Where Your Dreams Become Reality
2009 World Championships Prediction Contest Recap
The LetsRun.com Prediction Contest always bring out the best in LetsRun.com viewers and the 2009 World Championships contest was no exception.
Coming out in top of the contest and winning a Road Runner Sports gift certificate was Tyler King. Tyler is a sophomore to be at Rojo's alma mater and now chief rival, Princeton, who ran a stellar 1:54.34 in high school in Minnesota. We'd take him out for a beer to celebrate except he's not even old enough to have one (he's 19).
Tyler admits to studying the sport, looking at the IAAF lists, and the letsrun.com previews before coming up with his picks, but claims mainly he "got lucky". We doubt it. He picked the winners in 19 of the events and a very super impressive 12 out of the 15 men's events (Dayron Robles' injury and Asbel Kiprop's choking prevented him from picking all the men's winners).
2nd Through Fifth Place and the Best for Last
Chris Desilets, 23, originally from Rutherford, NY, finished tied for 2nd. He ran at Franklin & Marshall College and now is training for his first marathon (ING NYC Marathon) as part of the Brooks ID program where he hopes to run sub 2:40. Some of you may say Chris is un-American as he "restrained myself from picking the American runners that I hoped would get medals when I knew realistically there were better options available." However, he gets a free pass in our book as he added, "On a final note, Berlino is my new personal hero." (We agree)
The most impressive story we decided to save for last. Tying for 2nd was Josef Wiest from Germany. Josef's story shows everything that is great about the sport of running and LetsRun.com.
First, Josef is from Germany and shows the global reach of the website. Secondly, Josef didn't run or do any sport at all until 2 years ago and now he wants to break 3 hours in the marathon and says "he's not much" of a runner. Thirdly, Josef acts like he doesn't know that much about running, but you'll see he put a ton of research into his picks and his mom instilled him in a love of the sport. Finally, he admits that the contest made him see the Kenyan runners as individuals and to learn more about them. One of our goals at letsrun is to bring a human face to all the African stars of the sport. We've gotten Josef's permission to reprint his wonderful email below. Read it, you won't regret it.
I´m 29 and I live near Ulm, Germany.
Thanks for the congratulations and wow, what a surprise!
I`m sure I do not know any more about track and field than the average LetsRun reader, so I guess I really got lucky here.
Association with the sport of running?
Before I started running about two years ago I had never been involved in any kind of sport (apart from PE classes in school). Just never showed any talent for anything. But I figured anybody could do something as simple as running... well, I`m not much as a runner either, but my goal is to break 3 hours in the marathon in 2011.
For some reason I have always watched track and field on television, which might have helped me in the contest. I think I got that from my mother. I remember getting up one morning when I was in 3rd grade and she was watching the Seoul Olympics instead of preparing breakfast (until then I hadn`t even been aware there was television in the morning, so it really came as a shock to me).
I simply downloaded the entry lists to find out who would actually be going to Berlin and to check out PBs and SBs. I combined these statistics with my impressions of athletes I had gotten mainly by watching some of the Golden League events on TV, and thus came up with a provisional list of medal picks (I did that before I read any previews/analyses so I would not be influenced). Then I read the LRC previews and in some cases you could convince me to change my picks. That was it. After that I only
made changes due to the withdrawals of Sihine and Dibaba.
A thing I learned through taking part in the contest was how little I knew about athletes. I had previously thought I knew who the main medal contenders were in most of the disciplines only to find out I had no idea. It`s really a shame but some of the Kenyans in particular were only "the Kenyans" to me. I knew some of their names, but many times I couldn`t even tell what event they were competing in, let alone what they had done lately or what shape they were in or recognize their faces.
So I am by no means an expert of track and field, there must be lots of people out there who know by far more than me, and I`m surprised at just how much more important luck was compared to expertise in the prediction contest (e.g. I hardly scored any points in the marathon events, the discipline I probably know most about).
So thank you for the contest. It made me take a closer look at athletes, follow more events more closely, overall it raised my interest in track and field, so it was definitely worth participating.
I have no idea which book I should choose. Googleing them resulted in me wanting both. Ok, I`ll stick to "Best Efforts".
Apologies for my late answer and poor English!
If you want to order Kenny's Moore's Best Efforts, click here.