The Week That Was: Centro Goes Pro Early - Or Does He?; Dropping Out of A Marathon Is Good; Women Marathoners Have It Easy; And All Hail Yuki Kawauchi

By LetsRun.com
December 6, 2011

This week, we actually got the weekly review done on time.

In this week's recap, we talk about Matt Centrowitz's decision to go pro "early" and compare him to Andrew Luck, we talk about German Fernandez's decision to not go pro early and compare him to Alan Webb, we tell you why dropping out of a marathon is a good thing, we tell you why it's way better to be a female marathoner than male, we praise blue-collar hero Yuki Kawauchi, and wonder why everyone doesn't count in the score in cross-country meets.

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Matt Centrowitz Goes Pro "Early"

One of the biggest stories from last week came early in the week when it was announced that the World 1,500 meter bronze medallist wouldn't use his 5th year to run indoor and outdoor track for the Oregon Ducks next spring. Instead, he'll go pro "early" and make a reported $400,000 to $700,000 a year (Note to shoe execs reading this - if you want to get way more bang for your buck, we'll be happy to sell you every ad on this site for $700,000 in 2011).

5 Quick Thoughts About Centro's Decision:

1. We're never glad to see a college program suffer with a pro leaving early, but in some ways we're glad it finally happened to the Oregon Ducks. The whole Oregon athletic program is successful in large part thanks to Nike. Well, over the years, Nike has signed a number of top college stars from other schools to pro contracts before they were done with eligibility (Wallace Spearmon and LaShawn Merritt come to mind), but it always seemed that the Ducks high-profile stars would stay the entire time and then sign with Nike (Galen Rupp, Andrew Wheating, Ashton Eaton).

2. While we're not fans of guys leaving early, in this case, Centro had to do it.

This year, Centro won NCAAs, USAs and got a bronze medal. Shoe companies generally pay guys and girls based on one thing - their potential for world greatness coming out of college. Well, guess what? Centro has already done what a generation of US born distance has only dreamed of doing - medal at a global championship. There is little that he could do this spring that would enhance his marketability and ton that could kill it. If the figures that have been thrown out there are close to accurate, we think he had to go pro. The Olympics only come around every four years and the anticipation of those make this the year to strike it big.

3. One could argue he isn't go pro "early."

Matt Centrowitz graduated from high school in 2007. Thus, 2012 would be his 5th spring in Eugene, as he was red-shirted for an indoor and outdoor track season. Yes, he hasn't graduated and yes, he has more eligibility left, but in what other sports are superstars red-shirted other than track and field? Matt Centrowitz ran 8:41 for 2 miles in high school. That makes him a star and means that would be the equivalent of Duke redshirting one of its top stars in basketball. It would never happen barring an injury and Matt was able to compete in 2008 - albeit not optimally.

We bet many of you don't realize that Stanford quarterback star Andrew Luck is in a similar boat as Centrowitz. He, too, was red-shirted as a freshman. He, too, has another season of eligibility but we don't hear anyone talking about him going pro early simply because he's a 4th-year senior (and about to graduate). Seriously, ask yourself if you heard Luck described as someone who is about to "go pro early."

4. Seeing how much Centro is in line for, it made us wonder how much money did German Fernandez miss out on by not bolting after his freshman year at Oklahoma State?

After Centro went pro, LetsRun.com co-founder Weldon Johnson speculated on the message board as to how much money German Fernandez might have lost in hindsight by not going pro after his freshman year at Oklahoma State and wondered if it might have been a million dollars.

People took offense to us saying we thought he would have received at least 6 figures when he was a freshman. That summer, we did hear rumors at one point that Fernandez was going pro, but he obviously stayed, so maybe the money wasn't there, but in our minds, we're surprised there wasn't enough money to make him turn pro.

Let us remind you what Mr. German Fernandez accomplished as a frosh. In February of 2009, at the age of 18 years and 3+ months, the kid set a world junior record in the mile by running 3:55.02 all alone in an indoor race.

Read the previous sentence again. German was a YOUNG freshmen. For comparison's sake, please realize that Alan Webb's 3:53.43 mile in HS came when he was 18 years and 4 months old. German was younger.

That indoor season, German also ran an American junior record in the 3,000 (7:47) and won the US junior cross-country title over NCAA top 10 finishers Chris Derrick and Luke Puskedra by 19 seconds. Outdoors, he destroyed everyone to win NCAAs in the 1,500 and then capped his season by running an American junior record of 13:25 in the 5,000 at USAs.

You don't think a shoe company would want a guy like that? Literally, maybe once a decade a guy comes out of America with credentials like that.

Webb had a similar mile time, had bombed his freshman year at Michigan and still got a ton. Now admittedly, Alan Webb had been on David Letterman and had a ton more name recognition that German Fernandez and he had the mystique of being the first sub-4 high school guy in decades.

5. At the next "Centro Nation" gathering, the tab had better be picked up by Matt.

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2011 Fukuoka Ndambiri Impresses In Debut, Kawauchi Steals The Show, And John Treacy's Irish Record Lives To See Another Day As Alistair Cragg Drops Out (Again)

The 2011 Fukuoka Marathon will forever list Japanese based Josphat Ndambiri of Kenya as the winner in his marathon debut. Now Ndambiri is a real talent as he was 5th in World Champs in 2007, he went sub-27 in the 10,000 twice in 13 days in 2009 and he recently beat world 10,000 champ Ibrahim Jeilan in an ekiden in Japan, but sub-2:08s are nothing to get excited about in the year 2011, particularly when done by someone from Kenya. Kudos to LetsRun.com super-visitor David Graham for pointing out that a staggering 45 men from Kenya have done it in 2011 alone.

As a result, to us, the more interesting story was that of Yuki Kawauchi. Kawauchi is LetsRun.com's unofficial blue-collar hero. In a day and age of pampered pro runners who do nothing but run and sleep in altitude tents, Kawauchi is a guy who works a real job at a high school, trains his butt off and when he races gives an effort that everyone else on the planet just dreams of giving, as for the last half hour of his marathons, it always looks like he's more likely than not to fall over dead at any moment before he finishes, then he collapses and ends up in the medical tent.

Kawauchi shot to fame earlier this year in February when he stunned the world by running 2:08:37 at Tokyo, collapsing at the finish line, and then winning the hearts of LetsRun.com forever by declaring: "Every time I run, it's with the mindset that if I die at this race it's OK."

Kawauchi followed Tokyo up by finishing 18th at the World Champs in Daegu. Over the weekend, he raced Fukuoka - which serves as the first of three Japanese qualifying races for the Olympics - and did well once again, as despite being dropped shortly after halfway, he willed himself to top Japanese honors and a third-place 2:09:57 showing. If you came to LetsRun.com on Sunday, then we apologize for making you re-read something, but we wanted to make sure everyone got to read Brett Larner's recap of Kawauchi's come-from-behind run as it was truly inspiring:

"At 36 km a spectator yelled, 'Go Kawauchi!' loudly, and, hearing him, Imai looked back. And the action began ...

Imai came back at 39.3 km, and it became the kind of race organizers dream about, two intensely popular runners going for the throat one against the other for their Olympic dream.  Imai surged. Kawauchi surged.  Imai!  Kawauchi!  If you weren't a fan of the sport this was the kind of race that would make you one, and if you were you'd be jumping and shouting like thirty of us were in a sushi place in the mountains west of Tokyo.  Surge, attack, counter, on and on until finally Kawauchi, able or willing to go somewhere Imai couldn't, went to the limit at 40 km to break Imai down.  Kawauchi clocked 6:50 for the final 2.195 km, the fastest in the field by 18 seconds and 22 seconds faster than Ndambiri's closing split.  That's 16 seconds a mile at the finish.  Across the line in 2:09:57, a characteristic collapse, oxygen on a stretcher, and a tearful Imai empty-handed and desolate except for the minor consolation of a 9-second PB ...

It's true, 2:09:57 and 3rd place isn't that competitive and is not good enough to guarantee Kawauchi a spot on the Olympic team.  But with a race like this he sure as hell deserves it.  2:09:57 puts him into a new place, one where Tokyo wasn't just a Hollywood miracle, one where he is the real thing.  Under extreme media attention and hype, including ridiculous ads for the Fukuoka broadcast showing him running in a business suit wearing a backpack, the self-training Kawauchi stuck to his principles and did things his way.  He went up against the elite, one of Hakone's greatest stars, one coached by an Olympic silver medalist who took another runner to Olympic gold.  And rejoice, for he conquered.  If the federation picks him or no, he's got nothing to prove to anybody."

The Japanese federation hasn't set the criteria for London and a 2:09:57 may not actually be enough to get Kawauchi an Olympic bid, as three others might run better in the next two selection races. That being said, we certainly hope Kawauchi doesn't do what Brett Larner says he's going to do, which is "run the Hofu Yomiuri Marathon in two weeks and the next Olympic selection race, February's Tokyo Marathon."

Four marathons in a calendar year is too much for just about everyone - let alone a guy like Kawauchi who almost kills himself in each race.

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In other Fukuoka news, one person who didn't have a good marathon was former Arkansas star Alistair Cragg. Cragg, who was hoping to break John Treacy's 23-year-old Irish record of 2:09:15, dropped out after the 25km mark after going through halfway in 1:03.29. The Irish Times wasn't nice to Cragg, as they said he dropped out "as he has done far too often in the past, including a few high profile track races."

They do have a point. Just this year, Cragg was a DNF in his marathon debut in Boston in April and he also dropped out of the Pre 10,000 and the Lausanne 5,000 (there may have been more - we just know of those).

Unlike some purists, we don't think it should necessarily be every runner's badge of honor to finish every race, but we also think that DNFs can become a psychological problem if done too often.

Cragg wasn't the only person to DNF at Fukuoka. 62-year-old Yoshihisa Hosaka, who every year is the oldest man to run Fukuoka and was going for the age 62  World Record, went through halfway in 1:17:50, well under record pace (2:41:06), but dropped out after 30k. Now not only did Hosaka not get the age group record, but he also may get booted from Fukuoka, as to run the race you have to have run under 2:42 in the last two years and he last did it in February of 2010, so unless he runs faster in the next year, he'll be ineligible for next year's race.

So a few high profile people had tough days. But don't worry, there is no shame in that in Japan. Finishing for finishing's sake certainly isn't something that is done in Fukuoka, as shown below by the following:

Stats Of The Week - Maybe Dropping Out of Marathons Is A Good Thing

21.1% - Dropout rate at the 2011 Fukuoka marathon, which requires a recent 2:42 marathon finish to even begin the race (race results show 117 DNFs, 436 finishers).

2% - Dropout rate the New York City marathon time (2% figure comes from New York Times article).

2:37:43 - Median finish time at the 2011 Fukuoka marathon.

4:22.39 - Median finish time at the 2011 ING New York City marathon.

More: *Japanese Running News' Fukuoka Viewing Guide - Japanese 10,000m All-Comers Record Holder Josphat Ndambiri Is Making His Debut In Fukuoka *Cragg fails to finish in Japan  *Video Of Tokyo MB: *2011 Fukuoka MB Thread *Yuki Kawauchi is a bada$$ *13:59 5k, 29:02 10k Japanese AMATEUR Runs 2:08:37 At Tokyo Marathon And Passes Out *Kawauchi Appreciation Thread *Kawauchi hospitalised with heat exhaustion

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More Stats - Women's Olympic Trials Standards Are Way Easier To Make Than The Men's

Last week, the Cal International Marathon and the Zappos.com Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon were held. These aren't exactly big races by any stretch on the imagination -  so why are we mentioning them? Well, they served as the last good chance for many to qualify for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials.

And qualify they did.

At Cal International alone, 8 men and 26 women qualified, which led to message board poster "xxxxx" to start a thread titled: 8 US men qualify and 26 women at CIM?, where he or she asked if the men's and women's Olympic Trials standards are equivalent.

Well, we put the question to LetsRun.com's in-house stat geek John Kellogg. Mr. Kellogg noted that near the top of the world's all-time marks (10th to 25th best times) in the distance races (3k through the marathon), the women's times were 12% to 13% slower than the men's performances. Based on this assessment, the men's and women's OT standards are nowhere close to equivalent, underscoring the relative lack of depth (and expectations) in American women's distance running, particularly road racing.

The women have a B and an A standard. The women's B standard in the marathon of 2:46:00 equates to only somewhere between 2:26:54 to 2:28:13 for a male when the men's A standard is 2:19.00. For the men, there is no B standard. Take a look at how the men's and women's times equate according to the "12% to 13% slower" rule:

Women's Olympic Trials Standard

Equivalent Men's Time (12%-13% Faster)

A Standard 2:39:00
B Standard 2:46:00
B Half 1:15:00
B 10k 33:00

2:20:42 to 2:21:58
2:26:54 to 2:28:13
1:06:22 to 1:06:58
29:12 to 29:28

Men's Olympic Trials Standard

Equivalent Women's Time (12%-13% Slower)

A Standard 2:19:00
A Half 65.00
A 10k 28:30
2:35:40 to 2:37:04
72:48 to 73.27
31:55 to 32:12

More: 8 US men qualify and 26 women at CIM? *Lots of OT qualifiers at CIM today *Sean Houseworth Is Surprise Winner At RNR Las Vegas Half Marathon

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2011 Nike Cross Nationals

The 2011 Nike Cross-Country Nationals were held, which crown the best high school cross-country team in the land. The story of the day was that the Fayetteville-Manlius girls Manlius Girls Cross Country Club won their 6th straight "national title" as they defeated New York rival Saratoga by a score of 60 to 84. In the boys race, CBA of New Jersey came through as the favorite and won 91 to 95 over Texas' South Lake Carroll.

Or were the scores really 128 to 183 in the girls race and 221 and 235 in the boys?

We would argue the latter. One of the things that drives us nuts about cross-country is the fact that individuals not on scoring teams don't count in the team scores. At the NCAAs, where most of the top individuals are on the top teams, it doesn't make a huge difference. But at the high school level, it makes a huge difference in the final score, as there really isn't much if any recruiting done at the high school level, so many of the top individuals aren't on the top teams. For example, at this year's NXN, only 6 of the top 25 finishers in the boys race counted in the team scoring and in the girls 12 of 25.

In the LetsRun.com world, everyone would count in a race. Feel free to email us if you think we are crazy but to us it makes no sense that people can lose to someone in a race and not have it affect them in the team score.

In other high school action, the Foot Locker West Regional was held. The headline story from that race in our minds was summed up perfectly by the following message board thread titled: Girl qualifies for Footlocker Nationals... declines invitation

Yes, that's right. And we think we'd do the same thing. 4th placer Sarah Robinson bowed out because of a commitment to the US national U17 soccer team. In a day and age when a focus on self rules the land, it's great to see someone putting TEAM first.

While we are on the topic of High School running, we thought we'd answer a common question we get in the LetsRun.com email inbox, "Why don't you cover High School running more?" Several reasons.

a) We try to cover truly elite running and most often high school running isn't truly elite.
b) We don't think that hyping high schoolers is necessarily great for teenagers because a lot of them get used to running for the "press/fame/hardware" instead of learning to enjoy the process. When they get in college, it can be a real struggle as they no longer are winning and no longer getting any press.
c) You all are more interested in what we do cover. If we were going to cover high school more it would make sense to start a different site.

In that light, we thought the following message board thread was pretty eye-opening: 2008 footlocker class huge flop. The thread points out that only three of the men's 2008 Foot Locker finalists were even in the top 100 at NCAAs this year. It's hard to do well as a freshman or sophomore male in college, but as juniors, one would expect a bit more. It just shows what a big jump high school is to college.

More: F-M Girls Win 6th Straight National Title *DyeStat Recap: Futsum And CBA Win On Boys Side, F-M And Sara Baxter For The Girls *6th Straight NXN Victory For Fayetteville-Manlius Girls Coach Bill Aris said he dedicated all his efforts to his father and fellow coach, John Aris, who passed away less than a month ago. *MileSplit Pics And Video *On The Boards: *Futsum Wins It!!

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Recommended Reads

We know it drives some people nuts when we hype our own stuff at LetsRun.com. Well, get ready to go totally ballistic, as this week we hype not only our own stuff but our own content that is inspired by a sponsor - PUMA. As past of PUMA's sponsorship of LetsRun.com, PUMA is giving away 100 pairs of their new Faas shoes and we've been holding a contest to see who gets the free gear. Honestly, reading about the winners is truly inspiring as it gives us insight into the greatest asset of LetsRun.com - the community of people who come and visit each and every day. You can read their stories below. Puma isn't even paying us to put this here. We're inspired by the stories and you all apparently are too by the emails we've received.

PUMA Faas Winners
Batch #5:
The Coaches
Batch #4:
 Married Guys and a Guy Whose Wife and Kids Left Him
Batch #3: Winter Wonderland:
South Dakota, A National Champion Coach, Valdez, Alaska, and TxRUNNERgirl Represent
Batch
#2: A 27:31 10ker,  A Marine Corps Marathon Champ, A Girl From Our Favorite High School, And a Guy Who Loves Asics, And a (Shoe) Geek
Batch #
1: A Boxer Who Runs 100 Miles A Week, A Guy Sick Of Getting Free Nikes, A Soldier Doing Intervals With Incoming Rounds, A 16-Year-Old Aspiring Champ

*Japanese Running News Recap Of 2011 Fukuoka International Marathon: Ndambiri With The Win, Kawauchi With The Wonder - Fukuoka International Marathon
*Jake And Zane Robertson Chasing A Dream In Deepest Africa If you aren't familiar with their story, the two twin brothers left home four years ago at 17 to live and train in Kenya. Apparently they are now living separately with African girlfriends, one in Kenya and one in Ethiopia.
*For 16-Year-Old Jacko Gill, Olympics Are Just One Throw Away Jacko's dad, Walter: "When he goes into a build-up phase, he does three training sessions a day. Some of them are in the middle of the night. The house shakes and the dog runs outside. We might be asleep, and he'll be lifting weights or bounding up and down the stairs to our bedroom door. He's definitely different. How we ever produced that, I'll never know, but we're very proud of him."
*Driven By Olympic Dreams, USA Athletes Are Flocking To Las Vegas Half This Weekend As It's The Last Good Chance To Make Marathon Trials
*Looking Back: Sally Meyerhoff's Promising Path Cut Short
*Rich Castro, Founder Of Bolder Road Runners, Retires As Head Of Road Runners We loved this quote: "Before there was a running boom in Boulder, before Frank Shorter won his gold and silver Olympic medals and helped Steve Bosley start the Bolder Boulder 10K, before the Boulder Creek Path and all the area training groups, there was Rich Castro."

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Other News Of Note From Last Week

USATF Convention

The athletes got two pieces of good news. One that appears to be fortuitous, one because of the athletes' hard work. First, the hard work: the athletes got USATF to drop their own uniform restrictions at all national championships except the Olympic Trials (which fall under USOC rules). So anything will go apparently in terms of uniforms. The other news was the IAAF announced that athletes can have two small corporate logos instead of one on their jerseys in IAAF meets and these don't have to be shoe company logos. Rome wasn't built in a day but this was some rather quick progress for the athletes.

*TFN Article Post Explaining Changes *LRC thread

LRC Chaos At USATF Convention As Athletes Make Good Progress On Logo Restrictions The twittersphere blew up after a meeting that was being streamed on the internet without the participants' knowledge was shut down in grand fashion with people storming out of it, but all in all the athletes are making good progress. Bob Hersh of the IAAF surprised them by saying in 2012 the IAAF will allow 2 logos on jerseys.
*New IAAF Rule Will Let Athletes Display 2 Logos On Uniforms Nick Symmonds: "Who knows, you could be seeing Nick McDonald's running in the Olympics next year."

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Time To Look Ahead To ...

This weekend (Dec. 10th), the first ever Sally's Run will be run in honor of US Olympic marathon hopeful and triathlete Sally Meyerhoff, who died tragically in a cycling accident earlier this year. Proceeds will support the newly-formed Sally Meyerhoff Foundation, which was created by her family "to provide financial assistance for distance runners and triathletes trying to launch a pro career." To find out more about the foundation or race, check out this website: http://www.sallymeyerhofffoundation.com/

More: Looking Back: Sally Meyerhoff's Promising Path Cut Short

****
Quote Of The Week (That Wasn't Quote Of The Day)

The Former Coach Of Jake & Zane Robertson Talking About How Into Running The Twins Were Before They Decided To Move To Africa To Train With The Best As Teenagers

"They were very determined. I have never met a more single-minded pair trying to make it to the top. They spent all their time on the computer, researching what the Kenyan athletes were doing. In the end, they decided the only way to get to the top was to leave home and train with the best."

- Don Willoughby, coach of the Robertsons when they were in New Zealand, talking in a New Zealand Herald profile of the twins. The profile described the twins' move to Africa as "a physical and spiritual experiment that has taken them from promising junior champions to the verge of world class, but so far, it's probably been more about the journey than the destination." Our response would be - life is a journey - not a destination.

****
Quotes Of The Day From The Week:

Monday 12/05: "Who knows, you could be seeing Nick McDonald's running in the Olympics next year."

- Nick Symmonds joking(?) that he's even willing to legally change his last name to satisfy potential sponsors, as an athlete's name is prominently displayed on bibs worn in competition.


Sunday 12/04: "At 36 km a spectator yelled, 'Go Kawauchi!' loudly, and, hearing him, Imai looked back. And the action began ...

Imai came back at 39.3 km, and it became the kind of race organizers dream about, two intensely popular runners going for the throat one against the other for their Olympic dream.  Imai surged. Kawauchi surged.  Imai!  Kawauchi!  If you weren't a fan of the sport this was the kind of race that would make you one, and if you were you'd be jumping and shouting like thirty of us were in a sushi place in the mountains west of Tokyo.  Surge, attack, counter, on and on until finally Kawauchi, able or willing to go somewhere Imai couldn't, went to the limit at 40 km to break Imai down.  Kawauchi clocked 6:50 for the final 2.195 km, the fastest in the field by 18 seconds and 22 seconds faster than Ndambiri's closing split.  That's 16 seconds a mile at the finish.  Across the line in 2:09:57, a characteristic collapse, oxygen on a stretcher, and a tearful Imai empty-handed and desolate except for the minor consolation of a 9-second PB ...

It's true, 2:09:57 and 3rd place isn't that competitive and is not good enough to guarantee Kawauchi a spot on the Olympic team.  But with a race like this he sure as hell deserves it.  2:09:57 puts him into a new place, one where Tokyo wasn't just a Hollywood miracle, one where he is the real thing.  Under extreme media attention and hype, including ridiculous ads for the Fukuoka broadcast showing him running in a business suit wearing a backpack, the self-training Kawauchi stuck to his principles and did things his way.  He went up against the elite, one of Hakone's greatest stars, one coached by an Olympic silver medalist who took another runner to Olympic gold.  And rejoice, for he conquered.  If the federation picks him or no, he's got nothing to prove to anybody."

- Japan Running News recap of the famed 2011 Fukuoka marathon, the first of three Japanese Olympic qualifying races, where amateur Yuki Kawauchi put up a heroic performance once again and took home 1st Japanese honors in 2:09:57.


Saturday 12/03: "(Because I used Enzyte), I got jokes, I had emails, I had Facebook messages ... (But) It was the truth. As much as I'm a hard worker, I'm an honest person and you just can't be half of one thing in life. If I work hard, I also have to be honest because the two go together."

- Defending Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt talking about the tiny mistake he made that had much bigger consequences.


Friday 12/02: "When Commonwealth Games double gold medalist Moses Kipsiro withdrew from the World Championships last year on grounds that someone was bewitching him, it came to pass as a simple story.

However, a trip to the highlands of Eastern Uganda proved to this reporter that the problem is real and not just against Kipsiro, but to several athletes, who have been forced to flee to Kapchorwa."

- Opening two paragraphs in Uganda's New Vision in an article on witchcraft which fits perfectly with the recent LetsRun.com thread: Do you think ghost (sic) exist? Many athletes in Uganda have fled their home training area as they believe they have been cursed by witches. Others say accusing someone of being a witch is just an excuse to burn their house down and take their property.


Thursday 12/01: "On my tombstone I want it to read: husband, father, runner and soldier. And I have run workouts and races all over the world; not to mention I have dragged my kids to many track meets to see the elite compete. And how many LRC fans have done intervals with incoming rounds? All I can say is that when you are nailing your splits it is hard to stop just because of a little gun fire and rockets."

- Russ Stewart, Major, US Army, one of the LRC Puma 55 announced today. Our apology in advance for giving one of our sponsors the QOTD, but we really liked the quote.


Wednesday 11/30: "We're keeping all options open ..."

- World Championships bronze medallist at 1,500, Matt Centrowitz, answering a question about where he plans to train and what shoe company he plans to sign with, now that he has decided to not use his 5th season of eligibility at Oregon and go pro.


Tuesday: 11/29: "It's always good to get in the (Olympic) team as quickly as possible. I'm going to have a real crack at the Zatopek, get in the first three, get the A-standard and get in the team early."

- Australian Craig Mottram talking about why he'll be running the Zatopek 10,000 next week even though he still views the 5,000 as his best event. Mottram admits he'll have his hands full, as the favorite will be Australian record holder Ben St. Lawrence (27:24.95).

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