Mary Cain Rewrites the Record Books, German Fernandez, Robby Andrews Struggle, Molly Huddle Impresses, WADA Testing Alert and Is Alan Webb Done?

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May 20, 2013

Last week’s Weekly Recap can be found here.

The two big meets from a perspective last week were the second stop of the IAAF Diamond League in Shanghai and the 2013 USATF High Performance meet at Occidental College in California. We know you the loyal visitor try of course to come every day (and read all of the articles and click on all of the ads), but if over the weekend you missed our recaps/analysis of those events, we suggest you check them out first as here we provide additional insight but assume you kind of know what happened there:

LRC 2013 USATF Oxy Recap: Mary Cain 4:04.62! Is Now Nearly 10 Seconds Faster Than Any Other American High Schooler

LRC 2013 Shanghai Recap:Asbel Kiprop Pulls Off A Houdini Act, Do We Have A New King & Queen In The Men’s Steeple And Women’s 5,000?

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Years from now, this week will be remembered for one thing, Mary Cain running nearly 10 seconds faster than any other American high schooler ever for 1500m. We obviously talk about that, but first we get depressed by the fact that two of America’s greatest mid-d talents in German Fernandez and Robby Andrews are struggling big-time, wonder if it’s time to stick a fork in Alan Webb, are full of praise for Ryan Hall’s on the road and off the road work, give big props to Brandon Johnson and Molly Huddle and then praise the incredible Mary Cain. And while Cain’s run is the greatest performance by far by a female American high school miler, the crazy good thing is it didn’t shock us too much. She’s that good. We’re all aboard the 2013 Jenny Simpson bandwagon and we tell WADA who to drug test even though he’s improved less than Andrew Wheating did in 2010.

We covered the Shanghai Diamond League pretty extensively in our recap, so we don’t add anything on it here. If you haven’t seen Asbel Kiprop’s incredible 1500m run or Kirani James‘ 44.02, we encourage you to click here and watch them.

German Fernandez and Robby Andrews Are Struggling Big Time

Not sure how many of you scrolled all the way down the Oxy meet results, but if you did, you saw the following (actually one of our pages didn’t even go down this far initially):

 42 Andrews, Robby               adidas                 3:43.52
 43 Degefa, Deriba               Bowerman AC            3:43.71
 44 Gagnon, Brian                Njnytc                 3:44.44
 45 Fernandez, German            Nike                   3:53.98

Two of the biggest talents in American mid-d history finishing last and fourth to last in a meet with 45 finishers?

Very depressing.

When we scrolled down and saw Andrews at #42, one immediate thought was, “Man that kid should have stayed in college. It’s a shame he went pro early.”

Will Robby Andrews get another come from behind victory in Sunday's final like he did at the2010 NCAA indoor meet?

Robby Andrews in happier times at the 2010 NCAA indoor meet.

During his two years at Virginia, Robby Andrews was a collegiate star, a big name who won or almost won seemingly everything in sight. An NCAA indoor title over Andrew Wheating as a frosh, a runner-up to Wheating outdoors, an NCAA outdoor title over Charles Jock in 1:44.71 as a sophomore.

Then his coach Jason Vigilante left and Andrews went with him. So many people think that going pro early is a good idea as the athlete isn’t ‘burdened by the college racing demands.’ We think just the opposite. The collegiate system gives a mid-d runner like Andrews concrete goals and big competitions to keep them focused – indoor conference, indoor NCAAs, outdoor Penn Relays, outdoor conference, outdoor NCAAs. If you go pro, what do you have to shoot for? Indoors isn’t a big deal for most pros so you sit around and wait for April/May to come and then you find yourself chasing a time, not racing, in the ‘B’ heat of a race at a Division 3 college. That’s not nearly as much fun as kicking down Andrew Wheating in front of thousands at Penn Relays.

It’s been particularly hard for Andrews as he’s tried to move from the 800 to 1,500. In college, if you have a good kick (Andrews’ is legendary) and good tactics, you can be a legend as a 3:39 guy. In the pros, 3:39 is an embarrassment as you have to be able to run 3:35 or better. Andrews did that last year (3:34.78) but has been no where close to that this year.

It’s hard not to think, “Man if he was in college right now. He’d getting ready for his final NCAAs as a complete legend with perhaps six or seven NCAA titles on his resume.”

Of course, then we kept scrolling and saw Fernandez at 45th place. When saw him dead last, our initial thought was, “Man, he lost a TON of coin by not going pro after his freshman year at Oklahoma State when he was the world junior record holder and NCAA champ.”

So we understand the go pro/not go pro issue is complex. The best advice might be if you go pro early, be sure you get a chunk of GUARANTEED money.

Regardless, pro or not, it’s tough to see two huge talents struggle like Andrews and Fernandez are right now.

PS. We know a few of you may have raised an eyebrow when we described Andrews and Fernandez as “two of the biggest talents in American mid-d history,” but that’s definitely the case. In HS Andrews set US indoor records of 1:49.21 and 2:22.28. Fernandez was even better. Do you remember when he ran a 4:00.29 at the California state meet and then came back and ran 8:34 in the 3200 two hours later? Definitely the greatest double in HS history. Then as an 18-year old frosh he ran a 3:55.02 indoor mile?

PPS. Fernandez was awful early last year and turned it around in stunning fashion in September in Berlin so we can hope for that. As for Andrews, he’ll return to his comfort zone (the 800) and race David Rudisha on Saturday in New York. Maybe he should stick to the 800 for the rest of the year and try to make the US team there even if his ultimate medal chances lie in the 1,500 not 800.

More: 2012: German Fernandez Runs 3:34.60 & Validates Three Of’s Biggest Running Maxims

And Alan Webb Is As Well

Alan Webb struggling at the 2013 USATF Oxy High Performance Meet *More 2013 Oxy Photos

Alan Webb struggling at the 2013 USATF Oxy High Performance Meet
*More 2013 Oxy Photos

Andrews and Fernandez weren’t the only huge mid-d talents to struggle last week at Oxy. American mile record holder Alan Webb ran 13:46.53 in the 5000 there. Not good for a guy who has nearly run that pace for 10,000 in the past (27:34.72 pb).

We really hate to say it, but Webb’s poor run wasn’t a big surprise to us. While one of our favorite phrases is “Talent doesn’t go away”, we had an epiphany about Webb earlier this year. In the winter, we were talking to a very well respected coach about Webb and we asked him if he thought Webb would be able to resurrect his career now that he’s in Portland with Jerry Schumacher. His reply was along the lines of, “No. Don’t you realize he hasn’t run well in 5 years? That’s just too long. It’s over”

We had never really thought of it like that but it’s true. Webb was at his peak in 2007 when he ran 3:30.54 (1500) and 3:46.91 (mile). Since then, he hasn’t had a single good year. Only in 2008 did he run fast enough for one to think he might make a World/Olympic team.

Here’s Webb’s seasonal best times since 2007:

1500 (3:30.54 pb)
2008: 3:35.86
2009: 3:40.66
2010: 3:36.21
2011: 3:37.82
2012: 3:37.26
5000 (13:10.86 pb)
2010: 14:15.49
2012: 13:49.70
2013: 13:37.68

More: MB: Webb at oxy… Very concerning… I love the guy but what’s happening to his career?!
*MB: Solinsky and Webb’s comebacks are over

So What Good Happened at Oxy? And Some Hope for Alan Webb

We led off with the negative news from Oxy as to be truthful had it not been for Mary Cain‘s spectacular headline stealing run, the whole meet would have been a bit disappointing as Oxy is set up on purpose to be a glorified time trial and there were no fast times in the women’s steeple, men’s steeple, men’s 1500 or men’s 5000. The possibility of “A” standards is the reason USATF pays for top athletes to go to this meet. We hate the emphasis on time at so many meets.  It would be great if America’s best would square off more often, not because they have to chase times, but if they do get together to chase times, then the time has to be hit, and at many races at Oxy it wasn’t.

Mary Cain Runs 4:04.62 and Sadly The World Yawns

Mary Cain Runs 4:04.62 and Sadly The World Yawns (click to enlarge)

The meet is great for distance running geeks but that’s about it judging from the national reaction. Mary Cain had the greatest run ever by far by an American high school miler and what national coverage did it get? None. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. To the right is a screenshot of a Google News search showing where Mary Cain’s run got some coverage. Time trial meets do little to promote the sport. The public apparently doesn’t relate to them. The IAAF should change how qualifying for Worlds works in distance events so that “A” standards are earned on a country wide basis not an individual basis. There would be a lot less need for athletes to fly around the world to time trial races. (The public does relate to a  16 year old running the marathon as Alana Hadley‘s marathon debut at the Cleveland Marathon got a front page story in the New York Times sports section, while Cain’s far superior performance got nothing.)

Imagine if Cain a New Yorker, had run her 4:04 in New York City on national television this weekend instead? Thankfully Alan Webb ran his 3:53 high school mile on national television at the Pre Classic. Fortunately, Mary Cain gets another shot next weekend at Pre.

Fans at a distance only meet! Now we need some press coverage.

The Occidental meet from all indications had done a good job of getting the word out and getting distance runners to come and watch as seen by the crowd in the photo on the right. Getting high school teams out, inspiring a future generation, that is an excellent purpose for a meet like this, if it continues to exist because of the IAAF system.

However, if USATF is going to pay good money to fly athletes to a meet like this (one reason so many athletes go to this meet is USATF covers the travel of the top guys) instead of encouraging them to race at higher profile events like Pre or the adidas meet, then USATF’s communications department needs to get on board. Mary Cain ran 10 seconds faster than any high schooler ever, at a USATF organized meet, and what has USATF said about it? Absolutely nothing. No press release or anything. It’s even worse. USATF had a press release recapping this weekend’s action and didn’t mention Mary Cain or Occidental. Imagine if some high school basketball player scored 175 points and it didn’t get any coverage. Utterly ridiculous.

In some ways, the bigger the meet the less USATF Communications is needed. If something happens at Pre, there will be some journalists on hand to witness and chronicle it and a national tv audience. At a meet the general public has no idea even exists, if something happens then USATF needs to step in and get some coverage.

Now time to stop our negative talk and point out the good stuff that happened at Occidental.

First, since we almost gave up on Alan Webb above, but genuinely root for the guy and have been fascinated by him like no other athlete for the last decade, we’ll start with some encouraging news from Treniere Moser, that perhaps may pick up Alan Webb.

Treniere Clement Moser was a 3 time USATF 1500m champion from 2005-2007 with PRs of 1:59.15 and 4:03.32. Since then until this year, she hadn’t run under 4:07.49 for 1500m or been under 2:00.51 for 800m. Her running has been so dismal USATF moved its bio on her to the archived athletes section so we wouldn’t have blamed you if you assumed her career was all but officially over.

Coach Alberto Salazar took her under his wing this year and now she’s a new runner. She not only ran 4:06.40 for 1500m at Stanford, her fastest time in 6 years, but she destroyed the competition the last lap winning by over 2.5 seconds. At Occidental, Moser surprised many by running the 5000m. The result? 15:11.00 for 2nd place and an “A” qualifier for the World Championships. It was Moser’s first Worlds qualifying time since 2007 in any event. Webb already tried training under Alberto Salazar and it didn’t work out for him, but Moser’s rejuvenation must give him hope that “talent truly doesn’t go away.” Moreover, Moser’s a year and 2 months older than Alan as she’s 31 and he’s 30.


Now onto the winner of the 5000m at Occidental. Molly Huddle‘s 15:05.89 means she is likely going to Worlds. We were a bit unsure of what she’d do this year as she told us after the BAA 5k (video embedded on left) that she had to take most of the winter off due to a foot injury and only started training in mid-February. But a 15:05.89 right now for her demonstrates she’s fit enough where she shouldn’t have to worry too much about making the US team for Moscow. And come August, she might be able to challenge her own 14:44.76 American record. From February to August is six months which is a full training cycle.


Now onto good news from Julia Lucas. Her heartbreak at the Olympic Trials was one of the gut wrenching stories at the Olympic Trials last year, so to see her bounce back and make a world team this year would be phenomenal. She’s got a good shot as her 4:05.89 run in the 1,500 was a nice 1.34 second pb.


For the men, there wasn’t a ton to cheer about. The one big positive surprise was former 400 hurdler Brandon Johnson‘s 1:44.85 win. Johnson, a former world junior silver medalist in the 400m hurdles who was 6th in the 2008 Olympic Trials in the 400h, only moved to the 800 last year.

The 28-year old Johnson’s previous best was just 1:46.23 so his win was certainly a surprise, although given the fact that he’d finished within .33 of Duane Solomon at Mt. Sac, true 800 aficionados may have not been totally stunned by the time.

Update: Joe Douglas of the Santa Monica Track Club called us and told us that former VMI star Felix Kitur, who initially was DQd for a lane violation, has been re-instated as the race co-winner in the identical time of Johnson – 1:44.85. co-founder Robert Johnson enjoyed seeing Kitur dominate the IC4A while at VMI so congrats to Kitur for the huge PR (previous pb of 1:46.51. Coming into the year, his pb was just 1:47.39). Meet officials still have Kitur as DQd (official results now have heat by heat results) and told us they are still reviewing the DQ, so we’ll let you know either way at some point.


To us, the absolute most encouraging performance of the weekend in terms of possible US distance medals at Worlds was Jenny Simpson‘s 2:00.45 PR in the 800.

We say that because let’s be honest, ‘Which mid-d or distance American women have any shot of winning a medal in Moscow in 2013?’

We’d say there are only two – Simpson at 1500 (or steeple if she took it back up) and Alysia Montano at 800. That’s it.

To see Simpson back-up her dominating 4:03.35 Drake win with an 800 pb is very encouraging as last year when Simpson ran the 800 she looked so awful it seemed almost inconceivable that she’d medal in London. In her mind-boggling 2:05.79 disaster at the adidas Grand Prix in New York, she only got out in about 61 seconds in a DL meet. This year, she’s clearly firing on all cylinders.

And Now We Try and Give Mary Cain Proper Praise

Mary Cain celebrating her 4:04.62 American junior record with Alberto Salazar *More 2013 Oxy Photos

Mary Cain celebrating her 4:04.62 American junior record with Alberto Salazar
*More 2013 Oxy Photos

Now don’t misunderstand us. Above we said that Simpson’s PR was the most encouraging performance of the weekend for us, but that was in terms of immediate medals at Worlds this year.

Mary Cain’s 4:04.62 American HS record was simply amazing. Cain has already completely changed what we thought was possible for a high schooler this year, so her run didn’t totally shock us.

However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t appreciate it’s beauty. Mary Cain has run 4:04.62 for 1500m. The second fastest high schooler ever in America is Jordan Hasay at 4:14.50. That’s nearly a 10 second difference. That is incredible. And Cain just turned 17 and is just a junior in high school.

While Cain’s 4:04.62 in the women’s 1,500 was VERY exciting for the future, Cain is still a ways away from contending at the world level.  She’s more than seven seconds slower than the third woman in the world so far this year in a race where the leaders closed in 61 versus the 63 that Cain closed in.

The crazy thing about Cain’s run is that while as great as it was, it actually didn’t change too much for us in terms of the overall thoughts we had about her after Drake. We already knew she is a PHENOM and we already knew she is so much fun to watch.  After Drake we wrote the following:

“An ‘A’ standard down the road (this year) isn’t out of the question but her competing for a US title or Pre title in 2013 are.”

Well now she’s ahead of schedule as she’s already got the ‘A’. Mary is still a ways behind Jenny Simpson, but Simpson has been erratic in the past. Making the world’s team is a real possibility for Mary, so no doubt some of you probably think we should amend the statement about the US title. We guarantee Mary won’t win Pre, but track and field fans will get to watch her in 2 weeks at Pre.

And since we talked about turning pro above in the context of Fernandez and Andrews, we’ll give Mary some advice. Turn pro now. Make sure you’ve get a ton (ie 7 figures) of guaranteed money, but running for free for Nike on your own like you are doing now makes no sense.

And one more bit of unsolicited advice. Go to the highest bidder and don’t necessarily be beholden to Nike. One of the highlights of the week last week in our minds was how Nike coach Alberto Salazar deflected praise for getting Cain down to 4:04 when he said the following in a post-race flotrack interview:

“She ran 4:11 last year so she’s ran 6 seconds faster with me this year. That’s not a heck of a lot from a sophomore to a junior in high school; you should probably expect that much. She’s got a lot of talent, my job is to make sure that talent is fulfilled, that she doesn’t get injured … I didn’t make Mary Cain; she was already made.”

A huge thumbs up to Salazar for the incredibly honest and classy quote. But Mary take it to heart and make sure you realize the shoe companies need you more than you need them. You are a once in a generation talent.

** **
Photo of The Week/What About The World?

Ryan Hall having fun at a Run with US event in Oklahoma

Ryan Hall having fun at a Run with US event in Oklahoma

What you see above is US marathoner Ryan Hall participating at a Run With US! event earlier this month at an Oklahoma elementary school. Run With US! is a neat program being put on by the USATF Foundation and HealthTeacher, Inc. where track and field stars lead quick 5-minute exercise breaks into the classroom (normally remotely via computer).

So kids stay active and track & field and its top athletes gets introduced to kids across America. Sounds like a win-win.

Marketing track and field as part of the solution to the child obesity challenge is a good idea. And exercise isn’t just good physically – lots of research shows “short exposure to exercise yields meaningful improvements in energy, focus and classroom behavior.”

3,500 teachers are using the program, but we’re sure a lot more would benefit from it so help spread the word. The USA Track & Field Foundation is making the game available to every elementary school in the USA, for FREE. Watch the video below and spread the word.

More:*Run With US! website *USATF Foudation
*Olympic runner visits Yukon students at Ranchwood Elementary
*Olympic Runner Ryan Hall Plays GoNoodle Interactive Classroom Game with Oklahoma Elementary School

Ryan Hall On The Comeback Trail

Speaking of Ryan Hall, he raced last week for the first time since the 2012 Olympics which is a good sign as he was second at the Bay to Breakers presented by Craigslist. His time (35:40) for th 12k course wasn’t particularly fast but that’s irrelevant in our minds. The fact that he’s healthy enough to race is a very encouraging sign.

What people seem to forget about Hall, who is criticized in some quarters for never having brought home a major title or Olympic medal, is just how good Hall has been. He’s by far the best American born marathoner in the fully professional era.

Ignoring Khalid Khannouchi who was already the world record holder when he switched his citizenship to the US, Hall has five of the six fastest times in US history.

Top six fastest times by Americans not named Khalid Khannouchi
1. Ryan Hall 2:04:58 Boston 2011
2. Ryan Hall 2:06:17 London 2008
3. Dathan Ritzenhein 2:07:47 Chicago 2012
4. Ryan Hall 2:08:04 Chicago 2011
5. Ryan Hall 2:08:24 Lonodn 2007
6. Ryan Hall 2:08:41 Boston 2010

Moreover, while Hall has certainly been struggling with injuries of late (the San Francisco Examiner said the following of Hall’s injuries last year: “The Redding resident spent the year recovering from plantar fasciitis, right hamstring tendinitis and two torn quadriceps muscles”), one of the greatest aspects about Hall is his consistency. When he shows up for a marathon, he essentially ALWAYS runs well. Prior to last year’s Olympics, Hall had run 10 marathons in his career. In 9 of them, he’d finished in the top five. His ‘worse’ showing was a 10th at the 2008 Olympics.

Has he ever won a major? No, but we’re not certainly going to criticize a man who on a sub-par day is often better than everyone else ever born in this country.

After Bay to Breakers, Hall was pleased to be racing again as the Examiner quoted him as saying, “I haven’t had a good race since Olympic trials, so to be out there and be like, ‘Oh, I’m actually running well’ was great.”

MoreEthiopian Tolossa Gedefa Fufi wins men’s field in debut Bay to Breakers run

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

“I think we’re the third-best country in the world right now..We’re getting deeper and deeper, and it’s great to be a part of that.”

-Ryan Hall talking to the San Francisco Examiner.

We liked Hall’s quote as it made us think about whether it’s true. He’s probably right but let’s just say it’s a distant third. For example in Doha last week, three Kenyans ran faster than the men’s American record in the steeple. On the 2013 outdoor 1500 list, seven Kenyans and four Ethiopians are ahead of the top American man in the 1500.

WADA We Hope Your Reading This – Please Test This Guy

Speaking of the 2013 world 1,500 list. There is one result we forgot to talk about from exactly one month ago (April 20th). In Morocco, unheralded 27-year old Zakaria Maazouzi who had a 3:38.72 pb ran a ridiculous 3:31.94 PR and is currently number three in the world.

Now near 7-second 1500 PRs aren’t necessarily a sign of drug use. After all, Mary Cain has improved by 6.39 this year and in 2010 Andrew Wheating came down by more than seven seconds (7.70 seconds). But Cain just turned 17 on May 3rd and Wheating was 22 in 2010 and moving up after already having made the Olympics at age 20 as a 1:45.03 800 guy in just his third season of running track and field.

However, 7-second improvements in the 1500 by non teen-prodigies late in life are extremely rare. In contrast to Cain and Wheating, Maazouzi has been around a long time and never showed any big signs of greatness as Maazouzi has 1500 times dating back to 2004 of 3:41.6 and only has a 1:48 800 pb.

We hope that WADA is targeting the hell out of him. Test, test, test and let him basically prove his innocence. If he does so, more the power to him. If legally achieved, it’s a great story of perseverance.

Anyone remember Regina Jacobs‘ indoor 3:59.98 at age 39 back in 2009? What a joke.

More: MB: Moroccan zakaria Mazouze world lead 1500m 3.31.94

Quote of the Week II (that wasn’t quote of the Day)

The 4th fastest 10,000 runner ever Nicholas Kemboi answering why he didn’t change his name to a Muslim name when he switched his citizenship to Qatar:

“I already had quite a few achievements under my belt by that point and didn’t want people to have to start getting used to calling me by another name. And I remain a Christian, – there have been no issues with that, I’m not a Muslim. I could become one if I wanted to but they left it up to me.”

The quote comes from a Q&A with Kemboi put on by the Volkswagen Prague Marathon organizers which Kemboi won.

 Q&A With The 4th Fastest 10,000 Runner In History, Nicholas Kemboi, After His First Marathon Victory In Prague Kemboi, who has maintained his Christianity after his citizenship switch from Kenya to Qatar, is aiming for the Moscow World Champs now.

Looking for your next destination race? How about North Korea?

Runners today are going to extremes to find the most exotic race – whether it be a mud run, a marathon in Antartica, etc. People are looking to do something that is different and unique. Well, how about a run in North Korea? The following email showed up on in our inbox and we thought we’d share it with you (Note: We have no relationship with Koryo Tours and aren’t being paid to share this with you. We just thought it was interesting).

Koryo Tours have successfully staged the first ever charity Fun Run in North Korea!

North Korea

North Korea.
Photo courtesy ©Koryo Tours

We started preparing for this event in December, testing the route (along Sports Street in Mangyondae district) with two of the Korean guides but a few days before the run, however, once all the tourists were in Pyongyang our partners discovered that a huge renovation project of the Sports Street had just started and, regardless of the fact that we thought it sounded like an adventure, according to the Koreans, a group of tourists running through Army Construction Workers’ Barracks was not going to happen!

The route was duly changed and at 7am on a bright and sunny May Day morning, a group of approximately 50 tourists assembled at the old site of the US Spyship Pueblo ready to start the run along the Taedong River – a much more central location which passes some iconic spots in Pyongyang such as the Juche Tower, the route ended at Kim Il Sung square and once everyone completed the race all 50 did a lap of honour around the square!

The Fun Run has raised just over EUR 2000 which is an incredible sum, the money will be used to buy powdered milk – a valuable commodity – for an orphanage in Nampo. We, and the orphanage, are very grateful to all who contributed.

You can see a video of the event here.

Other News of Note: Old and Young Impress

MB: Haile Gebrselassie sets Masters 40+ WR for 10 miles (46:59.9)

MB: 21-yr old Laura Weightman runs 8:43.46 for 3k to open up 2013 Weightman is very, very good. Basically as good but a year younger than Jenny Simpson was in 2009 and Simpson is now a World Champ.

Recommended Reads

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 5/20:

“It seems that each year we get asked more and each year we do not get any more money.At some stage, things will break and I do not want to be there when it happens because it would be very embarrassing for everyone.”

“This year we have to sit down with as many people as possible and show them that if we do get more money that certain things that we have been asked to do just will not get done.”

– WADA director general David Howman talking about how they are close to a financial breaking point and need more money to keep catching cheats. He also showed concern for some countries’ motivation to catch dopers, saying, “Nobody wants a controversy. You don’t want your heroes testing positive.”

Sunday 5/19:

“When we told him, ‘you have a blood cancer called leukemia,’ he didn’t blink. But then we said, ‘it looks as if you won’t be able to do track and field this year,’ he burst into tears.”

– Sarah Getliff talking about her 16-year-old son Adam who was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2011 just before his freshman year of high school. Adam is now recovered and going to next weekend’s NYC adidas Grand Prix courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Adam’s favorite athlete isTyson Gay and he says he gained motivation for his own comeback by watching Gay comeback to make the Olympics after a year off for injury

Saturday 5/18:

“She’s a very natural athlete. She ran 4:11 last year so she’s ran 6 seconds faster with me this year. That’s not a heck of a lot from a sophomore to a junior in high school; you should probably expect that much. She’s got a lot of talent, my job is to make sure that talent is fulfilled, that she doesn’t get injured … I didn’t make Mary Cain; she was already made.”

  A humble Alberto Salazar talking about Mary Cain and her impressive 4:04.62 (2nd place) run at the Occidental High Performance meet last night. He also says that after this race he thinks “she’s got a shot at making the [US World] team.”

Friday 5/17:

“I’m not sure if I’ll put myself through the Hansons method again. I like to run, but I don’t want it to take over my life.”

Jen Miller writing in the New York Times after using the Hanson brothers’ training program to garner herself a 16-minute marathon PR. Memo to the world: Yes, to be better at distance running, you actually have to run a lot. 

Thursday 5/16:

“If I’m on a trail, I’ll probably pee while I’m moving. It’s not really acceptable on a course. On Sunday it was through a lovely little village. I went to pee next to a tree at one point and a bloke looked out of his window and saw me. I went: sorry, I’ll move on.”

– British ultra-runner Robbie Britton talking about one of the problems associated with his sport. Britton was 19th at last weekend’s World 24 Hour Champs, which the US, led by gold medallist Jon Olsen, dominated.

Wednesday 5/15:

“Sometimes, since I’m pregnant and nobody is forcing me to do anything, I check in with myself to see if it’s really worth it to continue competing. After all, I know better than anyone else that even when you’re one of the favorites to make an Olympic team, no matter how hard you’ve worked or how much passion you have, there are no guarantees. But it might surprise you to know that my biggest fear is not that after all the struggles to balance running and family, I will come up short again. No. My biggest fear is that if I ignore the competitive spirit that has been gaining strength inside me, alongside this growing baby, heartbeat to heartbeat, I will regret it. Even though I know I will feel torn at times, and that I will fail often, these two loves are already fused as one. I have to try.”

Lauren Fleshman talking about making the decision to continue on with her running career after having a baby (which is due in a few weeks).

Tuesday 5/14

“I was going to wait until 300, but I felt it was the right time. There is an advantage to being the first mover. They talk about that in business classes, and it’s also true in track and field. When you can get a surge, and get your move in, everybody is reacting to you. So if you can have five meters on someone, that means in his last 300 meters he has to run an extra five meters.”

– Oregon’s Elijah Greer talking about his race strategy during the PAC-12 800, where he won by over a second in 1:49.48 after surging to take a 5-meter lead at the bell.

The 1:59:40 GOAT shirts are here