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CULTURE

September 16, 2020

Big Sky Country Requires Big Sends Only

Anytime between September 19th and the 27th, go for a hike or run to raise money for HBCUs Outside’s #BlackToTheTrails5K.

June 15, 2020

Running To Protest | How New York City’s Run Crews Came Together Against Racial Injustice

Hundreds of New York City runners gathered at the East River for a protest run against racial injustice and police brutality in America.

June 1, 2020

Beyond Conversation

We’re angry. We’re in pain. We don’t have all the answers. What we do know is that we can proceed and start searching for a solution with love, listening, compassion and service. That’s what we have done and what everyone should intend to do.

May 7, 2020

#IRunWithMaud

Friday would’ve been Ahmaud’s birthday. Run 2.23 miles with #IRunWithMaud and consider signing the petition for justice.

April 19, 2020

Track and Field, Running Documentaries We Want to See Made

A question for running fans ahead of the the Michael Jordan documentary coming out: What track and field film or documentary would you want to see made if you gave hollywood producers an unlimited budget? It can be multiple parts.

March 17, 2020

A Letdown

We’ve got time spent inside, at home, to just think and feel and be. It seems like a curse that I’m trying very hard to turn into a blessing. 

March 5, 2020

Belonging | A Day at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Jenny Donnelly delivers a play-by-play account of one of the best days of her life at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

January 30, 2020

Good Morning, Central Park! It’s Me

It’s just how the NYC running community works- someone knows someone who’s friends with someone, and now you’re friends that run together.

January 24, 2020

Less Than 40 Days Till The Trials

A brief training update with less than six weeks to go until the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

December 10, 2019

On Trying (and Failing) to OTQ

David Melly reflects on his marathon debut where he went after the 2:19 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.

October 24, 2019

Detroit Rock City

It has 16 years since I’ve run a marathon but something called me back to racing a half marathon in 2019.

October 18, 2019

The Best and Worst Things About Marathon Training Thus Far

For a marathon rookie, here are some of the best and worst things about training experienced thus far.

October 9, 2019

Join Us In Chicago – Live Podcast with Bowerman Track Club!

Join us for a LIVE recording of the CITIUS MAG Podcast with Moh Ahmed, Ryan Hill and Evan Jager of the Bowerman Track Club.

July 3, 2019

CREW LOVE: The Team Behind Stephen Kersh’s Western States Run

A look behind Stephen Kersh’s seventh-place finish in his Western States Endurance Run debut.

May 29, 2019

Summer Reading List: 100 Books All Runners and Track Fans Should Read

From Once A Runner to Endure…Jesse Squire has compiled a comprehensive list of required reading for all track and field, running fans.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
April 17, 2019

Meet the Photographer Capturing Shots of Eliud Kipchoge and the NN Running Team

Meet the photographer responsible for many shots of the NN Running Team, Eliud Kipchoge and the world’s best runners.

March 29, 2019

Oaxaca by Foot: Running with Aire Libre

Running? Check. Yoga? Check. An experience with Aire Libre

March 28, 2019

The Bang Bang Girl Gang Take Speed Project 5.0

Meet these inspiring women with their eyes on running 340-miles from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in a record-setting time.

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.

March 7, 2019

Tokyo Marathon 2019 – The Process Pays Off

Reflecting on my 21-minute personal best from the 2019 Tokyo Marathon.

February 19, 2019

Christmas in July: The Pacific Pursuit 10,000m

It was President’s Day in San Diego and a few of America’s best distance runners gathered to run a fast 10K.

January 22, 2019

Why Should Running Fans Care About Jim Walmsley’s 64-Minute Half Marathon?

Editor’s Note: Eric is one of Jim Walmsley’s training partners with the Coconino Cowboys. OK. Now that we disclosed that, here are his thoughts.

Jim Walmsley has recently been the recipient of more vitriol than any other runner. The hatred spewed in places like LetsRun and Twitter would leave you to believe, if you didn’t know any better, that Walmsley had taken everyone’s mother out for a nice seafood dinner and never called her again. I’ve never seen a runner’s success create such giant geysers of boiling bile. The nay-sayers might say he deserves it and, granted, they might have a point. After all, he comes off as more confident than might be warranted—maybe so confident that it seems cocky. And sure, he’s outspoken about his goals—perhaps to a degree that borders on arrogance. Maybe some people just don’t like the guy, and so that’s why they want to mitigate the extent of his successes or reduce his achievements. (One of my favorite hot-takes from his 64-minute run in Houston? “That just shows that the Olympic “B” Standard is SOFT.” Such a great take.) I’m not here to tell you that you should like Jim Walmsley. You don’t have to like him. But I’m here to suggest that you should respect how he’s accomplished an Olympic Trials qualifier. Because he accomplished the feat in a way that has never been done before.

UltraRunning, the preeminent magazine for the sport of ultrarunning, started an award in 1981 called Ultrarunner of the Year (UROY). A panel of judges will survey ultrarunner performances from the year and then vote to determine who was the best ultrarunner, male and female in North America. It’s a points-based system. Whoever has the most points that year will win the award.

Walmsley has now won the award three straight years (2016-2018). This is not unprecedented: he’s the third male to win three-straight times.

The International Trail-Running Association (ITRA) has a Performance Index that ranks runners, also on a point-based system, on the basis of their performances. For every trail race you run, an algorithm determines how many points your result was worth. Your best results determine your overall ranking in the ITRA Performance Index. It’s a worldwide ranking system.

Walmsley is currently ranked #1 in the world on the ITRA Performance Index. This is not unprecedented: other people, like Kilian Jornet, have owned the #1 world ranking at times.

Walmsley ran at the Air Force Academy and he graduated in 2012. He stopped racing on the track and road after college. Upon leaving college, and before he began racing ultramarathons in 2014, he owned personal bests of 13:52 in the 5K and 29:08 in the 10K. This is not unprecedented. Max King, the current 100K American record holder, has a 5K personal best of 13:56. There are countless other examples in the sport of ultrarunning: people have run very fast times at shorter distances on the track or road before stepping up to the ultramarathon distance. And there, too, are countless examples of people who have straddled both worlds, running very competitive times in both road marathons and trail ultramarathons in the same calendar year, or even the very same month.

For example, Max King had also run a 2:14 marathon years before he set the American 100K record. King ran in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and also won ultramarathons that same year. Magdalena Boulet, a 2008 Olympian with a marathon best of 2:26:22, eventually turned her talents to ultrarunning and won UROY in 2015—the same year she won the Western States 100. Again, there are countless examples over the last several decades, on both the men’s and women’s side, of runners moving on from fast marathons and road times to ultramarathons and trails or continuing their road marathon careers while also running competitive times on the trails. But the opposite is not true.

No one has successfully dominated the sport of ultrarunning and then—and this is the important part—run competitive times on the road. There is no example of that sequence of events in the sport of running, save for one.

Let me be clear about what is being said here. There are many examples of men and women who have raced very, very competitively, and at a very, very high level on the roads or track, at distances from the 3k to the marathon, and then gone on to run very, very competitively and at a very, very high level in ultramarathons and on the trails. The converse is not true.

No one—with one exception—has raced very, very competitively, and at a very, very high level in ultramarathons and on the trails, and then gone on to run very, very competitively and at a very, very high level on the roads. No one has fully dominated the sport of ultrarunning—to the tune of three consecutive UROY awards, a #1 ITRA ranking and a course record at the prestigious Western States 100—and then run 64 minutes flat for the half marathon. Except for Jim Walmsley. (For context, during the last Olympic cycle, there were only 41 men who qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials by running 64 minutes or faster for a half marathon. That’s only about 20 guys, on average, each year.)

This is not to say that Walmsley is on the cusp of making a U.S. Olympic team. He has simply qualified himself for the Olympic Trials. He did so by running the slowest possible half marathon qualifying time. If Vegas were placing odds, his would be abysmal.

There’s no reason to think that Walmsley’s speed or talent have never been seen in the sport of ultrarunning. There’s no reason to think he has the speed or talent to make an Olympic team. But there is very good reason to give him a great deal of respect, for he has accomplished an order of events that the running world had never before seen. Keep in mind that prior to Sunday in Houston, Walmsley hadn’t raced a road half marathon since high school. He hadn’t raced on the track since 2012. He’s still never raced a road marathon. Instead, he terrorized the sport of ultrarunning with complete dominance from the 50K to 100-mile distances. Only then, after he was one of the best ultrarunners in the world, if not the best, for years, did he race a shorter distance on the road and run a competitive time.

To paraphrase a recent tweet from one of my favorite Twitter trolls: You don’t have to cheer on Walmsley for his successes, but if you’re actively cheering against him, you might be a douchebag. To make the point slightly differently in my own words: you don’t have to be impressed by Walmsley’s 64-minute half marathon, but you should care about the way he did it, and you should respect him for it, because it was groundbreaking.


UPDATE: Since publishing the piece on Tuesday, our informed readers have noted at least one person – Ann Trason. The legend’s trajectory in the sport is similar to Walmsley’s. She won Western States 14 times in her career and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on three occasions. The author’s point remains that Jim’s trajectory is very rare, if not unique on the men’s side of the sport. The author welcomes further feedback on Twitter: @goodsenseruns or email us at [email protected].

December 13, 2018

Club Cross Country Nationals: The Best Party in American Distance Running

The USATF Club Cross Country National Championships are for the people who bear themselves to the unforgiving reality of a cross country race.

December 1, 2018

Here’s to the blue collar runner

EDITOR’S NOTE: Noah Droddy (fast) has been a Citius Mag supporter since day one. That’s why when he sent us this blog ahead of CIM, we decided to throw him a bone. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you. 

It is 5 AM and I am sound asleep, but the bed I share with Emma is already half
empty. She has had her first cup of coffee, and by now is likely running loops of a
nearby park in the pitch dark. She did it yesterday too. She’ll do it again tomorrow.
Day after day she toils in the still dark. She will finish just in time to shower, eat
quickly, one more cup of coffee and head out the door for a full day teaching at a
Boulder preschool. After school, she will train again. After a brief moment to
decompress and dinner, she’s in bed early to prepare for the same routine
tomorrow.

Why? An Olympic Trials qualifier. The gold standard of the post-collegiate athlete.
Emma is an accomplished athlete, having finished 39th at the 2016 Olympic
Marathon Trials, and she has always balanced her training with some amount of
work and school. But this time would be special; the barriers to marathon fitness
were especially high. A full time demanding job, graduate studies, a sore hamstring,
and a needy boyfriend waiting on the couch at home – enough to scare a mere
mortal into adult recreational sports. But not Emma. She chose to do this because it
is hard.

The California International Marathon has shined a spotlight on the citizen runner.
The runners laying down fast times while holding down full-time jobs. In distance
running, we keep the “blue-collar runner” in the highest esteem. Why? Well,
probably because they are motivated by the love of the sport, and the pursuit of their
absolute limits. Not sustained by dreams of big money or fame, their ambition is
pure. They have done their absolute best in difficult training circumstances, and no
doubt many of their performances will still rank among the best the USA has to
offer. The idea that someone could love something so much and pursue it with such
tenacity and sacrifice in the name of personal satisfaction inspires the imagination.
It forces fans and competitors alike to ask themselves – what am I really capable of?
What do I really want?

Everyone says that just getting to the start line of a marathon is a win in itself.
Surviving the demands of the buildup and showing up healthy enough for a 26.2
mile race is extraordinarily difficult in the best circumstances. I agree with that –
seeing Emma start that marathon will be an emotional moment for me, knowing
what she went through just to get there. But I know she wants more, the start line
will mean less to her. That’s how we’re wired as competitors, and the mission
isn’t over at the start line. So I’ll cheer her on with vigor all the way home. Because
of what this means to her, because of what she means to me, and because of what
runners like her mean to the sport we all love.

So here’s to the blue-collar runner, but specifically to my blue-collar runner. Emma,
you inspire me daily. I strive to emulate your toughness. You have taught me to find
joy in my work when at first glance I can’t see it. You have taught me to appreciate
what I have. Your buildup has made me a better athlete, a better person. May you
and your competitors have the races you all deserve this Sunday. I am tremendously
proud of you no matter what. To the moon.

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 26, 2018

The Orange Runner NYC Marathon Week Kickoff

We’re kicking off NYC Marathon Week with a five-mile run and some special prints available from Luke McCambley.

October 19, 2018

A Farewell to Former Times: Advice from a Washed Up (Almost) Has Been

Tim Cummings dedicates this piece to those who struggle dealing with emotions and their identity as a runner.

October 4, 2018

Running History: Examining Deerfoot

Deerfoot grew up on an Indian reservation and used his his feet for transportation. A brief history of what happened next.

September 28, 2018

Kyle’s First Blog: Slaying The King

Kyle Klosinski makes his long-awaited blogging debut for CITIUS MAG and he’s not holding back against Ryan Sterner.

September 25, 2018

We are going to Chicago

It’s happening again: we are bum-rushing another unsuspecting city for the sake of bringing you just-ok media coverage of a world-class event

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 20, 2018

It’s Been Almost A Week Since Kipchoge Ran 2:01:39. Did I Miss Something?

What can the reception to Eliud Kipchoge’s performance in Berlin tell us about the current state of running fandom?

September 12, 2018

I am going to Germany

We have decided to send Ryan Sterner to Berlin to cover the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Did we make a mistake?

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.

September 1, 2018

Full Moon, Full Send: Brooklyn Track Club Kills from Hood To Coast

CITIUS MAG contributor and photographer R.J. McNichols followed the Brooklyn Track Club at Hood to Coast, where the team finished 13th overall and third in their respective division.

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

If You’re Not A Sports Fan, Don’t Read This

Running has its metaphorical baton passing like other sports. But not everyone is eager to pass the baton. Kilian Jornet is one of those people.

August 16, 2018

Track on the Road Interlude: Trails and Toilet Brushes

After living out of a van, Andrew Wise has settled in Colorado and is beginning to understand how lucky he is to take care of a national park.

August 8, 2018

Citius Mag Followed Me On Instagram And My Life Instantly Got Better

An interned decided that Eric Senseman was worth following on Instagram and it led to a crazy chain of events for one of our favorite ultrarunners.

August 2, 2018

Blog Boys Take Raleigh for Sir Walter Miler 2018

The CITIUS MAG crew heads south to Raleigh to take in the 2018 Sir Walter Miler, where professional runners look to add to the 26 sub-four miles clocked.

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