The Week That Was In Running - October 18 - October 24, 2010
October 25, 2010
Lots of big news from last week.
Three of the bigger stories resulted in us doing separate pieces on them.
Ryan Hall Goes Out On His Own
The biggest running-related news may have been that 2:06:17 marathoner Ryan Hall announced he's leaving the Mammoth Track Club and coach Terrence Mahon. That news sparked a ton of stories on Hall as well as talk on the LRC message board and it got LetsRun.com co-founder Robert Johnson thinking that many people seemingly don't know the what role a coach actually plays for a runner.
You can read Rojo's piece on the role of a coach and Hall here: LRC: The Role Of A Coach / Ryan Hall Makes A Change & I Support Him
More: Ryan Hall To Be Self-Coached, Will Train In Various Locations *Joe Battaglia: What The Heck Is Hall Thinking? *LRC MB: Hall To Coach Self *LRC MB: Ryan Hall does not want a group *NY Times Article On Hall's Departure *Runner's World On Hall
Logan $ue$ USATF
Former USATF head Doug Logan filed a lawsuit versus USATF this past week, hoping to get $1.6 million in severance he believes he's owed. The beauty of lawsuits is a lot of information enters the public domain. Let'sRun.com's other co-founder Weldon Johnson did some research on Doug Logan's lawsuit and found some gems, both of Logan's employment contracts with USATF. You can read all the details here or the link below. One thing we wanted to point out was that contrary to what a few USATF board members implied or said in news articles or this post, USATF did restructure Logan's contract this past summer, resulting in more severance being owed if he was terminated. We'd have a lot more respect for the board if they'd admit this. We're all human. We all make mistakes. Instead, they have USATF Communications Czar Jill Geer go out and defend their statements, which are misleading at best, so they get a big Thumbs Down for this (so far no one from USATF has tried to correct our analysis below). If anyone thinks we're wrong on our severance analysis, email us.
More: Doug Logan Files Wrongful Termination Suit Against USATF The details are not out yet, but likely Logan had to file the suit to get his severance as USATF has claimed he was fired with cause. The legal bills are now running. *USATF Statement On Suit On The Boards: Doug Logan is suing USATF for wrongful termination
The other big news of the week involved 2004 Olympic 400 champ LaShawn Merritt, who was banned for 21 months last week. The real question, though, is even though he will be eligible for the 2011 World Championships, will he be eligible for the 2012 Olympics?
2000 and 2004 US Olympic Trials 4th-place finisher (yes 4th place at 2 straight Olympic Trials), 11-time NCAA All-American and now lawyer Matt Lane analyzed the legal situation in his own piece:
More: *LaShawn Merritt Gets 21-Month Drug Suspension, Panel Rules He Was Trying to Have Better Sex, Not Dope *Phil Hersh: Merritt Faces Confederacy Of Dunces: *Coe Has No Problems With Banning Merritt From 2012 *Arbitration Ruling: "He saw the commercials about the product and its claims that it helped you last longer and stay firmer. He wanted those qualities in dating his lady friend ... He alleges the product works ... His mind set when purchasing the product was thinking about having sex with a women (sic)." *BBC Story *Reuters: IOC Confirms Merritt Won't Be Eligible *AP: Hold On - LaShawn Merritt May Be Eligible To Defend 2012 Crown The arbitrators in Merritt's case ruled the IOC banning cheats from the next Olympics goes against the WADA code and therefore is invalid.
Steve Jones And Galen Rupp With Some Advice
aka Quotes Of The Week (That Weren't Quotes Of The Day)
#1 Steve Jones On Racing Without A Watch/Sports Drinks
"I wasn't there to analyse how fast I was going. I was a complete novice - I didn't have my own drinks or even a watch - and I just kept going."
- British marathon record holder Steve Jones talking a great article on Walesonline.co.uk about how he set the British record 25 years ago in Chicago in a race where he missed the world record by 1 second amidst some controversy as the car with the clock on it drove off with a 1.5 miles to go. Jones didn't blame the car for costing him the record - nor did he really seem to care, as reflected by the following additional quotes:
#2 - Steve Jones On Not Being Upset About Missing The World Record By 1 Second
"There was a big hoo-ha about it and the race organiser was upset. He had taken a lot of flak and was upset that I might blame him as well. But it didn't bother me because I won the race and beat the guy I wanted to beat (De Castella).
I lost out on a $50,000 bonus (for missing the world record), but it didn't worry me. I got £35,000 to participate and I won the race - I wasn't going to get down on my knees and cry about it."
#3 - Steve Jones On How The Guys In The 1980s Just Loved To Race & Compete - Not Raise Money For Charity
"In my era we were all competitors and committed to our racing. We wanted to beat the guy who beat us by 10 seconds last week and keep the guy who we beat behind us.
We were athletes and we didn't go to races because we were raising 10 bucks for this good cause or that good cause. A lot of people are offended when I say that. But I'm a purist at heart and I've seen my sport diluted and thinned out."
All three quotes again from a definite Recommend Read on Steve Jones entitled "Athletics: Steve Jones, still a British record holder 25 years on."
#4/Weekly Free Coaching Advice - Galen Rupp On The Importance Of Strength
"Looking back, I wasn't doing as much (strength work) as I should have been. I did lots of speed stuff, but without strength it's useless."
- Rupp talking in a trackfocus.com article that talks about how he's going to work on running more (and lifting more) in 2010. Kind of ironic, but it sounds like it's basically the opposite of what his coach Alberto Salazar is going to be having Alan Webb do.
*25 Years Later, Steve Jones Still Has British Marathon Record
*Fantastic Profile Of Josphat Menjo - The Man Who Soloed 12:55 And 26:56 This Summer
*LRC Legal Correspondent Matt Lane: "RULE 45": Is LaShawn Merritt Banned From The London 2012 Olympics?
*LRC Exclusive: Doug Logan Sue$ USATF: The Details Of His Law$uit And Employment Contracts
*LRC: The Role Of A Coach / Ryan Hall Makes A Change & I Support Him
Anyone See The Venice Marathon?
We've got some cool photos of the Venice Marathon, but the thing that intrigues us is that the runner-up fell in the final 400m and it helped determine the outcome of the race. The race finishes with the runners crossing 13 bridges to finish in the center of Venice. We'd love to hear a recap/see video of the fall if anyone saw it/has it. So please email us if you have any info.
Other Happenings Of Note
BUPA 10-Miler: World XC Champ Joseph Ebuya Beats Benson Masya's 15-Year-Old UK Record To Win BUPA Great South Run Benson Masya was one of our favorite runners and used to be featured on the monthly television show Running and Racing.
*Steve Jones-Coached Freya Murray Surprises With 52:27 10-Miler At Bupa Great South Run She's now the 2nd-fastest Scot of all time. She beat the pre-race hyped Stephanie Twell.
Mayor's Cup XC: Jon Phillips And Kate Dicamillo Win 2010 Mayors Cup Cross-Country Races
Rock N Roll LA: 49-Year-Old Linda Somers Smith Wins Inaugural 2010 Dodge Rock 'N' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon 12,000 runners and a 49-year-old doing a training run for NY got the
Korea: Bejamin Kiptoo Throws Down Hammer From 35k To 40k To Win Chuncheon Marathon In Record 2:07:54 Deriba Merga apparently dropped out.
*Former US 200 Champ Ramon Clay Gets 2-Year Ban (He's Already Retired) Part of the BALCO scandal apparently.
*Nine Australian Athletes All Test Positive For Methylhexaneamine It's a recently banned drug that is often found in nasal decongestants.
*Australians In No Hurry To Reveal Names *4 Rugby League Players Are On List
*Russia Promises "Zero-Tolerance" In Buildup To 2014 Winter Games
Quotes Of The Day From Last Week
Monday: "The thing that is really
sad about Ryan Hall is that he reminds us of our own failures. Ryan is
the best we have and if he can't win a major race how will we? His
failures hit a chord with our internal ego, and it is devestating.
Everytime I see him race I have flashbacks to my own races, my own dissapointments. Failures like PRing by 20 seconds in the 5k and still getting blasted in the last lap by some kid from Eldorett or any other time we compete to the max of our ability and still get manhandled. Ryan is far more talented than me and watching him fail is the most devestating thing to ever happen to my running psych. Everytime he loses we wonder why we run. This supertalent, this Highschool and NCAA all star who blows the rest of us away at the trials and has every advantage an American can have is easily put away by some hut dwelling corn eating teen from Iten.
So to you who wonder why we are obsessed with Ryan Hall, maybe you should wonder why you aren't. He symbolizes the best any of us can do at this point."
- Message boarder Jung Campbell posting on Ryan Hall and his decision to be self-coached.
Sunday: "It became obvious at that moment, and is crystal clear now, that Hall's primary focus is no longer on winning, but coming away from his performances with some feeling of spiritual euphoria. As long as that happens, all is well in his world.
When Hall contends, as he did in his most recent blog, that he has decided to walk away from a proven coach and a highly successful training group, 'with full faith that it will allow me to take my running performances to the next level,' that next level he speaks of is not on the awards podium. He is speaking in existential terms."
- Universalsports.com's Joe Battaglia ripping Ryan Hall in a column entitled "Hall's solo flight leading him nowhere."
Saturday: "I just wish that I'd had this attitude when I was younger. It's hard to know, but in hindsight, I just think I overtrained. Now, I'm not doing the work that I think I would need. Even a 1:13 (half marathon) back when I was running well I would have been happy with. I wouldn't have been ecstatic, but I would have thought it was a solid performance. I almost think I don't train enough to deserve that. I think I'm just training a lot smarter."
- 49-year-old Linda Somers-Smith, who says her 2:36 marathon earlier this year was a bit of an under-performance. Somers-Smith is running New York this year.
- Rebeckah Passley, a 23-year-old barmaid in Britain, talking about Usain Bolt.
Thursday: "I think sometimes as Americans we tend to put barriers on ourselves and we just can't do it. But it was kind of a progression where I got thrown in with the guys and had to figure some things out about myself - and then mentally that really opened up a lot of doors and the barriers just kind of went away. It was like, 'Man, I can run with these guys!'"
- Leo Manzano discussing his newfound belief in himself on the racelikeagirl blog.
Wednesday: "I couldn't get into the Diamond League. The organisers told me I wasn't fast enough. Then on June 1, I ran 13.02, and I thought I would get a chance, but it still wasn't enough. On July 10, I ran 13 minutes, and asked for Stockholm, and they said no, everyone had run sub-thirteen. I told my agent I would pace, and finish. And they still said no. I was very disappointed, I knew I was in great shape.
Then my manager (a Finn) got me the 5000 metres in Finland ... I ran 12.55, and I got $3000. When I finished the 5000, they said, come and run a 10,000. It was a club event, and they said they would bring in two pacemakers. I said no, I can do it alone. I got the money they were going to give to the pacemakers."
- Kenya's Josphat Menjo, the man who is unofficially LetsRun.com's cult hero, explaining how he ended up running a solo 12:55, 3:53 and 26:56 in the span of 11 days this summer. Those AMAZING solo performances netted him a grand total of just $10,000. In our minds, he most certainly deserves consideration for world #1 at 10,000 in 2010 and must be ranked ahead of Chris Solinsky.
- John Carlos, 42 years ago this week at his press conference at the 1968 Olympics after he and Tommie Smith did their famous podium protest. Apparently, press conferences haven't changed much in 42 years as reporters at first were asking the two about their 200m race instead of the big elephant in the room, the protest. Press conferences are notorious for people avoiding difficult questions. At the 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon, press conference reporters at first were discussing the race instead of Ryan Shay's death.