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Author: Stephen Kersh

Former collegiate runner for University of Portland and Georgetown, currently a professional runner weighing sponsorship offers from no one. Enjoys using the internet to message Scott Olberding and Paul Snyder about bad story ideas. Does not assume he will work at Citius much longer due to the bad story ideas. He once gave a TED Talk titled "Twitter: How We Are All Just Shouting into a Vacuum" to his best friend and his girlfriend on the beaches of Connecticut.

June 25, 2019

Trying to Find the ‘Why’ in 100 Miles

Stephen Kersh will be lining up at Western States for his first 100-mile race. Why? He’s still figuring out the answer.

March 21, 2019

These Idiots Are Running the LA Marathon: Analyzing Paul and Ryan’s Training

Ryan Sterner has decided to run a marathon. Paul Snyder has decided to join him in this journey. Let’s dive into their training.

January 29, 2019

Chuck PT’s Video of the European Track Races You Wish You Ran

Check out this short film that gives a peek into Charles Philibert-Thiboutot’s travels in Europe.

December 29, 2018

CITIUS MAG Athlete of the Year – The Case For…Killian Jornet

Kilian Jornet is not only a world-class runner, but a world-class ski mountaineer.

December 26, 2018

CITIUS MAG Athlete of the Year – The Case For…Courtney Dauwalter

It looks like Courtney Dauwalter raced about 27,000 miles in 2018 and usually won or got second.

November 20, 2018

How serious should you take your local Turkey Trot?

Why you should care about your Turkey Trot?

November 4, 2018

Scott Fauble is good at the marathon

Scott Fauble has never been the guy everyone talks about, and that’s fine but let’s take notice of him now.

October 4, 2018

GRIT (Episode 1): Building The Fire

GRIT is a four-part series that takes you through Stephanie Bruce’s buildup towards NYC Marathon on Sunday November 4th.

September 21, 2018

WILD, BASELESS SPECULATION: Elite marathoners would make the best ultrarunners, right?

Some people enjoy positing how either an ultramarathoner would have fared in the conditions (like Boston) or how Eliud Kipchoge would tackle an ultramarathon

September 17, 2018

Breaking Down The Most Impressive Part of Eliud Kipchoge’s World Record

The splits are crazy but we’re going to breakdown the actual most impressive part of Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record yesterday. It’s his post-race celebration.
The man accelerated after running a 2:01:39 marathon. People typically can’t walk after a 26.2 mile race but as we’ve come to learn in recent years – there is no one like Eliud.
A few things to note:

As he crosses the finish line, he does the classic hand clap and fist pump. That’s a great celebration because it shows that you’re happy. Sometimes people finish the race and don’t feel happy. Maybe they didn’t run well and they don’t do the hand clap. The hand clap is nice because it shows that Eliud is impressed with his performance – as he should be.

Another interesting thing to note is that he didn’t wear a watch. That’s good because he didn’t leave the door open for that terrible picture of someone crossing the finish line and looking at their watch. I think he knew that he was going to set a world record today and that’s why he left the watch at home. Maybe we should all leave the watch at home?
Probably about 10 steps after he crosses the finish line and stops clapping, he does a similar head slap to the one by Mo Farah after he won gold at the London Olympics in 2012. That’s an interesting move. It kind of insinuates the “unbelievability” of what just happened. He can’t believe it so he hits his head. He jumbles his brain around a little bit to make sure that what has happened is real. Eliud, it is. It’s really cool, man. You don’t need to hit your head so much. That’s probably not a safe thing to do after a marathon.
After he does the head slapping, he does an arms wide open move and runs for 10 steps past the finish line and toward his coach Patrick Sang. At this point he jumps – well, it’s kind of a jump but more of a three to four inch vertical leap (an estimate based off nothing). For a distance runner that seems fine.
Patrick Sang lifts him up but first gets low. That’s important to note. He gets a little lower. Eliud goes over and Patrick goes under with the arms. Sang uses the momentum of Eliud’s vertical leap to propel Eliud like a child into his arms.
It’s beautiful. Eliud is tiny and looks like a newborn in Patrick’s arms. So happy to be alive and run such a beautiful race.
And of course…it sounds so much better when you add Celine Dion to it.

Thanks to Taylor Hite for the illustration!
September 12, 2018

The Fierce Faces of 5th Ave

Jason Suarez captures some of the faces of the elite women before the start of the 2018 5th Avenue Mile in New York City.

August 30, 2018

On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Runner’s Rights

Stephen Kersh presents: On the Social Contract; or, Principles of Runner’s Rights. These are the soon-to-be-agreed-upon tenets that I believe will ultimately lead to a more perfect union within our niche community.

August 27, 2018

Eric Senseman Mentioned Me In An Article On CITIUS MAG And My Life Instantly Got Better

What happens when you cite someone in an article about CITIUS MAG following you on Instagram? Dakota Jones found out.

July 26, 2018

Strava owes me $1,500

How our very own blog boy Stephen Kersh won and lost the 2018 Copper Mountain 49.5K. So now Strava owes him $1,500 as a result.

June 24, 2018

Western States 100

A trip to the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run from Squaw Valley to Auburn in California. An ultimate test of limits for runners.

June 22, 2018

My First Day at Western States: I’m a huge failure

Today has been full of mistakes. My first day on a press trip, and I’ve completely, totally, utterly dropped the ball.

I’m currently on-assignment covering the Western States Endurance Run. I cannot emphasize enough the poor job I’ve done.

Today was a day where the elite athletes were all meandering around the Village at Squaw Valley – totally accessible to media, and I failed to gather one goddamn interview. It would have been great to have sat down for a few minutes with Courtney Dauwalter (complete badass, overall winner of the 2017 Moab 240-MILER-WTF[!]), or Jim Walmsley (0-2 at Western States, but we all want him to finish this year). But I didn’t. I failed to gather one soundbite, one photo.

Instead, I went for a run along the Truckee River. It was beautiful, but I should have been contacting athletes for interviews.

Then, I ate a robust bowl of oatmeal on the back porch of the cabin I was staying at. The cabin is about a mile from the Village at Squaw Valley. I should have been heading over to the Village to find the athletes I had contacted a few hours earlier.

After my oatmeal, I sat around the cabin. Did some small talk. Nothing productive. It was during this time of nothingness where my appetite began to build. I should have sucked it up and gone to the Village to find some athletes, but, as I’m sure you can now tell, I didn’t. I drove 15 miles to Tahoe City (past Squaw Valley) to find a salad and an iced coffee. Cognitive dissonance. It’s beautiful.

Once 2:00 PM rolled around, I now thought it was the right time to go find some athletes. The sun was in full force, and obviously these athletes would be walking around the ski area, soaking up the sun the day before they race 100 miles through the California mountains and canyons.

I didn’t find a single athlete. I did find a delicious chocolate chip cookie, though.

Truth be told, my day wasn’t a total failure. I tagged along with my girlfriend to the Salomon crew house so she could see Lucy Bartholomew before she raced. While they went over her race plan, I waited in the den and watched as a French man and a Swedish man worked in tandem to prepare for tomorrow’s race.

The Swede, Johan Steene, will be lining up at 5:00 AM tomorrow morning to take on the burden of Western States. Hearing him talk about eating baby food at mile 65 was the closest thing I came to any sort of professional journalism today. As it turns out, nutrition – second only to having legs – is the most important part of completing Western States.

“I bought these today,” Johan said about the baby food. “It seems like it will be good.”

Apparently Johan hadn’t ever experimented with the baby food before planning to use it during one of the premier ultramarathons in the world. Seems fairly non-traditional for a Swede to do something without proper calculations, but Johan, my new favorite runner, seemed sure of himself.

And so, that’s all I have to report from the day before Western States: as long as you’re confident, you should be fine.

June 11, 2018

An Idiot’s Guide to Western States 100: Sitting down with the Coconino Cowboys

Stephen Kersh grabbed some beers with three runners taking on Western States this year to try and create an idiot’s walk through to the race.

May 27, 2018

Pre Classic Photos Gallery – Day 2

May 20, 2018

The Diary From a Disciple of the Church of the Sunday Long Run

7:00 AM Ah! At last! Sunday. Our day of truest worship. The day that, many moons ago, our great leader decreed: “Ye shall run Long once a week and ye shall wait until the finalest day to do doth deed. Also, if ye run Long whilst enrolled in Academia, ye shall be hungest over.”

While my body is slowly waking up, my spirit lags behind. My corporeal existence craves its most basic needs: banana, peanut butter, coffee, and toilet.

7:30 AM – The service has officially begun! The foam roller has been placed on my molding yoga mat and I begin my elaborate, practiced routine of pretending to roll out calves, quads, and back.

I mainly just look at my phone.

7:45 AM – I grab my holy Maurten water bottle and a host of essential energy bars for the post-Church of the Sunday Long Run protein window before heading to my car to pick up fellow worshippers.

We listen to Chance the Rapper’s ‘Blessings’ for our short drive to the trailhead. We are – indeed – staying ready for our blessing.

7:56 AM – I begin to sync my Garmin, readying it for the hill and dale that lie ahead.

8:01 AM – THIS GOD DAMN THING WON’T SYNC

8:04 AM – Myself and six other disciples of the Church of the Sunday Long Run take our first steps towards salvation.

8:10 AM – Seeds of initial mistrust have been sewn in the group as Lucas has told us he plans on running 70 minutes.

70 minutes is no long run.

8:17 AM – Lucas’ fall from grace has been all but forgotten as Skylar begins to break the covenant with a sub 7-minute mile far too early in the service.

I cannot help but believe I am surrounded by wolves in sheep’s clothing.

8:25 AM – Sweet respite as we pause to toilet ourselves.

8:35 AM – It is usually around this part of the service where I unleash a demonic oath to never attend another gathering while denouncing this religion in whole. But, for whatever reason, today I was struck by epiphany.

“My friends. What if we honored Sunday as a day of rest?”

“But Sundays are not for rest.”

“But they could be.”

“No. No they could not be. Our great leader decreed it so.”

“What if he was wrong?”

I fear I have paved my path to martyrdom.

8:37 AM – My epiphany fails to create any sort of constructive discourse amongst my fellow disciples, instead they try their best to drop me from the group by increasing the pace.

I take each blow with grace, not speaking but answering with a surge of energy. I refuse for my heresy to die an easy death. 

8:39 AM – Lucas turns and leaves the group.

There is no question in my mind our leader will smite the very earth he runs back to his car. We will never see Lucas again. 

8:45 AM – I find Lucas’ decision to not run a true long run today, on our day of worship, particularly troubling. Not only for himself and his soul, but for myself and my epiphany.

Lucas’ actions, albeit vile, might give credence to my thoughts of conducting our weekly service on, for example, Saturday.

9:15 AM – After spending the last 30 minutes in deep thought, invoking our deepest beliefs, I speak:

“Next Saturday, I will be conducting my worship at the Church of the Saturday Long Run. You are all welcome to join, as is anyone from any other creed. I will be reaching out to our friends at the Church of the Saturday is an Off Day, at the Church of Friday is Speed Day, and, of course, our fellow believers at the Church of the Vaporfly 4%.”

“You can’t do that. That is illegal.”

“There is no way that is illegal.”

“I promise you I will call the police on you.”

“Why”

“DEICIDE”

Skylar is an idiot.

9:45 AM – I have decided to abscond the Church of the Sunday Long Run with a great hope to form the Church of the Long Run. A place where all distances can be run on all days without judgement, nor malice. We will not tack our existence to one day in the week, rather will find peace in our body of work throughout the week.

I deeply hope Lucas is alive. Lucas clearly understands. Lucas will be my first disciple.

 

May 11, 2018

My friend ices his nuts to be a better runner

My friend is trying some new Biohacking treatment where he ices his testicles in order to be a better runner. The reviews for the product are strange.

May 3, 2018

A critique of Asbel Kiprop’s response to doping allegations

Breaking down Asbel Kiprop’s lengthy response to reports that the three-time world champion and 2008 Olympic gold medalist tested positive for EPO.

April 10, 2018

Stephen’s Scoop: You Aren’t Going To Win Any Money At This Year’s Boston Marathon, But This Is Better

the 2018 Boston Marathon will be showing some love to an oft-forgotten, nary celebrated sub-section of runners: the age grouper. Through funding from adidas and The Woolmark Company, the top-20 in 13 age group categories will be earning long-sleeve Merino wool shirts.

March 27, 2018

First Things First: A New Citius Mag Video Series – First Guest: Robby Andrews

First Things First gives viewers an inside look at elite athletes training in Flagstaff while eating hamburgers and answering questions at the same time.

March 19, 2018

Thoughts on ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running’ by Haruki Murakami

Marukami starts by telling his life story through the lens of running but gives us insight on what makes one our greatest novelists tick.

March 14, 2018

The 10,000-meter is The Wire and other things you may not know

Examining objectively good track and field events, as well as their accompanying TV show counterparts like The Wire and Arrested Development.

March 5, 2018

Why is a tiny island better at marathons than our entire continent?

At the 2018 Tokyo Marathon, 9 Japanese runners ran sub-2:10 with 6 of them placing top 10. How is the country beating USA at developing top marathoners?

February 27, 2018

CITIUS MAG First Summer 2018 Tee Available

We have unveiled our first CITIUS MAG summer 2018 t-shirt design to keep you looking fresh even when the temperatures start to rise.

February 18, 2018

A LOT OF DOUBLING HAPPENING IN ALBUQUERQUE; CHELIMO WINS THE 1500

Shelby Houlihan was not just the only athlete to double up and win at the US Indoor Championships, Paul Chelimo roared back from the 3,000 meters.

February 18, 2018

Houlihan unleashes a monster kick, melts the entire field’s collective face

Shelby Houlihan returned to the track less than 24 hours after winning the 3,000 meters and then won the 1,500 meters at the U.S. Indoor Championships

February 18, 2018

Donavan Brazier just barely misses Johnny Gray’s indoor American record

Johnny Gray’s indoor American record in the 800 meters got another scare from Donavan Brazier as he fell just .10 seconds off it.

February 18, 2018

Death, taxes and Ajee Wilson winning an 800-meter race

Ajee Wilson must have a very big closet at home because she is just racking up these US national titles and added another one in Albuquerque.

February 18, 2018

Fred Kerley stumbles, mounts a furious comeback, comes up short

Michael Cherry won one of the oddest 400 meter indoor races ever as Fred Kerley was bumped off the U.S. team for Worlds on the second lap.

February 17, 2018

2018 U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships: Live Results, Analysis, Commentary (Day 1)

Bringing you all the best commentary from the 2018 USATF Indoor Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center for the weekend.

February 12, 2018

Winter Olympics: Where did these sports come from?

Coming up with a short back story for some Winter Olympic sports. Sit back and watch us set flames to the annals of history.

January 31, 2018

What your favorite professional runner says about you

So you have a favorite professional runner, huh? Well that says something about you. What exactly? Find out from Stephen with gifs.

January 17, 2018

Donald Trump’s Daily Exercise Regimen

President Donald Trump’s physical has been released and it’s not secret that it would be wise for him to lose weight so we devised a training plan.

January 3, 2018

CITIUS Chats: Prognosticating Big Stories In Track For 2018

Chris Chavez and Stephen Kersh discuss what they think some of the biggest stories will be in the world of track and field for 2018.

December 31, 2017

2017 Comeback Season Awards

In our current epoch of rap music, it can feel as if every single day is “Comeback Season” (or COMEBACK SZN, or CMBK SZN, or some other variation of dropping vowels, consonants, etc). This is silly to me for a few reasons. The most clear being the thought that a single day can constitute a season. A season is god damn season. We have four of them. I’m using “We” in the universal way because we are all bound by seasons because we exist on the same time-space continuum. So when I’m scrolling through Instagram and see my peers shouting CMBK SZN day after day, I want to slap them with a calendar and shout back “JULIUS CAESAR DIDN’T DIE SO YOU COULD DISRESPECT HIS SEASONS”.

The other reason, and perhaps the more fascinating, CMBK SZN is dumb as hell is the majority people claiming it’s their comeback never had a chance of failing. It’s mainly used by people who have experienced incredible success while entertaining a zero-chance possibility of ever returning to a place where a comeback is necessary.

Also, Can we agree it was Aubrey “Drake” Graham who started this phenomena? It seems like it was Drake. It had to have been Drake. 100% Aubrey Graham. 

Drake saying he is having a comeback season is like Matt Centrowitz claiming it’s his comeback season after winning an Olympic Gold. Something I have no proof of, but something I’ve never been so sure of in my life.

Ok, so the gist is no one can see who really enjoys a comeback season because of all the noise from people who hold a false narrative of oppression and failure. I believe two people in the world of running enjoyed a true “Comeback Season”.

Sara Hall

In 2016, Sara Hall dropped out of the Olympic Marathon Trials. Her chance at making her first Olympic team vanished. I also dropped out of the Olympic Marathon Trials, but I wasn’t that devastated because I had a bunch of friends there and my focus immediately shifted to tacos and Coronas. I’m sure she was devastated because she had an honest shot at making the team. We were at different places in our life, and that was fine.

Sara Hall needed a comeback season in 2017. She delivered one with a personal bests in the half marathon, marathon, and a national championship in the marathon.

Her 69:37 performance at the Copenhagen Half Marathon set her up nicely for a 2:27:21 marathon personal best at the Frankfurt Marathon. To cap off her legitimate CMBK SZN, she dominated the U.S Marathon Championships while taking the victory earlier this month.

THIS *CLAP EMOJI* WAS  *CLAP EMOJI* A *CLAP EMOJI* COMEBACK

Chris Derrick

This may seem like a stretch, and it probably is, but I think CD had a 2017 Comeback Season. After a year where he missed the start of the Olympic Marathon Trials due to injury and then couldn’t get into the shape he needed to be in to truly compete at the 10,000-meter Trials, one of our brightest talents was facing some hardships. This is the part of the story where he holes himself up in a room, literally takes out his degree from Stanford, hangs in on the wall, and creates an algorithm for success in 2017.

His formula worked – delivering personal bests at the New York City Half Marathon (61:12) and then guiding him to a 2:12:50 marathon debut (2nd American) at the Chicago Marathon. Chris showed he has a future in the marathon and formulas. Hell yeah, Chris.

I hope I showed not everyone can equally experience a Comeback Season. You cannot have a Comeback Season after one or two bad races. No – you have to suffer through a year of shit to deserve a Citius Comeback Season Award Tour Award. I apologize to Sara and Chris if I made their 2016 year out to be worse than it was. Because, in reality, it was probably a great year filled with family, friends, and all that nice stuff. We probably attribute too much “success” to running, but whatever. We can tackle that in 2018.

December 14, 2017

After NFL Wide Receiver Claims Ghost Tainted Pee, Russia Nods in Solidarity

After serving a 4-game suspension for a positive PED test, Jets receiver Jeremy Kerley is back & has some spooky theories on how his urine became tainted.

December 12, 2017

A Certain Under-Investigation Coach’s Christmas List (PARODY)

A Christmas list of a certain coach that is under investigation. Whether he was naughty or nice is up to the discretion of USADA.

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