The Week That Was In Running: February 18 – February 24, 2013
February 26, 2013
To read last week’s Weekly Recap, click here.
This week, we are amazed that Galen Rupp ran 7:30, are even more amazed that the guy who beat Rupp just weeks ago at 3k might run World Juniors, once again remind ourselves Japan > the US at marathoning, declare Dennis Kimetto to be for real, anoint the Ethiopian women as World Cross-Country favorites, get free training advice from Chris O’Hare, and wonder if it is time to be concerned for Martin Lel and Kara Goucher. Plus Tyson Gay, words of wisdom from Morgan Uceny, and Dathan Ritzenhein says he’ll never break 13:00 again.
We have nothing in here about the great collegiate action. We’ll try to get to that in a separate piece later this week.
2013 Tokyo Marathon/Dennis Kimetto Is For Real
The 2013 Tokyo marathon was its first as a World Marathon Major (WMM). Our main thought on the race – Dennis Kimetto is the real deal.
Kimetto is the guy who in his marathon debut in Berlin last Fall ran 2:04:15 yet seemingly let his training partner Geoffrey Mutai win and pick up $500,000 as the WMM points winner. In Tokyo, he had his second great showing at the 26.2 distance as he won in a course record 2:06:50. 2:06:50 may not seem that impressive in 2013, but it was windy and the first half was run in 64:22, so he ran his second half in 62:28.
That being said, we’ll find it appropriate if he ends up losing out on $500,000 later this year because he lost 10 WMM points (you get 25 for 1st, 15 for 2nd and 10 for 3rd so a win is worth a lot) by possibly letting Mutai win last fall.
2012 Tokyo champ Michael Kipyego, who is Sally’s older brother, improved his time from 2:07:37 last year to 2:06:58 to finish second.
As for the women’s race, it was a lot like the men’s race in one respect and totally different in another. It was similar in that it was won by someone who ran well in Berlin, as Aberu Kebede, who won Berlin in 2:20:30, won comfortably in 2:25:34. It was different as the race featured a huge positive split, as the first half was run in 71:50 and the second half in 73:44.
Irina Mikitenko set a new women’s masters world record of 2:26:41 to finish third at age 40. Not too shabby.
More: Dennis Kimetto Holds Off Sally Kipyego’s Brother, Aberu Kebede Wins Women’s Kimetto is the guy who was runner-up to Geoffrey Mutai at the Berlin Marathon in a very bizarre finish where many speculated that Kimetto lost to Mutai on purpose. *Top Results
*IAAF Recap *RRW Recap
*MB: 2013 Tokyo Marathon Discussion
Stat Of The Week
7 – Number of American men that broke 2:12:00 in a record-breaking 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials last year.
7 – Number of Japanese men that broken 2:12:00 in just the Tokyo Marathon last weekend, meaning 9 Japanese men have already broken 2:12:00 so far in 2013 and showing you how the marathoning depth in Japan is way deeper than in the US. If you don’t believe us, then take a look at the following chart:
|# Of Performances In 2012||US||Japan|
The weird thing about Japan’s relative good times in Tokyo last week was that 11 Japanese men ran PRs and broke 2:15:00 on a day where the leaders ran slower than expected due to high winds.
2013 Ethiopian Cross-Country Trials/Are You Kidding Us Part I?
The Ethiopian cross-country trials were held last week and the big news was that stud Feyisa Lilesa won the senior men’s title. The 23-year-old Lilesa has a 59:22 half PR from Houston last year and has a 2:04:54 marathon PR from Chicago last fall.
Considering Kenya is likely to give a wild card to 2011 World Junior XC champ Geoffrey Kipsang with his 58:54 half marathon PR and 2:06:12 marathon PR, the senior men’s race is certainly going to be an interesting one. We were afraid with all of the money being on the roads, no names would show up, but being labelled “World Cross-Country Champion” still apparently means something.
What stunned us about the Ethiopian trials is the fact that 12:47 5,000 man, Hagos Gebrhiwet, who beat Galen Rupp in the 3,000 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix earlier this month, raced in and won the junior race. Yes, that’s right. A 12:47 guy ran in the juniors.
Gebrehiwet skipped World Juniors on the track last year and ran the Olympics and yet he’s going to run in the junior race at World Cross-Country? You’ve got to be kidding.
He’d be one of the favorites if he was in the senior men’s race.
Now imagine for a minute by how much a 12:47 guy would win US Juniors. Well, guess by how much he won the Ethiopian junior race?
Just three seconds – and Gebrehiwet told the IAAF it wasn’t easy, “I started the finishing run early. It was a bit difficult, but I’m aiming to get a good result for myself and my country at the World Cross on my debut.”
The second placer in the junior boys race was Birhan Nbaw, who we’ve never heard of. If you know something about him, please email us.
Ironically, the runner-up in the senior men’s race in Ethiopia was none other than 2012 world junior 10,000 champ Yigrem Demelash. Dimelash just recently turned 19 and thus would be eligible for juniors this year but the Ethiopian national junior record holder at 10,000 (26:57.56) ran the senior race.
Last week, we compared the top 4 finishers at the Kenya and US champs. Well, this week, we add in the top 4 from the Ethiopian champs.
|Top 4 Men At 2013 Kenya XC Champs
1 Philemon Rono 8:02/13:36/28:25a/60:58. Age 22.
2 Timothy Kiptoo 7:57/13:24/27:45/62:40. Age 28
3 Geoffrey Kirui 13:20/26:55. Age 20
4 H. Macharinyang 7:46/13:09/27:58/61:38 Age 26
|Top 4 Men At 2013 USA XC Champs
1. Chris Derrick – 3:41/7:46/13:19/27:31. Age 22.
2. Dathan Ritzenhein – 7:39/12:56/27:22/60:00. Age 30
3. Matt Tegenkamp – 3:34/7:34/12:58/27:28. Age 31.
4. Elliott Heath – 3:40/7:45/13:26. Age 24.
|Top 4 Men At 2013 Ethiopian XC Champs
1. Feyisa Lelisa – 13:37/27:38r, 59:22, 2:04:52. Age 23.
2. Yigrem Demelash – 13:03/26:57 NJR. Age 19.
3. Mosinet Geremew – 13:17, 22:36 8k, 27:36 r. Age 21
4. Abera Chune – 8:02/13:27/27:47/61:11/2:17:20. Age 27
What About The Women?
In terms of the women, the winner of the Ethiopian Trials was London Olympic 5th placer in the steeple, Hiwot Ayalew. Overall as a team, it seem to us that the Ethiopian women are very much the ones to beat for sure. Nothing like having a 29:53/2:21:01 woman as your #4.
|Top 4 Women At 2013 Kenya XC Champs
1 Margaret Muriuki 4:06/8:37/14:48. Age 26.
2 Irene Cheptai – 21 year old ran 9:22 in 2007. 16:08 at altitude last year.
3 Janet Kisa – 8:51/14:57. Age 20.
4 Emily Chebet – 8:53/30:58. Age 27.
|Top 4 Women At 2013 USA XC Champs
1. Shalene Flanagan. 4:05/8:35/14:44. Age 31.
2. Kim Conley – 8:56/15:14. Age 26.
3. Deena Kastor – 8:42/14:51/30:50/2:19:36 – Age 40.
4. Emily Infeld – 4:07/9:00/15:28
|Top 4 Women At 2013 Ethiopian XC Champs
1. Hiwot Ayalew - 9:09 steeple, 14:49. Age 22.
2. Genet Yalew - 14:48/31:43 r. Age 20.
3. Yebrqual Melese - 69:45 half marathon. Age 23.
4. Meselech Melkamu – 14:31/29:53/68:05/2:21.01. Age 27.
Are You Kidding US Part II?/Galen Rupp Runs 7:30.16 For 3,000
Considering that Galen Rupp has an Olympic silver medal on his resume and considering he’d already run 7:33 this year, we weren’t that surprised by the fact that he ran a new US indoor 3000 record of 7:30.16.
But if you’d told us in 2008, when Rupp was already damn good (an Olympian and a guy who ran 27:36 guy in the smog of Beijing), that he would would one day run 7:30 for 3,000, we’d have laughed at you for being crazy.
Rupp is now the fastest American-born runner in history at 3,000 indoors or out as he surpassed Bob Kennedy‘s 7:30.84 PR. And that’s exactly why it’s surprising.
Most of the guys ahead of Rupp on the all-time 3,000 list are like Kennedy – 1,500/5k guys or pure 5k guys. Very few of them are 10,000 guys like Rupp – and remember Rupp was up until recently viewed as a 10,000/marathoner as he had no wheels.
Even as recently as 2008, when Rupp was a really good runner (that 27:36 in the smog of Beijing might have been the equivalent of something close to Meb Keflezighi‘s then-American record of 27:13 if run at Stanford), Rupp was not fast by elite standards. Five times that year, he ran a 1,500/mile and he never broke the equivalent of 4:00.
Now he’s close to going twice as far at the same speed.
Maybe Keflizighi is a perfect comparison. Keflezighi, who ran a 3:42 1,500 at age 22, has always been an incredible endurance athlete but his 3,000 PR is just 7:48 and 5,000 13:11. In 2008, the thought of Rupp running 7:30 would probably have been as shocking to us as if you had said a few years earlier Keflezighi would be a 7:30 guy.
One thing Rupp and coach Alberto Salazar did that was different than most was continue to focus on the shorter distances (and race a lot). Anyone remember Rupp running the 1500m at the Pac 10s and Regionals in 2009? What about the 1500m at the World Indoor Champs last year? You can’t get faster at shorter distances if you don’t ever race them.
An American now has the world’s best time indoors at 3000m. An incredible accomplishment.
More: LRC Galen Rupp 7:30.16 American Record! Aregawi Just Misses 1,500m World Record Swedish citizen, Abeba Aregawi, just missing the world record by .12 in the women’s 1,500m. In other action, Genzebe Dibaba blitzed an 8:26.57, Mohammed Aman ran a world leader in the 800m, and Matt Centrowitz came up well short of the American 1,000m record.
2013 New Orleans Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon – Martin Lel And Kara Goucher Struggle
History has shown that in preparing for a marathon, big-time half marathon success isn’t critical for full 26.2 success. Sometimes a stellar 13.1 might actually mean one is too sharp and not strong enough for 26.2. That being said, it wasn’t a good week for either Martin Lel or Kara Goucher. When your dream is to win a World Marathon Major either for the sixth time (Lel) or first (Goucher), it’s not a good sign when you finish more than 3 minutes back of a winner in a 13.1 race, as was the case for both Lel and Goucher at the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans.
Kara Goucher ran 71:49, more than 3 minutes back of her training partner Shalane Flanagan (68:31) and more than 4 minutes back of race winner Meseret Defar (67:25). Lel ran 64:02 in a race that Mo Farah won in 60:59.
Making things worse for Goucher is in the past she’s often excelled at the 13.1 distance (66:57 PR on an aided course).
As for Defar, it was only the second 13.1 race of her career. Both times she’s run in the 67s (67:44 in Philly in 2010). We know she’s known more for her prowess at 3k/5k (4 world indoor titles at 3k/2 Olympic golds at 5k), but is there any doubt it’s just a matter of time before the 29-year-old at least tries a marathon? Considering there are no world championships in 2014, we’d be stunned if she hasn’t run a marathon by the end of next year, but it wouldn’t surprise us at all to see her in a fall marathon this year.
As for Flanagan, she has to be feeling relatively good about things as the 68:31 was a new PR, eclipsing the 68:37 she ran in Philly against Defar in 2010. Additionally, losing to Defar and running in the 68:30s may be a good omen. The last time she ran in the 68:30s and lost to Defar, she went on to get second at the New York marathon a few weeks later.
Mo Farah’s win certainly wasn’t a surprise. He’s got every right to be considered the best non-marathoner on the planet right now. Race runner-up Gebre Gebremariam likely is encouraged by finishing only one second back in 61:00 and feeling good about his chances for 2013 Boston.
Thumbs Up to Competitor Group for putting on a great race. We’ve been critical of the Rock N Roll group for having glorified practices where one star shows up and runs all alone at many of the Rock N Roll races. New Orleans was something very different with an interesting and world class field. If Rock N Roll wants to have a few premier races a year with world class fields, that is something we’ll support. New Orleans is a great destination city. The first LRC convention next year in New Orleans?
Video Of The Week
If you want to watch a well-produced, informative video/short film on a high schooler who might actually break 4 this outdoor season, then we recommend the following link: Meet Jacob Burcham: West Virginia’s 4:02 High Schooler Wants To Go Sub-4 This Spring – which really should be our video of the week. But if you want to cringe and be uncomfortable then you have to watch Mo Farah‘s post-race television interview after his 60:59 half marathon victory where the reporter asks, “Haven’t you run before?”
Unlike others, we don’t think she actually meant run but perhaps “run this race” or “run a marathon (sic).” It’s clear from the full interview she has no idea who Mo Farah is. That means her producer has no idea either.
Before everyone gets too critical of the reporter’s performance, we thought it was totally appropriate that one of the major UK papers that was ripping her – The Guardian – made the same mistake. They themselves said Mo ran a marathon and not a half-marathon.
On an informative note, the video is illustrative of how pointless many post-race interviews are. Many times it doesn’t really matter what is asked. The athlete if they are savvy can answer with stock responses as Mo handled things perfectly and just assumed the best of the question.
Quote Of The Week I (that wasn’t quote of the day)
“I really think I can break 27 minutes. Sub-thirteen minutes for the 5,000 meters probably not anymore. If I can break 27 minutes for the 10,000 meters, then, I can look at the marathon on a full-time scope.”
- Dathan Ritzenhein, who has a 12:56 5,000 PR, talking honestly with Run Blog Run, about 2013 which he says might be his last real year on the track.
Quote Of The Week II (that wasn’t quote of the day)
“Training in Kenya just makes you realize that you don’t need to have extraordinary means to be a good athlete. All you need is a pair of decent trainers, some natural talent, and the work ethic to turn that talent into something greater.”
- US 1,500 Olympic Morgan Uceny, who recently completed a first-ever training trip in Kenya, talking to the NYRR’s Barbara Huebner.
Quote Of The Week III (that wasn’t quote of the day)
“I don’t want to infuriate Paula, but what I would say is that when she ran her first marathon she wasn’t the Olympic double gold medallist.”
- London marathon elite athlete co-ordinator David Bedford defending the marathon’s decision to have Farah run the first half of this year’s race.
Quote Of The Week IV (that wasn’t quote of the day)
Tyson Gay Talking To The Associated Press About What His Legacy Is/Will Be:
“I’ve thought about that before. I think history is going to say, ‘This guy was a great runner, ran some amazing times, but hasn’t gotten the big one …” He paused and then laughed. “… yet,’” Gay added. “But my career is not over.”
Weekly Free Training Advice Courtesy Of NCAA Mile Record Holder Chris O’Hare
“A good, solid cross country season is definitely necessary for a good track season, getting that strong base and the strength work. So when cross country went well we knew we’d be in a good spot for track …
We were just trying to keep the training consistent and weren’t doing any crazy, crazy workouts. It was mostly long reps and long tempos, and that was really key to it being a good solid cross season which in turn leads to a good solid track season.”
- Chris O’Hare talking to Running Times after dropping his mile PR from 3:56.63 to 3:52.98. During the fall, he enjoyed by far the best cross season of his life as he was 20th at NCAAs, whereas before he’d only competed sporadically in the discipline (14th at C-USA as a frosh, 6th as a soph, no NCAA experience),
We actually really enjoyed the entire 5 Minutes With Chris O’Hare by Running Times, as you really got to know O’Hare. It’s definitely our Recommended Read of the week. O’Hare comes across as very wise and much more self-aware less self-absorbed than most collegians.
He had a few other great quotes unrelated to the one above which we really liked:
“We haven’t really been doing any speedwork. I know everybody says that during the indoor season, but we really haven’t been doing too much.”
… and another on what it’s like to have his freshman sister on the team:
“Some easy days we’ll run together, just the two of us, and talk things through. You know, it’s not very easy for a 17-year-old girl to talk to her older brother about boys and school and having fun at parties and all that. But we have a fantastic relationship with each other and when we’re running is the best time to talk about all those things. So we do go for our own little personal runs just to talk about things brothers and sisters should talk about.”
Speaking of O’Hare – He was in the news last week because marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe labelled the decision by UK Athletics Peter Eriksson to take zero men’s 1,500 runners to the upcoming European championships as:
We agree with Radcliffe’s quote 100% if and only if Tulsa’s Chris O’Hare was snubbed, but we don’t think that’s likely what happened.
First, let’s be clear. A 3:52 miler like O’Hare definitely is likely to place top 6 at Euros, which is the selection criteria. However, we doubt O’Hare was willing to go as Europeans are this upcoming weekend – the week before NCAAs. Flying across the world to compete the week before NCAAs is less than ideal and since UK Athletics had illogically snubbed O’Hare from last year’s outdoor European meet, we don’t imagine he was in the mood to potentially cost himself and Tulsa an NCAA title in a super human effort to try to please them.
We have support for our theory. A good Tulsa World story by John E Wood on O’Hare included this excerpt: “Rumor on Tuesday was that UK Athletics called to invite him to race at an upcoming event and he told them, in the nicest Scottish brogue possible, not bloody likely.”
The other two runners with the qualifying time had run like 3:41 and we can see why they might get snubbed if they really are about only taking top 6 people. If countries only take people capable of getting top 6, then it will be a boring as hell meet with only six people in each race.
Plus, to not take 19-year-old Charlie Grice so he can get experience is just shortsighted. A 3:41 at 19 is damn good.
If O’Hare was snubbed, we’d say it’s “totally ridiculous.” If just Grice was snubbed, we’ll call it “shortsighted.”
More: European Snub Drives O’Hare Note the title of the article is wrong. The snub was a European snub.
*Paula Radcliffe Criticizes Team GB Coach Peter Eriksson’s Roster Decisions For European Champs, Tweeting That It Was “Totally Ridiculous”
*Eriksson Defends 1,500 Decision Saying They Were Only Bringing Runners Who Had “Top 6 Potential”
Important Doping News
This is certainly a common sense step in the anti-doping fight, but it’s critical that the shoe companies to follow suit.
More Doping News: Three Kenyans, Including 2:05 Marathoner Wilson Erupe Or Wilson Loyana, Get Drug Suspensions Can the people who say Kenyans wouldn’t use drugs can now officially be quiet? The financial incentive for someone like Erupe to dope is huge, as he’s won 4 marathons in the last two years and potentially earned more money than he might have in a lifetime if he wasn’t a runner. Every country, including America, has people who would dope.
Other News Of Note
HS: Brooks PR Meet: Full Brooks PR Recap: Erin Finn Wins 2-Mile In 10:08 As Bernie Montoya Took A Competitive Boys Race In 8:54
More HS News: Felecia Majors Scores The Most Points Ever In The History Of The Virginia High School State Champs As She Scores 49 Points Over 6 Individual Events
NY Times: Government Joins Floyd Landis’ Federal Whistleblower Suit Against Armstrong “In today’s economic climate, the U.S. Postal Service is simply not in a position to allow Lance Armstrong or any of the other defendants to walk away with the tens of millions of dollars they illegitimately procured.” - Ronald C. Machen Jr., US attorney for the District of Columbia.
*Unreal: Lance’s Lawyers Respond – We don’t care that we defrauded the public – it actually helped the USPS
Quotes Of The Day & Last Week’s Homepages:
Note: To see a particular day’s homepage, click on the hyperlink of the date. The hyperlink below the date on the quotes will take you to that particular article – not that day’s homepage.
“‘At 35Km I thought I could win the race. The pace maker was little slow for me and I thought of leaving them behind at times, but I decided to stay with the pace,’ commented Kimetto. ‘I want to run the World Championships next, but if that is not possible then I will run Berlin and, if I run Berlin, then I want to go after the world record,’ he added.”
- Tokyo Marathon winner Dennis Kimetto talking about his 2:06:50 victory/course record and his plans for the rest of the year. Kimetto has a 2:04:16 PR and is the World Record holder over 25k (1:11:18).
“The day when I’m just taking the money to do this or do that is the day when I won’t be feeling 100 per cent in my heart. If it came to that, it would be wrong. I’ve had some criticism, which would be fair enough if, as an athlete, I went from race to race and said to myself, ‘I’m just going for a bit of dough.’ But I’m not doing that. Yes, there are bigger financial rewards than track and field if you go to the roads. We all know that. But I’m not doing it because of that. It’s because when I come out in 2014 for the marathon, I want to be able to attack it knowing that I’ve had as much practice as I can.”
- Mo Farah defending his decision to run the first half of the London Marathon, saying that it’s not just about getting a payday. Reports claimed he was being paid £750,000 ($1,143,075) to run, but he said that number is “crazy.”
“The fight against doping is not just a fight that IAAF, WADA and national Anti-Doping bodies should make. This is the time for all events in athletics to take a stand and impose a strict no doping policy. The announcement today will reduce the financial benefits to people who cheat. If other athletic events and indeed other sports introduce a similar statement into their elite contracts, then I believe our wonderful sport will have taken a step forward.
- Virgin London Marathon elite athlete co-ordinator David Bedford in an exclusive statement to LetsRun.com, after it was announced yesterday that the WMM are going to try to financially get money back from dopers and their agents. We think the development is wonderful but hope the shoe companies soon follow suit.
“I am hurt by the fact that I am going to retire. I do not really want to hear the word ‘retire’ because I can still run and jump on a bus. It’s a (sense of) negativity that I have never experienced before … I will not stop running, but will do it for my personal health.”
- 101-year-old marathoner Fauja Singh talking about reitring from racing/competition after his last race this Sunday at the 10k ran alongside the Tokyo Marathon.
“You’re having an argument with either side of your brain. This side is like, ‘I’m tired. I want to stop.’ And then this side is like, ‘Look what you’d be giving up if you gave up right now, all the things you could achieve. Why are you thinking like that?’ So in a split second, within about five strides, you’ve gone from, ‘I’m really tired,’ to, ‘What the hell are you thinking? Get on it! Stop being a girl and go!’”
- University of Tulsa’s Chris O’Hare talking about setting the collegiate mile record at 3:52.98 at last weekend’s Millrose Games. He says a big source of motivation for him is being snubbed for selection to the UK Olympic team, saying, “If I’m honest, that’s made me where I am now. If I had made the Olympics, would I have broken the record on Saturday? I don’t know.”
“I’m excited to be running a half marathon. It’s a big step up in distance, but I think I’ll be well prepared. Of course, there’s a bit of uncertainty, but that makes it exciting. … I’ve been planning for it during all my training this season. My expectation is high. I want to do my best. I just don’t want to show up.”
- Bernard Lagat talking about running his debut half marathon at the NYC Half next month.
So why do so many people, and so many runners, slow down after they turn thirty? Injuries, of course. And then there’s life. ‘It is possible,’ Joyner writes, ‘that, even among the most competitive runners, there might be an age-related decline in the frequency, intensity, and duration of training due to a combination of the inevitable reduction in physiological factors along with orthopedic or motivational considerations.’ In other words, we have kids, and we get lazy.”
- Newyorker.com editor Nicholas Thompson writing in a column entiled “Will Bernard Lagat Live Forever?” that explores why although VO2 max doesn’t go down much with age, runners generally slow down a lot.