WTW: Woody Kincaid Runs The Equivalent of 26:29, McColgan and Monson Get Their Records & Tokyo Was Great But…
The Week That Was in Running, February 27 – March 5, 2023
By Robert Johnson
March 6, 2023
Each week, we try to make the sport more fun to follow by putting the prior week’s action in perspective for you. We also record a kick-ass podcast every Tuesday: LetsRun.com’s Track Talk.
2023 Tokyo Marathon By The Numbers
71 – number of men on sub-2:10 pace through 20k in Tokyo on Sunday. 20 of them would hold on and do it with nine of them being Japanese.
42 – number of Japanese men who have broken 2:10 this year. 30 Americans have done it — ever.
42 – place that Japan’s Chihiro Miyawaki finished in Tokyo (2:13:27). The 2:08 marathoner Miyawaki had declared before Tokyo that he would retire if he didn’t qualify for the Marathon Grand Championships (Japan’s Olympic Trials).
He has lived up to that promise and walked away from the sport, saying “I’m confident that I’ve done everything I can…My dreams and goals didn’t come true, but I had a happy, competitive life thanks to the support of many people.”
20 years, 10 months, and 18 days – amount of time that Khalid Khannouchi‘s 2:05:38 stood as the North American marathon record until Canada’s Cam Levins ran 2:05:36 in Tokyo. When Khannouchi ran his 2:05:38 in London in 2002 it was the world record. Now it’s the 273rd-fastest marathon ever run — but still the American record.
18 – number of Japanese men who have broken 2:08 this year, including four in Tokyo. Only five Americans have ever done it.
8 – place on the all-time US list where Betsy Saina now sits after she ran 2:21:40 to place 5th in Tokyo in her first marathon as an American. Saina is now the 3rd-fastest American during the 2024 Olympic Trials qualifying window.
Fastest US Marathons Since 2022
1 2:18:29 Emily Sisson 2022 Chicago
2 2:19:12 Keira D’Amato 2022 Houston
3 2:21:40 Betsy Saina 2023 Tokyo
4 2:22:10 Sara Hall 2022 Worlds Eugene
5 2:23:18 Emma Bates 2022 Worlds Eugene
3 – number of men involved in the sprint finish over the final 200 meters in Tokyo. After a drift to the outside, Ethiopia’s Deso Gelmisa was your winner in 2:05:22.
Sprint Finish In The Men's Race At The 2023 Tokyo Marathon! pic.twitter.com/ld2FKIek1j— FloTrack (@FloTrack) March 5, 2023
2 – number of women who broke 2:17 in Tokyo. Race winner Rosemary Wanjiru, who has been based in Japan since high school, broke into tears after running 2:16:28, the 2nd fastest time ever recorded in Japan (Brigid Kosgei ran 2:16:02 last year), in her second career marathon.
- LRC Rosemary Wanjiru (2:16:28) & Deso Gelmisa (2:05:22) Win 2023 Tokyo Marathon as Cam Levins (2:05:36) Breaks N. American Record
- MB: Official 2023 Tokyo Marathon Discussion Thread / Cam Levins Tokyo Marathon prediction thread
- MB: Cam MF Levins
Tokyo was great but….
In recent years, I’ve started to really look forward to the Tokyo Marathon. Why? Well in addition to being the first “major” of the year, it’s also the lone big marathon of the year that can be watched in prime time in the US. It’s nice to be able to watch it with a beer in hand.
It’s just a shame that Abbott World Marathon Major broadcasts continually come up short in the quality department. In Chicago last fall, Emily Sisson was setting an American record but viewers hardly knew it as there was no dedicated camera on her and not even an on-screen clock when she turned for home.
In Tokyo, it was the opposite. Six men entered the final mile together. Guess how much of the final mile battle for the win was shown to the worldwide audience? 60 seconds. Yes, that’s right. Now thankfully the worldwide feed on Flotrack didn’t go to commercial or show any wheelchair interviews during the key part of the race. Instead, the broadcast feed was glued to the top Japanese man. As a result, viewers only saw the final 42 seconds of the battle for the win (plus 18 more seconds 95 seconds before the finish).
I’m convinced that most of the race directors don’t watch their own broadcasts. Either that or they aren’t sports fans and have no idea what makes for a good sports broadcast as I’ve been writing columns about the TV presentation for nearly 10 years now.
Related: 2014: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly From Last Year’s New York City Marathon Broadcast on ESPN2 2021: The 2021 New York City Marathon ESPN2 Broadcast Was Very Frustrating To Watch At Times — 5 Ideas To Improve All Marathon Broadcasts
Fast 10,000 Times at The TEN / British & American Records Fall
The women’s 10,000 results led the way at The TEN, held late Saturday night at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Eilish McColgan ran 30:00.87 to break Paula Radcliffe’s 30:01.09 British record which had stood since 2002 while Alicia Monson was justly rewarded for doing all the leading after the rabbit dropped out, breaking Molly Huddle‘s 30:13.17 American record with a 30:03.82.
Those were the only two women under the 30:40.00 World and Olympic standard. Elly Henes (30:48.26) and Natosha Rogers (30:48.69) came close, but close may not cut it on the women’s side in 2023. Twenty women have already hit the standard and eight more will go from their cross country rankings so that leaves no spots for anyone based off of 10,000 rankings as the desired field size is 27.
Now, if two or more with the standard opt out of Worlds, then 10,000 world ranking will play a role. Rogers is the #2 ranked runner in the world without the standard and the #1 person is marathoner Lonah Salpeter.
Three Americans now have the standard: Monson, Elise Cranny and Karissa Schweizer.
Kincaid and Klecker Don’t Get Olympic Standard But Are Halfway Home To Paris Anyway
In the men’s 10,000 at The TEN, we saw a re-run of the indoor 5000 from a few weeks ago at BU. Once the rabbits dropped out, the OAC’s Joe Klecker pushed the pace but was unable to drop Woody Kincaid. In the end, Kincaid (27:06.37) and Klecker (27:07.57) both got the Worlds standard of 27:10.00 but not the quicker 27:00.00 Olympic standard.
While Kincaid and Klecker didn’t get the Olympic standard, they did earn a ton of world ranking points that may get them to Paris anyway. In fact, Kincaid earned almost as many points as when Grant Fisher won The TEN last year in an American record of 26:33.84. That performance earned Fisher 1278 points — 1268 points for the 26:33.84 time and 10 points for the win as the meet was World Athletics Category F. This year, however, meet director Jesse Williams got WA to upgrade the meet to level B (the equivalent of USAs or NCAAs) and the winner got 60 bonus points (2nd got 50, 3rd 45, 4th 40…). Williams explained via text how he got the meet upgraded:
We applied last minute last year because we didn’t think it qualified for points as a one event Meet. After talking to WA we were able to get them to look at this Meet a little more like they’d look at a road race. There aren’t many 10k opportunities and this was the fastest in the world last year so we were upgraded.
At the level Kincaid is running, 10 points is worth between 6-7 seconds in a 10,000. So his 27:06.37 win earned him 1276 points (1216 for the time and 60 bonus points), and was equal to a 26:29.51 without bonus points.
Unlike the women’s side, it’s fairly likely that men will go to both Worlds and the Olympics in the 10,000 based off of their track 10,000 ranking. Right now, when you limit entries to three per country, only 15 entrants have met the 27:10 standard (and only seven have the 27:00 Olympic standard). Eight more will go off cross country ranking. That’s 23. One more can go as the Oceania champion, but will Australia really send a 28:59 guy? And then three or four will go off of world ranking, potentially more if people decline their spots.
If Kincaid and/or Klecker put up another similar performance between now and the end of the Paris qualifying window (June 30, 2024), they’ll almost certainly go to the Games assuming they do well at the Trials.
Right now, three people in the US have the Worlds standard (Fisher, Kincaid, and Klecker) and Sean McGorty has enough points to go to Worlds if he’s top three at USAs.
Hillary Bor and Emily Sisson Win US 15k Titles
Not every US distance runner was worried about Olympic/Worlds standards last week. Many were in Jacksonville trying to get rich at the US 15k champs, which as always were hosted by the Gate River Run.
The big winner was Hillary Bor, who overcame the disappointment of his 8th place showing at the US XC champs in January to blow away the men’s field and win by 40 seconds in 43:11. Finishing 2nd for the second straight week at a US road champs was Leonard Korir (he was 2nd as the US Half champs last weekend in Ft. Worth). Bor picked up $17,000, as he got $12,000 for the win and $5,000 for winning the battle of the sexes challenge. The women started five minutes ahead, but Bor ran 5:15 faster than women’s champ Emily Sisson.
Sisson ran 48:26 and won the women’s race by 98 seconds over the Altanta Track Club’s Emma Grace Hurley, who ran collegiately for Furman. Sisson’s time of 48:26 was 58 seconds slower than what she ran last year, but times across the board were slower due to the warm conditions. For example, last year 100th place ran 69:00 for the women and this year they ran 70:26.
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Addy Wiley Wins 5 Events At NAIA Champs
At the NAIA Champs in Brookings, S.D., last week, Addy Wiley, who broke the US high school 1600 record last year (4:26.16) and was 5th at World Juniors in the 1500, won five different events. Wiley, who competes for Huntington University in Huntington, Ind., ran 10 races over three days, winning the 600m (1:29.47), 800m (2:10.93), mile (4:48.04), and 3000m (9:47.57). Plus she anchored her team’s winning DMR squad (11:46.74). (There were prelims in every race).
On the final day, she was quite busy. Here’s what her schedule looked like:
12:25 p.m. – Mile final
1:25 p.m. – 600 final
2:10 p.m. – 800 final
2:45 p.m. – 3000 final
4:20 p.m. – DMR final
Thus she played a role in 50 of Huntington’s 64 points, which got them runner-up honors to Indiana Tech’s 85.
A lot of people can’t get excited about Wiley’s accomplishments because she is at Huntington, which is currently in the midst of one the biggest scandals in the history of track.
If you don’t know the story, Wiley, a Huntington native, initially committed to run for Colorado this year but de-committed in August to run for Huntington. At the time, Huntington was coached by Lauren Johnson, who also helped coach and pace Wiley as a high schooler. Lauren Johnson is the wife of Nick Johnson, who has been banned from the sport after having sex with multiple athletes he coached, being accused of rape and PED distribution, and being convicted of felony identity deception, so he could take a teenage girl on a trip to Oregon. Lauren Johnson was placed on leave by Huntington in October after David Woods‘ story in the Indianapolis Star revealed many of Nick Johnson’s misdeeds.
- Super Spikes? Raised Expectations? A Look At How The NCAA & American Distance Running Record Books Have Been Rewritten in Just 4 Years Are all the fast times merely a product of supershoes? Or is it something more? We spoke to coaches Dathan Ritzenhein, Jason Vigilante and Dave Smith to figure it out.
- Eilish McColgan (30:00.87) and Alicia Monson (30:03.82) Break National Records At The TEN
- Rosemary Wanjiru & Deso Gelmisa Win 2023 Tokyo Marathon as Cam Levins (2:05:36) Smashes Canadian Record
To see our favorite reads from other weeks, go here.
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