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Month: July 2017

July 31, 2017

Rapid Reaction: What Rudisha’s withdrawal means for the World Champs 800m

David Rudisha’s quad strain will lead to a new world champion being crowned in London but is there a clear favorite for the title?

July 31, 2017

Watch: BYU’s Rory Linkletter runs 4:16.00 blue jeans mile world record at 4,000+ feet

BYU’s Rory Linkletter ran a 4:16:00 mile at 4,600+ feet of elevation in Provo, Utah to set a new Blue Jeans Mile World Record.

July 31, 2017

#CitwitsRun200: Tracking two runners attempting to run a 200-mile week [UPDATED]

Zach Kughn and Ethan Wilhelm will attempt to run a 200-mile week from July 31 to Aug. 6. Follow and track their progress here & with #CitwitsRun200

July 31, 2017

How to clean up track and field in more than 140 characters

U.S. Olympian Nick Symmonds suggested a three-point plan to clean up track and field’s doping problem. A few suggestions on his suggestions.

July 31, 2017

Pumped Up Picks: Curtis Beach’s Pre-Race Playlist

What does former decathlete Curtis Beach listen to before a big race? In the latest installment of Pumped Up Picks, he shares his pre-race routine.

July 31, 2017

WATCH: Records fall at NYC Blue Jeans Mile (Spencer Brown 4:16.38, Jackie Katzman 5:29.13)

Last Thursday night, the Blue Jeans Mile record books were re-written at the CITIUS MAG x Lost Boys Track Club Blue Jeans Mile at the East River Park track in New York City. Spencer Brown, best known for his accomplishments as a middle distance runner for Georgetown or his Youtube channel “The Athlete Special”, ran a men’s world record time of 4:16.63 to win the final race of the night. Jackie Katzman, a runner from Cornell, led three women under the previous women’s world record with her 5:29.30 in the first race of the night.

The previous official world record of 4:34.3 was ran by Pierce Flanders in Topeka, Kansas. Last Thursday morning, an unofficial world record of 4:19 was run by Sean Keveren in Nashville, Tennessee but it was later determined that his jeans did not comply with the 100% cotton or denim regulation that we initially set forth in our introduction to the event. We recognized the time but put an asterisk next to it.

Jackie Katzman finished fifth overall in the first section of the race but became the first woman to run under 5:30 with her 5:29.13. Leigh Anne Sharek crosse the finish line just a second behind her in 5:30.87. Lena Placzek ran 5:1.25 to also get under Anna Saats’ previous world record of 5:56.56.

It was a great time. Lots of laughs were shared. This really escalated into something much bigger than we ever imagined. The next big attempt will come from Utah on Monday morning as NCAA 10K runner-up Rory Linkletter attempts his own blue jean mile on BYU’s track. On Friday night, the Sir Walter Miler will host its own blue jeans mile in collaboration with us and the good folks at Raleigh Denim. More information on that race can be found at the end of this post.

Here are the results of the faster section of the NYC Blue Jeans Mile (Note: Some of our timers didn’t get full names of some of the runners so if you were one of these participants in that’s name is not listed, tweet at us)

  1. Spencer Brown 4:16.63 (WR)
  2. Nick Karam 4:37.89
  3. Pat Donnelly 4:38.82
  4. Kid in Red Adidas Spikes 4:41.87
  5. Kid in Navy Singlet and Green Spikes 4:44.50
  6. Steve Crinick 4:45.83
  7. Matt Smith 4:46.27
  8. Chris Giesting 4:49.49
  9. Matt Crawford 5:01.42
  10. Kid in Dark Singlet with White Number 5:02.74
  11. Kevin Byrne 5:28.65

For an inside look at Spencer Brown’s day and lead-up to the world record, check out the latest episode of The Athlete Special.

Here are the results of our first section of the NYC Blue Jeans Mile(Note: Some of our timers didn’t get full names of some of the runners so if you were one of these participants in that’s name is not listed, tweet at us):

  1. Jonah Shortall 5:16.51
  2. Daniel Medina 5:20.20
  3. William Maghak 5:24.27
  4. Dean D’Addario 5:27.96
  5. Jackie Katzman 5:29.13 (WR)
  6. Leigh Anne Sharek 5:30.87
  7. Dennis ____ 5:36.37
  8. David Meclinsky 5:40.87
  9. Bobby Judge 5:40.97
  10. Lena Placzek 5:51.25
  11. Ali ____ 5:51.80
  12. Omari ____ 6;00.45
  13. Sean Baez 6:10.53

And here’s a look at the men’s all-time Blue Jeans Mile list

(With our NYC additions and the NINE competitors that we had in a all-comers meet in Seattle.)

  1. Spencer Brown (NYC) – 4:16.38
  2. Sean Keveren (TN) – 4:19*
  3. Pierce Flanders (KS) – 4:34.3
  4. Nick Karam (NYC) – 4:37.89
  5. Pat Donnelly (NYC) – 4:38.82
  6. Kid in Red Adidas Spikes (NYC) – 4:41.87
  7. Sandy Roberts (NC) – 4:43
  8. Kid in Navy Singlet and Green Spikes(NYC) – 4:44.50
  9. Steve Crinick(NYC) – 4:45.83
  10. Matt Smith (NYC) – 4:46.27
  11. Ben Nagel (IN) – 4:49.0
  12. Chris Giesting 4:49.49
  13. Drew Polley (WA) – 4:49
  14. Jordan Anderson (WA) – 4:52
  15. Brandon Sotelo (TX) – 4:54
  16. Pete Hanson (WA) – 4:57
  17. Tahoma Doyon (WA) – 5:00
  18. Matt Crawford (NYC) – 5:01.42
  19. Kid in Dark Singlet with White Number 5:02.74
  20. Hunter Hall (TN) – 5:04
  21. Tucker ??? – 5:04.06
  22. Waqar Shaikh (WA) – 5:06
  23. Ryan Solinsky (WA) – 5:07
  24. Luke Jaramillo (KS) – 5:10
  25. Rylan Brown (KS) – 5:10
  26. Dane Legare (WA) – 5:11
  27. Ian Cropp (KS)  – 5:12
  28. Paul Young (WA) – 5:13
  29. Jonah Shortall (NYC) -5:16.51
  30. Ryan Sterner (CA) – 5:17
  31. Daniel Medina(NYC) – 5:20.20
  32. William Maghak (NYC) – 5:24.27
  33. Dean D’Addario(NYC) – 5:27.96
  34. Kevin Byrne (NYC) – 5:28.65
  35. Dennis ____ (NYC) – 5:36.37
  36. David Meclinsky (NYC) – 5:40.87
  37. Bobby Judge (NYC) -5:40.97
  38. Ali ____  (NYC) – 5:51.80
  39. Omari ____(NYC) – 6;00.45
  40. Sean Baez (NYC) – 6:10.53

The women’s all-time list is below:

  1. Jackie Katzman (NYC) – 5:29.13
  2. Leigh Anne Sharek (NYC) – 5:30.87
  3. Lena Placzek (NYC) – 5:51.25
  4. Anna Staats (MD) – 5:56.56
  5. Hillary Shaw (WA) – 6:04
  6. Liza Rectro (MD) – 8:08.51

For more information on racing the Blue Jeans Mile at Sir Walter Miler, check here

July 30, 2017

The Athlete Special: Behind the scenes of the Blue Jeans Mile World Record

Spencer Brown gives you a look at his day in the lead-up to breaking the Blue Jeans Mile World Record at the CITIUS MAG x Lost Boys Track Club mile.

July 28, 2017

PHOTOS: CITIUS MAG x Lost Boys Track Club NYC Blue Jeans Mile

A photo gallery of the 2017 NYC Blue Jeans Mile presented by CITIUS MAG and the Lost Boys Track Club. Two world records were set.

July 27, 2017

Watch: Sean Keveren runs 4:19* Blue Jeans Mile

Sean Keveren runs a 4:19 Blue Jeans Mile but we’re putting an asterisk next to it due to a controversial cotton percentage.

July 27, 2017

My 2017 World Championships Wish List

Here’s to hoping that Usain Bolt runs in the 10-seconds and still wins at the world championships, Evan Jager breaks 8-min and more.

July 26, 2017

New World Records highlight historic day for Blue Jeans Mile

The Blue Jeans Mile history books have been re-written ahead of an epic race in New York City on Thursday night at East River.

July 25, 2017

Making a Name: The Michael Jordan of Track has arrived

How a boy with the same name as the greatest basketball player ever became an elite U.S. steeplechaser. Meet the Michael Jordan of track.

July 24, 2017

Does David Blaine have the skills of an elite ultra marathon runner?

David Blaine’s dark eyes stare unblinkingly into yours, reaching out stoically from the confines of your computer screen and intoning the type of quiet, serious concentration you’d expect from a man whose profession is listed as magician.



That’s not David Blaine. That is Mitch Stilpa, an actor/comedian from an improv troupe in LA (what a terrible combination of words) whose parody videos of David Blaine’s street magic made a big splash on Funny or Die for a while. Stilpa does a hyperbolic of course, but pretty good impression of Blaine’s trademark destruction of the fourth wall, as he gazes directly into the camera after completing a trick.

The four parody videos have amassed over 78,000,000 views on YouTube, and as HuffPost put it back in 2011, Blaine’s “aesthetic and demeanor make him a pretty solid target for parody.” Magicians in general are rarely respected for their craft, and usually the butt of some jokes or at least emphatic eyerolls. And Blaine’s “Street Magic” concept, where he interacted with apparent strangers on the street for his breakthrough documentary in 1996, was especially ripe for riffing off of.

But while the world was chuckling to itself at David Blaine’s expense, Blaine was reinventing himself as more than just some sort of street vendor illusionist. He was becoming an endurance artist, a career path that involved him existing suspended in a block of ice for 62 hours straight, and spending 44 days sealed inside a glass box 30 feet above the ground in London. The accomplishment of these feats is the crux of my argument. Anyone who can put their body through such physical pain and suffering, who willingly endures extreme discomfort for long stretches of time for no real reason other than to prove that they can was practically born to be an ultra-marathoner. There is a very fine, pretty much nonexistent line between endurance artist and endurance athlete and I for one would love to see how Blaine’s talent as the former translates into his promise for the latter.

Blaine has transcended the realm of magic with most of his acts recently. There’s no real trick or deception going on in the feats he’s managed to pull off. The “magic” is just that he is able to force his body to do completely unnatural things. For example, Blaine’s trick where he eats glass–is actually him eating glass. The man is truly, physically consuming glass. He takes a bite out of a champagne flute and then chews. He bites down again and again, cutting his mouth all over, desecrating his poor chompers, and reducing the glass to little specks until he can swallow it. This type of mind-blowing pain tolerance lends itself easily to the kind of mentality a person covering almost four times the distance of a marathon without really stopping to sleep, and barely eating.

Not only is Blaine capable of withstanding pain over a long portion of time, but he also has a certain level of insanity that seems to be a prerequisite for becoming an ultra runner. He has done tricks that are downright stupidly dangerous. He’s caught a bullet in his mouth on stage, an actual bullet, from a real gun that he caught in a metal cup that he held in his mouth. The amount of confidence Blaine must have in himself in order to believe he can catch a bullet with a cup in his mouth without killing himself makes me think he would have the kind of self-belief important for running up and down steep, rocky trails by yourself for hours on end.

Blaine’s resume does also hint toward an innate aerobic ability. After training and working on techniques to do so, he successfully held his breath for 17 minutes underwater. Which makes me confident in his lung capacity to say the least.

As Ira Glass recently said of Blaine in a This American Life episode, “He works on these things for years, trains his body to do this stuff.” Sounds a lot like the life of an ultra runner to me.

July 24, 2017

Attempting a 200-mile week

Zach Kughn and Ethan Wilhelm will soon attempt to run a 200-mile week as they try to settle a little bar argument that took place in April.

July 23, 2017

Watch: Ben Nagel runs 4:49.0 Blue Jeans Mile world junior record

Watch 17-year-old Ben Nagel set the Blue Jeans Mile world junior boys record by running 4:49 on his high school track in Indiana.

July 23, 2017

It’s the 7 year anniversary of shitting my pants

It’s the seven-year anniversary of a terrible afternoon where I lost control of my bowels while running. The epic tale of shitting my shorts on a run.

July 22, 2017

How to pick a marathon and how I chose Chicago

Becky Wade will be among the elites at the 2017 Chicago Marathon in October and she shares her tips on how to select the right marathon.

July 20, 2017

Breaking down the Chicago Marathon U.S. field

The Nike Oregon Project duo of Galen Rupp and Jordan Hasay may be the headliners but keep your eyes on Chris Derrick and Joan Benoit Samuelson.

July 20, 2017

Berlin Marathon gives us a clash of titans but we’re missing someone

The Berlin Marathon will feature a clash between Wilson Kipsang and Eliud Kipchoge but we definitely wanted to see Kenenisa Bekele there.

July 19, 2017

An incomplete history of human vs. animal races

From Jesse Owens racing horses to Michael Phelps racing a Great White Shark, we’ve always been fascinated by human races vs. animals.

July 19, 2017

Game of Thrones Characters Run a Marathon

Attempting to predict the marathon times for the major characters from Game of Thrones. How would Tyrion Lannister fare in a 26.2 mile race?

July 18, 2017

Researchers: T-rex, the coolest dinosaur actually sucked, couldn’t run

A team out of Manchester University has concluded that the famed T-rex was a whole lot dumber than we’d initially thought, and couldn’t even run.

July 18, 2017

Cranky old-timer pens angry letter over Blue Jeans Mile

A cranky old-timer pens angry letter over Blue Jeans Mile but the show will go on and we’re still excited to see the fast times continue to drop.

July 17, 2017

Meet Jimmy Watkins: World Champs 800-meter runner turned touring musician

Welshman Jimmy Watkins has run 1:46 for the 800 and made a World Champs final. He’s also opened for Jeff Rosenstock. He’s the man. Get to know him.

July 14, 2017

Study: boy tennis stars legally dope; here are 5 ways I too, legally dope

To paraphrase an article which ran today on Wired’s UK website that paraphrased the results of a study conducted somewhat through the Queensland University of Technology Business School:

World class male tennis players are legally doping through increases in testosterone brought about by something called the “winner effect.”

The study, which was undertaken by two men named John Coates and Lionel Page, essentially lends credence to the validity of the highly disputed “hot hands effect.” Page and Coates looked at the outcome of roughly 400,000 pro tennis matches. They then zeroed in on matches between closely ranked players, and further reduced the scope of the survey by only analyzing matches in which the first set went down to a tie-breaker.

They found that in men, the winner of the first set in these select matches had a 60% shot at winning the second set, compared to a 51% second-set-winning-percentage for women. From this, the researchers inferred that the increase in testosterone that comes from a victory was the cause–and thus the Wired author drew the conclusion that male tennis players are legally doping.

As a retired competitive runner myself, I don’t really have the opportunity to “win” or “lose” anything, anymore, in the conventional sense. But buddy, that doesn’t mean I’m not legally doping! Here are five ways I enhance my performance daily–that wouldn’t result in a positive drug test!

  1. Eat a salad–I try to eat one of these bowls of leafy greens at least once a week. They’re chock-full of nutrients and vitamins which are good for the body’s various mechanisms and if you’re sick of eating using just your hands, salads can be a fun change of pace as they require the use of a fork.
  2. Research–One simply must stay abreast of the latest in training technique. And thanks to the recent advent of the Internet, that’s never been easier! I spend hours daily in front of the computer refreshing a Google search for “workout tips and pointers,” and it’s a crucial part of how I continually better my game.
  3. Push-ups–Nothing earns the respect and admiration of passersby quite like public displays of strength. When I’m about town, I make sure to capitalize on that fact. Stopping, dropping, and cranking out a quick set of 15 push-ups in the middle of a crowded sidewalk is a great way to harness the respect of others, and convert it into strength-building testosterone.
  4. Sleep–Most doctors recommend getting eight hours of sleep a night. So logically, by sleeping for nearly twice that amount daily, I’m getting that much better as a person, friend, and athlete. I shoot for 16 hours of nightly snoozing, and it shows.
  5. OutfitsSex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw once famously opined: “I like my money where I can see it, hanging in my closet.” I couldn’t agree more, because having lots of clothes and wearing most of them at once is a surefire way to be your best self. Layering is not just savvy from a comfort perspective, by wearing tons of shirts at once, you appear bigger than you are, which is a sign of strength in the animal kingdom.
July 14, 2017

Postcard from Kenya: Sarah Mwangi’s journey to UTEP

Next month, Sarah Mwangi fly from Nairobi to El Paso to start her four years at UTEP. Her flight will be the last and easiest leg of her journey.

July 13, 2017

Q&A with Craig Engels on Nike Oregon Project, breaking out and chasing sub-4

Craig Engels chats with Pat Price on his attempt to break four minutes for the mile at the Sir Walter Miler, joining the Nike Oregon Project and more.

July 12, 2017

Let’s Stop Running the Marathon

Stephen Kersh makes that the marathon is terrible and perfect and he loves it, but there are plenty of other ways to impress your co-workers.

July 12, 2017

Running etiquette: How to interact with pedestrians without being a jerk

We discuss the proper running etiquette as it pertains to interacting with the non-running general public. We’ve all been assholes, but we needn’t be.

July 12, 2017

Runner survives bear sighting, nature still trying to kill you

Every once in awhile, a story breaks that reminds us no matter how cute animals seem, they will kill humans with little or no remorse.

July 11, 2017

Anna Staats sets women’s world record, world junior record for Blue Jeans Mile

Anna Staat put on her best pair of mom jeans and ran the women’s world record and a world junior record for the Blue Jeans Mile.

July 11, 2017

The Olympics return to the U.S. – Some thoughts on Los Angeles getting the Summer Games

Some thoughts into the pros and cons behind the 2024 or 2028 Olympics that will be hosted in Los Angeles after the IOC agreed to award both Games in September.

July 11, 2017

Did you forget about the Nike Zoom Vaporfly?

Take a look at some never before seen footage of the Nike Zoom Vaporfly. The sub 2 hour marathon shoe will be available to buy this month.

July 11, 2017

How Shelby Houlihan went from an NCAA star at 1,500 meters to a 5,000 meter Olympian

How Shelby Houlihan went from running the 5,000 meters for fun to an 11th place finish at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

July 10, 2017


Tom Farrell does two treadmill tests to measure his heart rate and lactate levels in an effort to try and figure out what may be wrong with him.

July 10, 2017

The Athlete Special: Craziest Race of My Life

I was able to find a mile race last second. I was hoping the weather would hold up…

Also stick around for the end of the episode for a special announcement…

PS: Just got a Garmin so add me on Strava.

July 8, 2017

How to run in extreme conditions

Los Angeles is in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave. Ryan Sterner shares the best tips on running in extreme weather conditions.

July 8, 2017

Why a long running break might not cure your injuries

Taking time off after a long season is necessary to let your body recover, but we also tend to think of running breaks as a cure for injuries.

July 8, 2017

The Blue Jeans Mile is coming to New York

Mark your calendars for July 27. The Blue Jeans Mile is coming to New York City and we’re hosting along with the Lost Boys Track Club.

July 7, 2017

How to run a proper Blue Jeans Mile

Sandy Roberts, who recently ran 4:43 for the Blue Jeans Mile, shares his tips on how to run your fastest blue jeans mile.

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