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August 1, 2020

Run For Rivs, More Shoe Talk, Russia Canceled? + A Personal Best!

I’m headed to the mountains! I will be leaving New York City for most of August to stay in Boulder with a few friends. I’ve been in my apartment for much of the past 10 weeks and figured I could use some time away. I have never been to Colorado but I have read ‘Running With The Buffaloes’ multiple times so I’m amped to see places like Magnolia Road in real life. Pretty much, I’m in that college-runner-goes-to-altitude-for-the-first-time mode so take it easy on me.

I am hoping to connect with several pro runners in the area for some future podcast episodes down the road. Based on Instagram and YouTube videos, Boulder appears to be a runner’s haven at the moment. I think I have done a good job adjusting to the “new normal” in New York City when it comes to running with a mask and small groups. Certainly curious what the scene is like out there but still will take all necessary precautions.

Hit me up with your recommendations on running spots, restaurants (hopefully open for takeaway orders), trails, lakes or anything cool to see in the area. I’d greatly appreciate some guidance to maximize the trip.

RUN WITH RIVS

Earlier in the week, Jacob Puzey provided an update on Tommy Rivers Puzey’s battle with Primary Pulmonary NK T-Cell Lymphoma (a very rare and aggressive form of Lymphoma). His brother remains sedated. His lungs and oxygen levels have been improving. The chemo that he is undergoing is aggressive but the medical team believes that he can withstand it.

Craft Sportswear, who is one of Rivs’ main sponsors, will release a shirt featuring a design by his sister Anna. All proceeds will go toward his family.

Team Run Flagstaff’s Vince Sherry, NAU head coach Mike Smith and NAZ Elite head coach Ben Rosario are part of a team organizing a week-long virtual challenge for Tommy starting on Saturday, Aug. 1. Here’s how it will go…

Join the CITIUS MAG team. Let’s target $1,000 raised for Rivs by setting the goal of donating $1 for every mile that you run from Aug. 1 to Aug. 9. Donate, hold yourself accountable to that goal and if you run extra, donate more. All money goes to his family. 

*  Design your Challenge Entry: Run, Ride, Jog, Walk, Crawl … It can be as epic as a century ride or as simple as a walk around the block.

*  Make your own donation based off a goal mileage for the week

*  Log your miles into the “results” of your activities

* Invite a friend by sending them this link – https://runsignup.com/citiusmag-rivs

* Stay in touch with your friends, tag us in your Instagram stories by adding @CitiusMag with #RunWithRivs. We’ll repost it to everyone.

* Let’s do some good for Tommy and his family.

More details and background available to read here.

World Athletes Makes Changes To Shoe Rules, Tokyo Qualifying

I haven’t had a chance to closely parse through all of the changes but to my understanding, it appears that the Nike VaporFly shoes are not allowed on the track since the new regulations have a 25mm maximum stack height for track spikes and footwear in events 800 meters or longer. The max height for shorter distances is 20mm. The 40mm stack height limit remains for road races. The other major change that I caught was on “athletic shoe availability” since World Athletics previously determined that shoes needed four months from when they were introduced and made publicly available to when they were used in races. Now, the new rules say that any shoe that is first introduced on or after August 9, 2021 can not be used in competition unless and until it has been available through the Athletic Shoe Availability Scheme. Lots to go through in that document.

Also, World Athletics says it will lift the suspension of Olympic qualifying times and marks for the marathon so that any results from September 1 to May 31. 2021 will count toward Tokyo qualifying. The original pause was set from April 6 to November 30, 2020 due to the pandemic and the lack of races taking place. The London Marathon was postponed from April to October has yet to cancel its race. This would allow for an elite race to count but it just does not seem possible or wise to shut down streets for such few people. Hosting a race for the masses would be awful. Race organizers were asking for a few more days to make a decision.

Is Russia Canceled Yet?

World Athletics is planning on expelling Russia’s federation if it is unable to pay $5 million in fines & $1.31 million in costs before August 15 for breaking anti-doping rules. The initial deadline was July 1. If World Athletics proceeds with its expulsion, Russian athletes would not be allowed in international competition, which would include those who were given permission as neutral athletes. Russia has been suspended since 2015’s World Anti-Doping Agency’s big report on corruption and cover-ups by its athletics federation. Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin says they will make the payment. Suddenly, when the permanent expulsion feels real, the money appears. Just Venmo it over, already!

Along with its announcement on Russia, World Athletics president Seb Coe says they will try to add a mixed cross country relay event for 15 countries at the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

Quick Hits

– Sifan Hassan, who won gold in the 1,500 meters and 10,000 meters at last year’s world championships, told Monaco Diamond League organizers that she planned to run the 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters at the Olympics. Her goals for 2020 were to take a shot at the world record in the 1,500 meters and dip under 14:20 in the 5,000 meters.

– Speaking of the Monaco Diamond League, it looks like there will be a few more Americans making the trip to Europe to compete. Organizers announced Donovan Brazier and Grant Holloway have been added to their lineup. This will be Brazier’s second outdoor 800 since he set the American record of 1:42.34 to win gold at worlds. He will be racing in a Friday night meet in Portland.

– Cory McGee ran 4:21.81, which is the fastest time in the world for 2020 (whatever that means in a pandemic-riddled season) win the Team Bosshard Indiana Mile. Dani Jones and Emma Coburn also recorded personal bests of 4:23.33 and 4:23.65 right behind McGee. McGee split 4:03.82 through the 1,500.

– The men’s Team Bosshard Indiana Mile was won by Tripp Hurt (who has one of the coolest names in the sport) in 3:56.18. Mason Ferlic broke four minutes for the first time in 3:58.87 and became the 561st U.S. man to join the sub-four club. Ferlic and high schooler Leo Daschbach (who I wrote about for Sports Illustrated in May) are the only two American men who have broken four minutes for the first time outdoors in 2020. If a third newcomer doesn’t happen this year, it will be the fewest new outdoor sub-four milers since 2010.

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– Elle Purrier ran a 4:01 time trial 1,500 just last week and then followed it up with a 2:00.70 in Connecticut. She is now knocking on the door of joining the sub-2/sub-4 club. Shelby HoulihanShannon RowburyMary Slaney, Suzy Favor HamiltonAnna Willard & Christin Wurth-Thomas are the only American women to accomplish that. Interestingly enough, Jenny Simpson is just over in her 800 PR. Brenda Martinez and Morgan Uceny have 1,500 meter personal bests just shy of joining as well.

– Trayvon Bromell’s 9.90 (+1.4 m/s wind) for 100 meters at a small sprints meet in Claremont, Fla. marked another major step forward in the 25-year-old’s comeback from an Achilles and series of injuries. I noted on Twitter that it was the first time in 1,482 days since he broke 10 seconds, which last happened in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials final. Bromell played it safe and decided not to run in the final of that meet. In it, Noah Lyles ran a wind-aided 9.93 to beat 2019 100-meter bronze medalist Andre De Grasse. On the women’s side, Shaunae Miller-Uibo broke 11 seconds for a new 100-meter personal best of 10.98. She’s now broken 11 for the 100, 22 for the 200 and 49 for the 400.

Coronavirus Toll

– NYRR announced that “due to the ongoing health and safety risks associated with COVID-19 and in partnership with government officials, we are canceling the rest of NYRR’s currently scheduled 2020 in-person races.” I think I’ve been telling friends that I don’t believe big organized races in New York City will happen until maybe spring 2021 and something like the Brooklyn Half can be billed as the big return to racing.

– Australia is looking to minimize the chance of any coronavirus outbreak as its organizing committee World Athletics Cross Country Championships is asking the World Athletics Council to postpone the 2021 World Athletics Cross Country Championships, which is currently scheduled to be held in Bathurst on March 20. Not great if we’re already looking to push back global championships in an Olympic year!

– TheNew York Times published a thorough project that determined at least 6,600 cases tied to about 270 colleges over the course of the pandemic. Even more yikes!

Some personal news!

Last Saturday, I ran my fastest mile ever! Back in March, I tied my 5:13 personal best from the 2019 5th Avenue Mile. Kyle Merber once told me that I couldn’t count that as my PR because it was set on the road and 5th Ave can be a fast race. So, I tied it on the track indoors in March and was happy. In May, I attempted a solo time trial as part of a virtual race series but it didn’t go too well because the rules said to run solo and I fell off the pace. Saturday, my friend Michael Cosentino paced me through 1,400 meters of the race and I crossed the finish line in 5:12. Wore flats. Ran the whole distance and didn’t just stop when the GPS clicked off the mile. So I took a second off my personal best but I’m not ready to call it a PR until it happens in an official race. The plan and goal devised by my coach, Kate Gustafson, has been set for late September to try and creep closer to sub-5. I’m optimistic!

Podcast Palooza

ciaran-o-lionaird-instagram-citius-mag

After 2016, Ciarán ó Lionáird walked away from the sport following years of injuries and disappointment. He thought it was for good. Back in April, he called up agent and coach Stephen Haas and decided there was something telling him to give it a go again.

Now, he’s doing workouts with Edward Cheserek and Biya Simbassa and it’s for real. On the latest episode of the CITIUS MAG Podcast, we dive into the disappointments including London 2012, Achilles injuries, surgeries and what life in Flagstaff is like for the first stop on the “Not Dead Yet” Comeback Tour. Now available to listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen to the show.

This one goes out to all the injured homies still wanting to give it a shot… ✌🏻

LISTEN NOW

Support for this episode comes from GOODR SUNGLASSES  – I’ve been rocking Goodr sunglasses throughout the past couple of months and they’re the best. No slip. No bounce. No fog. Polarized. Ridiculously affordable starting at $25 a pair. No discounts needed when they’re already the most affordable performance shades on the planet. | Visit GOODR.COM/CITIUS to check out some of my favorite pairs.

– I was a guest on the comedy podcast “Pizza For Breakfast” where I chatted about what it’s been like covering the sport during the pandemic and my thoughts on the Olympics in 2021.

– It’s been great to continue seeing my friend, Coffey, get media attention for his work in New York City with organized Black Lives Matter protest runs. He was a guest on the Runners of NYC Podcast back on May 12. He was then interviewed by Outside and now profiled in a short film by Runner’s World.

– The latest guest on Runners of NYC is Rudy Garcia-Tolson. We are less than a year away from the Tokyo Olympics and then shortly thereafter the Paralympics. Rudy’s life story starts with birth defects that resulted in a club foot, webbed fingers on both hands, a cleft lip & the inability to straighten his legs. At 5, he got both legs amputated. Then, he made 4 Paralympic teams. Now, we discuss his decision to go for a fifth one and the benefits of the pandemic delay.

– On Track and Field History, Jesse Squire discusses the legacy of Terry Fox and the 40th anniversary of his run across Canada. Toledo coach Andrea Grove-McDonough joins to share her own perspective.

– There will be a new episode of ‘More Than Running’ with Dana Giordano, where she sits down with Heather MacLean. This marks Heather’s first appearance on a podcast so consider it your chance to get to know the fastest 4:05/1,500m and 2:01/800m woman that you know nothing about. Subscribe and stay tuned for when that one drops on Friday so you can listen throughout the weekend.

If you made it this far down into this email, let me know what you thought of this edition of the newsletter. Did you learn something new? Enjoyed an episode of the podcast? Got something you want me to share? Feel free to hit me back: [email protected] or just say hi!

As always, I’m super appreciative if you forward this newsletter to any friend who you think would also enjoy getting to geek out on the sport.

Cheers,

Chris Chavez

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