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The Weekend To Be
December 7, 2007

By LetsRun.com - Just as we've started our weekly recap of the previous week's action ("The Week That Was" ), we here at LetsRun.com thought it might be good every Friday to give people an idea of what to look forward to in the upcoming weekend. Sometimes, there are so many events in a given weekend, it's hard for the casual fan to know what to focus on.

Given that we spent a lot of time this week on our previews of the 2007 Footlocker HS National Cross Country Championships (Boys Preview Here and Girls Preview Here), we'll be brief in outlining what to look for this weekend. Major highlights in addition to the Footlocker High School XC Champs are the European XC champs, the Honolulu Marathon and the US Club National XC Champs.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

2007 Footlocker Nationals
To Americans, this race needs no introduction. Foreign visitors, it's the single best high school race in the US each year. It pits the 40 best HS runners on the line against each other to crown a single national champion. If you want an in-depth breakdown of the fields, please see our 2007 Boys Preview or our Girls Preview.

Casey Combest's (aka the Great White Hope's) Comeback
Normally indoor track in December is pretty boring. In fact, we've often wondered if indoor track should even be allowed in December. But this year things may be a bit different.

Tomorrow in Normal, Illinois Casey Combest will be running the 60m at the Red Bird Open Meet at Illinois State. Who the hell Casey Combest? He's the fastest American high schooler ever at 60m. And oh yeah, he's white.

Back in 1999, Wombest ran a 6.57 60m while in high school and was smoking Tyson Gay. Then he fell off the track and field map. But since white men can't sprint, Comebest's comeback gets its own story. More on the comeback here.

2007 USATF Club XC Nationals
The club system isn't nearly as big in the US as it is overseas but the US cross country club nationals is always a fun affair. The race normally features a few stud professionals as well as a slew of ex big-time collegiate runners who still like to compete but have jobs (imagine that) and don't train full-time. This year's race takes place in West Chester, Ohio. LetsRun.com actually debated driving 12 hours to watch the meet as we heard the post-race party is going to be a good one.
*Meet website can be found here.
*ZapFitness and BAA to Defend Club National XC Titles This Weekend in Ohio
*On the boards: USATF XC Club Nationals This Weekend

2007 USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, presented by Finish Line
This meet is a big deal apparently for junior high kids and younger. Although we're not sure if it really is a good thing for one to be really serious about competitive running at that age, we will point out that 2007 NCAA XC champ Josh McDougal used to compete. For high schoolers, it represents another opportunity to race if you aren't good enough to go to Footlockers or NTN.

Normally, we probably wouldn't even mention this meet. However, we're mildly interested for a few reasons this year. 1) This year's race takes place on the famed Rim Rock course in Kansas which hosted NCAAs in 1998. 2) It snowed there so the race will feature some real, tough, old-school type xc.
Meet website here.

Sunday December 9, 2007
2007 European XC

The 14th European Cross Country Championships lead the way on Sunday. Europe's best will toe the line in Toro, Spain. More than 500 athletes from 40 countries are expected. We wish we had time to give you an in depth breakdown of the race for you. Instead we urge you to take a look at European Athletics' Race Website website which has some race previews up as well as an entry list.

In reading the women's preview, we do note that Ukranian Tetyana Holovchenko will seek to be the first women to ever defend her title and will be looking to join Paula Radcliffe as the only 2nd two-time champion.

Speaking of Radcliffe, the attention on Britain is on the junior women's race where Stephanie Twell is trying to be the first woman to go back to back in the junior race. Some are comparing Twell to Radcliffe, and Twell is already thinking of running the marathon, in 2020 (no joke, read this article)

A Great Deal
from Footlocker


The European athletics site also has up a U23 Men's Preview and an U23 Women's Preview. We imagine they will have a senior men's preview up on Friday. In the meantime, we found The Guardian's article on the race to be pretty informative.

The men's race features Sergiy Lebid going for his 7th title. Lebid and European Cross Country are practically synonymous. The Ukranian is the only person that has competed in all 13 European XC races and he's won 6 of them. Last year, Lebid lost the crown to Britain's Mo Farah who recently withdrew with an injury.

2007 Honolulu Marathon
Honolulu is the third biggest marathon in the United States (it was the biggest marathon in the world in 1995) and is a virtual collection of past stars each year (who wouldn't want a free vacation in Hawaii in December. Alberto Salazar, Frank Shorter, Jim Ryun are on hand this year).

But Honolulu is also a very competitive race ($40,000 for 1st this year). Jimmy Muindi has made a career out of winning the Honolulu marathon. He's run the race an amazing 13 straight years (perhaps not as impressive as the 3 guys who have run all 34 Honolulus and are going for #35 this year) and he's won it 5 times including three straight until being stopped last year by Ambesse Tolosa. Tolosa and Muindi both are back in 2007 and it should be another great duel in Honolulus (which is also the world's world's slowest marathon with over 10,000 people who will finish in over 6 hours. One reason is becasue it is so hot in Hawaii)
Jimmy Muindi Back in Honolulu for 14th Straight Time Wants His 6th Victory starbulletin.com
Race Results Weekly Preview: Muindi & Tolosa Face off Again at Honolulu Marathon

89 Year Old Walking Honolulu Marathon www.khnl.com
3 Guys Have Done All 34 Honolulu Marathons www.honoluluadvertiser.com

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