WTW: Mikey Brannigan Leads The PR Train In North Carolina, Ryan Gregson Nears His PR And WADA Chief Craig Reedie Gets Criticized

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The Week That Was in Running – August 1-7, 2016

by LetsRun.com
August 8, 2016

The biggest race last week came in Maine where the TD Beach To Beacon 10k Road Race was held. If you missed our recap of that race, you can find it here: LRC Maine Native Ben True (28:17) Becomes First American To Win TD Beach To Beacon 10K; Mary Keitany Blasts 30:45 Course Record After Olympic Snub.

Past editions of The Week That Was can be found here. Questions or comments? Please email us or post them on our fan forum.

The Lead Investigator Into The Russian Doping Scandal Rips WADA

Considering the track and field action at the 2016 Olympics start this Friday, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that last week was a very light one in terms of action.

The biggest news to come out of last week was the fact that WADA’s lead investigator into the Russian doping scandal, Jack Robertson, a former DEA agent, totally ripped into WADA’s leadership in a lengthy Q&A with ProPublica’s David Epstein, which you can read in its entirety here. If you haven’t read that piece yet, please do yourself a favor and read it now.

If you read that piece and are outraged, we urge you to join stand up for clean sport and sign the petition asking for a change in the leadership of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Nearly 1,000 fans of the sport have already signed the petition including pros like Katie Mackey, Kara Goucher, Jemma Simpson, Nate Jenkins, Scott Bauhs, Tyler Mulder and Sage Canaday. Take a stand for clean sport:

Vocal Chord Dysfunction Is More Common Than You Thought

In last week’s weekly recap, we mentioned how Kiwi Olympian Hamish Carsons career was derailed a while because his vocal chords would spasm during competition and he’d have trouble breathing and added that we’d never heard of anything like that. In turn, we received a bunch of emails from LRC visitors telling us it happens way more often than you think and it’s called “vocal chord dysfunction.” Here is an email from Dr. York Thomas giving you more info about the condition.

I just read your WTW that was posted 8/2/16 and wanted to share some info concerning your section titled “We’ve heard of a lot of bizarre things holding runners back, but not this.”  The condition to which the Hamish Carson was referring to is called Vocal Cord Dysfunction or VCD. It is somewhat common in runners especially type A females and often goes misdiagnosed as asthma which was the case for Mr. Carson. My wife was misdiagnosed with exercise induced asthma for 15 years until a few years ago when she was correctly diagnosed with VCD after seeing a speech language pathologist. What happens with VCD is the vocal cords attempt to close when the individual is inhaling so they have a hard time breathing, especially when running. My wife and I were told that with asthma, the individual is more likely to have trouble exhaling than inhaling. One way to determine if it is asthma vs VCD is whether the individual sees any noticeable benefit from using a prescribed inhaler.

Thanks for doing a great job on covering the world of track and field and road racing!

PR Of The Week

5.60 seconds – amount of time that 19-year-old Mikey Brannigan knocked off of his mile PR last week when he ran 3:57.58 at the Sir Walter Miler in North Carolina (previous mile PR of 4:03.18). Brannigan, who has autism, set a new Paralympic WR in the process. He seems to be a lock for Paralympic gold later this year.

If you have details on Brannigan’s current training situation, please email us as we’re interested in learning the specifics of how the NYAC sponsored athlete is training now that he’s no longer in high school. We found an article on theislandnow.com that said Brannigan, who set the NY 3,200 HS record of 8:42.92 last year, “trains with his East Coast coach, Sonja Robinson, when he is home, and when he is on the West Coast training with Team USA, his coach is Joaquim Cruz, an 800-meter Brazilian silver medalist.”

Brannigan wasn’t the only one to PR in North Carolina last week. According to Tilastopaja.org, every single runner in the field either ran a PB or seasonal best in the race.

Place Name DOB Time PB/SB Previous PB
1 Kyle Merber 19-Nov-90 03:54.57 PB 03:54.76
2 Colby Alexander 13-Jun-91 03:54.94 PB 03:55.93
3 Johnny Gregorek 7-Dec-91 03:55.27 PB 03:55.57
4 Graham Crawford 29-Dec-92 03:56.05 PB 04:00.01
5 Ford Palmer 6-Oct-90 03:56.58 PB 03:56.79
6 Drew Hunter 5-Sep-97 03:57.15 WJL
7 Mike Brannigan 12-Nov-96 03:57.58 PB  4:03.18
8 Cory Leslie 24-Oct-89 03:58.51 SB
9 John Bolas 1-Nov-87 03:59.98 SB
10 Donnie Cowart 24-Oct-85 04:00.06 SB
11 Lex Williams 21-Mar-87 04:01.14 SB
12 Brandon Hudgins 14-Jan-87 04:01.78 SB
13 Chris Derrick 17-Oct-90 04:02.02 SB
14 Morgan Pearson 22-Sep-93 04:10.12 PB 04:13.90

More: Against the odds, Brannigan heads to Paralympic Games
MB: Mikey Brannigan Runs 3:57
MB: Sir Walter Mile Discussion Thread – Lauren Johnson (4:25) And Kyle Merber (3:54) Win As Drew Hunter (3:57.15) And Mikey Brannigan (3:57.58) PR 

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

#1 Talent Doesn’t Go Away

“I always had faith that I would get back, maybe at times it was blind faith. I don’t know where that faith comes from, maybe it’s because I did have a taste at such a young age. I had a taste of being one of the best in the world when I was 20 so I knew what it was like, knew how good it felt, I knew that I wasn’t going to stop until I got that back.

“Now I have got back to that level I just want to stay here for as long as I can and get even better.”

-Australian 1500 meter Olympian Ryan Gregson, who in 2010 ran 3:31.06 at age 20 but only broke 3:35 once during the next five years, talking last week to the Sydney Morning Herald. Gregson has already broken 3:35 three times this year and has a 3:32.13 seasonal best.

Maybe Gregson’s words can serve as inspiration for American Andrew Wheating, who ran 3:30.90 in that same 2010 Monaco race at age 22 but has only broken 3:35 once since.

More: Ryan Gregson and Genevieve LaCaze will put love aside for 2016 Rio Olympics

#2 Usain Bolt Is Feeling Confident

“I’m feeling much more confident now. I’m much more comfortable with where I’m at. I never try to predict times, because you never know what will happen. But for me the shape I’m in, I’ll say I’m in much better shape, so I think 9.6 sec definitely.”

-Usain Bolt talking in a Reuters article last week about his Olympic aspirations.

#3 Olympian Hillary Bor Wanted To Give Back To The USA

“I was at Iowa State five years and that is enough time to understand what the United States is all about. I knew then I wanted to be a citizen, and the only way I was going to do that was to sign up for four years and give back what this country has given me.”

-Olympian Hillary Bor, talking to Runner’s World about why he decided to become a citizen and join the US Army. By joining the Army, a green card holder gets citizenship after basic training is completed. Otherwise, the wait is five years. Bor made the US team in the steeple.

More: Army Puts Athletes on the Fast Track to Citizenship and the Olympics

#4 How Talented Was Houston McTear? Extremely

“Clearly number one. I’ve seen some natural athletes. Some didn’t like to train and they’d still go out and have success, but none of those guys were world record holders. That’s what separates him. He was the most gifted sprinter I’ve ever seen.”

 – former NCAA champ, 100m WR holder and SEC coach Harvey Glance talking about the talent of his former rival, Houston McTear, in a great 9,000+ word feature on McTear in Sports Illustrated by Michael McKnight.

Hilton Nicholson, McTear’s personal coach for part of his career, said the following about McTear’s natural talent: “It was purely God given… Raw and beautiful. I had never seen anything like it.”

If you don’t have 30+ minutes to read McKnight’s story on McTear, the good news is a movie might be made about his life. The Trailer appears here.

Recommended Reads

Cool NY Times video: What makes Christian Taylor so good at the triple jump?

A look at how much every Olympic sport gets from the USOC Track and field is #1 for the summer Olympics at $60.9 million received from 1999-2015.

Outside Magazine Q&A With Meb Keflezighi Ahead Of Rio Meb says a key to staying injury free is doing “prehab instead of rehab”, talks about his goals and outlook for Rio and when he plans to finally hang ’em up.

Former Marathon WR Holder Tegla Loroupe Leads Refugee Olympic Team To Rio Of the 10 team members, 6 will compete in track and field. *RR From The Spring: “Refugee Runners: Olympics Fields Its First Team Without A Country” Meet some of the distance runners who had to flee war to make it to Rio.

Mo Farah Documentary Airs Tonight On BBC At 4PM ET: Farah Talks About His Past, Family And Alberto Salazar Drug Allegations Farah says it’s tough being away from his kids “seven months of the year” and doesn’t know if he’ll ever move back to the UK even when he retires.

Saudi Arabia Will Have Two Runners Competing In Rio As Sarah Attar Returns After Making History At London 2012 Attar finished dead last in her 800 heat in London, but says the impact of competing had a huge impact on Saudi Arabian women who never saw sports as an option for them. Since then Attar has gone all-out with training for the Rio marathon, moving to Mammoth Lakes to be coached by and train with the Kastors.

Back At The 1952 Olympics The Soviet Union Tried To Get Star British Sprinter Emmanuel McDonald Bailey To Defect A man posing as a Russian journalist took Bailey out to dinner and went as far to sneak into his Olympic village room with vodka and caviar.

NY Times’ Jere Longman Examines Logo “Camouflaging” In Track And Field 400 hurdler Johnny Dutch spray painted his shoes rather than give free advertising while you might be surprised that Nike allows some of its athletes to use other companies shoes with the logos covered up.

10-Year-Old Homeless Girl Wins 3000m Gold At Junior Olympics Rainn Sheppard lives in a homeless shelter with her mother and two sisters and got a nice surprise when a NY philanthropist  paid for Sheppard’s mother to fly to Houston to watch.

Jared Ward: Running Nerd, Stats Professor And Now Olympic Marathoner Ward doesn’t talk about his running in the classroom, but his students discovered his “secret” during the Olympic Trials and started a group text message thread called “Ward’s Warriors”.

25-Year-Old Belgian Decathlete Thomas Van Der Plaetsen Had To Overcome Cancer To Make It To Rio Van Der Plaetsen actually was diagnosed partially thanks to a false positive doping test. While making his dramatic comeback, his motto was, “You cannot train on self-pity.”

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.

Past editions of The Week That Was can be found here. Questions or comments? Please email us or post them in our running fan forum.


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