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LetsRun.com 2011 Worlds Prediction Contest Powered By Puma Recap

By Pre Classic
September 20, 2011

By now you probably know that the Americans and American distance runners in particular had a great World Championships in Daegu. But we imagine a few of you are probably thinking, "Who cares about them? Who from LetsRun.com had a great Worlds championship?"

Well, you are in luck. It's now time for us to announce the real winners from the Worlds - the winners of the $200,011 LetsRun.com Prediction Contest powered by Puma.

It's always great fun to reveal the winners of our prediction contests as in doing so we get to share with the world the interesting people who make up the incredible LetsRun.com community - a community that keeps getting bigger and bigger.

And Our Winner Is ...
The overall winner of the LRC contest is 2010 high school phenom and current Princeton freshman Eddie Owens. Owens was eighth at the Foot Locker XC National Championships last year and followed that up with the fastest time in the country by a high schooler in the steeplechase (8:59.53), a 9:04.90 3,200m, and a spot on the Pan Am Games Junior team for the US. Owens also likes the longer distances, as he ran a 1:07:38 half marathon in high school, which got attention on the LetsRun.com message boards. Eddie has started his collegiate XC career with a bang, finishing second overall behind teammate (NCAA steeple 2nd place finisher) Donn Cabral in his very first cross-country race for the #12 Tigers at the Fordham Fiasco.

While Eddie's success as a runner may not surprise anyone, winning the contest was a surprise for Eddie. He said, "I'm very excited and shocked to hear that I won the prediction contest." Eddie said he always played soccer and basketball and only started running track his freshman year so he got get the coveted 3-sport award at his school. It was not until 11th grade that he started doing indoor track and XC and running year round. We say watch out for him in the future, as once he got into running, he really got into it and even spent a summer in Kenya. As for his picking strategy, Eddie said, "I actually picked mostly chalk (top seeds). I wasn't really familiar with most of the field events so I really relied on the season's best lists and your comments. In the men's and women's distances, which I know best, I threw in an upset or two where I saw fit."

Owens not only gets eternal bragging rights for winning our contest but also some swag. He gets four pairs of Puma's new Faas 550 lightweight trainer, which was designed for the serious LetsRun.com runner. In addition, he gets a $150 gift certificate from long-time LetsRun.com Road Runner Sports.

(And fans of Eddie - don't worry, despite LetsRun.com co-founder Robert Johnson's pleas to the NCAA, accepting our prizes will not put into jeopardy Eddie's NCAA eligibility (Johnson coaches at Princeton's rival school Cornell). See the second page on this Power Point by the NCAA. To be considered wagering, our contest would have to require a fee to participate. We even contacted the NCAA on this many years ago.)

Updated: Some of you with better memories than us will remember that this is the second straight time a Princeton Tiger has won our prediction contest as Tyler King won two years ago. LetsRun.com's Rojo went to Princeton and now coaches at Ivy League rival Cornell so maybe he tries to block it out.  Our contests winners always have interesting stories. We've had national champions, repeat champions,  rocket scientists,8th grade soccer players inspired by their coach to enter the contest, and even a guy, who has MS and can't run anymore but is giving back to the sport every day, win our prediction contests

Patrick Beckett The Runner-Up

And our runner-up was Patrick Beckett of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Canada only got one silver at Worlds, so no doubt Beckett's runner-up finish will lift the spirits of Athletics Canada.

LetsRun.com has always prided itself on being an old-school website, but Beckett's runner-up status is making us wonder if LetsRun.com should create a Facebook page after all. Beckett saw the Facebook status of a friend of his who had just entered the LetsRun.com contest, so he entered himself.


PUMA Faas 550

Patrick, like many of you, is an avid track and field fan and entered a Diamond League pool, the IAAF Fantasy contest for Worlds, and the LetsRun.com contest. It's fitting a guy so passionate about track and field finished high up in the contest. Patrick said, "I myself am an avid fan of track and field be it professional or amateur, I usually go out and help at local meets whether I'm competing or not. I wouldn't have thought I would do this well in the contest, I was just doing it for fun and I never would have thought I had a fighting chance ... The time change from where I live is massive from Daegu, but as a die-hard athletics fan I would always wake up at about 4:30am and watch the competition, then go back to bed after. Or if I was feeling a little adventurous I would grab an energy drink or 2 (which I rarely have) and attempt to stay up all night until the Daegu evening session was over, so around 10am my time." Well done. As runner-up Patrick gets 2 PUMA Faas 550 Lightweight Trainers + a $75 Road Runner Sports Gift Certificate.

Winner Of The Largest Group: DIII's Jamie McConeghy

We also said we'd give a prize to the winner of the largest group. That group was DIII: Fans of DIII Running and the winner was Jamie McConeghy, a former runner for SUNY Brockport who now works in the athletic department at San Diego State. Jamie did what only the hardest core of LetsRun.com fans do during the World Championships - stay away from LetsRun.com so they can go home and watch the Worlds on TV without knowing the results. Jamie said, "I go to your site daily, but had to dodge it for Worlds because I had everything taped on my DVR. My general strategy was to go with your previews on each event, take what I had seen over the last few months (I DVR all the stuff on NBC and Universal, etc.) and try to stay away from my love of picking Americans in the distance events. I can say I didn't do the best job on that. I thought I did pretty awful until I checked my scores at the end."

DIII fans, don't worry, even though we all know that DIII runners compete for the love of the sport as there are no athletic scholarships at the DIII level, that does not mean we're not going to give Jamie his two pairs of PUMA Faas 550 lightweight trainers.

Mr. Average: "I am Alan Webb" - We're Looking For You

We also said we'd give a pair of trainers to the person who finished in the middle of our contest. A bunch of people tied in that spot and we had the computer randomly pick one of them. The winner - "I am Alan Webb." We can't make this stuff up. We tried to contact "I am Alan Webb" but have not heard back. So if you are "I am Alan Webb," please email us. If you are the real Alan Webb, it is okay to be average at our contest, just not average on the track. And who knows? Maybe the PUMA Faas 550 is just what you need to jumpstart your training. The shoe is designed for the hard-core runner, so maybe you should consider Puma if you're still looking for a sponsor.

King of the Distance Winner Tom Hyland

LetsRun.com's first priority is the distance races and the King of the Distance winner was Tom Hyland of New York City. A lifelong fan of the sport (and an official), his first meet was the Millrose Games in 1957 or 1958. (For those of you reading this in the future, the Millrose Games was the biggest indoor track meet in the World, held at Madison Square Garden).

Being hard core, Tom wants us to have all the events for our London 2012 contest.

Thanks to the more than 2,000 of the hardest of the hard core LetsRun.com fans who participated in our contest, filling out picks in 35 events. Also, thanks to Puma for sponsoring our contest.

And speaking of London, its time to buckle down and get ready for London 2012.

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If you participated in the contest and would like to check your scores, click here. If you want to see the scores of the top performers, click here.

People always ask how they can support LetsRun.com - the easiest way is by buying shoes from our partners (a % of your order comes back to LRC). Click below to get a great deal from Road Runner Sports.

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