Big Time Talent On The Comeback Trail, Boston Futility, Andres Arroyo Impresses, Shalane: America’s Last Hope, It’s OK To Race (A Lot)

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The Week That Was In Running: April 1 – April 7, 2013

by LetsRun.com
April 9, 2013

Did you miss last week’s weekly recap that was primarily on the action at the 2013 Stanford Invite? Catch up here.

This week, we analyze the history of American futility at the Boston marathon, hope that Shalane Flanagan can find a way to change that as she’s the last American standing, talk about Andres Arroyo‘s remarkable run at 800 in the HS ranks and use him and Andrew Wheating as proof that it’s a good idea for mid-d runners to run 25 races a year. Along the way, we try to motivate you with three inspiring comebacks, a story of a guy who finished a race with a broken arm, and by telling you Olympians are no different than you.

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5,000 Is A Lot Farther Than 1,500/2013 Carlsbad

Last week was not a great week for 1,500 stars trying to run 5,000s. Olympic silver medallist Leo Manzano ran an almost unfathomable 14:57 at Carlsbad, where 2009 bronze medallist Shannon Rowbury, who had talked about winning the women’s race, finished 42 seconds back in 16:08 (her track PR is 15:00.61). On the other side of the globe, there was the Qantas World Challenge in Melbourne, where the 5,000 was won by World Cross-Country champion Japhet Korir. The IAAF recap of the race said “the surprise of the race was the relatively early demise of Australian 1,500m record-holder Ryan Gregson.” The 3:31.06 man staggered home in 13:49 after running 13:37 in January.

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Leo Manzano Found Out 5k is Much Farther Than 1500m

What to think of it? Not much at all really in our minds.

Rowbury is the most accomplished of the trio at 5,000 and the one we’d normally read the most into her result, but she had food poisoning the night before the race, so we’re not reading anything into her result. Gregson PRed earlier in the year so no reason to panic there. Manzano? Well given his lack of distance prowess in his background, pre-race, we wrote, “We think he’s WAY overmatched in this one,” and that’s exactly how it played out. So it’s hard to read anything into that results as well.

Rowbury’s and Manzano’s much less-heralded peers in Will Leer (13:36) and Brenda Martinez (15:44) likely greatly enjoyed taking top American honors from their more hyped peers. Leer’s PR is 13:36 from last year so to equal that on the road is a good sign for him. Martinez had run 15:35 on the track last month.

Up front, the big news is 2011 bronze and 2012 silver 5,000 medallist Dejen Gebremeskel won by six seconds in 13:20. When you put one of the top track runners in the world out on the roads at his ideal distance, he should dominate and that’s what he did. Going in, we didn’t know that was going to happen as in Boston in February at the New Balance meet, Gebremeskel struggled by his lofty standards. The two guys he beat at Carlsbad by six seconds were damn good –  John Kipkoech, who ran 12:49 last year and Yenew Alamirew, who ran 12:48. 

On the women’s side, 2012 5,000 5th placer Geleta Burka edged 3-time world junior champ Mercy Cherono 15:26 to 15:27.

Leo Manzano’s Without A Contract
And another thing of note is Olympic silver medallist Leo Manzano is currently without a shoe contract. Manzano ran for Nike last year, and ran in Nike gear at Carlsbad, but he’s not under contract.

If you’re unfamiliar with Leo’s story, it’s an amazing one, if an American winning a silver medal at 1,500m wasn’t amazing enough. Manzano, whose father came to the US illegally, moved to tiny Marble Falls, TX (population 6,077)  at the age of 5. Leo didn’t speak a lick of English. Now he speaks English better than us we do. Recently at Texas Relays, Leo spoke with Larry Rawson on the broadcast on the Longhorn Network.

Leo has a future in TV, we think. Worth a watch:

And the one thing we did not realize was that Leo won state titles at 1,600 and 3,200 in Texas at 4A (2nd biggest classification) AS A FRESHMAN. A male winning a state title as a freshman is almost unheard of. Doubling? In a big classification in a big state? If it’s ever happened before, email us. Interesting to also note, that Leo struggled in the 1,600 as a senior but won the 800.

More: *IAAF: Ryan Gregson’s Early Demise In 5,000 A Surprise *Carlsbad: LRC Gebremeskel 3-Peats And Gelete Burka Wins – Manzano Struggles Big-Time
MB: Leo Manzano 14:57 at Carlsbad – are you joking? *MB: Carlsbad Results? *Carlsbad live stream? *Lukas Verzbicas Runs 15:22 at Carlsbad 5000

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US High Schooler Andres Arroyo 1:47.79

The performance of the week last week from a US perspective came in the HS ranks, where Florida prep Andres Arroyo (Colonial HS) ran 1:47.79 to become the sixth-fastest high school runner in US history (just behind Elijah Greer and Alan Webb – we apologize for calling it the 7th-fastest time initially).

To us, the best part about the incredible performance was the following quote we saw on runnerspace.com by Arroyo’s HS coach, Rene Plasencia:

“He ran a high 25 split for the 3rd 200. It’s incredible to watch on video. You can see the gears shifting once he hits that 300 mark. As incredible as his (1:47.779) race was my favorite part of the entire night was telling his dad on the phone about the performance.  He couldn’t believe Andres ran so fast when I told him. I could feel his smile and electricity through the phone. He was so proud of his son. He said he wanted to yell he was so happy, but had to hold it in because he was at work. It’s a true blessing to share that pure joy with a family.”

How great of a quote is that?

Andres Arroyo Ran In The Snow In Poland Less Than 2 Weeks Before A 1:47

That is what high school coaching and running is all about. A coach helping a young person find a passion that he has a gift for, helping him or developing it and then getting to share it with an incredibly proud parent – who doesn’t get to see the race because he’s working. What a great story.

What also is great about Arroyo is that he also shows you how jaded the pros are these days.

In a day and age when it seems as if most pros never race as they don’t want it to mess up their precious training, and in a year when a ton of eligible pros skipped the 2013 World Cross-Country Championships, Arroyo’s huge breakthrough (previous 800 PR was 1:51.04) came less than two weeks after he interrupted his warm track season, which already had included a 4:04 solo 1,600, to travel to Poland to run the World Junior XC Race for Puerto Rico. Finishing seventh to last in Poland didn’t seem to hurt him too much, did it?

All Time Top 6 In US Prep 800 History (Top 6 From T&FN)
1:46.45 Michael Granville (Bell Gardens, California) 1996
1:46.58 George Kersh (Pearl, Mississippi) 1987
1:47.31 Pete Richardson (Berkeley, California) 1981
1:47.68 Elijah Greer (Lake Oswego, Oregon) 2008
1:47.74 Alan Webb (South Lakes, Reston, Virginia)2001
1:47.79 Andres Arroyo (Colonial, Orlando, FL) 2013

More:  LRC Andres Arroyo: Florida Prep Runs 1:47.79 For 800 Meters – Becomes US #7 #6 All-Time *Andres Arroyo’s Coach Talks After The Race
*MB: *Andres Arroyo (FL) on Fire the Year – 1:47.79 at Florida Relays after 4:04 1600 two weeks ago!!! *Andres Arroyo *Andres arroyo 4:04.16
*2012: HS standout : Andres Arroyo *Top HS Juniors in the Nation 

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Stat Of The Week I

In support of our previous point that there is nothing necessarily detrimental about racing, we came up with the following:

25 – Number of races that Andrew Wheating ran in 2010 when he won the 800 and 1,500 NCAA titles and set his PRs at 800, 1,500 and the mile.

Wheating set his mile PR (3:51.74) in his 21st race of the year, his 1,500 PR (3:30.90) in his 23rd race of the year and his 800 PR (1:44.56) came in his last (25th race) of the year.

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Stat Of The Week II

In case you missed it, last week 4-time Fukuoka, 2-time Boston, 1-time Chicago, London and Tokyo champion Toshihiko Seko talked glowingly about amateur hero Yuki Kawauchi, whom Seko credits for reinvigorating Japanese marathoning. (If you’re unfamiliar with Kawauchi’s story, read this Wall Street Journal story on him. Nearly, every runner in Japan runs for a pro team, not Kawauchi who was known as the “Citizen Runner” and had a full-time job). Seko said the marathon is  the only distance where you can’t have success if you’re doing it just because someone told you to” – meaning you have to have a passion for it to do well – talent only takes you so far. Well Kawauchi certainly has that as he has already run three marathons this year – the first he won in 2:12 and the next two he PRd in (2:08:15 and 2:08:14).

The “Kawauchi Effect” that Seko talks about has resulted in 7 different Japanese men running under 2:09:15 already this year. As we pointed out on the message board last week, in the history of the world, only 9 US men have ever run sub-2:09:15.

The 7 Sub-2:09:15 Japanese Men For 2013
1. 2:08:00 Kazuhiro Maeda 24-Feb
2. 2:08:14 Yuki Kawauchi 17-Mar
2:08:15 Yuki Kawauchi 3-Feb
3. 2:08:35 Kentaro Nakamoto 3-Feb
4. 2:08:51 Masakazu Fujiwara 3-Mar
5. 2:09:06 Ryo Yamamoto 3-Mar
6. 2:09:10 Suehiro Ishikawa 3-Mar
7. 2:09:14 Takayuki Matsumiya 24-Feb

The 9 Sub-2:09:15 Men In US History
1. 2:04:58 Ryan Hall (Asics) 4/18/2011
2. 2:05:38 Khalid Khannouchi (New Balance)4/14/2002
3. 2:07:47 Dathan Ritzenhein (Nike) 10/12/2012
4. 2:08:47 Bob Kempainen (Nike) 4/18/1994
5. 2:08:51 Alberto Salazar (Nike) 1982 Boston
5. 2:08:56 Abdi Abdirahman (Nike) 10/23/2006
6. 2:08:54 Dick Beardsley (New Balance) 4/19/1982
7. 2:09:00 Greg Meyer (Brooks) 4/18/1983
8. 2:09:08 Meb Keflezighi (Nike) 1/14/2012

More: Seko Introduces New Rainbow-Colored DeNA Uniform, Praises Kawauchi

MB: Do you realize in 3 months in 2013, Japan has had 7 men go sub 2:09:15? All-time in history only 9 US men have done it.

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The History Of American Futility In Boston

In case spring suddenly came up on you, the 2013 Boston Marathon is next Monday (April 15). This year’s Boston race is the 30th anniversary since Greg Meyer became the last American male to win in Boston when he ran 2:09:00 in 1983.

The question many have had since is, “Why hasn’t an American man won since?”

To us, and even to Greg Meyer, the answer is obvious. The competition nowadays is much more difficult.

As Meyer told Runner’s World, “It’s harder now. It’s absolutely much, much tougher. When I won Boston, most of the money was still on the track, and that’s what the top runners focused on. Now the situation has reversed. The money is in the marathon, so naturally that’s where all the talent is going.”

Back in the early 1980s, distance running was just beginning the start of it’s openly professional existence (Boston didn’t actually start offering prize money until 1986). There weren’t nearly the same number of African competitors in the sport back in the early 1980s and those that did compete often didn’t focus on the marathon, they focused on the track as that’s where the money was. Think about it, if you are struggling to get by in Africa, you aren’t going to train for six months for a small non-guaranteed payday in a marathon.

Now, there are way more people competing and the very best in the world are in the marathon as that’s where the big money is.

There is no shame in losing to the amazing slew of 2:03-2:05 talent. To us, the real question to us isn’t “Why hasn’t an American won in Boston?”

The real question is “Why are American men running slower than they did 30 years ago?”

The lack of American winners make sense to us. The fact that only three Americans since 1983 have gone sub-2:10 in Boston doesn’t.

Nine American men have gone sub-2:10 in Boston but only three have done so since 1983:

Bob Kempainen Vomiting

Bob Kempainen – 2:08:47 (1994)
Meb Keflezighi 2:09:56 (2006), 2:09:26 (2010)
Ryan Hall 2:09:40 (2009), 2:08:41 (2010), 2:04:58 (2011).

In terms of the women, the results are even more inexcusable. An American woman hasn’t won since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach (now Lisa Larsen Rainsberger) won in 2:34:06 in 1985, but more depressing is the fact that in a day and age when the world record in the marathon is 2:15:25, only five seven American women have ever broken 2:30 at Boston a total of seven nine times.

The all-time US performances under 2:30 at Boston. (Editor’s update: We apologize for the errors in our list butunbeknownst to us the Boston Marathon guide was ripe with errors. In fact, their media guide says 6 American women have broken 2:15 at Boston. We got our list directly from them which is even weirder).

1 Desiree Davila Michigan 2:22:38 2 18 APR 2011
2 Joan Benoit Massachusetts 2:22:43 1 18 APR 1983
3 Kara Goucher Oregon 2:24:52 5 18 APR 2011
4 Kim Jones Washington 2:26:40 2 15 APR 1991
5 Joan Benoit Samuelson (2) Maine 2:26:54 4 15 APR 1991
6 Patti Catalano Massachusetts 2:27:51 2 20 APR 1981
7. Maria Trujillo 2:28:53 1990
8. Kim Jones (2) Washington 2:29:34 3 17 APR 1989
98. Clara Grandt 2:29:54 in 2011

Below you will find a list of the top American man and woman at Boston since the last American won (year, name, state, time, place):

Men
1984 Gerry Vanesse Connecticut 2:14:49 2
1985 Gary Tuttle California 2:19:11 2
1986 Bill Rodgers Massachusetts 2:13:36 4
1987 Dave Gordon Oregon 2:13:30 4
1988 Bill Rodgers Massachusetts 2:18:17 28
1989 Hamilton Gray New York 2:45:00 2
1989 Herb Wills Florida 2:17:40 10
1990 Darrell General Maryland 2:15:28 14
1991 Paul Zimmerman Pennsylvania 2:15:32 12
1992 Doug Kurtis Maine 2:17:03 19
1993 Mark Plaatjes Colorado 2:12:39 6
1994 Bob Kempainen Minnesota 2:08:47 7
1995 Michael Whittlesey Connecticut 2:22:48 29
1996 Kevin Collins New York 2:18:54 30
1997 Daniel Gonzalez California 2:18:30 19
1998 Joseph McVeigh New Jersey 2:16:48 17
1999 Joseph LeMay Connecticut 2:16:11 13
2000 Jamie Hibell Pennsylvania 2:22:09 24
2001 Rod DeHaven Wisconsin 2:12:41 6
2002 Keith Dowling Virginia 2:13:28 15
2003 Eddy Hellebuyck New Mexico 2:17:18 10
2004 Christopher Zieman California 2:25:45 13
2005 Alan Culpepper Colorado 2:13:39 4
2006 Meb Keflezighi California 2:09:56 3
2007 Peter Gilmore California 2:16:41 8
2008 Nicholas Arciniaga Michigan 2:16:13 10
2009 Ryan Hall California 2:09:40 3
2010 Ryan Hall California 2:08:41 4
2011 Ryan Hall California 2:04:58 4
2012 Jason Hartmann Colorado 2:14:31 4
Women
1986 Julie Isphording Ohio 2:33:40 6
1987 Leatrice A. Hayer Massachusetts 2:37:58 8
1988 Gillian Beschloss New York 2:40:08 10
1989 Kim Jones Washington 2:29:34 3
1990 Maria Trujillo Arizona 2:28:53 3
1991 Kim Jones Washington 2:26:40 2
1992 Jane Welzel Colorado 2:36:21 10
1993 Kim Jones Washington 2:30:00 2
1994 Kim Jones Washington 2:31:46 8
1995 Linda Somers California 2:34:30 11
1996 Lorraine Hochella Virginia 2:41:38 23
1997 Kim Jones Washington 2:32:52 9
1998 Mary-Lynn Currier Massachusetts 2:35:18 11
1999 Lynn Jennings New Hampshire 2:38:37 12
2000 Maria Trujillo de Rios California 2:42:24 18
2001 Jill Gaitenby Rhode Island 2:36:45 14
2002 Jill Gaitenby Massachusetts 2:38:55 13
2003 Marla Runyan Oregon 2:30:28 5
2004 Julie Spencer Wisconsin 2:56:39 16
2005 Emily LeVan Maine 2:43:14 12
2006 Emily LeVan Maine 2:37:01 13
2007 Deena Kastor California 2:35:09 5
2008 Ashley Anklam Minnesota 2:48:43 14
2009 Kara Goucher Oregon 2:32:25 3
2010 Paige Higgins Arizona 2:36:00 13
2011 Desiree Davila Michigan 2:22:38 2
2012 Sheri Piers Maine 2:41:55 10

More: Greg Meyer Returns To Boston On 30th Anniversary Of Win

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Fine China Is Fragile/An American Man Isn’t Winning Boston This Year

Last week, hopes for a US men’s victory in Boston were basically eliminated when former New York champ Meb Keflezighi pulled out with an injury. His pull-out came after Ryan Hall previously pulled out.

With most of the sport’s heavy hitters committed to the world’s most competitive marathon, Virgin London on April 21st, Boston was banking on this year on pumping up “the American angle” but now two of the three American Olympians from 2012 that had originally committed to Boston are on the sidelines.

Additionally last week, the fourth placer at the Olympic marathon Trials in Dathan Ritzenhein, who wasn’t planning on running a spring marathon this year, pulled out of the Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago with yet another injury. So the spring marathon season is about to be upon us in full force and all three of the current American marathoners whom we could intellectually fathom winning a Major are all on the sideline – Hall, Meb and Ritz.

The last remaining male US Olympian in Boston in Abdi Abdirahman might have the talent to win a major, but we don’t see him rising to new heights at age 36. We hope Abdi proves us wrong.

There is one person who might not have been too upset to see Meb pull out last week – American Jason Hartmann. Hartmann, who was the top American last year in Boston in fourth, survives without a shoe contract, so with Meb out, he’ll likely move up a spot and that could make or break his year financially. Realize fourth place at Boston pays $25,000 – way more than fifth – $15,000.

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Shalane Flanagan Really Wants To Win Boston

“If I were to win (in Boston), it would be my career. To me it would define what I’ve done – everything else would be really nice. This would be the focal point. If you were to ask me what I really want in the remaining years of my career, it’s a win in Boston.”

Shalane Flanagan talking to Runner’s World about what a victory in Boston would mean to her.

Shalane Flanagan After Bronze in Beijing

With Meb’s withdrawal, Flanagan is definitely America’s only bet for victory on Monday. Last week, we said her 31:04 10,000 at Stanford certainly didn’t rule her out from dreaming of victory.

The same Runner’s World article above says that the 31:04 was more of a tempo for Shalane and as a result, we are even more confident she should at least be in the hunt.

Her press-shy coach Jerry Schumacher said the following about Shalane’s 31:04 10,000 and her 68:31 half marathon in February:

“The 10-K was basically a five-mile tempo and then she squeezed it a little the last mile to simulate the feeling at the end of a race. She ran the 10-K and half in a very similar style. She just had good control, good command of the entire race.”
  

More: Can Shalane Flanagan Win Boston?

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Improving Women’s Distance Depth?

One reason even before Meb’s withdrawal from Boston last week, that we instinctively thought Shalane Flanagan was America’s best hope for victory is the fact that women’s running isn’t as deep as men’s running.

Look at the field for the Virgin London Marathon – the premiere marathon in terms of competitiveness each year which takes place in a week and a half (4/21) . There are 13 runners in the race who have all run within 10 seconds a mile of the world record of leading entrant Patrick Makau (2:03:38). On the women’s side in London, there are only six women within 10 seconds a mile of leading entrant Tiki Gelana‘s 2:18:58.

That being said, our instincts were a bit off with Boston as the Boston field this year doesn’t show a big male/female discrepancy like that. There are nine men who have run within 10 seconds a mile of leading entrant’s Lelisa Desisa‘s 2:04:45. On the women’s side, there are eight women within 10 seconds a mile of Meseret Hailu‘s 2:21:09.

Maybe that’s because women’s running is slowly starting to show more depth? At the half marathon distance, coming into the year, only ten women in history had broken 67 flat for 13.1. This year, five new women have done it as well, including Gladys Cherono, who won the Hervis Prague Half Marathon last week.

The 5 Sub-67 Performers For 2013
66:09 Lucy Kabuu RAK 15 Feb 2013
66:11 Priscah Jeptoo RAK 15 Feb 2013
66:27 Rita Jeptoo RAK 15 Feb 2013
66:48 Gladys Cherono Prague 07 April 2013
66:56 Meseret Hailu RAK 15 Feb 2013

Of course, let’s don’t go too far overboard and say women’s depth is close to catching up men’s yet. In that same Prague race, the bronze medallist at the World Cross-Country Championships, Eritrea’s Teklemariam Medhin, was only ninth in the men’s race. That low of a finish by a women’s medallist would be unheard of.

More: *Prague Top 10 *Zersenay Tadese Settles For Sprint Victory – Gladys Cherono Steals Show And Becomes 12th-Fastest Woman In History At 66:48 *Meet Eritrea’s Teklemariam Medhin

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Welcome Back/Inspiring Comebacks

Last week was a great one in terms of inspirational comebacks. The biggest comeback was in Prague. Prague served as the first serious race since 2006 – yes, 2006 – for 2004 Olympic 5,000 silver medallist Isabella Ochichi of Kenya, who had been out with two Achilles surgeries, child birth (during which she put on more than 40 pounds) and a slew of other setbacks.

Ochiri ran fantastic and finished third in 69:21. We loved the following quote she gave to Joe Battaglia:

“In 2011, I can remember thinking that I needed to go back to competitive running even though the doctors said no. I felt my body smiling and I knew I had to try. I love running.”

Kenyans are just so much more intuitive about their bodies – “Felt my body smiling” – what a great line.

At Carlsbad, one person that seemingly got no pre-race pub but should have was Ethiopia’s Ibrahim Jeilen (also Jeylan). The 2011 world champ at 10,000 over Mo Farah was 9th in 13:47. That may not sound good for him but it’s just the second race’s he’s finished since 2011. It’s an improvement over the 29:34 10k he ran in January.

The race also served as a stepping stone in the comeback of former HS sub-4 miler Lukas Verzbicas, who ran 15:22 despite having a bathroom problem mid-race.

More: After Long Absence, Ochichi Is Back To Competition A Highly Recommended Read if you are struggling with motivation after a long absence from competition.

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Quote Of The Week I (that wasn’t quote of the day)

“Actually (The accident) helped me. It changed me for the better mentally. It made me stronger. Now, I have a different perspective on everything. I have a very strong faith, and it was tested then.”

– Sub-4 HS miler and former world junior triathlon champ Lukas Verbicas talking to competitor.com about the bicycle accident that nearly killed him. After the accident, Verzbicas said it took about three weeks before he could move his right leg. Last weekend, his comeback continued with a 15:22 showing in the Carlsbad 5000.

More: Lukas Verzbicas To Compete At Carlsbad 5,000

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Quote Of The Week II (that wasn’t quote of the day)

“When we were told that our coach was going to be a Olympian, I was just ecstatic. Prior to K.D. (Khadevis Robinson) coming to OSU, I looked at professional athletes and other athletes as having something else. They had this talent that made them so great. But after K.D. started training us, my perception has changed. They are no different than anyone else; they just put the time in and work hard every day.”

– Ohio State senior Tori Brink talking about how her coach is two-time US Olympian Khadevis Robinson, who often runs with the team. The quote comes from a Running Times piece on how Robinson and Bryant University’s (small D1 school in Rhode Island) Stephanie Reilly (Irish Olympian) balance being Olympians and coaching their own teams. If that’s not hard enough, both are parents as well.

More: *Coaches On Track

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Quote Of The Week III (that wasn’t quote of the day)

“I was going in the wrong direction. I was down in the dumps for a couple of years. Sometimes, when you come down for that long, it’s hard to get back up.”

– American marathoner Fernando Cabada talking to Runner’s World. After debuting in the marathon in 2:12:27 in 2006, Cabada didn’t break 2:15 again until 2012, when he ran 2:11:53 at the Trials. In between, Cabada ran 2:35:48, 2:16:32, 2:15:25, and 2:22:56. Cabada, who is now training under the supervision of Brad Hudson and running for Newton, is hoping to PR in Boston next Monday.

More: Is Fernando Cabada Ready For A Great Boston Marathon?

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Photo Of The Week

photo of Brian Basili

What you’re seeing right there is the photo finish of one of the heats that Colonial Relays, where Villanova’s Brian Basili broke his arm after falling on the third-to-last steeple barrier, got up and won the heat and qualified for the Big East meet in the process.

Kudos to Basili for being TOUGH. We wonder if he’ll be able to run Big East if they put him in a cast. Anyone know? Email us.

More: In-Race Broken Arm No Barrier For Villanova’s Brian Basili *MB: Villanova’s Brian Basili breaks arm in Mens Steeple at Colonial Relays and wins heat!

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Recommended Reads

Hundreds of runners starting a Thursday fartlek in Kenya in 2011. *Extensive Kenya Fartlek Run Coverage Here

Hundreds of runners starting a Thursday fartlek in Kenya in 2011.
*Extensive Kenya Fartlek Run Coverage Here

Joe Battaglia had a nice article about the “End of the Road” fartlek workout in Kenya, where each week, 400+ Kenyans will start a fartlek and when the workout ends when the dirt road dead ends, there are only a handful of people left up front: After Excelling In “End Of Road” Fartlek Workout, Philemon Limo Feels As If He’s Ready. If you enjoyed that article, then we HIGHLY suggest you read our article from 2011 as we road in an SUV alongside one of these workouts in 2011, which included Wilson Kipsang, Edna Kiplagat and many other stars: LetsRun.com Goes To Kenya – Post #4: Thursday Fartlek Run: “If you want to choose the best, it is here now.” Our youtube video of that workout is one of the most consistently watched pieces on our YouTube channel.

After Long Absence, Ochichi Is Back To Competition

Former Two-Time US Marathon Champion (2:09:38 PR) Ken Martin Using Himself As A Guinea Pig To Figure Out Link Between Exercise & Cancer

Good Q&A With The Last American Man To Win The Boston Marathon, Greg Meyer, Who Is Running This Year With His Children

Former Boston, London, Chicago Winner Toshihiko Seko Desperately Wants Yuki Kawauchi On His Team

Good RRW Profile On US 15k Champs 4th Placer Brianne Nelson Who’s Moved Her Running Career To The Elite Level After A Long Break After College

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Other News Of Note

Paris Marathon: Kenyan Peter Some Is Surprise Winner, Setting A 3-Minute-Plus PR In 2:05:38 Over Tadese Tola (2:06:33) And Eric Ndiema (2:06:34) (updated) 2:04 man Abraham Girma was way back in 8th (2:08:19) as US’s Jeffrey Eggleston was 17th in 2:14:57. Ethiopian Boru Feyse Tadese won the woman’s race in a new CR of 2:21:06. *Deeper Results

Cooper River: *Kenya’s Simon Ndirangu Wins In 28:05 With Julius Kogo (28:49) And Bobby Mack (28:50) A Distant 2nd And 3rd

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler: Allen Kiprono Celebrates Too Early – Daniel Salel (46:06) And Caroline Rotich (52:46) Win Tight Races
*Janet Bawcom Sets US Record In Women-Only Race (53:28) To Capture USA Women’s 10-Mile Championship 3-time US Olympian Jen Rhines returned to competition and was fifth in 54:54.

*Kenya’s Jacob Kendagor Wins Berlin Half Marathon In 59:36 With Silas Kipruto 2nd (1:00:12) And Victor Kipchirchir 3rd (1:00:27) Helah Kiprop won the women’s race in 1:07:53 over Philes Ongori (1:08:01).

*Go! St. Louis Half: Aaron Braun (1:03:13) And World XC Team Member Mattie Suver (1:12:22) Win Titles At Go! St. Louis Half Marathon

LRC 2013 Arcadia Invitational – 18 Boys Go Sub-9 Colorado signee Ben Saarel of Utah used a 55-second last lap and 4:14 last 1,600 to win in 8:45.74.

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Quotes Of The Day & Last Week’s Homepages:

Note: To see a particular day’s homepage, click on the hyperlink of the date. The hyperlink below the date on the quotes will take you to that particular article – not that day’s homepage.


Monday 4/8:

“Probably not, but the sport has been good to me despite all the ups and downs. I think if you are doing sport to try and be famous, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. You have got to want to compete hard for yourself, your family, your country; not because of recognition, I don’t think.”

– Tyson Gay after being asked if he thought American track and field athletes “get the sort of recognition they deserve at home.” When asked if he thought the Jamaica vs. USA sprint rivalry was good for track, he gave some love to distance runners, saying, “Yes … but the sport is more than just USA vs. Jamaica. I like the focus on sprinting but there are other events too. Those distance people and field eventers need to get some love from the media too, you know.”


Sunday 4/7:

“I’m pretty pissed off. Just because I’m very thorough. My whole point was to get to the start line healthy. If it was my doing – if I did something drastic or tried to rush it or did something stupid – I’d be, ‘Oh, man.’ But it’s not my own doing. It’s misfortune.”

“… I thought I could PR. I saw myself breaking 2:09 and jumping up and down … I was in phenomenal shape … My goals were to stay healthy and get to Boston, run a personal best and, third, to win it. None of it is going to happen. That’s the reality we live in. I will bounce back.”

– Meb Keflezighi talking about having to pull out of both the NYC and Boston Marathons because of freak incidents. NYC was the hurricane, and for Boston, he injured himself jumping over an oncoming dog. He thought he was ready for a PR in Boston, citing a 6 x mile workout in 4:19 and a 15-mile tempo run at 4:56 pace.


Saturday 4/6:

“The story goes that Kenyan running legend Henry Rono was once espousing the value of hill workouts when a listener pressed for details: How long of a hill? How steep of a hill? How fast to run up? ‘The hill,’ Rono responded. ‘Any hill.’ That’s more or less the conclusion a new study out of New Zealand has reached.”

– Excerpt from Runner’s World recap of a NZ study which shows that hill repeats result in a 2% improvement no matter what type of workout you do.


Friday 4/5:

“I think we are seeing a Kawauchi Effect. The marathon is the only distance where you can’t have success if you’re doing it just because someone told you to. Kawauchi is doing it because he genuinely wants to, and I think that’s why he can do what he does without growing weary. For me the most incredible thing he has done was winning the Kumanichi 30 km in 1:29:31 only two weeks after getting the Beppu-Oita course record [2:08:15]. Normally that would be impossible, but he is not an ordinary person. These days I respect him more than anybody else..He has destroyed our sense of what is common sense, but we’re all watching him and studying what he does. I want that kind of athlete here with us, but he hasn’t answered my call. I can’t force him, and for it to happen I have to wait for him to come to me.”

– 4-time Fukuoka, 2-time Boston, 1-time Chicago, London and Tokyo champion Toshihiko Seko talking glowingly about amateur hero Yuki Kawauchi, whom Seko credits for reinvigorating Japanese marathoning, which has seen 7 different men run 2:09:14 or faster this year. In the history of the world, only 8 US men have ever run 2:09:14 or faster (8 if you count Salazar’s short 2:08:13 from 1981).
MB: Do you realize in 3 months in 2013, Japan has had 7 men go sub 2:09:15? All-time in history only 8 US men have done it.


Thursday 4/4:

“I was alone the last 5 miles. I felt good, but you’re always worried that someone’s coming, so I kept checking over my shoulder. Finally, with about 3 miles to go, someone on the press truck said, ‘Relax, there’s no one in sight.'”

“So I did, I relaxed. I mean, I didn’t start jogging, but I slowed down maybe 20 seconds a mile. I figured I might as well protect my lead, and savor the victory. I probably could have run low 2:08s if I had kept pushing, but we never ran for time back then. It was all about the victory. In all my years with Bill Rodgers and coach Bill Squires, I don’t remember that we ever talked about time. We only talked about going for the win. We talked about what we could do to crush our opponents out on the course. When I went to the line in Hopkinton that morning, I didn’t know if I could win or not. But I was confident I would make some people hurt that day.”

– Former Boston Marathon champion (the last American man to win) Greg Meyer, talking about his thoughts on his 1983 race.


Wednesday 4/3:

“All of the sudden I’ve run a little bit better and I’m alive again. Who says I can’t run 2:09:30 or so at Boston, and who says I can’t be top five? I’m just one performance away, and I’m ready to do it. I’m not dead.”

– US Marathon Trials 7th placer (2:11:53) Fernando Cabada, talking about his thoughts ahead of the Boston Marathon in a good RW article on the ups and downs of Cabada’s career, which saw him run a 2:12:27 debut marathon in 2006, but then not break 2:15 again until the 2012 Trials.


Tuesday 4/2

“It felt smooth. I was like, ‘This is a real pace and I hit this workout.’ However small the workout was I was excited to hit that and feel good about it. And then I called Kevin [Hanson] shortly after and was like, ‘I need a schedule.’ Once I asked Kevin for a schedule, it’s like ‘All right, now I’m training, not just out here goofing around.'”

– Desiree Davila, talking in an interview about her comeback from the stress fracture that forced her to DNF in London and her thoughts after recently running a good 3 x 2-mile workout.


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