The Week That Was In Running: January 23-29, 2012

January 31, 2012

Stats Of The Week

17 - The number of men who went sub-2:10 in the Dubai marathon last week - a new record.

16 - The number of American men who have gone sub-2:10 in history (and several of those never broke 2:10 on loop courses).

11 - Number of Ethiopians that ran faster than 2:07:48 or faster in Dubai.

1 - Number of US-born men who have ever run under 2:08:47.

The 17 Sub-2:10 At The 2012
Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

1. Ayele Abshero Biza, ETH        2:04:23 DB     $250,000
2. Dino Sefer, ETH           2:04:50 PR     $100,000
3. Markos Geneti ETH       2:04:54 PR     $50,000
4. Jonathan Maiyo, KEN            2:04:56 PR     $25,000
5. Tadesse Tola ETH   2:05:10 PR     $15,000
6. Dadi Yami ETH                 2:05:41 PR     $14,000
7. Abdullah Dawit Shami ETH       2:05:42 PR     $13,000
8. Deressa Chimsa ETH       2:05:42 PR     $12,000
9. Seboka Tola, ETH               2:06:17 PR     $11,000
10. Yemane Adhane, ETH     2:06:29 PR     $10,000
11. Eshetu Wendimu ETH     2:07:28
12. Moses Kigen KEN     2:07:45 PR
13. Bazu Worku ETH         2:07:48
14. Julius Nderitu, KEN           2:08:01 PR
15. Stephen Kibiwot, KEN          2:08:11
16. Mike Mutai, KEN     2:09:18 PR
17. Chala Dechase ETH     2:09:22
The 16 Sub-2:10 American Men 
In History
2:04:58a   Ryan Hall        
2:05:38    Khalid Khannouchi       
2:08:47a   Bob Kempainen    
2:08:51a   Alberto Salazar   
2:08:53a   Dick Beardsley
2:08:56    Abdihakem Abdirahman
2:09:00a   Greg Meyer        
2:09:08    Mebrahtom Keflezighi      
2:09:27a   Bill Rodgers     
2:09:31a   Ron Tabb    
2:09:32    David Morris      
2:09:35    Jerry Lawson                      
2:09:38    Ken Martin                          
2:09:41    Alan Culpepper
2:09:55    Dathan Ritzenhein                      
2:09:57a   Benji Durden

The depth of the results in Dubai was simply staggering. As we noted in our Dubai race recap, it was by far the deepest marathon in history in terms of time. The staggering depth in performances came from the fact that the race served as the unofficial Ethiopian Olympic Marathon Trials.

What about the women? It was basically more of the same. A super-fast top 5 which also included the 2nd-fastest debut in history

12 - The number of women in Dubai who ran 2:27:35 or faster.
10 - The number of women in US history who have run 2:27:35 or faster.

The 12 Women Under 2:27:36 At The 2012
Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

1. Aselefech Mergia Mddessa, ETH  2:19:31 PR $250,000
2. Lucy Wangui Kabuu, KEN         2:19:34 DB $100,000
3. Mare Dibaba Hurssa, ETH        2:19:52 PR $50,000
4. Bezunesh Bekele Sertsu, ETH    2:20:30 PR $25,000
5. Aberu Kebede Shewaye, ETH      2:20:33 PR $15,000
6. Lydia Cheromei, KEN            2:21:30 PR $14,000
7. Sharon Cherop Jemutai, KEN     2:22:39 PR $13,000
8. Atsede Baysa Tesema, ETH       2:23:13    $12,000
 9. Mamitu Daska Molisa, ETH      2:24:24   $11,000
10. Isabellah Andersson, SWE      2:25:41   $10,000
11. Mulu Seboka Seyfu, ETH        2:25:45 PR
12. Shitaye Bedasa Ordofa, ETH    2:27:14
The 10 Sub-2:27:36 American 
Women In History

1--2:19:36 Deena Kastor 2006
2--2:21:21 Joan Samuelson 1985
3 --2:22:38 Desireé Davils 2011
4 --2:24:52 Kara Goucher 2011
5--2:25:38 Shalane Flanagan 2012
5--2:26:22 Magdalena Lewy Boulet 2010
6--2:26:26 Julie Brown 2005
7--2:26:40 Kim Jones 1991
8--2:27:03-Amy Hastings LA 2011
9--2:27:10 Marla Runyan 2002
10--2:27:35 Francie Larrieu Smith 1991

The race also shows what is possible when the floodgates are opened and all competitors are allowed to compete.

Dubai has the richest prize purse in marathoning. $250,000 for first, $100,00 for second, all the way down for $10,000 for 10th. What it does not have is appearance fees. As far as we know, anyone can show up and compete. The results speak for themselves.

More: *LRC Hello World, Meet Ayele Abshero (2:04:23 Debut!) *Results

What Does Dubai Mean For Ethiopian Olympic Team? Will Gebrselassie Even Run In London? Does Abshero = Wanjiru?

When we saw the results in Ethiopia, we immediately thought, "Does this mean Haile G is out of the London Olymipcs?"

The Ethiopians would be foolish to not name Abshero - a former World Junior XC champion - who just ran 2:04:23 to their Olympic marathon team. Yes, he's young and inexperienced, but the parallels between him and Sammy Wanjiru are striking.

Prior to Beijing, a young 21-year-old Wanjiru made his marathon debut the December before the Olympics and has smashing success. He was 21 years and 22 days old at the time. Less than a year later, he was the Olympic record holder.

Prior to London, a young 21-year-old Abshero made his marathon debut the January before the Olympics and has smashing success. He was 21 years old and 30 days old at the time - just 8 days older than Wanjiru was. Less than a year later, what will the result be?

Haile Gebrselassie's Marathon Career
2002 - 2:06:35  NR  3rd in London
2005 - 2:06:20  NR  Win in Amsterdam
2006 - 2:09:05          9th in London
2006 - 2:05:56  NR  Win in Berlin
         - 2:06:52          Win in Fukuoka
2007 - 2:04:26  WR  Win in Berlin
          - DNF             DNF in London
2008 - 2:04:53          Win in Dubai
          - 2:03:59 WR  Win in Berlin
2009 - 2:05:29           Win in Dubai
         - 2:06:08           Win in Berlin
2010 - 2:06:09           Win in Dubai
          - DNF              DNF in New York
2011 - DNS               DNS in Tokyo
            DNF              DNF in Berlin

So assuming Abshero is on the team, who else makes it for Ethiopia? Well, in addition to the six other Ethiopians (yes, 7 Ethiopians total were in the 2:05s) who ran under 2:06 in Dubai, there are a few other good candidates not named Gebrselassie. Five Ethiopians are competing at the 2012 Virgin London Marathon field. Two of the five were in the Dubai field, in third placer Markos Geneti (2:04:54, plus a 2:06:35 win in his debut in LA last spring) and 13th placer Bazu Worku (2:07:48 in Dubai, former world junior record holder at 2:06:15 from 2009, 2:05:25 in 2010). The additional Ethiopians in London include 2008 Olympic and 2009 World champion bronze medallist and 2010 London champ Tsegaye Kebede (2:05:19 PR), 2:05:23 marathoner and 2011 World Championships bronze medallist Feyisa Lelisa, and 2:06:13 guy Abreham Cherkos.

Considering Gebrselassie hasn't finished a marathon in over two years (Dubai 2010), it's impossible to see him being named to the Olympic marathon team at age 39 (he's 38 now but turns 39 in April) unless he runs well in Tokyo in February.

Geb fans, don't fret. Here's some hope for you. If Gebrselassie finishes the marathon in Tokyo, expect him to be on the 2012 Olympic marathon team.

Why do we say that? Because as the chart on the left shows, Geb almost never finishes a marathon if he's losing. He lost two of the first three marathons he finished but since then has won 8 straight if you ignore a bunch of DNFs.

A Reminder That Life Isn't Fair - 2:07:28 Full Marathon Gets Zero $, A 67:14 Half Gets $1,500

We don't know if there were time bonuses in people's contracts and don't think there were appearance fees in Dubai. If there weren't time bonuses, we feel bad for the people who ran super-fast in Dubai and got zero money to show for it. Imagine running 2:25:45 or 2:07:28 and finishing 11th and getting nothing in return.

And to think, they could have just gone to Austin, Texas and picked up $1,500 for running way slower, as shown by the following results.

3 M Half Marathon Prize Money
MEN (gun times) -
 1. Scott Rantall, 30, Cedar Park, TX           1:07:14  $1,500
 2. Tlaloc Venancio Mancilla, 26, Flagstaff, AZ 1:07:30   1,000
 3. Joseph McCellon, 30, Austin, TX             1:07:43    600
WOMEN (gun times) -
 1. Kelly Williamson, 34, Austin, TX            1:14:42 PR $1,500
 2. Jess Barton, 22, Amonate, VA                1:15:53 DB  1,000
 3. Chris Kimbrough, 42, Austin, TX             1:16:20      600
 4. Sonya Correa, 30, Dallas, TX                1:19:46      400
 5. Priscilla Alderete, 31, San Antonio, TX     1:20:57      200


6 Thoughts On The Collegiate Action, Which Started To Heat Up Last Week

1. What a great double by Southern Utah's Cam Levins.

He ran a 13:42.90 to win the 5,000 in Seattle and then came back and won the 3,000 the next day and ran 7:48.25, defeating BYU's Miles Batty as well as the OTC's Sam Chelanga, Kevin Chelimo, Stephen Piper and Chris Thompson.

How refreshing that someone at Southern Utah is a star. Everyone who has transferred recently - please take note.

2. Stephen Sambu hasn't gone pro.

As a freshman at Arizona last year, Sambu was special, as he was the NCAA XC runner-up before running 13:28 and 27:28 last year on the track. He didn't run XC this fall but ran a number of high-profile road races, leading some to speculate he had gone pro, but he was 3rd in the 3,000 at Arkansas in a new PR of 7:51.59.

Lawi Lalang All Alone

And for those of you who think making track
popular is just about fast times, watch the crowd.

3. Speaking of Sambu, how about his training partner Lawi Lalang? Could He Win An Olympic Medal?

The guy opened with a 3:55.09 in the mile (video to right) - just missing the collegiate record. It seems as if collegiate running is well on it's way to having it's first sub-13 guy if he doesn't go pro before then. Given his XC prowess, one of our first thoughts, "This guy could be an Olympic medal contender at 5k or 10k this year." Galen Rupp or Chris Solinsky, watch out as he's a dream killer. Seriously, wouldn't a guy with that type of natural speed combined with that type of endurance, whose brother is an Olympian at 800 for Kenya, have a good chance at outkicking a Rupp or Solinsky?

4. The NCAA times are getting out of control - they are so good.

The collegiate record in the mile belongs to German Fernandez at 3:55.02. Yet look at the current top 5 in the NCAA:

1   Lalang, Lawi    SO-2    Arizona     3:55.09     Razorback Invitational  01/27/12    01/29/12
2   Estrada, Diego  JR-3    Northern Arizona    3:55.48 @   NAU Mountain T's Invitational   01/27/12    01/29/12
3   McCarthy, David     SR-4    Providence  3:55.75     2012 Boston University Terrier Classic  01/27/12    01/29/12
4   Leslie, Cory    JR-3    Ohio State  3:56.85     Penn State National Invitational    01/27/12    01/28/12
5   McEntee, Sam    SO-2    Villanova   3:57.86     Penn State National Invitational    01/27/12    01/28/12

Admittedly, Estrada's is an altitude-converted time, but the guys are running really well right now.

If the collegiate record doesn't fall at Millrose or sometime this year, we'd be surprised. The amazing Tony Waldrop ran 3:55.0 in 1974. For a profile on him, click here. It's hard to believe someone hasn't run close to 3:50.

5. German Fernandez ran 4:05 in Lalang's 3:55.09 race - something's not right.

The decline of Fernandez has been hard to watch. Don't tell us he's injury-prone or what not. The guy should run 4:05 in his sleep.

6. UMinnesota 4 x 800 men - Please come to Penn Relays.

The 4 x 800 at Penn the last few years has been great. Last year, both PSU and UVA ran 7:12. Well, last week, two Gophers ran 1:46 indoors. Currently the UMinn 800 list looks like this for 2012:

Abda, Harun JR-3 1:46.97 Bill Bergan Invitational 01/28/12
  Pachuta, David SR-4 1:46.98 Bill Bergan Invitational 01/28/12
  Pachuta, David SR-4 1:49.90 Jack Johnson Classic 01/20/12
  McFarland, Joe SR-4 1:52.62 Bill Bergan Invitational 01/28/12

That adds up to 7:16.47. If each guy just comes down 1 second between now and April, they are in the 7:12 range as well (and that doesn't take into account the fact that 3 of the splits should be faster than open 800s).

(Editor's addition: A reader has pointed out that David Pachuta appears twice. Stupid us or should we say stupid computer? Why would it list the same person twice? Regardless, we'd love to have them at Penn Relays. Does anyone know who an addition potential #3 or #4 man would be for them? Updat see below).
Editor's addition:#2 There must be quite a few Gopher fans out there. We received a few emails on this. As for the #3 and #4, Travis Burkstrand has an 800 pr of 1:49.3, Nick Hutton has an 800 PR of 1:48.7 and Joe McFarland has a pr of 1:50.3. That doesn't count 3:54 miler Ben Blankenship who has outdoor eligibility left. The Gopher teams are sick. They should come to Penn once every 5 years just to expose themselves to a new audience.

One Final Thought On The 2012 US Olympic Trials Marathon

We promise this is our last thought. Last week, we said we were done with US Trials talk, but it seems each week we find another interesting tidbit about the race.

In all of our Olympic Trials Marathon talk along the lines of "What would happen if you ran as hard as you can for as long as you can?" we forgot to talk about the biggest blowup in actuality. Sure, Sean Houseworth was a DNF after running in the chase pack for 20 miles.

But former Pima Community college runner Craig Curley ran with the lead pack for as long as he could as well, but unlike Houseworth, he didn't drop out. Surely he saw the writing on the wall at mile 20 but he didn't DNF. He kept on going - or at least tried to. As late as mile 16, he was running sub-5. At mile 20, he was still on 2:14:44 pace. But then look what happened - 5:42, 6:15, 6:41, 6:38, 12:44, and 16:15. The final .2 took 2:54.

Total time?

Take a guess.


Craig deserves a Thumbs Up, though, for effort and for not dropping out. Kudos as well to LRC visitor "Frank" for emailing us Craig's stats.

Weekly Free Coaching Advice - Get As Big Of A Base As Possible

On January 27th, the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of 3-time Olympic champion (800 in 1960 and 800/1,500 in 1964) Peter Snell's 3:54.4 world record for the mile. Oh, wait - we forgot, people don't actually care about the mile - just the 1,500 (that was a joke for those of you that aren't fans of the Bring Back The Mile Movement). Snell, who was a disciple of Arthur Lydiard, revolutionized middle-distance training in many ways, as he certainly wasn't a low mileage guy like the first sub-4 man in history, Roger Bannister, who broke 4:00 10 years before Snell's WR. Snell would get a huge base and even ran marathons for training.

In a Running Times feature, Snell said that running is pretty simple. Gets as big of a base as possible and then let your natural speed come out.

    "I came to the conclusion that it was all about the conditioning. Spend as much time as you can on the conditioning and you'll eventually get yourself into, as Lydiard liked to say, a 'tireless state.' In practical terms, you could run the (22-mile) Waiatarua course and feel like you could go out the next day and do it again. You recovered rapidly. Once you got there it was a very heady feeling. You could do a great volume of training, get your intervals down to race pace, and do more faster than race pace. ... It's a relatively simple formula. Develop endurance as early as possible. Developing endurance is difficult and time consuming. Developing speed is a relatively short process with a fairly strong genetic component.

In addition having a coach who can prevent a super-motivated and super-talented athlete from self-destructing (Alan Webb anyone?), Snell added that he thought having realistic goals was key:

    "In my case, I really didn't aim too high. I didn't think I was going to be an Olympian. I found when you have reasonable, attainable objectives, you are more motivated. It's easier to attain more modest goals than to be always reaching too high and falling short. Eventually, you have to aim high, otherwise you'll never get there, but you don't start out like that. The chances of failure when you aim too high are really great. I always worked hard to keep expectations low; even if I believed I could do better, I didn't talk about it."

More: Running Times Feature: Peter Snell: Gentleman, Athlete, Scholar

Bored At Work? Watch These Two Entertaining Miles/1,500s
+ A Thought Or Two About Farah's & Lagat's Openers

The one on the left is the HS boys race from Madison Square Garden, which is always one of the best races at the Garden, as - unlike the pros - there are a lot of lead changes. The one on the right is Mo Farah's season debut in the UK at 1,500, which is a rare pro race with a lot of lead changes as well.

2012 Boys HS Mile At US Open

Mo Farah's Season Debut Vs. Augustine Choge

Lagat Loses - Farah Wins - What Does It Mean?

Since Worlds, Farah opened up with a narrow win in the metric mile last week and WC silver medallist Bernard Lagat opened up with a narrow loss in the mile, and it's hard not to think "Farah is looking good for London 2012 as Lagat is getting older and losing some of his speed." That sentiment is certainly a logical one to have, but it needs to be remembered that the level of competition wasn't the same.

The winner in New York over Lagat was Silas Kiplagat, who was 2nd at Worlds last year in the 1,500. A 37-year-old Bernard Lagat knows he can't kick with the best milers in the world anymore and hence he's moved up to the 5,000. Farah's narrow win the UK was over Augustine Choge - who was 7th in the Kenyan Trials last year.

Since we talked a tiny bit about the men's milers in New York, we should talk a little bit about the women's. Brenda Martinez deserves props for winning her 2nd-straight race in the Big Apple. But the bigger story was Anna Pierce's 2012 season opener. Pierce, a former 3:59 1,500 runner who was ranked #2 in the world at 800 in 2010, had a disastrous 2011 during which she didn't break 4:10 in the 1,500. Heading into the US Open last week, a pre-race interview in Runnersworld gave hope to Pierce fans as it offered an explanation for her 2011 struggles. Pierce told her that she thought "an overgrowth of a yeast or a bad bacteria  in my body that was a repercussion from having taken all those antibiotics over the years" had caused her to be unable to recover from her workouts. With that figured out, Pierce talked optimistically about her 2012 campaign, but then she went out and got totally smoked by 5 + seconds by 4:09 1,500 runner Brenda Martinez.

Was Pierce's 4:39.97 mile in the Garden just a rust buster or are her best days past her? We may start to find out this Saturday when Pierce and training partner Morgan Uceny go after the AR of 2:34 in the 1,000 in Boston.

More: US Open *US Open Results *LRC Photo Gallery *LRC Silas Kiplagat Over Lagat, Asafa Powell Is Back, So Are Lolo Jones And Terrence Trammell World Champs silver medallist Silas Kiplagat used a burst of speed over the final lap to turn back Bernard Lagat in the mile at MSG. Asafa Powell and Veronica Campbell Brown looked good in the 50s, Terrence Trammell upset David Oliver in the hurdles, Lolo Jones came back from injury, World Champ Jesse Williams opened higher than he did in 2011, Brenda Martinez won the mile (and Anna Pierce was well-beaten), and a MSG high school record was set in the mile. *LRC 52 Thoughts On The ESPN2 Broadcast If a tree falls in a forest, is there a sound? If a track meet is not on TV, does it exist? Who cares, as the US Open was on ESPN2 last night and we analyze the coverage.
*Pre- US Open: : After Falling Off The Map In 2011, Anna Pierce Is Talking Big At Start Of 2012, As She's Hoping To Get The AR In The 1k In Boston

"What About The Sport?"
Nick Symmonds Says Athletes Need To Do More & We Agree

Before we get to our quotes of the week that weren't quotes of the day, we wanted to start with a quote that we felt deserved to get it's own section. It comes from US 800 meter star Nick Symmonds' blog. In our minds, it's absolutely brilliant and absolutely stupid at the same time. The brilliance outweighs the stupidity by a long shot, so here we go:

"Track and field's waning popularity is due in large part to the logo restrictions put in place by the IAAF, but it's also due to the laziness of athletes. I'm calling myself out here. I was as lazy as anyone. For the last six years, I was content to train hard, hide in my house and rest between workouts, and do little to nothing to engage our fans and grow our fan base. I figured that I was doing enough by just training hard and running fast. I no longer feel that way."

We call the quote stupid only because Track & Field's waning popularity has nothing to do with the logo restrictions put in place by the IAAF. Zero.

Yes, it would help the athletes if they could have more than one sponsor on the logo, but let's be honest - it would do almost zero to increase the popularity of the sport. Companies advertise on jerseys to get seen by consumers and non-shoe companies aren't exactly bidding up the price of the logo on a track jersey. If T&F were more popular, there would be plenty of money to go around, as the companies would be bidding for the real estate like they do on soccer jerseys. The lack of non-shoe sponsors is a result of the decline of popularity - not a cause.

The 2nd part of the quote, though, is brilliant and it falls into line with our "What about the sport?" questions of the last few weeks. Everyone in the sport (and society) needs to stop acting only in their own interest and start thinking about the sport as a whole. The examples of people not caring about the sport as a whole are all over the place. This weekend, Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar needed to race instead of one running a 3,000 and the other a two-mile in Boston. After Worlds last year, Usain Bolt needed to race Yohan Blake prior to the Olympics. The University of Minnesota's 4 x 800 should consider going to Penn Relays to challenge UVA and PSU. Or UVA and PSU could go to Drake.

In the major sports, the athletes have to do lots of things that they don't want to do (play pre-season games, 162-game schedule in baseball, play in a certain number of lower-tier tournaments in tennis, etc.) because a commissioner who is worried about the overall sport makes them do things they don't want to do. In track, there really is no commissioner and therein lies the problem.

We remember when Doug Logan took over USATF. Rojo talked to him in Amman Jordan at World Cross-Country and he had all of these ideas about how he was going to have matchups and make the athletes do this and that. And we thought to ourselves, "How are you going to do that if you don't pay them?"

In Track & Field, it would be wrong for someone to dictate to the athletes what they must do unless they are paying them. The only ones really paying anyone in track are the shoe companies. And they are so self-interested and involved in an ego death match with each other, that their self interest almost always comes before the overall sport's interest.

In our minds, everyone therefore needs to try to do better - the athletes, the coaches, the shoe companies, the media. Do something that may not be in your absolute best immediate interest but is in the sport's best interest (and could be in your own long-term interest). Just expand your time horizon a bit. We're not saying don't look at your own interest, but think "Is there something I could do for the sport as well?"

We're contemplating adding a section to the site entitled, "What about the sport?" or "The Unofficial Commish" or something like that where we talk about what is and isn't good for the sport and what a commissioner would do if he or she were all powerful.

Along those lines, a Thumbs Up to Bernard Lagat for at least voicing his concerns about the death of the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden. Lagat told the New York Post's Brian Lewis the following about the move of the Millrose Games to the Armory:

"Oh, yes, I'd be wrong if I said I didn't. I voiced my concerns. To me, the Millrose Games and Madison Square Garden, one was not existing without the other. ... I felt like it's been separated."

Of course, that didn't stop Lagat from eating his cake and having it too, as he'll run in both meets - the mile at the US Open at MSG and the 5k at Millrose.

Since we mentioned the New York Post's article on Lagat, we have to mention this line by Lewis which compared Lagat to Derek Jeter. It was some great writing:

"And even the classy Lagat, who makes Derek Jeter look controversial, admitted questions about seeing the meet leave."

Quotes Of The Week (That Weren't Quotes Of The Day)

How we overlooked Jimmy Grabow for a quote of the day is beyond us. The American who ran 2:12:29 in his marathon debut had four or five quotes last week from a fantastic Running Times piece on him that were all worth of QOD status. Grabow is a true "blue collar" runner, as he works a full-time job while training and realizes the sport is about accomplishment, not money. We'll share a four of them with you.

#1 - Grabow Telling Running Times How He Balances A Full-Time Job With 100+ Mile Weeks

"I've always been a mileage whore, even running 100 miles a week in college. I still do a lot of mileage, but I've also upped the intensity on my mileage. I usually get up at 5:30, go for a 15-miler and then go to my gym and do my core work and so forth. I have some recovery chocolate milk and breakfast and go off to work. I take an hour nap during lunch on most days and then go back to work. After work, I go for a 5-mile easy jog and do some stretching and icing. Then on Saturdays, I do a long run, and Sunday I kind of do something easy and relaxed."

#2 - Grabow Telling Running Times How He Didn't Even Wear A Watch So That He Ran The First Half With His Head And Last Half With His Heart

"Going into the race, I was going to be happy with anything under 2:15. I told myself ahead of time I wasn't going to worry about splits. I didn't wear a watch. I didn’t plan on running 5:05s or anything like that. My pure attitude was to go in and have a good respect for it, be patient in the beginning and over the last half or 10K try to pick it up. I just wanted to go in there, enjoy the experience and race and compete hard. You know, like they say, 'Use your mind the first half, use your heart the second half.' And that's what I did. At the 13-mile mark, I felt pretty good and just decided to roll with it."

#3 - Grabow Telling Running Times How The Time Means Everything To Him - The Prize Money Very Little

"Then I heard I finished in 10th place and that was pretty exciting, and someone told me I won $4,000, too. But I don't care about the money. That will go away, but the time (2:12:29) never will."

- American Jimmy Grabow telling Running Times about what he thinks about the prize money he earned for finishing 10th at the Olympic Trials Marathon in his marathon debut in 2:12:29.

#4 - Grabow Telling Running Times In Frank, Non-Politically-Correct Terms As To How He Knew He'd Be Good At The Marathon

"Since I was in high school, everybody who knew me as a runner said I was more geared toward the marathon. I have an efficient stride. I’m small. I’ve got short, half-Japanese legs. And hey, Japanese are great marathoners, so I had to embrace that. It's just taken me to this point to believe in that and embrace that."

More: MB: Jimmy Grabow - The Ultimate Blue Collar Runner

#5 British High Jumper Robbie Grabarz Explaining Why He Wasn't Upset That He Lost UK Lottery Funding Heading Into An Olympic Year

"It's a performance sport and I didn't perform, so why should they support me? It's very simple. They give you performance criteria and if you don’t meet them, they don't support you anymore."

"I don't think I've been done any disservice at all. It was all my own doing and that's why I'm not being funded this year. I don't have any grudges. But after the end of the season I just sat down and thought to myself that I was really disappointed with my performance in 2011 and it was my fault and nobody else's. I said to myself, 'You're not going to let this happen again.'"

- We followed Grabow's quiotes with Grabarz's quotes from The Telgraph, as he seemed to be a bit of a "blue-collar high jumper." Not only did he not complain about losing lottery funding, he used it to motivate him to new heights, literally. Grabarz is now on top of the world rankings thanks to the #4 jump in British history at 2.34m. Grabarz isn't the only jumper to succeed after getting his funding cut. Former UK indoor champ Samson Oni, who also lost his funding last year, recently tied his own PR with a 2.13m jump.

More: British HJer Robbie Grabarz Says UK Was Right In Cutting His Lottery Funding After Miserable 2011, Now He's On Top Of World Rankings Thanks To #4 Jump In British History

#6 New 20-Year-Old British Pole Vault Star Holly Beasdale, Who Became The #4 Vaulter In History After Clearing 4.87m, Talking About What It's Like To Have Gone After Yelena Isinbayeva's World Record

"I remember watching on television when (Yelena) Isinbayeva won in Beijing. I had not even started training for the pole vault then, so it's quite crazy to think how far I've come. ... It's quite strange to think that I was attempting Isinbayeva's world indoor record on Saturday, because when you think of the women's pole vault you think of Isinbayeva. She was such an idol for me when I was coming up through the ranks but I guess now I don't see her that way. It's hard to idolise someone that you're trying to beat."

Beasdale went from relative unknown to potential Olympic favorite and British media sensation in the span of a single meet. The vault, which you can watch below, actually took place on January 20th, but it took a few days for the media firestorm to hit.


#7 - Peter Snell Talking About Why Big-Time Recruits Don't Often Improve At Big-Time Programs

"When I visited the U.S. in 1961. I stopped in Palo Alto and had a conversation with a runner who was in his third year at Stanford. He had run 4:12, 1:54 at 17 in high school. As a junior in college he wasn't much better - he'd run 1:52, 4:08. The U.S. seemed to have a lot of runners who did the same thing, had great times in high school, but then didn't get much better or got worse. I couldn't understand why, but it was apparent that the Stanford runner had to do a lot of racing often with an 880/mile double and then an 880 in the medley relay within a single meet. Free education, good coaches, and the best sports science, which works for technique events but not for middle-distance and distance runners. The U.S. hasn't got its fair share of middle-distance medals."

Recommended Reads

*Running Times Feature: Peter Snell: Gentleman, Athlete, Scholar
*London Race Director Tom Bedford Blogs On The London Marathon's Experience In Iten, Kenya
*A Look Back At When Peter Snell Set The Mile WR As Nick Willis Gets Ready To Race Mile In His Honor This Friday
*LRC Harrison Lakehomer Wins His Second-Straight Puma LRC Prediction Contest
*LRC What About The Sport? Wejo, an outspoken critic of Millrose Games moving to the Armory, says don't celebrate USATF sticking it to Millrose. Celebrate the sport being on ESPN.

Other News Of Note From The Last Week

After Apology, Bekele & Others Have Suspensions Lifted The Ethiopian federation is still acting like they are in charge: "They [the athletes] have pledged to respect the body's directives from now on."
*AP: Bekele & 34 Others Cleared

Will Leer's 3:58.45 Defeats Nick Willis' 3:58.81 Results and race video. New Zealand is 16 hours ahead of the US, so the race is over. Pretty amazing that 50 years later, Snell's mark still stands.
*MBoard Thread

Bad News: 2004 Olympic Champ Mizuki Noguchi's Comeback Is Derailed As She Pulls Out Of Sunday's Osaka Marathon With Thigh Inflammation A shame, as her training had gone great and she said last week, "I did almost 100% of what was on the training menu. I'm ready to drop a big one." She'll now turn her attention to the last Olympic selection race - the March 11 Nagoya Women's Marathon.
*MB: Mizuki Noguchi injured again - is she done?

Good, But Not That Good? High Schooler Marvin Bracy Runs (Or False Starts?) To 6.08 At 55 Meters It's a national record and would almost have beaten Asafa Powell at the US Open. Bracy is a stud (ran w-a 10.05 last year), but some people, including us, at first glance thought that this excellent video shows a false start. But an emailer points out you see smoke before Bracy moves. Thanks to MBoarders in this thread for alerting us to the video.

Sanya Richards-Ross 23.18 / 51.45 Double (Full Weekend Track Recap From Athletics Weekly) World leaders in both, as she seemed confident pre-race to have put her problems behind her. Up next - the Super Bowl, where her husband Aaron Ross will play for the Giants.

LRC Alan Webb Falls In 800 At George Mason In Comeback Race #2 Alan stumbled coming off the final turn and hit the track but still got up in finished in 1:59. He was on 1:53-high pace before the fall.

Mo Farah's 3:39 Edges Augustine Choge A good start to the season for Mo. Hannah England got pipped at the line. *Results *Message Board Thread

Quotes Of The Day From The Week:

Note: To see a particular day's homepage, click on the hyperlink of the date on the left. The quote's hyperlink will take you to that particular article - not that day's homepage.

Monday 1/30: "Once I was winning regional titles and country titles (in running) my freshman year, I knew that 'this is better than JV soccer.'"

- World Champs bronze medallist Matt Centrowitz, who will make his pro debut at this weekend's New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston in a stacked 3k vs. silver medalliast Silas Kiplagat. We are upset with the meet for staging a women's 3k and a women's 2-mile just so Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar don't race. What a joke. If you have a solution for how fans should express their displeasure, email us. Note: the New Balance IGP is an advertiser on LetsRun, but that's not why we have this quote here.

Sunday 1/29: "We really did not know what to expect. We're trying to rebuild the brand of professional track and field in the Garden, and it's going to take more than a year."

- USATF spokeswoman Jill Geer sounding like next year there will be year 100 of track and field in Madison Square Garden. Last night's inaugural US Open had a crowd of 5,844. The sport still struggles to attract fans (i.e., people who aren't related to athletes competing).

Saturday 1/28: "I am not so much surprised about this kind of (race) because now in Kenya and Ethiopia we have hundreds of athletes running for living assisted well by managers,something (that) never existed before. I have here a staff, in Kenya in my camp we have everything: pacers for women, medical assistance for every health problems and principally coaches who train them with new ideas only dreamed by them years ago (my special thanks to Renato Canova and Gabriele Nicola for coaching-work). These factors are all important but you don't have to forget one thing: with few races on track, for guys with around 27' on 10k is easier decide to run a marathon. This kind of jump to marathon in men is done, still a couple of year to let women to understand the same idea!"

- Agent Gianni Demadonna on the stunning results at yesterday's Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon where 4 men went sub-2:05 and 3 women went sub-2:20. It is a new era in the marathon.

Friday 1/27: The U.S. is very much an instant-gratification culture where the best talent is often burnt out at a young age, he says. Talent isn't so much nurtured and developed as it's exploited, marketed and capitalized upon. The values of sport have given way to those of entertainment. Coaches aren't rewarded so much for teaching or nurturing talent, but rather for more wins than losses or riding the coattails of genetically gifted individuals who survive the training they're subjected to, rather than being developed to their full potential.

"It's a relatively simple formula," says Snell. "Develop endurance as early as possible. Developing endurance is difficult and time consuming. Developing speed is a relatively short process with a fairly strong genetic component."

- Excerpt and then quote from a Running Times feature on Peter Snell, the Kiwi 800/1,500 Olympic gold medallist, who 50 years ago today lowered the world record to 3:54.4 in the mile thanks to running 100-plus-mile weeks and 22-mile long runs. A great read, particularly page 4, which slams the US college coaches for only recruiting, not developing talent.

Thursday 1/26: "(The addition of USA Track & Field Classic as a) televised meet before the biggest audience possible (ESPN) with some of the sports biggest stars is a good development ...

Millrose explicitly said by going to the Armory, 'USATF we don't want to work with you. We know what is best.' So if USATF has the opportunity to get another meet with many of the sports stars on ESPN, is that a good development for the sport? Yes. That is 'a development worth celebrating.'

(But) the concept of USATF 'sticking it' to Millrose however is not worth celebrating. The governing body is supposed to support the sport as a whole. With very few pro meets in the US it would be best if they could work together. The problem is there are very few grown ups in the room thinking about the sport as a whole. We've got a lot of big fish in little ponds."

- co-founder Weldon Johnson writing in an editorial, described as being "incisive" by TFN, on the ongoing USATF - Millrose (and New Balance/Nike?) dispute.

Wednesday 1/25: "Yeah, I definitely think I can come back from last year and be in medal contention. I mean, I've run every step with Morgan, and I know that she is going to be a medal contender. So that gives me a lot of confidence."

- 3:59 1,500-meter runner Anna Pierce, resurfacing in a Runnerworld interview after a disastrous 2011 campaign during which she only managed a 4:10 1,500. Pierce says her team has figured out what caused the world-ranked #2 at 800 in 2010 to be off her game in 2011. She claims she's in great fitness and will be running the mile at MSG this weekend before going for the American 1k record in Boston.

Tuesday 1/24: "I found myself running in complete freedom from restraint. I was holding nothing back and I don't think I've ever felt such a glorious feeling of strength and speed without strain as I did during that final exhilarating 300 yards. I knew I must be well within four minutes as I raced the last curve, I straightened, heard for the first time the rising roar of the crowd and kept on driving. Still, there was no conscious effort."

- Quote from 1960/1964 Olympic champion Peter Snell on when he set the world record in the mile at 3:54.4 at New Zealand's Wanganui's Cooks Gardens on January 27, 1962. Nick Willis will race the mile there this Friday night to celebrate the anniversary of the record.


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