The Best of LetsRun.com: We’re Giving Away 4 Pairs of Shoes to Needy High Schoolers Thanks to the Winner of Our Prediction Contest
April 10, 2018
Before we head into marathon season next week with the Boston Marathon, it’s time to take one last look back at the indoor season and our $200,018 Running Warehouse Prediction Contests for USA Indoors, World Indoors, and NCAA Indoors. One of our favorite things about the contests is highlighting the winners, as they show the interesting people who make up the great LetsRun.com community. National champion pro runners, rocket scientists, and 8th grade soccer players are amongst the winners of our contests in the past.
This time for the first time with our contests we decided to have an Indoor Series and a grand prize of all three shoes from the Hoka One One Fly Collection to the person who scored the most points in the indoor series.
Gregg Cantwell Is Your Champ
Gregg Cantwell is our overall indoor series winner and we don’t think we could find a better winner as instead of accepting his prizes (4 pairs of Hoka One One shoes and a Running Warehouse gift certificate), Cantwell wants to give them to high school runners who could use them much more than him. Well done, Gregg.
Gregg is 30 years old and a former high school coach (when he was a high school coach he sent us a detailed email a few years ago pointing out that the high school speed ratings may not be the best way to compare high schoolers across eras — we liked the email so much we’re putting it at the bottom of this article as we don’t think we ever posted it) who is transitioning now to becoming a teacher. He’s a running lifer who describes himself as an “Okay 1600/3200 in HS, who had more success after college was over.” In college, he ran for the now-defunct University of Delaware program.
Gregg won the first contest in the Running Warehouse Series, the USA Indoor contest. When we emailed him asking which Hoka One One Fly shoe he wanted, he wrote back:
“If its ok with you guys, I’d like to donate them (pick whichever shoe you want, I guess the nicest one) and donate it to a high school kid of your choosing who shoes potential/is a little less fortunate. If its alright I’d like the shoes to go to one kid, and the gift card to another. Maybe one boy and one girl is the fairest way. This will most likely create a little bit more interest in the sport and to your site if they know where the shoes are coming from. I trust you guys will find a good home for the shoes and the gift card. I spend some time working in a local running store called Schwab’s 2nd Wind, so the shoes aren’t a big deal to me. Thank you very much for the offer though.”
It was definitely all right with us that Gregg donate the shoes. However, the indoor contests were back to back to back so we didn’t give away the shoes yet.
Then once the series was over and we crunched the numbers, Gregg came out on top of our overall contest.* Karma can be a very good thing.
We wrote Gregg again to tell him he was the overall winner and he told us he wants to donate the three extra pair of shoes he won.
Now we’ve got four pairs of Hoka One One Fly Series shoes to give away and one $100 gift certificate to Running Warehouse.
How We’re Going to Give Away the Shoes
We’re going to give them away to high school runners who could use them. Two pairs will go to boys, and two pairs will go to girls and the gift certificate will go to a fifth person of either sex. If you’re a high school runner who could use them or a coach who knows a runner who could use them, email us here at [email protected] and explain why. It doesn’t need to be too detailed. We’re going to try to pick our winners quickly.
*Overall Contest Scores
We’re going to recognize the winners of our individual contests in another article, but Gregg tied our very own Jonathan Gault atop the Indoor Series with 184 points. However, Gregg won one of the three contests and Jonathan didn’t, so Gregg should be the overall winner. Plus, we determined that our own people are no longer eligible for prizes because our readers started complaining we’re too good at kicking butt in our own contests (one point back behind Jonathan and Gregg was LetsRun.com site founder Rojo).
If you played in all three contests and want to see how you did in all three contests use the login form below. Gregg’s email on high school speed ratings is at the bottom.
Gregg’s email on speed ratings:
Dear Letsrun.com Staff,
My name is Gregg Cantwell. I ran HS track and cross country on long island (now coach) and have been an avid reader of the site for years and I appreciate all the work you guys do. I have written a few times over the years about certain things and just wanted to give you a little heads up about the speed ratings that you mentioned in the “week that was”.
Meylans Speed Ratings are an amazing way to compare cross country courses over relatively short periods of time (a couple of years or even during the same season), however, what I have found is that it is very difficult to compare speed ratings over a long period of time. The reason for this is because the formula he uses, compares runners to the average runners in the race. Over the last 15-20 years, the “average” high school runner has changed pretty drastically. What I mean by this, is that when Ritz and Solinsky were trouncing guys, the people who were finishing in the middle of the pack (even at Footlocker) were much worse than they are now. Now you have guys like DJ Principe who would be American Forks fourth best runner on that day, and is an 8:51 guy for 3200, not finishing in the top 20. Now, he obviously had an off race, but every year at arcadia we are seeing 15-20 guys break 9 minutes and another 8-12 at Loucks. 15 years ago, (more so 20 years ago) we were having 5-10 people break it per year.
Solinsky, Ritz, Webb, Sage, etc were all time type HS guys obviously. They still fit into the all time type category, but they were so far away from the mean runner that their ratings were much higher. Kids have been getting faster and faster every year but the speed ratings have been going down marginally each year. My senior year of HS we had Chris Barnicle and Mark Matusak running low 8:50s for 2 miles. This year, we had an 8:51 guy get 21st and an 8:50 guy win. There were 11 people at Footlocker who broke 200 for their speed rating in 2004. Were 11 people better than a senior year version of Clinger? Almost definitely not. He ran 8:50 as a junior and I dont think many people would be surprised if he ran 8:42. We also had Kate Murphy not finish in the top 25 and she has run 9:10 for 3000.
So although I do agree that Oakley and Klinger may not be all timer type people (at least not yet), the speed ratings arent the best overall determining factor. I hope this long email made sense on your end. I probably went off topic a bit. Thanks for all the articles.