Rupp’s 2:06 in Perspective, Time for Clayton Murphy to Panic?, Making Sense of Hyperandrogenism Rules, and Pulling Trials from Mt. SAC

The Week That Was In Running, April 30 – May 6, 2018

May 10, 2018

Well the week is over but we’d rather get our famed Week That Was out late than not at all. 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.

As the week took place, we already covered a lot:

8 Random Observations on the Week

1. Time To Panic for Clayton Murphy?

Murphy winning bronze Murphy winning bronze

Are you a glass half full or half empty type of person? Find out below.

Glass half empty: It’s time for Clayton Murphy to panic. Murphy didn’t make the world team last year outdoors, switched coaches, didn’t make Worlds again this year indoors, and has only run 1:47.22 in both of his 800s this year (he ran 1:47.22 at both Mt. SAC and then in Doha last week).

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Glass half full: He didn’t make the world team outdoors only because he got hurt trying the 1500/800 double. Indoors, he didn’t make it because the guy who was .05 ahead of him ended up winning the silver medal (Drew Windle) and while his run in Doha wasn’t great, it should be pointed out that he only finished .52 off of World Indoor champ Adam Kszczot.

More: MB: Clayton Murphy Ran 1:47.22 for 2nd straight race Discuss

2. Congrats Ms. Kipkirui

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A much-deserved first win of the year went to Kenya’s Caroline Kipkirui in the women’s 3000 in Doha in 8:29.05. So far this year, the 23-year-old Kipkirui had been focused on three half marathons, where she lowered her pb from 69:52 to 65:07. But she hadn’t won a race as she’d finished 2nd, 3rd, and 2nd so far this year, even though she ran 65:07 at RAK and went out in 14:51 at the Prague Half Marathon!!

But now Kipkirui, who raced extensively on the US road circuit in 2016 (Azalea Trail,  Bay to Breakers, BAA 5K, Beach to Beacon, Bix, Carlsbad, Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, etc.) has a DL win on her resume in just her third attempt on the circuit. Last year, Kipkirui raced twice on the Diamond League, running 14:51 early in the year for 5th in Shanghai before running 14:27 for 2nd at the end of the year in Brussels.

More: 2018 Doha Diamond League coverage

3. Does Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s Win Prove Not All Africans Are Age Cheats?

After we watched 17-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway destroy the likes of Olympic medallists Paul Chelimo and Matthew Centrowitz in the 1500 at Stanford, we immediately wondered if some might start to consider the ages for the African teenagers to be legit. Yes, age cheating in Africa has been rampant for years but Ingebrigtsen proves that some teens are just precocious. Remember, someone like Haile Gebrselassie was winning world junior titles in 1992 and then still running 60:41 for the half marathon 21 years later in 2013.

Ingebrigtsen wasn’t even the fastest 17-year-old last week as George Manangoi ran 3:35.53 in Doha. Considering Manangoi’s brother is the world champ and his dad was world-class at 400, we don’t find it inconceivable that he really is 17. Eitherway, the Manangoi and Ingebrigtsen families are stocked with talent.

More: 2018 Payton Jordan coverage *Video of Jakob Ingebrigtsen destroying Centrowitz and Chelimo

4. Making It As A Pro Runner Isn’t Easy

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Making it as a pro runner isn’t easy. All winter we’ve been hearing rumors of Reebok starting a pro team where they’d want to make a push for the services of Syracuse’s Justyn Knight. Well last week, Knight got smoked by Riley Masters in the Payton Jordan 5k — Masters was 2nd in 13:16.97, Knight was third in 13:18.74.

Guess where Masters has finished the last four years at USAs?

9th (2017), 16th (2016), 9th (2015) and 7th (2014).

Masters is running great right now as he won the Drake road mile before Stanford.

More: 2018 Payton Jordan Coverage

5. Garrett Heath Has Great Range

Congrats to Garrett Heath. Last week at Stanford in the 10,000, he made his debut and it went well as he ran 27:56.11. According to, that makes him the 61st-fastest American in history (by their count, there are only 74 Americans under 28:00 in history). We imagine only a handful of those guys have an 800 pb better than Heath’s 1:47.26. We know that Alan Webb (1:43.84) and Bernard Lagat (1:46.00) do but are wondering if there is anyone else so help us out:

MB: How many Americans have an 800 pb of sub-1:48 and 10k pb of sub 28:00? Alan Webb, Bernard Lagat, Garrett Heath…. And who?

6. Why would you pull the 2020 Trials from Mt. SAC to put them in Eugene?

We still haven’t made sense of the Olympic Track and Field Trials being pulled from Mt. SAC. Mt. SAC says its stadium will be ready in time. Yes, there is a lawsuit going on about the stadium funding, but that doesn’t seem to be a good enough reason to blindside your partner and pull the Trials without any discussion on how to remedy the situation.

Especially when your partner says, “Our stadium will be finished (by 2020). That’s a non-issue” and even the group suing Mt. SAC says they were are not opposed to Mt. SAC hosting the Trials — they’re just concerned how the stadium is getting funded.

The most logical place for the Trials if they’re not at Mt. SAC normally would be Eugene. However, Eugene has not even begun construction on its new stadium and there is local opposition to it (but no lawsuit).

It makes no sense to strip the Trials from a site that needs $87 million in work to be ready but has already started construction to hand it to one that needs more than $200 million in renovation and hasn’t started work.

If the Trials go to Eugene, it will be a huge gift to Nike and Phil Knight. We’ve heard from people who want to go down some sort of Nike conspiracy trail, and we can’t really blame them as there has been some crazy stuff going on with USATF and Nike. (Brief interlude for those who are new to this. USATF signed a reported $500 million endorsement contract with Nike and did not bid it out to other parties. That would raise eyebrows on its own, but then factor in USATF Board Chairman Steve Miller is a former Nike employee, plus John Capriotti, the Director of Athletics at Nike, who likely was involved in negotiating the contract, ran for Steve Miller in college, worked for him at Kansas State, and then was hired by Miller at Nike, and oh yeah, Miller’s “friends” according to the Washington Post are the consultants Adam Helfant and Chris Bevilacqua, both ex-Nike employees, who helped negotiate the Nike contract with USATF and will receive a $23.75 million commission from USATF on the contract. Yes, $23.75 million.)

But if pulling the Trials from Mt. SAC is some elaborate plan to reward Phil Knight and Nike, then why give the Trials to Mt. SAC in the first place? Doesn’t make sense to us. If anyone knows what’s going on with the dysfunctional USATF board, please email us at

Ken Goe might have said it best: “Can anybody explain what USA Track & Field is doing?”
*Ken Stone: Group Suing Mt. SAC is Not Opposed to Them Hosting Trials
*Scott Reid: Mt. SAC loses 2020 Trials

7. This Is What We Think For Now About Asbel Kiprop’s Positive

And we loved watching this And we loved watching this

Asbel Kiprop‘s excuse for his EPO positive appears to be along the lines of, “The testers were tipping me off the night before the test and I was paying them money, so only an idiot would test positive. They must have sabotaged my sample.”

Our response to that is, “Generally it is people who are doping who want to be tipped off the night before the test. How large were the payments to the testers?”

More: LRC Asbel Kiprop Tests Positive For EPO – What Does It Mean? 5 Takeaways
*LRC Asbel Kiprop Releases Detailed Statement Of His Innocence, Explosive Allegations Of Breaches In Testing Protocols, Implies His Sample Was Sabotaged
*LRC Athletics Integrity Unit Responds: “No Mix-Up Or Tampering,” Kiprop’s “A” And “B” Samples Positive

8. If we hear one more person say that the IAAF’s hyperandrogenism rules are sexist and racist, we are going to lose it.

We’re sorry. This isn’t that hard. If Galen Rupp wanted to run in the masters category in Boston, he wouldn’t be allowed to do it as he’d first have to prove he was a master. In fact, in the past, when people in their 20s have identified as high schoolers, they have been arrested.

Requiring some sort of verification for the various categories we have for sports — whether it’s Paralympic, women’s sports or masters competition (40+) — isn’t racist or sexist, it’s common sense.

Messageboard poster “Manny de Luna” nailed it when he or she wrote last week about a somewhat related issue, transgender athletes competing without hormone therapy:

“If a 22 year old self-identifies as a masters athlete (old soul, likes to listen to Benny Goodman) or self-identifies as having only one leg, but has two (some type of body integrity identity disorder) these personal views would not change their classification for competition…  (It if it did, they) would be defrauding legitimate competitors by playing along with someone’s subjective view that disagrees with objective reality because we are too politically correct to step in and do what is right for all.”

If you just take people’s word for it, then you have what is now going in the US state of Connecticut where people who were born males are now dominating women’s track competition — even winning state titles — without receiving any hormone treatment. One such competitor even ran indoors as a male and is now competing outdoors as a woman.

MB: Two transgender girls from CT are dominating the sprints, one competed as a boy just this past indoor season…

Famed exercise physiologist Tim Noakes doesn’t agree with us.

We’re sorry. We just don’t believe there is a human right to compete in the women’s category or pro sports.

And in terms of privacy, when athletes are drug-tested — at least if they are male — they have to drop their pants and turn and face the drug tester as they urinate. Privacy is definitely given up. Competing in elite sport is a privilege, not a right, and we’re fine with there being certain rules for it. We’re not sure why the IAAF’s testosterone rules only apply to the 400 through the mile and can see how that gets some criticism, but they are letting more athletes compete than if they blanket-banned all athletes with high testosterone from the women’s category.

Debut Of the Week / Congrats to Sydney Devore

A 26-year-old American woman won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon last weekend in her debut in 2:32:39 — the 3rd-fastest time put up by an American in 2018 (Amy Cragg ran 2:21:42 in Tokyo and Stephanie Bruce ran 2:32:28 in London). She even did it with a huge negative split — 1:17:38/1:15:01. You can be forgiven if you’ve never heard of her name — Sydney Devore.

Devore was a pretty good runner in high school in Lakeland, Florida, as she placed fourth at the FHSAA Class 3A state cross country meet as a senior in 2008. She ran her freshman year at Florida, with very modest results (10:31.31 for 3,000 and 18:32.07 for 5,000) before getting injured and quitting the sport for a number of years before getting back into it in 2015 as a member of the Lakeland Runners Club.

For more on Devore, read this article on her by Omari Sankofa II in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: In her first try, Sydney Devore wins women’s Pittsburgh Marathon.

An even better story is the one by Joey Knight on Devore’s boyfriend, Jon Mott, that appeared in the Tampa Bay Times in February: Each lap remains a lease on life for distance runner Jon Mott. Mott, who was 47th at the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials and won the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon last fall, has turned to running after a chaotic upbringing and the death of his identical twin brother from a methadone overdose.


The half marathon in Pittsburgh served as the 2018 US Half Marathon Champs and Chris Derrick (Nike Bowerman TC) and Aliphine Tuliamuk (Hoka NAZ Elite) were the winners in 62:37 and 70:04.

Stat of the Week I / Putting Galen Rupp’s 2:06:07 in Context

Rupp wins Prague Rupp wins Prague

With Galen Rupp’s 2:06:07 last week, he is now the third-fastest non-African-born marathoner in history on a record-eligible course. He is the 88th-fastest marathoner in history on any type of course.

The Five Fastest Non-African-Born Marathoners in World History On Record-Eligible Courses
1. 2:05:48 – Sondre Nordstad Moen – Norway – 2017 Fukuoka (71st-fastest marathoner on any course*)
2. 2:06:05 – Ronaldo da Costa – Brazil – 1998 Berlin (86th-fastest marathoner in history. World record at time)
3. 2:06:07 – Galen Rupp – USA – 2018 Prague (88th-fastest marathoner in history)
4. 2:06:11 – Yuta Shitara – Japan – 2018 Tokyo (95th-fastest marathoner in history)
5. 2:06:16 – Toshinari Takaoka – Japan – 2002 Chicago (107th-fastest marathoner in history)

*Note, the rankings of fastest marathoner in history include aided courses like Ryan Hall‘s 2:04:58 (43rd-fastest performer in history). Hall’s best non-aided time was 2:06:17.

Stat of the Week II / We’d Love To Know If Nike Paid Him A Big Time Bonus

€15,000 – amount of prize money offered for the win at the 24th Volkswagen Prague Marathon with 7,009 finishers, which American Galen Rupp won in 2:06:07 (that’s $17,769.88).

$15,000 – amount of prize money offered for the win at the 1st Silo District Marathon with 494 finishers in Waco, Texas, which was won in 2:16:20 by Kenyan Julius Kipyego Keter.

If you’ve never heard of the Silo District Marathon, you can be forgiven as it was basically created so that reality TV star Chip Gaines, star of the Fixer Upper TV show, could have a marathon to run in his hometown. If you’re curious as to how the first-place prize money could be so similar (to be fair Rupp, won an extra €30,000 for breaking 2:06:30), read this: LRC Big Prize Money, Big Charity Donation, But No Drug Testing: What’s Up With Chip Gaines’ Silo District Marathon?

Recommended Reads

ESPNW: “How Sarah Sellers Pulled Off That Unlikely Second-Place Finish” Fun fact: Sellers made herself a bet in college that she wouldn’t eat ice cream until she was an All-American. Since she got hurt and never achieved that goal, she didn’t eat ice cream for 5 years.

LRC History Of Prize Money At The Olympic Marathon Trials

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.

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