WTW: Chris Solinsky Doesn’t Do 26.2, Arne Gabius Does Do 26.2, Remembering When 2:06 Was Really Fast, Meb K Has Run A Lot And Wilson Kipsang Is Psychic

by LetsRun.com
October 26, 2015

Our weekly recap – the Week That Was – appears below. Past editions of The Week That Was can be found here.

Questions or comments? Please email us or post them in our fan forum.

The German National Record In The Men’s Marathon Goes Down

A big thumbs up needs to go to German Arne Gabius, who took down Jörg Peter‘s 27-year-old German marathon record of 2:08:47 by running 2:08:33 in Frankfurt on Sunday. It was the second career marathon for the former 13:12 5000 runner.

Gabius’ record run should give hope to Canadians (2:10:09, 40 years old) and Brits (2:07:13, 30 years old) that their long-standing marathon records will one day also be broken.

That leads us to our Stat of the Week.

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Arne Gabius at the Pre Classic in 2013 Arne Gabius at the Pre Classic in 2013

Stat of the Week I

94.8% – percent of sub-2:10 marathoners in 2015 that were born in Africa (109/115).

5.2% – percent of sub-2:10 marathoners in 2015 that weren’t born in Africa (6/115).

Stat of the Week II

Total # of Sub-2:10 Performers in 2015
Kenya 69
Ethiopia 33
Eritrea 5
Japan 3
Bahrain 1
Germany 1
Uganda 1
Ukraine 1
Spain 1
Total 115

(source: Tilastopaja.org)

If you are bored, we suggest you go to this Wikipedia page and check out the list of national marathon records. It looks like the oldest men’s record dates back 51 years — Antonio Repigna set the Mozambique national record of 2:38:32 in 1964. There definitely are some records there for the taking. The Nauru national record was set in 1968, but it’s only 3:48:06. The slowest national record listed is the 4:06:47 for Saint Helena.

More: Sisay Lima (2:06:26) And Gulume Tollesa (2:23:12) Win Close Races At Frankfurt Marathon; Arne Gabius 2:08:33 German Record (link updated) Lima beat out Lani Rutto by 8 seconds while Tollesa just outsprinted Dinknesh Mekash with 2:23:12. Germany’s Arne Gabius took down a 27-year-old national record in 4th with 2:08:33.
*MB: Arne Gabius German Record 2:08:33
*MB: Renato Canova thinks German Arne Gabius can run 2:07:30 this weekend

Email of the Week I – It’s Been A Hell of A Decade In The Men’s Marathon

2:06:20 was a world leader just 10 years ago; now it’s an afterthought.

Speaking of marathons. This email from LetsRun super visitor David Graham really hit the spot.

In your Week that Was (last week), you mentioned Bernard Kipyego winning Amsterdam in 2:06:19.  For this effort, he got some nice news reports and then it was on to the next news item.  After all, 14 performances (so far) in 2015 have beaten that time, one of them by over two minutes…

Last year, 20 times beat that performance, one of them by over three minutes…

A mere decade ago, in 2005, Geb won the same race, ran practically the same time, 2:06:20, and was celebrated with a cover of Track & Field News that proclaimed his race as the fastest marathon of the year.  It was also the 17th fastest time in history.

Isn’t it amazing how quickly things change in the world of marathoning?

 More:  Bernard Kipyego Thrilled To Be A Two-Time Amsterdam Marathon Champ After He Went The First 10 Marathons Of His Career Without A Win

Email of the Week II – It’s Important That People Not Be Afraid To Talk About Eating Disorders

We’ve always said the best part about LetsRun.com is you the visitor. This week we share an email we received from a former D1 runner who loved our article praising Iowa State’s Crystal Nelson for being open about her struggles with anorexia: LRC Huge Thumbs Up To Crystal Nelson For Discussing Her Eating Disorder And A Call To Hear From Those Who Have Overcome Eating Disorders. Here is her email:

I just want to thank you for your open forum on eating disorders. When I was in high school in California (graduated ’03), I always felt like eating disorders were glorified—not outright, but certainly in the fact that no one seemed to talk about it. There were many girls in those days who dropped a lot of weight (**names redacted** to name a few), but the focus was mostly on how fast they were rather than the sudden weight loss. All of us on the sidelines observed this performance enhancing approach. From our perspective they never “got in trouble” and they just kept getting faster and getting full rides to colleges. Why wouldn’t we give it a try? That was every runner’s dream. As teenagers we didn’t know the true battle they were facing. We just saw what seemed like an obvious cause and effect scenario: lose weight, run faster. Lose more weight, run really fast.
In high school I was 125 pounds, my natural fighting weight at a 5’7” middle distance runner. Even though I was becoming more aware of this weight loss performance phenomenon, I was too afraid to get caught up in it. I was recruited to run at **name redacted** as “a great potential” distance runner with just a handful of other distance girls. I had never really trained all that seriously and certainly never more than 20-25 miles a week. I started to show promise, but was also incredibly intimidated by these girls who had years of true distance training behind them. As we all ate together in the dining halls, I started to notice the eating patterns of another freshmen recruit and good friend. She ate only chicken breasts, egg whites, and lettuce. Out of nowhere, she soon became the #1 freshman in the **conference redacted**, and just kept getting better. Surely she was on to something. I later learned that at her lowest weight—when she was finally pulled from one meet—she weighed 89 pounds at 5’9”. Over the next several years, she suffered from severe anorexia and bulimia that eventually ended her running career. I started losing weight on a similar “healthy” diet. I was down to 110 at 5’7”. I was running fast but eventually succumbed to a succession of stress fractures and obsessive eating patterns. When my coach pulled me aside when some teammates noticed my weight loss he said, “You’ve lost weight. You healthy?” What do you say to that? “Yes…?” I said. He responded, “You just stay healthy and run fast, okay?” That was that.
I left **name redacted** after that first year, took a semester at my local community college, and transferred to **name redacted** because it seemed like a good fit. Initially, I loved it. Beautiful trails, great teammates, friendly vibe. As many know, after dealing with eating issues, it’s hard to get your weight back to normal and to relearn normal eating. I thought it was all under control, until I started hanging out with another freshman. She was running well and compulsively watched everything she ate. Similar to **name redacted**, I just couldn’t handle the eating obsession. Dealt with some ups and downs and similar coach conversations until eventually I just didn’t come back to practice.
I regret that I never had the chance to confront the eating disorder. I wish one of the adults in authority—one of the coaches—knew how to approach eating disorders, how to talk about it honestly, how to take us out from the darkness and shame— so that we could have all become the athletes we had the potential to become.
My hope is that these honest forums shed some light on a very real and treatable disorder. When it comes down to it, the coaches are doing the best they can and so are the athletes. No one’s at fault. There is just such a fear and lack of transparency on the subject. But I think we are ALL responsible—coaches, athletes, parents, media—to acknowledge the issues and talk honestly about the problem so that athletes do not have to suffer in silence. The forum on Letsrun is the perfect opportunity for this conversation to happen. Thank you.
Where I am today:
I didn’t run for 5 years after college. It took me that long to appreciate my body and learn to eat normally. During that time I took up yoga and developed a stronger sense of mental and physical awareness. Since finishing college, I’ve been back to my normal weight: 125 pounds. I eat well and don’t obsess over food. After my first child I missed running and started up again. I’m now training for the **name redacted** Marathon and on track to run a 2:50-2:55 marathon. I’ll take it for a full-time, healthy, working Mom. As my coach says, “you could run a 2:40 if you ran real mileage…”
I can’t thank you enough for Letsrun. I read it religiously every night when my kids fall asleep and I wouldn’t be up on the sport if it wasn’t for you guys. Your eating disorder forum is the best thing that’s happened to the site in a while. Okay, well, there are many great things about letsrun, but it’s a very relevant piece for serious female runners. Thank you on behalf of all the unnamed individuals you are helping. I hope you share more quotes, articles, and statistics on this topic in the future.
PS. What is interesting but not surprising is that eating disorders are viral on a team if they are allowed to be that way. Also, part of the problem is that it takes a very long time for a girl with an eating disorder to even admit to herself that she has an issue, so by then the damage is already done. However, there are always the handful of fast girls who do not succumb to the disorder even though it may surround them on a team. What I would love to see is a panel of those girls speak in front of coaches, teams, etc and talk about the skills they used to protect themselves from such a pervasive and sneaky disorder. Granted, some of the protective factors from something like that has to do with the way some girls are wired, but they could certainly talk about things within our control such as friend choices, self-talk training, and conversations with coaches. A forum like that could help open up candid conversations with athletes, coaches, and families. Like many topics, maybe transparency is the best approach with eating disorders. But I’m certainly not an expert.
From my personal experience, seeing a nutritionist was not helpful because it doesn’t get to the root of the issue. Food really isn’t the true problem and often times nutritionist perpetuate an obsessive approach to food.
Thanks for creating a space for these important topics.

Video of the Week



Nice Gesture of The Week

The B.A.A. remembered Cameron Bean last week by dedicating that race to him and putting his name out all over the course at their Mayor’s Cup XC race in Franklin Park on Sunday. Bean, who tragically was run over by a car and killed while on a run last month, won the race in 2013.

As for this year’s race, the winners were former Princeton runner Liz Costello (New Balance) in 16:35 and former Oregon runner Trevor Dunbar (Nike) in 23:17. Mary Cain was 3rd in the women’s race in 16:46.

We know many of you are wondering what the results mean, particularly for Cain. We’re not going to spend any time trying to figure out an equivalent track 5000 time because analyzing an October cross country race for a professional runner doesn’t make much sense. The fact that Cain seems happy and racing is the most important thing. After a subpar 2015 track season, motivation and attitude are way more important than any actual results.

More: RRW Recap Liz Costello And Trevor Dunbar Win Memorable 2015 Boston Mayor’s Cup Cross-Country *Full Results
*RRW Back To The Future: Re-Energized Mary Cain Explains Move East
*MB: Liz Costello & Trevor Dunbar FTW – Mary Cain Third

Quotes of the Week (that weren’t quote of the day)

#1 Someone hire Wilson Kipsang to be the weather guy immediately

“Last year my time was slow because the conditions were cold and windy. This time round, I have done my research and the weather is good,” 

Wilson Kipsang talking to the-star.co.ke about the weather for Sunday’s New York City Marathon in an article published on October 20 – some 12 days before the marathon. Who knew the place to get accurate 12-day-out forecasts for the weather in NY was in Kenya? American meteorologists have a tough time predicting the weather three days out. For the record, Kipsang seems to know what he’s talking about as Weather.com’s forecast for this weekend in New York looks pretty good:


#2 If you think LetsRun.com message board posters are too tough on the pros, this quote is for you

“[My son] Jared came with me [to watch my marathons] on three occasions: London 2012, Olympic Games 2012, and London 2015, while little Samantha [my daughter] made her ‘debut’ just last spring in London. Thinking about Jared’s reactions, I can still clearly picture these nice memories: In London 2012 my husband told me that while Jared watched me on the screen showing the race, he kept on screaming, ‘Go, Mum! Run, Mum!’ as if he was trying to push me to run faster in the last kilometers. Maybe it was that ‘special’ energy that made me run the last 10K in 31:33!

“Concerning the unlucky 2012 Olympic Games, I remember his watery eyes asking me why I did not win even one medal. (Keitany finished fourth in the marathon.) When I explained to him that it was a tough race and that you cannot always win, he said, ‘I understand this, it’s OK for today. But next time you must bring home a medal!’ I will do my best to make his wish come true in Rio 2016.”

Mary Keitany talking to the NYRR about her children attending her races. We imagine they’ll both be in New York on Sunday when Keitany tries to defend her TCS New York City Marathon title.

A lot of miles contributed to this A lot of miles contributed to this

#3 Meb K has passed the 100,000-mile mark

“[I run] anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 a year, but I can tell you I have run over 100,000 miles since 1993. You know the circumference of the world? It’s 24,905 — so 25,000. I have finally completed my four laps around the world.”

Meb Keflezighi talking about how many miles he’s run in his life to the Washington Post. In the Q&A, Meb says he wants to retire after 26 marathons. He’s run 21 so New York is 22, the Olympic Trials and Olympics (assuming he makes it) would be 23 and 24 – that gives him two more.

#4 In Africa, it’s hard to get rid of the rulers

“[Isaia]  Kiplagat has said several times he will be leaving, but that doesn’t mean he will leave this year. Kiplagat leaving the office powers to Jackson Tuwei, as the acting president for three months, was a local arrangement and it doesn’t reflect in the AK constitution.”

Abraham Mutai, the Central Rift Athletics Kenya (AK) chairman and ally of Athletics Kenya head Isaiah Kiplagat, explaining to The Standard why he has canceled the retirement party preparations for Kiplagat, whom many people thought was retiring. Kiplagat had temporarily stepped down from AK earlier this year to run for IAAF VP which he lost and now wants to come back and finish out his term, which runs through 2017.

#5 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – a 2018 Winter Olympian?

“It would be ideal if I could have Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on brakes, the queen of the sprints. I think I can convince her. She’s talked about bobsled, but the Jamaicans haven’t had a team. After Rio, that would be great – or at least get her to try it.”

-Bobsled driver Jazmine Fenlator talking to TeamUSA.org about how she’s switching her allegiance from the US to Jamaica to help grow the sport and wants SAFP to push her. Fenlator, who was pushed by Lolo Jones at the 2014 Games (they finished 11th), is a medal contender as she was 3rd in the World Cup standings last year (and 6th at Worlds).

#6 A Plea From An Athlete To Not Have Too Much Pressure Put On Him

“I love running very much, but I don’t think I can take the responsibility of leading China’s athletics, just like Liu. It’s too much for me…

“I just want to do my best in sprint events and if one day I find I cannot make any more progress, I will quit.”

– Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian, the first Chinese guy under 10.00, urging reporters to not label him as the next Liu Xiang as he can’t carry the sport in the country.

Message board Thread Of The Week

Got some free time on your hands? This is for you:

Solinsky Doesn’t Do The 26.2

Last week, Runner’s World’s P caught up with former American 10,000 record holder Chris Solinsky. The article casually mentioned that Solinsky isn’t running the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials as if that was common knowledge – to us that was news. In February 2014, Solinsky said that he no longer could handle the training required to be successful on the track (if he did speed work, he was fast but his endurance wasn’t there) and was going to give it a go in the marathon. His late 2014 marathon debut never occurred as in August of 2014 he called it off, saying he “kind of hit the wall” in training. Now it looks like a competitive marathon may never happen for Solinsky as he told Gambaccini, “Maybe I just can’t handle the marathon training anymore.”

The greatest and most unexpected homepage in LetsRun history? (Trigger Warning To Rival Groups)
The greatest and most unexpected homepage in LetsRun history?



Solinsky knows his chances of a successful return to the track are slim but why not go for it? It’s a crying shame if a guy with pbs of 12:55/26:59 never competes in the Olympics.

“If I didn’t [still have Olympic aspirations], I probably would have walked away from the sport. I’m sure there are people out there that are like, ‘Why is he still going after it?’…

“If it doesn’t happen this year, I can walk away my head held high. But there is that slight piece of hope that I can catch fire at the right time and make the team.”

Solinsky’s got some work to do if he is going to be an Olympian. On Sunday, he was 12th at the EQT 10Miler in 50:08. On the McMillan conversion calculator, that result is very much in line with some of his recent results. At the, TD Beach to Beacon 10-K on August 1, he ran 30:04 and at the CVS Health Downtown 5-K on September 20, he ran 14:28. McMillan converts a 50:08 10-miler to 14:27 for 5,000 and 30:00 for 10,000 – a far cry from what it will take to make the US team in 2016.

The EQT race was won by Tyler Pennel in 46:50 while 21-year-old Ethiopian Buze Diriba, who was 5th at worlds in the 5,000 in 2013 and was the world junior champ in 2012, won the women’s title in 52:55.


Speaking of 10-milers, the 2015 Morrisons Great South Run was held in Britain over the weekend. Moses Kipsiro (46:00) and Vivian Cheruiyot (51:17, 5th fastest 10-miler ever) picked up the wins as Jo Pavey set a new masters best for 10 miles of 52:44 on the non-record-eligible, point-to-point course.

Results below via Race Results Weekly, which you can get for $75 a year here.

Pittsburgh EQT 10 Miler Results

MEN (gun times) –
1. Tyler Pennel, USA 46:50 CR$4000+1000a
2. Mourad Marofit, MAR            47:02      2500
3. Geoffrey Kenisi, 28, KEN      47:16 PB   1500
4. MacDonard Ondara, KEN      47:20      1000
5. Elisha Barno, KEN              48:05 PB    750
6. Eliud Ngetich, KEN             48:07       500
7. Jason Witt, USA        48:23 PB    250 + 750a
8. Yonas Mebrahtu, ERI            49:00
9. Nelson Oyugi, KEN              49:09
10. Biya Simbassa, KEN             49:11
11. Nicholas Kipruto, USA          49:39       500a
12. Chris Solinsky, USA            50:08       250a
13. Zach Hine, USA                 51:24       100a
14. Curtis Begley, USA             52:17
15. Joey Zins, USA                 54:26

WOMEN (gun times) –
1. Buze Diriba, ETH      52:55 PB/CR* $4000
2. Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton,KEN53:11   2500
3. Rkia El Moukim, MAR      54:19         1500
4. Tara Welling, USA  55:11         1000 + 1000a
5. Esther Atkins, USA  56:25          750 + 750a
6. Kaitlin Goodman, USA  57:01     500 + 500a
7. Maor Tiyouri, ISR              57:35 NR       250
8. Lauren Woodring, USA     58:12          250a
9. Wendy Thomas, USA 58:23          100a
10. Whitney Bevins Lazzara, USA    59:30
11. Emily Gordon, USA              59:49
12. Heidi Greenwood, USA         1:02:25
*Course record; previous 53:47, Sara Hall (USA), 2014
a = Earned USA citizen award

2015 Morrisons Great South Run Results

MEN (gun times) –
1. Moses Kipsiro, UGA         46:00 PB
2. Emmanuel Kipsang, KEN      46:08 PB
3. Emmanuel Bett, KEN         46:11 PB
4. Evans Kigen Kirui, KEN     46:14 PB
5. Martin Mathathi, KEN       46:16
6. Japheth Korir, KEN         46:16 PB
7. Kevin Kochei, KEN          46:54 PB
8. John Mnangat Sompol, KEN   47:18 PB
9. Marcin Chabowski, POL      47:41 PB
10. Ross Millington, GBR       47:46 PB
11. Chris Thompson, GBR        47:55 PB
12. Scott Overall, GBR         48:11
13. Ryan McLeod, GBR           48:20
14. Dewi Griffiths, GBR        48:27
15. Takehiro Deki, JPN         48:43
16. Christopher Zablocki, USA  49:25
17. Peter Huck, GBR            50:12
18. Alexander Teuten, GBR      50:15
19. Chris Rainsford, GBR       50:33
20. Alex O’Gorman, GBR         50:40

WOMEN (gun times) –
1. Vivian Cheruiyot, KEN      51:17 DB
2. Jo Pavey, 1973, GBR     52:44 PB (WB/40+)
3. Doris Changeiywo, KEN      52:51 PB
4. Gemma Steel, GBR           53:06
5. Betsy Saina, KEN           53:49 PB
6. Iwona Lewandowska, POL     54:54
7. Faye Fullerton, GBR        55:16 PB
8. Alessandra Aguilar, ESP    55:31
9. Lauren Deadman, GBR        55:39 PB
10. Kate Avery, GBR            55:45 PB
11. Charlotte Purdue, GBR      56:02
12. Rebecca Murray, GBR        56:24 PB
13. Sophie Cowper, GBR         58:01
14. Jip Vastnburg, NED         59:50
15. Sophie Carter, GBR       1:00:06

More: Chris Solinsky Still Hasn’t Given Up On His Olympic Dreams
*Buze Diriba Sets Course Record (52:55); Tyler Pennel Ties Record (46:50) At EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler Tara Welling was the top American in 5th. Pennel won in 46:50 with Chris Solinsky running 50:09 for 12th.
*MB: Saw Chris Solinsky Today
*MB: Solinsky Still Has Olympic Dreams

*Vivian Cheruiyot (51:17) And Moses Kipsiro (46:00) Win Over Deep Fields At Great South Run 10 Miler
*Full Results *Video Highlights

Thumbs Up to former Illinois state HS XC champ and United Airlines pilot David Walters

Before we get to our list of Recommended Reads, we wanted to start by saying we loved Marc Bloom‘s piece for Runner’s World this week. On the day after the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a United Airlines pilot recognized he had a VIP client on his flight from Chicago to Brussels, and the VIP was unfortunately about to have to slug it out in coach. The pilot was having none of that and upgraded the VIP to first class. The VIP? 2015 Chicago winner Dickson Chumba.

The pilot wasn’t a complete nobody. The pilot was David Walters. Walters, who ran 9:02 for the 2-mile in 1974, was a Illinois state XC and track champ back in the day and was a roommate of Craig Virgin‘s at Illinois. After college, Walters qualified for the 1988 US Olympic Marathon Trials. In Chicago this year, Walters was far from a spectator as he won the men’s 60-64 division by 20 minutes in 2:45:26.

A great story.

The story also includes a great quote about the marathon from Walters.

“I like the fact that you can go out in the marathon and be comfortable for the first hour or hour and a half and slowly get down to business. After two hours it’s all business when you enter that dark place and gut it out to the end.”

More: RunningTimes Profile On Elite Masters Runner And Airline Piolot David Walters, Who Ended Up Piloting Dickson Chumba’s Flight After They Both Ran Chicago

Recommended Reads

LRC For The Love Of Running: How Elkanah Kibet Went From A Deployment In Iraq To 2:11:31 At The Chicago Marathon In Less Than A Year
*MB: LetsRun, meet US Army solider and Olympic marathon contender Elkanah Kibet.

Chris Solinsky Still Hasn’t Given Up On His Olympic Dreams
*MB: Former U.S. Record Holder Solinsky Still Has Olympic Dreams

Running Times Q&A With Syracuse Coach Chris Fox

Running Times Profile On Elite Masters Runner And Airline Piolot David Walters, Who Ended Up Piloting Dickson Chumba’s Flight After They Both Ran Chicago

Recommended Reads from past weeks can be found here.

HS Commits of Note

Quotes Of The Day And Last Week’s Home Pages

To see the actual quotes of the day from last week or last week’s home page or any home page, go to our archive page.

Questions or comments? Please email us or post them in our running fan forum.

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