The Week That Was – December 9 – 15, 2013
December 17, 2013
We review the week in running below.
Previous versions of The Week That Was can be found here.
Questions? Comments? Email us.
Video of the Week I
If you haven’t watched the end of the boys race at the 2013 Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, please do yourself a favor and do so now. It will take less than four minutes of your time as we’ve got it ready to play at the right spot for you. Racing simply doesn’t get any better than this (Update: We’ve fixed the problem with the video not starting at the 12:50 mark but if you can’t get it to work below click on this link to start at 12:50):
Stat of The Week I
2 – number of junior American boys that have won the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships.
How Good Is Grant Fisher?
Fisher’s still got a long way to go before he joins the legendary ranks of Dathan Ritzenhein in terms of high school accomplishments. But he’s already very good. In track, as a 10th grader, he ran 3:50.30 for 1500 and got 9th at the World Youth Games.
That’s equivalent to roughly 4:08.7 for the full mile – not too far off of
Alan Webb’s American sophomore class record of 4:06.94 (an emailer has told us Jeff See now has the record at 4:06.07).
And here’s the catch – he’s not exclusively a runner. He’s also a soccer player who last year didn’t run in the state cross country meet in Michigan because his soccer team was in a playoff game.
This year, his soccer team didn’t make the playoffs so he did run (and win – he was undefeated all year-long) states.
Sure enough, many are calling for him to quit soccer: Grant Fisher: Please quit the soccer team now.
Our take? Why should he? He’s already the national champion and a 4:08 miler as a 10th grader while playing soccer. He’s clearly someone who enjoys being on a team (Fisher told Mlive.com he’s already looking forward to the track season as the team is hoping to win after being runners-up at States the last two years). It’s refreshing to see someone just be a normal (albeit super talented) high schooler.
And how do we know that not running full-time doesn’t make him better?
German Fernandez was pretty much unbeatable in high school when he was balancing a job at Applebee’s with school and running. Sometimes distractions are good for people.
Fisher likely will have plenty of time to exclusively run after college. And that lifestyle can become monotonous after years of doing it (Hence Kara Goucher’s switch to Mark Wetmore last week).
Stat Of the Week II/The Premature Death of Foot Locker
After the huge buildup to the fantastic girls race at NXN this year, some in the week leading up to Foot Locker were asking: Does anyone care about Foot Locker CC Champs?.
Well that stats show that a premature obituary for Foot Locker was published in some quarters. Tullyrunners.com has published its speed ratings, which compares times from various courses, for both the 2013 NXN championships and the 2013 Foot Locker championships. We decided to merge the two and give you the mythical top 10 from the two races.
|Mythical Combined 2013 Combined Foot Locker NXN Results||Mythical Combined 2013 Combined Foot Locker NXN Results|
|1. Grant Fisher – Foot Locker – Grade 11||1. Alexa Efraimson –NXN – Grade 11|
|2. John Dressel – Foot Locker – Grade 11||2. Elise Cranny – NXN – Grade 12|
|3. Taylor Wilmot – NXN – Grade 12||3. Sarah Baxter – NXN – Grade 12|
|4. Matthew Maton – Foot Locker – Grade 11||4. Tessa Barrett – Foot Locker – Grade 12|
|5. Mickey Burke – Foot Locker – Grade 12||5. Hannah DeBalsi – Foot Locker – Grade 10|
|6. Joseph Hardy – Foot Locker – Grade 11||6. Caroline Alcorta – Foot Locker – Grade 12|
|7. Elijah Armstrong – Foot Locker – Grade 11||7. Anoush Shehadeh – Foot Locker – Grade 11|
|8. Conner Mantz – Foot Locker – Grade 11||8. Anna Maxwell – Foot Locker – Grade 12|
|9. Blair Hurlock – Foot Locker – Grade 12||9. Brianna Schwartz – Foot Locker – Grade 11|
|10. Blake Haney – NXN – Grade 12||10 . Lucy Biles – Foot Locker – Grade 11|
|Score: Foot Locker 8 – NXN 2||Score: Footlocker 7 – NXN 3|
There is zero doubt that the top of the girls race was better at NXN but it looks as if Foot Lockers was deeper on both sides and faster on the boys’ side as well.
If you’re a top individual it still makes sense to go to Foot Locker’s. You get to go hang out in sunny California, stay in a historic hotel, and race in a race with a ton of tradition that nearly all the great Americans the last two decades have run in.
Yuki Kawauchi Runs His Second Sub 2:10 Marathon in Two Weeks and Dominates America in the Process
Two weeks ago, we marvelled at the sub-2:10 prowess of Japanese “Citizen Runner” Yuki Kawauchi after he ran his third sub-2:10 of the year. Well, now just two weeks after a 2:09:05 marathon, he’s done it again and run 2:09:15 at the Hofu Marathon . In the process, he’s smashed his world record for quickest consecutive sub-2:10s in history as he did it just 14 days apart (previous record 42 days).
Officially, that gives him four sub 2:10:00s on the year and another 2:10:01. In the 2:10:01, he didn’t start at the start line and his chip time was 2:09:58 so we’ve got no problem with those who say he ran 5 sub 2:10s on the year.
4 or 5, either way, that’s amazing.
The US only has one sub 2:10 marathon all year- Dathan Ritzenhein’s 2:09:45 in Chiago.
Japan Running News’ Brett Larner has an incredible stat for you. Only once in US history has there been a year where all of the men in American have produced five sub-2:10s in a year:
“In all of American marathoning history only two years have equaled Kawauchi’s 2013, 1983 with four sub-2:10s by American men and 2012 with five. Kawauchi is exceptionally tough, but one self-coached athlete working a full-time job being able to beat an entire country capable of producing world-level distance medalists on the track surely points to serious systemic problems.”
Congrats to Kawauchi.
We do disagree with the harshness of the last part of Larner’s statement about “systemic problems.”
The Japanese Still Suck at the 1500
Let’s turn Brett Larner’s marathon quote about the US around a bit. We could just as easily write:
How can it be that an entire country as advanced and developed as Japan, a country capable of producing seven sub 2:10 performers (including 4 sub 2:09) in 2013, can only produce a 1500 best time of 3:42.79 for the whole country? They should be ashamed.
Should the US have more than one sub-2:10 performer in 2013? Yes.
Should the Japanese have more than one sub four-minute miler? Yes.
We however understand why they don’t, the Japanese comparative advantage (culturally and genetically) may be in the marathon.
We greatly admire the Japanese marathon system and how many post-collegians train almost exclusively for that event.
The Japanese runners also likely have more slow-twitch fibers which make them relatively better at the marathon. The same thing that makes them horrible at the 1500, makes the relatively better at the marathon. In the US, you’ve probably got a little bit of the reverse.
Plus the Japanese relative lack of height is a huge advantage in the marathon. Wikipedia lists the average Japanese men’s height at 5’7″ and American at 5’10. As we talked about in the Fall: Being over 6′ is a huge disadvantage: Fastest Marathoners over six feet tall (1.83m or taller). Elite sport, however, isn’t about the average person. Maybe we should host a podcast with our friend David Epstein, author of Sports Gene (interesting read if you’re still looking for a Christmas gift) , to get his insight on Japanese marathon prowess.
For the record, tilastapaja.com lists 80 Americans who have run faster than Japan’s fastest 1500 of the year – 3:42.79.
Club Nationals and A Different Type of Track Club – The Beasts TC
A ton of LRCers were running Club XC Nationals last weekend. We don’t give the race a ton of publicity on LetsRun.com as usually what happens at Club Nationals doesn’t mean much come the track season or even USATF XC Nationals in the winter.
There were a few notable performances. Laura Thweatt, a former CU Buff, won the women’s race and continued her fine late 2013 as she was 3rd at .US Road Race Championships behind Shalane Flanagan and Molly Huddle last month.
Joseph Gray (not to be confused with Jon Grey who won in 2011), a guy who has never gone sub 29 minutes on the track, won the men’s race. Gray was the XTerra World Trail Champion last year, and surprised many by getting the win on the tough course designed by Max King (photos here)
In the women’s team competition, the Beasts Track Club dominated the competition in its first try at Club Nats winning over the Boulder Running Company/adidas 34- 85. The Beasts TC only had five runners at Club Nats (Deborah Maier, Angela Bizzarri, Brie Felnagle, Jessica Tebo, and Jamie Cheever), so there was no room for error.
The Beasts Track Club is a different type of track club as it is sponsored by Brooks out of its Seattle headquarters and coached by Danny Mackey (wife of Brooks runner Katie Mackey (4:04.60 1500m)) who is paid by Brooks, but allows non Brooks runners to be in the club and train with coach Mackey. That was a good thing at Club Nationals for the Beasts, as Brie Felnagle who was 7th overall for the Beasts, runs for adidas. Nike 800m runner Phoebe Wright has moved out to Seattle to join the club as well. In this day of age, where the BAA is requiring its recreational runners to wear adidas gear to all practices, it’s refreshing to see a track club sponsored by one shoe company, say its willing to let athletes from another shoe company into the club. Train with the best to be the best must be the thinking.
In the future, it’s possible you may not see the non Brooks athletes running under the “Beasts TC” banner. Some of you are wondering why they weren’t disqualified for not wearing the same uniforms (the Brooks athletes were all wearing yellow uniforms with a Brooks logo, Brie Felnagle was wearing her yellow adidas jersey. Tracktownphoto.com has some great photos of the meet). Sounds a bit high schoolish to us to DQ them. So the New York/New Jersey Track Club (where all the athletes have different sponsors) can not enter competitions unless everyone is in the same jersey?
There is no doubt this system with athletes from different shoe companies being able to train with one another is best for American runners as a whole. Brooks determined it’s best for Brooks as well. Brie Felnagle and adidas and Phoebe Wright and Nike determined its best for them. We hope it works out. Thumbs up to Brooks for thinking outside the box. Who really cares if they are all allowed to enter under the “Beasts TC” name? All the athletes are in the same track club.
Stat of the Week II
Sometimes inspiration comes to LRC at weird times. This week, we decided to look back some more at the NCAA Cross Country Championships as we had a few interesting epiphanies in the middle of the week about last months race.
We rescored NCAAs and Pac 12s as a tri-meet between the Pac 12 schools.
|Colorado Men vs. Oregon & Stanford at NCAAs|
|Colorado||3, 4, 5, 6, 11||29|
|Oregon||1, 7, 8, 9, 14||39|
|Stanford||2, 10, 12, 15, 16||55|
|Colorado Men vs. Oregon & Stanford at Pac 12s|
|Colorado||3, 4, 5, 7, 8||27|
|Oregon||1, 6, 9, 12, 15||43|
|Stanford||2, 10, 11, 14, 19||56|
“Did anyone see what they did at PAC-12s? Facing two other teams that are now ranked in the top 5 in the country, the Buffs put five in the top 9. If they win on Saturday, people may realize, “Wow PAC-12s wasn’t a result of the race being at altitude, it was a result of them just being incredibly good.” That result is by far the best a single team has run all year.”
Last week, with a little time on our hands, we decided to compare Colorado at NCAAs versus Colorado at Pac 12s. The result? Basically the same. Colorado was just a very good team. People thought their Pac 12 domination was the result of the race being at altitude but the NCAA results show that it was just the result of them being very good, and maybe Stanford not being nearly as good as people thought.
As for Stanford, who did they really beat all year? At Pre-Nats, the two teams that were right behind them were Tulsa and Princeton who ended up 27th and 22nd at NCAAs respectively.
Stat Of The Week III
4 – number of years in a row that the women’s pre-season #1 ranked team has won the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
5 – number of years in a row that the men’s pre-season #1 ranked team has not won the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Ethiopia’s 21-Year Old Half-Marathon Record Holder Atsedu Tsegay Wins In Delhi
As the year ends, we normally have a bit of a lull in terms of competition but there was one big race last weekend – the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon where Ethiopian’s 21-year old national record holder Atsedu Tsegay got the win in a course record of 59:12. Tsegay picked up $32,500 for his efforts.
2:19 women’s marathon Florence Kiplagat won the women’s field.
Top 10 results appear below. but we have one question. Does anyone know when the 21-year old Tsegay is going to debut in the marathon? Today (December 17) is actually is 22nd birthday and thus he is getting kind of old in this crazy day and age of young marathon stars (that’s sort of a joke). Update: We asked for an answer and got it. On December 19th, it was announced he’ll debut in Dubai on January 24th.
|Top 10 Men
1. Atsedu Tsegay, ETH 59:12 CR* USD 25,000 + 7,500*
2. Geoffrey Kipsang, KEN 59:30 18,000
3. Wilson Kiprop, KEN 59:49 12,000
4. Kenneth Kipkemoi, KEN 59:55 8,000
5. Nicholas Kipkemboi, KEN 1:00:24 6,000
6. Philemon Rono, KEN 1:01:07 5,000
7. Gladwin Mzazi, RSA 1:01:12 PB 4,000
8. Edwin Kipyego, KEN 1:01:21 3,000
9. Leonard Korir, KEN 1:01:25 2,000
10. Richard Mengich, KEN 1:01:27 1,000
|Top 10 Women
1. Florence Kiplagat, KEN 1:08:00 USD 25,000
2. Gladys Cherono, KEN 1:08:03 18,000
3. Lucy Kabuu, KEN 1:08:10 12,000
4. Meseret Hailu, ETH 1:09:05 8,000
5. Wude Alalew, ETH 1:09:21 6,000
6. Emily Chebet, KEN 1:09:22 5,000
7. Alice Kimutai, KEN 1:10:09 PB 4,000
8. Yebrugual Melese, ETH 1:11:59 3,000
9. Lineth Chepkurui, KEN 1:12:01 2,000
10. Paskalia Kipkoech, KEN 1:12:02 1,000
More: LRC Ethiopia’s Atsedu Tsegay Wins ADHM With New Course Record (59:10); Florence Kiplagat Is Women’s Champion (68:00)
*MB: Airtel Delhi Half Marathon: Atsedu Tsegay (59:10) for CR as 3 break 60, F. Kiplagat women’s
We Couldn’t Say It Better Than Ourselves/Does Former Olympic Gold Medallist and 100m World Record Donovan Bailey Read LetsRun.com?
Bailey Explains Very Simply Why Usain Bolt is So Good
“I won’t say he (Usain Bolt) has redefined 100m sprinters, but he has been an example of evolution of human body and its ability to push it to limits. It’s simple. He (Bolt) is a much bigger and stronger lad and he will obviously run faster than sprinters of earlier generation.”
– that’s 1996 Olympic champ and former 9.84 man Donovan Bailey talking about Usain Bolt in Delhi, where Bailey went to be a part of the festivities associated with the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.
It’s good to know we have such a respected name like Bailey joining us in the “Usain Bolt is a tall freak” supporters club. Do we know he’s 100% clean? No. But seeing a child-hood prodigy who with the eyeball test just physically looks different than every other sprinters is way less suspicious than seeing your average pro develop into a star late in her career (input names here, the most obviously example of someone who was actually caught that fits this category is Regina Jacobs) or seeing someone like Lance Armstrong, who repeatedly dropped out of the Tour de France early in his career start to dominate it.
Speaking of Bailey, we enjoyed the article on him by the Press Times of India (PTI).
Here’s a question for you? Which do you think he cherishes the most? The Olympic gold or his World Record?
“The World Championship and the Olympic gold medals, which I won while setting a world record are closest to my heart. I will always be an Olympic champion and the feeling is exhilarating. But, I think more than the gold medal and the records, what motivates me is — and I think it should motivate all athletes —is to run a technically perfect race.”
Now This Is A Weird Way To Get Injured
“Last year I was talking to my physiotherapist about reasons for why my back and hips were a bit twisted. She suggested it could have been from studying and sitting so much with potentially bad posture. Thus, I blame my injury last year on studying too much.” –
– Aaron Hendrikx , the third placer at the Canadian cross country championships, explaining to Athletics Illustrated why he was injured last year.
5 Quotes of the Week (that weren’t quote of the day)
I – Oh, what we take for granted:
“It was challenging to have a balanced meal. It is not like today [in the USA] when I have to pick and choose what food I eat because I might put on weight.”
“In Zimbabwe growing up, it was never in my vocabulary to pick and choose what food I ate. Sometimes we just ate corn and vegetable. It was a typical African life.”
– six-time NCAA champion (including the 100 and lj in 2011) Ngoni Makusha in a great Spikes Mag profile on him and how track and field has changed his life.
Life as an NCAA star at Florida State is a lot different than life in Africa where he once competed at World Juniors on borrowed spikes. When Makusha first got to Florida State, he said people made fun of him when he purchased some cheese and tried to cut the plastic package off with a knife instead of just peeling it off.
Makusha, who missed 2012 with injury, is on the comeback trail in 2013.
II – Too many events in track and field?
“”We must look closely at the sport and see what it is that people actually want to watch. Do we need the women’s discus? A 3,000m and 5000m steeplechase (sic) at the same meeting? Nothing has happened to change the sport in my time.”
– former 200/400 sprint legend Michael Johnson talking to the BBC about how to make track and field more popular.
(LRC Note: Come on Michael, as an agent, you should know better. Agents need as many events as possible so their stars can avoid each other. Dibaba can run a 2 mile and Defar a 3000 and Bolt a 100 and Blake a 200).
III – The Importance of Cross Country:
“I really like cross country, but I feel like it gets discounted on the pro scene because people don’t show up. So I’d like to continue to show up and hopefully get more guys to do the same.”
– 2013 USA Cross Country Champion, Chris Derrick, talking in the January 2014 print edition of Runner’s World magazine.
IV – You Better Run Fast Because Your Daughter Expects You To
“I expected to clock my best but had malaria two weeks back. I have just recovered but I have a lot of pressure on me from my daughter. She wins all the races in her school and wants me to win in New Delhi and be the No. 1 runner,”
– 2:19:34 marathon and 66:09 half-marathon Lucy Kabuu of Kenya talking to the Times of India prior to Sunday’s AirTel Delhi Half Marathon. For the record, Kabuu didn’t win but did run 68:10 and get third. Not bad for having had malaria just two weeks ago (for the record, an agent told us that Kenyans sometimes use the word ‘malaria’ generically for any sort of sickness, not necessarily full out malaria. Any docs out there? Would it be possible to do anything of note two weeks after actualy malaria?).
V – The Importance of a Mentor:
“He (Magliari) saw I was pretty fast. He wasn’t a professional coach. He just told me, ‘start fast, keep going, and don’t let anybody get ahead of you.’ And that’s just what I did.
“He gave me that confidence….”Mr. M. showed me I could be a runner; he helped me find my sport.”
– National Track Hall of Fame inductee Steve Williams (a former World Record holder at 100 (9.9 ht) and 200 (19.8 ht) talking to Armorytrack.com about Frank Magliari, the director of the NYC Parks Department playground on 225th back in the 1960s, who got him into track and field.
Sometimes people don’t need a coach – just a mentor.
Video/Email Of The Week
Hopefully last week, you came on Thursday and got your free XMAS gift from us to you – a song about running from Ryan Craven’s new album on songs exclusively about running. If not, you can still get it.
Later that day, we got an email from world-famous track and field photographer Victah Sailor. It had no body, just a subject line and a link to a youtube video. We must admit we totally 100% agree:
Subject: there is only one xc song……
The video which we hadn’t watched for a few years is awesome. It was features front man Jacob Cantor of the Richard Montgomery High School 4 x 800 team which got 6th at New Balance Nationals.
Meet The “One Shoe Hero” & New Jersey’s Newest Member of the “Legends Of The Fall” Club
Even in the age of google and bing, there are a lot of great running stories out there that we’d missed if it wasn’t for you our loyal readers sending in tips. This one came from New Jersey and it’s a link to a fantastic piece of running journalism by the Newark Star-Ledgers Jim Lambert. The story he’s telling is great but his writing might even be better as Lambert came up with two monikers we’d never heard. He labels cross country stars as “Legends of the Fall” – we really like that – and labels a runner who ran heroically with only one shoe as a “One Shoe Hero.”
The story Lambert wrote about was how New Jersey high schooler Margaret Thomson of Randolph, ran the final two miles of the New Jersey Meet of Champions without one shoe. Her exposed foot ended up a bloody mess but her Randolph team ended up with a narrow 106-113 victory over Red Bank Catholic, Randolph’s first ever MOC title.
We’ve got some additional Recommended Reads below.
Great Profile of Former FSU 100/LJ Star Ngoni Makusha Who Is On Comeback Trail This is an incredible read and shows you how track and field has totally transformed his life. From competing at World Juniors in a pair of borrowed spikes to an Olympic medal in a very short period of time.
Scott Smith Blogs About His Marathon Debut At CIM Where He Finished As The Top American In 4th Place (2:16:04) “Congratulations poured in. If texts, calls, Facebook posts, and “likes” were dollars, I may make rent next month. I think people genuinely recognize that although my goal was not accomplished, a lot of work still went into this effort. That doesn’t make the result any more or less disappointing though. It’s a sobering thing realizing you weren’t as good as you thought. The notion that maybe you aren’t even good enough to be disappointed with a particular result becomes a thought with the grappling ability of a mixed martial arts master.”
Thanks to Max King, Club XC Meet Will Be A Real XC Course King is still legendary for his toughness 10+ years after getting out of Cornell and the course was inspired the old-school Jerry Smith. King: “Cross-country (racing) comes from a background of running through plowed fields, going down dirt trails and maybe even hopping over a couple of fences. Somehow we’ve gotten away from that. It’s become more of a grass track meet.”
When Do You Become A ‘Real’ Citizen?
Last week we wondered how Europeans were reacting to the fact that three of the six individual winners at the European Cross Country Championships earlier this month were born in Africa. We got the answer: Not well, at least in some corners.
Former Providence Friar David McCarthy said, “It’s fairly s****y, these are the European championships and you have Africans in it and previous drug cheats.”
Does anyone besides us find that a tiny bit ironic? So it’s ok for an Irishman to go to the US for college and be coached by an Irishman who have moved to the US (Ray Treacy) but wrong for an African born person to move to Europe?
Given his doping suspension, we certainly understand why two-time European men’s champ Alemayehu Bezabeh isn’t a sympathetic figure. But Bezabeh has been living in Spain for 9 years now – the same amount of time that Bernard Lagat lived in the US before running for America and a year longer than the eight years before Mo Farah started running for Britain.
What’s the solution? Maybe McCarthy should move to Japan. Did you know that in the Japanese Corporate National Ekiden, which was held last week, all of the foreign runners are forced to run the same leg? Yes it’s true. And it’s by far the shortest leg. In a five stage 41.195 km race, they run a total of 3.6 km.
Never mind. McCarthy would be considered a foreigner in Japan and thus would be stuck on that leg.
At Least Regina Jacobs Didn’t Pay Suzy Favor Hamilton To Lose To Her
We know some of you get upset because you think we’re obsessed with Lance Armstrong. But it’s hard not to be in our book. The guy continues to amaze us. Some info came out last week that actually makes us appreciate Regina Jacobs.
Last week, Lance Armstrong admitted that if he could do it all over again, he’d dope. That might be the most-truthful thing we’ve heard come out of his mouth ever.
It’ll be interesting to see if his truthfulness continues if Lance is forced to respond to the allegation that came out last week that he paid rival rider Roberto Gaggioli $100,000 to throw a race in 1993 so Lance could win a series and $1 million. The source of that allegation? None other than Gaggioli himself.
Apparently doping Lance wasn’t enough for Lance. Bribery and collusion was needed as well.
Other News of Note
Club Nationals *Discussion Thread *Results *More Coverage In Our Special Section: 2013 USATF National Club Cross-Country Championships
Men’s Results: Trail Runner Joseph Gray And Champions League Athletic Performance Win, Webb 32nd LetsRun.com may have to start paying more attention to the mountain/trail running scene as Joseph Gray, second recently at the XTERRA World Trail Run Championships got the win. Alan Webb faded to 32nd. The Champions League Athletic Performance team from Colorado won the team title. Congrats to Employee 1.1 who took the scalp of German Fernandez.
Women’s Results: Former CU Buff Laura Thweatt And Beasts TC Win Former CU Buff Laura Thweatt continued her fine late 2013 running as she got the win after her 3rd place at the .US National Road Racing Championships. The Beasts TC won nationals in their first attempt.
Ethiopian Clubs XC Champs: Unheralded Yihunilign Adane Beats World Junior XC Champ Hagos GebrhiwetYihunilign just nipped Gebrhiwet at the line to win the men’s junior race. Haftamnesh Tesfaye won the women’s junior race beating national 1500m champSenbere Teferi. Abera Chane and Meseret Toklaw took the men’s and women’s senior race titles.
Questions? Comments? Email us.
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.
“Boldly saying that he wanted ‘to go where nobody has gone before,’ with his 2:09:15 second place finish at the Dec. 15 Hofu Yomiuri Marathon independent Yuki Kawauchi completed his eleventh marathon of the year, an historic accomplishment in more ways than one. Two of his marathons were sub-2:09, four sub-2:10, six sub-2:12, one a national all-comers’ record, two PBs, four course records, five wins and eight top-three finishes. All while faced with an endless chorus of people telling him that it’s such a fine line between brilliant and stupid, that he can’t keep getting away with this kind of craziness.”
– Japan Running News’ Brett Larner talking about Yuki Kawauchi‘s amazing 2013 racing schedule which included 11 marathons (4 of them sub-2:10) and a WR for two sub-2:10′s only 14-days apart.
“I was hurting pretty bad at the beginning of the hill but I knew had to keep position on the hill or I’d be out of the race. On the downhill, I really opened it up. I wasn’t feeling great to be honest but you aren’t going to feel great on this course.”
– Grant Fisher talking after emerging victorious at the 2013 Foot Locker Cross-Country Championships after an epic battle with John Dressell up and down the final hill and all the way home. Fisher, a 3:50 performer as a 10th grader, is just the second American prep to win it all as an 11th grader.
– Tweet from the Nike Oregon Project, withdrawing from Saturday’s race. We told you yesterday the Max King-designed course would be at a minimum interesting. Perhaps too interesting? People are speculating the NOP pulled out due to the course conditions:
MB: Not Rupp Certified: NOP not racing at Club Nats – Course Too Tough
“Cross-country (racing) comes from a background of running through plowed fields, going down dirt trails and maybe even hopping over a couple of fences. Somehow we’ve gotten away from that. It’s become more of a grass track meet.”
– Max King, the race director (as well as competitor and legendary tough guy) for Saturday’s 2013 USATF National Club Cross-Country Championships aka “Club Nats,” talking about cross-country course design philosophy. Trust us, Club Nats won’t be a track meet on grass with King in charge.
More: MB: Max King 100x200m Workout *MB: Max King is a Fking beast
Update: The course seemingly is now officially “not Rupp certified” as the entire NOP has pulled out: MB: Not Rupp Certified: NOP not racing at Club Nats – Course Too Tough.
“I have felt a calling to go back to Boulder. I feel almost giddy with excitement when I think about training with Mark and Heather. I have a lot of big goals left and I feel like they are the ones to help me achieve them. Although I am saddened to leave a place I love, I know the right decision is to move back to Boulder … There is no dramatic story here, I just need something different. I have had to be brave many times before, and I’m being brave again.”
– 35-year-old US marathoner Kara Goucher explaining in a blog post why she’s moving from Oregon to Colorado and re-uniting with Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs.
“The meet structure is designed to be quick and exciting with little lag time between events and with live music played throughout the meet. … The feel of the meet will be much like that of a track meet within a rock concert.”
– Excerpt from American Track League information page which describes itself as “A series of international caliber track and field meets throughout the United States.” The series starts in Bloomington, Indiana on May 2nd and the calendar also has meets in Charlottesville, Atlanta, Austin and Houston.
“I’ve heard nothing from European Athletics, not even to do with the ban or being upgraded. I don’t know if it’s because the sport’s not proud of it when it does happen and it’s just, kind of, trying to do it quietly so that people don’t know about it.”
– UK 800 runner Lynsey Sharp talking about how she still hasn’t received her 2013 European Championships gold medal from Russia’s Yelena Arzhakova 6 months after her doping ban. Arzhakova initially finished ahead of Sharp, but then tested positive.
Questions? Comments? Email us.