth A Read: The Cool Story Of How Scott Overall Made The British Olympic Marathon Team A year ago he was selling shoes about to quit the sport. Now he's an Olympic marathoner.
*LRC The Story Behind Glenn Randall (The Guy Who Led Boston) Who was that dude leading the first 10k of the Boston Marathon? Believe it or not, he's an NCAA champion (in another sport). talks to the guy who made the first 10k of the marathon entertaining. His frontrunning was no stunt and has paid off big-time in the past. This time it resulted in a 2:37:13 61st place finish.
*Brief Chat With Dick Beardsley On His Dual With Alberto Salazar And His Career Afterwards
*Sports Illustrated: The Mercurial Life And Mysterious Death Of Sammy Wanjiru
*Adam Goucher Writes On Walking The Line Between Tough And Stupid
*Meet 2:19:44 Marathoner Florence Kiplagat, Who Is Focused On Winning London

Other News Of Note From The Last Few Weeks

2012 Payton Jordan *Full Results *Race Videos

LRC Men's Recap: One Of The Most Exciting Men's 5,000s We've Ever Seen; Alan Webb Doubles; And Chris Derrick And Cam Levins Battle It Out With Sam Chalanga
LRC Women's Recap: Anna Pierce is Back!!! Betsy Saina And Sally Kipyego Impress As Deena Kastor Returns Impressively But Comes Up Short

RIP: LeRoy Walker Pioneering 1996 USOC President, 1976 US Olympic Track Coach Dies

Thanks To Facebook, Brit Lee Merrien Named To Olympic Marathon Team

Penn Results *Drake Results
LRC Nick Symmonds Runs 1:44.0, Leo Manzano Outkicks Bernard Lagat to Highlight 2012 Penn Relays Distance Action

Kenyan Olympic Marathon Team Announced: Makau AND Mutai Left Off

USATF Hires Sports Marketer And Former Board Member Max Siegel As CEO

LRC A New #1: Wilson Kipsang Destroys One Of Greatest Marathon Fields In History

LRC  Mary Keitany Runs Fastest Final 10km In Marathon History To Repeat & Become The #3 Performer In History The Kenyan certainly came to play when it was time to battle it out for the title and London Olympic spots as they went 1-2-3-4-5, but in the end, everyone was left talking to about Keitany who used a 5:07 23rd mile and 4:59 24th mile to pull away from world champion Edna Kiplagat and mark herself as the Olympic favorite.

Kansas Relays: Peter van der Westhuizen Wins Elite Mile In 3:56.90 Over AJ Acosta (3:57.08) And David Adams (3:58.44) Nick Symmonds was 4th in 4:01.57 as Jordan McNamara was 6th and Will Leer 7th. *Race Video *Bearded AJ Acosta Says He Won't Shave Until He Gets A Contract
*Bershawn Jackson Sets World Lead (48.2) In 400 Hurdles  DeeDee Trotter won the 400 in 50.94.

Mt. SAC Relays: Live Results *Mt. SAC Entries
Day 3:
LRC Walter Dix 9.85!!! Duane Solomon Crushes NCAAs Best, Molly Beckwith Remains Undefeated Outdoors & Jeremy Wariner Loses Walter Dix's time was wind-aided but impressive nonetheless. Jeremy Wariner broke 45 but lost as Duane Solomon crushed a strong 800 field that included Charles Jock, Ryan Martin & Cas Loxsom. Beckwith's 2:00 was easily best of the ladies 800s. Plus Jason Richardson, a 17-year-old winner in the women's 400, and more.
*AP Recap Of Day 3

LRC Cam Levins 13:18.37 Outkicks Lawi Lalang The Southern Utah legend, Levins, known for his 160-mile weeks, used a 55-second last lap to become the first collegian to defeat Lalang at a distance over 1,500m this year. Former NCAA Champ and LRC Puma Faas Challenge Winner David McNeill also got an Olympic "A" qualifier (sub-13:20) in 3rd. Molly Huddle won the 5,000 at Mt. SAC, as Abbey D'Agostino and Lucy Van Dalen were third and fourth in the 5,000. Jenny Barringer did not run. Canada's Hilary Stellingwerff (4:31.04) and French drug cheat Jamal Aarrass (3:52.21 ahead of Taylor Milne and Nate Brannen) won the Puma Miles and $2,500.
*Last Lap Or Full Video Of Levins' Win

MB: Evan Jager Throws Down Last Lap of 64, Wins Steeple Debut In Olympic B Standard of 8:26 Jager's steeple debut was a big success as he crushed WC team member Dan Huling in he process and he took 45 seconds off his PR. In the 10k, Stephen Sambu ran 28:06. *Track Focus On Jager *Post-Race Interview with Jager *Race Video

2009 World 10k Bronze Medallist Moses Masai Wins Kenyan 10k "Mini Trials" *Top 10 Results Out of the 31 invited, only 17 showed up, and 15 finished, 13 of which are heading to Eugene. Masai won in a tactical 28:10 over Olympic 5k silver medallist Eliud Kipchoge (28:11.0) and Lucas Rotich (28:17.4). In a sign of stupidity, Olympic 10k bronze medallist Micah Kogo (6th) and Daniel Salel (11th) were cut because they don't have the Olympic "A" standard (27:45). So if you showed up and had the "A" standard, all you had to do was finish.

Rotterdam: LRC No WR - No Kenyan Win: Ethiopia's Yemane Adhane Spoils The Party & Wins 2012 Rotterdam Marathon in 2:04:47

George Mason: LRC Alan Webb Redeems Himself With A 3:43 1,500m / 14:15 5,000m Double, Robby Andrews Opens With 1:49 Win Alan didn't win the 1,500m, but his performance was so much better than last weekend's 1:54/3:54 debacle that all Alan Webb fans like this guy can breathe a sigh of relief. And the message boards went nuts with Webb: here, here, here, here.

Jamaica: Usain Bolt Blasts Asafa Powell In 4 X 100 To Open Season World 100m champ Yohan Blake ran a super-impressive 9.90 to open the season as well and didn't even get mentioned in the Reuters article.
Video Of Bolt's 4 X 100 Win Over Powell *Video Of Blake's Opener

Quotes Of The Day/Last Few Weeks Homepages:

Note: To see a particular day's homepage, click on the hyperlink of the date on the left. The quote's hyperlink will take you to that particular article - not that day's homepage.

Monday 4/30: "It's always less good when you lose - especially to someone in college, but I'm pretty stoked and it just shows you what attitude and expectations can do. I saw that (Stephen) Sambu and (Leonard) Korir did it last year (got the "A" standard in the race) so I thought I can do it too."

- Chris Derrick after setting the new American collegiate record of 27:31.38 (say bye bye to Galen's 27:33.48) thanks to a 13:36 2nd 5,000 at the 2012 Payton Jordan Invite. Derrick's big run was just one of many at a very entertaining Stanford meet that saw a little bit of everything. From the return to form of Anna Pierce to the return of Deena Kastor to an encouraging double from Alan Webb to Cam MF Levins. The meet had all of that and maybe the best finish to a 5,000 that we've ever seen.

Sunday 4/29: "I said if I'm going to come all the way here, I might as well throw one down."

Nick Symmonds on his super impressive 1:44.0 relay split at the Penn Relays in the DMR, where Leo Manzano outkicked Bernard Lagat to win. Recap of Saturday's distance action at Penn here. Interview with Nick here.

Saturday 4/28: "First of all, I wanted to make his dream a reality.

Dima (her husband and coach) was sure over the last four years that I could set a new world record in the pentathlon."

- Nataliya Dobrynska on winning the World Indoor pentathlon and setting a world record in the process two weeks before her husband and coach, Dima, died of cancer. Dima texted Nataliya instructions at the meet as he watched on TV. In heptathlon news, Nataliya's rival Jessica Ennis opened her 2012 javelin season yesterday throwing the jav farther than she did in all of 2011.

Friday 4/27: "I've stopped following people on Twitter who talk about Olympic Trials and Olympic stuff all the time. I don't follow the social networks that constantly buzz around the Trials. I don't want to know what people are saying. Because everyone always brings up the pressure of running certain times, and they put this unofficial pressure on you, that if you read into it you need to be top three, and if you don't, everyone is going to hate you for it. I don't like sitting around with all this time thinking 'If I don't do this and that.' ..."

"Obviously, it's pretty important. I'm trying not to put pressure on it, because everyone is doing that for me. Make it or not, I'll be 28 when the next Olympics come around. My personal pressure in 2016 will be far greater than right now. I'm 24; I don't think the expectations for myself should be very high, because I like to think I'll have another chance in four years."

- Andrew Wheating talking in about his comeback from injury and expectations for the season. He says he's finally "turned the corner on this injury" and has had some good workouts. He'll open his season on May 18th.

Thursday 4/26: "I think we have our best shot in the last few years to bring home another wheel. We're definitely looking forward to having a really strong DMR. And what I am most excited about is I think this year we are actually going to have a 4 x 800. We haven't had a 4 x 8 in this meet in over 10 years."

- Villanova coach Gina Procaccio talking about her team's chances for victory at the 2012 Penn Relays, which really get going on Thursday. It's hard to believe that Sheila Reid has never won a Penn Relays title.

Wednesday 4/25: "There are a lot of people out there on message boards and stuff who don't know what the hell they're talking about. But that's OK, we need them; they motivate us to get out and train to prove them wrong. Coming into the trials people doubted me; they were saying, 'This guy is done, he should retire.' When I'm done, I'll know I'm done. I'll walk off the track--you won't have to push me off."

- Abdi Abdirahman calling out all those message board haters who counted him out going into the Trials.

Tuesday 4/24: "I've had to ask myself that question often. I still don't have the answer. I often compare running to a job in sales. If you run well, or make a lot of sales, you can do well. But I wasn't one of those big stars coming out of college—no Jorge Torres or Dathan Ritzenhein. A guy at my level can easily get pushed out of the sport if he has a period when he doesn't run very well. It can be a tough, tough sport to continue. I don't have a shoe sponsorship right now. I live from payday to payday."

"... Running was simple in high school and college. Now it's not so simple; it's a business."

- First American in Boston, Jason Hartman, answering the question "Do you make enough money in this sport to keep at it?" Even finishing as the first American in Boston (4th overall) and having a 2:11 PR, he is still without a sponsor.

Monday 4/23: "I made an early attack because the group was very strong and if we had gone to the latter stages together, it really would have been a problem to leave the group as we'd know how to attack each other."

"I knew when I went away they would have to work very, very hard to beat me as I was feeling so good in myself."

"Now I think I will be the Olympic favourite."

- Wilson Kipsang talking after destroying one of the greatest marathon fields in history. Thanks to a ridiculous mid-race 14:09 5km, Kiprop went on to earn the largest margin of victory in 30 years and make himself the Olympic favorite.

Sunday 4/22: "The whole of our coaching has been screwed up for the last 20 years. It was the same situation in the States for a while but they understood it earlier. There was this obsession that you do not need mileage to be good, that you don't need to do big miles and that you've got to be cleverer than that. But you don't have to be much cleverer than that.

The coaches here are way too protective, worrying too much about what's going to happen at the Southern Championship next week as opposed as to realising the journey the athlete's got to go on in order to be at the Olympic Games eight or 12 years ahead."

- Retiring Virgin London Marathon head Dave Bedford saying why he thinks the British aren't better at distance running. The US From about 1990 to 2000 can relate.

Saturday 4/21: "The training camp roommates are cooking some white rice, with fresh raw cow's milk on the side, and a dish of potato stew, all in a tiny space. ... Just outside in the quad between athlete's rooms, a woman uses a rope and a bucket to pull water up from a well. Kids linger curiously, staring at us and laughing at their images on the video camera. The training camp is a very different world than the glitz, glamour, and big dollars of the Virgin London Marathon ..."

- Employee #1 describing Abel Kirui's training camp in Iten, Kenya. Kirui, the double world champion, claims to have gotten his speed from his great grandfather who hunted antelope on foot. Learn about him or Mary Keitany as the Eight Days of Glory is now down to one - Sunday's Virgin London Marathon.

Friday 4/20: "I'm still trying to find that happiness in life. I want to find that defining moment that you're satisfied and you've done what you want to do in your life. (If I win the Olympic 100m gold), I hope it gives me that satisfaction. I hope I'll get that gold and it gives me that satisfaction of feeling that I've really accomplished something."

- US sprint sensation Tyson Gay talking in an introspective London Evening Standard feature. In the piece, a confident Gay talks about his mom's influence in his life, a cocky Maurice Greene, and why he thinks he should have already run 9.62.

Thursday 4/19: "(I felt I) should've let loose a little more. I was physically holding back and I wasn't flowing. Then all of a sudden, I was all alone. I really wasn't going that fast. Last year I would've been way off the back. At 9 km I started feeling pretty bad and had a rough last 20 miles."

"During every good race of my life, I've been aggressive. People thought I was being stupid, but I live by the sword and I die by the sword. Sometimes it doesn't work out. I'm at peace with this. It's not always going to be your day."

- Former Dartmouth Cross-Country standout Glen Randall, talking about leading the first miles of Monday's Boston Marathon. *MB:"Pull a Glenn Randall (GR)."

Wednesday 4/18: "Any Olympic Games is a life-changing opportunity. But let's not beat around the bush - any member of the British team who wins a gold this summer is going to be set up for life."

"... Take someone like Dai Greene - in the space of 48 seconds he could win or lose an Olympic title which will transform his life. One bad move now could completely dictate which way it goes. So every single time he puts one foot in front of the other in training or a race, he will be 100% focused on what he is doing and what it will mean for his chances at the Olympics. ... And Dai has got so many people to beat I don't have enough fingers to count them all. He could break Kriss Akabusi's British record and it still might not be enough. Being a gold medal contender is a completely different thing from being a gold medal winner. The athletes know that, but I'm not sure the public do."

- UK two-time former Olympian Dean Macey, talking about the reality of trying to win an Olympic medal and the physical, psychological, and emotional pressure athletes are facing now that the 2012 Games are getting so close. UK Coach Charles van Commenee agrees saying that while the UK public likes to call Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Dai Greene favorites, they can "easily end up without a medal."

Tuesday 4/17: "[At that point] (35km)I thought if I finished number five then that would be awesome."

- 2012 Boston Marathon Champion Wesley Korir, who was 57 seconds back at that point and came back to get the win in the heat in Boston. American Jason Hartmann used a similar come-from-behind strategy to get 4th and he almost got the quote of the day for what he said here and here. See him here.

Monday 4/16: "If the winning male runs as well as the top two did last year, I'd predict the winning time would be somewhere in the mid-2:08s. My guess is that the weather would make it roughly 3:00 slower than ideal temperatures in the 40s or 50s. It might be at least 5 minutes slower for the average runners who are out there when it's 80 degrees or above, but some of the elites are extraordinarily good in hot weather and will also finish before having to run as long in the hottest temperatures. One also needs to remember that last year's times probably got a benefit of being on the order of 2:30 faster than normal thanks to the extremely generous tailwind. So altogether for the elite men, look for the times to be about 5:30 slower than last year if they make an honest race of it and churn out similar performances."

- coaching (and weather) guru John Kellogg, the man who basically amazingly correctly predicted the 2:03s last year in Boston, telling you what impact the hot weather will have on this year's Boston Marathon.

Sunday 4/15: "It's not like the 4-minute mile.

I don't think we'll be seeing 2 hours on the men's side any time soon.''

- Boston Bill Rodgers giving some sanity to the sub-2 hour marathon "debate." Bill also said last year's times were "flukey."

Saturday 4/14: "In my Olympic history I don't think I have achieved my potential as an athlete. That's what I want when I look back at my career. I want to be able to say I gave it my best shot. In Athens I didn't finish and in Beijing I was not able to give it my best shot because I did not have training and preparation behind me."

"I just want to be in the best shape I can be. Not to stand on that start line and say: 'Oh my God, I have this injury and that injury.' I just want to be able to go out and race."

- Paula Radcliffe, talking about her aspirations for the 2012 London Olympics. She says she thinks she has a chance to win, but she'd be happy with a medal of any color. Her first tune-up test will be Sunday's Vienna Half Marathon which is a chase race where she'll get a 7 minute and 52 second head start ahead of Haile Gebrselassie and he'll try to run her down.

Friday 4/13: "I think if we're honest with ourselves we're all kind of wondering just how much - or how little - those times from 2011 were skewed by 'favorable conditions.' Remember, unlike most courses today, Boston has these archaic features on its course called hills, typically observed to slow down the runner. So how great was Mutai's run in 2011?"

"... I dare say that the most important thing we can take away from the Boston Marathon is that limits and preconceived notions of what's possible are boundaries made to be broken. Geoffrey Mutai pushed marathoning ahead by what would have been considered a light year in 2011. If you told your friend that someone was going to nearly run 2:02 in Boston ... c'mon you wouldn't even have said that. I think it's worth asking ... what boundaries are bound to be eclipsed? By what incredible margins? And ... are we ready!? To me, this kind of novelty is exciting, and it can be found in nearly every human endeavour, for better or worse. "

- LRC Employee #1 Emory Mort, talking about how in 2011 Geoffrey Mutai helped break down the limitations humans set on themselves in the marathon by running 2:03:02. Starting Sunday in Rotterdam will be an amazing 8 days of marathoning: Rotterdam, Boston (Monday), and London (next Sunday). LRC Employee #1 is back from Kenya and this is the second piece in his series on the Kenyan greats.

Thursday 4/12: "We just sort of collapsed into each other's arms after the finish. It was sort of like a hug, and Alberto told me, 'Dick, no one has ever pushed me like that before.' That meant a lot to me."

"A few minutes later, some security guards were leading me to the interview area in the Prudential Garage, and we walked under the podium where Alberto was receiving the laurel wreath. For some reason, I looked up at him just as he was looking down at me. Our eyes met. And without any hesitation at all, he reached his arm down and pulled me up beside him. When they raised his arm in victory up there on the podium, he raised my arm, too. I won't ever forget that moment as long as I live."

- Dick Beardsley, talking about his famous "dual in the sun" against Alberto Salazar at the 1982 Boston Marathon. Good interview with Beardsley as he talks about his brief career after Boston, running 80 to 90 miles a week after double knee replacement, and on his addiction to pain medication.

Wednesday 4/11: "I want to tell all athletes and their agents that we will not add anybody in our list if they fail to turn up for the mini trial. Some agents have been asking us to allowtheir athletes fly directly to Oregon but we insist that they must go through the national trials first. There will be no exemption.

If you miss the April 17 event, then you are out and doomed."

- Athletics Kenya head Isaiah Kiplagat stating that anyone who wants to be considered for Kenya's Olympic 10,000 team must race a 10,000 in Kenya next Tuesday. This is great news for Galen Rupp fans, as this idiotic ultimatum rules out Kenya's 10,000 champ from last year, Peter Kirui, as well as Geoffrey Mutai, arguably the greatest runner on the planet. Kirui is running the Rotterdam marathon on Sunday and Mutai is running Boston on Monday.

Tuesday 4/10: "I'm not against having 27,000 people in the race (the Boston Marathon), but let's not lose the excellence. It's not a walk-run. It's a gem, like The Masters. It should stand apart."

- Four-time Boston Champ Bill Rodgers. Rodgers' quote was actually from last year but is in a piece looking at the new qualifying procedures for Boston, where a qualifying time is no longer a qualifying time.


Tell a friend about this article
(Dont worry we won't email your friend(s) again. We send them a 1 time email)
Enter their email address(es), separated by a comma.
Enter your name:

Don't Worry: We
Back to Main Front Page
Questions, comments or suggestions?Please email the staff at

Back To Top