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Author: Chris Chavez

Citius Mag founder and writer for Sports Illustrated. Writing about people running on circles for five years. Covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio for SI. Previously at ESPN, Sporting News and Flotrack. Former high school sprinter turned four-time marathoner. Once went head-to-head with Joey Fatone in a half-marathon and won.

May 23, 2017

Remembering “The Greatest Footrace Ever”

A quick moment to pass along the legend that was the 1969 Pac-8 Conference Championship where Steve Prefontaine and Gerry Lindgren battled to the line.

May 19, 2017

The MVP of Thursday night wasn’t even at the USATF Middle Distance Classic

There were some solid performances on the track at Occidental College on Thursday night but the best one happened by Joe Kovacs in the infield in Tuscon.

May 18, 2017

Mo Farah opens final track season, what’s left to accomplish?

Mo Farah has built a case to be in the conversation for the Greatest of All-Time but can he do anything in his final year to push him to the top?

May 15, 2017

Weekend Power Rankings – Shanghai, SECs and more

Pulling all the best and not-so-great results from the weekend at the Shanghai Diamond League, some NCAA action and Crocs kid again.

May 4, 2017

Breaking2 could join the likes of Geraldo’s Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults

Geraldo Rivera got us good with his Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults in 1986. Are we setting ourselves up for disappointment with Breaking2?

April 21, 2017

London’s been all-hype with women’s world record talk for years

The women’s world record marks will probably live another day after this weekend’s London Marathon. Why do we continue to get our hopes up for them to fall?

April 19, 2017

Keep your eyes on the Japanese 4×100 at World Relays and their experiment

Japan has some wheels in motion to try and improve upon their silver medal in the 4×100 from Rio. Don’t sleep on the Japanese sprinters at World Relays.

April 11, 2017

Right on what and left on huh? – The meaning of Hereford and Boylston

The final directions at the Boston Marathon are make a right on Hereford and a left on Boylston. Where do the names for those streets come from?

April 3, 2017

Record-setting and stunning performances in Prague, Austin, Kingston, Stanford and more

All the action from a record-setting weekend at the Prague Half and Texas Relays, Fast times and personal bests at Champs, Florida Relays & Stanford Invite.

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

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 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 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 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 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 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 19, 2017

Personal bests feel better when you’re with friends: NYC Half race report

A personal best is always nice but there’s a special joy that comes with the process of chasing that goal with others on race day.

March 17, 2017

2017 NYC Half Preview: Feyisa Lilesa vs. Callum Hawkins and the Americans; Molly Huddle’s three-peat chances

A look at the elite races at the 2017 NYC Half. The field includes U.S. Olympians Meb Keflezighi, Jared Ward , Molly Huddle, Amy Hastings and Desi Linden.

March 4, 2017

How to watch the 2017 USATF Indoor Championships online: Live stream, TV schedule, start lists, live results

The 2017 USATF Indoor Championships are underway in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Citius Mag is on the ground to provide you with live coverage on Saturday and Sunday so follow along on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Here is our preview of the distance races from earlier in the week.

Here is how to watch the meet:

The championship will be broadcast live March 4-5 on USATF.TV and NBCSN. If you miss the meet live, you can catch everything on-demand on USATF.TV. The online stream requires a RunnerSpace +PLUS subscription.

Here are all the start lists and live results should be available just moments after the race.

Broadcast and Webcast Coverage (all times ET):

Date: Saturday, March 4

Live stream: USATF.TV +Plus

Time: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.


Time: 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Date: Sunday, March 5

Time: 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Live stream: USATF.TV +Plus


Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


February 22, 2017

Mailbag: Tokyo Marathon, a little on conference championships, relationship advice

The reception to this website’s first few weeks has been fantastic so thanks a lot for coming along for the ride. It’s been great to feel the excitement about a new tone and voice within the sport. This week’s mailbag was a little light but that’s OK since I’m answering most of these at 3 a.m. with a little Anthony Bourdain in the background. We’ll touch on the Tokyo Marathon and then a little bit on conference championship weekend, which I wish I followed more closely.

Send in your questions to [email protected] for next week’s mailbag. I’ll answer any thoughtful or funny questions on track and field or in the occasional email from the U.K…. athletics.

Email from Rubis: What are the big storylines to watch on the men’s and women’s side for the marathon? (Sent from my iPad)

This question comes to us from The Hub of Distance Running and a former teammate of The Bachelor. (Vanessa totally has this locked up.) Well, Rubis,  you’re in luck if you want to see one of the greatest marathoners in history. Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang is coming off a great run in last September’s Berlin Marathon, where he was second to Kenenisa Bekele in 2:03:13. Kipsang’s career best average for his top 10 marathons is 2:05:02, which would be a great sign to try and see him challenge that 2:05:18 course record on re-designed course. Brett Larner of Japan Running News recently wrote a post observing some of the changes to the course, which included some hills at bad times in the late stages of the race. A few adjustments were made and the verdict appears to be that it’s an improvement but wind could now be the issue in the closing stages.

On the women’s side, we have a familiar name making her debut. Betsy Saina, who trains with the Bowerman Track Club and was a standout for years at Iowa State, will be making her 26.2 debut. She’ll have to face 2015 Tokyo Marathon champion Berhane Dibaba, who is not related to the other Dibaba sisters…I think.

Email from Eric: Why don’t we see more Americans contest the Tokyo Marathon or the London Marathon?

I’ve always wondered that myself. It could be the timing of some of these races. Boston is only a week before or after London and it’s easier to stick around on home soil. Tokyo also comes in February which can be a tricky time in training. One thing that Andrew Bumbalough, who will be making his own marathon debut in Tokyo, noted in a recent blog post from the Bowerman Track Club is the flurry of runners that will be in the 2:11-2:12 range. That guarantees that Bumbalough will likely have someone to run with the entire way. If I recall when Matt Tegenkamp made his marathon debut in Chicago, they enlisted Chris Solinsky to pace him most of the way. I haven’t read anything about Bumbalough having a teammate or friend pace him along the way but with the popularity of road racing in Japan, there will be a lot of runners in his range. Sara Hall, who holds a personal best of 2:30:06, will run in the women’s race.

This year, we have two example of a U.S. elite going to Japan for the marathon. Later this spring, we’ll see Laura Thweatt go to London to chase a fast time there.

Email from Jacques: What’s up with Wilson Kipsang and the sub-two hour project?

First off, I think the name Jacques is very cool and reminds me of former outfielder Jacque Jones who was good with the Twins but not so much with the Cubs. You know who is really good though. Wilson Kipsang. (Terrible transition) Kipsang is an adidas athlete so definitely has no part in Nike’s Breaking-Two team or in Paul Snyder’s Debajo Dos venture. The independent Sub 2 Hours project headed by physiologist Yannis Pitsiladis has recruited Kipsang. Unfortunately, the results for their work with Kenenisa Bekele took a little step back as he dropped out of last month’s Dubai Marathon with an injury.

Back in 2014, Kipsang told Competitor that we maybe should hold off on the sub-two hour talk until we get to 2:01. There’s still some time that has to be shaved off. The Sub 2 Hours project also does not appear to be in a rush any time soon.

We’ll see how much Kipsang’s work with this new group will benefit him in his first major marathon since Berlin. It appears he’s been working with them since January.

Email from Sam: If I have to watch just one conference championship meet this weekend, which should it be?

Sam, sorry to disappoint because I’ve personally fallen off on watching collegiate track but I’ll tune in on occasion. There’s just so much to follow and I don’t have a whole lot of time. If you want to strike a good balance go to the SEC for the incredible relays like the 4×400 and then the distance-focused races you can’t go wrong with MPSF. Keep in mind that Oregon’s women’s sprints program is looking fantastic and on their way to their seventh NCAA indoor title in the last eight years. I’m a Big East guy for everything (as you may have followed along in recent weeks for basketball) and Spencer Brown of The Athlete Special is in the men’s DMR and the men’s 3,000 there. So find a way to tune into that.

Here’s how the Citius Mag staff was divided: Paul and Jeanne (Heps, no surprise there); Nicole (Big Ten), Scott (Big Ten and then switched to say SEC)

If you’re looking for a schedule on how to watch all of the weekend’s meets: USTFCCCA has you hooked up and I’d probably recommend them for your comprehensive previews.

Email from Ari: Read your post on the men that have broken four minutes for the mile at every 100th marker. Who has the coolest name on the list so far?

Roosevelt Jackson. It reminds me of the subway station that I take every morning.

Tweet from DumbFlotrack: Is it possible to date one of the girls on the team and still be “one of the guys”

Hate to break it to you but I went to an all-guys high school and then I was not fast enough to run in college so I can’t drop any first-hand experience with you. Having come across some threads on this and having friends on different track teams, I think it’s fairly common to date someone on the team. I think it’s totally possible to still be “one of the guys” in the crew. Just earlier in the week, Scott Olberding discussed how Emily Pritt and Ryan Hill are great for each other in their relationship. There’s some famous runner couples out there like the Halls and the Gouchers. DumbFlo, do what your heart tells you. Phoebe Wright also had some advice not too long ago.

That does it for this week’s Citius Mag Mailbag. Send more questions next time to [email protected] or tweet us @CitiusMag.

February 20, 2017

Never too early to get excited about the U.S. shot put in 2017

The future looks bright for the state of the United States shot put scene with the likes of Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs & Darrel Hill throwing over 22 meters.

February 20, 2017

All around the world: Your weekend track wrap-up from Birmingham, New York, Kenya and more

Another action-packed week of running. Here’s what you may have missed.

February 17, 2017

Wake up to Georgetown’s 1987 Penn Relays DMR – Gags’ last world record until tonight?

Frank Gagliano’s last world record-setting squad until tonight possibly.

February 16, 2017

Who were sub-four U.S. Milers No. 100, 200, 300 and 400?

As we approach 500 U.S. sub-four minute milers all-time, who were No. 100, 200, 300 and 400?

February 16, 2017

Birmingham’s big meet: Five things to watch at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix

The last stop of the IAAF World Indoor Tour takes place on Saturday in Birmingham, U.K.

February 14, 2017

Wake up to Steve Prefontaine winning the 1973 LA Times Mile

Steve Prefontaine races the mile at The Forum in 1973.

February 13, 2017

Real talk: Kristi Castlin on gun violence in America, history in Rio and more

Kristi Castlin speaks out on gun violence in America and using her voice for more since Rio.

February 11, 2017

How to watch Millrose Games online: Live stream, TV info

The Millrose Games return and you can watch it live on TV.

February 10, 2017

Millrose Games preview: Everything you need to know

Everything from Matt Centrowitz vs. Ryan Hill to Shannon Rowbury’s three-peat attempt, we have you covered.

February 10, 2017

Alan Webb rapping the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song taking you into the weekend

The American record holder in the mile can also recite the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song very well.

February 8, 2017

Ford Palmer and Nicole Bush join as athlete contributors

Ford Palmer and Nicole Bush will be bringing their insight to the new site.

February 8, 2017

Millrose Games Mailbag on MSG, Drew Hunter, Dibaba, historic U.S. tracks & hot dog debates

Answering all your questions relating to Millrose Games and whether a hot dog is a sandwich.

February 8, 2017

Wake up to Matt Centrowitz and Miles Batty’s 2012 Wanamaker Mile thriller

A world championship medalist goes toe-to-toe with a star out of BYU.

February 7, 2017

Watch: Genzebe Dibaba runs 2,000 meter world record on a Tuesday

That’s six indoor world records for Genzebe Dibaba.

February 6, 2017

What we learned from the IAAF Council Meeting: Russia remains banned, transfers suspended

35 Russian athletes have applied to compete as neutral athletes at the 2017 world championships in London

February 6, 2017

Weekend Track Wrap: U.S. XC, Odd Nitro Meet and Armory Track Invitational

It’s a happy Monday in Boston after the New England Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl title under head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady but that’s totally not what you came to this site for.

Lets catch up on the weekend’s action around the world:

Aliphine Tuliamuk and Leonard Korir win rugged U.S. Cross-Country Championship titles

Aliphine Tuliamuk handily won the women’s race by 48 seconds to cross the finish line in 34:23.5. It marked her fourth USA Championship title since becoming a USA citizen in 2016.

On the men’s side, Leonard Korir was the last man standing from a pack that included fellow Kenyan-born stars Stanley Kebenei, Shadrack Kipchirchir and Sam Chelanga. Korir won in 30:11.8.

Several people took to Twitter to question whether there was anything wrong with the picture of the United States’ distance events now being won by Kenyan-born athletes. It’s not a problem but the question that may be posed is what changes could be made when it comes to athletes switching nationalities. The foreign-born trend is sometimes more obvious to us in weaker race fields or some of the smaller road races.

We’ll have more on this discussion throughout the week and since you’re maybe curious now: Chris Derrick was the top U.S.-born man and took fifth. Laura Thweatt was the top U.S. born woman and was second behind Tuliamuk. Thweatt has opted not to race the World Cross Country Championships as April’s London Marathon is her primary focus.

The Instagram Shot of the Weekend

This one comes to us from Ciaran O’Lionaird, who captured the perfect snap of how slippery and chilly the conditions were in Bend.

Paul Chelimo dominates back on N.C. soil

When we caught up with Olympic silver medalist Paul Chelimo last week, he mentioned to Pat Price that his goal for 2017 is not to lose a single race.

He is now 3–0 after clocking a 7:45.49 for the win at the Camel City Invitational at the JDL Fast Track facility in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Laura Muir upsets Helen Obiri with record-setting 3,000m 

I managed to hop over to my laptop briefly on Saturday afternoon after Laura Muir ran 8:26.41 for a new European record, world lead, Scottish record and British record. With all of the action going on, I thought for sure we would probably overlook this brilliant upset and record-setting performance as we have in the past with Muir’s 3:55.22.

Only four Ethiopians, including Genzebe Dibaba, have ever run faster than Muir’s time and she stripped the European title from convicted Russian doper Liliya Shobukhova. It’s a remarkable performance by Muir and we’re hoping that she gets more credit and appreciation in 2017 as the sport starts looking for new stars.

The odd Nitro Athletics meet happened in Australia

Innovation is always interesting within track and field but it may be time to go back to the drawing board for the Nitro Athletics meet that took place in Australia. The IAAF is trying very hard to also push it as the next cool thing but some of it would be tough to get a new audience to understand.

The three-minute run was a novel concept but then we just saw too many rules in the elimination mile.


The silliest of moments during the meet came from the commentator during the javelin competition, which incorporated targets and led: “This is the first time she has ever competed in a hat. And that’s what Nitro is all about!”

The mixed relays had no set order for men and women to face off against someone of the same gender on their respective legs and just looked messy. I’d much rather see an ol’ fashion distance medley relay but some of these new meets (TrackTown Summer Series, World Relays) are moving away from that. The Great Edinburgh cross country race’s mixed gender relay is the best version of the race model because it’s at least XC so we aren’t pretending times matter

The better commentary came from the mixed relay and putting the spotlight on hurdler Ryan Wilson:

Arizona’s Sage Watson breaks collegiate 500 meter record

It’s nice to see some athletes reach the apex of the sport and compete at the Olympics but then return to finish competing for their college (or in Sydney McLaughlin’s case…high school) as opposed to signing a professional contract. Arizona’s Sage Watson is one of those athletes. She took 11th in the 400 meter hurdles semifinal in Rio and was a member of the 4×400 meter relay team that took fourth in the final. 2017 is off to just as fast of a start for her as she set a new collegiate record for the 500 meters by running 1:08.40 for the win at the Armory Track Invitational.

Check out our gallery of photos from some of Saturday’s session.

More from the Armory Track Invitationsl

  • 16-year-old Tyrese Cooper became the first high school runner to crack 33-seconds for 33 meters as he clocked a 32.87 to finish behind Olympian Lalonde Gordon’s 32.37. He chucked up the three-goggles for a picture with the clock, which is perfect.

  • The 600 is super popular this year. Ajee Wilson became the second-fastest American at the distance all-time with her 1:24.48 for the win. Alysia Montano holds the American record with her 1:23.59 from 2013. Sammy Watkins pulled off another strong performance by lowering her high school record from 1:28.67 to 1:27.13.
  • I remember seeing Sam Penzenstadler run in person for the first time at the Meyo Invitational three years ago and I was blown away by how not-great his form looked but how he still managed to run under four minutes. He’s also one of the most humble guys so I was happy to see him do well last weekend by upsetting Robby Andrews on the final leg of the 4×800-meter relay. The District Track Club took the victory in 7:22.92.

Missing the Meyo Mile

Speaking of which…for the second year in a row, I have missed the thundersticks party that is the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame. This year’s race was won by Indiana’s Kyle Mau 4:00.37. The race creates a great atmosphere at the Loftus Center when the winner happens to have an ND uniform on and when multiple people go under four minutes. I definitely miss that.

Now we move on to Millrose Week on Citius Mag so be sure to check back often and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest on one of indoor track’s most historic meets.

February 6, 2017

Kicking off Millrose Week

Get excited for Millrose Week on Citius Mag.

February 4, 2017

We don’t talk about the brilliance of Laura Muir enough

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February 2, 2017

Meet the staff of Citius Mag

This is a very exciting team of people.

February 2, 2017

Meet the kid who got a Matt Centrowitz tattoo after losing a bet

Some people regret tattoos after losing a bet. Cam Sorter does not.

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