Quote Of The Day:

"In this country, you get spotted by winning a gold medal. How you got it is your business."

- Hendrick Ramaala, one of the most interesting marathon champions you will find. The 37-year-old lawyer who trains exclusively on a 3.5km loop in Johannesburg talks with Duncan Larkin about everything running, including why South Africa's system for training young runners is fundamentally flawed. 

LRC The Week That Was This week, we give props to arguably the greatest runner in any country's history, talk about how good the Japanese are at marathoning and how bad they are at the 800, introduce you to Gilbert Kirwa, catch up with Usain Bolt, Caster Semenya and Craig Mottram, and get ready for the 2009 New York City marathon by giving out free training tips from New York legends past, present and hopefully the future. Plus, see how you stack up with other LRC visitors at 5k and our Iphone App of the Week.

Good Reads:
Pat Butcher On The Increasing Onslaught Of Marathoning Kenyans And The 2-Hour Barrier 10 of the top 20 all-time marathon marks have been set this year ... and there are no signs of slowing from Kenya.
2. Brilliant! Sports Scientists Find And Publish Data That Shows Marathon Events Save Lives, Part II Worth a read so you can convince your CNN-watching friends that running is in fact much safer than lying around on a couch or driving a car. Part I is below.

LRC Thread: Guenther Weidlinger Now Holds Every Austrian Record From 1,500m To Marathon, Including Steeple
*Frankfurt Marathon Recap

LRC Marathon Photo Sequence Of The Year Tom Beford, son of Britain's running legend Dave Bedford, had a bet with his old man who said he couldn't break 2:25 in the marathon. Well, Tom won the bet this past weekend in the Dublin Marathon, and celebrated heartily, doing a cartwheel as he cross the finishing mat. A LetsRun.com reader in Ireland was on the scene, camera in hand, to record the occasion and he sent us the photos. Tom raised 5,000 pounds for charity.
*Dublin Marathon Recap

South African Doctor In New Report: "Chuene, ASA Were Reckless, Short-Sighted And Grossly Irresponsible" In Handling Semenya
Aussie journo Mike Hurst is again all over the story as a newly released document from a team doctor scathingly accuses Chuene of scandalous behavior.

Trevor Graham Breaks 5 Years Of Silence & Tells NY Times He Never Did Anything Wrong Since Marion Jones got out of prison and lied immediately on Oprah, we guess we shouldn't be surprised that Graham ended his home confinement and lied to the NY Times. Graham: "I didn't do anything wrong."

Recommended Read: Sudden Death During Exercise Part 1: The Media, Risk And Running Ross Tucker at Science Of Sport writes a GREAT piece on the mainstream media's coverage of the sudden deaths of 3 runners at the Detroit Marathon this weekend.

AVIVA British Grand PrixMo Farah Runs 46:25 To Win Thrilling Bupa Great South Run By 1 Second Farah fell 25 meters back in the first two miles but stormed back to victory over Kenya's Stephen Mokoka as Ines Monteiro (52:32) destroyed the women's field. *3 Minutes Of Video Highlights *IAAF Recap Of Men's & Women's Races
*Farah Eyes Transition To Marathon For 2016
*Record 21,000 Run Great South Run

Sean "Quickly" Wins Mayor's Cup XC Meet By 1 Second Matt Withrow was 9th. Message board thread here.
*LRC Photos From Franklin Park

Weekend Marathon Action

A Name You Might Want To Learn - Gilbert Kirwa
*LRC Updated Photos - Awesome Indoor Finish
*Kirwa Remains Undefeated For His Life At Marathon And Runs Course Record 2:06:14 To Win In Frankfurt Kirwa edged Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot over the final 4 kms to get his 2nd European victory. Agnes Kiprop won the ladies title (2:26:57).
Pat Butcher Recaps The Race Robert Cheruiyot barely beats his 37-year-old coach William Kiplagat.
*Commerzbank Frankfurt Marathon Quotes Press release The power of running smart: Guenther Weidlinger of Austria totally downplayed his fitness going into the race, saying he'd hope to get some qualifying marks but that the Austrian record of 2:12 was probably safe. Then he went out and blasted his own 2:12 personal best set in Vienna and ran 2:10:47!

The People's Marathon - The Marine Corps Marathon
*Navy's John Mentzer Wins In 2:21:47
*Muliye Gurmu Uses Sprint To Win Women's Race In 2:49
*More Marine Corps Coverage From Washington Post

*Kenyan Caroline Cheptanui Kilel Runs 2:25 Two Weeks After Getting 4th At World Half She's now one of the 15 fastest for 2009 and the winner in Slovenia.
*2:08:13 And 2:27:46 Result In Kenyan Victories In Venice
*Course Records Fall At Stanchart Nairobi International Marathon *Half Marathon Recap

Rwanda's Dieudonné Disi Runs 60:21 To Win Half In France

Tyson Gay Undergoes Successful Groin Surgery Good news for the 2nd-fastest sprinter of all-time and we hope he's back healthy in 2010.

California: So Beautiful He Has A Race Named After Him: Dean Karnazes Silicon Valley Marathon More Ultra Running: Runners Paying For Toenail Removal Surgery

Breakthrough: LetsRun.com Reader Figures Out Median/Mean 5k Times For LRC Message Board Visitors The readers of LetsRun.com never cease to amaze us. Today one devoted reader took a break from his job in data analysis to analyze data on our World Famous Message Boards. Based on evidence from the recent thread My 5K PR is 15:45. Am I the median for Letsrun?, he discovered that in fact 15:45 is pretty close to the median. See where your 5k PR lies on the "LRC 5k Bell Curve."

US Women Ranked Best Mid-Distance In The World Congrats to Anna Willard, Shannon Rowbury, Christin Wurth-Thomas, Jenny Barringer, Maggie Vessey and co. as the ranking system developed by All-Athletics.com showed them as #1. The men ... they sit at #2 behind Kenya.

IAAF Head Cancels South Africa Trip And Hopes For Meeting On Neutral Ground Hopes to diffuse the Caster Semenya vitriol took a hit with this news. The vibe in SA towards the IAAF is so venomous that even the diplomatic Lamine Diack cancelled his visit. According to news reports, not only are the IAAF going to be sued by Semenya's lawyers, but various governing bodies from ASA to the ruling political leaders in South Africa have called for all IAAF test results to be null and void.

Sad News

Cordner Nelson Founder Of Track and Field News Dies At Age 91 We never met the man, but he will be missed and appreciate his contributions to the sport.
*Message Board Thread

It's Cross-Country Conference Championship Week - LRC Previews The Major Conferences

LRC Big XII Cross-Country Preview Oklahoma State and 2008 individual champion German Fernandez head to Missouri hoping to hold off Mark Wetmore's pack-running Colorado Buffaloes. On the women's side, Jenny Barringer has never finished better, or worse, than 2nd place at the Big XIIs; think 2009 might be her year to earn her first conference crown?

Big Ten Preview The Big Ten in cross-country is sort of like the Big Ten in football ... some pretty good teams but lacking top notch firepower. Will the mysterious Wisconsin men get their 11th consecutive title and will Angela Bizzarri roll over the host Nittany Lions and Bridget Franek?

NCAA Polls Closing As We Speak!
Vote for the national and conference standings.

Ryan Hall Running To Help Others - Inspired By Africans Hall sees a higher purpose than running simply to win. He wants to help others in need, and he and wife Sara are willing to donate huge chunks of their earnings to the cause. He has an amazing sense of generosity.

Two Recommended Profiles
1) 25 Years Later, Steve Jones Still Has British Marathon Record
A lot has changed in the last quarter century, as the man who drank 11 pints of hard cider the night before setting the world half marathon record is now a teetotaller, but his British record still stands.
2) The Telegraph Goes To Jamaica To Get Close To Usain Bolt & Declares "Good Guys Like Usain Do Finish First"
A great read as it talks about Usain's love of KFC, going out at 2 am and returning at 5 am and much more.

Two More Interesting Articles From London's The Telegraph
1) Caster Semenya Is The Latest Female Athlete Suspected Of Being Biological Male
2) What Makes Usain Bolt So Fast

ING NYC Is Sunday
*70-Year-Old Gary Muhrcke - The First Winner Of The New York City Marathon - Is Hoping To Run 3:30 This Year
*Paula Radcliffe Talks About NY 2009 & London 2012
*Interview With 37-year-old Lawyer Hendrick Ramaala
*Greg Mason An Inspiring Runner After Surviving Testicular Cancer

Interesting Read: Austrian Woman Ski Champ Who Later Realized She Was A He Talks About Semenya

Liu Xiang Wins 110h At Chinese National Games In 13.34 In Front Of 60,000
*IAAF Recap Of CNG Action From Semifinal Day
*Big News Crackdown: China Bans 21-Year-Old 100m Champion Sprinter FOR LIFE After First Failed Drug Test

(Almost) 1,000 Days To London 2012 And UK Athletics Boss Is Talking Big:
"I believe we can win more medals than any other sport."
*Be Specific Let's Win 10: Great Britain Athletes Given The Medal Goal For London Games

US Men Running ING New York Profiled This Week
*Marathon-Focused Abdi Abdirahman Does A Quick Interview The American marathon ensemble, including the first American finisher in 2008 (Abdi), seem fit and ready to go in New York against a very good international squad.
*Profile Of Ryan Hall One Week Out From New York City Hall says he's not afraid to go for it.
*Brief Chat With Brian Sell Sell's career will likely end in the 5 Boroughs and it's off to dentistry school.
*Brief Chat With Meb Keflezighi Meb has set PRs at the half- and full marathon distances this year but LRC voters aren't giving him a shot against Hall.
*Brief Chat With Jorge Torres Torres debuts in New York after an emotional year.
*Recommended Read: Interview With Bolota Asmerom Jack of all trades Asmerom gives a great interview.

LRC Favorite American High School Student Travels To Addis And Trains With The Ethiopians - Entry #8 - Special Biscuits In this episode, Neb gets two special treats: a genius workout in the forest, and an unsanctioned meal of the best biscuits he has ever had.

16-Year-Old Chinese Girl Jumps Big 6.74m Asian Youth Record In Long Jump

Good Story Of Some Lads That Have Run Every Dublin Marathon One of the runners, Martin Kelly, started running the marathon at age 17 and hasn't stopped for 30 years. He mentions joining a running club as the key to staying fresh.

Profile Of Ryan Hall One Week Out From New York City 762 out of 1,000 LetsRun.com voters think Ryan Hall will be the first American in New York, while Olympic marathon medalist Meb K., who has set PRs at the full and 1/2 marathon this year, gets only 12% of the vote. Amby Burfoot attempts to put Hall in perspective for the Runner's World audience by comparing him to guys like Bill Rodgers while pointing out Hall has never won a major marathon.

2009 Shanghai Golden Grand Prix Comebacks And Retirements
*Tens Of Thousands Queue Up To See Their Hero Liu!
*Buster's Back - Craig Mottram To Return At Chiba Ekiden
*Legend Julio Rey (2:06:52) Retires W/ Spanish Marathon Record Rey was busted in 1999 and suspended 2 years for illegal drugs.

Brief Chat With Magdalena Lewy Boulet
Boulet is ready for New York.