Week In Review: The Bold Galen Rupp And Mary Cain, Bye-Bye Alan Webb, Marathoning’s New Era, Can Ryan Hill Challenge Rupp? And Much More

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The Week That Was – January 20 – 26, 2014

by LetsRun.com
January 28, 2014

Previous versions of the Week That Was can be found here.

During the week last week, we provided a lot of analysis as it happened. We don’t repeat much of that here, so if you missed it, you can experience it at the following links:

Mary Cain/Galen Rupp/NOP race in Boston coverage, our 2014 Dubai Marathon Coverage, Glasgow recap: Glasgow International Match: Bernard Lagat, Chris O’Hare, Laura Muir And Hellen Obiri All Win.

Questions? Comments? Email us.

Galen Rupp After His 2 Mile AR

Galen Rupp After His 2 Mile AR (Click for photo gallery)

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Galen Rupp And Mary Cain: “Fortune Favors The Bold”

The biggest news on LRC for the week was Galen Rupp running the 8:07.41 for two miles in Boston to beat Bernard Lagat’s American record of  8:09.49 and high schooler Mary Cain running 4:24.11 to miss by an agonizing .01 the world junior record in the mile. We covered the races extensively at the links above and in our event coverage here, so we won’t rehash them.

Rupp getting the American record was not a surprise at all; the big surprise was his splits during the race and his words after that indicated he was actually after Kenenisa Bekele‘s world record of 8:04.35. Rupp faded at the end and came up three seconds short.

Cain faded at the end too, and missed the world junior record by just .01. However, her splits and the talk before the race also indicate Cain’s ultimate goal wasn’t the world junior record, but drug cheat Mary Slaney‘s American record of 4:20.5. We thought before hand Slaney’s American record was way too ambitious a goal and were proven right. The faster early pace likely cost Cain the world junior record.

The point of this blurb is not to say we were right, but rather to praise Rupp and Cain for going for something we thought was unattainable. The motto of this website is after all “Where Your Dreams Become Reality.” Virgil said “Fortune favours the bold.

Greatness is not achieved and dreams do not become reality by only achieving what others thought was possible. Thumbs Up to Rupp and Cain for going for it.

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Alan Webb Hangs ‘Em Up

With all these changes, we can’t go back. Were there mistakes made? Yes. Stupid decisions. Definitely. What’s done is done and the only thing we have is now and the future. Could Alan possibly keep plugging along getting the formula right to train and maybe run 3:53 in the mile or 13:15 for 5K? Possibly. Would anyone really care? Likely not…

There’s big competition (in the triathlon) but big hope. The 2012 Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee from Great Britain raced in the 10,000m at Stanford to run 28:32 this past spring. Not discounting the strength of these guys in the water and bike. It is just exciting to know Alan has a chance. The thought of racing this sport brings him excitement.

- Julia Webb, blogging about her husband Alan, who after running the Millrose Games mile, is going to end his track career to focus on the triathlon.

The fact that Alan Webb‘s pending retirement from running leaked out last week during a week with a ton of action was a bit of a bummer, as to be honest, we probably should devote the entire website to Alan Webb for an entire week. If one athlete is associated with the history of LetsRun.com, it’s Alan Webb.

Webb Wins In Paris

The recent resurgence in American distance running was kick-started by the three stars of the HS Class of 2001 - Alan Webb, Dathan Ritzenhein and Ryan Hall. All three have had success as pros, but no one captivated your attention like Alan Webb.

Webb’s career coincided almost perfectly with the history of little LetsRun.com. Little LRC came onto the scene in 2000, which was the start of Webb’s magical senior year. Webb broke 4:00 for the first time in 2001 (in front of a LetsRun.com singlet), and then for a decade captivated the LetsRun.com audience.

Webb’s career had its ups and downs, but for the longest time, whenever he raced, he was the one athlete whom the staff at LetsRun.com had to know what he did. We never knew what we would see, but Webb’s brilliance captivated us, while his flame-outs reminded us of our humanity.

Then something happened over the last couple of years – seeing Webb race was no longer must-see TV. We’re not sure exactly when that happened (anyone remember Webb beating Galen Rupp in a 5k just 3 years and 2 months ago?), and we didn’t know it at the time, but it was time for Webb to move on.

Alan is the first of the “big three” to move on from running but we’ll still be following him closely in the triathlon. Webb’s wife, Julia is correct when she wrote, “It was funny that 2 of the 5 people to ever break 4 in high school are now on the same path.”

Webb, of course, now joins Lukas Verzbicas in the triathlon.

More: Alan Webb’s Wife Blogs On His Career Change From Track To Triathlon
*MB: Webb’s Wife’s Blog on His Career Change

 

We’ll Miss You On The Track, Alan

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Weekly Free Training Advice From Julia Webb

“What makes some guys the best is they find what works for them and stick to that plan. Bernard Lagat may be 39 years old, but he has got the ‘what works for Bernard Lagat plan down.'”

- Julia Webb acknowledging that mistakes were made by her husband Alan during his career, who was infamous for being impatient. Julia added that “even with Scott Raczko, Alan had his best years, but there was still a lack of consistency in their training plans which resulted in roller-coaster results.”

If you have a training plan that is resulting in steady improvement and consistent performances in the biggest meets of the year, stick with it. Yes, things can always be tinkered with but there is something to be said for dancing with the one that brought you.

With Webb, however, the single point of “failure” (let’s make it clear, we definitely are not calling Webb’s career a failure; using term “failure” with someone who ran 1:43 for 800, 3:46 for the mile, 8:11 for 2 miles, 13:10 for 5,000 and 27:34 for 10,000 is absurd) was the training that brought him to the top, which featured incredible workouts, was unsustainable in the long term. Yes, some times – even some years, Webb could hammer the crap out of things, everything went perfectly well, and he ran out of this world. But was that training repeatable? Year after year, season after season? Probably not.

We’ll always remember getting a call from author Chris Lear, who was working on a story on Alan Webb for Running Times during Webb’s freshman year at Michigan when Chris said, “You won’t believe the workouts this guy is doing. They are simply incredible.” We responded, “Of course the workouts are great. He’s a 3:53 high school miler.” Chris responded along the lines of, “No, it’s even better than I would have imagined.” Chris was so impressed he ended up moving to Michigan to chronicle the rest of Webb’s year at Michigan in Sub 4:00: Alan Webb and the Quest for the Fastest Mile.

To call Webb’s intensity a “failure” really isn’t fair. Without the intensity there would not have been Alan Webb. If Webb hadn’t been super-intense and trained like a madman early in his career, he wouldn’t have run 3:53 in high school, he would never have been on Letterman, and he wouldn’t be the phenomenon that was/is Alan Webb.

Webb was Webb because he ran 3:53 in high school. Normal kids don’t do that. Extremely talented kids don’t do that. Only Alan Webb did it.

Taking the patient route wouldn’t have necessarily guaranteed any more success for Alan.  In 2007, at age 24, Webb ran 3:30.54 – a time he never got within 5 seconds of again. Andrew Wheating ran 3:30.90 at age 22 in 2010 three years ago. And he’s stuck with the same coach and training plan (until recently) but hasn’t come within three seconds of that either. It’s not easy to run 3:30 – end of story.

Want to see some of Webb’s famous intensity and his talent? Well we encourage you to take 10 minutes to enjoy the videos below. On the left, you see Webb battle it out in the 2007 USA final between Webb, Lagat, Manzano and Chris Lukezic. Be sure to watch what Webb does after the finish line as the primal screen represents the best of Alan Webb for us. You can’t coach that type of passion. On the right, you see Webb battle it out later that summer at Paris DL.

Alan, you will be missed. We hope to see you dominating the triathlon soon.

“And Webb surges to the front.”
“Webb wins the 1,500.”

“This would be a famous victory.”
“A marvelous win for Alan Webb.”

More: Alan Webb’s Wife Blogs On His Career Change From Track To Triathlon
*MB: Webb’s Wife’s Blog on His Career Change

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Ranking The Three Marathon Majors That Are Coming Up

The fields for all three of the upcoming Marathon Majors – February’s Tokyo and April’s London and Boston marathons are now set as last week Boston released its international field, as did Tokyo, and London released it’s women’s field.

TFN’s Top 10 Women’s World Marathon Rankings/Spring Marathon
1. Priscah Jeptoo – London
2. Rita Jeptoo – Boston
3. Edna Kiplagat – London
4. Jemima Jelagat – Boston
5. Aberu Kebede – ??
6. FLorence Kiplagat – London
7. Sharon Cherop – Boston
8. Tirfe Tsegaye – Tokyo
9. Feysa Tadesse – London
10. Valeria Staneo – ??TFN’s Top 10 World Men’s Marathon Rankings/Spring Marathon1. Lelisa Desisa – Boston
2. Dennis Kimetto – Boston
3. Wilson Kipsang – London
4. Tsegaye Kebede – London
5. Emmanuel Mutai – London
6. Stephen Kiprotich – London
7. Tadesse Tola – Tokyo
8. Geoffrey Mutai – London
9. Eliud Kipchoge -??
10. Berhanu Shiferaw – ??
The World’s 10 Fastest Women From 2013/
Spring Marathon Choice

1 2:19:57 Rita Jeptoo – Boston
2 2:20:15 Priscah Jeptoo – London
3 2:20:48 Jemima Jelagat – Boston
4 2:21:06 Feysa Tadesse – London
5 2:21:13 Florence Kiplagat – London
6 2:21:32 Edna Kiplagat – London
7 2:22:28 Sharon Cherop – Boston
8 2:22:34 Caroline Kilel – Boston
9 2:22:46 Mariya Konovalova – ??
10 2:23:00 Filomena Chepchirchir – BostonThe World’s Sub 2:06 Guys in 2013/
2014 Spring Marathon

1 2:03:23 Wilson Kipsang – London
2 2:03:45 Dennis Kimetto – Boston
3 2:03:52 Emmanuel Mutai – London
4 2:04:05 Eliud Kipchoge – ??
5 2:04:45 Lelisa Desisa – Boston
6 2:04:48 Berhanu Shiferaw – ??
7 2:04:49 Tadesse Tola – Tokyo
8 2:04:52 Endeshaw Negesse – ??
9 2:04:53 Bernard Koech – ??
10 2:05:16 Sammy Kitwara – Tokyo
11 2:05:36 Wilson Chebet – ??
12 2:05:38 Peter Some – Tokyo
13 2:05:38 Tilahun Regassa – Boston

And of course don’t forget the debuts of Dibaba, Jeilan and Farah in London. Ranking them in terms of quality, it’s certainly seems to be London 1, Boston 2, and Tokyo 3.

More: *Elite Fields Announced For 2014’s 1st Major (Feb. 23rd) Finally Released
*4 Quick Takes – Priscah Jeptoo To Try To Defend As Tirunesh Dibaba Debuts At Star-Studded 2014 London Marathon
*Three Thoughts About The 2014 Boston Marathon Field

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Goodbye, Track & Field Careers – A Teen Runs Back-To-Back Half Marathon PRs To Win $200,000 And Run 2:04

Tsegaye Mekonnen On His Way to Winning $200,000 (click for photo gallery)

Tsegaye Mekonnen On His Way To Winning $200,000 (click for photo gallery)

Speaking of quality marathons, the richest marathon in terms of prize money – the 2014 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon – was held last week with its $200,000 first place prize.

And yet again, for the third straight year, there was an attention-earning victory on the men’s side by an Ethiopian making his debut.

This time, it was totally unheralded Tsegaye Mekonnen, who came in with PRs of 13:44 (world junior bronze medallist), 28:36 (road) and 62:53 (half) but left with a 2:04:32 world junior record.

Yes, a guy with a 62:53 half marathon PR ran a 2:04:32 marathon. Mekonnen ran the first half in Dubain in 61:39 and then followed that up with a 62:53 second half. So two half marathon PRs back to back in a marathon. That’s incredible. And to top it off, Mekonnen is officially only 18.

What do we think of it? First of all, it’s truly amazing. We know some of you likely doubt his age being just 18 (more on that later) but what can’t be denied is Mekonnen was a total novice at the longer distances, yet he showed no fear in running the marathon and took home it’s richest prize. Split a half marathon PR and keep going and do it again? Why not?

Other than it being amazing, our main thought is he unofficially marked the culmination of younger and younger talents moving to the marathon.

In 2007, Sammy Wanjiru moved to the marathon at age 21. At the time, many thought such a talent was too young. But Wanjiru showed you don’t have to be old to be super-successful and his bold, aggressive running in Beijing seemingly eliminated the last vestiges of fear and respect that runners used to hold for the 26.2 distance. Ever since Wanjiru, the name of the game in the marathon has been attack, attack, attack and at younger and younger ages.

Runner’s can’t get much younger or much faster than Mekonnen.

Now, given the past age cheating that has occurred with African runners, we know some of you will doubt his official age. That’s fine – it doesn’t really matter to us. Even if he was 21, his accomplishment would be truly amazing and shows that the sport of distance running is all about the marathon as that’s where the money is. But as for him being 18, please at least give yourself a chance to believe and check out our photo gallery of him: 2014 Dubai Marathon Photo Gallery. He looks pretty young to us.

Mekonnen was 5th at the world juniors in the 5000m in 2012. He didn’t even bother with trying to have a successful track career. He immediately took a shot at the marathon and took home $200,000.

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Speaking of 18-year-old marathoners … the idea of them being super-successful with verified ages isn’t out of the question. Japan’s Hitomi Niiya, who led most of the Olympic 10,000 final in 2012 and was 5th in Moscow in 2013, surprisingly retired last week at the young age of 25. Yes, the 5th placer in Moscow is out of the sport. She did run three marathons during her short career – one at 18 (a win in Tokyo in 2:31:01) one at age 20 (2:32:19) and one at 21 (2:30:58).

More: LRC Unheralded Tsegaye Mekonnen – Just 18 – Pulls Off A Shocker And Crushes Everyone In Dubai In 2:04:32, Setting The World Junior Record

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Stat Of The Week I

0 - number of words in the Boston Globe on Galen Rupp’s American 5,000m record last week and two-mile record this week according to a Google News search. Galen’s runs have captivated the hard-core running audience and LRC, but not the population at large. There’s still time for Galen to switch plans to go after the American mile record in two weeks on national TV at the New Balance Grand Prix instead of at Boston University. At the very least, there is time for the Nike PR department to talk to the Globe. We hope running isn’t so niche now that records set are totally ignored by the mainstream media.

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Mula Seboka Wins $200k

Mula Seboka Wins $200k

Stat Of The Week II

29 - number of marathons that Mula Seboka had run before last Friday when she went from journey woman to Dubai champion and $200,000 winner.

Yes, that’s right. It was the 30th marathon of her career.

As we wrote in our updated Dubai recap, until recently, for the most part, Seboka had been content to run lesser tier marathons – three per year most years – and picked up prize money. In the past, she’s won Mumbai (three times), Toronto, been the runner-up at Twin Cities, etc. But heading into 2012, she had a 2:29:06 PR from winning Toronto in 2008. In 2012, she improved to 2:25:45 when she was 11th in Dubai in one of four marathons she ran that year – we guess she had to run an extra one since she didn’t earn anything in Dubai (she was 11th). Last year, she only ran two marathons and her time improved to 2:23:43 in getting second in Daegu. Now she’s the Dubai champion.

More: LRC Mula Seboka Gets Surprise Victory In Women’s Race At 2014 Dubai Marathon In 2:25:01

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Stat Of The Week III/Proof Positive That Life’s Not Fair

29:04 - opening 10km split of the men’s marathon that a ridiculous 26 men hit in Dubai, where only the top 10 earned prize money (2:09:53 after going out in 1:01.39).
29:32 – 3rd place in the men’s 10k in Dubai (held as part of the marathon weekend) – a result that paid $1,000.

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Britain’s Got Some Great Young Talent As Well

In addition to focusing mostly on mid-d and distance action, LetsRun.com also skews its focus towards American distance running since that’s what most of our viewers are interested in. But we do our best not to forget our UK fans as London, England is actually the #2 city in the world for LetsRun.

And last week, as we were watching the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International match on Saturday morning on the BBC, we were struck by the fact that the GBR has two big young talents.

In the men’s mile, former NCAA star Chris O’Hare got a narrow win over Charlie Grice. Grice, the European U-23 silver medalist, just turned 20 in November but already has a 3:38.13 achieved at age 19.

For comparison’s sake, the fastest 1500 pb of anyone in the US with a birthday from 1993 like Grice is Robbie Creese‘s 3:41.03. In 2013, the US had 28 men go 3:38 or faster last year but the youngest was 22-year old Trevor Dunbar.
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In women’s action, we gave out praise to Mary Cain as in Boston she ran 4:24.11 – which is basically equivalent to her 1,500 PR of 4:04.62 – and showed she’s not going backwards in 2014. Well, the same can be true for Britain’s 20-year-old Laura Muir. In Scotland, Muir basically equaled her outdoor PR as she ran 2:00.94 – a new Scottish indoor record (her outdoor best is 2:00.80).

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Performance Of The Week That No One Noticed/A Potential Challenger To Galen Rupp?

A lot of American distance runners are in great shape to start 2014, but one of them is someone no one is talking about. Former NC State star Ryan Hill had a great debut for Jerry Schumacher last week. Schumacher and crew flew out to Albuquerque to get a test run at altitude for the USA champs, which will be held there in a month. And Ryan Hill was pretty spectacular.

First, he won the mile in 3:59.00, beating Lopez Lomong in the process. Then he came back a little more than 2 hours later and won the 800 in a 1:50.22 PR.

Now 1:50 and 3:59 may not seem all that impressive given Hill is already pretty studly and did run 3:54.89 last year indoors and 13:14 outdoors.

But you are forgetting the fact that it was done at altitude. If Hill were in the NCAA, the NCAA would convert his 3:59.00 to 3:53.80 and the 1:50.22 to 1:49.61.

Could Hill actually challenge Rupp at USAs in a few months? That may seem crazy to ask given the fact Rupp has set two American records, running 13:01 and 8:07 the last two weeks, but remember two things:

1) Championship races are often tactical.
2) Rupp doesn’t have the greatest history in Albuquerque. Four years ago, he lost to a freshman walk-on in an 800 there before finishing as the runner-up to Bernard Lagat in the 3,000 there later in the year at USAs. Two years ago, he was just third at USAs in both the 1,500 and 3,000 (remember for Indoors, there are only two Worlds spots per country). In both the 1,500 and 3,000, Rupp admittedly lost to total studs (Leo and Centro in the 1,500, Lagat and Lopez in the 3,000).

One thing worth considering. Given the fact that Bernard Lagat is the reigning world indoor 3000 champ, we’re assuming that means the US will get 3 entrants in the 3000, not just 2 that normally go, but aren’t 100% certain if that’s how it works indoors. If you know, please email us. Update: A visitor has emailed us and said the defending champ doesn’t get an Auto spot like outdoors so it’s a max of two per country as explained here. The IAAF has confirmed it as well.

One other guy who had a good showing at altitude last week was Will Leer. He ran 8:08.69 for 3,000 in Flagstaff, which converts to 7:48.37 according to the NCAA.

More: Ryan Hill 3:59/1:50 double at altitude in ABQ (and a Lawi sighting!) 

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NCAA Performances Of Note/Someone Break Up The Big Green Of Dartmouth

You will find the new NCAA leading marks of note for the mid-d and distance events below, including the first sub-4:00 of the collegiate season, which was put up by Dartmouth’s Will Goeghegan. The 13:55 5,000 runner, who was 14th at NCAA cross (after finishing just 13th at conference as he tried to rebound from a mid-season illness), went into the weekend with a PR of just 4:05.71 PR and left as the Ivy League record holder in the mile at 3:58.04.

That’s a massive 7.67-second personal best. We’ll admit his PR was misleading as he ran that in winning the IC4A title last year indoors but that’s still ridiculous (he also had run 4:05.75 earlier this year on Dartmouth’s flat track, beating Sam Chelanga in the process).

Goeghegan is one of just many Dartmouth runners on top of their game early in indoors in 2014. His teammates Steve Mangan – (Ben True fans pay attention to this guy as this is the senior Mangan’s first season of indoor track as he has cross-country skied every other year) and John Bleday ran 4:01.31 and 4:01.44 in another heat (BU had two equal heats) after going out in 2:03 so the Big Green have 3 of the top 5 milers in the country currently. That obviously won’t hold up once the stud milers get going, but with 7 guys already under 8:20 in the 3,000, one can see how Barry Harwick‘s Big Green are building on their 24th place showing at NCAAs.

One other thing about the NCAA. The times to get into NCAAs won’t be as stiff this year as in year’s past as the NCAA finally got smart and eliminated the last chance meet. Last chance meets resulted in enormous expenditures by college teams. Think about it. Every good team would spend a few thousand trying to chase a mark. But the reason why they are thing of the past is the NCAA got tired of having to shell out a fortune for plane tickets to NCAAs (the NCAA pays for NCAA expenses) with less than a week’s notice. Now the NCAA can purchase some advance fare tickets and save some money.

It’s a win-win for everyone. The college athletes don’t get over-raced, the schools save money as they don’t have to pay to go to last chance meets, the NCAA saves money and the coaches get a rare weekend where they don’t have to go to a track meet. Imagine that. A weekend off.

If only the NCAA and the coaches would get smart and limit recruiting in a similar fashion. If recruiting started in August, not July, then NCAA coaches would actually get to enjoy one month off with no NCAA track activity. Instead, coaches have track every single month of the year. NCAAs/USAs go through June. Recruiting starts in July and XC in August.

It could be worse, recruiting for women’s soccer starts now in middle school.

Laura Roesler Made the Olympic Trials as a High Schooler

Speaking of the women, Oregon’s Laura Roesler had a tremendous weekend highlighted by her running 2:01.32 for 800, the #2 time in NCAA history indoors.  The day before she split 2:02.5 on the DMR and ran a leg of the 4 x 400. The NCAA Indoor record is Nicole Cook’s 2:00.75 from 2005.

Mile
1 Rotich, Anthony JR-3 UTEP 3:55.86 @ UNM Cherry & Silver Invite *converted from 4:01.11
2 Geoghegan, Will JR-3 Dartmouth 3:58.04 Boston University John Thomas Terrier

3,000
1 Shrader, Brian JR-3 Northern Arizona 7:51.48 @ NAU Invitational *converted from 8:11.94
2 Gillespie, Matthew SR-4 Iona 7:52.24 Boston University John Thomas Terrier
3 Peters, Rich JR-3 Boston U. 7:52.61 Boston University John Thomas Terrier

5,000

1 Korolev, Maksim SR-4 Harvard 13:42.56 Boston University John Thomas Terrier

Women 800
1 Roesler, Laura SR-4 Oregon 2:01.32 Rod McCravy Memorial Track & Field Meet

Mile
1 D’Agostino, Abbey SR-4 Dartmouth 4:28.31 Boston University John Thomas Terrier
2 Nagel, Laura JR-3 Providence 4:36.89 Boston University John Thomas Terrier
3 Burne, Olivia SR-4 Stony Brook 4:38.10 Boston University John Thomas Terrier
4 Peel, Georgia SO-2 Florida State 4:38.41 @ UNM Cherry & Silver Invite

3,000
1 Olson, Mara JR-3 Butler 9:08.83 Gladstein Invitational

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Kim Conley 4:24.54 Armory Record!

Kim Conley 4:24.54 Armory Record!

Kim Conley: The Next Kara/Shalane?

While Mary Cain’s near world junior record in the mile rightfully got most of the attention this week, Kim Conley, nearly ran as fast in the mile at the New Balance Games in New York.

“I was a little surprised [that nobody was close], but I was kind of happy.”

- US Olympic 5,000 runner Kim Conley talking about the big 4-second lead she had in the mile at the New Balance Games at the Armory on Saturday. Conley held on to a comfortable victory in a big PR of 4:24.54 clocking, shattering the old facility record 4:27.02.

In the process of running a 4:04 high equivalent for 1500, Conley also split 4:05.70 for 1500, which is faster than the 1500 pb of Shalane Flanagan and almost as fast as Kara Goucher‘s 1,500 PR 4:05.12.

More: *LRC Photo Gallery *RRW Recap New Balance Games At The Armory: Kim Conley, Lee Manuel, Duane Solomon And Ajee Wilson All Get Wins *Results

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

#1
Rupp Wanted The World Record

“I thought I had a shot to run for the world record. That definitely was our goal coming in, but I’m very happy to get the American record. It’s very special. It’s fun to have everything from 3k up (indoors) to kind of unify it I guess.”

- Galen Rupp talking after setting the American record by running 8:07.41.

More: LRC Galen Rupp Gets Back The American Two-Mile Record, Runs 8:07.41 In Boston
*LRC Photo Gallery
*LRC
Interviews With Galen Rupp And Alberto Salazar After Rupp’s Record Run
*LRC Galen Rupp’s 8:07.41 Two Mile Record Broken Down – Lap by Lap Splits

#2
California Guys Have No Idea What They Are Doing On An Indoor Track/Thank Goodness This Guy Is An 800-Meter Runner And Not A 10ker

“Me and my coach [Johnny Gray] didn’t really have a race plan. It was more of getting the feel of the race. With a lap to go, I kind of lost track of what lap I was on … I never picked it up because I was lost.”

- Duane Solomon talking after winning the 600 in New York last week in 1:16.67 – that’s just 3 laps.

Speaking of Duane, he revealed that this was his only indoor race of the season. With no outdoor global championships in 2014, we’re a bit surprised Duane wouldn’t try and run World Indoors in March in Poland.

More: RRW Recap New Balance Games At The Armory: Kim Conley, Lee Manuel, Duane Solomon And Ajee Wilson All Get Wins *Results

#3
Running Didn’t Used To Require A Maniacal Devotion To Be The World’s Best

“Our group was the last generation who were lucky enough just to be at the top of the sport while having it only as a recreation,” he told the Washington Post. “A very serious recreation to be sure – we worked hard at it, but we had other work as well.” Chataway claimed he trained for no more than an hour a day, for six months a year. He smoked cigarettes then and, after he broke the world record for the 5,000 metres in October 1954, his Russian rivals were surprised to see him lighting a large cigar at the reception.

- Excerpt on the late Chris Chataway in a column on him by Len Johnson on Australia’s Runner’s Tribe.

#4
Winning Is Always The Dream, Isn’t It?

Garrett Heath (l) running with Lee Emanuel on Saturday. *More New Balance Games Photos

Garrett Heath was seated next to a group of elite high school boys for breakfast on the morning of the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country race on Jan. 11.

“It must feel great to be in a race with (Asbel) Kiprop and (Kenenisa) Bekele,” one of the younger runners said.

Heath, a former All-American at Stanford and one of America’s top professional milers, paused for a moment and then offered: “You know what would be even better? To beat those guys.”

- excerpt from a story on Heath on ArmoryTrack.com. For the record, Heath did winhe won the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country race and last week he kicked off his 2013 campaign with a 3:54 mile.

#5 A Little Hyperbole

“That’s the biggest race I’ve ever won.”

- Two-time NCAA indoor mile champion Lee Emanuel talking after winning the New Balance Games mile last week at the Armory in 3:54. We think Emmanuel should be excited with his great start to the season, but a victory at NCAAs is way, way bigger.

More: *LRC Photo Gallery *RRW Recap New Balance Games At The Armory: Kim Conley, Lee Manuel, Duane Solomon And Ajee Wilson All Get Wins *Results
MB: Lee Emanuel and Garrett Heath Both Run 3:54 at Armory

#6
Did Lolo Really Earn Her Way Onto The Team?

I should have been working harder on gaining Twitter followers than gaining muscle mass.”

- Bobsled Olympic hopeful Emily Azevedo, talking after Lolo Jones was chosen for the 2014 Olympics over her. Azevedo believes Jones was chosen for her marketability.

#7
Get Back To Us At Mile 20

“I don’t want to end my career in the 800m. The journey has just started. Insha’Allah [Arabic for ‘If God wills’], I will continue my career right up to the marathon distance.”

- 800 world champion Mo Aman talking to Spikes Mag about his future plans. Good luck with the marathon is all we have to say. Someone record this, we’ll give out $1,042.37 to charity (1:42.37 is Aman’s PR) if he ever breaks 2:10:00 in a marathon

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Head To Pittsburgh, My Friend

The Dick’s Sporting Good Pittsburgh Marathon program has put some more cash into its American Development Program. So if you are looking for a May marathon, here is one to consider:

The first male and female finishers receive $8000, regardless of their citizenship. USA athletes can also earn money from a separate, 5-deep purse: $4500-3500-2500-1500-1000 (minimum times of 2:25/men and 2:50/women required). The accompanying half-marathon also has a 5-deep USA purse: $3,000-2,000-1,000-750-500.

More: http://www.pittsburghmarathon.com/American_Development_Progra

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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 1/20:

“Not by choice he is no longer with Nike and realistically will no longer be looking to make any World Championships or Olympics on the track. Since 2007, it has been a bumpy road with so many twists, turns and setbacks that has left Alan unable to recover to his full strength he once had. Witnessing someone continue to exert the same drive and discipline in his training day in, and day out without success has been tough. One disappointment after another and failure to fulfill his potential with his talent has not been for lack of effort. It is unsustainable to continue fighting especially from a psychological standpoint. At this point it makes no sense to keep driving the nail into the ground to leave him bitter. Its been a great run and Alan is very grateful for the success he has had.”

- Julia Webb blogging about her husband Alan‘s decision to retire from track and field and move to the triathlon. This is a great blog post which talks about some of the “mistakes” and “stupid decisions” Alan’s made during his career and hypothesizes what success he might have in the 3-sport event. MB: Webb’s Wife’s Blog on His Career Change


Sunday 1/26:

- Kenyan journalist Charles Nyende calling the athletes complaining about paying taxes on their prize money selfish. He says they should pay their taxes like all the teachers, doctors, policemen and everyone else whose profession helps the country.


Saturday 1/25:

“I was pushing myself too hard.”

“Athletes’ worst enemies are themselves. You are on that knife edge all the time. You end up reading a tweet or seeing something on Facebook or TV and an athlete has had a good race and you think ‘I need to work harder.’”

“It’s a good trait but you’ve got to keep the reins on it and I didn’t keep my reins tight enough.”

“I did my fourth work-out that week and my hamstring packed in on me. I had to take two weeks entirely off running and it was another three weeks until I was back fully training.”

- Chris O’Hare talking about how he overdid it last year and ended up not being a factor at Worlds despite being in 3:52 shape indoors. A wiser O’Hare started his 2014 campaign today in the Scotland vs. GB vs. USA vs. Commonwealth team with a narrow victory at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match.


Friday 1/24:

“Luckily, my freshman year I’ll still have these junior records. But when I get on the line, I’m not thinking I’m a 17-year-old. I’m thinking I’m a competitor, I’m competing against you. I don’t care if you’re 32 or 15, I’m racing you. And so I think it’s one of those things where it won’t be any different for me. I think kids who go from high school to college to professional, the transition is very different. For me, I did this last year. I want to do it this year, and then by the time I’m 27, same races, same meets, hopefully faster, but kind of the same thing.”

- Mary Cain talking about the transition from high school running to being a professional. Tonight she’ll race Treniere Moser, Shannon Rowbury, Jordan Hasay and Abbey D’Agostino in the mile at the BU Terrier Invitational.


Thursday 1/23:

“The executives heard the running community – our participants, our customers, our reason for being – loud and clear. We looked at who we are, who we represent in the industry, who we want to be and where we came from. We realized that last fall we didn’t strike the right balance in supporting the sport.”

- Competitor Group senior vice president Tracy Sundlun announcing that the organization is reversing its decision from the fall and will reinstate appearance fees for its elite athletes with immediate effect.
*LRC Archive: No, Thank You: We Don’t Need Competitor Running The Vast Majority Of Big Running Events In This Country


Wednesday 1/22:

“At the age of twenty-five, we started our family and so running took a back seat. I gave up work, became a house husband and brought up my two daughters. I just used running to keep fit and raced only very occasionally.”

- 44-year-old Andy Ward, who had a 30:20 PR from age 25 to 44. Now at age 44, he’s gone sub-30.
Discuss: MB: Be inspired: Meet Andy Ward: The Brit had a 30:20 age pb from age 25 to 44. Now he’s sub 30:00.


Tuesday 1/21:

“Running that last stretch into Brighton, passing runner after runner, it gave one a feeling of almost supernatural ability. I never had that before or since. I always think it’s the nearest I came to being one of the gods.”

- GB’s recently-passed former 5,000m World Record holder Chris Chataway, talking about running the 1950 London-to-Brighton Road Relay as a teenager. The quote comes from a tribute piece by Pat Butcher, who says, “Despite all his later success on the international stage, Chataway recalled that [road relay] as one of the great athletic experiences of his life.”