WTW: A Plan for King Cheserek, Celliphine Chespol Gets Paid, A Race Director Doesn’t Have to Die in Shame

The Week That Was in Running – November 19 – November 25, 2018

By LetsRun.com
November 28, 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.

If you missed our extensive coverage from our first trip to Ethiopia, including a trip to Haile Gebrselassie‘s palace, catch up now.

LRC LetsRun.com Goes to Ethiopia – 2018 Weldon Johnson provides the coverage.

Celliphine Chespol finally gets paid / King Ches dominates

Celliphine Chespol of Kenya wins the 2018 Manchester Road Race in her road racing debut in 24:33 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly) Celliphine Chespol of Kenya wins the 2018 Manchester Road Race in her road racing debut in 24:33 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

19-year-old Celliphine Chespol has accomplished an awful lot in her young career — world youth gold in 2015, world junior gold in 2016 and 2018, an 8:58 steeple win at the Pre Classic at age 18 in 2017, a sixth-place showing at Worlds in 2017, Commonwealth and African Champs silver in 2018, etc. — but last week when she won the historic 82nd Manchester Road Race in Connecticut, she accomplished something she’d never done before (besides win a road race, as this was her debut).


She won $7,000 in a single race — the most of her career.

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We know that seems hard to believe for someone as accomplished as Chespol, but it’s true. Prior to Thursday, the highest official payout of her career was just $6,000.

Chespol’s amazing 8:58 win at Pre (when she came to a complete stop for 2.5 seconds with under 600 to go to put her shoe back on) wasn’t an official Diamond League event, so there was no official prize payout (she may have received prize money, but it wasn’t made public). Twice this year, she was second at DL events but that only nets $6,000 — the same amount she earned for finishing 6th at Worlds last year.

So if you are wondering why one of the world’s brightest young stars is running a road race in the US at the end of November, the answer is simple. She’s earning more than she ever has before.

And don’t assume she’s making a lot from her endorsement contract. While a US athlete of Chespol’s age and accomplishments would easily be making six figures, media reports detailing a disagreement between Chespol and her management claim that she was allegedly only paid $5,000 by Nike one year.


Edward Cheserek of Kenya wins the 2018 Manchester Road Race in a course record 21:16 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly) Edward Cheserek of Kenya wins the 2018 Manchester Road Race in a course record 21:16 (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

The winner of the men’s race in Manchester was Edward Cheserek. Cheserek was sensational as he broke the course record of 21:19 by running 21:16, beating runner-up Paul Chelimo, the Olympic silver medallist at 5000, by 28 seconds.

Since Cheserek has basically missed the last two outdoor track seasons due to injury, we’re sure he’s motivated to have a big indoor season this winter like he did last winter when he ran 3:49 for the mile. He appears to be well on his way.

In that light, we’ve thought of the perfect way for Cheserek to end his winter season. How cool would it be if he signed up and competed at the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships? A messageboard poster recently noted that the IAAF is letting a limited number of amateurs run in the World Cross race this year. Since Cheserek is currently countryless (he wants to run for the US but is currently beholden to Kenya), it would be the perfect thing for him to do.

When the conversation of GOAT — greatest of all time — comes up, the reason why that conversation should arguably start and end with the words Kenenisa Bekele is because, in addition to his track and marathon exploits, he also was DOMINANT at World XC.

More: MB: 2019 IAAF world cross country OPEN TO ANYONE TO COMPETE IN!

RRW The King is Back! Edward Cheserek Destroys Paul Chelimo, Breaks Manchester Course Record On the women’s side, Celliphine Chespol won over Buze Diriba and Emily Sisson. *Hartford Courant article

55-Year-Old Jenny Hitchings is On Fire

Last week, at the 25th Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services’ Run to Feed the Hungry 10k, the winner of the women’s race was 55-year-old Jenny Hitchings. If a 55-year-old winning a road race with more than 500 female finishers isn’t impressive enough, we hope her time of 37:29 blows you away.

It should as it’s an American age-group record by nearly a minute. The previous American 10k record for the female 55-59 age group belonged to Joan Benoit Samuelson, who ran 38:20 in October 2014.

If that sounds good to be true and you are wondering if there was some sort of mistake, the answer is no. The Sacramento course is certified (CA10092RS) and record-eligible, and blowing away national records in the 55-59 age group is what Hitchings has been doing all year long.

In August, Hitchings shattered Shirley Matson‘s 5k record of 18:32, which had stood since 1997, by 27 seconds at the Susan B Anthony 5k in Sacramento, where she ran 18:05. In September, she destroyed another record that had stood for 20 years, running 61:20 for 10 miles at the Buffalo Stampede, also in Sacramento. That broke S. Rae Baymiller’s mark of 62:39 from 1998 by over a minute.

In October, Hitchings proved she’s mortal as she just missed the age 55-59 US marathon record of 2:52:14 (S. Rae Baymiller, 1998) when she ran 2:53:43 at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. Update: Hitchings has written in to say that she didn’t actually run Twin Cities this year. Not sure how we got that wrong. Hitchings emailed us the following about her October race results.

In October, I did run The Urban Cow Half Marathon in Sacramento and broke the Age Record of 1:23:09 (set in 1996 by Matson) in 1:21:18!  So 4 records in 4 months.  My last marathon was Mountains to Beach in May in which I was first female in 2:51:28 (I hadn’t turned 55 yet).  Either way, TC, M2B and CIM aren’t even record eligible courses, as they are point to point courses.  Guess I better find one!  

From doing a little research online, it appears that Hitchings runs six days a week and normally is in the low 60s in terms of miles per week but bumps it up to the upper 70s for marathon training. She is coached by 1996 US Olympic marathon trials champ Jenny Spangler.

More: Sac Bee: ‘I did it, by a lot’: Sacramento runner breaks national record for women’s 5K
*Hitchings Podcast on the Rambling Runner
*Article that talks about Hitchings training
*USATF Age 55-59 Records

Stat of the Week I / Shannon Rowbury makes us appreciate Gwen Jorgensen

145 days – amount of time that elapsed between Shannon Rowbury giving birth and her running a 16:44 5k at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot last Thursday.

178 days -amount of time between that elapsed between Gwen Jorgensen giving birth and her running a lifetime pb of 15:15 at 5000 at UW in February.

MB: On Thanksgiving,Shannon Rowbury will race for 1st time since giving birth. Predict her time.
MB: Gwen Jorgensen (15:15) second to E. Infield 5k indoor

Stat of the Week II / 6 Japanese pros = 1 Paula Radcliffe

2:15:22 winning time achieved by the six-woman Panasonic team at the 38th Japanese Corporate Women’s Ekiden Championships on Sunday, which is the classic marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers.

2:15:25 Paula Radcliffe‘s world record for the marathon.

More: Panasonic Wins National Corporate Women’s Ekiden for Real

Stat of the Week III / There is only one European woman in the top 50 marathoners this year

47 – place on the 2018 list of fastest marathoners where Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter finds herself after she ran a 2:24:17 national record to win the Asics Firenze Marathon in Florence, Italy, last week. The Kenyan-born Salpeter is the fastest European female marathoner of 2018 (although geographically, Israel isn’t in Europe).

With the 2018 marathon season almost over, we thought it would be worth mentioning that there are three non-African men and women in the top 25 list of fastest marathoners for 2018.

Fastest Non-African Marathoners of 2018

Mo Farah, Great Britain 2:05:11 (#13)
Suguru Osako, Japan (2:05:50, #17)
Galen Rupp, USA (2:06:07, #22)

Amy Cragg, USA (2:21:42, #19)
Mizuki Matsuda, Japan (2:22:23, #23)
Mimi Belete, Bahrain (2:22:29, #24)


Yes, the Valencia Half Marathon course was the proper distance / Nobody has to die of shame

You can view a high-resolution PDF version here You can view a high-resolution PDF version here

Last month, we shared with you a terrific quote from Juan Manuel Botella, race director of the Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP Half Marathon, after Abraham Kiptum ran 58:18 at his race to break Zersenay Tadese‘s world record.

“If in the IAAF remeasurement there is one meter less,” Botella told us, “we will ask for forgiveness one by one to the 13,800 runners who participated today and we will die of shame.”

Last week, we received an update from Botella. We’ll let him share it…

Good news for runners… and for my family, because there is not one meter less, not even an inch less at 21.0975 km, and -at least this year- I will not ‘die of shame’.

 All antidoping test are ok too.

Now, as always, IAAF is the competent institution to officially ratify the WR.

Happy Thanksgiving … with a little delay,

Juan Manuel Botella

Attached was the official IAAF measurement certificate, which we’ve posted above. We, too, are glad that Botella will not have to die of shame.

The female version of Yuki Kawauchi? / Talk about a tough double

Last Friday in Japan, Hiroko Yoshitomi won the Otawara Marathon in 2:37:22. Then two days later, she placed third in the Osaka Marathon in 2:34:39.

We have no idea why anyone would run two marathons over a weekend but we do know it’s at least the third marathon of the month for Yoshitomi as Tilastopaja reports that she won a marathon in Fukuoka on November 11 in 2:30:09.

Osaka was also at least the seventh marathon of the year for the 34-year-old Yoshitomi, who has two top-10 finishes at majors this year (6th in Tokyo in 2:30:16 PB, 9th in Boston in 2:48:29).

If you know more about Yoshitomi, email us and we’ll update this section.

Weekly Free Coaching Advice

Krause leading Worlds in Beijing Krause leading Worlds in Beijing

Often times, distance aficianados love to talk about running tactics. However, we’ve always believed tactics get far too much publicity. Fitness is key.

We aren’t the only ones who believe that. Last week, Germany’s Gesa Krause, the 2015 world championship bronze medallist in the steeplechase, said the following about tactics to RunBlogRun.

“I think you have to be clever in a championship race, of course, but you have to be fast in order to be at the forefront.”

Krause executed things perfectly in 2015 to snag a medal at Worlds, but now that there are a lot of women running 9:00 or faster in the steeple and her pb is “only” 9:11, she knows what she needs to do — get faster.

More: Gesa Krause, 2015 Worlds Medalist In Steeple, Knows She’s Got To Get A Lot Faster If She’s Ever Going To Medal Again

Revelation of the Week – Selemon Barega wasn’t going all-out when he ran 12:43.02

Last week, the IAAF caught up with 12:43 man Selemon Barega of Ethiopia and he blew us away with the following quote.

“On that last lap (in Brussels, where Barega eventually won the race in 12:43) I held back because I was waiting for Hagos [Gebrhiwet]’s challenge and I only fully accelerated once passing Yomif [Kejelcha]. I believe had I not waited for Hagos I could have run 12:39-12:40 that day.”


Quote of the Week (that wasn’t quote of the day)

“All those years you used to run and you used to be a bit embarrassed that you were a middle-distance or long-distance runner because it wasn’t really that cool – I think it always has been cool but it’s how the event can present how cool it is. I think that’s what I’m proud of.

“Obviously I’m proud of how we have helped push 10,000m running in the UK but, broadest of all, I am really proud of how everyone has come together to celebrate our sport.

“It has now become a real celebration of what we all do and what we all love.”

 Ben Pochee, race director for the Night of the 10,000m PBs, talking to Athletics Weekly about what he’s most proud of about the event.

More: Night of the 10,000m PBs has become a real celebration of our sport, says Ben Pochee

Recommended Reads

Each week in our “Recommended Reads” section, we share with you our favorite reads about running from the last week. The thing is, the reads don’t have to be from the last week; we just have to have learned about them last week. And last week, we came across an article from 2015 in the Ames Tribune that is definitely worth a read:

Cross Country: The never ending nightmare of the ISU cross country plane crash of 30 years ago 6 team members of the 1985 NCAA XC runner-up team from Iowa State didn’t make it home alive from the meet.
*MB: History lesson: The last time NCAA xc was in Wisconsin. 6 team members from runner-up Iowa St. didn’t make it home alive

Related: New Memorial To Be Unveiled To Honor The 6 Iowa State XC Team Members Who Were Kiilled Returning From NCAAs In 1985

Other Nice Reads From Last Week

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

Quotes Of The Day And Last Week’s Home Pages

To see the 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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