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LetsRun.com Brooks Beijing Prediction Contest Recap
by: LetsRun.com
September 30, 2008

The 2008 Brooks LetsRun.com Prediction Contest for the Olympics in Beijing, took track and field prediction contests to another level. First, there was the $1,000,000 prize for a perfect ballot (good luck getting that one), a great sponsor Brooks with great prizes, and some fierce competition. In the top 10 point getters in the contest, there was a World Indoor Champion in the 200m (yes, a guy who has run 20.21 for 200m got in the top 10 in the contest), a former super agent in the sport, a previous winner of one of our other contests (and another one who had finished 3rd), plus five former NCAA Division I track and field runners.

Australia Reigns Supreme
In the end, the winner of the 2008, LetsRun.com prediction contest was an Aussie, Chris Wainwright. Wainwright definitely did his homework before the contest as he looked at the world lists on the best track and field stats site in the world, Tilastopaja.com, he looked at the Track and Field News magazine predictions, and then he made his own picks. He’s hoping to start his own athletics website dealing with the lead-up to the 2012 Games.

Chris’s picks were pretty damn good. He got 17 of the 34 event winners (shows how tough it is to pick winners in track and field and how unpredictable the sport can be) and picked 61 out of the 102 who were in the medal positions in each event.

For winning the contest Chris gets a great Brooks gift pack. He gets a pair of Brooks shoes, a Brooks Heritage Jacket and an Brooks Iffley Road TShirt. But before you get too jealous of Chris, you can give him a little hell, as he did not pick his fellow countryman Steve Hooker to win the pole vault and he also missed the incredible Usain Bolt in the 100m.

Heritage USA Jacket

Iffley Road Ts

"Scandal" Comes to the Contest

If you looked the scores below, you see that Chris (chrislw21) actually finished in 3rd place in the standings. Tied for first place was Youth In Asia, and Moes Tavern. Turns out Youth in Asia and Moes Tavern were actually the same person, former super agent in the sport, Troy James. Troy represented at various points NYC champ Andres Espinosa, Olympic marathon champ Fatuma Roba, former pole vault world record holder in the Joe Dial, WC high jump champ Charles Austin, OG bronze medallist Kipkemboi Kimeli and others but got out of the sport in late-1997. Now he acts as advisor to races, federations and athletes.

Troy entered under his own name Moes Tavern, and then took over the picks of one of his employees. The day after the contest, Troy called us to tell us that Moes Tavern and Youth in Asia were (sort of) one and the same and that he saw in the contest rules, when trying to figure out what he won, that our rules say one entry per person. While we know Troy a little bit personally through LetsRun.com supercoach JK, we were super impressed with his honesty (we won't make the joke about an honest agent). But at the end of the day, there are some advantages to having two entries in the contest so we had to disqualify Troy.

Although we had to disqualify Troy, we were blown away that one person could do so well in the contest twice. Plus we were impressed Troy contacted us on his own so we decided to reward him with the autographed Brian Sell jersey which was a bonus prize Brooks said we could give away at our discretion. Clearly, Troy’s still got a great eye for talent. He should get back into the sport as an agent.

Top 30 (Click on a person to see their picks)
*To login and see your picks click here

Login Total
Points
(1) Youth In Asia 120
(1) Moes Tavern 120
(3) chrislw21 118
(4) victor laszlo 117
(5) gpc3 116
(5) ATAD 116
(7) run4unc2021 115
(7) Nevets 115
(7) nyeitel 115
(7) Seeksreal 115
Login Total
Points
(11) clerckoenck 114
(11) josipo 114
(13) BS 113
(13) Ram-Track 113
(13) mcgavock 113
(13) dennehyd 113
(17) lagat100 112
(18) iamstewpid 111
(18) Snavely 111
(18) johnlee96 111
Login Total
Points
(18) nokaman 111
(18) Walsh 111
(23) Timmy55 110
(23) Coachk84 110
(23) Primetime 110
(23) fatsculler 110
(23) YUKON QT 110
(23) joel pasternack 110
(29) blaznbison24 109
(29) murrayj 109

Conference Stars and Ringers in the Top 10
The competition in the top 10 was fierce. In 2nd place was legendary Heps runner Donal O’Sullivan. In 1996, Donal then an unheralded runner at Brown, pulled off an incredible Where Your Dreams Become Reality feat, as he won the Heps 3k and 5k at the indoor conference meet (defeating LetsRun.com’s Wejo in the process in the 5k). It was one of the most impressive and surprising doubles in Heps history.

Third place was Aster Tadesse. If the name sounds familiar, it should. Aster got third in our Olympic Trials prediction contest as well. She entered that one to show her husband who was boss and she dominated him in this contest once again. Perhaps we should hire her as the LetsRun.com in house predictor.

In fourth place is another familiar name, Pat Crandall. Pat won our USA Champs contest last year (we promise those letsrun.com tshirts will be made by the end of the year and on their way) and showed his expertise once again this year.

World Indoor Champ in 200m Finishes Fifth
In fifth place was a former World Indoor Champion. Yes, ladies and gentleman you read that correctly. Dominic Demeritte of the Bahamas who ran 20.66 to set a national record and win the World Champs indoor 200 finished fifth (he finished tied for fifth but won the second tiebreaker # of 2nd places picked correctly to come out in fifth) Demeritte was a star at Clemson and is very fast. He still holds the Bahamian outdoor (20.21) and indoor record (his 20.66 to win the World Champs).

He still trains two-three times a week but “just for fun”. Dominic “only” ran 20.95 this year and said he still hopes to make the Bahamian team for World next year. Showing his competitive spirit he seemed letdown by his fifth place finish. “I'm upset that I didn't do better as I am a diehard fan but this will just make me study the other events harder for next time. “ Now you know why he was a World Champ.

Places 6 through 10 will get Brooks tshirts.

We’ll give a brief bio on each:

(Tied for fifth, but lost tiebreaker) Steven R. Mills- writes for the top athletics magazine in the World Athletics Weekly. That gives him an unfair advantage in our mind.

(Tied for fifth, but lost tiebreaker) Steve Eitelgeorge – a former runner at Columbia in the dark days of 1992-1993. It may be hard to believe for some of you youngsters but Columbia used to be an automatic last in everything at the Heps. Now they’re doing pretty well and more importantly are in the top 10 in our contest.

(Tied for fifth, but lost tiebreaker) Claes Lilja is from California and shows the casual fan has a chance in our contest. While our top 10 is full of industry insiders or former contest stars, Claes busted into the top 10 with no special advantage. Well done.

9th Clerc Koenck- a former Division I runner at Lamar. She was the Capital One/Southland Conference Cross Country Student-Athlete of the Year at Lamar and twice the Southland Conference XC Champ. With her 3.77 GPA she should have dominated our contest. She didn’t tell us of her accomplishments we had to look them up, but perhaps that’s because she’s fortunate to be living in the great state of Texas and there is no point to brag about anything else.

10th josipo 114 If you’re out there please contact us. We couldn’t get in touch with you.

Thanks to Brooks for sponsoring the contest and thanks for playing.

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