March 24, 2014
Previous versions of the Week That Was can be found here.
This week we praise Mark Wetmore and Colorado for helping stop the rise in college tuition and Moses Kipsiro for having guts, get pumped up about random shot put videos, tell you why a 1:54 800 is good for an NCAA champ as Frank Shorter tells you Jason Hartmann is too big for the marathon, and decry sexism in Africa and 30-year-old Masters competition in the US.
Questions? Comments? Email us.
Hero Of The Week – Moses Kipsiro
We start this week with praise for the Ugandan runner, who was the 2007 World Championship bronze medallist at 5000 and 2010 Commonwealth gold medalist at 5,000 and 10,000, for a fine action he did of the track. It came out last week that Kipsiro confronted a Ugandan team national coach prior to the African cross country championships (which were held in Uganda) because he was sexually harassing and assaulting female members of Uganda’s team.
Here is Kipsiro’s quote from The Daily Monitor:
“I confronted him but that resulted in a big wrangle. What I discovered after engaging the girls was so shocking. One day, I think it was March 4th; he gathered the junior women’s team in a secret place and told them that to run well, they must have sex or give birth. His theory was that if a woman’s private parts are wide, their legs move easily. I was so shocked to hear such silly talk. Unfortunately some people believe he is a good coach. They continue to defend him.”
The article that the quote comes from includes more horrific allegations. “He has been persuading our ladies to get pregnant and abort at three months so they can run better,” allege the female runners in a typed letter of complaint.
We know sexual assault/harassment takes place all across the globe but this story is so grotesque it’s almost incomprehensible to Western audiences.
It reminds us that Africa is still much more of a chauvinistic place than the US. When LRC’s Wejo was in Kenya in 2007, a Kenyan asked him about the upcoming presidential election. When the topic of Hilary Clinton winning came up, the reply was “No one would respect America with a woman president.”
In researching the sexual assault allegation story, we came across another article from the Ugandan press last week that reminded us how undeveloped Uganda still is. Kipsiro told the press that one of the reasons why the Ugandan team ran very poorly at the African championships was that team members, who aren’t used to having large meals, pigged out on the buffet that was offered to them at the team hotel:
“Because most of these guys are not used to good food, they ate beyond their limits after checking into Imperial Hotel. They were eating excessively. That’s why most of our runners looked so heavy during the race,” said Kipsiro to kawowo.com.
Speaking of Sexism in Africa
Track and field fans may have been surprised to learn in 2008 that Pamela Jelimo was Kenya’s first ever women’s gold medallist at an Olympics. Afterall, many distance fans assume, “Kenya dominates distance running.”
That’s historically been true largely just on the men’s side due to the fact that Kenya is still largely a male dominated society. That became apparent last week when the Parliament in Kenya controversially struck down a provision that required men to get permission from their first wives before marrying a second time.
Check out these quotes two members of Parliament gave to justify their votes as reported by Capital.FM.
“I want my Christian brothers to read the Old Testament, King David and King Solomon never consulted anybody to marry a second wife,” - Aden Duale.
“When you marry an African woman, she must know the second one is on the way and a third wife… this is Africa,” - Junet Mohammed.
Mark Wetmore Helping Slow the Rampant Rise in The Cost of College Attendance
Thumbs up to Colorado for having two guys pick up NCAA regional qualifiers in the 10,000 by running at home at altitude. Pierce Murphy and Morgan Pearson both ran 30:20.57 which will convert to 29:15.83 according to the NCAA. With the cost of college getting higher and higher, maybe the rise in expenditures on track and field will slow down just a tiny bit with the flat track and altitude conversions gaining momentum. There is no need to fly out to California to run super, super fast. Save a few thousand and run fast enough to get into regionals.
Speaking of college results, there was one other interesting result. NCAA distance star Kennedy Kithuka, who didn’t have indoor eligibility this year, returned to action outdoors and dropped down in distance in the 800 and ran 1:54. If you think that’s awful for an NCAA champion, we try to set you straight by telling you how it was a big PR here: 5k/10k ace Kennedy Kithuka returns to NCAA action with 800 – guess his time.
The Absurdity of 30-Year Olds in Masters Competition
The week before last, the US Masters Indoor champs were held in Boston. Part of the meet has become absurd as Masters races now include 30 and 35 year old divisions. It makes zero sense that Masters competition, which used to begin at age 40, is moving down to younger and younger ages every year. With modern medicine and training expertise, the pros are extending their careers longer and longer.
They should cancel those under 40 races once and for all when Bernard Lagat turns 40 next year. With the way he runs indoors, he might be able to set an outright US national record – not Masters record – at age 40.
Here’s a weird stat for you. The M30, M35, M40 and M45 races all had winning times in the 800 of 1:59 something.
Not to say we’ve got anything with 40+ competition. It’s a great way to keep people into the sport but come on – age 30 and 35? Kudos to 62-year old Kathryn Martin of Northport, N.Y for setting world records in both the 800m (2:39.41) and mile (5:47.25) and also winning the 3000 in 11:24.42.
It’s Better Lead and Lose Than To Never Lose
An update on the LetsRun.com genius Chris Reed ‘s NCAA tournament bracket. Chris is the D2 coach who went 16 for 16 on day 1. He had a pretty good day 2 as well as he ended up going 28 and 4 in the first round. However, he struggled in the transition to the sweet 16 as he only successfully predicted 9 of 16.
Don’t write him off yet. While he’s no longer leading the LetsRun.com contest, he’s still got 6 of his final 8 teams still alive and all four of his final four teams.
Regardless, if he does flame out, his story reminds us it’s better to lead a race early and try to do something then sit in the back of the pack, never challenge and still get destroyed. When the 2000 US Olympic Trials 5000 went out painfully slow, LetsRun.com co-founder Wejo got in the front and the LetsRun.com singlet got some national tv exposure. Wejo got destroyed at the end.
It’s Ok To Be Happy For Your Opponents When They Win
Hopefully you came to the website on Monday and saw the quote of the day. How cool was it to see that one competitor actually was happy another one won a race over him. Silver medallist Mohammed Gammoudi was right on the money when he told his daughter to tell Billy Mills about Mills’ 1964 Olympic gold, “(That win) was so powerful (that) he knew that moment was yours. That was your moment.”
Father Of The Year?
The NCAA champs were shown live online on ESPN3. ESPN3 isn’t available in Canada. What did the father of Oregon sprinter Christian Brennan, who hails from Hamilton, Onatrio, do? Well Ken Goe reported he hopped in his car and drove to Buffalo, NY in time to watch his daughter run on Oregon’s 4 x 400 which won in thrilling fashion to give the Ducks the team title.
Fortunately for Brennan, it’s only 60-90 minutes between Hamilton and Buffalo.
7 Quotes of the Week (that weren’t quote of the day)
Frank Shorter on why American men haven’t been rocking the marathon of late:
“America needs to have someone come along like Alberto (Salazar), like Bill (Rodgers), maybe like me, who is a pure marathoner in a way. With all due respect to the everyone who is out there, Jason is a wonderful guy, but he is big. He gets more out of himself than any marathoner I’ve seen. (1980 Olympic Marathon Trials winner) Tony Sandoval was born to run the marathon. He was 120 pounds and had legs to his armpits. He was light as a feather on his feet.”
- Shorter’s quote comes from an article in Runner’s World: Frank Shorter Looks Forward to Return to Boston.
Messageboard discussion: In response to Frank Shorters Comment about marathoning.
A Coach Used To Think Greatness Could Be Coached, Now That He’s Got A Great Athlete, He’s Not So Sure
“When I first met him he was still in Pembrokeshire and would travel for two hours to train here. He had this brilliant belief that he was going to be better than Colin Jackson – even at that young age.”
“I had never seen anyone like him and still haven’t, he keeps surprising. I always used to think you could coach someone to be great. But seeing his natural talent for the hurdles I’m not sure you could be great without it.”
- Mike Guest coach of Wales’ junior hurdler David Omoregie, the #2 junior in history talking towww.walesonline.co.uk.
Kennedy Kithuka Returns To NCAA Action and Said His #1 Goal Is The Team Big 12 Title For Texas Tech
“I should not look back at what happened in cross country. I have to go on and get ready for the outdoor season. I know I will come back.”
“My goal is to have the team title (at Big 12s which are hosted by Texas Tech). Because if you have the team title you create good memories. If I see that ring, with Texas Tech, that will be something we achieved as a team. [It would be a great] memory with my teammates and coaches, to see how hard we worked.”
- Kennedy Kithuka talking to Texastech.com prior to returning to NCAA action last weekend. Kithuka dropped down in distance last week and ran a big 800 pb of 1:54.07: MB: 5k/10k ace Kennedy Kithuka returns to NCAA action with 800 – guess his time.
Janet Bawcom Reacts To Running 32:02
“I felt good the whole way, although I kind of died off in the middle. I wanted to run under 32, so that was my disappointment. But you know what? I was only two or three seconds off, so it’s not bad. I was hoping I would get more guys to run with. I took off, I knew what I needed to do and that’s what I did, and I’m excited I got a win out of it.”
-US Olympian Janet Bawcom talking to AL.com, after becoming the thirst 3-time women’s winner of the Azalea Trail Run’s 10k in 32:02.
Life as the daughter of an ultra athlete
This week, I’ve thought a lot about how (my daughter’s) life will be inevitably shaped and influenced by being her father’s daughter, and in what ways. Sure, she may be embarrassed as a teen when her dad walks through the house in front of her friends wearing padded bibs and a beard looking more like a Mexican luchador than a cyclist, but my conclusion is that her life will benefit exponentially from being the child of someone as passionate, dedicated, active and peculiar as her father…..
She might even develop a fleeting rebellion against all things athletic, but I am certain that she will be instilled with an irrevocable passion for following her dreams, whatever they may be.
It is one thing to write fanciful memes about pursuing dreams on your walls, but if the words aren’t backed by actions, they will remain lifeless script. The best way to teach a child to chase their dreams is to let them be a part of chasing your own.
- Stephanie Catudal, who normally blogs about life as the wife of an ultra athlete, blogging about what life as the daughter of an endurance athlete must be like.
A Runner Who Nearly Died Running The London Marathon And Was Put In A Medically Induced Coma For 3 Days Reveals the First Things Out of His Mouth
“My body had overheated, forcing my liver and kidneys to shut down. They put me in a medical coma for three days, to allow my body to recover. I had also contracted pneumonia – the doctors said it was likely I’d had an infection on the day of the race, and that was why my body had overheated. They later told me that people don’t usually pull through this sort of condition, and that the only reason I did was because I was so fit and because of the work of the doctors at the finish line. They saved my life.”
“When I came round, I saw my wife, brother and sister standing by my hospital bed. My first question was, what time did I do?”
- the quote comes from 6’7″ David Byrom, aged 44, who was writing for The Guardian. For the record, he did achieve his goal of sub-4 (3:55:56).
More: Experience: running a marathon nearly killed me
*Messageboard (MB) Discussion: Baller: 44 yr old man in medically induced coma for 3 days after marathon, says first words were “what time did I do?”
Travis Tygart Wonders if The Money Men Behind Armstrong’s Doping Will Ever Pay For Their Crimes
“This was a sophisticated scheme to defraud, they raised a lot of money, had incredible cash flow, and all based on victories in a sport and an incredible story. But I’m also not convinced it was just limited to an Armstrong story, I think American enterprise decided to come over and capitalise financially on the Tour de France in the US. And you saw an explosion in the sport, whether it’s helmets, bikes, gear, you saw cycling take off in a way that I don’t think anyone could ever have projected. I’m interested in the people behind Lance Armstrong – that might be outside of sports jurisdiction, team owners, agents, lawyers, who may have participated in this. We’ve had numerous meetings, numerous conversations with him and his people.”
- USADA head Travis Tygart talking to Sportinglife.com.
2014 Rotterdam Is Stacked
Last week, the men’s field for 2014 ABN AMRO Marathon Rotterdam on April 14 was announced. The field which is led by 2:04:05 man Eliud Kipchoge, the 2003 world 5000 champion who was sensational in his first two marathons last year (a 2:05:30 win in Hamberg, a 2:04:05 2nd in Berlin), is loaded. Rotterdam will feature 5 men who have run under 2:06 in their careers including three men who broke 2:05 last year.
Rottterdam, which isn’t a World Marathon Major, actually has the most of sub-2:05 performers from 2013 of any of the spring marathons with three. London and Boston both had two and Tokyo and Dusseldorf one. With the Rotterdam field set, we now have a complete picture of where the 13 sub 2:06 men from 2013 are running this spring:
|The World’s Sub 2:06 Guys in 2013||2014 Spring Marathon|
LetsThrow.com? LetsRun Gets Into A Budding Shot Put Rivalry
Because it was a slow week in terms of actual action last week, we started to get ready for the shot put showdown between New Zealand record holder and recent 2014 World Indoor bronze medallist Tom Walsh and former junior superstar Jacko Gill.
The decline of newspaper coverage of ‘minor’ sports like track and field has made us shot put fans as the New Zealand papers are one of the few that still do a good job of covering their stars. There aren’t a lot of track and field stars in New Zealand and thus in searching for articles on Nick Willis we often come across stories on Walsh/Gill.
It’s a storyline that’s easy to follow. Many love junior phenoms because junior phenoms develop a brand. Think Jordan Hasay, Galen Rupp, Alan Webb, etc. You get to know them early and thus root for or against them much like you do a team sport.
Others dislike junior phenoms and love underdogs. Gill, the youngest world junior champion ever in 2010 (not 19), is the teen phenom.Walsh is still a guy who works a job, and was under the radar until he won the World Indoor medal in his first indoor meet ever.
Then the rivalry became all the more interesting when Gill released one of his fabulous workout videos last week. We’re not sure if the video, which bizarrely ends with him eating jalapeno peppers staring into the camera, is meant to pump up Gill’s fans or psyche out Walsh but it was an instant classic. Check it out below.
Of course, in terms of “WTF videos” nothing will ever top the video that former Cuban major league baseball player Yoenis Céspedes made and sent to all 32 major league baseball teams prior to him becoming a free agent a few years back. That video ends with Cespedes roasting a pig at a barbecue. Since the baseball season starts on Monday, check it out now. It’s so great a guy has started a major league baseball website called: http://cespedesfamilybarbecue.com.
We don’t want to be accused of picking sides in the Walsh – Gill rivalry. We filmed a post-Worlds interview with Walsh after Worlds as we are all about guys that compete at a high level and still work a job:
Results of Note That Didn’t Make The Home Page
It was a light week in terms of action but we’ve scoured our results services to find a few noteworthy results that didn’t necesarily make the homepage.
Two Kenyans broke 60:00 for 13.1 at the 21st Medio Maratón Azkoitia-Azpeitia “Memorial Diego García” in Spain as Alex Korio Opoitiptip won in 59:58 and Edwin Kipsang was second in 59:59.
At the 12th Villa de Laredo 10k in Spain, 23-year old Wilson Kiprono Too dominated in a new world leading 27:39. He was just 36rd at the Kenyan cross country championships this year.
At the South American champs, there were two 1:45 times put up in the 800:
1. Kleberson Davide BRA 1:45.30 Gold
2. Rafit Rodríguez COL 1:45.39 Silver
- Meet Richard Kilty: As A Kid, He Was Homeless; Two Years Ago, He Was Sleeping On The Floor; A Year Ago, He Was Surviving By Giving Talks In Prison; Now He’s World 60m Champ
- Is Wales’ 18-Year-Old Hurdler David Omoregie The Next Colin Jackson?
- RW Looks At Some Famous Falls In Elite Races
- Science of Sport’s Ross Tucker looking into possible genetic aspect of Kenyan dominance in marathon
- Ryan Hall’s Agent Says Hall Went To Ethiopia For His Boston Training Training Because He Wanted A Different Setting He didn’t want to stay in Flagstaff, but wanted to still be at altitude. *MB Thread
- Athletics Illustrated Q&A With Moses Mosop The article wasn’t amazing but it reminded us that the 2:03:06 performer has three children with 2:19 marathoner Florence Kiplagat. How many college coaches would offer them full rides, as well as any children that Sileshi Sihine and Tirunesh Dibaba have together, even if they never run in high school?
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.
“She said, ‘My Dad wants me to tell you something Billy. My Daddy beat you one year before the Olympic Games and told you “more speed.” At the Olympic Games when you beat him, my Daddy said “too much speed” but my Daddy wants me to tell you this. He was so, so happy when you won the gold medal in 1964. My Daddy told me you’re an American Indian, and you were like an arrow being shot out of a bow…woooo! You go by my Daddy and you win and he was so happy. My Daddy said they way you won, it was so powerful (that) he knew that moment was yours. That was your moment.”
- Billy Mills recounting a conversation he had with Nadia Gammoudi, the daughter of 1964 Olympic 10,000 silver medallist Mohammed Gammoudi, last year. 2014 is the 50th anniversary of Mills shocking 10,000 win. Gammoudi would go on to win gold in the 5000 in 1968 (bronze in 10k that year, also silver in 1972 5000).
“A local company were paying me £120 a week which was getting me by. But as soon as I was injured they cut it. I was sleeping on a floor in north London with Luke Lennon-Ford, [who won silver in the men's 4 x 400m relay in Sopot]. We had no support. We had no funding. We struggled for everything. We were buying the cheapest food we could get. That was tough …”
“I have never claimed (welfare) benefits. I grew up on council estates and everyone was on benefits and I always said to myself: no matter how hard it gets I never want to do that. I have never signed on.”
- World Indoor 60m champ Richard Kilty, talking about the tough times he experienced in 2012. In a separate article, his father says he wouldn’t trade the gold medal for £10 million.
“I confronted him (the coach) but that resulted in a big wrangle. What I discovered after engaging the girls was so shocking. One day, I think it was March 4th; he gathered the junior women’s team in a secret place and told them that to run well, they must have sex or give birth. His theory was that if a woman’s private parts are wide, their legs move easily. I was so shocked to hear such silly talk. Unfortunately some people believe he is a good coach. They continue to defend him.”
- Two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist Moses Kipsiro talking to the Ugandan press about why he confronted a Ugandan coach at the team camp prior to the African cross-country championships. The coach is also accused of “persuading our ladies to get pregnant and abort at three months so they can run better.”
- 35-year-old Kara Goucher explaining to the WSJ about why she signed with Oiselle for “not a lot of money” but some equity when allegedly she had a 7-figure deal on the table from a shoe company.
“After tagging along on one of their daddy-daughter hikes (or more like mountain-goat runs), I was kindly told by my preschooler that I wasn’t allowed to come next time because it ‘slows down me and daddy.’ … At such a young age, our daughter has already been a part of so many incredible experiences that could have only been presented to her by someone as dedicated and active as her father. … I am certain that she will be instilled with an irrevocable passion for following her dreams, whatever they may be.”
“It is one thing to write fanciful memes about pursuing dreams on your walls, but if the words aren’t backed by actions, they will remain lifeless script. The best way to teach a child to chase their dreams is to let them be a part of chasing your own.”
- Blogger Stephanie Catudal talking about what it’s like for her daughter to grow up in a home with an elite endurance athlete as a father.
- Researcher Dr. Daniel Armstrong talking about a new anti-doping test that could significantly help with the fight against doping in sport. The new detection method would increase the window drugs could be detected in an athlete’s system as well as be able to detect smaller amounts.
“It took me 40 days. I took the toughest route that you can do – through London. The worst bit was that on day four I fell late at night, I stepped off the road in the darkness. I knocked myself out and broke my left femur. I ran 800 miles with a fractured femur. Hobbled. The whole thing was traumatic from that moment on, it was pure agony.”
- UK’s Tony “The Fridge” Morrison talking about a 1,053-mile run he did with a refrigerator on this back to raise money for cancer research. His other fridge runs include doing Great North Run Half Marathon 30 times in 30 consecutive days and this year he will try to run four London Marathons (104.8 miles) in 24 hours. Guy sounds crazy, but apparently he’s raised $171,206 for charity.
Questions? Comments? Email us.