WTW: Phoebe Wright Gets Married, Suddenly Becoming World Class At 31, And Something Doesn’t Add Up At US 10-Mile Champs?

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The Week That Was In Running – September 25 – October 1, 2017

by LetsRun.com
October 3, 2017

Past editions of the Week That Was can be found here. Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us or post in our forum.

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Something Doesn’t Add Up In Minneapolis?

Last week’s US 10-mile champs, which were held as part of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, featured huge prize money: $91,000 in total as there was $40,500 per gender for the top 10 ($12,000 for 1st, $10,000 for 2nd, and $7,000 for 3rd) plus a $10,000 bonus for the battle of the sexes winner. The women were supposed to be given a head start of 6 minutes and 18 seconds.

The finish was very tight, as shown by this great Michael Scott photo.

After it was all over, Leonard Korir was the one giving the post-race interview as the big winner on the USATF.TV+ broadcast. The only problem is he wasn’t the person that won the race, as after a photo review, race officials determined that his Army WCAP teammate Shadrack Kipchirchir had won his first national title and $22,000 in 47:33. Korir was awarded the same time as both men finished ahead of the top two women in the race, Sara Hall (53:43) and Natosha Rogers (53:45).

Getting the winner wrong on the race broadcast isn’t the end of the world. But what we aren’t understanding is simple math here.

We’ve read repeatedly that the women were given a 6-minute and 18-second head start in the race, which makes sense as that was the same head start as in years past.

Well, Sara Hall won the women’s race in 53:43. Kipchirchir won the men’s race in 47:33, which is only 6:10 faster than Hall. So in reality, if Hall was given a 6:18 head start, Hall should have won the combined battle of the sexes by eight seconds.

Something isn’t right here.

Either the timing is incorrect or the women weren’t given enough of a head-start.

We’ve reached out to race organizers and they are going to figure it out and get back to us.

More: MB: Screwup at 2017 US 10 Mile champs? How much of a head start were the women supposed to get? And how much did they get? 

PS. Scott Simmons-Coached Athletes Continue to Take Names

The top six finishers in the men’s race at the US Champs (Shadrack Kipchirchir, Leonard Korir, Emmanuel Bor, Haron Lagat, Elkanah Kibet and Abbabiya Simbassa) are all coached by Scott Simmons. The top 5 are all in the Army’s World Class Athlete Program. WCAP athletes receive regular Army pay, but they can’t receive sponsorships, so the group seems more likely to go out and race which is a good thing.

(Note: Earlier we said the top 6 athletes were all in Simmons’ American Distance Project, but WCAP is distinct from ADP).

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So Far, The Women’s NCAA Cross Country Season Is Going Exactly Like We Thought It Would

In our preview of the 2017 NCAA cross country season, we said that choosing a pre-season #1 was difficult as we felt like Colorado had more depth but New Mexico had more firepower up front, writing that “the choice between #1 and #2 wasn’t an easy one for us but we’re more confident in Colorado’s depth at 4 and 5 but New Mexico’s firepower up front should make the Buffs very nervous all season long.”

So in the end, we put Colorado #1 and New Mexico #2 and so far our prediction is 100% dead-on.

Last week, Colorado raced New Mexico at the Joe Piane Invite at Notre Dame and Colorado won thanks to a better #5. Through 4 runners, New Mexico led 17 to 28 but Colorado was way better at #5 and got the win, 47 to 51, as Colorado went 3-7-8-10-18 and New Mexico went 1-2-6-8-34.

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Anna Rohrer after winning Foot Locker

Anna Rohrer after winning Foot Locker

The big news on the individual front for the women at the NCAA level is that Notre Dame’s Anna Rohrer, who was sixth in 2015 as a freshman and third last year, will be missing the 2017 cross country season.

“[Rohrer] had a medical procedure to stimulate the repair of her hamstring and it requires her to sit out for a couple of weeks of training,” said Notre Dame coach Matt Sparks to The Observer. “That decision has been made that she won’t be competing this year.”

MB: #1 Colorado women edge #3 New Mexico at 2017 Joe Piane Invitational
MB: Anna Rohrer redshirt
MB: Brie Oakley 12th at Notre Dame Invite

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Edith Chelimo Becomes World Class at Age 31

Last week, 31-year-old Edith Chelimo of Kenya stunningly ran a 65:52 UK all-comers’ record to win the Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon.

The performance was a stunner for sure as it came out of nowhere. It knocked 3:05 off of her previous PR of 68:57 that she ran in Berlin in April — that’s 14.1 seconds per mile.

Heading into 2016, Chelimo was your average journeyman pro from Kenya. The then 29-year-old (turned 31 on July 16, 2017) had pbs of 15:44/32:04/71:22. Last year, she showed some signs of potential during her 30th year of life as she ran 31:07 on the roads in April and then 69:45 in November. Now at age 31, she’s the 5th fastest woman in history on a record-eligible half marathon course.

It will be interesting to see what Chelimo can do in the marathon. Her training partner, Bahrain’s Eunice Kirwa, the 2016 Olympic silver medallist, has a marathon pb of 2:21:17 off of a 66:46 half-marathon pb.

Chelimo ran 65:52 the hard way — by going out really hard and hanging on — as her 5km segments were 15:14, 15:42, 15:40, and 15:54.

More: CHELIMO BREAKS UK ALL-COMERS’ RECORD AT CARDIFF HALF MARATHON

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Stat of the Week 

66.8% – percentage of positive doping tests (127 out of 190) from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics that came from the countries making up the former Soviet Union (Russia 53, Belarus 23, Ukraine 20, Kazakhstan 12, Azerbaijan 6, Moldova 5, Armenia 4, Uzbekistan 4) according to Olympstats.com.

We guess Ronald Reagan called it the “evil empire” for a reason.

For comparison’s sake, the US had three total positives at those two Olympics.

More: 2008-12 OLYMPIC DOPING RE-TEST – AN UPDATE-UPDATE

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Weekly Free Coaching Advice

Running/science journalist Alex Hutchinson has written his last Sweat Science column for Runner’s World. His final column was a great overview of how simple the key tenets of distance training really are. In the column, which was more than 2,500 words long, he listed his seven pillars of distance training. Those seven pillars, which can be described in about 100 words, are fantastic.

1. Running is good for you “in moderation,” which is defined as “a lot more than you’re doing.”

2. If it comes in a bottle, it’s probably not going to make you faster or healthier.

3. The best technology for tracking and guiding your runs is the device between your ears.

4. You probably got injured from doing too much, too soon.

5. The magic workout, shoe, or superfood is whichever one you’ve been ignoring lately or have never tried.

6. You can probably run better; start by running more.

7. You’re capable of more than you think, but it will take time to get there.

Read the whole column here —  The Seven Pillars of Running Wisdom — and be on the lookout for Hutchinson’s new book in February which you can pre-order now. Those seven tenets remind us of one of the very first articles we ever published on LetsRun.com: Four Principles To Correct Training For Elites and The Four Principles Translated For the Masses.

More: MB: Alex Hutchinson is leaving Runner’s World, last column released today

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

#1 Why it makes sense for BMW to sponsor running (BMW Berlin Marathon) and not Formula One

“Running and the automobile industry are not mutually exclusive. Quite the opposite. Discipline, endurance and readiness to perform are the mark of successful runners; they must intelligently make use of their energy reserves. Efficiency is also a fundamental principle for BMW, as reflected in BMW EfficientDynamics technologies. A prime example of this is the electric-powered BMW i3, which is employed as the lead car in various running events sponsored by BMW.”

Friedrich Edel, Head of Sports Marketing at BMW Germany, talking to ISPO.com. Edel says one out of four BMW customers is an active runner and that their “involvement in running has a very positive effect on our sales and brand KPIs.”

More: BMW Explains its Sports Marketing Strategy: Why Marathon Sponsorship Beats Soccer

#2 One of Japan’s best distance runners admits he’s lazy at times

“I’m the kind of guy who likes to race a lot. I get kind of lazy if there’s too much space on my calendar. I want to take my PB even further and take the top Japanese spot.”

-Japanese half-marathon record holder Yuta Shitara talking last week to the Japanese press (translated by Japan Running News) about how he may run another marathon in 2017 even though he just set the Japanese half marathon record (60:17) and ran a marathon pb of 2:09:03 in Berlin in back-to-back weeks. If Yuta ends up doing Fukuoka in December, he’ll get to realize a dream of racing his twin brother Keita Shitara in a marathon. Keita joined the Hitachi Butsuryu corporate team on September 20.

#3 Why do shoe companies sponsor pro runners?

“You need people to authenticate your brand. By that, I mean you need the best people in the world validating that your product is legitimate and that your products can perform at the highest level. Whether people are aware of that or not, I think it factors into their purchase decision.”

-Steve DeKoker, brand manager at Brooks, talking in an article by Outside about why shoe companies sponsor pro runners.

#4 It will start and end in New York for Meb

“There’s a charming and beautiful symmetry to next month’s New York City Marathon being the final race for heralded American distance runner Meb Keflezighi. It’s his 26th time running 26.2 miles. And the 42-year-old will poetically run his final 42 kilometers where it all began—back in New York where he ran his first marathon in 2002.”

-excerpt from a column by Kevin Gemmell on Competitor.com.

#5 Kipchoge is so good the laws of the marathon don’t apply to him

“Kipchoge defies the glorious uncertainty of the marathon”

-headline of a column on RunnersTribe.com by Len Johnson about Eliud Kipchoge.

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Tweet Of The Week / A New Wedding Tradition For Runners?

If you are looking for something running-related to do at your wedding, you could do what US 800-meter runner Phoebe Wright did at her recent wedding — a pub run.

Congrats to the happy couple.

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Coming Soon To A TV Near You: Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Killer 

November and December are two of the slowest months on the running calendar as the marathon season dies down and people get ready for the holidays. The people at the Lifetime network in the US have something to fill the void as on November 11, they’re premiering a film about Pistorius and his 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Watch the trailer below.

MB: Trailer for Oscar Pistorius: Blade Runner Killer (Movie) is now out

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Recommended Reads

To see our favorite reads from other weeks, go here.

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Quotes Of The Day And Last Week’s Home Pages

To see the actual quotes of the day from last week or last week’s home page or any home page, go to our archive page.


Got a tip, question or comment? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us or post in our forum.


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