Week That Was: Meet America’s Two Super Frosh, Super Seniors, Jordan Hasay Versus Emily Infeld, Abbey D. And Kennedy K., Mick Byrne And More

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by LetsRun.com
October 22, 2013

If you missed last week’s weekly recap, it can be found here: LRC Week That Was: Dennis Kimetto, Rita Jeptoo And All Things Chicago Marathon, Kim Smith, Stephen Sambu Pick Up $100k, Haile Gebrselassie Still Has It

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Three Thoughts About Pre-Nats/Wisconsin adidas Invite

The mid-term exam was held last week in NCAA cross-country as the Pre-Nats and Wisconsin adidas Invite meets were held.

Three quick thoughts:

1) Abbey D’Agostino and Kennedy Kithuka will be your individual NCAA champions.

A 3-way battle for the title

D’Agostino came close last year.

Dartmouth’s D’Agostino won the tougher Wisconsin meet (on the women’s side, Wisco had 17 ranked teams, including 7 of the top 10, whereas Pre-Nats had 13 ranked teams and 3 of the top 10) by 13 seconds. The winner of Pre-Nats was Emma Bates of Boise State. Bates, the third placer in the 10,000 last spring, is no slouch, but she lost to HSer Alexa Efraimson in her last race, so she’s not beating D’Agostino.

Texas Tech’s Kithuka, who won NCAAs last year, came in to the year as the favorite but considering he’s got to beat 13:00 man Lawi Lalang, Kithuka was by no means a huge favorite. However, last week, Kithuka remained undefeated for his life in college cross-country as he beat 2013 NCAA steeple champ Anthony Rotich, no slouch himself with his 8:21.19 steeple PR, by a staggering 32+ seconds to win Pre-Nats.

At Wisconsin on the men’s side, the winner by two seconds was Kemoy Campbell of Arkansas as Lawi Lalang was just 13th. The 13:32 man Campbell, who hails from Jamaica, is very good, but he’s already lost to Kithuka this year. Campbell gave Kithuka a good run at the Chile Pepper race in his previous outing (Kithuka won by 6+ seconds) but we just don’t see Campbell beating Kithuka in Terre Haute.

Are we 100% ruling Lalang out? No. 13th may sound “awful” for such a stud, but coach James Li said he just started training two weeks ago (more on that later) and he was only 23 seconds behind Campbell. Considering Campbell was 6 seconds behind Kithuka when they raced, one could estimate he’s roughly 30 seconds behind Kithuka right now. Could he possibly make that up over the span of five weeks?

It’s not probable, but if Lalang goes into NCAAs with no pressure and can just hunt Kithuka from behind, hoping to outkick him, he’s got some sort of shot. A 13:00 guy on the upswing can’t 100% be ruled out.

2) Meet America’s two super frosh – Sean McGorty and Ben Saarel.

Saarel dominated the Dream Mile last spring.

On the men’s side, the Wisconsin adidas Meet was dominated by upperclassmen as juniors and seniors took 17 of the top 20 spots and the top frosh was only 20th (and he was a redshirt). Contrast that with Pre-Nats, where six of the top nine were freshmen and sophomores, with four of them being Americans who have never been redshirted.

The college careers of Americans Sean McGorty of Stanford (fourth in 23:39.0) and Ben Saarel of Colorado (ninth in 23:40.7) are off to strong starts. Not that that’s a huge surprise as both were STUDS in high school. McGorty, the runner-up at Foot Locker last year, may have not gotten the publicity he deserved as he was overshadowed a bit in XC by Edward Cheserek. But in addition to being great at cross, he also set a Penn Relays record in the mile 4:04.47 and ran 8:45.61 for two miles. His accomplishments were strong enough that he was labelled as “The Next Big Thing” by one message board poster last spring.

Saarel’s prospects for future greatness were hyped on LetsRun last spring by none other than LRC co-founder Robert Johnson, who wondered if he might be the US’s next sub-13:00 man after he destroyed everyone at the adidas Dream Mile in New York with a 4:02.78. Earlier in last year’s track season, he ran an incredibly fast 8:45 3,200. What was more impressive was that he ran a 55-second last lap while running 8:45. Incredible speed and endurance.

3) The previously #1 Providence Women aren’t likely to win unless someone new is trotted out.

Heading into last week, Providence was ranked #1 in the nation. However, their fifth runner at Wisconsin finished 138th – which was more points than the entire Arizona (117) and Arkansas (136) teams scored. That wasn’t a total shock as everyone knew coming into the year the big question for Providence was, “Can they find a 5th?”

The problem for Providence is their fifth is way worse than anyone else’s and they aren’t nearly as far ahead through four as many think:

Score Through 4 Runners
Providence 53
Arizona 61
Arkansas 79

Now perhaps Providence has someone they haven’t run yet (but if they do, we don’t know who it is). If they trot out a potential redshirt at conference, it’s possible they get back into the national title hunt, but if they run the same seven at NCAAs that they did at Pre-Nats, it doesn’t look like they are going to win.

So who wins?

Georgetown was the winner at Pre-Nats and they are sort of the opposite of Providence. They have no big frontrunners but a very tight pack. Their top runner was just 14th but their fifth was 32nd as they won easily over #2 Florida State.

Spread Between #1-5
Georgetown 21.6 seconds
Arizona 45 seconds
Arkansas 46 seconds
Florida St. 62.8 seconds
Providence 96 seconds (Providence was 78 seconds in its first meet)

The women’s team battle fight should be interesting come NCAAs. The new rankings are out and it’s Arizona #1, Arkansas #2, Georgetown #3 and Providence #4.

What about the men’s team battle? Well if the #1 team in the land, Oklahoma State, can’t bother to run their “A” team, then why would we bother to break it down? We’ll analyze it more after conference.

More: Sean McGorty “The Next Big Thing”
*Mark Wetmore Is Going To Be A Very Happy Man: Ben Saarel is A Special Talent
*Ben Saarel — The next U.S. sub 13? – LetsRun.com
*Ben Saarel Arcadia Champ – 8:45 with 55 last lap, 4:14 second mile
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Wisconsin Results *Pre-Nats Men’s Results *Pre-Nats Women’s Results
*Reason #1 of why track/xc will never be as popular as team sports: #1 Oklahoma State was just 10th at Pre Nats.

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Two NYC Additions/$500,000 Will Be Awarded In New York

Matin Lel photo

Martin Lel after winning the 2007 London Marathon.
*More 2007 London Marathon Photos

We were excited to see that class act and two-time New York City Marathon champion (five time WMM champion) Martin Lel was added to the 2013 ING New York City Marathon field last week. Up until the 2008 Olympics, the now 34-year-old Lel (he turns 35 next Tuesday) was the best in the business. Since then, he’s struggled mightily with injuries. He’s only run two marathons since 2008. But the good news about Lel is you know he won’t toe the line unless he’s truly ready to go.

Check out his marathon finishes since he started running majors in 2003. Not a single bad race in there.

2003
2:11:11 3rd Boston
2:10:30 1st New York
2004
2:13:38 3rd Boston
2005
2:07:26 1st London
2006
2:06:41 2nd London
2007
2:07:41 1st London
2:09:04 1st New York
2008
2:05:15 1st London
2:10:24 5th Olympics
2011
2:05:45 2nd London
2012
2:06:51 2nd London

There’s certainly no showing up to pick up a paycheck.

2012-2013 World Marathon Majors Point Totals
1. Tsegaye Kebede 65
2. Wilson Kipsang 61
3. Stephen Kiprotich 50
Points
1st place 25 points
2nd place 15 points
3rd place 10 points
4th place 5 points
5th place 1 point
*If there is a tie, Kiprotich is your winner as he’ll lead the head-to-head with Kebede 2-1 (they have split so far this year with Kebede winning London and Kiprotich winning WCs).

Given the current World Marathon Major standings (see the chart on the right), we were wondering if Tsegaye Kebede would run New York and he indeed will. The $500,000 winner will go to him or 2012 Olympic/2013 World champion Stephen Kiprotich.

Wilson Kipsang, in second place, set the world record in Berlin and is not running in New York, so he can earn no more points.

So who wins?

Well, since the World Marathon Majors website inaccurately breaks down the various scenarios for you, we’ll break it down for you correctly here:

  • Tsegaye Kebede will win $500,000 if he finishes first or second in New York (he doesn’t have to beat Kiprotich as it claims).
  • Stephen Kiprotich will win $500,000 if he wins and Kebede isn’t second-place.
  • Stephen Kiprotch can also win if he’s second as long as Kebede isn’t in the top five.
  • If anything else happens, Tsegaye Kebede wins the $500,000.
  • Tsegaye Kebede is your $500,000 WMM winner champion unless the following happens:
    1. If Stephen Kiprotich wins, then Kiprotich wins the $500,000.
    2. If Stephen Kiprotich is second, then Kiprotich wins the $500,000 only if Kebede isn’t in the top three.

What About The Women?

The women’s standings are on the right as well:

2012-13 World Marathon Points/#Wins
1. Rita Jeptoo 65 (2)
2. Edna Kiplagat 55 (1)
3. Sharon Cherop 50
4. Priscah Jeptoo 50 (1)
Bold = Running New York
Points
1st place 25 points
2nd place 15 points
3rd place 10 points
4th place 5 points
5th place 1 point
*If there is a two or three-way tie for first at 65, Rita Jeptoo is your winner based on having the most number of wins (the third tie-breaker).

That means the following:

  • Priscah Jeptoo wins $500,000 if she wins the 2013 New York City Marathon.
  • Edna Kiplagat wins $500,000 if she is first or second in New York and Priscah Jeptoo doesn’t win.
  • Under all other scenarios, 2013 Boston and Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo wins the $500,000.

*A two-way or three-way tie for first is possible at 65, but Rita Jeptoo would win no matter who ties her. The first tie-breaker is head-to-head record, but Rita Jeptoo has never raced a marathon against the other two (Edna Kiplagat would lose to Priscah Jeptoo on that three to one), so the next tie-breaker is fewest number of races (Edna Kiplagat would lose on this as she’d have five to the others four), which wouldn’t settle it in a three-way tie but the third tie-breaker is most number of wins, which Rita Jeptoo would win two to one.

NYC Is Next Month: Martin Lel, London Champion Tsegaye Kebede And Italy’s Women’s World Silver Medalist Valeria Straneo Added To NYC Marathon Field

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Runner A Vs. Runner B

Every so often we like to compare runners but remove the names as one’s opinions on a runner are often influenced by a runner’s name. You tell us, which runner would you rather be.

Runner A Versus Runner B

Runner A
Last NCAA title: 2012
800 pb: 2:06:05
1500 pb: 4:07.77
Mile pb: 4:31.50
3000: 8:41.43
5000: 15:28.60
10k: 31:46.6
Age: 23
Overall:
Runnner B
Last NCAA Title: 2011
800 pb: 2:08:32
1500 pb: 4:10.28
Mile pb: 4:33.01
3000: 8:46.89
5000:15:37.29
10,000: 31:46.42
Age: 22
Edge
Runner A
Runner A
Runner A
Runner A
Runner A
Runner A
Tie
Runner B
Runner A

We imagine most would say Runner “A.” Well, guess what? Runner A is former NCAA 3,000 champ Emily Infeld, who last Monday (10/14) ran 31:46 on the road to get second at the Tuft’s Women’s 10k. Runner “B” is former NCAA 3,000 champ Jordan Hasay.

Infeld is quietly enjoying a very successful late 2013 campaign.

More: With An Assist From Meseret Defar, Sentayehu Ejigu Sets Course Record At Tufts Health Plan 10-K For Women, Emily Infeld Second in 31:46.6
*MB: Emily Infeld 31:47 Road 10k

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Stat Of The Week I

39 years and 168 days.

– Amount of time between when 61-year-old Doug Kurtis first and last broke 3 hours in the marathon, which is a world record. On Sunday at the Detroit Free Press marathon, Curtis broke three hours for the 200th (and last) time in his career by running 2:59:03. He says he’ll no longer train/race at a high level.

Shouldn’t he at least keep it up for at least another half year to get to 40 years?

The stat came from us updating a stat from the The Association of Road Racing Statistics website – http://www.arrs.net/ – which has got some truly amazing stats if you are a stat geek and want to blow half your day.

More: Doug Kurtis: Going for under 3-hour Free Press marathon one more time
MB: Doug Kurtis 76 sub 2:20s and 199 sub 3:00 hour Marathons
MB: Doug Kurtis 61 Gets 200th Sub 3:00 marathon

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Super Seniors / Weekly Free Training Advice

Last week, three of the more famous Masters runners raced marathoners.

As mentioned above, 61-year-old Doug Curtis ran 2:59:03 in Detroit to break three for the 200th time in his career. Think about that – it’s essentially five marathons under three each year for 40 years.

Ed Whitlock and Yoshihisa Hosaka.

Ed Whitlock and Yoshihisa Hosaka.

Canada’s Ed Whitlock, who is now 84, smashed Ed Benham‘s age 84 marathon world best of 3:48:35 by running 3:41:58 at the Scotiabank Toronto Marathon.

Japan’s Yoshihisa Hosaka also ran Toronto, but came up short of Clive Davies‘ age 64 record of 2:42:44 when he ran 2:50:44.

What do all three men – Davies, Whitlock, Hosaka – have in common besides being super-fast Masters?

Answer: They all run A LOT.

Doug Kurtis is stopping his racing because he no longer wants to put in 70+ mile weeks at age 61.

And 70 mpw makes him the lowest mileage guy of the three.

Ed Whitock is famous for doing three hours of plodding/jogging in a cemetery of all places each and every day. Even if he’s just walking 15-minute miles, that’s over 80 miles per week.

Japan’s Hosaka, like Whitlock, is a creature of habit. He runs 15km in the morning and 15km in the evening with 1km hill repeats thrown in there each day as well. 30km per day is 210km per week, which is just over 130 miles per week at age 64.

Casual runners often ask us how to get better at running. “Run more” is a simple answer many of them don’t want to hear.

Once you are “running smart” (mixing in the basics), to get better generally you’re going to need to “run more.” Hosaka, Whitlock, and Kurtis show that to truly maximize your performance, you have to run a lot of miles. Everyone in the world can wish that wasn’t true, but it it is. End of story.

MB: Ed Whitlock ran 3:41:58 to set age 82 record today in Toronto, Hosaka misses age 64 record
MB: Doug Kurtis 76 sub 2:20s and 199 sub 3:00 hour Marathons

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Speaking of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, there were two records of note. Lanni Marchant ran 2:28:00 to set a Canadian national record and Deressa Chimsa of Ethiopia ran 2:07:05, the fastest marathon ever in Canada.

More: Lanni Marchant Sets New Canadian National Record In Women’s Marathon – Runs 2:28:00 In Toronto Deressa Chimsa of Ethiopia has set a new Canadian soil record of 2:07:05.

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Quotes Of The Week

I

“Everybody, all the pundits had us written off, that we suck. But what my guys out there today showed us is that they have heart, they got guts, and that wearing that (Wisconsin) uniform means something. Having that Wisconsin on their chest means something.”

– Wisconsin coach Mick Byrne talking to UWBadgers.com after his 20th-ranked Badgers finished a surprising 4th at the 2013 Wisconsin adidas Invitational in a race that featured 19 of the top 30 teams in the land.

Coming into the year, Wisconsin had won 14 straight Big 10 crowns, but Wisconsin was starting over after losing most of last year’s team. Things looked so dire that knowledgeable people were even predicting the nearly unthinkable – that they wouldn’t make it to NCAAs this year.

“Ncaa predictioner” – the same message board poster who in 2011 amazingly predicted that the Oregon men wouldn’t make NCAAs – said this summer Wisco wouldn’t make it this year: Why Wisconsin WILL NOT Qualify for XC NCAAs in 2013.

We hope he sees this and posts a follow-up apology in that thread as the Badgers definitely are going to NCAAs.

We’ve been big Mick Byrne fans for years – he’s definitely our NCAA Coach Of The Week.

More: Why Wisconsin WILL NOT Qualify for XC NCAAs in 2013
*2013 adidas Wisconsin Invite: Arizona and D’agostino win women’s titles, NAU and Campbell win men’s
*Give us your biggest surprises/flops from 2013 Pre-Nats and Wisconsin
*Don’t read too much into the Wisconsin Invite results

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II

“Lawi (Lalang) isn’t happy with his race today but I am reasonably happy. He’s only trained for two weeks and he still ran five miles at 4:45 pace so that is pretty remarkable. He has only been training for two weeks, he entered the race with a training mindset and he just wanted to help the team.”

– Arizona coach James Li talking to arizonawildcats.com about 13:00 5,000 man Lawi Lalang’s 23:35 season debut. Many fans were stunned by his 13th-place finish, but if he’s been only training for two weeks, it’s not too shabby. He’s still going to have a real hard time beating Kennedy Kithuka at NCAAs, but if anyone can do it, it is Lalang.

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III

“I don’t think two hours is going to be broken in the next 10 years or even beyond that, maybe even 100 years … The rumours actually started because my sponsor are working on a shoe called ‘Sub Two-Hour.’ They keep working on that, and that’s how the rumours started. I never actually said it.”

Mo Farah, putting an end to the stupid sub-two talk that has been mentioned by ignorant members of the British press in association with his marathon debut.

More: Mo Farah Downplays Suggestions That He Could Break 2-Hours In The Marathon, Saying That’s “Crazy”

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IV

“I entered the 1500m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene (in 2009) with the singular goal of trying to break the collegiate record at the time of 4:06 …”

“My (3:59.90) effort at Pre was a paradigm shift for my career in several ways. It certainly changed how the sport perceived me. I was no longer just a steeplechaser. It also, more slowly, changed how I perceived myself. As the achievement of breaking four minutes as a collegiate slowly settled on me, I began to realize I could have the opportunity to set the course of my career.”

Jenny Simpson talking to the IAAF about how she’s even surprised herself with her racing.

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V

“I remember saying to my coach (prior to the World Championship 1500 final), very pragmatically, on the way to the track, ‘well, 25 per cent of us will leave tonight with a medal.’ I really didn’t think in that moment I was going to be one of that 25 per cent, but I wasn’t counting myself out either.”

– Simpson telling the IAAF about another time she surprised herself in a major way as she won gold in 2011.

More: Jenny Simpson Talks To The IAAF About Her Career And The Race That First Made Her Realize She Had A Future Outside The Steeplechase

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VI

“It wasn’t the ($5,500) prize that brought me here, but Haile’s name. He is our inspiration. I’ve raced him many times [2006 Berlin Marathon and 2008 Dubai Marathon] and I came here for the honour of claiming the title of the first HGS winner.”

– 2:07:35 marathoner Gudisa Shentema explaining to the IAAF why he ran and won the first Haile Gebrselassie Marathon in Ethiopia. Shentema’s winning time at 5,500+ feet of altitude was 2:15.

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VII

“What I try to explain to people about the film – most everything that you needed to know about Lance’s doping was already known. And not only known, but published. The USADA report had a level of granular detail, and some first-person testimony that Walsh didn’t get, but there was a tremendous amount of detail in Walsh’s book.

I think the really interesting thing with the story, and in a way what the film is about, is the anatomy of a lie. How does a lie hide in plain sight? There was so much evidence staring everybody in the face and yet so many people wanted to believe the beautiful lie, rather than the ugly truth.”

Alex Gibney, documentarian behind the new film The Armstrong Lie, in an interview with one of the most ardent critics, Paul Kimmage, who lost his job because of Armstrong.

More: Paul Kimmage sits down with Lance Armstrong Documentarian Alex Gibney and asks, “How does a lie hide in plain sight?”

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VIII

“(The cancer) allowed him to feel as if he had a sense of righteousness about his lie, so he could lie big. And he could involve all cancer survivors in that lie by saying, ‘How dare you say that I, as a cancer survivor, would ever use performance-enhancing drugs.’ He felt he had a licence to do that because he actually did care about cancer survivors, and he did give money to them. So he created this beautiful lie and when it’s uncovered, suddenly Mister Perfect becomes Mister Awful and everything he has done is terrible, and it’s just not my view of humanity. Because again, dealing with a far more horrific story, the story of clerical sex abuse, you see the enormous good that the church does, and you can’t pretend that that isn’t good, but it doesn’t excuse the clerical abuse. You know what I’m saying?”

– A second quote from Alex Gibney when interviewed by Paul Kimmage.

More: Paul Kimmage sits down with Lance Armstrong Documentarian Alex Gibney and asks, “How does a lie hide in plain sight?”

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Recommended Reads

Paul Kimmage sits down with Lance Armstrong Documentarian Alex Gibney and asks, “How does a lie hide in plain sight?”

More: Chicago Tribune From 1996 On Anne Hannam: Running On Empty: “In that magical summer and fall of 1988, Anne Hannam ran nine road races from Alaska to Massachusetts, won all nine and set seven course records. She also weighed 96 pounds and was starving herself slowly …”
LRC Forums: Whatever Happened to Anne Hannam?

Good Read: Jenny Simpson Talks To The IAAF About Her Career And The Race That First Made Her Realize She Had A Future Outside The Steeplechase

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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 10/21:

“I had no set game plan. I just wanted to run as strong as I could until I couldn’t anymore. I’m just ecstatic.”

Lanni Marchant after setting the new Canadian women’s national record of 2:28:00 in Toronto. Her previous PR was just 2:31:51 and she ran 3:01:54 in Moscow.


Sunday 10/20:

“I wanted to come back so bad though because I was getting really sad being away. I’m happy I did those meets because I broke this period of stillness and my confidence came back. I saw it’s not impossible to jump again. … You don’t know how much you miss it until it’s taken away from you, but I think that we all need to be taken away from the things we love the most and we are, usually, at some point. You learn how to appreciate it more.”

– Former World high jump champion Blanka Vlasic talking about her extensive time away from the sport due to injury and how much more she appreciated it when she came back.


Saturday 10/19:

“I don’t know what I did to [be] number two. In fact, I want to conduct a research on how I always end up second even when I’m so prepared like last Sunday. Of course, it is not a bad position but the missed chances leave you wondering what is wrong.”

– London Marathon course record holder Emmanuel Mutai talking after becoming the fastest loser in history (on a record-eligible course) with his 2:03:52 as the runner-up in Chicago last Sunday about his tendency to finish 2nd in major marathons. After seven second-place finishes at major marathons in the last seven years, he has earned a reputation as the “eternal bridesmaid.”


Friday 10/18:

“After 38 years of running marathons I’ve decided this is a good place to stop putting in the 70-mile-plus training weeks that it takes for me to run this fast.”

– 61-year-old 5-time Olympic Trials qualifier Doug Kurtis talking about how this weekend’s Detroit Marathon, where he will go for his 200th career sub-3 hour marathon, will be the last running accomplishment of his carrer. In addition to 199 sub-3 hour marathons, Kurtis has ran an amazing 76 sub-2:20 marathons and has a PR of 2:13. *Runner’s World Article On Kurtis


Thursday 10/17:

“After 38 years of running marathons I’ve decided this is a good place to stop putting in the 70-mile-plus training weeks that it takes for me to run this fast.”

– 61-year-old 5-time Olympic Trials qualifier Doug Kurtis talking about how this weekend’s Detroit Marathon, where he will go for his 200th career sub-3 hour marathon, will be the last running accomplishment of his carrer. In addition to 199 sub-3 hour marathons, Kurtis has ran an amazing 76 sub-2:20 marathons and has a PR of 2:13. *Runner’s World Article On Kurtis


Wednesday 10/16:

“I don’t think two hours is going to be broken in the next 10 years or even beyond that, maybe even 100 years, because if you think about it, it’s really difficult. The rumours actually started because my sponsor are working on a shoe called ‘Sub Two-Hour.’ They keep working on that, and that’s how the rumours started. I never actually said it.”

Mo Farah quelling rumors that he was going to attempt at a sub-2 hour marathon at the London Marathon next year or that he even thinks it possible for himself.


Tuesday 10/15:

“I won’t sleep before I have cleared the world record, maybe next year.”

– Ukraine’s world high jump champion Bohdan Bondarenko talking after being named European male athlete of the year about eventually getting the world record. He jumped 2.41m this year and the world record is 2.45m.


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