WTW: Gabe Grunewald Keeps Inspiring Us, Shalane Flanagan Gets Upgraded and Why Wasn’t Dawit Seyaum at Worlds?

The Week That Was In Running – August 14 – 20, 2017

by LetsRun.com
August 23, 2017

Past editions of the Week That Was can be found here. Got a tip, question or comment? Please email us or post in our forum.

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Last week, we didn’t technically do a Week That Was but we wrote three different articles taking a look back at Worlds.

LRC The Grades Are In: USA Distance Runner Report Cards From The World Championships In London We rank everyone from A++ to D.

LRC The Five Races We Most Want To See After The World Championships, Including Jenny Simpson Vs. Emma Coburn In The Steeple

LRC What A Year Sam Kendricks Is Having And Hope You Didn’t Bet Big On The Favorites

If you missed any of that or our 2017 World Championship coverage or our 2017 Birmingham Diamond League coverage, catch up now. We also enjoyed this messageboard thread: MB: The Worlds are over: What was the biggest disappointment?

Weekly Free Life Advice – Life is full of struggles, it’s ok to struggle, but it’s not ok to give up

US 1500-meter runner Gabe Grunewald is currently battling a form of cancer that is incurable as of today. Brooks has released a 25-minute film on her chase for the US standard in the 1500 (Grunewald made it to USAs) this spring/summer. Our favorite quotes from the film come Grunewald herself.

“I’m 30 years old and I imagined possibly competing for another Olympic team and the way I see it is I either want to be a competitive runner or I want to start a family and it sucks because I could potentially do neither of those things, and so that’s really hard, as I don’t know what comes next then….(quote comes at 7:11 mark)

“I don’t think society necessarily chronicles a person’s struggle as something normal and to be expected to experience as a human. I think we see gold medallists and we see billionaires and we see successful companies starting and we see everyone at the top of their industry I guess, and I’m not one of those people, and I’m showing a struggle. I’m struggling right now, but I guess what I want people to see in my struggle is just that you can get through it. And in my previous cancer experiences, it wasn’t easy but I tried my best and I was able to do so many things that I would have not done had I just given up my life when it was hard.

So I guess my message is that it’s ok to struggle but it’s not ok to give up on on yourself or your dreams and my stories about cancer but [it also applies] to anybody who has tough stuff in their life. That’s about all I have to say – don’t give up. (23:39 mark):”

We disagree with Gabe about one thing, she is at the top of her industry — the industry of showing us how to really live our lives.

(Note the video below is cued to the 2nd quote).


On the cancer front, more bad news to report. The cancer of Serena Burla, who was 11th in the World Championship marathon on August 6th, has come back at as well. She’s already had surgery even though they found the cancer after Worlds.

MB: Most overlooked performance of Worlds? Serena Burla got 11th in the marathon with a cancerous tumor in her leg!!!

Dawit Seyaum continues to roll … wait, why wasn’t she at Worlds?

Last week in Birmingham, the winner of the 1500 in dominant fashion was Ethiopia’s Dawit Seyaum. Seyaum won by nearly a full second in a field that included 2017 silver medallist Jenny Simpson. Seeing Seyaum dominate had us scratching our heads as we immediately thought, “How in the world was Seyaum left off of Ethiopia’s four-person team for Worlds in the 1500?”

Yes that’s right. Seyaum, the 2014 world junior champ at 1500 was who was 4th at Worlds in 2015 and 2nd indoors in 2016, was left off the Ethiopian team for the 2017 Worlds in London.

It’s possible Seyaum didn’t run at Worlds because she had some sort of injury as this was only her second race outdoors, but we imagine she was probably left off because she didn’t run the Ethiopian champs way back in May.

So if you are an American fan wondering how Americans have been able to consistently rise up and medal in recent championships, realize that some of the federations are pretty bad at picking the correct team. The idea that Fantu Worku, the 18-year old who won the Ethiopian champs but only has a 4:05 pb, is better than Seyaum is pretty absurd. For the record, Fantu PR’d at Worlds, but her time of 4:05.81 didn’t even get her out of the first round.

UPDATE: We reached out to Seyaum’s agent Mark Wetmore. This is what he told us:

She wasn’t selected. She had a slight injury [in] June and early July and the federation didn’t feel confident in her fitness.


The eclipse does make us do weird things

Flanagan finally is in possession of her 2008 Olympic silver medal for 10,000 now that Elvan Abeylegesse of Turkey was DQ’d for doping.

More: BBC: Olympic Medals – The Tricky Job Of Reallocating And Getting Them Back

Mo Farah’s ex-training partner was caught on hidden camera purchashing EPO

“I like to do my own thing…Freddie is a really nice guy. He will come twenty minutes, half an hour before and he will do some stretching and wait for me no matter what. Even if I am running late and everything else…..

“We go out on a run and Freddie will get dropped and then you know normally when someone gets dropped they will get tired the next day. No he will come back again. He keeps coming back, keeps coming back.”

Mo Farah talking to the BBC about why he trained with the unheralded Frederick “Freddie” Lemishen Ngoyoni in 2013 and 2014 in Kenya. Honestsport.com revealed last week that Ngoyoni has been caught on film purchasing EPO.

More: Mo Farah’s Former Training Partner Was Filmed Buying EPO In ARD’s And The Sunday Times’ Investigation In Kenya Last Year
*MB: Nothing to see here…. Farah’s training partner caught buying EPO

Quote of the Week  (that wasn’t quote of the day) / The tortoise beats the hare yet again

“The whole point over 100 miles is how you can avoid slowing down. It doesn’t matter what your top speed is. It doesn’t matter what you do in the first half. I just try to get into a good pace and not be too tired at halfway.”

-Brit (but Bend, Oregon, resident) Ian Sharman talking to the Denver Post after dominating the Leadville 100 and winning his fourth title in the last five years. Sharman won despite getting lost and running an extra 0.8 of a mile and throwing up at the 80-mile mark by employing his patented steady pacing as Sharman was five minutes down 40 miles into the race.

In trail racing, Sharman has proven time and again that the tortoise often beats the hare.

More: Denver Post: Ian Sharman wins Leadville 100 trail run for fourth time

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.

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