Where Your Dreams Become Reality
The Week That Was March 17- 23, 2008
With the indoor season over both collegiately and professionally and world cross still a week away, this week was very light in terms of actual competition. However, there was plenty of action off the track.
Meb Pulls Out of London
James McIlroy Hangs Them Up
Seems reasonable enough to us, but the Olympics are only 5 months away. Maybe LetsRun.com should sponsor him. We wonder how much James would need to keep training. If anyone knows how to contact him, please contact us at [email protected].
McIlroy burst onto the scene back in 1998 when he ran 1:45.32. A semifinalist at the 2000 Olympics, McIlroy missed the 2004 Games but then came back with his 1:44.65 pr in 2005. One of the favorites for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, McIlroy failed to make the final in what was the biggest disappointment of his career.
McIlroy, however, leaves the sport with a good understanding of his own career.
"Things (my career) started off brightly. I had a few bad years but I came back into it...People always say, 'you didn't progress' but I think I progressed better than anybody else in Britain over the last 20 years... I thoroughly enjoyed my time in running but now it's time to call it a day."
Continuing on down the road of who's not running what, the biggest pullout of the week came this week in Sweden where it was announced ton Wednesday hat Carolina Kluft will not defend her Olympic Heptathlon title. Kluft says she doesn't have the drive she needs to compete in the Heptathlon, but will do the long jump and triple jump. "It takes 1000% commitment (not a typo). For two years I've not had the same hunger," said Kluft.
The bad new for Kluft is that at the Olympic level, nearly ever event takes 100% commitment. Certainly the multis require more commitment in terms of time, but even in a jump, we doubt she'll find it easy to do well unless she's training her ass off. Hopefully, she'll be motivated to train for the jumps.
Considering that Kluft is one of Reebok's top athletes, it certainly wasn't a good day for the shoe giant. In fact, Wednesday is probably a day they'd rather just forget as also on that day, they were hit with a record $1 million fine for distributing bracelets in the US with toxic levels of lead in them. One of them was ingested by a child who died.
Ramzi To Focus on 1,500 in Beijing
We're Not Making This Up - Sprint Titans Might Actually Race Each Other Before Beijing
Nothing is bigger than the men's 100 meters in track and with two bona-fide big-time superstars in Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay, there is all the makings of an unbelievable rivalry that could grip even the casual sports fans interest. The only problem is - there can't be a rivalry if the two never compete against each other. Thankfully, it appears they'll race twice prior to the Olympics in Europe.
The Next Possible Sprint King Opens His 2008 Outdoor Campaign
Weekly Drug Update
We don't buy it. They said the same thing about steroids back in the day.
The scientists admitted HGH changes appearance a great deal but there was no proof it positively changed performance. Hmm. They admit that it led to gaining 5 pounds of muscle and losing 2 pounds of fat. To us, that's all we need to know.
Perhaps the analysis failed to conclude HGH improves performance because the analysis only included a few studies that measured performance and those that studied performance don't include the levels or frequency of HGH used by professional athletes.
We're not sure why anyone would waste their time on such an analysis.
Meanwhile, the IAAF released it's doping statistics for last year. There were over 3,200 drug tests conducted and just 10 positive tests. Thus a .3% positive test rate. The good news here is to 8 of the 10 positives came from a targeted out of competition testing. It's good to see that the higher ups are actually trying now to catch and stop the drug cheats instead of look the other way as they did in the past and still are doing in sports like the NFL and MLB.
The IAAF has started doing blood screens to get a pretty good guess of who is doping and then follows that up and tries to catch the person for whatever wonder drug they are on.
The athletes at this stage of the game generally are smart enough to not show up at a competition showing any traces of the drugs. Thus you have to catch them out of competition.
IAAF Doping Statistics Released: 0.3% of Tests Were Positive
Ryan Shay's Autopsy Finally Comes Out
The toxicology reports were negative and it ultimately was determined that Ryan Shay died of what people thought at the time - heart problems. What caused the heart problems? No one really still knows. At the time of Shay's death, his heart was already scarred. What caused that? No one knows.
Not the chief medical examiner's office in New York City: “The heartbeat went into an irregular rhythm due to an enlarged heart
with old scars. It’s an unknown source — we’re not able to identify what
caused the scaring... It’s a natural-cause death.”
Not Ryan Shay's father, “They just don’t know what caused it. It could have been from a heart attack. It could have been a virus — he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart at 14, when he had pneumonia. They just don’t know.”
Just a sad tragedy.
Ryan Shay Died Of Natural Causes
Oregon Announces It's Recruiting Class
Ever wonder why so many people go to Oregon? Where else does a track recruit get his own profile in the local paper? The Eugene Register Guard did a very nice profile of Puskedra in which Puskedra said he's a blue-collar runner.
The thought of a guy who is committing to the Mercedes of track and field programs, Oregon, thinking of himself as a blue collar runner is worth a chuckle. Underwater and anti-gravity treadmills, closets full of Nikes, all very blue-collar. We had to take a poll as a result and 67.5% of you said that no Duck could be considered blue-collar anymore. Ultimately some blue-collared people achieve too much success and leave their roots behind.
We agreed with the pollsters until we happened to watch the Simplot games on TV on Monday morning. There Puskedra ran a 4:10 virtually all alone pushing all the way in very, workman-like fashion.
Two Oceans Ultra
The biggest race of the week actually was an ultra-marathon - the Old Mutual Two Oceans ultra marathon S. Africa. Given the title of the 56k race, it probably was only appropriate that the Nurgalievea twins went 1-2 on the women's side, with Oleysa winning her first title in a course record 3:34:53. Twin sis Elena was 2nd in 3:35.25, In the men's race, Marco Mambo of Zimbabwe won his 3rd title.
Question of the Week