WTW: It’s Okay To Wear Makeup In War, Several HS Girls Do Better Than Sub-4, And An American Wins Comrades

The Week That Was In Running – May 29 – June 4, 2017

by LetsRun.com
June 6, 2017

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

If you missed our on-site coverage of the 2017 Adrian Martinez Classic of 2017 adidas Boost Boston Games, catch up now.

American Camille Herron Wins The 2017 Comrades Marathon After An Unknowing Premature Celebration

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The famed Comrades Marathon was held last week in South Africa and American Camille Herrron (jaguar1 if she is posting on the LetsRun.com forums) became only the second American woman to win the race.

Herron won in dominant fashion as she led throughout. Halfway through, she was ahead by more than seven minutes and in the end she won by more than four minutes in 6:27:35 (7:11 mile pace) in the ultramarathon race which was 86.73 km (53.89 miles) this year and rose more than 670m from start to finish (it rose from sea level to 870m mid-race). The only drama for Herron, who won world titles at 50k and 100k in 2015, came at the very end when she didn’t realize she hadn’t crossed the finish line. Here is what happened according to journalist Riel Hauman, who wrote the following for Race Results Weekly:

The 2017 “up” race was, well, almost boring until 300m from the finish, when race leader Camille Herron (who had been in front right from the gun) rounded the penultimate corner onto the grass of the Scottsville Racecourse, (and) received the traditional baton with the mayoral message and rose — and then stopped her watch and stopped running.

While millions of TV viewers were watching with their hearts in their throats, the American, former world champion over 50 km and 100 km, seemed wholly unconcerned and stood around chatting and giving high-fives to the spectators lining the run-in to the finish. An official rushed up to her and presumably told her that she had not crossed the line yet. But still Herron, 35, did not seem to comprehend and started to amble along the barrier.

It was only when a male runner came up to her from behind and pointed in the direction of the finish line and took her by the elbow that she started running again. She crossed the finish mat in 6:27:35 to claim victory by just more than four minutes over unheralded Russian Aleksandra Morozova.

The video below tells the story well.

South Africa’s Bongmusa Mthembu won his second Comrades in the men’s race in 5:35:34. He’s the first South African to win Comrades twice since the legendary Bruce Fordyce won his 9th title in 1990. Mthembu’s win was a surprise, however, as his other win in 2014 came when the race was run downhill. His previous two “up races” weren’t good – DNF in 2013 and 17th in 2015.

More: USA’s Camille Herron Is Your 2017 Comrades Marathon Champion
*MB: Camille Herron (jaguar1) WINS Comrades Marathon!Bongmusa Mthembu: From bricklayer to Comrades glory

Can We Remind Ourselves How Great Jekpkosgei Was In Prague?

Last week, the IAAF certified Joyciline Jepkosgei‘s half-marathon world record of 64:52 that she ran at the Sportisimo Prague Half-Marathon on April 1. World records ratifications are normally mere formalities and not really newsworthy. However, we’re mentioning the ratification here because the IAAF also ratified that her first 10k was faster than any 10k a woman had ever run on the roads. Jepksogei got intermediate WRs at 10k, 15k and 20k.

Jepkosgei’s New WRs
Women’s 10 km:
30:04. Previous record: 30:21. Paula Radcliffe (GBR) San Juan 23 Feb 03
Women’s 15 km: 45:37. Previous record: 46:14 Florence Kiplagat (KEN) Barcelona 13 Feb 15
Women’s 20km: 1:01:25. Previous record: 1:01:40 Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) Ras Al-Khaimah 10 Feb 17
Women’s half marathon: 1:04:52. Previous record: 1:05:06 (mx) Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) Ras Al-Khaimah 10 Feb 17

Photo of the Week

van Niekerk and his coach, Ans Botha

van Niekerk and his coach, Ans Botha

How great is our sport? If you can run fast, you can run fast. If you can coach, you can coach. It doesn’t matter if you are white, black, rich or poor.

Above is a photo we took of 400 world record holder Wayde van Niekerk and his coach – the 75-year old great-grandmother, Ans Botha.

More: LRC Chasing Usain Bolt: After A Historic Year, Wayde van Niekerk Finally Has Permission To Run The 200 

Reed Brown Breaks 4:00 But At Least Two HS Girls Were Even More Impressive

Stat of the Week 

5 – number of US high schoolers that broke four minutes in the mile over the span of 50 years, between 1965 and 2014.
5 number of US high schoolers that have broken four minutes in the mile over the span of the last 3 seasons.

US high schooler Reed Brown became #10 last week when he ran 3:59.30 at the St. Louis Festival of Miles.

reed-brown-35930The 10 US High Schoolers Who Have Broken 4:00
Alan Webb, 3:53.43 (2001)
Jim Ryun, 3:55.3 (1965)
Drew Hunter, 3:57.81 (2016)
Reed Brown, 3:59.30 (2017)
Matthew Maton, 3:59.38 (2015)
Grant Fisher, 3:59.38 (2015)
Tim Danielson, 3:59.4 (1966)
Michael Slagowski, 3:59.53 (2016)
Lukas Verzbicas, 3:59.71 (2011)
Marty Liquori, 3:59.8 (1967)

Brown has certainly had a fascinating senior year. In cross country, he was only fourth at the Texas state meet but then he went on to win the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. In track, he didn’t even win the 1600 at the Texas state meet. Brown won the 3200 but was second in the 1600 to Sam Worley – a star in his own right who won the 800 and 1600 at states. Worley also beat Brown in the 1600 last year at the Texas state meet.

Random fact: Brown’s older brother, Kris, was an NFL kicker for 12 seasons.

More: LRC Reed Brown Runs 3:59.30 Mile To Become 10th US High Schooler Under 4:00 At St. Louis Festival Of Miles
*Reed Brown Says Becoming First Texas HSer To Break 4-Minutes Is “Pretty Unreal”
*MB: Reed Brown breaks 4!
*MB: It’s been 50+ years since Jim Ryun ran 3:55 as a HSer, how has only 1 American high schooler beaten that since then?


A 3:59 mile by a high schooler is going to get attention even if it’s being done more often ever. However, the high school performance of the week came in New Jersey where Sydney McLaughlin ran a world junior record of 54.03 in the 400 hurdles at the New Jersey Group Championships. That was one of just three individual events that McLaughlin won at her group meet as she also won the 400 in 51.87 and 200 in 22.96, a time that broke a 24-year-old state record.

54.03 for the 400 hurdles is quite good. It’s #3 in the world this year and would have placed 5th in the Olympics last year.


McLaughlin wasn’t the only phenom to win three events at states. Tara Davis also won three events at the California state meet, where she came up 1 point short of giving her team the team title all by herself.

Davis won the long jump in a windy (3.2 m/s) 22 feet, 1 inch (6.73m), breaking Marion Jones’ all-conditions state record of 22 feet 1/2 inch and coming pretty close to the longest jump in high school history (22 feet, 5 inches). She won the 100 hurdles in 12.83 – the fastest time ever run by a high schooler under any conditions (windy 3.7 m/s) as well as the triple jump in 42-11.75 (13.10m, 2.4 m/s)

If Davis was in the NCAA (and she’ll be attending Georgia next year), she’d be ranked #4 in the long jump and #6 in the 100 hurdles with those marks.


At the adidas Boost Boston Games, there were two standout performances on the girls’ side.

Freshman Lexy Halladay won the adidas Dream Mile in 4:41.80, finishing ahead of NXN champ Brie Oakley (4:41.95) and in the process running faster than Mary Decker‘s national freshman record of 4:42.0 which had stood since 1973.

In the 800, senior Sammy Watson ran 2:00.78 to move to #3 all-time on the US high school list, passing now adidas athlete Ajee Wilson. Speaking of Wilson, she hasn’t competed at all outdoors. We now know why. Wilson’s teammate, Charlene Lipsey, who won the adidas Boost Boston Games 800 in 1:59.57, told us that Wilson had surgery after the indoor season and may or may not compete at USAs.

The 5 Fastest US High School Girls In History at 800 (According to TFN)
1:59.51 Mary Cain (Bronxville, New York) 2013
2:00.07 Kim Gallagher (Upper Dublin, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania) 1982
2:00.78 Samantha Watson (Rush-Henrietta, Henrietta, New York) 2017
2:00.91 Ajee’ Wilson (Neptune, New Jersey) 2012
2:01.61 Chanelle Price (Easton Area, Easton, Pennsylvania) 2008

More: *Complete coverage of adidas Boost Boston Games
*Legendary triple, team title highlight Sydney McLaughlin’s final Group meet
*Agoura’s Tara Davis wins three titles at state track championships

Weekly Free Coaching Advice – Everyone Has Doubt At Times

Let this serve as a friendly reminder that everyone – even the greats – hell even the GOAT – has doubts. We greatly enjoyed a piece the IAAF had on David Rudisha where Rudisha revealed that his most satisfying moment in athletics was his 2015 gold in Beijing because he was on the comeback trail from injury and had doubts that he could pull it off.

“Before the 2015 World Championships, because I was not training as usual, I started to have doubts in my mind. It was a challenge and I had to fight to control my mind. Thankfully, I received great support from my family, friends, coach and manager.

“The final in Beijing was a tactical race and not many believed I could win. I remember I hadn’t won many races that season so to go on and win those championships it meant a lot to me.”

Prior to Worlds that year, Rudisha was beaten in his final three competitions before Worlds – Lausanne, London and the Kenyan Trials. In the piece, Rudisha reveals the knee bruise he suffered in 2013 still bothers him at times.


Miss Qualifying For States, Win $10,000

“It was very last minute. I think I was confirmed three days ago, mainly because I thought that my oldest daughter was going to qualify for the state track championships, today. So, I didn’t have anything planned. When she didn’t, I just last-minute contacted them. I had trained really hard in the first half of the week thinking I wasn’t racing.”

Sara Hall talking to David Monti after winning the 39th Freihofer’s Run for Women 5K in Albany, NY, in 15:49. For her efforts, Hall picked up $10,000 in the race that now only offers open prize money for Americans.

Top 5 Results At Freihofer’s
1. Sara Hall, 34, Redding CA                15:48.9  $10,000
2. Aliphine Tuliamuk, 28, Santa Fe NM       15:50.3    5,000
3. Lindsey Scherf, 30, Scarsdale NY         16:09.9    3,000
4. Becky Wade, 28, Louisville CO            16:15.3    2,000
5. Katie Matthews, 26, Brighton MA          16:18.7    1,000

Miss Qualifyiing For NCAAs, Win $700

Michigan junior Jamie Morrissey didn’t make the NCAA finals as she placed 23rd at the East Regional in the 1500. So what did she do instead of going to Eugene? Win $700. Morrissey won the Monumental Mile in Indianapolis last weekend in 4:43.4 and picked up $700. She gets to keep the money as the NCAA now allows you to accept prize money to cover certain allowable expenses.

5 Qutoes of The Week (that weren’t quote of the day)

#1 Let’s Give Him An A For Honesty

“Training is not my thing; I will just get up and run fast. It just comes naturally,”

-16-year-old Jamaican sprinter Michael Stephens, who has run 10.37 this year, talking to the IAAF.

The IAAF says “Stephens proved early in the year that he has the uncanny ability to perform at a high level without much background work. At the Jamaica Carifta trials on 5 March he cruised effortlessly to 20.93, a personal best, in the 200m final. He had only started training in December.”

#2 And Another A For Honesty

“We’ve been sharing rooms and eating every meal together (for the last 6 weeks in Flagstaff) so I’m starting to get really sick of him. Jakob probably feels the same way. We’re competitive; in every workout, every training, every competition, it’s always a winner and a loser – always.”

Henrik Ingebrigtsen talking to the IAAF about his feelings for his 16-year-old brother Jakob Ingebrigsten, in an IAAF profile of Jakob, who ran 3:58 at the Pre Classic.

#3 If You’re Fit, You’ll Race Well No Matter What

Chris O’Hare talking to Chris Lotsbom about his seven-month-old son is helping him be a better runner in 2017. O’Hare won the 1,500 at the adidas Boost Boston Games in 3:39.31.

More: 2017 adidas Boost Boston Games Coverage

#4 Raevyn Rogers Gets Done Up For Special Occasions

“I don’t put on makeup to go jog. We’re going to put some dark lipstick on, and we’re going to war.”

-NCAA 800 star Raevyn Rogers responding to criticism from a Twitter user who criticized her and her Oregon 4 x 400 teammates for putting on makeup before a race. @SaucinSam wrote, “They have their whole face beat just to run??”

In an article about the spat in the Daily Emerald, Rogers revealed she spend an hour and half on her makeup before races and she started doing it after someone in middle school said she was like a boy as she was so fast. Rogers isn’t the makeup queen at Oregon, however. That honor goes to hurdler Alaysha Johnson, who “regularly wears a full face of makeup at practice to test which products can weather the sweat and, particularly in Eugene, the rain” and estimates she spends between $60 and $200 a month on makeup.

More: Raevyn Rogers’ race-day makeup takes many meanings

#5 If You Are Feeling Old, Go Lift Some Weights To Make Sure It’s Not Just In Your Head

“Any time I think I shouldn’t be doing this anymore, I go in the weight room and realize, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I just benched more than I ever have.’”

-pole vaulter Jenn Suhr talking to the Buffalo News about how she’s still going strong at age 35.

More: Jenn Suhr Is Still Raising The Bar At Age 35

Recommended Reads

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

LRC Emails Of Month: April Fools / David Kutania Update, Criticism of our NOP Coverage, LetsRun.com Japan, And Horses Riding to Death

Reed Brown Says Becoming First Texas HSer To Break 4-Minutes Is “Pretty Unreal” Brown comes from an athletically talented family as he is the brother of former NFL kicker and has another brother who’s a kicker at Nebraska.

The Telegraph: Laura Muir Goes The Extra Mile In Bid For London Glory Muir is known for being a work horse as she says, “I can’t remember the last time I could physically stand at the end of a session. I pretty much run as hard as I can every time. I think that’s just what you need to do to be the best – you have to push your body to the limits every single time. I want to know I’ve given all I can.”

IAAF Profile On The Youngest Sub-4 Miler Ever, Jakob Ingebrigsten Considering Ingebrigsten and his two older brothers are all elite milers, you may be shocked to know neither of their parents have any background in athletics. But that didn’t stop their dad from learning everything he could so he could coach them.
*MB: The Ingebrigtsen brothers all run Sub 4 at Pre – Have 3 Brothers ever run Sub 4 on the same day?

Gary Cohen Does Extensive Interview With Matt Centrowitz Sr. Centrowitz goes into great detail about his own running career, his coaching at American University and his Olympic champion son.

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.