The Week That Was In Running: December 3 – December 9, 2012

By December 10, 2012 To read last week’s Weekly Recap, click here. **** Wilson Kipsang Wins In Honolulu To Solidify The World #1 Ranking On Sunday, Wilson Kipsang capped a great 2012 by winning the Honolulu Marathon in 2012 in 2:12:31. Heading into Honolulu, LetsRun believed that Kipsang was deserving of the world #1 ranking […]

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December 10, 2012

To read last week’s Weekly Recap, click here.

Wilson Kipsang Wins In Honolulu To Solidify The World #1 Ranking

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On Sunday, Wilson Kipsang capped a great 2012 by winning the Honolulu Marathon in 2012 in 2:12:31. Heading into Honolulu, LetsRun believed that Kipsang was deserving of the world #1 ranking for 2012 given the fact that he won the Virgin London Marathon in the spring and then got the bronze at the Olympics. Now we are certain he deserves that honor.

Who else deserves the #1 ranking over him? No one in our minds.

Here we look at the 2012 seasons of the “Major” winners:

Berlin: Geoffrey Mutai – Mutai won Berlin in a quick 2:04:15, but  was a DNF in his other marathon this year – Boston.

LRC Comment: Clearly the DNF eliminates him from consideration. The fact that he may have been given the Berlin victory by his training partner is a totally different story.


When LRC Met With Wilson Last Winter, He Was Not Quite On Top Of The World

Boston: Wesley Korir – He ran 2:12:40 tow win Boston and then 2:06.33 for 5th in Chicago.

LRC Comment: Kipsang’s win in London is a bigger deal than a win in Boston, Kipsang’s SB was better and Kipsang’s third at the Olympics is clearly better than a fifth in Chicago. Clearly Kipsang deserves the nod over Korir.

Chicago: Tsegaye Kebede – He was third in London in 2:06:52 and then won Chicago in a course record of 2:04:38.

LRC Comment: Like Kipsang, he has a third and a first. But a win in London is a bigger deal than a win in Chicago and a third at the Olympics is a bigger deal than a third in London. So the edge clearly belonged to Kipsang before Honolulu. But Kebede had a damn good 2012 and might actually deserve the world #2 over Kiprotich.

New York: There was no New York winner in 2012 except for the New York Post.

Olympics: Stephen Kiprotich – He won Olympic gold in 2:08:01 and was third in Fukuoka in 2:07:50.

LRC Comment: Even before Kipsang’s win in Honolulu, we’d probably have put Kipsang at #1 ahead of Kiprotich.

Yes, we know there is nothing close in the sport to an Olympic marathon win – even if a win at the Virgin London marathon might be just as hard if not harder to do. But a third at the Olympics is way bigger of a deal than a third at Fukuoka and people need to remember Kipsang’s victory at the Virgin London marathon was the most dominant victory in 30 years. The #1 ranking to us should go to the person who had the best overall season. We’d have given the slight edge to Kipsang prior to Honolulu but now there is no doubt in our minds. Yes, Honolulu is normally an afterthought of a race, but Markos Geneti, who ran 2:04:54 earlier this year, was in the field.

More: Honolulu Marathon: Wilson Kipsang Solidifies World #1 Ranking With Negative Split Win 2:04:54 man Markos Geneti was 37 seconds back in second. 2008 Olympic decathlon champ Bryan Clay ran 4:46:31.
Women: Russia’s Valentina Galimova Comes From Behind To Win In 2:31:23 American Stephanie Rothstein Bruce was third in 2:32:47.
*Bryan Clay Ran The Honolulu Marathon With His Wife Only 8 Weeks After Having Surgery For Five Hernias Clay: “It was a beast. The decathlon is a completely different animal.”
On The Boards: Is Wilson Kipsang the #1 Marathoner in the world in 2012 regardless of what happens in Honolulu? *Honolulu Live Talk

2012 Foot Locker Cross-Country Nationals/Foot Locker Versus NXN Compared

The 2012 high school cross-country season came to an end last weekend with the 34th running of the Foot Locker Cross-Country Championships. The big story was that Edward Cheserek of New Jersey via Kenya was able to successfully able to defend his crown, to become just the 4th boys repeat champion as the regional winners went 1-4. Cheserek didn’t start his XC season until mid-year as he wanted to focus on SAT/Academics and some thought that he was vulnerable as a result. However, he was able to put 5.4 seconds on Virginia’s Sean McGorty at the end of the race, as the runners went up the big hill before the finish. In the girls race, sophomore Anna Rohrer of Ohio was able to overcome an early race fall to get the win. The girls runner-up was Massachusetts’ Catarina Rocha.

One interesting tidbit -both Rocha and McGorty have parent(s) who were FL finalists themselves. McGorty’s mom, Vicki Verinder (now Vicki McGorty), raced Suzy Favor in 1983 when Verinder was 22nd. Rocha’s mom, Gina, was 21st in 1984 and her dad, Joe, was 15th in 1982.

Since the start of Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) in 2004, many have been predicting the demise of Foot Locker for years. However, Foot Locker has managed to survive and attract the supreme individual talent. That was the case yet again this year.

One of our favorite statistically-oriented websites is the New York-centered website, which is run by scientist Bill Meylan. Meylan looks at cross-country ratings and assigns a speed rating to each performance so it’s possible to compare performances on different courses or even on the same course in different conditions – much like the Beyer speed ratings for horse racing. The ratings are simply amazing. Meylan focuses on New York where he is located, but for bigger meets, he sometimes goes outside of New York to create speed ratings. He created speed ratings for NXN and Foot Locker. We in turn took those and now provide you mythical top 10 boys and top 10 girls if NXN and Foot Locker had been run together (as we wish was the case) instead of apart.

As you can see, Foot Locker is still holding on to its perch as the #1 individual meet.

Top 10 XC Boys Combined NXN/FL
(NXN runners aren’t bolded)
Top 10 XC Girls Combined NXN/FL
(NXN runners aren’t bolded)
1. Edward Cheserek 14:59.3 FL
2. Sean McGorty 15:04.7 FL
3. Jake Leingan 15:06.9 FL
4 Benjamin Saarel 15:12.9 FL
5 Jacob Thomson 15:14.5
6. Sam Wharton 15:18.7 FL & NXN
(his winning time from NXN equates to a 15:17.3)
7. Estevan DeLarosa 15:23.1 NXN
8. Aaron Templeton 15:29.1 FL
9. Ryan Kromer 15:29.7 FL
10. Luis Martinez 15:31.6 NXN
1. Sarah Baxter 17:23.0 NXN
2. Anna Roher 17:24.8 FL
3. Mary Cain 17:26.9 NXN
4..Catarina Rocha 17:29.0 FL
5. Maria Hauger 17:29.2 FL
6. Jordyn Colter 17:29.5 FL
7. Karis Jochen 17:35.9 FL

8. Katie Knight 17:38.0 NXN
9. Alexa Efraimson 17:40.0 NXN
10. Sophie Chase 17:41.5 FL
11-14 would all be FL as well.

The times listed are for the Foot Locker course. The times are the actual times run by the FL runners and projected times that NXN runners would run on the course had they run (1 point in Tully’s system is worth 3.0 seconds).

More: *Tully Speed Ratings For 2012 FL
*Tully Speed Ratings For 2012 NXN
*1997-2011 FL Tully Speed Ratings
2012 Foot Locker Finals *Results *Boys Photo Gallery *Legends Pre-Race Photo Gallery
Boys Recap: Edward Cheserek Repeats After Battle With Sean McGorty McGorty, the South champ, and Jake Leingang, the Midwest champ, didn’t make it easy for Cheserek, but there is a reason Cheserek doesn’t lose – he’s the best in the US high school ranks. The four Regional winners went 1-2-3-4. *Results *Milesplit Recap *Edward Cheserek Interview
Girls Recap: Anna Rohrer Overcomes Fall To Win Rohrer pulled away for the win after falling after the start. Her Midwest teammates dominated the race with 7 in the top 10. Catarina Rocha of the Northeast was the runner-up, with both runner-ups having a least one Foot Locker finalist parent. *Results *Steve U’s Recap *Anna Rohrer Interview
*OTB: Sarah Baxter 2016 Olympics? *wow footlocker, get your cameras fixed. learn how to cover a national race *Has Foot Locker gone too far?

Ryan Hall Gets A Coach

Ryan Hall en route to his 2:04:58 in 2011

Our reaction to Ryan Hall announcing last week that he’ll be coached by frequent LRC poster Renato Canova is simple – we think it’s a great move for two easy-to-understand reasons.

1) It shows that Ryan Hall is still motivated and dreaming big.

Motivation and desire and the willingness to sacrifice a lot go a long way in distance running. To be the best in the world at distance running, you can’t live a normal lifestyle. You have to want it bad. Having been a pro for a while now, the 30-year-old Hall could easily just go through the motions for the next 4 years and live a comfortable lifestyle. When we talked to him prior to the Olympics, the thing that struck us the most was that he seemed really motivated and excited about running and this decision seems to validate our feeling – his Olympic disappointment and NYC withdrawal didn’t damper his desire.

2) It’s very hard to coach yourself.

We’re glad that Hall picked someone to guide him as it’s very hard to wake up and honestly assess how you feel, how your workout went, etc. The fact that he picked Canova – who is a guy who clearly knows his stuff – is just an added bonus in our minds. In the year 2012, there really aren’t any big training secrets out there. There is no coach like Arthur Lydiard in the 1960s who is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else. It will be interesting to see how the relationship actually plays out – will Canova coach him directly, or be more of a consultant?

One thing that doesn’t really bother us too much is the fact that Hall and Canova likely won’t be in the same place ( co-founder Weldon Johnson was coached via email/phone by John Kellogg). The key is for him to have someone he trusts to bounce ideas off of and hold him accountable.

More: Ryan Hall To Be Coached By Renato Canova
*Canova: Hall is “such a great talent.”
*MB Discussion On Ryan Hall’s Decision
More On Canova From The MB:
MB: Part 1 Of Canova Profile *Part 2
*Summary Of Renato Canova Principles

Misleading Headline Of The Week – EPO Doesn’t Help Performance

While you were surfing the web last week, you likely came across some headlines that read something like:

No Evidence That EPO Doping Helps In Cycling

Don’t believe it. The scientific study that came out last week may have been good at generating headlines but it was useless in our opinion. All it basically said is there has been never been a study performed on elite cyclists that shows they benefit from EPO. But only a few articles actually also pointed out that there also never has been a study done that says they don’t benefit from EPO. As MedPage Today wrote:

There is a lack of evidence to support – or refute – the belief that doping with recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO) improves athletic performance in professional cyclists, a systematic review showed.

The headlines in the press were laughable and the whole thing was a waste of time/money. There has never been a study showing that putting a gun in the hand of a toddler is dangerous either. No one would ever get funding for a study like that and it’s ethically wrong to do it. The same thing applies to cycling – no one would ever be able to get funding to dope pros. The fact that so many dopers won cycling events over the last 20 years is proof enough.

If you want more evidence, then read this blog post from our friends at the Science of Sport. They recap a study of reasonably fit cyclists where it showed that EPO improved their time to exhaustion by 54% in the span of just 4 weeks! If that’s not enough, then just compare the power output of various Tour de France stages and decide for yourself.

More Examples Of Drugs Not Working – Manny Pacquiao

Are you a boxing fan? If so, seeing Manny Pacquiao get knocked flat out by Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday night was probably shocking. The two had fought three times before and Marquez had never knocked Pacquiao down before and yet on Saturday, sporting a new beefed-up physique at age 39, Marquez put Pacquiao down once in the third round before putting him out in the sixth.

How do you get bigger and stronger at age 39? By hiring a strength conditioning coach by the name of Angel Hernandez Hernandez aka “Angel (Memo) Heredia, the man who supplied steroids to track stars Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery and later became the key government witness in the case against BALCO that landed the company’s founder, Victor Conte behind bars and implicated dozens of athletes as users of performance-enhancing drugs.”

And since scientists believe drugs don’t work we have to assume that Heredia just helped Marquez without the help of PEDs, right?


More: Unexpected juice in upcoming Pacquiao fight 

Weekly Free Training Advice – Here’s How To PR In 13 Straight Marathons

Let us introduce you to US marathoner Jeanette Faber, who deserves a big Thumbs Up as she has PRed in a ridiculous 13 straight marathoners, including a big 4+ minute PR which gave her a 2:32:37 win in Twin Cities in October. For more on Faber, we recommend an interview Gary Cohen did of her: Jeanette Faber.

We introduced Faber for two reasons.

1) To giver her streak some big-time props. Do you know of any longer streaks of marathon PRs? If so, please email us.

2) To talk a little bit about training and dish out some of our Weekly Free Training advice.

Two weeks ago in our weekly recap, we talked about how one prominent college coach thinks guys don’t really improve by drastic amounts after their sophomore year of college. We said that the coach had a good point, as by that point in time – at the D1 men’s level on NCAA qualifying teams – most guys are already physically mature and training at a very high level and thus it’s hard to make big improvements.

In a weird way, Faber is the perfect support for the reasoning behind that coach’s logic even though Faber is improving big-time at age 30.

Faber has continued to improve as she has continued to progress in her training:

“My mileage has gotten bigger and bigger over the years. In 2004 and 2005 it was maybe only 40 or 50 miles per week. It has steadily climbed and in the buildup to Twin Cities I had seven weeks that were between 90 and 105 miles. I am going to keep building in the future as when I ran my highest weekly total of 105 miles I felt like I can go beyond that. It wasn’t the mileage that was a problem, it’s just that my coach, Jerry, and I were trying to stay smart and not build too quickly.”

Quote Of The Week That Wasn’t Quote of The Day

“One would say I have it all … a World title, Olympic title and the world record but I always have something to motivate me. …  I also want to be referred to as double World champion, triple World champion and double Olympic champion.”

– 800 Olympic champ and world record holder David Rudisha letting the world know via Kenya’s Daily Nation that he’s still extremely motivated.

More: Despite Gold & WR, David Rudisha Still Dreaming Big On & Off Track

Recommended Reads

Before we get to the recommended reads, let us urge you to read one article for sure if you consider yourself to be a part of the anti-doping movement. published a long interview with cycling and ardent anti-doper Paul Kimmage:

Paul Kimmage and the Long Crusade: Irish journalist talks about controversial book Rough Ride 22 years after its publication

For 22 years, Kimmage has been saying doping was rampant in cycling. For years, he was ostracized from the sport he loved for telling the truth. Now with Lance Armstrong’s fall, he seemingly has been vindicated. But if you think the fall of Lance means the anti-doping movement is over, then you are wrong in Kimmage’s mind. It was stunning to hear what he has to say about the current best cyclist on the planet, Bradley Wiggans and his Sky team:

“And if you look at their performance since 2010, if you look at the graph it’s gone like that [points finger upward]. Is it a coincidence that from the moment (former Rabobank team doctor Geert) Leinders joins the team the graph goes up? I don’t know. I don’t like coincidences like that. That’s probably just an unfortunate coincidence that from moment that Geert Leinders joined the team they’ve put in these extraordinary performances … the bottom line is, I don’t know. I don’t know whether Wiggins is clean. That’s a terrible thing to say, you know, but that’s the reality of it .

I want a team I can believe in. I want a Tour de France rider I can believe in. And can I believe in Sky? No. Can I believe in Bradley Wiggins? I don’t know. And that’s terrible to say that now. I don’t know about Bradley Wiggins. You might say, Well, why not? OK, I’ll tell you why not. Transparency. Let’s talk about transparency. I was to come aboard and cover the Tour with Sky in 2010. I went and got myself organized; we had a camper van. And two days before the race [Sky manager] David Brailsford says to me, Sorry, Bradley’s not happy that you’re going to be here …

At the Tour de France this year, you had a situation at the press conference on the very first rest day. Journalists are sitting there and Bradley Wiggins is sitting there, and the Sky press officer comes in and the first thing he says to the journalists is, We’ll have no questions about doping. No questions about doping. He tells all the journalists, We’ll have no questions about doping. Now what happened to the transparency? That doesn’t make sense to me. Since Wiggins has won the Tour they’ve fired at least three of their staff for involvement in doping (including Leinders). And what should be the crowning glory for Bradley Wiggins and British cycling is now a big question mark …

(Bradley Wiggins) he’s a complex guy. But again, you look at the personality change in him since 2007 when he was struggling. I saw him at the Tour in 2007. He was coming in 25 minutes down. And how outspoken he was about doping at that time compared to now! It doesn’t make sense. If he was as outspoken five years ago, why aren’t you saying the same things now?”

Recommended Reads
A Must Read For Anti-Dopers:
Paul Kimmage – The One Man Who Seemingly Has Always Tried To Clean Up Doping in Cyling – Gives An In-Depth Interview
*Long Article On Mo Farah, Who Talks About How He Got Serious About Running And Having To Leave His Wife On Their Honeymoon To Go Run In Kenya “Well, I hadn’t trained for a week. I’m like, ‘We’ve already had our honeymoon, we’ve had time to rest. I’ve got to get back training.’ Then I just left her in Nairobi.”
*Emil Zatopek – An Incredible Runner (4 Olympic Golds), But An Even Better Man
*LRC An Examination Of The Timing/Scoring Screw-Ups At The 2012 NCAA Cross-Country Championships At the NCAA D1 champs
*Paula Radcliffe: “I’m kind of at that crossroads coming off a big surgery and I desperately don’t want my career to be finished.”

Other News Of Note From The Last Week

Other News Of Note
USATF Club Nationals: Hansons-Brooks Distance Project’s Jacob Riley And Boulder Running Company’s Mattie Suver Win Club XC Titles Hansons-Brooks men and Team USA Minnesota women won the team titles. On the men’s side, brothers Craig and Matthew Forys were second and fourth. US mile record holder Alan Webb was 7th.
*Team USA Minnesota Press Release
*USATF Club XC Recap
*More Results/Discussion In This Thread

Zatopek 10k: Neely Spence Runs 32:16 In 10,000 Debut As Ben St. Lawrence Tries To Run With Emmanuel Bett But Bett Wins By 36+ Seconds Difficult conditions made the times slow (27:59 for the men’s win). *2012 Zatopek Results *IAAF Recap *Photos *Discuss

European XC Champs: Fionnuala Britton Defends Her Title While Leading Irish Women To First-Ever Team Victory; Italy’s Andrea Lalli Wins Men’s Race Men: Spain wins team title as OSU’s Tom Farrell was 4th, Ukraine’s 9-time champ Sergey Lebid 15th, and Belgium’s defending champ Atewlaw Bekele back in 57th (for the best since he’s likely to be suspended after missing 3 drug tests). Women, Portugal’s Dulce Felix was 2nd as Ireland won the team race by one point over France. *Full Results
*Women’s Team Title Came Down To The 5th Runner As A Tiebreaker Between Ireland And France *Irish Independent
*EA Recaps: Senior Women’s Recap *Senior Men *U-23 Men *Junior Men *Junior Women *U-23 Women: GB’s Jess Coulson Wins As Her Team is 2nd
*GB’s Coulson Says She Felt So Good During The Race She Was Singing A Song To Herself

Quotes Of The Day From The Week & Last Week’s Homepages:

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 12/10: “I think it’s important for me and it’s important for my pride. I’ll settle for being able to run around with the children and play around with them at the moment, but definitely the competitive side of me is still slogging away hard cross-training and doing all of the rehab exercises. I want to be able to keep running in 10 years for the fun of it and for the pleasure, but I want to be able to finish a race.”

– Women’s marathon World Record holder Paula Radcliffe talking about why she wants to keep competing and coming back from her latest foot injury which she says required “basically three foot operations in one”. She hopes to be running again by Christmas and racing a 10k or half-marathon in the spring, and a full in the fall.

Sunday 12/9: “They were sleeping, eating and training, sleeping, eating and training. And I said to myself, if I’m ever going to have any chance of beating these guys, I’m going to have to change something. I was out with the boys, playing computer games, going out for a curry. I thought as long as I run, that’s it. I didn’t know any better … They’d try to wake me at 6am and I’d say ‘OK, OK’ then just go back to sleep.”

“I said to myself, I don’t want to be coming sixth or seventh, and being the best in Britain. I want to be the best in the world and race against these Kenyan guys.”

– Mo Farah talking about he was inspired to start training more seriously back in 2005  when he was younger and spent some time living with Kenyans and Craig Mottram.

Saturday 12/08: “I guess I run because I’m not good at anything else.”

Sarah Baxter, talking with a tiny grin in an LA Times profile. Baxter is undefeated as a prep – a perfect 30-0 at XC in HS with two NXN wins. It’s a shame she’s not running Foot Locker on Saturday.

Friday 12/07: “We were all laying around after the meal just groaning,’ Dill recalled in an interview with Race Results Weekly. ‘You know, your stomach is just groaning, it just hurts.’ He continued: ‘We said, what are we going to do? We’ve got to get some exercise.”

“One of his roommates brought over a copy of the local newspaper which had an application for the first-ever Honolulu Marathon which would take place only about three weeks later on December 16. A plan was hastily devised. ‘We made a vow … One of those things you do when you’re young and dumb. We made a vow that the three of us would do this marathon.’”

– Excerpt from a Race Results Weekly article on Gary Dill, who will run his 40th straight Honolulu Marathon this coming weekend. He did his first one in 1973 on a whim and has fought tooth and nail to finish every one since.

Thursday 12/06: “Well, my first goal was to break 3:00 … There was a guy I was running with at a race and he said, ‘Oh, you can qualify for Olympic Trials.’ I didn’t even know that that existed. I really didn’t follow marathoning at the time. That planted the seed in my head of qualifying for the Trials. And when I was trying to, I thought ‘Man, if I make it to the Trials, I’ll have made it. That’ll be amazing.’ To this day, qualifying for the Olympic Trials is one of the highlights of my running career. That was such a breakthrough for me at the time. But you’re never satisfied; your goals just getting higher and higher. But if you told me I was going to end up running the marathon in 2:30 a few years later, I would have laughed in your face.”

– 2008 US Olympic Marathon Trials 5th placer Tera Moody talking about the first time she qualified for the Trials. She went on to qualify for two US World Championships teams, placing 17th in 2011. Her interview comes out on the same day it was confirmed that the standards for the 2016 Marathon Trials are being lowered.

Wednesday 12/05: “(I) learnt how important it was, to think outside the box sometimes, in order to get out that awesome run. I’m talking about taking risks in races, when the time is right. Obviously I don’t mean going out at a suicide pace in the first couple of laps in say a 5km, but I’m talking about having the guts to try something you may not have tried before, and the confidence to back yourself. … You shouldn’t be afraid of failure either. Sometimes it’s good to lose some races, in order to get out that brilliant run in the next race.”

– 2004 World XC champ Benita Willis blogging about the need to take risks in races.

Tuesday 12/04: “Forget about the marathon. I’m giving up on it. … The muscles in both my thighs were complete exhausted.”

– 2007 world 10,000 bronze medallist Martin Mathathi talking after dropping out of his debut marathon after 38km in Fukuoka. Given the money in the marathon and given the fact that Mathathi is just 26 and is a 58:56 performer at 13.1, we bet we see him running 26.2 in the future.

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