Week That Was: 5th Avenue Mile, Bumbalough over Teg and Solinsky, Kara Goucher, ING NYC Marathon Fields, More Rock N Roll News

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Last week’s Weekly Recap – WTW – can be found here.

2013 Fifth Avenue Mile

The 2013 Fifth Avenue Mile presented by Nissan wa the biggest race of the week last week and the winners were the two people we told you were going to win – Nick Willis and Jenny Simpson.

We love telling you, “I told you so,” particularly on the rare occasions when our beloved audience, which we always praise for being the most knowledgeable in the world, was so off in its prediction. Here were the LetsRun.com fan predictions for the men’s race:

Nick Symmonds29.1%
Bernard Lagat26.6%
Nick Willis19.3%
David Torrence7.8%
Leo Manzano7.1%
Garrett Heath5.4%

In picking between Symmonds and Willis, the answer was easily Willis for us.

Why? Well when picking a favorite for a mile race between two silver medallists, one at 800 and one at 1500, common sense says to pick the 1500 silver medallist.
When picking between two people, one who has a lifetime pb of 3:34.55 (Symmonds) and the other a seasonal best of 3:32.57 (Willis), which was run just two weeks ago, common sense says to pick the 3:32.57.

So you see why we picked Willis over Symmonds.

Choosing Willis over Lagat was also easy for us. For starters, Willis is 30. Lagat is 38. Moreover, Lagat’s 1500 pb this year is 3:36.36.

But here’s a stat for you. We’ll call it our Stat of the Week.

3 years, two months –Time since Bernard Lagat ran faster than Willis’ seasonal best of 3:32.57. Lagat ran 3:32.51 in July of 2010.

7 years, one month – Amount of time since Bernard Lagat ran under 3:32.5. Lagat ran 3:29.68 in Rieti on August of 2006 (in addition to the 3:32.51 in July 2010)

Lagat hadn’t run significantly faster than what Willis ran two weeks ago in seven years. And yet more people thought he was going to win Fifth Avenue than Willis? That makes no sense.

In the women’s race, it was good to see 2011 world #1 Morgan Uceny run well for the second week in a row after a tough year and to hear she’s going to gear up for World Indoors, but the story of the race was clearly the domination by Jenny Simpson in the stellar 4:19.3 time.

She was so good in running from the front, it actually made us feel a bit of regret. Seeing her run that fast pushing the pace from the front made us wonder, “Why didn’t she do that in DL finale in Brussels?” She’s already excelled at Worlds? Why not let it rip and go for a sub-4 time? Oh well. We guess she’ll have plenty of time to chase times in the non-championship 2014. She’ll definitely have the motivation since all she’s lacking from this year is a fast time.

More: Jenny Simpson Runs 4:19.3 To Win 2013 5th Avenue Mile, Nick Willis Wins Men’s in 3:52.1


There were some interesting non-elite results at Fifth Avenue.

Willis’ coach, Ron Warhurst, also ran the mile in New York at age 71? His time 8:01, which converts to a 5:25 according to the http://www.heartbreakhill.org age converter.

What is equivalent to a 3:52 mile for a 71 year old? 5:25. Come on Ron, you’ve got a long ways to go.

Best-selling author and LetsRun.com fan Malcolm Gladwell ran 5:03 At Fifth Avenue Mile to place 11th in the 50-54 age group.

Historically, LetsRun.com hasn’t paid much attention to Masters results but since 2013 is the 40th year of the co-founders existence, we are thinking of changing the name to the site to LetsRunfastforolderpeople.com.

More: *2013 5th Avenue Mile: Jenny Simpson And Nick Willis Dominate *5th Avenue Mile Results *5th Avenue Mile Photo Gallery

Click for 5th Avenue Mile Photo Gallery

CVS 5k in Providence: Bumbalough and Huddle Win

The US 5k road championships were last week in Providence. Seeing American record holder Molly Huddle repeat on the women’s side certainly wasn’t a surprise.

On the men’s side, some may have been surprised to see Andrew Bumbalough come out on top over the likes of the big ‘names’ Chris Solinsky (12:55.53), Matt Tegenkamp (12:58.56 pb), and Alistair Craig (13:03.53 pb), but they shouldn’t have been.

The fact of the matter is Bumbalough won by a wide margin (3.5 seconds) at the end, but if you’ve been following the circuit closely this year, it would have been expected. Cragg and Tegenkamp are both well over 30 and no longer the forces they used to be at the shorter distances. Solinsky, while still 28, is on the comeback trail.

Here is how the field stacked up in terms of 2013 seasonal bests at 5000.

2013 Seasonal Bests at 5000
1. Andy Bumbalough 13:12.01
2. Aaron Braun 13:22.37
3. Chris Solinsky 13:23.62

Looking at that you can see why Bumbalough dominated.

More: *CVS Downtown 5k Results *Huddle And Bumbalough Win US 5k Titles At CVS Downtown 5k In Providence
Messageboard discussion: MB: 2013 CVS 5K Discussion – Who you’ve got? Bumby, Teg, Solinsky, Braun or Chelanga? Huddle or Infeld?

Kara Goucher: An Olympic Champ at Age 38?

When we saw the news that Kara Goucher had pulled out of the 2013 ING New York City marathon, we wondered, “Is that it for the 35-year old?” and answered our own question by saying, “Not if she’s motivated.” Thus it was great to see her blog post come out later in the week where she said she dreams of equaling Constantina Dita‘s 2008 feat of becoming the oldest Olympic marathon champ at age 38.

Dreams are very powerful as if you aren’t super motivated as a distance runner, you aren’t going to be on top. That being said, there is one key different between Dita and Goucher.

What’s that?

3:22 – the difference between their PRs in the marathon (2:21:30 for Dita and 2:24:52 for Goucher).

That’s a big difference. It’s 7.7 second per mile which is a lot.

Think of it this way. In the 5k, 7.7 seconds per mile would be 23.9 seconds for the whole race – exactly the same amount of time that separates American record holder Molly Huddle, the 64th fastest woman in history at 14:44.76, from the Kenyan national record holder Vivan Cheruiyot, the third fastest woman in history at 14:20.87.

Would you expect Huddle to beat Cheruiyot if they lined up in a 5000? Of course not.

Yes, anything can happen in a marathon as compared to a 5k, particularly in the heat, so the dream lives on. A bronze is more realistic, but to get the bronze, you have to dream for gold.

More: LRC The Top Two Women’s Marathoners In The World, Priscah Jeptoo And Edna Kiplagat, To Clash At 2013 ING New York City Marathon – Kara Goucher Is Out With Injury
Kara Goucher’s Blog Post On Pulling Out Of NYC: “Letting Go Of A Dream”
Messageboard Discussion: Kara Goucher OUT of 2013 New York City Marathon

Competitor Group Scott Dickey Won’t Stop Talking

Before we get to our quotes of the week, we wanted to make sure you all read the following one from Competitor Group CEO Scott Dickey which appeared on Toni Reavis‘ blog.

“There has been a festival-ization of sport where mass participation is just as important as sport where TV and sponsors get a return on their investment. But we’re not talking to Tony Romo on the field, but to the 70,000 Dallas Cowboy fans in the stands. But our fans are not in the stands, and that’s what makes running unique.

It has been very difficult to scale elite competitions, and sponsors don’t care about elite runners. Yet we have been demonized for our decision while we have spent millions, and still cover the elites on Competitor.com, which has not been taken into consideration.”

Memo to Scott Dickey.

Please stop talking.

Your repeated attempts to try to justify your decision is just enraging the hard-core running establishment. You want us to have sympathy for you because you “have spent” millions, like you were doing this for the public good. You conveniently left out the fact that you have also made millions unlike the NYRR or Atlanta Track Club which are non-profits.  You purchased privately owned public events that rely on the community’s goodwill for their success. Many of these events had a history of supporting the sport of running and were built with that premise. If you didn’t expect any blowback from your decision to strip these events to the core then you didn’t think it out very well.  Stripping a public resource to the core is going to cost you goodwill.

And we’re also supposed to be grateful because you still “cover the elites” (or as some might say practically plagiarize other’s articles) on competitor.com.  So we’re all supposed to forget the fact you are stripping public events to the core, because you do the sport a favor by covering the elites on competitor.com? Are you serious? Have you ever been to running.competitor.com? This is how the homepage looks on Wednesday morning.

Elite coverage at its finest. It was coverage like this in 2000 that inspired us to start LetsRun in 2000.

Elite coverage at its finest. It was coverage like this in 2000 that inspired us to start LetsRun in 2000.

Great elite coverage.

We thank you for it. Seriously, we here at LetsRun.com do. Coverage like that from RunnersWorld in 2000 inspired us to start this website.

Meanwhile, Competitor got another $125,000 from Raleigh, NC to put on another event and we at LetsRun.com are urging our visitors not to run Competitor.com events. Over one million unique visitors come to Letsrun.com each month, if there is a graphic designer who would like to help us design a banner urging our visitors not to run Competitor events, email us. We may serve it to everyone on their first page view every month. Competitor can make their business decision to not support the top end of the sport, and consumers can decide not to run their events. That’s how capitalism works.

More: LRC No Thank You: We Don’t Need Competitor Running The Vast Majority of Big Running Events In This Country
*The Festivalization Of Sport”: Toni Reavis Adds To WSJ Article On How The “Everyone’s A Winner” Mentality Is Taking Over And The Latest Generation Of Runners Are Less Competitive

Geoffrey Mutai – The Reigning New York and Berlin Marathon Champ – The Greatest Fall Marathoner in History?

Geoffrey Mutai likes the Fall

Last week the fields came out for the 2013 ING New York City marathon (men’s field, women’s field) and they both are stellar and will feature two titanic clashes up front – Geoffrey Mutai versus Stephen Kiprotich on the men’s side and Priscah Jeptoo versus Edna Kiplagat on the women’s.

Here’s an interesting tidbit that we didn’t mention when we covered the fields initially. We wrote, “We figured Mutai would be returning to New York as the reigning champ almost always comes back,” but that was a bit misleading as Mutai last year didn’t elect to defend his crown as he ran and won in Berlin in 2:04:15, but the 2012 New York race was cancelled so Mutai can come back and attempt to be a repeat champion in 2013. This year, he’s not defending his Berlin crown.

Barring another future race cancellation of Berlin or New York, Mutai will go down in history though to be the reigning New York and Berlin Marathon champions at the same time. It’s an interesting claim to fame that he probably deserves.

We say that because while Mutai’s overall marathon record is incredibly impressive across the board – five races at 2:05:10 or faster including course records in Boston and New York – his record in fall marathons is even better.

Really the only blemish on his marathon records is DNFs in Boston last year and London this year. His other marathons have all been very good which means he’s never had a bad fall marathon in his life as shown below:

Geoffrey Mutai’s Fall Marathons
2008: 2:07:50 1st Eindhoven 12 Oct
2009: 2:07:01 1st Eindhoven 11 Oct
2010: 2:05:10 2nd Berlin 26 Sep
2011: 2:05:06 1st New York NY 6 Nov
2012: 2:04:15 1st Berlin 30 Sep
2013: New York?

Mutai seems to be well on his way to another fine Fall marathon this year as just days after he was announced for the 2013 New York field, he ran a stellar 59:06 half-marathon.

More: LRC Geoffrey Mutai, The Fastest Marathoner In History, Will Battle World And Olympic Champ Stephen Kiprotich And Ryan And Meb At 2013 ING New York City The
LRC The Top Two Women’s Marathoners In The World, Priscah Jeptoo And Edna Kiplagat, To Clash At 2013 ING New York City Marathon – Kara Goucher Is Out With Injury
*Geoffrey Mutai Warms Up For NYC Marathon By Winning The Udine Half Marathon In 59:06

Quotes of the Week (that weren’t quote of the day)


Agent Brendan Reilley:

“I think we’ve had too many years of the John Bingham (Waddle On, Penguins) philosophy. John is a nice guy, a very entertaining and eloquent speaker, but there seems to be little in the sport these days to carry the runners that John has gotten off the couch to the next level of aiming to run faster and treat our events like RACES. And without that mentality, it is no wonder so few participants really care or even understand that somebody just ran 4:45 or 5:20 pace to win their race.”


“The Penguin” John Bingham:

“I would suggest, however, that this is a bit like saying that the reason the Chicago Symphony isn’t what it once was is because of so many people playing in community orchestras.

I stood at the finish line of the RnR Philly race yesterday until everyone had finished. Everyone’s effort was celebrated. I invite ANY winner of ANY race to join me instead of rushing back to their hotel after the awards ceremony. I guarantee that the first “elite” to show even a LITTLE interest in the rest of the pack will become a hero overnight.”

– Back and forth between agent Brendan Reilley and RunnersWorld writer John “The Penguin” Bingham on Toni Reavi’s blog: DUMBING DOWN, SLOWING DOWN.


“I don’t want to see the Olympics at all. Deep inside, I have a kind of grudge against the Olympics.”

-79-year old Kohei Jinno of Japan, who saw his home and business torn down for the 1964 Games (before he was relocated by the govt. two years later back near the site) and will lose it again in 2020. The stadium is going back to the same location but will be much bigger than before.

More: Two-time evictee bears Olympic-size grudge


Jason Hartmann on his friendship with Dathan Ritzenhein:

“Dathan is someone who I respect at the highest level, and someone who (since I coach myself) I respect enough to look at the training I write for myself, and ask for constructive criticism and feedback. We have trained enough together through the years, and have known each other long enough that we can be honest with each other. Dathan is one of the toughest individuals I know, and he’ll never give up, and I love training with people like that, who aren’t scared to hurt, who aren’t scared to grind day in and day out. I also like training with him, though, because after the workout is done, we don’t have to talk about running anymore, and we can be friends outside of running. His daughter calls me Uncle J, and our dogs are best friends, and we can talk about everything else, and our identity as runners doesn’t matter–we’re just friends no matter how a race played out.”

Jason Hartmann talking in a great interview on the DailyRelay.com. His friendship with Dathan Ritzenhein which dates to them being on the same high school team. What a high school team, it included a 2:11:06 (Hartmann) and 2:07:47 (Ritz) marathoners.

More: Daily Relay Q&A With Jason Hartman

Recommended Reads

“The Festivalization Of Sport”: Toni Reavis Adds To WSJ Article On How The “Everyone’s A Winner” Mentality Is Taking Over And The Latest Generation Of Runners Are Less Competitive

WSJ Article On How Today’s Generation Of “Runners” Are Slower, Don’t Run Hard And Are “Turning Some Races Into Parades”

Kara Goucher’s Blog Post On Pulling Out Of NYC: “Letting Go Of A Dream”

Daily Relay Q&A With Jason Hartman

Pat Rizzo: Why I ran RnR Philly and how I will deal with CGI in the future
*Competitor Group to get $125,000 in welfare from city of Raleigh

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.

Monday 9/23:

“When you can do well at the World Championships [silver medal], that’s the most important thing of the season. But finishing off the season with a win in the United States and a city like New York, that’s like food for your running soul. That leaves me going into my break with a really good feeling going into next year.”

Jenny Simpson after her dominating win in 4:19 at the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile yesterday in NYC.

Sunday 9/22:

“Throughout the first running boom excellence held sway as fellow Baby Boomers had been inspired by Frank Shorter’s gold medal performance at the Munich Olympic Marathon. As such, they saw speed and improvement as the purpose of racing. Similarly, the reason the Boston Marathon holds such an elevated position in the sport is due not just to its 117 year history, but to its rigid qualifying standards, making it an athletic achievement, the People’s Olympics, if you will.”

“… But with the advent of the first Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego in 1998, we began to see the Lebow-anticipated devolution toward the participation-based completion model. Where at one time every participant would receive a tee shirt, soon, a bright, shiny medal was hung around the neck of every finisher regardless of the quality of their effort. Accordingly, we have seen the gap between elite and also-ran grow to a black-hole depth as the linking ground of effort has been allowed to go fallow.”

Toni Reavis writing about “the festivalization of sport” and how today’s generation of runners have changed, going from a more competitive, performance-oriented mindset to an “everyone’s a winner” mentality.

Saturday 9/21:

“I consider my best marathon the Twin Cities Marathon in 2009. …I was qualified in the 10k for the US Olympic Track Trials, and given that I was living in Oregon, everyday that got closer to the Trials, I got more and more pumped up. Eugene is Track Town USA, and everyone knew it was coming. The excitement was building. Three weeks before I would have toed the line at the trials, I was limping, running through large amounts of pain in the top of my foot and lower tibia. Two and a half weeks before the gun went off, I was in a boot, diagnosed three stress fractures. I was distraught, and everywhere I looked, I couldn’t forget about the fact that the trials were approaching, and I would no longer be a part of it. Emotionally, it was just too hard to stay in town, and so I packed up my things, with my rottweiler (Maximus) in the front seat, and left my coach, left some close training partners and friends, and drove to Boulder.”

“I moved in with Jorge Torres and took to cross training like hard, biking up canyons in a boot, and doing everything I could to come back. I was in that boot for 12 weeks, and when I was finally able to run on land, the times were not pretty. I started training with Jorge Torres under Coach Steve Jones, and little by little, put one foot in front of the other, and started to come back. So many people told me that my career was done, and that I should just transition into other things, that I started to feel that no one believed in me except a small handful of close friends and former/current coaches. To rebound from that to not just place, but to WIN Twin Cities, set a personal best time, and to beat an international field boasting personal best times 3, 4, 5 minutes faster than me.”

Jason Hartman talking about what race he considers the best marathon of his career so far. His 2:11:06 PR comes from Chicago 2010.

Friday 9/20:

“2013 has not been the year that I thought it would be for my running. For the past few months I have been looking forward to running the ING New York City Marathon as a perfect way to cap off a difficult year and to show the world what I am still capable of doing. Unfortunately, it just is not in the cards for this year. Letting go of my dream of running New York this year has been very difficult for me, but it was a decision I had to make.”

“… What does this mean? It means 2013 was a rough year for me as an athlete. I have had many great moments in training and with my teammates, but unfortunately it didn’t get a chance to translate into my races. But I know how hard I worked this year, and last. And I know that the opportunity will come when I can finally run the race that I am capable of. I’m not finished, I simply had an off year. My plan now is to get healthy. I would love to do some fall road races for fun, and as workouts to build my fitness as I come back from this injury. And I am already looking forward to 2014. I have put together a loose calendar and I’m going to be racing quite a bit. I get excited just thinking about it. Until then, I will continue my 100+ miles a week running on my AlterG treadmill and keep thinking about one special moment at the 2008 Olympic Games when Constantina Dita of Romania became the Olympic Marathon Champion at the age of 38. You see, I will be 38 in Rio 2016. And I still believe.”

Kara Goucher announcing her withdrawal from the 2013 New York City Marathon due to a stress fracture in her foot.

Thursday 9/19

“It’s a shame that the higher-ups at Competitor Group couldn’t quantify the volunteer hours given be me and other elite runners to their races, both the ones that we run and the ones that we don’t. In my case, I’ve volunteered for the last 3 years at RnR Denver marathon alongside of my Runners Roost teammates and co-workers. We get up at 3 am, set up a water station starting at 4 am, lugging heavy wooden tables down the street from trucks, dragging trash cans filled with 50 gallons of water to our tables, and filling cups, some years in the freezing cold. We also man the VIP port-o-potties all morning.

I’m not sorry to tell you that next month and in future years, I will not only NOT volunteer to work these water stations and port-o-potties, I will actively discourage my co-workers from volunteering as well.”

– 2:13 marathoner Pat Rizzo, expressing his disappointment with the Competitor Group. The city of Raleigh isn’t mad though – they are giving thebillion dollar private equity group $125,000.

Wednesday 9/18:

“On 22 July, 2010, we glimpsed the future of the 1,500 metres when 22-year-old Andrew Wheating and 20-year-old Ryan Gregson finished fourth and fifth at the Monaco Diamond League meeting. … We’d seen the future – or thought we had. Three years later, maybe it is time for a re-appraisal. In comparison with his companions atop the US list, Wheating has turned out to be more Webb, a runner of sporadic brilliance, than the consistent and enduring Lagat or Maree. … Gregson has fared a little better.”

Len Johnson writing for RunnersTribe.

Tuesday 9/17:

“Today, as I ran against the force of the water, I felt so small, and my long run to see the results of Mother Nature’s power made me bow down to her in reverence, and with complete surrender. … I went as far as I could safely go and then started climbing.”

Melody Fairchild talking about going for a run in flood-ravaged Boulder, CO.

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