The Week That Was in Running, July 1 – 7, 2019
By Robert Johnson
July 9, 2019
If you missed our coverage of the Lausanne Diamond League or Peachtree Road Race, catch up now:
- LRC 2019 Lausanne DL Recap: Gebrhiwet Miscounts His Laps, Cheruiyot Runs 3:28 And SAFP Runs 10.74
- LRC Bernard Lagat Runs 2:12:10 Marathon At Age 44 To Break US Masters Record
Speaking of Lausanne, only truly astute fans likely realized that reigning world 5,000 champ Muktar Edris of Ethiopia competed there. He was just 18th in 13:29.53. In his only other DL showing this year, he was just 11th in Oslo in the 3000 in 7:45.35.
That got me wondering. As the defending champ, Edris is eligible for an automatic entry into Worlds, but the Diamond League champion can also be given an auto entry and the DL champion in 2019 will likely be Ethiopian. Four of the five fastest men in the world this year over 5,000 are Ethiopian, and none of those four is named Yomif Kejelcha, who won in Lausanne. However, a country can only enter four athletes total. If I was in charge of picking the Ethiopian team, I’d hand the extra entry to the DL champion and leave Edris at home unless his fortunes change dramatically in the next few weeks.
More Proof That Life Isn’t Fair / Brigid Kosgei Wins $58,000
$58,000 – amount of prize money that Brigid Kosgei won for winning the 2019 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race.
$2,500 – amount of prize money that Agnes Tirop ran for running 30:22 for 10K — the same time as Kosgei — but placing 2nd at Peachtree.
Kosgei picked up $8,000 for the win and $50,000 for beating Lornah Kiplagat‘s 30:32 course record from 2002. Tirop earned less than 5% of that amount despite running a time that only one other woman had bettered in 2019 before Peachtree.
In the end, the final 1.2 miles were very lucrative for Kosgei, the reigning London and Chicago marathon champ. At 5 miles (24:44), the leading trio of women were on 30:44 pace and needed to run the final 1.2 at 4:45.9/mile pace (they had been averaging 4:56.8 pace). Kosgei had more than enough in the tank as she averaged 4.38.5 pace all the way home.
Now the race does pay some modest appearance fees, so thankfully Tirop made a little more than $2,500 for such a good run.
In the men’s race, the $58,000 went to Rhonex Kipruto, who edged Joseph Kimani‘s 27:04 course record from 1996 by three seconds.
Peachtree flew out LRC’s Steve Soprano to help celebrate its 50th anniversary and you can read more about it here: Brigid Kosgei (30:22) and Rhonex Kipruto (27:01) Break Course Records And Win $50,000 Bonuses At 50th Peachtree Road Race
Stat of the Week I
0 – amount of prize money that Bernard Lagat won for running 2:12:10 to place 7th at the Gold Coast Marathon on Sunday, breaking Meb Keflezighi‘s US masters record of 2:12:20 in the process.
Bernard Lagat Should Punch His Ticket To Tokyo If He’s Top 3 At The US Olympic Marathon Trials
Don’t feel too bad for Bernard Lagat. We imagine Lagat got paid some way for his run in Australia through some combination of appearance fee and/or shoe contract bonus for breaking the US masters mark.
And even if he didn’t get paid, Lagat set himself up nicely to make another Olympic team if he can finish top 3 at the US Olympic Marathon Trials. While we don’t know if anyone in the men’s race at the Trials that finishes top 3 will automatically make it to Tokyo 2020, we do know that Lagat now has a world ranking high enough that if he’s top 3 at the Trials, he’ll qualify for Tokyo 2020. That, of course, is assuming that USATF selects Lagat if he’s in position to earn a bid from the IAAF (as opposed to requiring everyone to have a 2:11:30 standard). The good news is, USATF does seem to be leaning in that direction — though given its track record, we’re not going to celebrate just yet.
Prior to last weekend, Lagat was ranked just 543rd in the world in the marathon. However, a 2:12:10 is worth 1123 points on the IAAF scoring table and 7th place in a Gold Label marathon is worth 40 bonus points, so Lagat gets credit for 1163 points (which is equivalent to a 2:09:56). Average that with the 1110 points Lagat got for running 62:00 at the 2018 Houston Half and Lagat would have 1136.5 points, which would rank him around 312th in the current rankings.
According to TokyoRankings.com, a site that uses the IAAF’s World Rankings to track which athletes are in line for selection for the 2020 Olympics, any American man ranked in the top 400 in the world right now would be in position to earn an invitation from the IAAF, which will use the World Rankings to fill the 80-man Olympic marathon field after accounting for athletes with the auto standard.
Stat of the Week II
70 – number of days between the Gold Coast Marathon and the Japanese Marathon Grand Championship — the race that will serve as the Japanese Olympic trials for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We point that out as Gold Coast was won by former Japanese record holder Yuta Shitara in an Australian all-comers’ record of 2:07:50. Shitara said he ran the race mostly as a training run — though it was the second-fastest marathon of his career.
According to Brett Larner, Shitara plans to run a 10,000-meter race in two weeks and then start training for the trials with his identical twin brother Keita (his brother didn’t qualify for the trials).
As an identical twin that was much slower than my brother, I must admit I loved Yuta’s quote about his future plans.
“We’re going to win this together, the two of us. At the MGC Race nobody’s going to be able to say our training was a waste…I’ve got nothing but confidence that I’m going to win. Even if we ran it right now I’d win.”
More: JRN: Shitara a Day After 2:07:50 Gold Coast Win: “Even If We Ran the Trials Right Now I’d Win”
JRN: Shitara Rocks Fastest-Ever Marathon in Australia Two Months Out From Olympic Trials
*MB:Crazy or Studly? Shitara ran Gold Coast as a TRAINING run for Olympic Trials in 2 months. Says he’ll also do 10k in 15 days
Stat of the Week III
1 – number of birth certificates and passports posted publicly online last week by Benfica, the club of Kenya’s Edward Zakayo, who has run 13:03 this year at an official age of 17. Zakayo was trying to shut down critics who think he looks way older than 17. The only problem with the plan is the birth certificate was issued on March 17, 2016 — when he was purportedly 14 — so we doubt the documents will silence the critics.
Age cheating has certainly been an issue over the years, but relying solely on looks is dicey as some teenagers look quite old. The problem is, a couple of years can make a huge difference. Take a look at the following three photos: Eliud Kipchoge at (allegedly) 18, Alan Webb at 18, and Zakayo at (allegedly) 16.
Stat of the Week IV
505 – number of days that have passed since USATF put Vin Lananna on temporary administrative leave.
More: Ken Goe: Maybe it’s time for different leadership at USA Track & Field: Oregon track & field rundown
*Ken Goe: Board of Directors’ motives questioned as Vin Lananna bids to regain his presidency of USA Track & Field
Stat of the Week V/What’s An Olympic Gold Medal Worth?
€500,000/$650,000 – asking price that Papa Diack allegedly said he needed to be paid to take care of the biological passport problems that ultimately led to 2012 Olympic 1500 champ Aslı Çakır Alptekin being stripped of her title and banned from the sport. The information comes from a new report by ARD in Germany.
More: According To A Report Published By French Prosecutors (And Seen By ARD), A Number Of British Athletes (Including A Gold Medalist) May Have Avoided Doping Bans Under Lamine Diack Allegedly an email contained a list of athletes whose blood passports showed clear signs of doping violations. *ARD Video Report
*MB: British gold medalist & ‘sports icon’ implicated in blood doping at 2012 Olympics “
*LRC Archives: 2012: Only Letsrun asks Alptekin about doing after she won Olympic gold
Quotes of the Week That Weren’t Quote Of The Day
#1 That’s A Big If…..
“Over these past few years, Kamworor has become the biggest name in the world of running, if we leave the marathon distance out of account. His achievements speak for themselves. The only thing missing on his résumé now is probably a world record. Therefore we are very excited that he has announced that he will be coming to Copenhagen to achievement a fast time.”
–Henrik Paulsen, director of Sports at Sparta, the club that organizes the Copenhagen Half Marathon, talking about how Geoffrey Kamworor will be running this year’s race.
#2 Chris O’Hare on what it’s like trying to do mile repeats while his baby son slept on the infield
“Yes, being a dad is hard and being a dad as an athlete is hard, but that shouldn’t take anything away from what mums do.
“For a dad, for instance, when I think about women runners who come back from having children, I never had to sit out any time from my running. Yes, it made it inconvenient, slightly more difficult, but if I was motivated to do it, it was doable.
“My preparation in 2017 was more difficult than most other western world athletes, but my difficulties – they weren’t struggles – my hurdles to overcome were nothing compared to what female athletes, and even women who are not athletes, have to go through in bringing up children.”
#3 Allie O and Karisa Nelson Find A Home
“Welcoming Allie and Karisa to the team is a big moment for the Beasts. Adding the two collegiate champions to our roster demonstrates the team’s growth as well as our continued investment into this part of our sport.”
-Brooks Sports Marketing Manager Steve DeKoker, talking after the Brooks Beasts signed NCAA champions Allie Ostrander and Karisa Nelson to contracts.
As myself and Employee 1.1 at LetsRun.com are fairly new dads, I’ve noticed we’ve been highlighting a lot more articles on how elites balance being a parent with running. I can’t imagine being a pro without full-time childcare help, but somehow Chris O’Hare made it work. Thus I loved this article:
GB Miler Chris O’Hare Talks About The Difficulty Of Balancing Pro Running With Being A Hands-On Dad O’Hare’s wife works full time, so he’s had to go to get creative to get his training in, at times running all his runs on the treadmill and even once getting some help from a friendly janitor at the Harvard indoor track.
Paul Chelimo also spoke to SPIKES about becoming a father in January.
Paul Chelimo Talks About How Hard It Is To Balance Being A New Father And Elite Distance Runner He picked up a hip injury from holding his daughter and had to take Mondays off as he had baby duties while his wife was in school. But after bombing in his first two races, he decided to focus solely on running by going to Kenya for a month and he got A LOT better.
And a non-fatherhood-related story on Seb Coe‘s record-breaking summer of 1979.
Athletics Weekly: A Look Back At When Seb Coe Set Three World Records In 41 Days It was 40 years ago in the summer of 1979 when Coe set WRs at 800m (1:42.33), 1,500m (3:32.03) and the mile (3:48.95).
To see our favorite reads from other weeks, go here.
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