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Month: March 2017

March 31, 2017

Someone please break the hour run American Record

The hour run American Record is the softest of records. We implore any able bodied athlete to please, please break this record.

March 31, 2017

The Unbreakables for 2017: American records that will hold up this year

FloJo, Michael Johnson, Bernard Lagat and Galen Rupp should have no problem holding onto their respective American records in 2017.

March 30, 2017

The sad reality behind this tweet on the dirty women’s 1,500m final in London

The list of women who raced in the 2012 Olympic 1,500 meter final who have never been implicated in a doping scheme is getting pretty short

March 30, 2017

Former Eastern Michigan runner Erik Reichenbach takes us through his ‘Survivor’ experience

In the last couple weeks, I’ve gone public with my hopes of one day going on the show “Survivor.” I’ve watched maybe 475 of the 504 episodes that have aired and at 23 years old with some relative fitness at the moment, I believe I’m ready. I had the pleasure recently of picking the brain of a former collegiate runner that has lived out one of my dreams twice.

Erik Reichenbach ran for Eastern Michigan from 2006 to 2009 and his bio on the Eagles’ website boasts that he “was a competitor on the reality-television show Survivor: Micronesia-Fans vs. Favorites.” He broke 50 seconds for the 400 in high school and then focused on middle distance in college and set a 1:52.89 personal best for 800 meters in his freshman year. He made his debut in Season 16 of the show and as he mentions in our interview, running after being on an island for 39 days is not easy to come back from.

Reichenbach was voted off in grand fashion. He handed his individual immunity to another person and was blindsided in the vote. He finished fifth overall. He returned 10 seasons later for the second installment of Fans vs. Favorites and made it to the top five again. He was in position to possibly go for the win but fell ill after a tribal council and doctors said his blood pressure was too low. Reichenbach was medically evacuated and finished fifth again.

Good news is that he’s doing great now. Reichenbach draws up cartoons for People Magazine’s recaps written by a fellow Survivor contestant and he’s happily married now. I caught up with him to discuss some of his running ties and also to see if he can maybe help me pull some strings to get on the show.


Chris Chavez: So the first time that you went on “Survivor” was Season 16 and you were still in college. How did you manage to take time away from the team to go on the show?
erik reichenbach

Erik Reichenbach: When I first applied in 2006, I put in the application and it was pretty quick and painless. I didn’t think anything of it. I really didn’t think that I had a shot. Then, they called me back two or three months later and they said that they finally got around to seeing my video. They were excited but I had to apply for the next season. I went ahead and made another video while I was training over the summer for the upcoming cross country season. It was easy to do since I was back home and away from school. By the time that classes started, I was so far along in the process that I kind of knew I was headed out. I talked to my coach at the time and told him that it was lined up and could be a good opportunity.

I was a junior going into my senior year, I think. I hadn’t accomplished as much as I would’ve liked to in the sport because it’s really competitive at Eastern. It was different to make the record board. I was in my high school record board for a few distances but to make it at Eastern, you had to be Olympic caliber. We’ve had a few Olympians come through and put up some times that were crazy. My career was in a flux at the time and my coach said that if I needed time away for a bit, this could be good PR for the university. I had his blessing and it turned out to workout. It lined up with me getting burnt out and it happened at a good time.

CC: Technically it’s 39 days on the island for the show, if you go the distance. But how long did the shoot take and did you go back to running after show?

ER: There’s a week and half before the show for travel and press stuff. After I came back, my weight was terrible. It’s a combination of things. I was preparing to run really fast and long distances while I was out there. That helped in terms of having great cardio but the islands are so small that there’s not much to run. There’s lots to swim but not to run. Following the show, my legs muscles were kind of destroyed because all I was doing was walking, swimming and sitting. You also have poor nutrition and getting in as much to build muscle. You’re just eating for nourishment. I basically had to start over with my running and actually I gained a lot of weight. Following the re-entry into society, you eat a lot of saturated fats and processed foods. My body was gaining weight fast. The heaviest I’ve ever been was the week after Survivor wrapped up because you’re introduced to all these terrible foods. On top of that, I had no muscle.

CC: That’s why everyone looks chunkier at the reunion show for the finale!

ER: That’s why everyone looks different. The second time was a lot worse than the first time. The second time I went on the show, I was prepared for that. The first time, it was awful. I broke out and had a lot of bad physical reactions with a re-introduction into society.

CC: What’s the extent of your running career ? How far did you want to take it and how much do you do now?

ER: Now, I run on my own for pleasure or to calm my nerves if I’m stressed out. In college, I was a mid-distance guy. We had a couple guys who were running 100 miles a week consistently and I thought that was a bit much. I was lighter on the mileage. The most I ever ran in one training run, I did a 22-miler once. Bare minimum, I was running at least five miles a day.

CC: Maybe like 70-80 miles a week?

ER: That’s probably right. They wanted me higher but that’s accurate.

CC: How does Survivor even out the playing field between athletes and non-athletes. Some people go into it with the illusion that someone like Brad Culpepper, who was a former defensive tackle in the NFL, is going to dominate physically in challenges. Then you have someone like Cirie, who is a self-proclaimed couch potato, and she could beat him at challenges. What is it about the game?

ER: It’s pretty strange and it’s something you notice when you come from a background in sports. Something that I noticed right away was that in sports, you’re used to a process of exerting energy, recovering and refueling. With Survivor, you don’t have that recovery and refueling period, which really takes a toll on people. You work hard. You play hard. You rest and regain that. A lot of times, people with a lot of muscle mass end up hurting themselves because they have to feed all those muscles and over time that can get tiring. Some of the bigger guys develop, what I call “angry dad syndrome.” That’s when you’re about three days in without food and you get really grumpy. Your social game takes a dive because you’re so malnourished and your brain isn’t processing things as it should. People don’t think about that. That’s where people like Cirie benefit.

CC: How much attention did you pay to the pro and Olympic scene in track?

ER: When I was in college, the Olympics were pretty close in our circle. We had Boaz Cheboiywo and he had just finished up at Eastern when I got there. He was working with coach John Goodridge. It was very real that we had to have an Olympian from our group because of Eastern’s legacy and what we have there. A lot of people don’t realize that from Eastern because we’re in the shadow of Michigan, which is just down the street in Ann Arbor. We recently had Eric Alejandro hurdle for Puerto Rico in the Rio Olympics. They always talk about tradition. They have this past and there’s a lot of literature about it. Going to Eastern, I thought about one day maybe running in the Olympics and how I’d like to do that. There’s a big difference between wishing to do it and actually doing it.

CC: So were you ever one of the guys who would hop on LetsRun and obsess over the sport?

ER: I was turned off from LetsRun from what I saw from some of my teammates on it. It just seemed like there was a lot of trolling and frustration. It was funny to hear their stories and what would be on there. For a long time in college, I actually didn’t do anything online. I didn’t have social media. I didn’t have a smartphone until about two or theee years ago. I was really off-line for most of my life.

CC: But now there’s a ton of information out there and an easier way to connect with the audience through social media. Back when it was Survivor All-Stars, there were no message boards or online communities, Without the internet, we would have never known that Rupert from Survivor: All-Stars once ran for Indiana governor against our current vice president Mike Pence. I see you’re doing some online work weekly with comic recaps of episodes.

ER: I’ve talked to Stephen Fisbach (Survivor: Tocantins and Survivor: Cambodia) because he’s got a blog for People. I knew him from different Survivor charity events that different cast members go to. I went out to New York once and he lives in Rhode Island. He does the blog for fun. I do comics. It made sense to team up with him. It’s interesting how powerful the Survivor community is and have been able to keep it alive for so long. Every year, you hear people that don’t watch the show say ‘This is still on TV? I can’t believe it.’ and then there’s a camp that says ‘Of course this is on TV! This is a really great show!’ There’s a fanbase that says, “This is like an American sport because it involves social interaction, sportsmanship and other factors. It’s got fantasy leagues tied into it as well.’

CC: Could an Ashton Eaton or Nick Symmonds do fairly well on Survivor?

ER: I think any runner is in a position to do really well. That’s from the cardio and physical aspect. It takes a lot of gauging your time. Everyone who goes into survivor thinking that it’s a sprint is out before the merge. They get anxious or nervous and break down. Someone with the mindset of a long distance runner has a much better shot.

CC: You sign-off on being recorded 24/7 for the show. In those times that you would try and get on runs, did you have someone alongside you at all times?

ER: There’s a camera crew that follows you around and you’re not supposed to interact with them. If you do something memorable, they need to be there. If you really don’t want to deal with them, you can run away from them. They have to haul all this equipment through the forest and there’s nothing they can do about it. I did that a few times. I don’t know if they were ready for that or if they knew what I was doing.

CC: The other thing I notice is that when someone is searching for an immunity idol, shouldn’t they just look at where the cameras are pointing for a cue?

ER: It’s funny because it works both ways. Some people read into it too much. You’ll see veterans of the show look for clues in the cameramen. They’re pretty slick about it sometimes. There’s a lot of non-verbal communication that takes place.

CC: How do you feel about the way your edit came out? With reality TV, you always hear horror stories about the Bachelor or Bachelorette contestants.

ER: I think Survivor is one of the better shows in terms of editing. That’s because they do a better job of characterizing people for who they are.. Editing is something people need to understand happens and can go either way. My first season I was happy with how it came out. I was a little bit of a hero or favorite. The second time I was pretty removed from the show because I didn’t fit the narrative or whatever they had going on. At the time, I was angry about it because I know how much else was left on the cutting room floor. I’ve come to terms with it because I understand they didn’t want to go in a particular route and it’s OK. Some people take it very personally. My advice in general is don’t go on a dating show. Sometimes people’s careers get ruined. They don’t pay good money and they can ruin your reputation.

CC: On “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette”, those rose ceremonies can take forever to film. How long does tribal council take to film?

ER: We had one that was maybe a half hour and then we’ve had other ones that have been two hours. I think that’s the max.

CC: Just sitting there or is (host) Jeff Probst talking and asking questions the entire time?

ER: It’s just a really long conversation and what’s happening is they’re compiling and what they need to edit. If there’s something that the producers need, Jeff will start digging into it and conversation gets going.

CC: What’s it like watching this season? Your face flashes on the screen occasionally when they show Cirie’s game-changing move from Micronesia and she was one of the people that helped vote you off?

ER: Any season with returning players is interesting because they’ve been there before and they know what they’re doing. In my mind, I have less of an opinion about watching favorites but instead I like to see people with egos get smushed. All-star seasons have contestants with very large egos that think ‘This is my chance to show everybody how awesome I am.’ and people just get made into buffoons. I enjoy seeing personalities that are very strong and aggressive kind of get thrown for a loop. In my mind, if you’re cast a second time and you’re winning, what more is there to do? You’ve already done it once before. I’m not looking for ‘Oh I think this person is doing well.’ I’m more for ‘This guy thinks he’s all that but he’s not.’ It’s a little cynical but that’s how I see it.

CC: Last thing, but we could probably go on for hours, personally I’m 23 years old. I feel like I’m in good shape. I think I have a good grip on the game and how it operates. What advice do you have for someone like me trying to on the show?

(Editor’s Note: I’ve redacted his advice and I’m keeping it to myself until I hopefully can land on the show)

ER: Now, aside from Survivor, I would love to see a running reality show across the U.S. – and this is something that I’ve mentioned to my old cross-country buddies about this. I’d love to see a team of maybe 10 runners. They run to different cities in the U.S. and when you get to a new town, you take a break and there’s a run-off who will be added to the team from this town that you’re in. It would be some sort of road-rally from California to Maine. Each time that you get to a new city, there’s a chance of joining the team so others can come in. There’s running and there’s partly challenges as well. It would be pretty physically tough and then they have a run-off to see who joins the team and a situation to join the tea,.

CC: That’s awesome!

ER: My runner friends have been over-the-moon about it. We can call it something like Run for Your Life. I’ve also run the idea by Dathan Ritzenhein. I’d love to see some kind of show like that just grabbing people up across the country.

March 30, 2017

Can Jenny Simpson break the 1500m American Record?

The US women’s 1500m has been the Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury show for a very long time. How much longer will it last?

March 30, 2017

The Gray Zone: Will the Men’s 800-meter AR Go Down?

Some people have tried to go to the Gray Zone and never come back alive. Is there anyone out there who break the 800 meter American record?

March 29, 2017

From the headlines: Denver-area jogger brings attention to the sport through unconventional means

Rarely do runners find themselves in the headlines of non-running-centric journalistic outlets. That’s just the way it is, and unless you discover a dead body during your morning run, help a wobbly-kneed competitor across the finish line at a local 5K, or get steamrolled by a deer during a cross country meet, that’s probably the way it’s going to stay.

But an unidentified jogging Denver man found a way to make a splash, and stir up some buzz among the local press this week, utilizing an unprecedented methodology: by assaulting a cyclist.

Yesterday, News 9 (Colorado’s NBC affiliate), reported the incident, which took place on the trails of North Table Mesa in Golden, a town best known for as the headquarters of Coors. The cyclist’s account of the attack went a little something like this:

He was cycling up a hill on the mesa trails near his suburban Denver home, when he came up on a headphone-wearing jogger. He rang his bike’s bell a couple of times to no avail, at which point a second mountain-biker crested the hill, and began descending toward the inadvertently stand-off-ing duo. The second cyclist yielded the right of way to the jogger, but motioned to him that a biker was trying to pass from behind. The jogger then pulled off to the side, and the victim cycled on past, shaking his head at the jogger’s headphone-induced lack of spatial awareness. And boy, did this ever set him off! The jogger then purportedly shouted “shake your head at me again, and I’ll beat your motherfucking ass!” Thinking little of the regular-aggressive response to his passive-aggression, the cyclist continued on his ride.

Twenty minutes later he cross paths again with the enraged jogger, but pulled off to the side to let him pass. But the jogger didn’t jog past as expected. Instead he grabbed the cyclist by the throat, punched him in the helmet repeatedly, and chucked his bike off a cliff.

The jogger jogged off after finishing his attack, then our cyclist plucked himself up, hobbled down to his bike, and walked the wreckage back to the trailhead after calling the cops and his wife.

The cyclist, going only as Andrew, gave no last name, but wrote about the encounter on a popular recreational cycling blog, drunkcyclist.com, under the pseudonym “40 Hands.”

Now for a few quick takes:

  • Assaulting people is bad, except for maybe in a handful of instances, and we don’t encourage it.
  • This is going to give the anti-headphone camp a lot of ammunition, but as a proponent of jogging to music, let me get my two cents in. If you’re going to listen to a dumb podcast while exercising, please avoid trails. Hell, avoid trails regardless because they are rocky, often steep, and can contain snakes.
  • It’s really hard for me to sympathize with a cyclist-blogger named “40 Hands,” but color me sympathetic this time.
  • Just going to speculate here, but those investigating this incident need to post up at the nearest CrossFit gym because I’d bet $50 this “jogger” flips a mean tire.
  • I’m all for runners doing stupid things to get attention. However you wanna validate yourself is fine by me, except when it gets in the way of somebody else’s living. So please, Citius readers, unless it’s in self-defense or something similar, please refrain from attacking other recreational exercisers to get your 15-minutes of fame.

No arrests have been made at this point, but if you might have information on the jogging assailant, here’s some information from Andrew “40 Hands” on what to do and what to look for:

Basic description is white male, somewhere in his 30s-40s, 6 feet tall, and somewhere between 180-190 pounds.  On that day he was wearing black shorts, wrap around headphones, and a black or dark blue shirt with either “COM” or “COR” on it.  Given that he was able to duck into a local neighborhood and wasn’t found, it seems likely that he lives in Golden and will be back out on North Table Mountain.  If you encounter someone that fits that description please reach out to either the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (303) 271-0211, or the Jefferson County Open Space (303) 271-5925.  Also, if you have any information you think might be helpful you can email me at [email protected].

And if you, dear reader, were the jogging assailant, turn yourself in, you fucking doofus.

 

March 29, 2017

Some thoughts on the just-released Stanford Invite heat sheets

Allie Ostrander in the steeple? King Ches in the second heat of the 10,000m? Is German Fernandez in 5,000m shape? We ask the tough questions but answer few.

March 29, 2017

Can we get one more Shannon Rowbury vs. Molly Huddle race on the track in 2017, please?

As Molly Huddle plots her final season on the track, we’re just hoping for one last clash against Shannon Rowbury for the 5,000m American record.

March 29, 2017

Can Galen Rupp, Jordan Hasay break the men’s and women’s half marathon American Records?

Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay head to Prague this weekend, to compete in a traditionally very quick half marathon, and try to each break a decade old AR.

March 28, 2017

What next? Matthew Centrowitz could target Bernard Lagat’s 1,500m American record

He’s got an Olympic gold and several world championship medals, Matthew Centrowitz could not focus on Bernard Lagat’s 1,500m American record.

March 28, 2017

The 400m hurdle American Record seems poised to fall, but who breaks it?

In an event headlined by Olympic medalists like Dalilah Muhammad, Ashley Spencer + Shamier Little and Sydney McLaughlin, the record is in jeopardy.

March 28, 2017

Will Molly Huddle lower her own American Record in the 10,000m this year?

As part of a Citius Mag series examining which American records might fall this outdoor season, we zero in on Molly Huddle’s odds over 10,000 meters.

March 28, 2017

Examining the U.S. outdoor track record books before the start of the season

This week, we’ll take a look at records and which ones we believe could be broken in the 2017 outdoor track season.

March 28, 2017

Kampala 2017 World XC Championships: Aidan Reed reflects on his Team USA debut

Aidan Reed, a freshman at Southern Utah, reflects on wearing the Team USA kit for the first time and competing at the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

March 27, 2017

A sad Blue Jean Mile attempt

Citius Mag issued a challenge to the first person to break four minutes for the mile in jeans. Our own Ryan Sterner took it upon himself to test it out.

March 27, 2017

Debajo Dos: Paul’s fitness is lurking

Aesop once wrote of a farmer, whose goose laid a golden egg daily. He grew rich off of his fowl’s cloacal output. But one day, his greed drove him to slaughter the golden goose, hoping to harvest all of its golden contents at once. It was empty, and the farmer extracted no more gold. This parable keeps me up at night. I am the farmer. I am the goose. And my fitness is the egg. Am I getting too greedy? Is my task too ambitious?

Monday, March 20th

It’s a wild world when six miles no longer feels like a milestone.

Tuesday, March 21st

Hopped on the treadmill to bolster my aerobic fitness metrics. A five mile tempo later (at 5:40 pace) I walked out of the gym and straight to a neighborhood pizzeria a better version of my old self.

Wednesday, March 22nd

Woke up debilitatingly fatigued. Yesterday’s marathon session really zapped me of any vigor I once possessed. Went for a jog with Jeanne in a bullheaded attempt to plow through the wall of physical degradation.

Thursday, March 23rd

With my body still failing, I opted to play it safe — something I once vowed to never do — and gave my overworked mitochondria a rest.

Friday, March 24th

Apparently rest is occasionally what the doctor ought to order. I went for a nice jog with my friend and filmmaker RJ McNichols. I was shocked RJ didn’t ask to make a documentary about my efforts, but can’t fault him for being nervous around an athlete of my caliber. I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable asking me that same question. No worries, RJ, if you’re reading this, I have a 90-page script typed up and ready for production as a Lifetime original film. I of course, demand to be played by Moby. (You thought that was it for today, but you’re plum wrong. Fitness doesn’t rest, except for yesterday when it did. And I ran twice(!) today, with my second run featuring some sprints on the track.

Saturday, March 25th

A storm rolled down from the mountains as another was looming on the track… me. I did eight 200m intervals, starting around 32 seconds, and working down to 27 for the last one. Hurricane Paul took no human casualties but did burp up a little vomit at the end of this session.

Sunday, March 26th

Really threw caution to the wind by going for a long run the day after a brutal speed session, but that’s the cost of greatness. Nine miles on the day.

Fatigue was the name of the game this week, which saw me run nearly 37 miles. Two workouts? Strides? A long run? Do I have a death wish? No. I have a SUCCESS WISH. Next week should be a little lighter, as there are only about 20 days to go in my training cycle. Only god can judge me.


This is the eighth post in a series by Paul chronicling his journey to break the two-minute barrier in the 800 meters. Check out his previous post below:

Introducing Debajo Dos and one boy’s quest to run fast as heck 

Inside Paul’s first week of training

Paul has an acute gout flare up scare

Paul’s biggest week of mileage yet

Paul suffers from Runner’s Amnesia in New York

Paul braves the elements and Albuquerque

Paul addresses the critics and doubters of his world record attempt

Debajo Dos: One month left of work

March 27, 2017

Real talk from female track and field reporters on their experience covering the sport

Female track and field reporters share their experiences, challenges and hopes of covering the sport in a male-dominated setting.

March 26, 2017

Charting team scoring at the 2017 World Cross Country Championships

With the World Cross Country Championships wrapping up mid-day on Sunday in the U.S., we decided to take a closer look at how the team Senior Men’s and Women’s scoring played out. Okay, here we go!

Starting with the men’s race, it was essentially a battle between five teams: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Eritrea, and USA.

The following chart outlines each 2K split within the 10K race, by team position:

(mobile link)

 

 

Ethiopia did a wild job of hammering the last 4,000 meters, moving from 3rd place to 1st over the course of that distance. The US was in 3rd at 6K and spent the rest of the race battling with Uganda and Eritrea, ultimately finish 5th in a VERY tight 3rd, 4th, and 5th placing:

(mobile link)

 

 

For the women’s race, it’s hard to understate how hard Kenya rolled. For instance, there was only one split in the entire race where they did now have the top four spots secured. That’s pretty good! The US also did a great job of cutting down the last 2K, picking up about 30 points over the distance. about Here are the women’s team scores by split for the women’s 10K:

(mobile link)

 

To really drive it home, here are the team positions by split. It was a little more spread out, with a lot more of the jockeying action occurring in the middle of the pack. Fun fact – Uganda was in fifth place the whole race!

(mobile link)

 

Some of our overall takeaways: the East African countries fared very well, which was likely helped by the race being held in hot and humid conditions.  The Kenyan Women were dominant. The American teams beat who they should have, coming in at fifth place in both Senior races.

Lastly, for accountability, here are my predictions based on my Power Ranking model, compared against the final results (for the men’s race that had at least four racers finish):

March 26, 2017

Going long with breakout U.S. distance runner Noah Droddy

Chatting with Noah Droddy about his 61:48 mark at the NYC Half Marathon, how he’s spent his last few years and the state of American distance running.

March 26, 2017

The Athlete Special: NCAA INDOOR NATIONALS DMR. Can we get All-American?

The latest episode of The Athlete Special chronicles Spencer and the Georgetown boys’ run at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

March 26, 2017

Citius Mag Long Run Playlist

After a frenzied last few days in the Citius newsroom churning out content at a breakneck pace, attempting to keep up with the seemingly endless demand and kudos being heaped on us, we’re finally ready to conclude MUSIC WEEK. And what better way to do it than with one final playlist?

We’ve dubbed it the Long Run Playlist and it’s populated entirely with Citius Mag Staff Picks. Lucky you, only two of the songs contain some form of the word “run” in the title.

Perhaps you’ve heard of some. Maybe you haven’t heard any of them. Either way, we hope you enjoy a small sampling of the musical tastes of the people that provide you with Pulitzer Prize level journalism on a daily basis.

(Disclaimer: The Long Run Playlist is just a catchy name. Nothing about it should imply that you listen to this while running, as we take a NEUTRAL stance on the “music while running?” debate. Except for our Dear Leader, Chris Chavez, a headphones-while-running proponent.)

March 25, 2017

Updates on Blue Jeans Mile Prize Purse

It seems more people are clamoring to see a sub-4:00 (or sub-4:36 for the ladies) than we had expected. So we’re going to keep tabs on the rapidly expanding prize purse here, instead of in the original announcement.

Stay tuned to this page for updates on how much you stand to gain financially just by donning a pair of non-elastic jeans and hitting the track. (Full rules and jean-criteria are listed in the original announcement.)

Paul Snyder – $200.

Craig Lutz – $200

Chris Chavez – $150

Zach Ornealas  – $100

Ryan Sterner – $100

Shane Conway – $100

Whoever Dumb Flotrack is – $100

Christopher Hough – $50

Running Revolution, Campbell, CA – $200

*If 4:00/4:36 are broken at the Schrader Mile, meet director Paras Shah will pay an additional $200 + $50 per athlete beaten while wearing jeans.

Current purse is $1,200*

March 24, 2017

Track needs a new gimmick: introducing the Blue Jean Mile

For far too long, track has waded around in the kiddie pool of obscurity. What if we’re already wearing the answer to bringing it to mainstream audiences?

March 24, 2017

How Eric Jenkins became Ricky Rocksford

How professional distance runner Eric Jenkins once doubled as a rapper named Ricky Rocksford and whether he would ever make music again.

March 24, 2017

Your favorite running songs with “run” or “running” in the title

We put together the top 50 songs with “run” or “running” in the title and you guys let us know which ones we forgot. Here’s a list of your favorites.

March 24, 2017

A Numerical Guide to the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships

With the 2017 World Cross Country Championships slated to pop off mid-day Sunday (East Africa Time Zone), the Citius Mag Stats Department scoured the internet for the finest publicly available XC figures, data and numbers, in order to prepare the following statistical dossier.

First off, we would like to thank the good folks at the IAAF for sending some excel files our way. The following charts could not have been made without them. Also, many thanks to Isaac Wood of BYU coaching fame for providing a lot of help with data collection. More on Isaac to come.

Let’s jump right in. The first chart we have showcases the average age of each team (with at least four racers) for the Senior Women’s 10,000m contest.  There is a pretty wild range, from twenty-one years-old for the Japanese women’s team, all the way up to thirty-one years-old for the Spanish team.

(mobile link)

 

 

For the Senior Men’s race, we a see a similar spread, although it is slightly more compressed. Burundi comes in as the youngest, with an average age of twenty-one years-old, and Kuwait rounding up the top-end of the range, with an average age of twenty-nine years-old.

(mobile link)

 

 

Interestingly, both American teams are near the older end of the spectrum, with the Women’s team at an average age of twenty-seven, and the Men averaging twenty-eight.

Here is the same data, displayed geographically.

Senior women’s race, average age by country (mobile link):

 

 

Senior men’s race, average age by country (mobile link):

 

 

One interesting trend – it appears that the East Africa countries are younger than average, while the American and European teams appear slightly older.

Now to get into the meat of our analysis. The following two charts involve a lot of tables and aggregation in the background. Along with the help of Isaac and Justin Britton, we identified a 5,000m, 10,000m, half marathon and/or marathon time that they have run recently. From there, we indexed their time to the IAAF scoring tables, which approximate the strength of each performance, making it possible to draw comparisons across different events. Now, you may point out that this may not be the most precise way to calculate the final result. I would agree. But what this approach brings in is a objective approach that is applied evenly to the entire population. Which is better than blindly guessing.

Unsurprisingly, Kenya has the strongest team, based on past performances. They have multiple athletes who have run under 13:00 for 5,000m and under 27:00 for 10,000m. The following chart shows the rest of the field benchmarked against the Kenyan team. So, for example, Kenya’s top 5 athletes average 1,209 points on the IAAF tables.  That is equivalent to 13:00 in the 5,000m, 27:11 in the 10,000m and 2:07:23 in the marathon. Pretty good! By comparison, the U.S. has an average score of 1,138, which is 94% of Kenya’s score. 1,138 points gets you 13:19 in the 5,000m, 27: 56 in the 10,000m and 2:11:21 in the marathon. Also pretty good!

(mobile link)

 

For those asking what the heck is going on with Nigeria, they have several athletes with marathon PBs north of 2:40. It is possible that some of these athletes have run times slightly more commensurate with the rest of the field but I have yet to find anything on the world wide web that would indicate that. It could be a rough day for the Nigerian team.

Here are those same data points, displayed geographically:

(mobile link)

It’s a little tough to discern the differences in Africa, so here is a zoomed view of the region:

(mobile link)

As you can tell, it is going to be pretty tight up front, with 10 teams in the 90%-100% range. It’s sports. Anything could happen. That’s why we are racing.

For posterity, here are Isaac’s selections, based on a blended statistical/judgemental approach:

And here are mine, based on a pure Power Score approach:

March 24, 2017

2017 IAAF World Cross Country Kampala: Who To Watch

Kampala, Uganda hosts the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. We preview the heavy hitters in this weekend’s championship.

March 24, 2017

Brandon Hudgins updates on his fight with Vasculitis and the next step

Brandon Hudgins has run a mile in under four minutes but his latest challenge is a battle with Vasculitis. He updates us on his fight and its challenges.

March 23, 2017

The musical secret to your fastest 5k ever

You’ve pounded the pavement to no avail. You’ve traipsed over your fair share of trails, fruitlessly. You’ve gulped down GU and freebased ferritin without a hint of improvement. You’ve meddled in meditation and maxed out your mantras, but your ills are not psychosomatic. For whatever reason, your race times have plateaued, you’re at your wit’s end, and don’t know where to turn to get over that hump.

Well maybe, the answer… is music?

That’s right, there may be an ideal cadence for running, and it’s been observed to be right around 180 steps-per-minute. One of the world’s foremost experts on endurance athletics, Jack Daniels, brought this discovery to light in his 1998 tome Daniels’ Running Formula, considered by many to be the bible of the sport. And ever since, athletes from Olympic-caliber studs to first-timers have improved their performance by normalizing their stride rate, regardless of pace.

That’s where runnin’ along to some groovy tunes comes in. Sure, you could run with a metronome, but a playlist comprised of 180 beats-per-minute songs will provide the same service in a far less annoying way!

So with that in mind, what if I told you the secret to running your best 5K ever might just be sitting at the bottom of your 31-year-old cousin Cody’s sock drawer?

No, I’m not talking about that baggie of oregano he bought from some teens behind the gas station that he occasionally pretends to get high off of.

I’m talking about his first-generation iPod Mini.

Because many of the same songs that Cody rocked out to while carving “KoЯn” into his desk in high school, just so happen to be recorded at the same tempo as your optimum running cadence!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to make an excuse to visit your aunt and uncle’s house, then sift through Cody’s sticky room to track down his performance enhancing MP3 player, because we’ve recreated its contents right here!

Go ahead and follow Citius Mag’s Fastest 5k Ever Playlist below, and be sure to share your finish line photo with us from your next PR performance!

https://play.spotify.com/user/1230491906/playlist/291uwKPhfcvxqR6soBdoQE

 

March 23, 2017

Let me explain: Eminem never ran 1:54 in high school

Some people out there believe that Eminem was once a 1:54 800m runner but it’s actually a prank gone wrong and it all dates back to 2011.

March 23, 2017

Will Claye on his relationship with YG, an upcoming album and top five rappers dead or alive

Will Claye discusses his upcoming album, his relationship with YG, how he got interested in music and names his top five rappers dead or alive.

March 23, 2017

Q&A with New York Times best-selling author Shea Serrano of The Rap Year Book

As he finishes up work on his second book, Basketball (and Other Things), Shea Serrano took a few minutes to chat about his running, Olympics, San Antonio

March 22, 2017

Jackie Joyner-Kersee: A popular name-drop in rap lyrics

Wu-Tang Clan, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, J. Cole and many others have name-dropped Jackie Joyner-Kersee in rap songs throughout history.

March 22, 2017

The top 50 songs with “Running” or “Run” in the title

As part of Music Week on Citius Mag, we ranked and compiled the definitive list of the best songs with “run” or “running” in the title.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5
March 21, 2017

Eminem was a big time runner: Once hammered 17 miles on a treadmill daily

Eminem used to be addicted to drugs and alcohol. Then he changed his approach on life and improved his cardio by running 17 miles a day on a treadmill.

March 21, 2017

Here’s what happened when I scored Bruce Springsteen’s first seven albums like a track meet

Bruce Springsteen is the best but what’s the best album. Using the scoring system of a track meet, Paul Snyder examines The Boss’ greatest hits and albums.

March 21, 2017

Running is repetition: A poem

Running all repetition. Steeplechaser Nicole Bush shares her view of the sport’s little repeated intricacies in a poem to celebrate World Poetry Day.

March 21, 2017

Jake and Zane Robertson: The Fastest twins ever in the Half Marathon

Jake and Zane Robertson, the twins who moved from New Zealand to Kenya at the age of 17 are now the fastest twins over the half marathon distance. Zane captured the New Zealand and Oceania Record at the 2015 Marugame Half in 2015 when he clocked a 59:47 and over the weekend Jake recorded a 60:00 to win the Lisbon Half for his debut at the distance.

 

It’s been 10 years since the Kiwi duo moved from New Zealand to Africa. Without cell phones, much money or sponsorsship, the two brothers have spent years grinding alongside many of the worlds best runners, over dirt roads, cinder tracks and thin air.

For those who don’t know the story about the two from Hamilton, NZ, here’s a brief recap: The brothers were obsessed with the sport since their youth, as many of us are..except this was different. They both knew everything and anything about the East African runners. They were obsessed with specifics right down to their height and weight. In 2006, Jake was able to have his first in-person rendezvous with a few of the Kenyans when he qualified to race at the World Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. He mentioned the idea of moving to Kenya to train and the Kenyans urged them to.

After digging into the archives a bit, for results from dating back to 2007, it looks as though Jake had a 5,000m time of 14:28 at the age of 16. Zane had a similar personal best.

Currently, the twins are now 27 years old with the following personal bests:

Robertson Brothers PRs

Zane might show the greater range than his brother, but they both are a force over the half marathon distance. Zane’s 1/2 PR stems from a narrow second place at the 2015 Marugame Half Marathon and Jake has nipped at the heels of sub-60 this past weekend in Portugal. This easily ranks them as the fastest twins in the distance of all time. (Obviously, let’s be real and recognize that finding twins to do this all is an outlier and that’s what truly makes the Robertsons special.) Zane is only the fourth non-African to run sub-60 for 13.1 miles and for about 10 miles of Sunday’s Lisbon Half, Jake was on pace to break Zane’s national record.

Although Jake’s time in Lisbon was a phenomenal debut it still only ranks him as 36th all-time..on that course. It’s the 27th year of the race and yet it’s a wild stat that not many half-marathons can boast.

The two brothers remain very supportive of each other and still train a good amount together. I once read that Zane splits time with an Ethiopian training group and then heads back to Iten at times to live in a house next to Jake. The two are never ones to settle down, and have coined the phrase “Heavy In Da Game.” Their marathon debut in 2017 has not been ruled out.

Jake Robertson Lisbon Finish

Jake finishing in Lisbon.

In their start in Kenya, the Robertsons fought malaria, slept on a cement floor and struggled to adjust to life. The likes of Steeplechase kings, Patrick Sang and Saif Saaeed Shaheed aided in the housing the two at first and served as mentors as well. It appears that they may have received some sort of sponsorship backing now.

Zane and Jake Robertson are both 3-4 on the all time New Zealand 5000m list, 1-4 over 10000m and 1-2 for the half marathon.

If you’ve got 28 minutes, watch the video above and it’ll show you that hard work truly pays off, some insights on Kenya and how the risk was worth the reward for the two Robertson twins from Hamilton.

March 20, 2017

This Week in Trail Running: Chuckanut 50k, Trans Americana

Chuckanut 50K; Max King breaks his own course record and Ladia Albertson-Junkans wins her 50k debut. Rickey Gates in the midst of an East-West U.S. traverse

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