Vox’s Phil Edwards produced a quirky historical documentary digging deep on how did running or “jogging” get discovered. Watch it today!
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Vox’s Phil Edwards produced a quirky historical documentary digging deep on how did running or “jogging” get discovered. Watch it today!
This week marks the 90th iteration of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. For those who aren’t familiar with what that means, it’s the one week out of the year where we pretend as a nation to care about scholastic pursuits and intellectual accomplishments.
I’d say that on the whole, it’s a good thing. Too much attention is given to sports in general, but especially to sports as they pertain to earning college athletic-based financial aid. There are way more academic scholarships out there than there are athletic ones, so any time we’re collectively reminded that brain-based activities are not just personally beneficial, but potentially financially lucrative, that’s a win.
However, with this momentary acknowledgement of brain, instead of just brawn, comes the crippling realization that all of the Bee’s competitors are vastly more intelligent than me.
There is a goddamn six year old in this year’s competition. Six. She is a kindergartner from Oklahoma and she will be appearing on national television spelling polysyllabic, probably obsolete words. I’ve used spell check six times while writing this one paragraph on a track blog.
Because I am a very small person, I have to rationalize how I am in some way superior to these elementary-to-middle-school-aged children. It used to be that I could scoff and just lie to myself: “harummph, these dweebs can’t run 12.5 laps around a track as fast as me, so I’m better!” But now, as my bones have reached peak fragility, I don’t even have that delusion to fall back on.
My time is up, both academically and athletically. I know that for years now I’ve been growing dumber and slower, and neither trend shows any sign of reversing itself. I must cede the floor to the rising stars of spelling, especially given that at least one can probably beat me in a footrace.
With the correct brand of mental gymnastics, you can dupe yourself into believing that when you were the age of the Bee entrants, you were better than them, by being EXCEPTIONALLY WELL-ROUNDED.
And so a fun thought experiment is to determine when your average running-spelling ability was at its highest (or project when you’ll hit that point).
I reached my athletic peak at 20 and have been on a steady decline ever since. And I probably developed some sort of sub-clinical brain disease in 2008, because since since my 17th birthday because I sure as hell have gotten worse at spelling every year since.
So go ahead and chart your own greatness and subsequent fall from it. You may have a long downward slide ahead of you, but at least you were a solid, well-rounded champion at one point. And all the more power to you if you are still bettering yourself past your late teens.
Be sure to share with us your Spelling-Running Peak!
Who are the boys and girls in this year’s Adidas Dream Mile? Get to know the stars like Casey Clinger and Joy Ripslinger.
The Dream Mile is a race so nice most of us can’t even relate to it. But we’ve all experienced our own Nightmare Mile, right?
How did the careers pan out for the high school stars who competed in the 2013 Adidas Grand Prix Dream Mile? Interesting storylines developed.
Tom Farrell takes us through his week from a delivery of new shoes, a training session at Hayward Field and then some drills. All in Session 4 of his Vlog.
The Prefontaine Classic, NCAA Regional meets, and a few other things you probably hasn’t ever heard of. It’s the Citius Mag power rankings.
Imagine for a second that we’re in pre-9/11 America, and you’ve somehow been sucked into your HBO-connected television while watching The Sopranos. You’re wearing a tasteful track suit, huddled around a butcher’s table covered in capicola (“gabagool”), and surrounded by Italian men of varying ages, states of physical health, and rotundity. The mood is tense and the conversation centers around what to do about a struggling capo. A young-looking man to your left raises the possibility of offing him but is promptly and firmly cut off by patriarch Tony Soprano, who slams his beefy hands down, sending cured meats flying. “Family is everything!” he bellows, which seems to be enough for the skeptical youth to realize the error of his disloyal suggestion.
Your television shoots you back out into reality. You dust yourself off and look down, admiring your track suit. “Family is everything,” you mutter without thinking, then return to your regularly scheduled life, but with a greater appreciation for la famiglia.
Now, few things rev your engine like public displays of familial greatness. So yesterday, while watching the 2017 Prefontaine Classic, at the conclusion of the men’s Bowerman Mile, you stood erect, arms outstretched, and screamed an animal scream, because you were so jazzed by what you saw.
Three Norwegian brothers, ranging in age from 16 to 26, all ran sub-4 for the mile on the same day.
16-year old Jakob Ingebrigtsen became the youngest sub-4 miler ever, running 3:58.07 in the men’s International Mile, a few seconds back from brother Henrik, who ran 3:53.23. About an hour later, in the Bowerman Mile, Filip went 3:53.79. In all likelihood, there has never been another familial trio to run as collectively fast on the same day.
But that doesn’t mean other families haven’t achieved shared greatness at once, in other disciplines.
Death is rarely considered great. It is usually sad. But I’ll be damned if death cannot be considered noble. And noble things are always great. So when all five Sullivan brothers saw their demise while serving in the US Navy during World War II (the last noble war we’ve got ourselves in) it was great. George, Frank, Matt, Joe, and Al were aboard the USS Juneau on November 13, 1942 when they met their demise. Their parents, Thomas and Alleta, traveled around the country hawking war bonds after their sons’ premature departures. This seems less noble.
Imagine making contact with a baseball. Imagining making contact with a baseball hard enough to hit it far enough where you’re given a free walk around the bases because you’re so impressive. Imagine watching your dad do this. Imagine watching your dad do this and then realizing you are also on the same professional baseball team and you are now up to hit. Imagine hitting a homerun after your dad.
Ok. Stop imagining and start realizing this actually happened.
Ken Griffey Sr. knocked a four-baser on August 31, 1990 and then Ken Griffey Jr. did the exact same thing right afterwards. While usually a boring sport, baseball proves it can be interesting once a decade, or so.
In an incredible display of familial greatness, Serena bested her sister in the final of this year’s Australian Open. While losing is not as great as winning, having nearly identical DNA sequences in a final of a Grand Slam tennis tournament is objectively Great. Capital g, baby. One time my brother and I completed a power-hour at a family reunion and my parent’s were wildly disappointed in us. This has to be much different.
Long after Bob Dylan stopped going by his given name, Robert Zimmerman, but before he won a Nobel Prize but played demur in collecting it, he and his son Jakob shared some overlapping musical success.
In November of 1996, Bobby D was touring his native Midwest, playing sold out shows everywhere from Milwaukee to Minnetonka. That same month, Jakob’s band, The Wallflowers, released their magnum opus: Bringing Down the Horse.
“One Headlight,” the best-known single off of the album was named a top-100 pop song of all time in 2000 by a brain trust of MTV and Rolling Stone writers. Not too shabby, Jakob. That’s enough to make any warbling folksy father proud.
Granted, they never toured together or anything like that but Jakob’s one major hit absolutely bangs.
Let’s have a listen. For la famiglia.
How to watch the 2017 Prefontaine Classic live from Eugene, Oregon. TV, schedule and live results information for the U.S. Diamond League stop.
To race like the best, you gotta dine like the best. But the current best don’t dine like they used to. Let’s take a look at how Pre might have eaten.
Ben Sutherland, a rising senior on the cross-country team at Brown, reached out to Citius Mag to share his battle with depression in his own words.
Syracuse distance runner Justyn Knight shares his playlist that gets him going before any major competition. Of course Drake is on the playlist.
Here is the deal with Steve Prefontaine: he is no longer with us. “He is no longer with us” is a pretty banal way to classify death. Sometimes at brunch, my buddy gets up to go to the bathroom and, for the next few minutes, he is no longer with us. I’m not comparing Pre’s death to my friend’s overactive bladder, what I’m doing is grabbing your undivided attention while I set out on a noble quest to FIND THE NEXT PRE.
Now that we have gone through that little two-step, let’s begin.
This exercise hinges on pinpointing the exact qualities that made Pre a cultural zeitgeist, while also providing the sticking power which lead to his current title as: transcendent icon. But maybe I’m wrong? Actually I probably am wrong. I’m wrong a lot. I think I’m wrong because culturally the running world has shifted from placing value on honest mustaches, being from small towns, and providing inspirational quotes for mostly bad tattoos to a culture gravitating towards memes, dabbing, and shoes with a lot of foam. The entirety of this retrograde can be blamed on Twitter.
What I’m really looking for is the CURRENT PRE. As our landscape exists today, I’m not sure the NEXT PRE could ever be re-created or found. Pre was the golden boy for an American running boom, a burgeoning sports equipment brand, and he lived in an age where young men were drinking enough cow milk to create the testosterone needed to grow some real facial fur. Nowadays, our heroes are practically-hairless-almond-milk-drinking-manboys. Pre’s existence was serendipitously aligned with the necessary occurrences to not only create a legend during his heyday, but to cement himself in the annals of track and field lore forever. There will never be another Pre – because he is dead – but perhaps the current Pre is out there right now, tweeting a dank meme, and lacing up some stupid shoes.
Below are the necessary criteria to be considered the CURRENT PRE.
Pre’s mustache remains iconic. You slap a mustache on a balloon and thousands of high school runners would tell you the balloon is now Pre, and Pre is now a balloon. It’s a transcendent symbol for the man. But were mustaches as revered back then as they are now? I doubt it. Seems like everyone had a caterpillar growing on their lip back then. In fact, if you didn’t, you probably were ostracized. And rightly so. Like a fine Franzia Cab Sav, the 1970’s mustaches ages with panache and dignity.
What do we have now that seems normal, but will grow in appreciation as the years pass? Lately, men have been doing some really terrible things with their hair. The manbun, while I assume still popular in certain EDM-circles and weight rooms, seems to have fizzled out nicely. The depression-era hardpart has made a nice resurgence among millennials, and the cyclical nature leads me to believe it will still be around in a few decades.
Neither of these are comparable to the mustache, though.
You know what is? The femalebun. This is the first hint that the CURRENT PRE may in fact not have a penis. Alexi Pappas has inspired hordes of females to not only run with buns, but to write poetry about the nuances of how their buns make them feel. Manbuns incite hate, femalebuns incite art.
I can neither confirm nor deny Kyle Merber is trending towards CURRENT PRE status.
This criterion remains unchanged from Pre’s day. Simply put, being fast is better than being slow. The whole tortoise and hare thing is bullshit. If you want to be put on a pedestal, you really need to be winning races while running fast. This is the only caveat to transcendence that will stay constant until humans decide putting so much time, effort, and care into running is silly and we really should put the time, effort, care into figuring out how to keep our planet from becoming a barbeque briquette.
All our current day stars have famous family members. For every Matt Centrowitz Junior, there’s a Matt Centrowitz Senior providing genetics. Drake’s dad is famous because millions of people find his son’s constant whining to be musically appealing. That baby over in the U.K. is famous because his parent’s are famous and their parents are famous. It’s like nepotism, I think. Like I alluded to earlier, I’m wrong a lot. But I’m not wrong about this. To be relevant in our present world, some family members better have paved the way for you.
The name of the game in shoes these days? Silly. Companies are slowly realizing how nice it is to run in comfortable shoes. They saw the writing on the bathroom stall wall and the scribbles read “STANLEY WANTS MORE FOAM IN HIS SHOES.” All-caps brand HOKE ONE ONE came hard with the heel lifts, only to see Nike develop their tech even further to help perpetuate the notion shoes make you faster. The CURRENT PRE isn’t jogging around in some normal looking New Balance, the runner we’re after is pounding the pavement in some marshmallows with laces.
The CURRENT PRE is a world-class, bun-wearing female, who is good at the internets, has a family member who has done something either illegal or courageous to bring fame to their surname, and looks like the Michelin man from the ankle below.
The Nike Prefontaine Classic just might be the best invitational on the planet and it gets started tonight.
Friday’s coverage will begin at 11:00pm EDT. US fans can watch via NBC Sports Network or online via NBC Sports Gold (subscription required). Canadian fans with a RunnerSpace Plus subscription can watch at AthleticsCanada.tv.
Friday night is dedicated to Joan Benoit Samuelson, arguably the greatest American long-distance runner of all time, who just turned 60 years old. The evening’s action will be all women’s competition.
Below I have an event-by event preview, along with a start list. I have developed my own “power rankings” for each event and those are included, along with each athlete’s best marks in 2017.
7:34 local time (10:34 ET)
This is the first major competition of the year so it’s hard to tell much yet. Liu has the best marks but could have jet-lag issues. Khaladovich has had a solid start to her season too. Kolak was the surprise winner at last summer’s Olympics and is still just 21 years old in an event where athletes typically peak around age 30, so she just might be the next javelin star.
Women’s Long Jump
7:37 local time (10:37 ET)
All the top jumpers save Ivana Spanovic (CRO) are in the competition (and she had been announced as part of the field but has since scratched). Reese and Bartoletta have combined to win every World or Olympic gold medal since 2009, and have staged some tremendous head-to-head battles over the last few years. Ugen beat Reese at the Drake Relays in truly horrible weather. Klishina was the lone Russian allowed to compete at last summer’s Olympics.
Womens’ 800 meters (National heat)
8:06pm local time (11:06pm ET)
This is the B-heat of the women’s 800 and is comprised of the best Americans not good enough to get into tomorrow’s A-heat. For this reason the “power rankings” in the far-left column reflect how these athletess ran in North American (USA and Canada). Martinez is just coming off a meet record at the USATF Middle Distance Classic. Lipsey ran faster than that meet record during the indoor season, and Roesler is rounding into form after a difficult 2016 season. High schooler Watson is running her first major 800 of the outdoor season, and the number to watch is 1:59.51 – that’s the national high school record, set by Mary Cain four years ago at the Pre Classic.
Women’s 1500 meters (National heat)
8:14pm local time (11:14pm ET)
This is nominally the “National” race but includes a significant number of foreign athletes, and so I’ve reverted back to worldwide “power rankings” in the far left column. Reid is finally over some injuries that slowed her for years. She won last week’s USATF Middle Distance Classic and beat Shannon Rowbury, who will be in tomorrow’s A-heat. Also in that race was Gollish, Pen Freitas, Schneider, Sutherland, and Efraimson. Grunewald is bravely racing while battling cancer for the fourth time in eight years.
8:25pm local time (11:25pm ET)
This is not an official Diamond League race and will not count in the season-long points race. Despite that fact, it’s still a great field featuring ten of the world’s top 13 (according to my power rankings). Three of them have run 9:05 or faster this year (Jebet, Chepkoech, and Chespol) while Coburn is the best of the rest at 9:14, suggesting that this will essentially break into two races.
Women’s 5000 meters
8:41pm local time (11:41pm ET)
Dibaba is supposedly chasing the world record (14:11.15) but that may be more of a stretch than we realize. Her only PRs set in 2016 or ’17 are at distances she rarely runs (mile and 2000 meters). In the event that this becomes a bona fide race to the finish, look for Kipkemboi, Hassan or possibly even Huddle to be factors.
Before Jenny Simpson was the Olympic medalist and world champion we now know, she was a college senior at Colorado thrown to the wolves in a loaded 1500 meter field at the 2009 Pre Classic.
Against the likes of Shannon Rowbury, Anna Willard and Christin Wurth-Thomas, it was the then-steeplechase specialist who unleashed a furious kick on the final straightaway that we’ve now gotten to know so well.
The question with just meters to run was whether she’d be about to eek out the win.
Simpson ultimately wasn’t quite able to catch Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka, but set did set a massive personal best of 3:59.90. That’s a mark that she wasn’t able to better for five whole years, when she ran her current PR of 3:57.22 in 2014.
The rest of the 2009 track season was a strong one for the U.S. women’s middle distance squad. Simpson went on to finish fifth in the steeplechase at the Berlin World Championships (the last time she would compete in that distance in a major championship), while at the same meet Rowbury, Wurth-Thomas, and Willard finished third, fifth, and sixth, respectively, in the 1500 meters.
You can catch Simpson back at Hayward Field at Pre this Saturday against a who’s who of the world’s milers, including Rio gold medalist Faith Kipyegon, Laura Muir, and Rowbury.
Side note: The sea of Nike runners wearing kits with “Livestrong” plastered on the front of it hasn’t aged so well, has it?
America: we like being the biggest; we like being the best. Just ask a random citizen walking down the street in Anytown, USA what the largest mall in the world is. I bet you my lunch money they stand up straight, salute the flag and boldly declare, “THE MALL OF AMERICA, SIR OR MADAM.” Though they’d be wrong (it’s the 33rd largest in the world) this is exactly the type of micro-American exceptionalism that gives America its reputation.
We here at Citius Mag are not above this type of posturing. That’s why we’re here to tell you that this weekend’s Prefontaine Classic held in Eugene, Ore., is the greatest track meet on earth. Don’t believe us? We have proof.
Below are the meet records for a few other track meets that some might spout off while playing the classic party game, “Name The Best Track Meet.” Let’s see how they stack up to the Prefontaine Classic: WORLD’S GREATEST TRACK MEET.
I’ve only chosen a handful of races to consider, from sprints to distance races, and completely excluded field events. For this I’d like to issue a lukewarm apology. Let’s meet the contenders.
Lausanne is a Diamond League meet. Therefore, it’s no surprise that you see some big time names and some big time performances. The weakest one up there is the 10,000m, and for pete’s sake that was run by the one and only GEB! If Haile can’t run a fast time on your track, then god help you.
There are two highlights up there. The first, are the 800m records–Maria Mutola and Wilson Kipketer are two of the greatest 800m runners of all time. The second is Yohan Blake and his 9.69, the second fastest 100m of all time. Good meet? Yes. Great? DON’T THINK SO.
Heusden is one of the best non-Diamond League meets out there. It’s a destination to chase fast times, especially during championships years–it’s one of the last places you can go to hit a standard before the qualifying window closes (except for this year. It’s one day outside the window. Don’t chase a time at Heusden). Despite all this, some of these times are SOFT. The men’s 100m meet record? Weak. The women’s 400m? Not tough.
However, this meet does earn some points for the 800m. We have one of Sir David Rudisha‘s sub-1:42 races, as well as the 8th fastest women’s time at the distance in Jolanda Ceplak’s 1:55.19.
The men’s 1500m is also nothing to poo poo. Hicham El Guerrouj put down a sub 3:30 in Heusden. But on the spectrum of fast El Guerrouj times, this doesn’t even crack his top ten. Show me sub 3:27, or you run the risk of earning the title NOT THE BEST MEET. Color me unimpressed.
Let’s tackle the men’s records first: there’s the former world record holder Michael Johnson going sub 44; the fastest mile ever run on US soil; the fastest 5,000m ever run on US soil; and the world record holder running the fastest 10,000 ever run on US soil (it’s also number 3 all time). YIKES.
For the women, Carmelita Jeter’s 10.70 at Eugene is in a three way tie with Marion Jones and FloJo for the 7th fastest mark ever; Mary Slaney‘s 4:21.25 is the 2nd fastest on US soil by less than a second; then there’s the Dibaba sisters flexing their 5,000 and 10,000 muscles for a pair of the fastest times we’ve seen in Big Mall Country.
Even if fast times aren’t your thing, the meet is held in a place that goes by Track Town, USA. And for good reason. Pre’s fans are track literate, and if they like you enough they’ll even engage in some rhythmic clapping. Despite running the risk of sub-par air quality, the venue is historic, the weather (generally) amenable, and since it’s holding onto Diamond League status, the competition will always be stiff.
Steve Prefontaine may be the biggest name out of Coos Bay, Oregon but he’s not the athlete with an Olympic gold medal. Remember Mel Counts.
Movies are weird, man. It’s easy to mix them all up. If you do it right through Jared Leto, you can reason that Prefontaine went on to do some wild stuff
How a clash between Dave Wottle and Steve Prefontaine may have laid the groundwork for the Prefontaine Classic that everyone knows now.
Check out the resume of the athlete who’s performed best at the Prefontaine Classic, the best track meet in America: Maria Mutola.
The running community lost a young and talented runner as Gabe Proctor died at 27 years old. Becky Wade remembers the former Mammoth Track Club runner.
Eugene, OR, is almost indisputably the best place in the United States to host a track meet. Unless the air quality gets decimated by a high pollen count.
The cult of Craig Mottram reached its absolute peak in 2007, when the Aussie smoked a 8:03.50 two-mile against a loaded field at the Pre Classic
Hello, Citwits. It’s your two resident Doctor Boys, Paul Snyder and Ryan Sterner. As human beings with a combined 53 years of life experience, we’re here to inform our constituency about a few of the lesser known running injuries. Most are a classic case of misunderstanding–a kind of medical “make ’em look this way while we go that way.”
So if you’re one that has been chronically injured and grown frustrated with the quacks and fly-by-night physical therapists advertising on bus stop benches, look no further because Dr. Paul & Ryan are here to help. One thing to understand while reading through this not-even-close to exhaustive list of ailments, is to take them with a grain of salt, because more likely than not your doctor is correct. Thank you.
The Jelly Bones
Often times you’ll go into the doctor knowing the diagnosis. This is generally the case with stress fractures. You go to the doctor just so she can tell you what you already know and then you sit on your happy ass for the next 12 months while you wait for your hard bits to reconstitute.
Pal, what if I told you there was another ailment you need to keep an eye out for that masquerades as a stress fracture? And what if I told you that that ailment is called The Jelly Bones?
Do you often feel wobbly? Like instead of bones, perhaps your feeble body is being supported by an intricate system of GoGurt tubes attached end to end? Well then my friend, if I were you I’d rush to my nearest physician, bust down the door and holler “Doc! I got The Jelly Bones!” before collapsing in a heap on the waiting room floor. They’ll know what to do.
I hope this won’t drastically shake your world view, but I won’t apologize for advancements in scientism. As a registered scientician, I’m qualified to make claims like “birds are lighter than people, and can also fly, whereas people cannot.” Accordingly, when Bird Bones occur in a fleshy, human meat body, disastrous outcomes unfold.
One in six Americans are born with this condition. The burden of hefting around a human on a structure meant for a bird is akin to letting your chunky nephew sit on your K’Nex rollercoaster. Something’s gotta give. And that something is a bone or two. These problems are exacerbated by running, because–need I remind you?–birds are meant to fly, not jog along at seven-minute pace.
As runners, we are all well versed in the pitfalls of iron deficiency. You feel weak, you’re obsessed with naps, you can’t hit your workout splits. The doctor makes you buy a $160 bottle of liquid iron. You’re spending a fortune on orange juice for the sake of proper absorption. If you’ve tried this with no noticeable improvement in performance, it’s time to consider Giggle Fist, perhaps colloquially known as Morning Hands.
What is it specifically? It’s the prolonged sensation of weakness that results in the inability to grip things properly. Instead of fancy iron tablets, you need only to buy yourself a tennis ball and carry it around in your jacket pocket, periodically squeezing it throughout the day. Problem. Fucking. Solved.
A lot of fuss is made over things like your IT band, or your achilles tendon, and some other connective tissues that keep your muscles taut, yet springy. Much like a vehicle, however, these belts need to be replaced every 30,000 miles or so. What happens if you try to keep the engine running with these Creaky Belts? I’m not sure, but here’s a video of a car suffering from creaky belts that I’d like you to use as a metaphor for the human body.
Tim Riggins Syndrome
Have you had marginal success in your running career? Are you a big fish in a small pond? Has your ego inflated because of this? Then I’d like to issue a warning on the potential dangers of the Tim Riggins Syndrome. One day you’ll be waving your blue ribbon to the adoring fans, the next you’ll be held at gunpoint in a small Mexican pueblo while a witch doctor demands you fork over the money for your friends experimental back-alley spinal tap procedure. I gotta tell you, this will not bode well if you’re trying to run 4:40 at the district meet the following weekend.
Think you’re too young for gout? Think again!
The Lunch Pail Blues
Any number of blue collar ailments fall under the diagnostic umbrella of the lunch pail blues. Blew out your shoulder from too much hammerin’? Lunch pail blues. Upset stomach from swallin’ too much chaw? Lunch pail blues. Tripped over your pair of blue jeans when they slipped down and around your ankles, weighed down by all the rocks you were storin’ in the pockets? Lunch pail blues. Fell in a hole in the ground chasin’ your favorite cap after a gust of wind blew if off your head? Lunch pail blues.
There is no known cure for the lunch pail blues, as it’s more of a lifestyle than an actual affliction.
We’re not talking about the cellular growths associated with various cancers. Those are tragic and well-documented medically. We’re talking about “tubers,” as in girthy root vegetables like potatoes. “Tumors” is how you confusingly pronounce “tubers” if you have a mouth full of raw parsnips or rutabaga. You’re not going to run a fast race if you have glob of half-chewed starch in your gullet, obstructing your ability to breath.
Doctors frequently misdiagnose this as asthma.
I’m sure you’re thinking that by tremors we mean an unintentional rhythmic muscle movement. But you’d be wrong. We’re actually talking about the 1990 Kevin Bacon box office smash hit Tremors, about a town infested with city bus sized worms. You may think that you have a run of the mill tape worm, but you should really ask your doctor about a 1990s style Tremor worm. You’ll likely look like a fully formed larvae at this point, and your athletic performance, especially at longer distances, will see a disastrous downward trend. Nip this one in the bud early!
A quick moment to pass along the legend that was the 1969 Pac-8 Conference Championship where Steve Prefontaine and Gerry Lindgren battled to the line.
Tom Farrell opens up his closet and takes us through all the Nike shoes that he wears in training, conditioning and competition.
This week on Citius Mag, we’ll be exploring all sorts of stories and angles related to the Prefontaine Classic as well as the legendary runner himself.
After eight stress fractures, Columbia senior Keenan Piper is vying for a spot on the starting line at NCAAs; but was it all worth it?
Meet the other college stars that will take Edward Cheserek’s crown in the 5,000 meters at the upcoming NCAA Championships.
The Athlete Special returns with Spencer Brown kicking off his summer with a speed session. Spencer redshirted the past outdoor season.
Edward Cheserek put together many incredible races during his four-year career at Oregon. What was his greatest race in a Ducks uniform?
Edward Cheserek has finished his career at Oregon after a back injury forced him to scratch from NCAA prelims. How do we remember his NCAA career?
What we learned from the latest revelation of the USADA investigation into Nike Oregon Project Alberto Salazar and his use of L-carnitine injections.
Watch the 2017 Tracktown Summer Series draft live as Nick Symmonds, Bernard Lagat, Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross make their picks.
Photos of the 2017 USATF Middle Distance Classic at Occidental Classic on May 18. All shots taken by Justin Britton.
Do you remember yesterday how I wrote an article with my predictions for the results of yesterday’s USATF Distance Classic? Sure you do. Do you also remember the tweet that I sent out stating that if I guessed the winners of all eight races I would eat my shoe? Since all of our devoted Citwits are also following me on Twitter, I imagine the answer is also yes.
Hello. I made some bad predictions about a very good track meet happening tonight. If I get 8/8 I’ll eat my shoe. https://t.co/SJi44ED8BF
— Ryan Sterner (@ryansterner1) May 18, 2017
Well, the meet was yesterday. I was there, in the flesh. I watched all the races. Let’s take a look at the results, my predictions, and how I stacked up.
My prediction: Brenda Martinez
Result: Brenda Martinez in a very fast 1:58.78
This is Brenda’s fastest time since 2013, when she ran 1:57.91 and won a silver medal at the World Championships in Moscow. A fun tidbit: in 2013 she opened her season with a 1:59, and followed that up with a 1:58. It’s 2017, and Martinez opened with a 1:59, and two weeks later just ran 1:58. Generally, I’m not a superstitious guy, but come on!
If you’re keeping score, I’m currently 1/1 in my predictions. ⅛ of my way to eating a shoe.
My prediction: Donavan Brazier
Result: Luke Matthews in 1:46.44
Brazier was a DNS. If I wanted to be a stickler, I could say that if he were in the race, he definitely would have won. I say this because Donavan Brazier doesn’t seem to be in the business of running 1:46 and losing.
My second guess for this race was Charles Jock, who finished in a less than paltry 1:51.72.
The score: I’ll call this an emotional victory. But in reality, I’m ½. Sorry folks, no shoe eatin’ here today.
My prediction: Shannon Rowbury
Result: Sheila Reid in 4:07.07 (Rowbury behind in 4:07.17)
During this race was when I heard the two dads in front of me discussing their mutual admiration for controversial Netflix show 13 Reasons Why. While I was distracted by this conversation, the Canadian overtook American Record Holder Shannon Rowbury with about 30 meters to go, and they rubbed elbows all the way to the line. This was definitely one of the best races of the night.
The score: I’m 1 for 3 folks. Although this one was close.
My prediction: Matthew Centrowitz Jr.
Result: Matthew Centrowitz Jr. in a steamy 3:33.41
I’ll be honest, I overlooked Mo Farah when making these predictions. When I saw him on the track, though, I got a little nervous. They announced him on the starting line, and his name was preceded by a laundry list of his accomplishments. After hearing something like that, I was shook. Of course Mo was going to win.
Gun goes off and it’s a four man race through most of it. It’s Mo, Centro, Chris O’Hare, and Hassan Mead. Farah at the bell, O’Hare givin’ him the slip on the back stretch, and then Centro, smooth as butter taking it home. How could we ever doubt Matt “like father like son” Centrowitz.
The score: HEY I WAS RIGHT, I’M 2 FOR 4
My prediction: AND I QUOTE, “Mel Lawrence, with a nice final lap, and a finish that hovers around 9:40.”
The result: MEL LAWRENCE WITH A NICE FINAL LAP, FINISHING IN 9:40.20
This should honestly be worth ten points, because it’s exactly what Mel did. She looked great, kept her composure through some late race surging by Rachel Johnson & company. Had a few beautiful water barriers, and looked smooth to the finish, nipping Marissa Howard at the line.
The score: I’m on a roll, that’s 3 for 5.
My prediction: Hillary Bor
The result: Hillary Bor in a world leading 8:23.08
This was Hillary’s race from the gun. He went out with the pacer, and eventually passed the dang dude before his pacing duties were finished. I can’t imagine passing the pacer generally works out, but Bor had the itch and he wanted to get it done. And get it done he did. A world lead for the man.
It was during this race that I saw a few kids walking around with what I thought was funnel cake. Turns out it was just a pretzel, and I saved myself a few dollars from the concession stand.
The score: 4 for 6. Call me Nostradamus.
My prediction: Natosha Rogers
Result: Laura Weightman in 15:08.23 (Natosha Rogers 2nd, in 15:08.29)
This was a great race. Four ladies in it for most of the race, and then the two heavy hitters taking it to each other over the last lap. It was Wightman coming down the home stretch, with Rogers nearly overtaking her at the line. I think this was about a 16 second PR for Rogers, who has had a nice comeback after a brief hiatus from her running career.
If you were following along on Twitter, this was the race my phone ran out of batteries. I had to summon a stranger from the infield to let me borrow their phone for the remainder of the meet. If you are that stranger, please log out of the Citius Twitter account. Thank you.
The score: Ugh. I feel like I should get half a point, at least. But whatever, 4 for 7.
My prediction: Kirubel Erassa (though I did give a nod to his former OSU teammate Shadrack Kipchirchir)
Result: Shadrack Kipchirchir
It was very quickly a three man race, with Abbabiya Simbassa, Kipchirchir and Erassa breaking away from the field after the first lap. Simbassa and Kipchirchir would battle throughout, as Erassa faded with three laps to go. Reid Buchanan made a nice move in the chase pack to come away with fourth place, as Kipchirchir closed in something like 57 seconds to take home the title.
[Editor’s Note: this article originally and inaccurately cited Craig Lutz as the fourth place finisher. The writer of this story would like to offer his sincere condolences for his idiocy. Craig finished 5th. He did a nice job, too.]
After the race, people lingered around the track for a while while the Oregon Track Club guys, the NOP constituency ran post-race workouts, and throngs of thirsty teens hung around trying to get selfies. All of the athletes were very accommodating, and the venue is intimate–it’s a great opportunity for the kids to snag some autographs, or ensure that Mo Farah can hear your jeering.
Coming out of the meet, I think there were a handful of World Qualifying times, a few meet records broken, and plenty of fun had. If you’re still keeping score, I finished 4 for 8 with my predictions. Am I the track genius you guys want? No, but I’d like to think I’m the one you Citwits deserve. See you next time.
There were some solid performances on the track at Occidental College on Thursday night but the best one happened by Joe Kovacs in the infield in Tuscon.
We’ve reached a sort of News Singularity, where a major story breaks every hour. Paul Ryan’s marathon lie helped contribute to our current reality.
Really cool moments like home runs and touchdowns happen in other sports. What’s track and field’s really-cool moment? Can we make one?
The USATF Distance Classic, formerly known as the Hoka One One Middle Distance Classic, formerly known as the Oxy High Performance Meet, will take place on Thursday May 18th, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif.
The format of the meet is a distance runner’s dream, just four events: the 800m, 1500m, 3000m steeplechase, and the 5000m. If all goes to plan, this meet will be over in a little less than 2.5 hours, and you can get home and put yourself to bed before 9pm PDT; and nothing says “distance runners rejoice” like an early bedtime.
Despite there only being four events, and held in a city known for particulate dense air, this meet is chock full of talent. And since this is 2017, and most of us no longer have the attention span for some long, drawn out preview, I’m just going to look through the heat sheets and tell you who I think is going to win and why.
|1 Cohen, Mason||Australia|
|2 Low, Christopher||Brooks|
|3 Giesting, Chris||Hoka/NJNYTC|
|4 Yorks, Izaic||Brooks Beast|
|5 Barber, Lachlan||Melbourne TC|
|6 Martinez, Bryan||MX International|
|7 Gilreath, James||Team Green|
|8 Kitur, Felix||Santa Monica TC|
|Section 2 Timed Finals|
|1 Rimmer, Michael||Puma|
|2 Kidder, Brannon||Brooks|
|3 Mathews, Luke||Melbourne TC|
|4 Brazier, Donavan||Nike|
|5 Jock, Charles||Nike|
|6 Abda, Harun||Nike|
|7 Torrence, David||Hoka One One|
|8 Osagie, Andrew||Nike Oregon|
|9 Langford, Kyle||Nike|
CITIUS SAYS: Barring some sort of California disaster like an earthquake or a tremendous traffic jam, this one is going to be won out of the second heat by Donavan Brazier. He’s already ran 1:44.63 this season, and his PR is a full second clear of the next fastest person in the field.
The pacer is set to take the boys through 400m at 50.25, so let’s hope someone goes with him.
|Section 1 Timed Finals|
|1 Landen, Shanie||SLO Middle D|
|2 Malasarte, Megan||Atlanta TC|
|3 Leinert, Shannon||Brooks ID|
|4 Whelan, Elizabeth|
|5 Wiebe, Devan||Brooks|
|6 Billings, Sarah||Sydney Running|
|7 Hermansson, Hanna||CalCoast Track|
|8 Brown, Alisha||Oiselle|
|Section 2 Timed Finals|
|1 Crofts, Helen||Unattached|
|2 Iyevbele, Kenyetta||Hoka One One|
|3 Kajan, Selma||Melbourne TC|
|4 Jackson, Dominique||Oiselle|
|5 Smith, Jessica||NIKE|
|6 Murphy, Samantha||Unattached|
|7 Saunders, Claudia||Brooks|
|8 Westaway, Jenna||Brooks Canada|
|9 Annear, Grace||Vic City Elite|
|Section 3 Timed Finals|
|1 Mires, Baylee||Brooks|
|2 Brown, Ce’Aira||Hoka Njnytc|
|3 Storey, Lora||Sydney Running|
|4 Fields, Hannah||Brooks|
|5 Griffith, Georgia||Sydney Running|
|6 Butterworth, Lindsey||Coastal Track|
|7 Silvander, Anna||New Balance|
|8 Rubie, Anneliese||Puma|
|Section 4 Timed Finals|
|1 Price, Chanelle||NIKE|
|2 Simpson, Jennifer||New Balance|
|3 Martinez, Brenda||New Balance|
|4 Chambers, Kendra||Texas Elite|
|5 Petty, Angela||New Zealand|
|6 Sharp, Lynsey||Great Britain|
|7 Tracey, Adelle||NIKE|
|8 Barowski, Cecilia||Hoka njnytc|
Citius Says: Just a week ago on this very track, Brenda Martinez ran her first 800m of the season. She ran 1:59.21, which is a phenomenal opener and faster than she ran in all of 2016. Oh, and the 2nd place finisher in that race ran 2:04. A 1:59 opener, basically solo is a pretty neat way to open the season.
Now, I know what you’re saying, “but what about Jenny Simpson?” To that I say this is only her second track race of the season, and I expect her to finish a disappointing 4th place.
|Section 1 Timed Finals|
|1 Ramsden, Matthew||Melbourne TC|
|2 Hunter, Charles||Melbourne TC|
|3 Robinson, Paul||Melbourne TC|
|4 Snow, Scott||Forest Fire|
|5 Shaw, Reilly||Deakin AC|
|6 Godwin, Adam||Team Green|
|7 Estrada, Daniel||MX International|
|8 Verdugo, Alexis||MX International|
|9 Phillips, Andy||Roots Running|
|10 Martinez, Jose||MX International|
|11 Abdi Sr., Bashir||Mudane Group|
|Section 2 Timed Finals|
|1 Masters, Riley||Nike|
|2 Manzano, Leonel||Hoka One ONe|
|3 Lancashire, Tom||New Balance|
|4 Soratos, Cristian||Adidas|
|5 Jenkins, Eric||Nike Oregon|
|6 Denault, Robert||Newmarket|
|7 Casey, Patrick||Nike|
|8 Fleet, Mac||NIKE|
|9 Hunter, Drew||Adidas|
|10 Herrera, Daniel||High Performance|
|11 Vining, Edward||Sydney Running|
|12 Plummer, Adrian||Sydney Running|
|Section 3 Timed Finals|
|1 Burkstrand, Travis||Brooks ID|
|2 Crocker, Will||District Track|
|3 O’Hare, Christopher||Boston Athletics|
|4 Mead, Hassan||Nike|
|5 Centrowitz, Matthew||Nike|
|6 Winn, Daniel||Boston Athletics|
|7 Wheating, Andrew||NIKE|
|8 Penzenstadler, Sam||District Track|
|9 Castle, Daniel||Unattached|
|10 Farah, Mo||Nike|
|11 Everard, Eoin||Ireland|
|12 Noelle, Chad||Asics Furman|
Citius Says: Matthew Centrowitz. Easy. The reigning Olympic Gold Medalist shut down his indoor season early in the name of self-preservation and a good time. Sure, we have some guys in there that’ll likely rub elbows with him for a minute (and a hilarious off-distance attempt by Hassan Mead) but no bones about it folks, Centro will win the fast heat.
I could actually see this one being slow and methodical, despite the rabbits being tasked at 57.0 through 400m. We’ll be looking at the 2nd heat to be far more interesting than the “fast” heat.
|Section 1 Timed Finals|
|1 Findley, Kristen||Big Bear TC|
|2 Cote, Laurence|
|3 Granados, Ayla||Strava TC|
|4 van der Wyk, Tracee||Unattached|
|5 Pomfret, Kendra||Vancouver|
|6 Takahashi, Hina||Nike Tokyo|
|7 Stafford, Lucia|
|8 Tsolis, Tori||Strava TC|
|Section 2 Timed Finals|
|1 Kelly, Mariah||New Balance|
|2 Farber, Lianne||New Balance|
|3 Fulton, Eleanor||Skechers|
|4 Roesler, Laura||Nike/Texas|
|5 Lipari, Emily||BAA|
|6 Stafford, Gabriela||Brooks|
|7 Yee, Regan Langley|
|8 Grunewald, Gabriele||Brooks|
|9 Macpherson, Sarah||Vic CIty Elite|
|10 Piliusina, Natalja||Brooks Beast|
|11 Vaughn, Sara||Brooks Beast|
|Section 3 Timed Finals|
|1 Lagat, Violah||Adidas|
|2 Conley, Kim||New Balance|
|3 Gollish, Sasha||Oiselle|
|4 McGee, Cory||New Balance|
|5 Mecke, Dana||Brooks/Texas Elite|
|6 Reid, Sheila||Oregon|
|7 Rowbury, Shannon||Nike Oregon|
|8 Schappert, Stephanie||Hoka Njnytc|
|9 Efraimson, Alexa||NIKE|
|10 Schneider, Rachel||Under Armoud|
|11 Sutherland, Sara||Saucony|
|12 Pen Freitas, Marta||Portugal|
|13 Seccafien, Andrea|
Citius Says: It’s hard not to pick Shannon Rowbury here, right? She’ll have plenty of company the whole way through, but the seasoned vet should shine in her season opener.
|Section 1 Timed Finals|
|1 Lagat, Haron||US Army|
|2 Goodman, David||Unattached|
|3 Hardy, Mike||Unattached|
|4 Thibeault, Antoine||Math Sport|
|5 Cotter, Tomas||Asics Furman|
|6 Nelson, Aaron||Zap Fitness|
|7 Miller, Bryce||Unattached|
|8 Hesselbjerg, Ole||Sparta|
|9 Updike, Isaac||Team Run Eugene|
|10 Mullett, Rob||Atlanta TC|
|11 Edwards, Jacob||Columbus RUn|
|12 Van Halen, Aric||Unattached|
|13 Bor, Hillary||Unattached|
|14 Gay, John||British Columbia|
|15 Mahoney, Travis||Hoka One One|
|16 Mann, Jordan||Providence|
|17 Shrader, Brian||Saucony|
|18 Blomberg, Emil||Hasselby|
Citius Says: He’s an Olympian. He ran 8:13 last year. He’s going to be your winner at the USATF Distance Classic. What’s his name? Hillary Bor. Nice try everyone.
We would like to point out that Brian Shrader seems to be making an earnest attempt at a steepling career. Unless our sources are wrong, this will only be his 3rd steeple of his career which is coincidentally the 3rd steeple of his season. Godspeed, Brian.
|1 Garry, Kira||Unattached|
|2 Sango, Misaki||Unattached|
|3 Teschuk, Erin||Asics Furman|
|4 Rolland, Megan||Oiselle|
|5 Waite, Lennie||Great Britain|
|6 Nelson, Alicia||Boulder TC|
|7 Lawrence, Mel||Oiselle|
|8 Talbert, Madelin||Team Run Eugene|
|9 Bernard, Maria||Saucony|
|10 Landwehr, Katie||Unattached|
|11 Wilson, Alexina||Oiselle|
|12 Butterworth, Alycia||Unattached|
|13 Barr, Erika||SRA Elite|
|14 Johnson, Rachel||Asics|
|15 Cheever, Jamie||Unattached|
|16 Howard, Marisa||Oiselle|
Citius Says: There should be a handful of women in the mix here. At a glance I see a bunch of ladies who have ran high 9:40s already this season, an Olympian, some Minnesota natives. A real fun bunch. We’ll give the nod to Mel Lawrence, with a nice final lap, and a finish that hovers around 9:40.
|1 Tessema, Josef||American Distance|
|2 Buchanan, Reid||Mammoth Track Club|
|3 Legesse, Frezer||Under Armoud|
|4 Stilin, Joe||Zap Fitness|
|5 Kipchirchir, Shadrack||US Army|
|6 Erassa, Kirubel||Atlanta TC|
|7 Ziensellassie, Futsum||Hoka One One|
|8 Fernandez, German||NIKE|
|9 Hehir, Martin||Hoka One One|
|10 Lutz, Craig||Hoka One One|
|11 Bruchet, Luc||Asics/Canada|
|12 Simbassa, Abbabiya||American Distance|
|13 Asaoka, Mitsunori||Hitachi Tran|
|14 Muta, Yuki||Hitachi Tran|
|15 Yanagi, Toshiyuki||Hitachi Tran|
|16 Trouard, Andrew||The Rebel|
|17 Ichikawa, Takanori||Hitachi Tran|
Citius Says: This is such a difficult task because it requires a bit of critical thinking. Sure, I could just go out and choose the guy with the fastest personal best, but then you’d all think that we were being dense, and providing no substance. And that’s why you came here, right? For substance? Well. Let’s just go with Kirubel Erassa, mostly because he’ll be going head to head against a very fast former teammate, and he’ll be damned before a he let’s a fellow Cowboy alum beat him to the line. How about that for substance?
|1 Cridebring, Alycia||Rabbit|
|2 Eccleston, Amanda||Brooks|
|3 Macumber, Cally||Hansons-Brooks|
|4 Weightman, Laura||NIKE UK|
|5 Spencer, Kate||Sydney Running|
|6 Pagano, Sarah||BAA|
|7 Cliff, Rachel||Unattached|
|8 Flores, Brenda||Corre AC|
|9 O’Connell, Jessica||Canada|
|10 Lopez, Sandra||MX International|
|11 Bates, Emma||BAA|
|12 Rogers, Natosha||New Balance|
|13 O’Connor, Leah||Adidas|
|14 Silva, Samantha||BTC/NIKE|
|15 Balouris, Elaina||Unattached|
|16 Digby, Erica Vancouver||Vancouver|
|17 Paquette, Lauren||Brooks|
|18 Flanagan, Rosa||New Zealand|
|19 LaBeaud, Natasha||Skechers|
|20 Sachtleben, Bethany||Saucony|
|21 Larsson, Maria||Melbourne TC|
Citius Says: Here’s another race that feels like a toss up. The ones with clear winners are much more fun to quip about. Let’s go with Natosha Rogers, mostly because her running career has been very strange since her 2nd place finish at the 2012 trials, and she seems to be getting back on track (great pun!) these past two seasons.