It’s opinions you didn’t know that you wanted to have from CITIUS MAG co-founders Chris Chavez and Scott Olberding. It’s been a while but Chris and I decided to give some thoughts about the biggest performances in running.
This week, we’re breaking down the 5K world records that fell in Monaco, fast performances at the German National Championships and Notre Dame’s nutty DMR.
MADNESS IN MONACO
Chris: Hello, Scott. I’m glad to see that you are logged onto Slack and ready to chat about people much faster than us. I’ll start off with a simple question for you. What’s your fastest 5K performance ever? That’s different than me asking what’s your 5K PR.
Scott: Let’s get it! I am VERY glad you asked, Chris. It occurred during the last 5Kof a 15K and it was very much downhill. I ran 14:47 and I immediately threw up afterward. How about you?
Chris: I was the sacrificial lamb on the first leg of Hood to Coast for the Brooklyn Track Club in 2018. A part of me died on that mountain. I flew to a low or maybe sub-18 first 5K during the first 6-mile leg.
Scott: Did you know that there is technically a difference between the distances at “5,000 meters” on the track and “5 kilometers” on the the roads? I think it has to do with how they measure the courses. Tangents, et cetera.
Chris: I knew there was a difference in the way we write about it in articles stylistically at Sports Illustrated.
Scott: That’s your dumb fact of the day.
Chris: Actually, one of my best dumb facts – and I’ve included this on dating apps before – is that I’ve run across an entire country before. That country is Monaco. However, I’m nowhere near the fastest person to run on those roads. Those titles belong to Siffan Hassan and Julien Wanders. They each set world records in the 5K. Hassan ran 14:44 – so slightly faster than your fastest-ever. Wanders ran 13:29.
Scott: I saw all of that! It was very impressive. They even sent over Shannon Osika and Rachel Schneider to pace I think.
Chris: When you’re calling on two top American middle distance runners to pace, you know you’re after some fast times. Wanders is especially on a roll. This came less than two weeks after he ran a 59:13 half marathon to set a new European record.
Scott: He is really boogeying these days. For those who may not be as familiar with his backstory, he’s one of the Europeans that has gone all-in on training Kenya and it’s paying major dividends for him. Some of that Kipchoge juju is rubbing off on him. When you mention those two performances, usually you would run those in the opposite order but what the heck do I know?
Chris: When you saw 13:29 and the word “world record” were you surprised?
Scott: To be honest, yes, I was. There’s no doubt it is a bit soft but a WR is a WR. You’re gonna cash that check at the bank when your record gets IAAF ratified.
Chris: I was surprised as well and then I realized that the road 5K didn’t get recognized as a world record event by the IAAF until Jan. 1, 2018. (At this point, I like to imagine being someone in Japan at the strike of midnight on that day, winning a 5K shortly after and not realizing that you’re the world record holder for a few moments) The IAAF said that the inaugural world record would have to be 13:10 or faster by a man or 14:45 by a woman. Because no one was able to do it, the IAAF decided to go with the best from 2019 which was 13:30 by Bernard Kibet in the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10K in September.
Scott: I would like to think there’s no reason it can’t be under 13:10 in the next year or two. I mean, Geoffrey Kamworor closes races that fast. MY MANS.
Chris: I agree…I want to see Kamworor give it a shot. Heck, why not Eliud? Before we move on to the next topic, I do want to take a second to recognize one of the unsung heroes of the weekend…Bram Som. He paced Julien for 3K of that race less than 20 hours after pacing Samuel (can we call him Sammy?) Tefera to the 1,500 meter world record in Birmingham.
Scott: Bingo bango. That’s a nice pay day weekend and airline miles. You know when Randy Johnson threw a no-hitter, he would buy his catcher a rolex. What does Sammy Tefara get his pacer?
Chris: A MVMT Watch. They sponsor so many podcasts but not ours so he’ll have to get it full price because they’re not getting a promo code from us.
YOMIF THE BRIDESMAID
Chris: Last week, we recapped the Millrose Games and just how close Yomif Kejelcha came to the world record in the indoor mile. We joked about there’s also East African talent out there that does well indoors but we don’t see them race as often in U.S. based races. It maybe should not have been much of a surprise but Samuel Tefera has a world indoor title but this race was billed as another possible world record attempt for Kejelcha. The pacers were set up that way and Tefera practically sat on Kejelcha’s heels until the final lap and took the win in 3:31.04. That’s 0.14 faster than the previous record set by Hicham El Guerrouj in 1997. This is the first El Guerrouj 1,500 or mile record to fall. Kejelcha finished second in 3:31.58. You can watch the race below and keep an eye on Tefera’s reaction after the race. Ice cold!
Scott: Checking your nails may be the most intense shade of all time. PUT THAT ON A T-SHIRT, CHRIS.
Chris: That’s two close calls for Kejelcha in two weeks. Which would sting for you more…Missing a world record by .01 second or getting totally blindsided in a second world record attempt that many presumed was for you?
Scott: It’s gotta be the second one. Love the attitude of like “this race is going to paced at WR velocity and this pacer isn’t for me but I’m just gonna roll with it.
Chris: Change it to American record and maybe you start to think like Chris Solinsky did in that Payton Jordan race where he stole Galen Rupp’s show.
LAURA MUIR VS. KONSTANZE KLOSTERHALFEN NEED IT
Scott: Staying in Birmingham for a second, Laura Muir ran 4:18.75 for the mile. At the German Indoor National Championships, Klosterhalfen ran 8:32.47 to set a new German national record in the 3,000 meters. Which was more impressive to you?
Chris: Muir’s race. No. 3 in history. 4:18:75 is fast! Only Genzebe Dibaba and Doina Melinte are ahead of her on the all-time list. The previous record by Kirsty Wade stood for 31 years. That record probably would’ve fallen much earlier if Muir had run at like the Millrose Games last year. Klosterhalfen was very good but I’m convinced she can probably go faster if she was pushed more by competition. Now I’m curious if we get Klosterhalfen vs. Muir in the 1,500 meters at the European Championships.
Scott: In that case, feel like Muir comes out on top but it’s what the people want.
Chris: In that head-to-head, I take Muir. She’s more experienced at the championship stage and seasons bests don’t lie. I’d be curious how that race plays out.
Scott: Koko brings an interesting race strategy of willingly front-running, which I feel like is not usually the Oregon Project way. I like it. Just like at the Millrose Games, she decimated that field.
Chris: Yeah but we’ve seen the Pre comparisons on Twitter with Muir because she enjoys running from the front and then holding on for dear life. Klosterhalfen unleashes these absurd kicks. The final 400 meters of her 8:32.47 3,000 meters at the German National Championships was clocked at 61-ish.
Scott: That’s a spicy meatball.
Scott: What was the most compelling american indoor performance for you this weekend, Christopher?
Chris: I will go with the Notre Dame boys and their 9:26.10 distance medley relay. That’s the second-fastest in history. It never ceases to amaze me that Texas’ NCAA record of 9:25.97 from 2008 gets a scare every couple years but it is still standing. So for context, the splits in the current record are Kyle Miller (2.54,11), Danzell Fortson (46,90), Jacob Hernandez (1.47,0), and Leo Manzano (3.57,96). Notre Dame’s squad went 2:55, 47, 1:48 and 3:54.
Scott: Bless those boys. The other thing that stood out to me about that performance was the fact that they were able to beat Notre Dame. Last week, we gave props to Mick Byrne and the work that he’s done with the team. His squad went 2:52, 48, 1:49 and 3:55.7. This is going to be an excellent race to watch at the NCAA Championships.
Chris: Yared Nuguse was Notre Dame’s anchor. Excellent name. I hope there are shirts in the Notre Dame bookstore that just say “THE GUSE IS LOOSE.” What was your most compelling indoor performance by an American?
Scott: TBH, the American indoor scene has been a little quiet with a few athletes injured and the short cycle this year ahead of USAs. I will go with…Eleanor Fulton. She closed her mile in 67 for second place at a meet in Washington. So she ran 4:33 and is now going to USAs in two events. I am also dating her but she still ran really well.
Chris: I am very much looking forward to seeing the two of you in New York City. Let’s have a bacon, egg and cheese.