Emails Of Month: April Fools / David Kutania Update, Criticism of our NOP Coverage, LetsRun.com Japan, And Horses Riding to Death
June 1, 2017
As our message boards have demonstrated, our visitors are full of intelligent, insightful, and sometimes inane comments. But not everyone wants to post on a forum, so we have decided to share with you some of our best emails. Some of them will be intelligent, some of them will be insightful, and who knows, some might be inane.
Since this written on the last day of May, we’ll call installment #1, Emails of the Month – May.
Email #1: April Fools Lives On and On (And a David Kutania Update)
On Sat, May 6, 2017 at 11:04 PM, ****** ** <******@****.***> wrote:
Have you guys found any more information about David Kutania?, is he still beating Kipchoge in training? Please write more articles about him
This email is a classic. First, check the date of the email. May 6th. What happened May 6th? Eliud Kipchoge tested the human limits of what was possible in the marathon/Nike put on its multimillion-dollar marketing Breaking2 extravaganza.
So no doubt our esteemed emailer started looking for Eliud Kipchoge marathon training information and what did he stumble upon? Our April Fools’ prank with Kipchoge where Kipchoge told all of you there was this guy in Kenya named David Kutania (Kutania means “joking” in Swahili) who kicked Kipchoge’s butt in training all the time. It sounded great, but it was part of a LetsRun.com April Fools’ prank. Definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen the video before.
You can read all about Kutania here. We love fooling people with our April Fools’ pages, but maybe we should start putting a disclaimer on our articles after April 1st in big red letters, APRIL FOOLS. But our emailer shouldn’t feel too bad — we’ve had other duped people threaten to sue us for their confusion.
As for David Kutania, we know who he is now. Long story short, we put together this prank at the last second and did not take down Kutania’s full name when we left Kenya. Thankfully, Kenyan-American runner Shadrack Biwott, who is now with the Hansons-Brooks team, used to train with Kutania and gave us the lowdown. Kutania’s real name is Anthony Maritim.
And Anthony Maritim is a champion. Look at his lifetime marathon record according to All-Athletics.com.
|September 14 2014||Köln Marathon||1||2:10:26|
|April 19 2015||Linz Donau Marathon||1||2:09:39|
|February 7 2016||Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon||2||2:11:17|
|April 9 2017||Linz Marathon||1||2:09:11|
Update: Tilastopja shows Maritim was also 5th in the Hefei Marathon in 2:13:17 in 2016.
The only guy we can think of with a better winning record is Eliud Kipchoge himself 😉 Also it’s clear the LetsRun.com jinx does not exist in Kenya because Maritim won the Linz Marathon this year after our April Fools’ story hit the wires.
The other cool thing that we totally did not know or had forgotten was that Shadrack Biwott used to train with Sammy Wanjiru, who, like Eliud Kipchoge, was once the world’s greatest marathoner. Biwott was the guy who informed us Wanjiru had died, but we forgot he used to train with Wanjiru. The third training partner? Anthony Maritim, aka David Kutania. The running world is a pretty small place. Maritim and Biwott trained with Wanjiru prior to the epic 2010 Chicago Marathon, which sadly was the last race Wanjiru would win before his untimely death.
Email #2: Criticism of Our USADA/NOP Coverage
I’m writing to express my disappointment in your coverage of the leaked USADA Investigation Report. You continue to publish headline excerpts of the report as if USADA’s word is gospel, without bothering to provide context or balance to the quoted statements. You have apparently not consulted any independent legal or medical experts for insight, and have no desire to offer any perspective on the situation. Readers expect you, as journalists (or at least people who publish news) to provide some mediated coverage.
Let’s quickly go through our 6 takeaways in our article.
1) USADA presents strong evidence that all of the Nike Oregon Project runners that received L-carnitine injections from Dr. Brown committed anti-doping violations We didn’t say they presented conclusive evidence, but we said it was strong evidence. To commit a doping violation, an athlete only needed to receive an injection of more than 50 ml, which is a very small amount, 1.7 ounces. The report presented strong evidence to suggest the injections were larger than 50 ml. This section is the only place we used the word “damning,” saying “the conclusion for each runner was damning and basically as follows”… which was that they were “in violation of the applicable anti-doping rules.” Now maybe we shouldn’t have used the word “damning” because some of you may not care they got more than 50ml and be thinking of fire and brimstone, but the definition of damning is, “(of a circumstance or piece of evidence) strongly suggesting guilt or error” which is a perfect description of an anti-doping violation.
2) Alberto Salazar misled athletes about his interactions with USADA and the treatment they were receiving The report backed this up with emails.
3) Alberto Salazar had no problem playing doctor and both he and Dr. Jeffrey Brown showed little regard for the health of NOP athletes This is where we think we could have used better language. We don’t want to imply Salazar or Dr. Brown intentionally did not care about their athletes’ health, but the report presented evidence that performance enhancement was their #1 concern and as a result sometimes the athletes took substances that were not best for their overall health. This was illustrated in the case of Mo Farah taking high doses of Vitamin D while having hypercalciuria, which his British doctor immediately stopped after he found out about it. Point #3 could have been rewritten “Alberto Salazar had no problem playing doctor and both he and Dr. Jeffrey Brown showed performance enhancement, not athlete health, was the primary focus of their relationship.” Update: We’ve decided to rewrite the headline for point #3.
4) Athletes were diagnosed with hypothyroidism even if their thyroid levels were within normal ranges This is well documented in the report.
5) Salazar was obsessed with trying to improve his athletes’ testosterone levels Well documented as well. We didn’t say these methods were prohibited by USADA.
Dear Let’s Run.com staff,
Email #4: Setting the Record Straight on Who Rides Horses to Death