The Pre Classic That Was
(The Week That Was In Running - June 28 - July 4, 2010)
July 7, 2010
This week, instead of recapping the winners and losers from the week as whole, we focus on one thing exclusively - the 2010 Pre Classic. And given the fact that we have been swept over by World Cup fever, we have gone ahead and given every single American participant in a mid-d or distance event a letter grade for their performance, much like soccer websites rate players on a 0-to-10 scale after a match.
Now please realize that grades are curved based on what the expectations are for that particular person. If a 4:00 miler runs a 3:55 mile, that's an A+ ... but if a 3:53 miler runs 3:55, that's probably a B.
Agents, parents and pros, no whining. We're not trying to be rude, we're just trying to make the sport interesting. If anything, we probably are too generous in our grades.
Before we get to the grades, we do want to do three things. 1) Make a correction from last week - Our Email Of The Week #1, 2) Share an interesting email with you - Our Email Of The Week #2 and 3) Give out One Recommended Read for you.
Email Of The Week #1
1) Last week on LetsRun.com, we talked about the somewhat disappointing attendance figures in Des Moines for USAs but then mentioned that a few papers had actualy pointed out that the 2010 USA attendance was bigger than 2009. Well, thanks to LRC visitor Jim, we know now that the papers in Oregon and Iowa had it wrong (as did we). Jim's email appears below.
The statement "The figures reveal that attendance was actually higher than Eugene last year" is not correct! Attendance in 2009 USATF Eugene was 38,441- a 4 day record! How quickly we forget! the 32,048 attendance was better than the "31,000+" in Eugene the preceding year. Where this fgure-"31,000"- came from is unclear - I think from some web sites that are not very fastidious with figures - but it is clearly wrong.
Email Of The Week #2
And since we are sharing visitor's emails, we thought we'd share one from a few weeks ago that we really liked. It has nothing to do with anything from this week but we promised Bart - from the Netherlands - that we'd share it with the LRC community. At one point on the home page, we had something up about how we kind of liked Dwain Chambers but didn't know why. Bart wrote in to tell us that we weren't crazy to like a drug cheat.
The reason to like Dwain Chambers is pretty obvious. There are several reason which combined make Chambers a 'nice' guy.
He's one of the few athletes after being busted, who tries get back to form without any help from any others. In fact whereas in American sports drugcheats after a (few month) ban continue to play on their multi-mill contracts, Chambers has hardly any posibilities to get a contract or race $$ meets in the Diamond or Euroleague. He's broke but still racing, because that what he does.
He actually confessed, didn't try to lie or come around with cry baby stories (like Jones or Montgomery). He served his ban, trains is brains out and is still the fastest Britton, while he never gets the chance to race the money races.
Some important figures try to bash him (I think it was Steve Cram in his British newspaper columns) even after he served his ban, whereas he didn't criticize the likes of Ohurugu (400 sprinter) who missed 3 ooc drugtests, but also Seb Coe. Those athletes where part of the biggest drug era in the sport, but they don't have any comment on their former teammates. Did those Brits (or Yanks) really beat the GDR-athletes fair and square? People don't like that anymore.
He's actually a nice guy? Watch him cheer on his teammates in last weekends Euro Team Champs.
Recommended Read Of The Week
Normally we encourage you to read a lot of things from the week before. This week we'd rather you focus on a story we had inadvertently ignored:
AISLING CUFFE INSPIRES WITH BRAVE PERFORMANCE IN JUNIOR WOMEN'S 5,000M
The junior US runner put up a show that should make all fans of the sport proud and we failed to mention anything about it.
Now onto our Grades For 2010 Pre Classic. If you missed the Pre Classic, you can relive it with this recap.