Wayde Van Who? Clarence Munyai Runs 19.69, Scott Fauble Interviews Himself, Americans Dominate NYC Half, And A Last Hurrah For Caster Semenya?

The Week That Was In Running, March 12 – March 18, 2018

By LetsRun.com
March 21, 2018

Past editions of The Week That Was can be found here. Questions, comments, or a tip? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us or post on our forum.

Performance Of The Week / Clarence Munyai Arrives

We will get right to it and start with out performance of the week. Watch this:

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One of our favorite things as fans of the sport is to be mesmerized each year at the NCAA champs when we see young talent burst onto the world scene as big-time sprint talents.

Clarence Munyai of South Africa showed last week with his spectacular 19.69 run at age 20 (DOB is Feb. 20, 1998) that you don’t have to be in the NCAA to have a huge breakthrough — big breakthroughs almost always come early in one’s career.

Two years ago, Munyai ran 10.28 and 20.36 at altitude before getting 4th at World juniors in the 200 in a race that was won by Michael Norman, who is now the world indoor record holder at 400. Later that summer, he ran in the heats of the 200 at the Olympics. Last year, he improved to 10.20 and 20.10 but was DQ’d in the first round of Worlds in the 200.

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It’s worth noting that Munyai’s 19.69 was run into a slight headwind of 0.6 meters per second. Of course, the fact that it was run at altitude in Pretoria (1,339 m/4,393 ft) more than makes up for the wind. Professor Jonas Mureika‘s wind/altitude conversion equates Munyai’s run to a 19.78 in still conditions at sea level. The previous South African record was Wayde Van Niekerk’s 19.84 from last year in Kingston.

More: MB: Clarence Munyai (?!) – 19.69 to break SA record
*Clarence Munyai’s 19.69 National 200m Record Highlights South African Championships There was also a national record in the women’s 100 as Carina Horn sped to 11.03 in the semis. World long jump champ Luvo Manyonga lept 8.41m to beat world bronze medalist Ruswahl Samaai by 20 centimeters.

Stat of the Week I / Caster Semenya Is Utterly Dominant At Home

8.02 seconds – margin of victory in the women’s 800 for Caster Semenya at the South African Championships. Semenya’s winning time was 1:57.80.
13.21 seconds – margin of victory in the women’s 1500 for Caster Semenya at the South African Championships. Semenya ran 4:10.68.

When we see those stats, we have three thoughts.

1) If she’s that fit, it blows our minds she didn’t want to go to World Indoors and pick up $40,000 for gold.

2) As dominant as Semenya was, it certainly is pathetic that second place at the South African champs in the women’s 1500 is 4:23.89.

3) Was this Semenya’s last hurrah in South Africa as a dominant figure? Earlier this month, the IAAF announced it had submitted new hyperandrogenism rules that it hopes that the Court of Arbitration for Sport will allow to be implemented for events from 400 to the mile that would go into effect in November.

More: Caster Semenya Completes 800/1,500 Double At SA Champs Semenya soloed 1:58.92 in the 800 heats and came back that day to win the 1,500 by 13 seconds in 4:10.68. She won the 800 final the next day in 1:57.80.


Top 3 NYC Half

Top 3 NYC Half

Stat of the Week II / Times Weren’t Fast in NYC

72:23 winning women’s time at the 2018 United Airlines NYC Half.
70:32 – previous slowest winning women’s time at the NYC Half, achieved by Kenya’s Hilda Kibet in 2007. The winning time had been under 70:00 for nine straight years until this year.

62:39 – winning men’s time at the 2018 United Airlines NYC Half.
61:22 – previous slowest men’s winning time at the NYC Half, achieved by Kenya’s Tom Nyariki in the first edition of the event in 2006.

More: 2018 United Airlines NYC Half Coverage

Misleading Tweet of the Week

Ben True Wins NYC Half

Ben True Wins NYC Half

Don’t misunderstand us. We are pleased that Ben True won the first half marathon that he finished in his life and that Dathan Ritzenhein looked very strong in pushing the pace for much of the race. But let’s not make a big deal of the fact that True was the first American man to win the race and that 5 of the top 10 men in the race were Americans. The latter stat — 5 of the top 10 men being American — is a totally absurd stat for the NYRR to hype as it was something totally manufactured by them. Their pre-race press release on the event listed a total of 5 foreign elite athletes in the field who had ever broken 63:00 in a half marathon so it would have been very surprising if there weren’t at least 5 American men in the top 10.

With the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships coming up this weekend (and the big spring marathons not too far away), the 2018 United Airlines NYC Half was never going to be totally loaded with foreign talent — that’s why we’ve been saying for years it should be held the weekend after World Half and they should always invite the world champions to run and offer them a $50,000 payday if they complete the double. We imagine the NYRR realized that there weren’t many marquee foreign names to get and thus decided to go heavy on the American presence. If they wanted to find a few no-name Kenyans to finish in the top 10, they easily could have.

Check this stat out. Guess how many Kenyans have broken 61:00 for 13.1 this year?

Come on, go ahead and guess.

To help you out, we’ll remind you that just six Americans have ever broken 61:00 on a records-eligible course (Hall, Korir, Ritz, Chelanga, Estrada, and Curp).

29. Yes, 29 (8 Ethiopians have also done it).

More: 2018 United Airlines NYC Half Coverage

Best Interview of The Week

Ok, here’s a trivia question for you. Who was the third American finisher in the men’s race in New York?

Yes, we know 99% of you can’t answer that.

The correct answer is Scott Fauble, who ran 62:58. Fauble, 26, is a pretty darn good runner who doesn’t get much attention. Instead of complaining about his lack of press, the 28:00 10,000-meter man, who had a successful 2:12:35 marathon debut in Frankfurt in October, did an interview with himself last week. Check it out on ScottFauble.com as it is pretty funny: NYC 1/2 PRE-RACE INTERVIEW.

We love Fauble’s website as he actually lists out what races he’s going to be doing the next few months (BAA 5K, Payton Jordan, Bolder Boulder). It drove us nuts when we asked a very high profile US team a few years ago what their guys would be running and they refused to tell us. Imagine if fans had no idea who their favorite NFL team would be playing until a week before the game.

Fauble runs for Ben Rosario‘s Northern Arizona Elite team. Last week, the team announced some good news — they’ve signed a new multi-year partnership with HOKA ONE ONE that will fund the team through the 2020 Olympic cycle.



Sifan Hassan at World Indoors

Sifan Hassan at World Indoors

Stat of the Week III / There’s A Really Good Reason Why Sifan Hassan Was A Double Medallist At World Indoors

4:03.13 – official split for the 2nd 1,500 in the women’s 3,000 at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships for silver medallist Sifan Hassan.
4:04.00 – the #3 indoor time in the world for the women’s 1,500 this year.

The split comes from an IAAF release last week. Seiko recorded the 100m splits of every single athlete at Worlds, and also calculated how far the long jumpers actually jumped by figuring out how much they missed the end of the board by.

One of the most exciting events at Worlds was the men’s long jump. The stats reveal that Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarria deserved the gold as his 8.46m jump was actually an 8.487m jump as he missed the board by 2.7 cm. Silver medallist Luvo Manyonga‘s silver-medal jump of 8.44 was 8.442 in length as he was just .2 cm away from the end of the board.

Triple jump champ Will Claye might want to work on his approach as he rarely got close to the board. His winning jump of 17.43 meters was 8.4 cm away from being a foul, the only time in his six jumps that he got within 10 cm of the end of the board.

More: Transponder times for every 100 metres for every athlete in a distance race
*Split times for every relay runner, in heats and final.
*Measurements showing how far athletes took off before the board in horizontal jumps,

Odds & Ends That Caught Our Eye

19-year-old Amlework Walelegn of Ethiopia is quietly having a good start to his 2018 campaign. Walelegn, who was 4th in the World Junior 10,000 in 2016 and 2nd at World Junior XC in 2017, picked up nearly $24,000 on February 25 by finishing third in the super-lucrative inaugural Riyadh Half Marathon. On Saturday, he followed up that performance by winning the 10km Villa de Laredo in Spain on Saturday in a world-leading 27:36, finishing ahead of Spain’s Antonio Abadia, who set a Spanish road record of 27:47.


Did you know that Kara Goucher, who turns 40 in July, raced for the first time last week since June 2017?

She finished fifth at the Anthem Half Marathon in Virginia Beach in 79:10.


Did you know that Sam Adams is producing a Boston 26.2 brew? We know now thanks to a retweet from Desi Linden.

Recommended Reads / Listens

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.

Got a tip, question or comment? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us or post in our forum.