People asking “How do you make track more entertaining?” are asking (and answering) the wrong question. Track is entertaining.
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Written features from the writers of CITIUS MAG
People asking “How do you make track more entertaining?” are asking (and answering) the wrong question. Track is entertaining.
Unpacking everything from Michael Norman becoming the first American under 10, 20 and 44; Bowerman Track Club’s third intrasquad meet + more podcasts
Johnny Gregorek’s blue jeans mile has the potential to mix things up, provide a great spectating experience and raise money for a good cause.
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.
With the Olympics looming, and therefore qualifying-standard-chasing upon us, as well as runners everywhere hoping for new PRs, well-paced races are a necessity.
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.
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.
A brief training update with less than six weeks to go until the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
David Melly reflects on his marathon debut where he went after the 2:19 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.
For a marathon rookie, here are some of the best and worst things about training experienced thus far.
A look behind Stephen Kersh’s seventh-place finish in his Western States Endurance Run debut.
It’s a debate as old as the sport itself: What to wear, and when. In particular, [male] [distance] runners have, since the dawn of time, spent long runs and locker room time debating the relative merits of short-shorts and half-tights. Do you want to show off your newly-inked team hip tattoo as your gangly, pale legs fly through intervals? Or do you want to showcase your best assets with form-fitting spandex that sends Bible-belt parents complaining to their athletic directors? The choice is yours.
You could argue that what you wear doesn’t matter nearly as much as the effort you put in, but that’s not nearly as fun as digging your heels unnecessarily deeply into an extreme position and arguing passionately against anyone who might disagree with you. The more arbitrary and inflexible the rule, the better.
As host of the Run Your Mouth podcast, I occasionally ask our guests what their half-tights versus short-shorts (or bun huggers, or short tights for our female guests) preferences and policies are, which has helped inform the guidelines below. As a disclaimer, this particular piece is largely focused on the apparel sported by male runners – for many reasons, I would not presume to tell women what to wear and when but I’d eagerly anticipate a follow-up post if anyone would like to make one.
At the end of the day, rules were meant to be broken. If you’re good enough, you can pretty much get away with wearing whatever you want, which has resulted in a resurgence of sprinters in short-shorts and the rise of the distance-runner speed suit.
Races: The general rule when it comes to racing on a track is as follows: if you’re trying to feel speedy, wear half-tights. If you’re trying to feel smooth, wear short-shorts. The roads are more complicated and weather dependent, and despite the historical popularity of shorts, the trend in the marathon lately has moved toward half-tights over 26.2. If it’s good enough for the GOAT, it’s good enough for you.
Workouts: If you care about your hamstring health, always err on the side of extra warmth. Take notes from the sprinters, distance crew: Long tights for warmups in almost any conditions. If it’s warm enough to take your shirt off, shorts are allowable, but if it’s a “speed day” I still recommend half-tights for the confidence booster.
This one is simple. There is one rule for easy run apparel (assuming it’s warm enough that long tights aren’t necessary):
Additional words of wisdom:
These rules are ultimately subjective, but please don’t let that stop you from angrily disagreeing with me on Twitter. And feel free to send along your own set of sartorial guidelines – the more silly and irrational, the better. Happy summer!
Stephen Kersh will be lining up at Western States for his first 100-mile race. Why? He’s still figuring out the answer.
The sport needs more athletes like Nikki Hiltz and Therese Haiss.
Kyle Medina is one of the newer faces of Tinman Elite and this is his story.
Meet the photographer responsible for many shots of the NN Running Team, Eliud Kipchoge and the world’s best runners.
Reflecting on my 21-minute personal best from the 2019 Tokyo Marathon.
It was President’s Day in San Diego and a few of America’s best distance runners gathered to run a fast 10K.
David Elliott may be the best runner in America without support of any kind. Who is he and what does he want from the sport?
The USATF Club Cross Country National Championships are for the people who bear themselves to the unforgiving reality of a cross country race.
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
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
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.
Scott Fauble has never been the guy everyone talks about, and that’s fine but let’s take notice of him now.
Tim Cummings dedicates this piece to those who struggle dealing with emotions and their identity as a runner.
We at CITIUS have written an exclusive excerpt from The Sisyphean Climb, a much-anticipated follow-up to Again to Carthage.
What can the reception to Eliud Kipchoge’s performance in Berlin tell us about the current state of running fandom?
The origin of the Called Shot, as it relates to modern sports talk, dates back to a New York World-Telegram headline that read “RUTH CALLS SHOT AS HE PUTS HOME RUN NO. 2 IN SIDE POCKET.” This headline, of course, ran after game three of the 1932 World Series when (sure, I know this is disputed, but for the sake of history and not being a stick in the mud, we’ll believe the rest of this story) in the top of the 5th inning, the Great Bambino pointed to center field and then slapped the next pitch 440 feet into nothing but Wrigley Field grandstand.
The man called his shot. The man then did exactly what he said he was going to do.
This trope plays out in sports all the time, though it takes many different forms: Cassius Clay driving to Sonny Liston’s house in the middle of the night just to tell him he’s going to kick his ass. Michael Jordan closing his eyes before a free throw and saying, “Hey Dikembe, this one’s for you baby.” The 40-year old white guy at your local YMCA screaming “game” as he releases from Steph Curry-distance, game tied 19-19, then actually drills it.
Displays of confidence, earned or unearned, are heralded. The anything-can-happen quality is what makes sports fun. Upsets and close games are what keep us watching. But there is something to be said, and I’d say arguably more entertaining, about witnessing a sporting hero declare their intentions, and then watching them deftly navigate through the chaos to land safely, exactly, where they said they would.
This is what I saw on Sunday in Berlin. I watched as Eliud Kipchoge called his shot, and then went out and ran faster than any human had ever done before him. He denied going for a world record, instead opting to say he was looking for a “personal best.” But then Kipchoge asked for world record pace — the rabbits would go out in 61-minutes for the half marathon. This was Eliud calling his shot in a truly Eliud way. But unlike shooting a free throw or swinging at the next pitch, we’d have to wait for nearly two hours to see what he could do.
I caught a glimpse of him at the 5km mark, flanked by three pacers, where he already had 10 seconds on the field. Behind him was Wilson Kipsang, the second name on the bill, who already looked cooked.
By the halfway point I was sitting in a beer garden near the finish line where they had the race projected onto a huge inflatable screen. The early morning crowd, half intoxicated at that point, watched him clear halfway, down to a single pacer, in 61:06, just six seconds off his intended goal and more than a minute clear of the 2nd place runner.
Calling your shot doesn’t always go as planned. There is that now-infamous GIF of Nick Young launching a three-pointer from deep, then turning around to walk away with his arms in the air, not bothering to watch as the ball bricks off the back iron.
The running equivalent would be just not bothering to go with the rabbits. No one would blame Kipchoge for blowing up, as there are plenty of opportunities to do in the marathon. But at the halfway mark we realized that this was not a Nick Young-level attempt at calling your shot. He was going for it, and we’d either watch him blow up or get the record.
The next time I saw him I was standing on the photo bridge behind the finish line. He was hammering towards the finish, fully enveloped in the moment. After running for a little over two hours, Kipchoge was slapping his chest, arms outstretched as he broke the tape in 2:01:39. Covered in salt, the man who had just averaged 4:38 per mile for 26.2 miles sprinted to his coach Patrick Sang and covered his face in what was probably a few different emotions. Disbelief? Elation? Sweet relief?
Not all world records are equal. We can’t immediately recall how all of them were set, what kind of build-up led to the moment in time where someone did something no one else had ever done. Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record, however, has the intangibles — those things we can’t quite reach out and touch that make something special.
People that you probably don’t want to meet at parties will tell you that it’s because of Nike and their never ending marketing campaign. But for me, and hopefully for the rest of you, it’s because we watched someone at the peak of their talent, calling his shot like one of the greats and then gently closing his eyes with a grin before executing completely, unquestionably, beautifully, what he set out to do.
The return of our hit series. We round up the best cross country headshots and portraits and roast them just a little.
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.
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.
Former Kentucky distance star Jacob Thomson shares advice for his former teammates and all runners before the start of cross country.
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.
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.
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.
The runner who writes or the writer who runs will sometimes have to acknowledge a seemingly tragic paradox when it comes to documenting the sport.
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.
Bern Heinrich pulls from a wide variety of compelling insights from his experience to attempt to answer the question of Why We Run.
Tyler Mueller’s alternative rise to professional running from his time at Lehigh through his multiple retirements, injuries and now a leader on Tinman Elite
Ryan Sterner was faced with a bet that he couldn’t break 60 seconds for 400 meters with little to no training. The inside story of how he did it.