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The Week That Was August 10-16, 2009

August 17,  2009

By LetsRun.com
To read last week's LRC Week That Was, click Here.
To read any 2009
LRC Week That Was, click Here.

Last week was primarily a lull week as everyone got ready for the 2009 World Track and Field Championships. We're not going to cover the World Championships here (see the links below for exclusive LRC Berlin coverage) but will talk about a few other things that happened in the world of track and field last week.

Last Week's Homepages (Most Recent On Left)
*Mon *Sun *Sat *Fri *Thu *Wed *Tue

Daily Results/Recap/Previews Page After hundreds of hours of preparation, we present to you our true fan's guide to almost every event to be contested in Berlin. We also cover the events here oce they are contestted.
Worlds Events By Day Get an idea of the schedule of Worlds and don't miss your favorite events. We've got all our event previews here as well as television and internet coverage schedules.

NYC Half
Tadese Tola Dominates, As Does Paula Radcliffe
America's brightest had totally opposite days, as Ryan Hall left the race very excited about his fall season, while Deena Kastor had 73-minute disaster. Hall: "I should be able to run this pace twice over."  New: LRC Photos *Top Results
Pre-Race: LRC Covers The NYC Half Robert Johnson talks with the sport's biggest names: Ryan Hall, Deena Kastor, Paula Radcliffe, Hendrick Ramaala, Catherine Ndereba and Tadese Tola before they race Sunday.

NYC Half - Ryan Hall's Hair Dilemma And Hendrick Ramaala's Great Quote

Ryan Hall

The biggest action not taking place in Berlin was the NYC Half Marathon in New York City. The New York road runners put on an an unreal show once again and LRC was there to cover the action for you. Rojo did a good job of covering the race, as well as the pre-race press conference, which you can see at the links above.

No reason to recreate the wheel here, but there is one thing that Rojo saved for the Week That Was. If one needs proof that Ryan Hall is officially a big star now, the video on the left should eliminate anyone's doubts. Hall talks about the biggest problem he's currently facing - his hair. He wanted to keep it long and then buzz it for the ING NYC Marathon. Only problem - it might not look so hot for some upcoming photo shoots.

Pretty funny stuff.

As for the race itself, obvously Tadesse Tola and Paula Radcliffe dominated. We really hope Mary Wittenburg and crew get Tola on the NYC starting line in November. The guy has clearly shown with 3 straight victories that he likes to run in NYC and we'd love to see his brazen frontrunning style tried on New York's famously difficult course.

So would 2005 New York champ Hendrick Ramaala, who seemed shocked that the brash 21-year-old would even run a marathon. Our quote of the week goes to Mr. Ramaala.

Hendrick Ramaala

"He wants to run a marathon? Oh they must bring him here. I want to see him try (to run away from the field at the start) in the 'long race.' ... I promise you he won't run away from us. The marathon will punish him if he ever tries that."

Track and field and distance running needs more rivalries and head-to-head competition, so bringing some of the top guys back form the NYC Half would be great, as people could debate who did the smartest job of training and what not.

There was one other thing of note that was talked about in NYC that we failed to put into print in either our pre-race or post-race coverage. Paula Radcliffe said she's planning on trying to have a second baby prior to the Olympics.

No More False Starts Allowed
There was one thing that will be remembered from last week for a long, long time. By a 97 to 55 vote, the IAAF has voted to get rid of allowing there to be one false start. In our minds, this is a great development for track and field. Doomsayers who say it will ruin the sport don't know what they are talking about. The rule already exists at the NCAA level and you don't see tons of sprinters getting DQed. You seemingly see a false start in every pro sprint race right now for a very simple reason - the runners know they can get away with it.

The rule will make the sprints even more dramatic, as there will be the anticipation every race that someone might get thrown out. Plus it also will be good as it will give guys racing Usain Bolt a chance. The man who says he never false starts actualy did false start at Worlds.

*97-55 Vote ... False Start Rule Changed! Starting in 2010, the IAAF false start rule will match the NCAA rule.

Email Of The Week - The Newest Drug Of Choice In Sports Is ...
Each week, LRC gets a ton of emails. Some of them are full of some very useful info. Who knows if the following email will turn out to be true but a journalist
who wishes to remain anonymous from Australia sent us the following email this week:

I have been told that the drug of choice at Berlin is SARMS (selective androgen receptor modulation) which seems to give all the effects of steroids, but does not alter the endocrine profile. I don't know how that's possible, but I'm assuming it works at the receptor level and somehow stimulates the body to make its own "steroid"? ... Anyway there are two research versions, of which Ostarine is the most popular but not the strongest.  Do a "Google" on it and you'll see it sounds like the kind of stuff crooked athletes (or doctors) might look into. While it is banned by WADA there is apparently no test for it - ditto of course Human Growth Hormone.

The journalist, Mike Hurst of Australia's The Daily Telegraph, has written a piece that mentions SARMS that is very well written. You can read it here.

Are there any nerdy science guys out there that can explain to us what he is talking about? If so, shoot us an email.

Email #2 of The Week - Wow. The greatest 100 meters ever run.
We said we weren't going to talk about the World Champs here but how could we not mention Usain Bolt? We got an email from David Graham which perfectly sums up how good Bolt's run and the entire 100m final really was in very quick fashion. It appears below.

Wow ... greatest 100 meters ever run.

Usain Bolt cleaved a hefty 0.11 off of his world record ... Tyson Gay ran a time that only a year ago would have been a world record (faster than Bolt's WR of 9.72 from May of 2008) ... Asafa Powell ran a time that was faster than Carl Lewis (9.86) ever ran in his entire career ... and the non-medalists in 4th & 5th (Bailey and Thompson) ran a time that was a new world record when Carl Lewis ran it at the 1987 World Championships.

 Men's 100 Meter Results/Reaction Time
1 4 656 Usain Bolt JAM 9.58 (WR) 0.146
2 5 1183 Tyson Gay USA 9.71 (NR) 0.144
3 6 665 Asafa Powell JAM 9.84 (SB) 0.134
4 3 111 Daniel Bailey ANT 9.93 0.129
5 8 1116 Richard Thompson TRI 9.93 (SB) 0.119
6 1 492 Dwain Chambers GBR 10.00 (SB) 0.123
7 2 1110 Marc Burns TRI 10.00 (SB) 0.165
8 7 1215 Darvis Patton USA 10.34 0.149

Running Book Goes On The Daily Show

Back in a Week That Was in May, we tolld you how Chris McDougal's book "Born To Run," cracked the NY Times Best Seller list. Well, we have an update. The book has been entrenched on the Best Seller list for 2 months now, climbing as high as #13 (it's currently #17). And the kicker:

According to McDougal, it hasn't received a word of press in a running publication. We guess they are scared of mentioning McDougal's book because his book is pretty critical of the shoe companies and advocates a minimalist/barefoot approach.

Maybe it shows the power of LetsRun.com.

Well, the book very well may climb higher soon, as McDougal will be on Jon Stewart's Daily Show on Comedy Central on Tuesday, August 18th at 11 pm EST.

Recommended Reads From Last Week

LRC: Greg Brock Explains The Logic Behind Maggie Vessey's 1:57.84 LetsRun.com caught up with Greg Brock, the coach behind the #1 story in US distance running in 2009, Maggie Vessey. Brock, a former 5th placer at the US Olympic Marathon Trials and longtime HS coach, didn't hold anything back as he shares all including key workouts and even the last workout Vessey will do prior to Berlin. Brock may be the one man in America not totally stunned by Vessey's season as in his mind, it's long overdue in some ways as he always expected Vessey to be an 800 meter star. What Brock said may surprise you but his insight is very educational and this is an absolute must read for coaches and/or true students of the sport.
Event-By-Event World Championships Previews After hundreds of hours of preparation, we present to you our true fan's guide to almost every event to be contested in Berlin. We're proud to present our previews, stats and predictions for the world's greatest track meet.
Worlds Events By Day Get an idea of the schedule of Worlds and don't miss your favorite events. We've got all our event previews here as well as television and internet coverage schedules.
Spring/Summer Pro Meet Coverage We've had by far our best year of covering the professional track circuit with full recaps of most of the top pro meets from around the world. If you missed any of the action, you can read about it on this page. Or look back for reminders of some of the wacky stuff that goes on during the season.
*Must-Read For LRC Prediction Contest: Bernard Lagat Talks About His Chances In Berlin Bernard definitively fires some warning shots across the bow, saying nobody, no matter their age, is tougher than he is.
*Mike Hurst Writes About Natural Skepticism Surrounding Bolt's 9.58

Remembering The Last Week With The Quotes of the Day - Day By Day:

Monday: "There are no words to describe him (Usain Bolt). He's like a created game person. He's like a cheat code. That's how good he is ..."
- Darvis Patton on Usain Bolt's 9.58 WR

"I was extremely happy that we had retained the gold."
- Meselech Melkamu on what she thought after crossing the finish line in the crazy women's 10,000m final. Melkamu wasn't first; a late-charging Linet Masai was.

"I am probably what you would call 'boring.' I don't really flex my muscles too much before the race or anything like that. At the same time, I am always the same person."

"If I win, there will be a new dance, if I win, you will see it."
- First quote from Tyson Gay. Second from Usain Bolt. The 100m rounds start Saturday.

"What I tell Maggie is always the same thing: 'It doesn't matter what the race is. I want you to focus on process. Not outcome. Just think process. And just do your very best.' The beauty of our sport is if we do our very best, you cannot be unhappy. Too many people have unrealistic goals. I know people that could go out and run a PR but because their PR was higher than that or to beat someone, they would actually be crushed. Not me. All you have to do is ask yourself one question. Did I do my very best? And that's what I want her to do."
- Greg Brock, coach of the sensation of the 2009 season for US distance fans, Maggie Vessey, talking about the importance of focusing on the process just after revealing to LetsRun.com what Vessey's personal goal for Worlds is. Read the article and find out lots of details about Vessey, including her goal for Berlin, her secret "Connector" workout and more.

Thursday: "I watched her run a 400 in 56. And it was 28 - 28. Dead even. And I was like, 'Now there is your ideal 800 meter runner.' (Later that summer), I had a talk with Maggie and her mom. And I told her if you stick with running, someday you'll be an 800 meter runner. And if you are really dedicated, you just might end up on the cover of Runner's World magazine."
- Greg Brock, coach of the sensation of the 2009 season for US distance fans, Maggie Vessey, talking about what he thought the first time he ever saw Vessey run way back in 1997 when Maggie was just a 9th grader. In an exclusive LetsRun.com interview, Brock explains the logic behind Vessey's 1:57.84, which was seemingly a big surprise to everyone but Brock himself.

"I am convinced that the job of the JAAA executive, most of them, is to try sabotage me and the success that I have with my athletes."
- MVP Track Club coach Stephen Francis. Jamaica is in disarray, as they are considering banning Asafa Powell, Melaine Walker (2008 Olympic champ), Shelly-Ann Fraser (2008 Olympic champ), Shericka Williams (Olympic silver medalist) and Brigitte Foster-Hylton (World Championships medalist) from competing in Berlin for not attending a mandatory training camp. Meanwhile, JADCO is appealing their own decision to let the 5 athletes who tested positive at the Jamaican Trials free, which will take sub-10 teenager Yohan Blake and 4 x 100m team member Sherri-Ann Brooks out of the Worlds team as well.

Tuesday: "I'm tired of silver, silver, silver at World Championships! It is the only gold I do not have in my house."
- Ezekiel Kemboi heading into the steeple at Worlds. That should be a great race.

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