WTW: Natosha Rogers and Katie Mackey Get First National Titles, Emmauel Korir Negative Splits 1:43.73, Blue Collar Running, Tergat Replaces Keino

The Week That Was In Running – April 24 – 30, 2017

by LetsRun.com
May 3, 2017

Last week was an incredibly busy one with the Penn Relays, Drake Relays, SEC Relays, the US Half Marathon and Mile Championships and a lot more. However, this weekend may be even busier as track and field’s professional regular season kicks off with an amazing Diamond League opener in Doha, the Nike sub-2 exhibition attempt, the Payton Jordan meet will take place at Stanford and collegiate conference action will get started.

As a result, we’ve got a shorter weekly recap for you. But we didn’t want to blow it off as there were some great quotes we wanted to share. We don’t really talk about the various relay meets that were held last week.

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

Natosha Rogers Wins Her Fist National Title & Has a PSA For LetsRun.com Visitors

The US Half Marathon Championships were held last week in Ohio as part of the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon. The winner on the men’s side wasn’t a surprise as Olympian Leonard Korir edged Sam Chelanga in a race where both men were given the same 63:04 time. But in the women’s race, there was an upset as Natosha Rogers (who was 10th at USA XC and 23rd at Worlds) pulled away from Aliphine Tuliamuk (who won USAs in XC and was 15th at Worlds) to win her first national title in 70:45, as Tuliamuk faded to third.

In celebration of Rogers’ win, we feel this was the appropriate time to unveil the first ever PSA from LetsRun.com. Natosha was a good enough sport to film the following PSA for us when we caught up with her after her 23rd-place run at World Cross Country in Uganda. So the next time you are posting on the messageboard and possibly slamming a pro, please remember that you are writing about real human being. We think following Rogers’ advice of “Be nice,” will help improve the forum.

Top 3 Results from the 2017 US Half Marathon Championships

1. Natosha Rogers, 25, Littleton, CO            1:10:45 Debut $12,100
2. Neely Gracey, 27, Boston, MA                 1:10:54      $8,100
3. Aliphine Tuliamuk, 28, Santa Fe, NM          1:11:42      $5,000

1. Leonard Korir, 30, Colorado Springs, CO      1:03:04  $12,100
2. Sam Chelanga, 32, Colorado Springs, CO       1:03:04    $8,100
3. Christopher Landry, 31, Charlotte, NC        1:03:13    $5,000


Rogers had a nice quote after winning the USA Half title, telling the Columbus Dispatch, “I decided to run this race about a month ago and I decided I was going to win this race about a month ago. I really needed a win in my career. I put in a lot of hard work with lots of changes to my training. It’s awesome to have it pay off. Finally.”

Rogers wasn’t the only US pro to win their first national title last week. At the Grand Blue Mile, the US Road mile championships were held as part of the Drake Relays festivities, and Katie Mackey beat the likes of Amanda Eccleston and Shannon Rowbury to win her first US title in 4:37. Clayton Murphy won the men’s title (his first on the roads and third overall), as he became the first man to break four on the course in 3:59.96.

The tweet above is from sprint guru Dan Pfaff who must be working with Mackey now.

More: More Deeper Half Marathon Results.
*Natosha Rogers Holds Off Neely Spence Gracey For First National Title, Leonard Korir Edges Sam Chelanga Rogers then puked in the finishing chute.
*Katie Mackey’s Mile Win On Tuesday Was Her 1st National Title And It Came After She Nearly Quit The Sport After Coming Up Short Of The Olympics Last Year

Emmanuel Korir Negative Splits a 1:43.73

Last week, one week after running a 44.67 400, NCAA indoor 800 champ Emmanuel Korir of UTEP showed that that speed will translate quite nicely to 800 as he ran a huge pb of 1:43.73. His previous pb before the 1:43.73 was 1:46.50 from indoors so he skipped the 1:45s and 1:44s entirely.


Korir is clearly THE REAL DEAL. Our only question is which is more impressive – the fact that he negative split the race (first lap was 52.6) or the fact that second place was just 1:51.76 so he won by 8.03 seconds.

MB: What’s the fastest negative split 800 in history?
*UTEP Distance Coach Paul Ereng Calls Freshman Emmanuel Korir “A Man Among Boys” After He Runs The Second-Fastest 800 In NCAA History Korir ran a ridiculous 52.6/51.1 negative split and won the race by more than 8 seconds.Ereng says he thinks Korir is “capable of 1:42.”

Video of Korir’s run:

Question Of The Week

What do Albina MayorovaInga Abitova, Tatiana Aryasova, Mariya Konovalova, and Tetiana Gamera-Shmyrko all have in common?

According to Brett Larner, they are all Eastern Europeans who have won major marathons in Japan who are represented by agent Andrey Baranov of Russia and all have now been banned for doping now that Mayorova has been banned.

More: An Update on Eastern European Women in Japan

Blue Collar Runner Of The Week

One of the more famous threads in LetsRun.com’s history is Yuppie Running vs. Blue Collar Running. In that light, please meet Ireland’s Sean Hehir, who counts as a blue-collar guy. Here is a great description of Hehir by Ian O’Riordan in the Irish Times. 

There was also some gentle irony in that one of the proper marathon efforts of the weekend received such scant recognition. In running 2:16:18 in London, Sean Hehir beat his previous best by 52 seconds, and with that earned his selection for the World Championships, back in London, later this summer. 

At age 32, this was Hehir’s 10th marathon, all now run under 2:20, and it’s a pretty inspiring story given he commutes from Wexford to Dublin each day (147 km each way), to teach at Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál in Inchicore. (He can’t afford to buy or rent in Dublin). He also coaches three times a week, after school, all while averaging 115 miles of running a week in the build-up to London. 

More: Ian O’Riordan: Has sport become bad for our health?

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

#1 The Penn Relays’ Longtime Announcer Reveals How He Survives 12+ Hour Days At Penn


Burt Ritchie, 75, a longtime public-address announcer for the Penn Relays telling Philly.com the best way to keep your voice lubricated while calling full days’ worth of track action.

More: Penn Relays’ unsung heroes sacrifice time, money and credit . . . but they keep coming back

#2 Money Matters

“In today’s world of professional sports if you’re not making $1 million for first prize in a major event you’re not taken seriously. Why do we think there is such an emphasis placed on the charity runners?  Because that’s where the millions of dollars are!  And that is a good thing. I’ve contributed to charity runners many times for friends and family.  But just like tailgating is an important part of the American football experience, it isn’t the main purpose of the gathering. The game is.”

Toni Reavis writing on ToniReavis.com about how he wishes marathons would up their prize money and lower their appearance fees.


#3 One Columnist Doubts The Nike Shoes Are Anywhere Close To As Good As Nike Says They Are

“The shoes [Bekele wore in London] were the VaporFly 4%, so named because it is claimed they make runners 4% more efficient than any other previous Nike shoe. This prompts the question: if you believe this are you (a) 4%; (b) 50%; or, (c) 100% crazy.”

Len Johnson, writing for Runner’s Tribe about the London Marathon.
More: Cats 0-Mice 2 in London Marathon – A Column By Len Johnson

#4 Edward Cheserek is Doing What’s Best For Him As A Senior

“Edward being a senior and Edward doing all that he’s done here for the University of Oregon, we’re kind of making this a special season for Edward. We’re kind of playing favorites, or going along with his wishes.”

-Oregon coach Robert Johnson talking to the Eugene Register-Guard about why Edward Cheserek wasn’t running the Penn Relays this year. We 100% support the move. If Cheserek was at a school not named Oregon, there is a good chance he would have gone pro earlier so it’s good that Oregon is letting him chase fast times so he can get a good contract when he goes pro.

And it’s not like Oregon needed him. They still won the 4 x mile and DMR at Penn Relays.

#5 We Agree, The Coaches Association’s Rankings Are Way Off On Oregon

“Assuming Edward Cheserek is healthy, I’ll eat the official NCAA Championships program if they finish outside the Top 10.”

-The Oregonian’s Ken Goe reacting to the USTFCCCA’s latest rankings which have the Oregon men ranked just 13th and the Oregon women just 2nd. We 100% agree with Goe.

Let us introduce you to a webpage that we love: http://www.cloudtrainingsystems.com/meetscorer. If you go to that page, you can instantly score any descending order list you want – so any conference, the NCAA, etc. It’s pretty amazing. The idea that the Oregon women might lose is CRAZY.

Here are the projected top 5 women’s point totals according to the descending order list.

1 Oregon 78.5
2 USC 46
3 LSU 41.5
4 Texas A&M 40.5
5 Arkansas 37

We totally get why a ranking system wouldn’t have the Oregon men ranked high as Edward Cheserek hasn’t run fast yet and the Oregon men at the NCAA level in many ways are a one-man team this year. The only Oregon men ranked in the top 8 are Marcus Chambers (7th 400) and Sam Prakel (7th 1500).

More: Oregonian’s Ken Goe Not A Fan Of The Latest NCAA Rankings, Which Saw The Oregon Women Drop To 2nd And The Men To 13th

#6 Kelly Sotherton Doesn’t Want A Dirty Medal

“If she has had the medal in her house and in her hands for the last nine years why would I want that?

“Why would I want something that has been around her neck? I don’t want that – it seems dirty and tainted.

“If I am to get a medal I want a fresh, clean one. But I don’t care that much about receiving the medal itself because just being recognized goes a long way.”

Kelly Sotherton, telling The Independent that she wants a totally new medal, not the dirty one that Russian drug cheat Tatyana Chernova has possessed for the last 8+ years, when Sotherton receives her bronze medal for the heptathlon at the 2008 Olympics now that Chernova has been DQ’d for doping.

More: Kelly Sotherton will reject ‘dirty and tainted’ bronze medal given to Russian drugs cheat Tatyana Chernova

#7 One Legend Takes Over For Another In Kenya

I must pay tribute to Kipchoge for leaving an unparalleled mark in sports.

“He is a father to me and we shall still engage him for advice. I thank God for this opportunity as I prepare to serve the country’s sports sector at the highest level.”

Paul Tergat talking to The Nation after it was revealed he’d be taking over Kenya’s scandal-plagued National Olympic Committee as current head Kipchoge “Kip” Keino failed to get a single sports federation to endorse his re-election. While Tergat took the high road, Keino wasn’t happy to be so unceremoniously dumped as he said, “He has never come to me for anything, yet I am the one who took him to the IOC… there is nothing to celebrate, and please just let me be… leave me alone.”

More: ‘Kip’ false start hands rival Tergat gold on silver platter
*Kenyan Columnist Examines Kip Keino’s “Free Fall”

Recommended Reads

To see our favorite reads from other weeks, go here.

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.