Where Your Dreams Become Reality
The Week That Was October 12 - 18, 2009
Last week was a little light in terms of big events, so we highlight the efforts to save the Millrose Games, tell you how the LetsRun.com audience is the smartest on the planet, talk about Pre-NCAAs and give out lots of free training advice.
Pro Action - Geb Wins, Bai Xue Wins, & Another Kenyan Debuts Insanely Fast
Also ho-hum events these days are 60:04 half marathons by the great Gebrselassie, but that's exactly what Geb did last week as well in breaking Sammy Wanjiru's course record by more than a minute in Portugal.
The other major pro news from last week was that 2009 world marathon champ Bai Xue of China successfully defended her Beijing marathon title. Running solely for the win, her time was just 2:34:44.
The Hero Of The Week - Dr. Norb Sander
Fourteen years ago, he was the "point-man" for reviving the New York Street Armory, which now hosts more indoor meets than any facility in the country. Now he has a new cause - saving the Millrose Games. Millrose is in trouble financially as it doesn't have a title sponsor. Well, the good news is Sander - and apparently USATF - won't let Millrose die. Sander is stepping up to save the day and Newsday wrote a great piece on Sander's efforts last week. Among Sander's ideas as described by Newsday:
"He intends more attention to every individual athlete, with complete pre-event introductions, more readily identifiable uniforms - school colors at the least - better public-address calls during races to keep the spectators informed and involved. Because college runners increasingly have stayed away from the Millrose for purposes of achieving NCAA championship qualifying times - the Garden's constraining 11-lap-to-the-mile track can't possibly produce the speed of 200-meter tracks in newer fieldhouse venues - Sander hopes to lobby for NCAA consideration of short-track qualifying times."
LRC appreciates Sander's efforts and have always thought it's insane that so many college teams have no interest in running in front of more than 10,000 at MSG. Even more insane is the fact that oversized 320-meter tracks with basically zero spectators are the qualifying venue of choice for the NCAA. Banning oversized tracks might be the answer.
And don't get us started on the Millrose introductions or lack thereof. How can you not introduce the competitors in a race?
Additionally, Sander is a realist. Millrose is a circus and circuses often don't have money for big name stars. Check out what Newsday has him saying about Usain Bolt:
"My opinion," Sander said, "is we don't want Usain Bolt. It's too expensive; it consumes all the oxygen" to market a single superstar. "We want to get back to a track meet. Several years ago, they changed the whole meet around for Marion Jones, and they ended up with egg on their faces. To put everything on one athlete in one event doesn't have legs.
"People want to see races."
ING NYC Gets Even Stronger
Also joining the New York field on the ladies side is 2009 Boston champ Salina Kosgei. Given her recent 70:11 5th-place showing at the Great South Run, we don't expect Kosgei to challenge Paula Radcliffe for the win, but her addition does give the New York women's field another quality woman, which is good, as the women's field aside from Radcliffe was very thin as we pointed out a few weeks ago.
Speaking of New York, RunnersWorld had a nice "Brief Chat" last week with Jorge Torres, who will be making his much-anticipated marathon debut in New York next month. Torres recently lost his high school coach in a car accident but has been inspired by that tragedy to train with a purpose.
Weekly Free Training Advice
UK LetsRun.com reader and 2:18 marathoner Adrian Marriott attended the Alberto Salazar training conference in Birmingham and provided a great article full of training advice on his blog last week. It included the following excerpt from Lisa Dobriskey's coach, which supports our long-held belief that it's better to back off than push before a major race:
"In the first part I wrote about how George Gandy likes to see progress every week and reckons you are never more than 6 weeks from a PB. He told us about how Lisa Dobriskey, 10 days before a major championship (I don't remember whether it was Melbourne or Beijing) ran a 1500m race in a pretty mediocre time. And for a while he was debating whether to give her some more hard workouts or just rest up. They went for the 2nd option and a week later when Lisa was running the race that really mattered she was able to perform."
Additionally, the New York Times had two interesting articles related to training last week. One talked about the "J-shaped" curve that researchers are finding in relation to exercise and illness. Moderate exercise reduces one's chances of illness, but intense prolonged exercise greatly increases it. Here's an excerpt from the Times article where it talked about a recent scientific study:
"In the second experiment, published in the same journal, scientists from the University of Illinois and other schools first infected laboratory mice with flu. One group then rested; a second group ran for a leisurely 20 or 30 minutes, an easy jog for a mouse; the third group ran for a taxing two and a half hours. Each group repeated this routine for three days, until they began to show flu symptoms. The flu bug used in this experiment is devastating to rodents, and more than half of the sedentary mice died. But only 12 percent of the gently jogging mice passed away. Meanwhile, an eye-popping 70 percent of the mice in the group that had run for hours died, and even those that survived were more debilitated and sick than the control group."
The 2nd New York Times article explored whether or not cool-downs really are necessary. Apparently, there is no scientific proof that cool-downs are beneficial.
Quote Of The Week #1
Quote Of The Week #2
Pre-NCAAs: Ignore The Coaches' Polls And Read LetsRun.com
Last week we here at Letsrun.com released our own fan polls and they showed that the LetsRun.com audience is definitely the most knowledgeable on the planet. The big surprises at Pre-NCAAs in Terre Haute? Well it was the fact that the #19 ranked Colorado Buffaloes took down the women's title in the blue race. Well, while a surprise, it wasn't that big of a shock to the LetsRun.com faithful, as you guys had them ranked #7.
Similarly, on the men's side, LetsRunners knew the Oregon men weren't as bad as their #7 ranking indicated. LRC had them at #3 and they backed that up with a win over #2 NAU in the men's blue race.
While the LetsRun.com visitors may be smart, the operators of this site may have gone temporarily insane, as last week we stated, "No way Stanford wins it" when talking about the #1 ranked Stanford Cardinal's chances for NCAAs. Well, Stanford went out and trounced the field at Pre-NCAAs, winning the mythical combined race in impressive fashion. Kudos to Messageboard poster Stingray33 for taking the time to combine the results, which show Stanford with 76 and Oregon with 186.
Other things to note from last weekend. Oklahoma State's German Fernandez raced for the first time but apparently he has missed some training time and it showed, as he was only 11th at Arkansas. Of course, Luke Puskedra was less than impressive for Oregon in his first race a few weeks back and he won the blue individual title at Pre-Nats so one certainly shouldn't count out German.
Freshmen sensation Jordan Hasay also showed that she will be a major force in college as she had the 6th-fastest time of the day for the women at Pre-Nats.
More: Blue Men: Luke Puskedra Wins And Leads Oregon To Victory Over #2 NAU And #3 Alabama Puskedra had a subpar opener but returned to form to lead Oregon. It's worth noting, however, that NAU star (and World Champs runner) David McNeill had a subpar day, finishing as NAU's 6th man. If he was only NAU's 3rd man, they would have beaten Oregon.Results: *Team *Individual Thread: Oregon Men Win Blue Race in an Upset !!!
White Men: Chris Derrick Defeats Samuel Chelanga, Stanford Cruises At Pre-NCAAs Chelanga opened up an early lead, but Derrick attacked the course the 2nd half and got the win. *Team Results *Individual Results Thread: Post Pre-Nats who is now individual favourite? *Chris Derrick/Elliot Heath Interview
Blue Women: Jenny Barringer Leads Colorado Women To Surprise Win At Pre-Nats
If anything, this weekend was vindication for the knowledge of
LetsRun.com viewers, who ranked both the Oregon men and Colorado women
much higher in the LRC National Cross-Country Polls than the coaches.
The Buff women were only #19 in the country. Barringer crushed the
as expected, but her teammates backed her up very well for the win over
Florida State and #4 Oregon (who finished 3rd). Results: *Team *Individual Thread: Jordan Hasay THIRD at Pre-Nationals to Jenny Barringer and Susan Kuijken! *Mark Wetmore Interview
Chile Pepper: Oklahoma State Crushes Field At Chile Pepper With German Fernandez Only 11th *Men's Individual Results *Men's Team Results *Women's Team Results: Texas Tech Women Cruise At Chile Pepper Thread: Chili Pepper Invite: Fernandez injuries?
Recommended Reads/Watches From Last Week
Other News Of Note:
Remembering The Last Week With The Quotes of the Day - Day-By-Day:
can't believe the raw talent in jail that is behind bars. And they're
ready to challenge you. In here, people say, 'Oh, we haven't really
heard of you.' Then it's,
'You had the world record? OK, now we know.' That means something."
Saturday: "I remember we were in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, at the hospital (where
Jorge Torres' mother was) waiting for results and me just being in this world
of hurt and loss, and Jason Hartmann and I were talking about training for the
marathon. We looked at each other and said, 'Well, when we get back to
Boulder, we're going to get down to work. Every day's going to be
nothing but training for the marathon.' And sure enough, on day one when
I left the hospital and got back to Boulder, we met and we never