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Month: April 2017

April 28, 2017

Watch Drake Relays online: Live stream, TV channel, race schedule, results

How to watch the 2017 Drake Relays live online, on television, on your phone and more. Results, schedule and start lists available.

April 28, 2017

Watch Penn Relays online: Live stream, TV channel, race schedule, results

How to watch the 2017 Penn Relays live online, on television, on your phone and more. Results, schedule and start lists available.

April 28, 2017

Lessons learned from altitude training with the Beasts

What are the benefits of training at altitude? One of our writers went to Albuquerque and trained with Danny Mackey’s Brooks Beasts for a few days.

April 27, 2017

Payton Jordan entries are out, and they’re full of intrigue and surprises

The 2017 Payton Jordan entries have formally been released, and they’re SOLID. Centro and Willis square off over 5,000m. And a slew of women could break 2.

April 27, 2017

Running Documentaries and Videos You Should Watch No. 3 : Run Mama Run

Daniele Anastasion follows Sarah Brown’s buildup to the 2016 Olympic Trials while Sarah was pregnant with her first child.

April 26, 2017

Track & Food: the Drake & Penn Relays are best enjoyed with a side of gluttony

Penn Relays is known for many things, its phenomenal track food among them. But Drake is no slouch in the aggressive eating category either.

April 26, 2017

The lesser known Drake

Best known Drake: The Canadian recording artist. Self proclaimed world class lover. Former kid actor.

Less known Drake: The Drake Relays. A staple of American track and field contested between endless rows of Iowan corn. It’s where we watched Alan Webb run 3:51. It’s where they contested the 2013 USATF Outdoor Championships in 200 degree heat. It’s the home to the world famous Walking Taco.

Lesser Known Drake: UCLA’s Drake Stadium is tucked neatly on the north side of their Westwood campus. It holds 11,000 people and has been graced by just as many world class athletes (probably) as the more well-known Drake Stadium.

Least known drake: What bird folk call a male duck.

Though Iowa’s Drake University has taken the name “Drake” and run with it (at least in track and field), we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge another Drake, where many equally impressive performances have taken place.

How many Olympians UCLA has produced and called Drake home is a story for another article. For now let’s take a quick look at some performances from both Drakes, of which we should all be equally grateful.

 

April 26, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field (Part V)

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits. Part V.

April 26, 2017

UTEP isn’t taking its middle distance squad to the Penn Relays, which sucks

When it comes to the DMR at Penn, there’s rarely a dull year. This one’s no exception, but without UTEP competing, we’re left wondering “what if?”

April 26, 2017

Generations of memories at the Penn Relays for the Byrne family

Kevin Byrne grew up listening to stories from his grandfather and father about competing at the Penn Relays. Then he made his own. Now his sister will too.

April 25, 2017

Penn Relays: Track’s Greatest Trophy

All sports have a trophy, but only some of them a truly great. Does track and field have a great trophy? You bet. The Penn Relays Wagon Wheel.

April 25, 2017

13 Reasons Why: Kenenisa Bekele Failed to Break the Marathon World Record

The new Nike shoes could’ve been just one of many reasons why Kenenisa Bekele didn’t win the London Marathon or set the world record.

April 25, 2017

Everybody, please pay attention to the Drake Relays 1,500-meter races this weekend

Among the must-watch races of the weekend will be the men’s and women’s 1,500 races at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa.

April 23, 2017

Mary Keitany breaks women’s-only marathon world record, proves us wrong

Days after we believed that no woman would come close to Paula Radcliffe’s marathon world record, Mary Keitany proved us wrong.

April 22, 2017

Watch London Marathon 2017 live: Online streaming, TV information, runner tracking

How to watch the 2017 London Marathon online, live streaming and TV information for Sunday, April 23.

April 22, 2017

Feyisa Lilesa and Kenenisa Bekele: London Marathon brings Ethiopian politics into the court of public opinion

The London Marathon is more than just a footrace for the Ethiopian and Oromo communities. Feyisa Lilesa and Kenenisa Bekle represent different Oromo states.

April 21, 2017

London’s been all-hype with women’s world record talk for years

The women’s world record marks will probably live another day after this weekend’s London Marathon. Why do we continue to get our hopes up for them to fall?

April 20, 2017

Running Documentaries & Videos You Should Watch #2 : 15 hours with Magdalena Lewy-Boulet

Get to know Magdalena Lewy-Boulet: The quiet and accomplished american distance runner on the track and roads who recently shifted focuses to trails.

April 20, 2017

Feast your eyes on the best male athlete portraits in track and field (Part IV)

Picture day is something to look forward to every year. These runners surely made the most out of their respective roster portraits. Part four of our new weekly series.

April 19, 2017

How far into the London Marathon would these famous Londoners make it?

David Bowie, Kate Middleton, Jack the Ripper, Margaret Thatcher. We evaluate these (and other) famous Londoners’ chances of completing a marathon.

April 19, 2017

Could Bekele’s London performance overshadow Nike’s Breaking2 pipe dream?

Kenenisa Bekele could be poised for a fast race in London this weekend. And things could go awry for Eliud Kipchoge in Italy. What if both scenarios unfold?

April 19, 2017

Keep your eyes on the Japanese 4×100 at World Relays and their experiment

Japan has some wheels in motion to try and improve upon their silver medal in the 4×100 from Rio. Don’t sleep on the Japanese sprinters at World Relays.

April 19, 2017

A Q&A With Harry McFann, director of We Run New York

Over the weekend I had a chance to chat with filmmaker Harry McFann. Originally from Ohio, he was an All-American at Columbia University with a lifetime best in the 800-meter of 1:47.91, and continues to live and work in the Big City.

His latest project is called We Run New York. It’s a film series focused on the different groups and individuals that comprise the robust New York running scene. Below is a Q&A where Harry and I discuss his passion for filmmaking, running, and of course, New York.

The IndieGoGo for We Run New York is still accepting donations, so if you’re interested in what he’s working on, please consider opening up your pocket books and helping out one of our own.

You can learn more about the project and donate here. 

Ryan Sterner: You’re originally from Ohio. How did you end up in New York?

Harry McFann: I grew up in the suburbs of Columbus and always loved the idea of the Big City.  When I was little, downtown Columbus seemed huge to me. But even still, ever since I was a kid I wanted to visit New York. Mostly because of my obsession with the original King Kong. I had a colorized version of the movie on VHS that I would watch on repeat growing up. So much was my obsession with King Kong and New York, that I even referred to one building in Columbus (the LeVeque Tower) as the Empire State Building when I was a kid.

But I never had a chance to visit New York in my childhood. I went to Chicago once, and it was cool, but not as awesome as the New York I imagined from the movies.

Then one day during the summer leading into my senior year of high school I got a letter of interest from the Columbia track team. I was in a bit of shock (was this the real Columbia, or some off-brand school?), but when I gathered my senses I immediately went to my computer and researched all the details that mattered to me about Columbia: In New York, has a great track team, and I can study film. It was basically the perfect option for me.

RS: A lot of people talk about their “welcome to New York” moment. Profound or otherwise, did you have a welcome to New York moment?

HM: I remember when I came to New York on my visit. I flew into Newark and was picked up by Will Boylan-Pett. He was giving me the general rundown of the city as we were crossing the GW, and at one point I pointed out the window and said something like, “Yeah, that skyline is just so crazy.” He responded with a light laugh and said, “uh, yeah that’s still New Jersey, though.” He then pointed to Manhattan, “That’s the New York skyline.” Not really sure how I could have missed that, but it was a great way to remind him that I was from Ohio.

But then as we drove through the city to get to campus I was immediately in love. I’m a bit of a drama queen, and I think New York is an inherently dramatic city. It was love at first sight, really.   

RS: After you graduated it would have been pretty easy to go back to Ohio. What about the city drew you in?

HM: I basically refused to go back to Ohio after graduating.

My plan was to run semi-pro after college, but unfortunately that didn’t pan out for me because 1. I refused to live outside of the city and 2. New York is expensive and you don’t make a lot as a runner. On top of that my collegiate career ended on a pretty terrible note, which was extremely disheartening for me. Life after graduating is hard for a lot of people, and lots of challenges are thrown your way right out of the gate. For me these added obstacles to running (being able to afford food and housing, etc) were more than I could take, so I decided to give up on the dream of running competitively after college.  

But I was still stubborn and refused to go home and regroup. I basically decided within 24 hours that I wasn’t going to be a competitive runner and that I was now going to focus my energy into filmmaking.  Which as everyone knows is so much easier to succeed in and sustain yourself than being a professional runner.  I started running when I was 13, so I’ve been a masochist for a while now.  

But to more directly answer your question: New York obviously had that draw for me, it’s my favorite place in the world.  And since I was a kid I knew I wanted to make movies.  So that basically only gives me two real options as far as where I can live in the U.S. – LA or New York.  

LA didn’t seem right to me. Plus I didn’t know anyone there, and I definitely didn’t have enough money to make the move. So in a way I was “stuck” in New York. I also assumed that I would hate LA, but after visiting there last September, I must say that I actually really like the city.  It’s like walking around a David Lynch movie.  

RS: You told me that your career really took off while training in the city. In a place as dense as New York I’m sure that surprises a lot of people. Do you want to clear up any misconceptions about city running?

HM: It’s kind of weird because that wasn’t actually a huge concern of mine when I was looking at Columbia.  Mostly because my home town isn’t too great for running.  I did most of my runs in high school on sidewalks. My coach even joked once that a park to my home town was an open plot of grass with a bench somewhere. So the idea of running on concrete wasn’t much of a detracting factor.  

Then, on that van ride from Newark, Will is explaining to me where the team runs and all the soft surfaces they actually have. The running in New York is better than my home town!  You have Central Park, Van Cortland Park, and Prospect Park – all large parks with plenty of soft surfaces to run on. Then you can take a short trip up to Rockefeller State Park for tons of amazing trails.  It’s almost something I take for granted now. Traveling to other cities in the country, you don’t really get something like this. I mean, Central Park literally being in the center of Manhattan is a godsend. Anyone in the borough can easily get to it for his/her run.

In someplace like San Francisco you have Golden Gate Park, but getting there really is a destination because it’s more on the border of the city. You can’t just decide last minute you’re going to go on a run. It has to be more planned and less spontaneous.  

RS: Let’s talk a little about the film series: how did this project start?

HM:This year I had a few different projects lined up, but many of them ended up falling through. So then I found myself with a lot of free time and needing a project to work on. I contacted Paul [Snyder] and asked him more about the different groups in the city and I told him that I wanted to make the series.

For me there were a lot of draws to the project. Obviously you’re combining running and filmmaking, my two defining obsessions, but on top of that you have this massive sub-culture that so many people don’t know about.  And I’m not just talking about people across the country, I mean New Yorkers don’t know the depth of this community.  Sure, you see runners in the parks, but if you don’t stop to really take notice, you can go your whole time without ever noticing all the diverse collections of people who organize runs with each other. Sure, you know the Marathon, and people who know running will know about The Armory, but when someone thinks of a place with a strong running community, he/she will probably think of Colorado or somewhere in the Northwest, like Oregon. Never New York.  And yet, here we are.

It may not be quite as ideal as some beautiful mountain vista out west, but New Yorkers have taken what resources they have and have really done something special. Just take a look at the New York Road Runners website and you’ll be surprised at all they races that are always going on in the city.

RS: What about your personal relationship with the sport made you want to pursue this project in particular?

HM: Like I mentioned earlier, my running career ended earlier than I had hoped. My plan was to run through the age of 28 so that I could hopefully get two Olympic trials under my belt then move on to the filmmaking thing. It obviously didn’t work out like that, and when things went poorly for me after graduating I sort of had a “crisis of faith” with running. That’s the expression I’ve been telling everyone, because running was something I had dedicated 10 years of my life to. Running always came first, and I had made so many compromises and sacrifices through those years.

Would I have wanted to be more involved in film extracurriculars in college? Hell yeah, but I didn’t have the time. Film courses were 4 hours long and practice some days was 5 hours.  That’s 9 hours right there!  Plus I had homework and needed to get my 8-9 hours of sleep every night. Then to have my last race be a complete disaster was a bit more than I could take at the time.  Everything in my life was building to that one moment, you know?  

I didn’t have much to fall back on afterwards. I think that was a huge part of the problem, and mostly my own fault. I put so much of my own self-worth in running that after that last race I just hated the sport.  Even now I have trouble following results because it makes me uncomfortable that I’m not out there racing against those guys. And yet, I still continued to run. Just not competitively.

At first it was actually a way to help feed myself, where I would help pace people for extra money.  And then when I got stabilized with my videography work I stopped pacing, and then took time off running entirely.

I would go a few months without running and be glad that I didn’t have the stress of needing to get my run in, but at the same time, I still felt off. So since graduating I’ve thought a whole lot about running and why I did it. In college when asked why I ran I would usually just say, “because I’m good at it.” Which is pretty much true. It was something I was objectively good at and was sort of my self-esteem safety net.

But since high school I would see people who ran who weren’t the best on the team, or very fast, but they still showed up to practice every day and did the work. I remember thinking to myself, “would I still run if that was me?” I often questioned if those folks actually liked running more than me, since they seem to have more sincere motivations for doing it.

Fast forward to post-college and I am now in that position where I am no longer running to beat people in races. I just run… to run.

That is something that I really want to explore in this series – the different reasons people have for running. Because every different reason is equally awesome, since there are about two hundred billion reasons to not run. It’s hard, time consuming, you’ll almost certainly be hit with some sort of hardship, be it a bad race, an injury, etc., and you end up building your whole life around it. For whatever reason, people still do it.  

RS: Who is this documentary for?

HM: For this series, my “true” audience is the person who is having a rough time with running.  Apparently nobody used the sports psychologist at Columbia more than the runners. Maybe that’s because running attracts crazy people, or maybe because it’s such an emotionally and psychologically draining sport. After all, you’re competing against yourself more than the person next to you, so when you have a bad race, I think it takes a bigger blow to your psyche than other sports do.

It’s also a lonely sport in a lot of ways. There’s a book and movie titled, “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner,” which is basically the best title there could ever be for something about running. Training alone can be lonely, but when you’re hurt, or just burnt out, this loneliness is magnified times a thousand.  

That’s where art comes in. Because art can be a sort of cure for loneliness. Great art can give you that feeling of, “oh, wow, I thought I was the only person who felt that way!”  And then you don’t feel quite as bad anymore.

We Run New York isn’t just for New Yorkers, or running junkies, it’s for that random kid who is having a hard time, who may even be thinking of quitting the sport. He or she may be questioning why they even run in the first place, and I want this series to sort of be a pat on the back for them. Some kind words of encouragement to help them get through whatever it may be that is affecting them. A voice saying that it will be okay. If making the series can do that for me, then hopefully watching it can do it for someone else.  

RS:For better or worse, has the documentary making process changed your relationship with running at all?

HM: It has, and for the better, I think. It has sort of brought me back to the days of running in high school, because back then the team had a wider range of talent, whereas in college you’re just around psychopaths that live for the sport. Now I’m around the whole spectrum again, and I really enjoy that.

I don’t want this to come off as condescending, but I admire the “fun-runner” in a lot of ways, because he/she seems to have found something with the sport that I am still searching for.  So meeting all of these different people has really allowed me to continue my own sort of self-reflection.

I’ve had to get back in shape so I could go on runs with these different groups. I wanted to get to know as many members as possible before I just showed up one day with a camera. I found running with these different folks has really motivated me to get runs in every day. Not just so I’m fit enough to do a long run with someone else, but because it makes me feel good. I’m running 7 days a week for the first time since college, and it’s sort of weird because I’m actually pretty overwhelmed and stressed out of my mind because of this documentary. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day, but I will always make time for my run.

It’s become the thing I look forward to the most each day. I’m racing a 5k at the end of the month, which should be interesting, and I’m looking forward to seeing all the people I’ve met through the project there at the race.  

RS: Finally, give us the elevator pitch, what can people look forward to seeing when this project is complete and what are you hoping people will take away from it?

HM: You want a pitch?  How’s this?  Running sucks. Everyone who runs can tell you that. Ever run during a snowstorm? Every get a stress fracture? How about just feeling heavy during race?  You get up early to go out on a run, or you tell your friends you can’t go out to the bar with them because you have a workout. You put in all this work for something that may end up just punching you in the face. It’s sort of like unrequited love.

But we keep going, right? We don’t give up. We do our run the next day. Even when you think you’ve reached your limit, you find yourself back at it again. That’s what unites us. That’s what makes this not just an activity, but a community.

If running is a lifestyle, then that is what I want to show, the lifestyle. Not just the runs people go on, but how they balance their “civilian life” with their running. The little things people do to improve their fitness. The absurdities of it all. So many documentaries focus on moments that are “loud” and sensational, I want to focus on the quiet and intimate moments that linger with long you after you finish running.

April 18, 2017

A way too early look at the 2018 Boston Marathon women’s race

Imagining a 2018 Boston Marathon race that could end the American women’s drought while also bringing together all of the best U.S. marathoners.

April 18, 2017

This week on Citius: IAAF World Relays & the Virgin Money London Marathon

You thought we were done with weeks organized thematically? You thought wrong. This week we’ll focus on the IAAF World Relays and the 2017 London Marathon.

April 18, 2017

Press release regarding Paul Snyder and the Debajo Dos world record attempt

An important announcement regarding Paul Snyder’s attempt on the 800 meter world record and the future of the Debajo Dos project.

April 18, 2017

PHOTOS: Boston Marathon 2017 – Scenes from Heartbreak Hill by Jason Suarez

Scenes from one of the toughest moments in the Boston Marathon – Heartbreak Hill. Run tough like the elites. Run with joy like the Black Roses.

April 17, 2017

The 2017 Boston Marathon: What we think we learned

“I don’t know, fuck up some smart kids?”: Our Boston Recap

The 2017 Boston Marathon won’t be entombed in the annals of history as the fastest, most dramatic, or as a pithy title like “The Duel in the Sun.” But it was still a damn fine race on both the men’s and women’s sides. So with that in mind, here are a few quick takes before I turn things over to Kersh for the race recaps.

  • It seems the top three male and two of the top three female finishers (Rose Chelimo being the exception) all wore the new, slightly controversial Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4%, which was described by Citius founder Chris Chavez for Sports Illustrated.
  • And men’s champion Geoffrey Kirui slugged down that high-density carbohydrate drink, Maurten, that our own Chris Chavez also wrote about. (Luddite fans of running, this was not your day.)
  • The women’s race was way more interesting to follow than the men’s.
  • It was a great morning for Nike Oregon Project athletes making their marathon debuts.
  • And it was also a great morning for Meb, who is doing his version of a marathoner’s farewell tour, and doing it very well. He did not running slowly by any stretch of the imagination (he ran 2:17:00), and put himself in there from the gun, and stuck until he couldn’t (but still finished 13th). It’s refreshing to see; he clearly loves the sport and just wants a last hurrah, instead of the usual retirement path of stopping amidst consistent disappointment. And of course it was an emotional day for him, as he’s got a personal history at Boston that I’m sure will be made into a film soon.

Men’s Race

After a blazing fast opening kilometer (at 2:03 marathon pace), things quickly settled down, and a massive pack of more than twenty dudes remained within spitting distance of the leaders through 10K (30:27 or so). But shortly thereafter the heat began to play a factor and the herd was thinned.

Guys dropped off slowly but surely, without any major moves being made. It was just attrition for a while, despite the pace gradually growing slower.

Really, nothing that interesting happened until the guys neared the Newton hills. Abdi (now a masters runner!) made a bold push to the lead, swung to the side of the course, and gave his sunglasses to a troop clad in full military fatigues. Shortly thereafter Abdi dropped, which seemed to give Rupp the green light to press down on the gas a little bit.

And that was enough. Between the quickened pace (which had for a while been slowing) and aptly named Heartbreak Hill, eventual champ Geoffrey Kirui, Galen Rupp, and his training partner Suguru Osako broke away from the handful of guys still with it. Suguru quickly realized he wasn’t about that pace, and so we had a two man battle with about four miles to go.

For a few minutes it seemed Rupp might win. But ultimately, Kirui — on the strength of a 4:26 split for his 24th mile — made Galen Rupp look like he was walking over the closing stages of the race.

Kirui looked incredibly efficient over the late stages, when even Rupp-the-automaton showed signs of fatigue. So his victory really wasn’t a huge surprise.

Behind them, Suguru finished strong in third, running 2:10:28 for an impressive debut. Then Shadrack Biwott (4th; 2:12:08), Abdi Abdirahman (6th; 2:12:45), Luke Puskedra (9th; 2:14:45), and Jared Ward (10th; 2:15:28) all ran well, for a solid American situation in the top-10.

Top-Ten Men

1. Geoffrey Kirui Kenya 2:09:37
2. Galen Rupp USA 2:09:58
3. Suguru Osaka Japan 2:10:28
4. Shadrack Biwott USA 2:12:08
5. Wilson Chebet Kenya 2:12:35
6. Abdi Abdirahman USA 2:12:45
7. Augustus Mayo USA 2:13:16
8. Dino Sefir Ethiopia 2:14:26
9. Luke Puskedra USA 2:14:45
10. Jared Ward USA 2:15:28

Women’s Race

Coming into this race, the collective consciousness of the domestic distance-runner was a shared hope, and a strong belief that Desi Linden would not only be the first American female finisher, but the winner of the 2017 Boston Marathon.

Desi’s approach to her training and racing is full of truth, and lacks anything to the contrary. Her running career is not currently suspended in a bizarro gray area of “has-she-or-hasn’t-she,” and her consistency, especially on the world’s biggest stages, will be lauded for the foreseeable future.

She is, however, a robot. Her matching 1:12:33 half-marathon splits rewarded her with a 4th place finish. Watching Desi race was frustrating at times, though, because of how stubborn she was to stick to HER pace. No, she couldn’t cover the devastating move at 30K from eventual winner Edna Kiplagat, but the resolve and the trust Desi has in her training and what she needs to focus on in those decisive moments is continually agonizingly fun to watch.

As alluded to earlier, Edna Kiplagat torched the field over the last 12K when she starting clicking off low five-minute miles. In the midst of the firestorm she unleashed on her competitors, she experienced a now-hilarious-because-it-was-not-disastrous moment at one of the last fluid tables. Her bottle was not in the correct place so, instead of taking a competitor’s bottle and almost certainly having a hand in their dehydration, Kiplagat came to a complete stop for a few seconds to take account of her situation, collect her sense, and nab the correct bottle. It was silly.

Kiplagat ended up crossing the finish in 2:21:52 and looked strong as hell doing so, which should not be a surprise as she is — in addition to a world-class runner — a policewoman, a stalwart for proper waste removal practices in her native Kenya, and a mother to five children. She is a tough lady.

Jordan Hasay continued to cement herself as an American road-racing legend with a third-place finish in her marathon debut. I have not been around this sport long enough to make such bold claims, but I cannot remember an athlete who has responded so positively to road racing. Hasay’s last few track season left something to be desired from a talent like her but, since switching to the roads, she has won several U.S. Championships, scorched the Czech Republic earth with a 67:55 half marathon two weeks ago in Prague, and a podium finish at the Boston Marathon. Truly unbelievable performances, and we are now experiencing the rebirth of Jordan Hasay as the next Great American Distance Runner.

Top-Ten Women

1. Edna Kiplagat Keya 2:21:52
2. Rose Chelimo Bahrain 2:22:51
3. Jordan Hasay USA 2:23:00
4. Desi Linden USA 2:25:06
5. Gladys Cherono Kenya 2:27:20
6. Valentine Kipketer Kenya 2:29:35
7. Buzunesh Deba Ethiopia 2:30:58
8. Brigid Kosgei Kenya 2:31:48
9. Diane Nukuri Burundi 2:32:24
10. Ruti Aga Ethiopia 2:33:26

What will you remember about the 2017 race?

Well, those dumb Nike shoes sure seem to work. Paul, what about you?

How quickly Kiplagat’s big move gapped the rest of the remaining contenders, and how early in the race it took place. At the point in the course where Rupp and Kirui began dueling in a two-man contest, Kiplagat had already been running solo for miles. Her surge was early enough too, to seem possibly ill-fated, so it was especially intriguing to follow. Did anybody really surprise you or let you down, there, Stephen?

Nice insight, Paul. I’d say the gaggle of American men in the top-10 (with USA’er Sean Quigley at 11th overall) was a surprise, albeit a good one. Aside from Galen who I was sure would do well, Biwott and Abdi built on their strong NYC Marathon performances, Maiyo came outta nowhere for 7th, and Puskedra and Ward really put on strong performances. I’ll take this opportunity to end on a positive note and stop blogging for the day!

Way to blog, baby. Way to blog.

 

April 16, 2017

Watch Boston Marathon 2017: Live, online streaming, TV information, runner tracking

How to watch the 2017 Boston Marathon online, live streaming and TV information for Monday, April 17.

April 16, 2017

How to keep tabs on the 2017 Boston Marathon, in real time

We tell you how to follow the action from Boston, and how to do so like a local through recipes, twitter feeds, and even local vernacular!

April 16, 2017

Get to know Clarence DeMar, the most dominant American in the Boston Marathon’s history

One of the more decorated racers in Boston history, he ran 2:21 to win the Marathon in 1911, after being told by doctors his heart murmur would kill him.

April 15, 2017

Catherine Ndereba’s four Boston titles are unlikely to be replicated

Catherine Ndereba’s four Boston Marathon titles may never be replicated. Kevin Liao examines history and explains why that may be the case.

April 14, 2017

A Local Elite’s Guide to the Boston Marathon Weekend

Local elite marathoner Louis Serafini shares his expert guide on what to do for running, food and entertainment in Boston during marathon weekend.

April 14, 2017

Wake up to Meb Keflezighi winning the Boston Marathon

Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon in 2014 a year after the horrible bombings that occurred. He ran the race of a lifetime for America.

April 14, 2017

A Washed-Up Former Marathoner Predicts the Men’s Elite Race at the 2017 Boston Marathon

The one-time champion of the New Brighton Mini Marathon, hampered by loneliness, debt, and hours wasted at family court, predicts the men’s race at Boston.

April 14, 2017

Fearless Forecasting: idiot blogger Paul Snyder predicts the top 18 female finishers of the Boston Marathon

In the field of running punditry, there are those who maintain a strict journalistic ethos, and then there are the bloggers who use phrases like “fearless forecasting.” The former’s race previews will be full of nuance and a “let’s look at both sides” mentality. These folks are into things like citing statistics and drawing from a hard-earned bank of personal knowledge; their takes are lukewarm, their commentary impartial. You turn to these people to inform yourself about a situation, so that you may draw your own conclusions based on fact. The world needs these people.

But I’m a blogger, man. And the world needs us too, for we are fearless, stupid champions of internet-induced boldness. (To paraphrase The Boss, “tramps like us, baby we were born to blog.”)

So you’ll get none of the aforementioned removed sense of professionalism here. Instead, this preview of the women’s race will be loaded with bias and ignorance, as I attempt to accurately predict the finishing order of the 18 women in the Boston Marathon’s elite field. To do so, I will activate the most powerful of blogger tools, the Blogger’s Gut.

The Fearless Forecast

  1. Gladys Cherono, Kenya; Cherono boasts the field’s fastest PB (2:19:25), and though she ran that in 2015, she’s indicated similar fitness this year, winning the Osita-Roma Half Marathon in 67:01 last month. And perhaps most importantly, Cherono’s proven herself as someone more than capable of winning big races against stacked fields. Sorry folks, this dumbass blogger doesn’t see an American woman winning this year. But that doesn’t mean the women’s race won’t be extremely exciting, and way better than the men’s.
  2. Brigid Kosgei, Kenya; I’m a big fan of two things, which is why Kosgei gets the nod for silver ahead of a slew of very deserving athletes: momentum and inexperience. She’s coming off a 67:35 half marathon which she won by over 90 seconds, she’s young and relatively untested. She’s used to winning low-key races, and athletes like that are dangerous, because they don’t know to be afraid of the top dogs.
  3. Atsede Baysa, Ethiopia; A third contradictory attribute I value is experience. Give me a savvy veteran almost any day of the week, and I’ll tell you they’ll finish top three. Baysa is the reigning champ, and though her PRs are pretty weak compared to many of her peers, and she hasn’t looked great since her victory at last year’s slow race, I’m still calling a podium finish on the basis of her intangibles, which are THROUGH THE ROOF.
  4. Desi Linden, USA; I’m gonna catch some flack for this (and every other prediction here) but before you crucify this humble blogger online, hear me out. Fourth place is very good. And notice how I didn’t mention any times in my preview? Let’s just assume the top six or so runners will all be close, at least through mile 23. If that’s the case, you gotta err on the side of women with superior wheels, ammiright? On a different course, in a different race, Linden may not even place this high in this field, but American runners tend to get amped up for what might as well be called America’s Marathon.
  5. Diane Nukuri, Burundi; Though her best marathon’s just a 2:27:50, I won’t be surprised to see Nukuri mixing it up near the front for much of the race. She’s coming off of a third place finish at this year’s NYC Half Marathon, behind only Molly Huddle and Emily Sisson, both of whom would be in discussions for a top three finish were they in this Boston field. Plus Nukuri beat a couple of serious contenders who are racing Boston, and she’s in the habit of securing top-10 placings at some pretty legitimate international marathons.
  6. Edna Kiplagat, Kenya; Kiplagat is one of the aforementioned serious contenders displaced by Nukuri in NYC in March. And though her performance there shouldn’t inspire much confidence in her winning in Boston, it indicates she’s in at least decent shape. That’s where that savvy veteran bullshit I love so much comes in. She’s 37, has run 16 major marathons, and holds a PB of 2:19:50. At this point, her career’s likely on the decline, but expect her to employ tactics like running the tangents and elbowing competitors in the kidneys to her advantage; the sort of move elder NBA players use to make a fool of younger, more able bodied defenders.
  7. Jordan Hasay, USA; Yeah I know Hasay ran a really great half marathon in Prague not too long ago,and I also know that she’s being touted as the next great American marathoner. She very well may be, but it’s one thing to place highly and run fast in a debut marathon. It’s another entirely to win a race that has a tendency to be weird and wacky, and rarely a barn-burner. The more surges and mind games in a race, the more opportunities for rookie mistakes. Hasay will make a few.
  8. Caroline Rotitch, Kenya; Rotitch had a pretty bad race (by her standards) at the NYC Half, and that’s all we’ve seen of her in 2017. She won this race back in 2015, so I’ll go ahead and say she’ll beat some women she realistically shouldn’t, based on her proven ability to race the course.
  9. Valentine Kipketer, Kenya; Last year’s 5th place finisher on paper seems like a longshot to duplicate her performance, so I’ll slot her here at 8th. She’s got solid PBs (68:21 & 2:23:02) but so does everybody else.
  10. Lindsay Flanagan, USA; The former University of Washington standout has for a few years now quietly enjoyed a solid and steadily improving standing in the American women’s marathoning hierarchy. Her last attempt at 26.2 saw her placing fourth in Frankfurt running 2:29:29, a nearly four minute personal best.
  11. Rose Chelimo, Bahrain; Chelimo’s coming off a solid showing at the World XC Championships in Uganda, which I’d argue stupidly actually hurts her chances in Boston. Having spent a winter training for a shorter distance, I’d say she goes out with the leaders but fades painfully over the back six miles.
  12. Joyce Chepkirui, Kenya; Chepkirui’s run 66:19 and 2:24:11, but on any given day, not every good athlete can be “on.” This esteemed blogger just guessed that Boston will not be Chepkirui’s day, although she’ll hold on and finish, which is more than can be said for all 18 of these women, I’m afraid. More on that after we discuss the 13th through 16th place predictions.
  13. Liz Costello, USA; If Hasay weren’t also making her marathon debut in Boston, Costello’s first attempt at the distance would likely generate more fanfare. She got 6th at the Trials last summer in the 10,000m, and holds a personal best of 31:43.79 over the distance, plus, she trains locally in Boston. She hasn’t really run any road races indicating she should get top 10 on Monday, but she’s a smart racer with hometown ties, so I’ll give her a slot on the outside looking in.
  14. Esther Atkins, USA; Atkins’s best marathon ever was in Boston in 2014, where she ran 2:33:15 for 18th place. That same year she ran 74:46 for the half. This year she’s run faster than that for 13.1, so why not expect a superior showing for the full thing?
  15. Rachel Hannah, Canada; Hannah’s a 72:25 woman who hasn’t raced anything major this year. I have little in the way of blogging intuition surrounding this placement, but I sense she will finish, and beat at least one other elite woman who does not DNF.
  16. Blake Russell, USA; Russell’s fastest days are likely behind her, but she can still work her way up the master’s all-time American marathon rankings with a good showing in Boston.
  • DNFs: Ruti Aga, Ethiopia; Buzunesh Deba, Ethiopia; Both Aga and Deba have run incredible times, and there is no denying that. But their recent performances indicate a high probability of blowing up. Deba won (thanks Rita Jeptoo!) the 2014 Boston Marathon in 2:19:59. But since then her marathon performances have been 2:33 or slower, or DNFs. Aga ran a solid half last month (70:02) but her last marathon was in Dubai and she ran 2:46:16. If your last marathon was awful, you don’t forget it easily; you were out there struggling for nearly three hours. Snyder’s Razor says: an athlete can only stomach so many let downs in a row before getting discouraged to the point of realizing that dropping out is easier than sticking in a race they’ll run poorly. I don’t fault them. Marathons seem hard and if you’re a pro but won’t see any cash from finishing, why finish?
April 14, 2017

Attention elite athletes: Want to win the Boston Marathon? Read up.

Elite athletes become elite by leaving no stone unturned in their preparations. But what if there was one glaring omission from professional runners’ plans?

April 13, 2017

BQ or Bust? No thank you.

Not running the Boston Marathon? That’s totally fine. Don’t let an unrealized dream of qualifying prevent you from exploring other great races and memories to be made.

April 13, 2017

Wake up to Bill Rodgers setting the American Record – Boston Marathon

Happy Thursday morning to you all and I hope you’re getting excited about the looming Boston Marathon this Monday. I write this to you from my couch where and just wanted to remind you that Bill Rodgers won the Boston Marathon four times and three of those victories were consecutive…AND in two of those wins he also set American records.

The race we’re hyping up this morning is Bill’s 1979 win since we’ve dug up into the caverns of the internet for some epic footage of that record setting race. This was the 83rd edition of the Boston Marathon and at the time there was a record number of runners on the starting line with a field of 10,000 participants. This was Rodgers’ third victory but it was all but certain throughout the race.

Tom Fleming from New Jersey had already finished second in the race the previous two years. He decided to change things up by running as hard as he could until the others caught him or he gave out. He led through half marathon mark in a touch over 65 minutes, which was just behind Bill Rodgers course record pace. He still had a gap on the field, but soon after 13.1 miles, Gary Bjorkland took over the lead into the Newton Hills. It didn’t take long for Rodgers to stop lurking in second place and make his appearance in the front of the field as they headed into the city. The clock wasn’t much of a factor until the final two miles, where Rodgers found another gear and split 9:20 to set the Boston Marathon course record, American record and fancy PR of 2:09:27.

The announcer gave everyone goosebumps as Bill finished saying “Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest runner in Massachusetts, the greatest runner in the United States, the greatest runner in the world and the greatest runner in the history of the world!”

Check out the video above to relive some epic history of the 83rd running of the best footrace in the world, the Boston Marathon.

April 13, 2017

Running Documentaries and Videos You Should Watch #1 : Mile 19

Mile 19 tells the inspiring story of Johnnie Jameson, a Los Angeles mailman who understands the meaning of running.

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