We had a lot of cross country championship results to catch up on so we broke that out into its own post. We’ll use this space to share some other headlines from around the track and field community.
The Frankfurt Marathon took place on Sunday and many people in the United States were delighted to wake up to great performances by the United States contingent in Germany. Our very own Stephen Kersh was there and so maybe we’ll get some of his own thoughts on the races in the coming days. The race was won by Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata Tola in 2:05:50 but among the biggest winners were Ben Rosario and his Northern Arizona Elite squad of Scott Smith, Scott Fauble and Matt Llano.
Smith crossed the finish line eighth overall in a big personal best of 2:12:21. That’s more than two minutes off his personal best of 2:14:40 from the 2014 U.S. Championships and he finally managed to catch some cool weather for a race. Before Sunday, he seemed to be a glutton for pain as he’d run the 2016 Marathon Trials in the blistering conditions of Los Angeles, the 2015 World Championships in Beijing on an August morning and the 2015 Los Angeles Marathon. From my conversation with him last week, Smith sounded like he was all-in for the marathon personal best that had evaded him for a few years. We also talked about that group of American distance runners who fall into the 2:11-2:13 group that will possibly fight for the third U.S. Olympic team spot behind Galen Rupp and Jared Ward (assuming they continue their strong running atop the current core of marathoners.) With his personal best, Smith did himself a favor and moved his name up in that group.
Fauble is the next Meb Keflezighi. OK, I won’t get carried away there but the former Portland Pilot tied Keflezighi’s marathon debut time from the 2002 New York City Marathon. They also both finished ninth overall in their respective races. Keflezighi, who will be running his 26th and final marathon this weekend in New York City, is arguably one of the greatest American distance runners and specifically marathoners of all-time. We won’t throw Fauble into that conversation just yet. We were going to dig up the fastest marathon debut times but the NAZ Elite Twitter account did it for us and noted that Fauble’s debut is the 12th-fastest by an American all-time. If Fauble were to continue marathoning until he’s 42 then he’ll be done by 2032. And that’s enough comparing Fauble to Meb for now.
Llano was just off his personal best of 2:12:28 from the 2015 Berlin Marathon but his 2:13:42 was a major step forward in his return to running in general. If you watched the first episode of One Eighty Three Point Four, Llano gives a rundown of his injury woes in the past year. In his podcast with us, he even talks about how running on and off for a few minutes was difficult at times.
People can spend time comparing the NAZ performances to the Bowerman men, Chris Derrick and Andrew Bumbalough, in Chicago but it’s an exercise that will result in just back and forth on what’s a tougher or easier course between the two, did Derrick leading men more than X, etc. One takeaway from both races is that a core of American distance runners getting back in the 2:12 range is a step forward for what will be another interesting marathon trials in 2010.
Major props as well to Sara Hall, who ran a personal best of 2:27.21. That’s two very good marathons for her in 2017. She broke the 2:30 barrier in February with a 2:28:26 at the Tokyo Marathon. She sits behind Jordan Hasay, Desiree Linden, Laura Thweatt, Serena Burla and Amy Cragg as the sixth-fastest American marathoner of 2017.
Here’s a couple headlines to catch you up on the latest happenings of the track and field world as you sip your coffee. If there’s any story that you think should make the next edition of Takes Like Coffee, then shoot me message. You can reach me at: [email protected] or tweet at me @ChrisChavez.
Wayde van Niekerk Is Off The Market
The 400 meter world record holder got married over the weekend.
— Wayde van Niekerk (@WaydeDreamer) October 29, 2017
Freddy Sittuk , who was born in Kenya, won the Irish national title with his overall fourth place finish at the Dublin Marathon but Gary O’Hanlon, a 43-year-old marathoner, considers himself the champion despite the Irish Athletics rules saying otherwise. Sittuk runs for the Dublin club Raheny Shamrock but also spends time training back in Kenya. According to the rules, ant member of a club in Ireland and a six-month resident is eligible to contend for the title. O’Hanlon was surprised when he crossed the finish line and told that he wasn’t the champion.
He had this to say after the race:
“Look, I was sure I’d won the national title, and in my head that’s the way I ran. I don’t mean to knock it, but this opens the gates, and we could be flooded now with athletes coming here to win national titles.
Cory Bellemore breaks the Beer Mile world record
Bellemore lowered his world record to 4:33.6. Scrolling through the comments section of the video, it looks like the time is certainly not without any controversy. Someone points out that a bottle opener was used as well as a rabbit who was not drinking beers.
You can watch the video on the Beer Mile World Classic’s Facebook page.