The Week That Was – October 20 – 26, 2014
October 30, 2014
We apologize for not getting this out earlier in the week but we were busy with tons of 2014 TCS NYC Marathon coverage, writing the longest XC conference preview in the history of the world, and much more.
Previous versions of the Week That Was can be found here.
Questions? Comments? Email us.
Mbulaeni Mulaudzi Dies Too Young – The 800 Star Will Be Missed
Sadly last week, 2009 800 world champ Mbulaeni Mulaudzi of South Africa, who also won an Olympic silver medal in 2004, died at just age 34 in a car accident in his native South Africa.
Mulaudzi was truly great when on top of his game.
When he won his Olympic silver medal in 2004, guess who finished third? The second-greatest 800 man in history – Wilson Kipketer.
When he won his gold in 2009, guess who failed to make the final? The greatest 800 runner in history – David Rudisha.
So he beat two of the all-time greats when it mattered most.
The 2009 gold for Mulaudzi was a thing of beauty. The field was totally loaded. It was so loaded we wrote at the time – “There were literally about 15 guys who could win a medal or make the final” – and that wasn’t hyperbole. We went back last week and did a little research and were stunned by how many big names were in the semis of worlds that year. Check it out:
Studs In The Semis of The 2009 Worlds:
Marcin Lewandowski – 4th at next two Worlds.
Abubaker Kaki – silver in 2011, two world indoor titles.
Khadevis Robinson – 8-time US champ.
Alfred Kirwa Yego – defending champ got silver in 2009, also medalled in Olympics.
Adam Kszczot – two-time world indoor medalist.
Ahmad Ismail – Olympic silver medalist in 2008.
Amine Laâlou – doper ran 1:43.25
Yeimer López – 1:43.07 guy
Gary Reed – silver in 2007.
Yusuf Saad Kamel – 1,500 world champ in 2009.
Yuriy Borzakovskiy – 2004 Olympic champ
Asbel Kiprop – 2 world titles at 1,500 and Olympic champ as well.
David Rudisha – pretty good guy… 😉
After winning his first-round heat, Mulaudzi just squeaked into the finals as the last time qualifier by finishing fourth in heat 2 in 1:45.26 – David Rudisha was the first guy eliminated at 1:45.40. He then won the physical final by controlling it from the front as he had the led at the bell in a tactical 53.44.
More: RRW Remembering Mbulaeni Mulaudzi – South Africa’s Greatest 800 Athlete, Who Has Died At Age 34
LRC Archives: 2009 Worlds 800 Semi-Recap – Mulaudzi squeaks into the final.
LRC Archives: Mulaudzi Takes Physical 800
MB: RIP MBALUENI MULAUDZI- WORLD 800M CHAMPION 2009
Austin Tamagno Does Not Break The Mt. SAC Course Record
So a lot was being made last week about high school junior Austin Tamagno breaking the course record at historic Mt. SAC in XC by running 14:23 – MB: Austin Tamagno Breaks Famed Mt. SAC Course Record – Runs 14:23!. There is no doubt that Tamagno, who ran 4:09 as a frosh and 4:06 as a sophomore, is a big-time talent but he’s not the best guy or fastest guy ever at Mt. SAC.
That title still belongs to Jeff Nelson in our book. Nelson, who had the US two-mile prep record for 29 years at 8:36.3, ran 14:32 on Mt. SAC way back in 1978. Ten people (list here) have now “bettered” Nelson’s time but when Nelson ran the course it was longer and slower (2.95 miles versus 2.91 miles). The course now is at least 10 seconds, some say 15-20, faster than it was back in the day. At the pace Nelson was racing, the extra .04 miles would have taken Nelson 11.8 seconds to run. Subtract 12 from 14:32 and you get 14:20.
So we think it’s best to say Tamagno is the course record holder for the new course at Mt. SAC. The best performance ever run at Mt. SAC still belongs to Nelson.
Don’t Believe Everything Doug Logan Tells You
So if you came to LetsRun last Saturday, you saw that former USATF head Doug Logan got quoted in the New York Times last week saying that basically you need a corrupt/totalitarian government to win the World track and field championships as he said, “unless you’re a totalitarian state and don’t have to answer to the people for public moneys or you are pumping a lot of oil out of the ground, you’ll have a tough time bidding for these mega-events.”
A few thoughts.
1) How may of the following 16 cities would meet the description of Logan?
The 16 Hosts Of Worlds
Just two? Moscow and Beijing?
2) It’s not as if US governments don’t spend tens of millions of dollars a year on sports every year.
Logan’s definition of governments that don’t have to account for public money goes farther than perhaps just Moscow/Beijing as he complains about Berlin spending perhaps $30 million on Worlds. We don’t quite get his point. It’s not as if US governments don’t lavishly blow money on pro sports – with much richer players – all the time. They just haven’t yet wanted to blow it on track and field.
Just the tax exemption on the debt to build all of the pro stadiums in the US since 1986 will be worth $4 billion – yes billion with a B – according to Bloomberg. The same article says Yankee Stadium alone will cost taxpayers $321 million.
But other countries are either corrupt/despots if they spend to get the track and field Worlds? No, they are just like the politicians in the US.
It’s just that politicians here don’t want to spend it on track – at least not yet.
It Was A Good Week To Be An Old Runner
So last week, 38-year-old Mark Kiptoo, who didn’t start running until age 29, won a tight 3-way finish over Mike Kigen and Gilbert Yegon after coming up one second short last year to capture the title at the Frankfurt Marathon. 2:04:32 man and Dubai winner Tsegaye Mekonnen was a DNF at 30k.
In Boston, at the Mayor’s Cup cross-country race, 40-year-old Jen Rhines beat Abbey D’Agostino, the darling of the NCAA last year, in a race that served as D’Agostino’s pro debut.
The co-founders of LetsRun.com, who are now 41, imagine they should be inspired by these feats. Instead, they are depressed by them as they aren’t in anything close to great shape.
It will be interesting to see if old runners continue to do well this week as 41-year-old Deena Kastor is amazingly hoping to run faster in New York this weekend than the 2:26:58 she put up when she debuted in the marathon 13 years ago.
More: MB Discussion: 2014 Frankfurt Marathon Live Discussion Thread
*Frankfurt Marathon: At Age 38, Mark Kiptoo (2:06:49) Leads Kenyan Sweep Of Frankfurt Marathon
*RRW Abbey D’Agostino Reflects On Her Professional Debut And 4th Place Finish At Mayor’s Cup
*MB Discussion: Abbey D’agostino a 16:48 in pro debut at 2014 Mayor’s Cup?
*At 41 Years Old, Deena Kastor Looking To Run NYC Faster Than She Did In Her Debut 13 Years Ago In 2001, Kastor ran 2:26:58 and is shooting for 2:25 this year. If she can do that, she’ll break Colleen de Reuck‘s 2:28:40 US master’s record.
Quotes Of The Week (that weren’t Quote of the Day)
#1 – “You could hear him (Oscar Pistorius). Shortly after the door closed you could hear the tears. He was torn up. Broken. The crying went on and on. We think he stopped when he fell asleep. It was really bad.”
– A prison source talking about Oscar P’s first night in jail. Unless an appeal by the prosecution is successful, Pistorius may not have to many more nights in jail as surprisingly he may only have to spend 10 months in the slammer after killing his girlfriend.
#2 – “Winning my first marathon in life means a lot to me, especially after competing in 10 marathons. It has been a long journey that I want to take it to the next level as I train my focus in breaking the world record in future, just as my friends Dennis Kimetto and Wilson Kipsang did. I know it’s not easy, but I will try.”
– Amsterdam marathon winner Bernard Kipyego talking to The Standard after returning to Kenya after his 2:06:22 win.
More: Oscar Pistorius Gets Five Years/10 months For Killing Reeva Steenkamp Lawyers say he is expected to serve between 10 and 20 months of the sentence behind bars and the rest on house arrest. *Discuss
*BBC: Steenkamp Family Say Through Lawyer That “Justice Was Served”
#3 – “Growing up in LA – with my mum as a fitness personality – I was exposed to lots of people from the entertainment industry … My mother also taught me the value of the full-body workout of strength, flexibility and mobility. This full-body endeavour is very important to me: as a high-level athlete as it allows me to withstand the pounding on the body. This is something I learned growing up and now it seems very natural to me.”
– American mid-d athlete Kate Grace talking to Spikes about the influence of her mom Kathy Smith, a fitness icon who sold 16 million videos.
#4 – “Our athletes must also learn to trust our local coaches and agents. Believe in them and they will not take you astray. If they do we have the power to ban and punish them. But most of you run to foreign agents and coaches and the results has seen you caught doping. Stop it and win clean.”
– Embattled Athletics Kenya head Isaiah Kiplagat still blaming others for all of the doping positives in Kenya. Athletics Kenya’s response to doping – pulling the wool over their eyes – reminds us of USATF’s response 15 years ago. Ignoring the problem doesn’t help. Eradication is the only answer.
Video Of The Week
“Runners from around the world went to Harrachov, Czech Republic, to put their calves, quads, and endurance to the test in one of the steepest races across all of Europe. From bottom to top, it’s 400 meters in distance and close to 200 meters in altitude.”
Other News Of Note
Asbel Kiprop Accused Of Gun Threat And In Custody Battle With Estranged Wife And Former World Junior Champion Sammary Cherotich Kiprop has been accused of kidnapping, brandishing a pistol and threatening to kill Cherotich. Likely this could be related to the “personal domestic issues” Kiprop said were a major distraction during the 2014 season. Kiprop told a totally different version of events which portrays himself as the victim: Asbel Kiprop gives his own version of events on Facebook.
*MB: Asbel Kiprop might be in trouble.
Great South Run 10 Mile: Ethiopia’s World 10,000 Bronze Medalist Belaynesh Oljira Wins Great South Run She ran 52:40 to outkick GB’s Gemma Steel (52:42). Kenya’s James Rungaru was the surprise winner in the men’s race with 46:31. *Athletics Weekly Recap
Stephan Shay Racing NYC Marathon To Honor His Brother, Ryan, Who Died During The 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials Shay is hoping to break his 2:16:48 PR and will use his brother’s memory as motivation as he passes the spot where Ryan collapsed back in 2007.
One Heck Of A Family Reunion: 31 Members Of The Hughes Family Running Dublin Marathon To Break World Record For Most Family Members In Same Marathon Apparently 30 years ago, eight of the Hughes brothers ran this race together to set a WR for “most siblings to complete a marathon.”
Another Good Article On Jo Pavey, Who Had An Amazing Track Season As A 41-Year-Old Mom Even if you’ve been reading about Pavey all summer, this article has some new interesting anecdotes, including talking about her junior coach who is now blind, but still listened to her race on the radio.
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.
“It all came good in Frankfurt. I ran from 30 to 35 k in around 15:03 and I thought, hey, amazing, I’m really on to something here. It was just like Renato said, you fill up the tank, the training makes you lose weight, you’re lighter and you gain speed. … You are appreciated much more in the marathon. Nothing against the track races and the Diamond League, in fact, I joke that my road races finance my track appearances!”
– Germany’s Arne Gabius talking after running 2:09:32 in his marathon debut at the 2014 Frankfurt Marathon. Gabius is coached by Renato Canova and is the first German to go sub-2:10 in 24 years. *MB: Arne Gabius EZ and LR pace: 5:50 min/mi – Never runs slower
– World and Olympic 800 silver medalist Hezekiel Sepeng of South Africa talking about compatriot Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, who has died at age 34. Mulaudzi, a six-time global medalist at 800 and two-time world champ (once outdoors), beat the great Wilson Kipketer in the Olympics and David Rudisha at Worlds.
“The whole problem was the set of expectations on the other side (the IAAF). And the business model, which leads one to presume that unless you’re a totalitarian state and don’t have to answer to the people for public moneys or you are pumping a lot of oil out of the ground, you’ll have a tough time bidding for these mega-events. It’s a big fund-raiser for them. … The whole issue is what [the IAAF] are willing to give up out of their usual paradigm to have a competition in the United States.”
– Former USATF president Doug Logan, talking in a New York Times article about Eugene’s bid for the 2019 World Championships. Logan wanted the US to host when he was in charge, but the financial cost and lack of a big stadium in a major city were problems.
– Irishman Owen Hughes talking about his family’s goal to break the world record for having the most family members complete the same marathon. They have 31 in Sunday’s Dublin Marathon and need 17 to cross the finish line in 7.5 hours or less to break the record. 30 years ago Hughes and his 7 brothers set a WR at Dublin for “the most siblings to complete a marathon.”
“I just feel like right now with all the training and running I’ve been doing I can keep being out there and keep running,” Wozniacki said. “I kept thinking to myself out there in the third set, ‘If you’re going to get tired now, how are you going to get through this marathon? You better keep going.'”
– Professional tennis player Caroline Wozniacki talking about how her marathon training for the 2014 New York City Marathon helped her have the endurance to beat Maria Sharapova in a 3-hour and 15-minute tennis match.
“Certainly having that cardiovascular base helps immensely, already knowing that given a few training sessions you can easily go out and probably run a marathon. The catch is, of course, that just because you could finish one doesn’t necessarily make you, a) fast – not all cross-country skiers cross over well into running – and b) in cross-country skiing, you’re used to going out, uphill, as hard as you can and then recovering. Obviously, in a marathon if you go and burn it in the first three miles, you’re not coming back. That’s going to be the challenge.”
– Olympic Nordic (cross-country) ski champion Bill Demong talking about making his marathon debut at the 2014 NYC Marathon on November 2nd. For ski training, Demong routinely does workouts that are 3-5 hours long, but will that aerobic fitness get him to his goal of 2:36? In high school, Demong placed in the top 10 at the NY State XC Championships so he’s proven he was at least a decent runner at one point.
“Symmonds deserves credit as an author. Symmonds doesn’t dawdle and long stories are reserved only for pivotal moments in his life, such as winning the 2008 Olympic Trials. That makes the book easy to follow and keeps the reader interested …”
“(Symmonds) holds little back, explaining how he spent much of his early 20s partying and chasing women. After making the Olympic team in 2008, he spent the remainder of the Trials doing easy runs, drinking and having sex. Sex comes up a lot, and while Symmonds’ honesty and openness is one of the book’s strengths, he goes overboard when it comes to his love life (the final pages of the book basically read as a personal ad). Symmonds’ sexual conquests don’t come across as bragging, but for the most part they’re simply not that interesting.”
– Excerpt from our review of Nick Symmonds‘ new book, Life Outside the Oval Office, which comes out today.
Questions? Comments? Email us.