The Week That Was In Running - August 23 - 29, 2010

August 31, 2010

To read last week's LRC Week That Was, click Here.
To read any 2010
LRC Week That Was, click Here

Last week, there was a lot that went on, as you had the second of two Diamond League final in Brussels, a fantastic meet in Rieti where two American records and one world record fell, plus there was a world-leading 26:56 10,000 in an obscure meet in Finland. If you missed those events, you can relive them at the following links. Below that we give you our analysis of The Week That Was in running.

Brussels: *Results *LRC Brussels Photo Gallery *More Photos *LRC American Record For Molly Huddle, Manzano Impresses Again, Rudisha Over Kaki, Semenya Gets Beaten
Rieti: *Results *
Rudisha 1:41.01 *Recap Of Rest Of Meet *Photos *LRC Bernard Lagat Gets 3,000m American Record, Asbel Kiprop Wins Again, And Everyone (Especially Nesta Carter) Runs Fast In 100 * LRC Rudisha 1:41.01!!!!!
Menjo Does It Again, Solos A 26:56 10k, Winning By Over 5 Minutes

Molly Huddle Runs An American Record And Finishes 10th/Bernard Lagat Gets AR As Well/Website Of The Week
Molly Huddle American Record Thumbs Up are certainly in store for Molly Huddle for breaking Shalane Flanagan's American record by running 14:44.76, .04 ahead of Flanagan's old AR. Now a lot of people are trying to dampen the record by pointing out that Huddle only finished 10th in the race. Well, truth be told, Huddle is the fastest 10th placer in the history of the world at 5,000 meters. How do we know? We know that thanks to an amazing website from Finland. Our website of the week is:

The track and field statistics site has a list of the fastest times anyone has ever run to finish a certain place in a race. We in turn spent some time on the site and have come up with how low the other American record holders could have finished in races if they were done in the most stacked races ever. And the results are as follows:

800: 1:56.40 - 5th
1,500 - 3:57.40* - 7th
Steeple - 9:12.50 - 5th
5,000: 14:44.76 - 10th
10,000: 30:22.22 - 5th
*We're ignoring Mary Slaney's 3:57.12 as she was later suspended for doping.

800: 1:42.60 - 3rd
1,500: 3:29.30 - 4th (Lagat once ran 3:28.51 and was 4th)
Steeple: 8:08.82 - 7th
5,000: 12:54.12 - 6th
10,000: 26:59.60  - 7th

So before you make a wise crack at Huddle, please realize that Chris Solinsky could have finished 7th in a race if only he'd been unlucky enough to race in 2005 in Brussels, where Kenyan Mark Bett was 6th in 26:52.93.

An interesting side note is to realize the fastest-ever 10th place finisher in the women's 10,000 is none other than Kara Goucher, who ran 30:55.16 to finish 10th at the Beijing Olympics.

Huddle wasn't the only runner to set an American record last week. Bernard Lagat became the first American to go under 7:30 in the 3,000, as he ran 7:29.00 to finish 2nd in Rieti. As for Lagat, it's a good thing he wasn't in Monaco in 1996, as Paul Tergat ran 7:28.70 to finish 5th in that race, so Lagat would have been 6th.

Asbel Kiprop Has A Very Good Week
What's wrong with the following list of leading times in the men's 1,500 for 2010?

1. 3:29.27 Silas Kiplagat KEN Monaco 2010-07-22 PB
2. 3:29.53 Amine La‚lou MAR Monaco 2010-07-22 PB
3. 3:30.22 Augustine Choge KEN Monaco 2010-07-22
4. 3:30.90 Andrew Wheating USA Monaco 2010-07-22 PB
5. 3:31.06 Ryan Gregson AUS Monaco 2010-07-22 PB - NR
6. 3:31.52 Nicholas Kemboi KEN Lausanne 2010-07-08 PB
7. 3:31.57 Mekonnen Gebremedhin ETH Berlin 2010-08-22 PB
8. 3:31.78 Asbel Kiprop KEN Rieti 2010-08-29
9. 3:32.16 Daniel Komen KEN Heusden-Zolder 2010-07-10
10. 3:32.20 Lopez Lomong USA Monaco 2010-07-22 PB

Cynics probably would say, "Hey what are two Americans doing in the top 10 with Manzano as #11?"

But we just wanted to point out that you could have won a lot of money if you'd bet that Ryan Gregson and Andrew Wheating would have faster seasonal bests and PRs than Olympic champ Asbel Kiprop at the end of the year, but it's true. Kiprop's PR from 2009 is 3:31.20.

Times clearly are overrated, as Kiprop is the best miler on the planet without a doubt. The Olympic champ had a great week last week as he won the Diamond League final in Brussels and then dispatched world leader Silas Kiplagat for the third time this year in Rieti.

Kiprop has had a phenomenal 2010 outdoor campaign. How the overall Diamond League title was on the line in Brussels is beyond us, as Kiprop has basically been unbeatable all year - even if most people haven't realized it. Outdoors since March, Kiprop lost his first race of the year in Shanghai by .02 to Augustine Choge, but since then has reeled off 7 victories in a row. So congrats to him.

Maybe 8 is the new lucky number, as that's where Nancy Langat also sits on the women's list - just like Kiprop - and she's the world's #1 racer as well in our minds.

The other thing that's weird about that list is it's hard to believe that Lopez Lomong is on it and Leonel Manzano isn't and Lomong has struggled of late and Manzano has thrived. Manzano has been the man in August, having set two 800 personal bests as well as a 1,500 personal best. But Lomong had a great start to the season. Lomong won USAs and then struggled a bit in Europe - finishing 7th, sixth and 10th - but his 6th place in Monaco was super-fast. Manzano, on the other hand, lost USAs but then has been tearing it up in Europe save for a disaster in the super-fast Monaco race - with a 3rd, 13th, 4th and 2nd. Manzano's second last week was his most impressive run of his career as he ran a PR (3:32.37) and was coming on strong at Kiprop in the last 50 meters in Brussels.

As for their positioning on the 2010 list, Lomong picked the perfect time to run his best European race of the season, whereas Manzano picked the worst.

Quote Of The Week #1 (That Wasn't Quote Of The Day)
"I'm going out to Chicago trying to run 2:09. There's only been four Americans under 2:10 the past 10 years, so that's a big goal. This is an intermediate step toward that in six weeks."
-30-year-old Fasil Bizuneh (talking to the Flint Journal) last week captured  his first US title, as he won the US 10-Mile Championships at Crim in 47:29.

Bizuneh deserves a Thumbs Up in our book for staying in the game so long and continuing to dream big. In a day and age of 26:59 and 27:10 Americans, Bizuneh is largely forgotten even though he is a 27:50 performer. In the marathon, he's a bit unproven, as he's only a 2:16 performer, but we'd love to see him rip one in Chicago. More: *Kenyans Go 1-2-3 As Fasil Bizuneh Captures US 10-Mile Championships

Chicago Gets Stronger As Does New York
Speaking of Chicago, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon last week had a big week, as it was announced that next year's race will include the following on the men's side:

1. Tsegaye Kebede - who we crowned the current top marathoner in the world after his win in London. Dating to 2008, his last seven marathons have been unreal. A 2:06:40 win in Paris, a bronze in the Olympics, a 2:06:10 win in Fukuoka, a 2:05:20 runner-up in London, a bronze at the World Champs, a 2:05:18 win in Fukuoka and a 2:05:19 in London.
2. Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot - The 2:05:22 victor from Boston.
3. Sammy Wanjiru - People act like the Olympic champ has fallen off the earth since he was a DNF in London, but in 2009 he ran 2:05:10 in London to win and 2:05:41 to win in Chicago.
Ryan Hall - 2:06:17 US star.

Sot that's the reigning Boston, London and Chicago champs all racing each other on US soil with America's most consistent marathoner thrown in to the mix as well. Congrats to Chicago.

While Chicago got stronger last week, most people probably think New York got weaker, as it was announced the US record holder Deena Kastor wouldn't run as she's pregnant.

But they'd be wrong.

While New York lost Kastor, they did gain half marathon star Mary Keitany, who said last week she'll make her marathon debut in New York this fall. That is great news, as Keitany is the fourth fastest half marathoner in history, as the 28-year-old ran 66:36 to win the World Champs last year.

The four women ahead of Keitany on the all-time half list all ran pretty fast in the marathon in their careers.

Paula Radcliffe - 2:15:25
Susan Chepkemei - 2:21:46
Lornah Kiplagat - 2:22:22

2:22:22 isn't incredibly fast, as it's only #57 on the all-time list, but given the weak state of women's marathoning right now, it's certainly fast enough. Sept 28th marks the 2-year anniversary of a woman breaking 2:22 in the marathon. As for Kastor, it's hard to write it, but her loss isn't that big of one from a competitive standpoint. She hasn't broken 2:27:54 in the marathon in four-plus years. Truly competitive days on the world scene appeared to most likely be behind the 37-year-old.

More: Boston And London And Olympic Champs Added To Chicago Field *Article On Chicago Written By New York Elite Athlete Coordinator David Monti *Pregnant with First Child, Deena Kastor Will Miss ING New York City Marathon This Fall *Half Marathon Stud Mary Keitany Commits To Marathon Debut In New York

David Rudisha 1:41.01/Video Of The Week
In addition to the American records, there also was a world record last week, as David Rudisha ran 1:41.01. But considering he broke the world record the week before, what are we going to say about that we didn't already say last week? Nothing.

Besides, the video of the race speaks for itself. Certainly our Video of The Week. Before you watch it, let us make a few comments.

1)  First let us give a big Thumbs Up to the stadium announcer. The Italian guy was fantastic and basically willed Rudisha to the WR by encouraging/yelling at him in English. We've can't recall an announcer being so vocal at a major meet before.

2) As good as the announcer was, how about a big Thumbs Down to the television crew. Instead of showing the entire world record, which only took 1:41.01, they decided twice in the race to pan away to Nesta Carter, who had just won the 100 meters (that part has been edited out of the video). As a result, you miss the 400 split and what not.


But one reason we're not talking too much about Rudisha's WR is because it wasn't even our Performance of the Week. No, our Performance of the Week goes to Josphat Kiprono Menjo - aka Menjo. Menjo ran a world-leading 26:56 all by himself last week. Yes, he won by more than five minutes in a race that had zero rabbits and three finishers.

Menjo has had a great two weeks, as since August 18th, he has run a solo 3:53 mile, 12:55 5,000 and 26:56 10,000. In the 10,000, Menjo got out hard - 13:22.69 at 5,000 - and then slowed down before closing pretty hard.

All we can say is Steve Prefontaine would be proud.
More:  Menjo Does It Again, Solos A 26:56 10k, Winning By Over 5 Minutes *LRC MBoard Talk of Menjo *LRC Rudisha 1:41.01!!!!!

Recommended Reads
We highly recommend the first story on 2010 world leader at 1,500, Silas Kiplagat.

*The Incredible Story Of Silas Kiplagat, Who Ran 3:29.27 For 1,500m In His First European Race Ever At Age 20
*Profile Of Australia's 20-Year-Old Great Hope - Ryan Gregson
*Kenyans Go 1-2-3 As Fasil Bizuneh Captures US 10-Mile Championships
*David Rudisha's Dad Missed His Son's World Record As His TV Wasn't Working
*European Athletics Association Tried To Hide Hind Dehiba's Drug Suspension From Her Profile

Quotes Of The Day From Last Week

Monday: ''He (Bernard Lagat) just couldn't understand it. How did I beat him, how did I run 3.31? He was just in shock afterwards. It was a pretty weird experience. He just kept saying 'Man, Gregson. Man! How did you do that?'''
- 20-year-old Australian 1,500-meter record holder (and LRC visitor) Ryan Gregson talking about Bernard Lagat's reaction to Gregson beating him and running 3:31.06 in Monaco. Speaking of 3:31.06, it's hard to believe that both Gregson and Andrew Wheating have PRs that are faster than the best miler on the planet - Asbel Kiprop (3:31.20).

Sunday: "I just knew I was in good shape. The conditions were perfect. I expected to break two records in seven days ... I cannot say now what I need to improve. I will see in training with my coach what I can improve but I think I need to change only small details."
- David Rudisha after running 1:41.01 in Rieti his second 800m world record in a week.

Saturday: "You're back!"
- Alberto Salazar talking to Alan Webb (we think) after Webb kicked home from a 3:36 1,500-meter runner to win in 3:41.16 in Belgium. The 1,500 was Webb's first 1,500 since June of 2009. The quote comes from a poster who claims to have been at the meet and we've confirmed his IP address matches up. 12:06 am update: A lengthy post-race interview of Salazar is now available*Post-Race Webb Interview Here.

Friday: "I just tried to compete and fortunately the pace was perfect for me so it just worked out. Going into it, I was like, 'If I run faster, I run faster. If not, I've had a great season.' So I think it was just a great no-pressure situation."
- Molly Huddle after breaking Shalane Flanagan's American record by .04 by running 14:44.76 in Belgium. The most shocking part of the day may not have been that Huddle got the AR but rather that she finished 10th in the race with the AR. The quote comes from the interview available on the right hand column of this page.

Thursday: "(After his 1:52 race), a lot of people think he's finished and washed up and he'll never run well again, but what they don't understand is that the first time he broke 30 seconds for 200 meters in 15 months was three weeks before the race ... Three weeks later, he's running four 200s in 28 back to back ..."

"Yesterday, we had a tremendous workout where he ran 53 seconds for his last 400, so we can see the acceleration curve is going up tremendously ..."

"So yes, he is very talented. Only God knows the future, but I fully expect that Alan Webb will break American records in the 1,500 and the mile. Alan Webb will run faster from the 800 to the 10,000 meters than he has before ..."
- Alberto Salazar talking about American mile record holder Alan Webb in an interview from the Netherlands. Salazar also added that everyone in the group, including Dathan Ritzenhein and Galen Rupp, acknowledge that Webb is the most talented. Webb will run his first 1,500 since June of 2009 on Saturday in Germany.

"My dreams are still what they were before this injury. I want to be the best in the world. I've done it before. I just haven't done it consistently. I feel like I've got it inside of me. I just have to figure out how to get it out on a consistent basis. I want to win medals at the world championships or Olympics and set personal bests in all of my events and maybe set records. My dreams are the top. I'm still young and still have some time on my side so anything is possible."
- Alan Webb in an interview in the Netherlands.

Tuesday: Poor
"My television had a small mechanical problem and since I'm struggling with arthritis and partial loss of eyesight, I restrict my movements not very far from my house. The nearest television is a distance away and I could not go there to watch. But soon after, my neighbours started running into my compound to break the news and I felt very excited."
- the father of David Rudisha, himself an Olympic silver medalist, explaining why he didn't see his son set the world record on Sunday.


"He's an extraordinary athlete and he's paid in an extraordinary fashion."
-  Puma Chief Executive Jochen Zeitz talking after Puma extended its endorsement with Usain Bolt through 2013, making him the highest-paid track and field athlete in history.

Last Week's Homepages
*Mon (Aug. 30) *Sun (Aug. 29) *Sat (Aug. 28) *Fri (Aug. 27) *Thur (Aug. 26) *Wed (Aug. 25) *Tue (Aug. 24


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