The Week That Was in Running, September 16 – 22, 2019
September 24, 2019
This week’s weekly recap is short and to the point as not a whole lot happened last week and we have to get ready for Worlds, which start on Friday. We’ve already started pumping out previews and will be on-site in Doha starting Thursday with wall-to-wall coverage. Check out all of our 2019 Worlds coverage here: LRC 2019 World Championships special section.
Northern Arizona University Reloads And Doesn’t Miss A Beat
Last week, we presented our Top 10 NCAA XC countdown and then a day later the #1 and #2 teams in our men’s rankings — Northern Arizona and Stanford — faced each other in Terre Haute, the site of this year’s championship.
At the conclusion of the 8k race, the results were NAU 31, Stanford 51. NAU, which has won the last three NCAA titles, definitely has to be considered the favorite to win its fourth straight, and that’s despite losing their top two from last year’s title team and three of their top five.
While the score wasn’t close, the good news for Stanford was as follows:
- Thomas Ratcliffe, their star runner who was 3rd in the NCAA 5000 last spring and who ran 4:01 in HS as a part-time runner, is healthy and finished second overall.
- Their 5-man average of 24:07 was only 10 seconds off of NAU’s at 24:17, and that didn’t include NCAA steeple champ Steven Fahy, who had a lot of trouble late in the race and staggered home as their 7th man.
- Some other potential scorers for Stanford either didn’t run or didn’t score, including Michael Vernau (75th returner/14:02/29:06) and Connor Lane (13:42 pb) who were both listed as DNF, and NXN champ Liam Anderson, who didn’t start the race.
The bad news for Stanford and the rest of the NCAA:
- Even if you put Fahy up ahead of Ratcliffe as Stanford’s #1 man, they still would have lost to NAU 36 to 41.
- NAU held out two of its All-Americans from last year NCAA title team in Blaise Ferro (12th returner from NCAA last year/ 13:50/28:22) and Geordie Beamish (#22 returner, NCAA mile champ).
- The class years of NAU’s scoring five at Indiana State: junior, freshman, freshman, freshman, sophomore. With youth like that, if they win their fourth straight this year, the streak could easily go to five or six. No team has ever won more than four in a row, which was accomplished by both UTEP (1978-81) and Arkansas (1990-93).
The Fourth Time Is A Charm
It’s not easy being a marathoner in 2019, when there is so much talent running the 26.2-mile distance.
Prior to Sunday, Kenya’s Evans Chebet had run 2:05 three times but never crossed the line first in a marathon. That changed on Sunday as he ran 2:05:00 to win the Buenos Aires Marathon to break the South American all-comers record. Unheralded Reuben Kiprop Kipyego got second in 2:05:18.
In the women’s race, Kenyan Rodah Jepkorir Tanui won in a course record and pb of 2:25:46.
Can we amend what we wrote in the previous section? We guess it’s just not easy being a road racer in 2019. At the Dam tot Damloop 10-miler in the Netherlands, 21-year-old Kenyan Evaline Chirchir won just the second road race of her career by clocking 50:32 — just one second off of Ingrid Kristiansen‘s course record, which has stood since 1987. Chirchir has pbs of 15:09 (split in a 10k), 30:43 (road), and 66:22 and yet she’s won just two races since first showing up in our results database in 2016.
Solomon Berihu of Ethiopia, who ran 13:02 and 27:02 this year in two different races in Hengelo, won the men’s race in 45:51.
The 2-Hour Barrier Isn’t Broken, But It Easily Could Be
While an official half marathon split was never given out for Eliud Kipchoge in his 2017 Breaking2 event, he definitely entered last weekend holding the world record for fastest split in a 26.2-mile race as it was right around 1 hour.
That record was smashed last weekend at the World’s Fastest Marathon in Spain. In the first edition of the race, which features a massive 6,506-foot elevation drop, Kenyan’s Anthony Karinga Maina ran the first half in 59:30 but slowed dramatically in the second half to 70:08 to win in 2:09:38. Not bad for a guy who has a marathon pb of 2:22:38.
Earlier in the year, we said the two-hour barrier could be broken if some 2:06 types tried it on a downhill course and think this result confirms it.
Antony Karinga Maina at half way point… pic.twitter.com/8sH2ioqNhL
— Sub2hrsmarathon (@Sub2hrs) September 22, 2019
Here’s a promotional video for the course, which must destroy your quads.
Eliud Kipchoge‘s second sub-2 hour attempt on a flat course — but with illegal assistance — is scheduled to take place on October 12 in Vienna.
Sub-2:00 marathon effort down a mountain ends with a 2:09 by race winner Anthony Karinga after coming through halfway in 59:30. https://t.co/n7ApBWq6p3
— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) September 22, 2019
Stat of the Week
50,000 – total number of tickets sold for the entire 10-day IAAF World Championships, which start on Friday in Doha, according to Sean Ingle of The Guardian (just to be clear, that’s 5,000 per day). Ingle reports that workers are already “blanking off the top section of the 40,000” seat stadium to make it look good on TV and that “migrant workers and children will be bused in to stop the stadium appearing more than half-empty on TV.”
- Dina Asher-Smith raves about her coach who has coached her since she was 8 “Sprinting is a mental game. And John is excellent at that. I am fortunate for his experience and emotional intelligence.”
*Dina Asher-Smith’s parents go to every meet she runs Already this year, they’ve been to Qatar, California, Sweden, Switzerland and Belgium.
- Mark English Calls For Transparency After Omission From Worlds “We don’t know anything and that’s the problem with this whole system. It’s not clear enough, it’s not transparent enough and there’s just way too much ambiguity. It’s really frustrating. I think the unqualified athletes should be limited to six per event (there were eight in the 800m) so then if you’re [ranked] 40th, you at least know there’s a good chance you’ll be going. But there could be 15 of those athletes or two and there’s no way of knowing. You’re left in limbo and it’s a big inconvenience for anyone on the borderline. The IAAF had all the information of those unqualified athletes since August 26 and they didn’t decide to share it with anyone so I was left waiting to hear about my fate. You can’t plan anything.”
*MB: Nick Willis isn’t only one being screwed over by the IAAF and slow runners – Mark English also won’t be going to World
- 2:05 Marathon Man Sondre Nordstad Moen Writes About His Love And The Loneliness Of Long-Distance Running Moen also goes into some interesting specifics on his training and progression as a distance runner. “This sport can be lonely, but that’s not always a bad thing. Don’t get me wrong: when I’m training at altitude in Sestriere, Italy, barely speaking to anyone but my coach for months on end, you do question yourself just a little.”
- DyeStat Profile On Pole Vaulter Daylis Caballero Vega Who Talks About Her Journey From Cuban Defector To US Citizen Caballero Vega was part of the Cuban 2012 Olympic team, but defected at the 2013 Drake Relays. She competed for Team USA for the first time earlier this month at The Match.
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.