Like Us On Facebook
Facebook Pagelike Widget

Author: Justin Britton

Photographer. Co-founder of ARunnersEye. Grew up on Long Island, and am a pizza snob. Based in California, keeping a year-round tan while still logging junk miles. Big curb fan, also fan of stats.

September 25, 2017

An Ode To Boston University Coach Bruce Lehane

Bruce Lehane served as the Boston University coach for over 35 years. During that time, he coached 50 NCAA Division 1 All-Americans, two NCAA Champions and two Olympians. This past Saturday, Lehane passed awayat the age of 68 after a bout with ALS. Bruce wasn’t only a long-time coach with a long list of accolades, but he was a big part of the Boston running community as well. Katie Matthews, class of 2012, wrote a tribute to Lehane after running under his tutelage for five years in college and for the start of her professional running career, as well as serving a stint as an assistant coach at BU.  

It wasn’t until late into my high school career that I considered running for a Division I track program. As I reached out my feelers into the world of collegiate running opportunities, very few top level coaches saw the potential in my 5:04 mile PR, lack of Footlocker XC appearances, or my recent stress fracture.

But Bruce Lehane did. In fact, he told me later that he saw something in me the day I ran to a dismal 40th place finish at a Footlocker regional meet, something I’ll never quite understand.

His recruiting philosophy had always been to place the most time and energy to those individuals already voicing interest in Boston University and his team. I was one of those prospects. Boasting a strong academic focus where major and class selection was valued over practice commitments, it seemed like BU would be a perfect fit for someone like me, where running was giving me an opportunity to afford to attend a very expensive private university but wouldn’t be my main reason for heading to college.

I ran well the first two years at BU, but nothing stellar. However, I developed a strong relationship with Bruce through hundreds of talks in his office, van rides to Franklin Park practices and always picking his brain for advice. I had the somewhat unique experience of entering the team with Bruce’s son, Elliot, and some of his Brookline High teammates from the revered 2008 NXN class who knew Bruce previously. I don’t know if it was befriending them that helped me feel comfort, or having girls who had such respect for, belief in, and success with Bruce take me under their wings, but the team instantly felt like a family.

Bruce Lehane

Whenever Bruce got to telling a story, we usually received much beyond training philosophy. His talks morphed into Boston running history lessons: tales of his former coach Billy Squires leading Salazar, Rodgers, and Beardsley to early success, and the way the running landscape here had changed in the years since. We heard about him growing up in Southie in the 50s, building the famous BU indoor track and from what was the old Armory on Commonwealth Ave., and anecdotes of his sons and home life.

Plenty of his stories focused on collegiate athletes he had coached before us — those whose workouts we were mimicking or who had set records. He always emphasized their character and worth ethic above all else. I learned what being a blue-collar runner was really about. When questioned about training trends or new technology, his favorite catch phrase was always ,“the way to get better at running is by running.”

I soon found I wanted to know everything he could tell me, and eventually what he imparted on me clicked.

In a Hartford Courant article from 2013, Bruce was asked about my jump in performance. He’s quoted as saying “She just transformed. She was sixth in the America East as a sophomore in the 5,000. The next year, she was sixth in the NCAAs in the 5,000. She just took this gigantic leap.”

What Bruce humbly brushed off as a coincidence and no minor fault of his own was anything but. Bruce motivated me and led me to success in a way that was truly unique. He rarely celebrated victories but simply wanted his athletes to learn from each race and move on to the next challenge. Receiving a hug or ‘congratulations’ from Bruce was something my teammates and I used to track for its rarity. With that being said, every single athlete on the team wanted to perform well and better themselves for him. Getting a loud shout from Bruce to pick it up during the last 800m of a race really carried some weight.

Bruce had a way of making each athlete feel like the most important one on the team. He looked for and saw the best in each runner he coached. He guided us all to make strong decisions about the way we spent our energy balancing the many facets of college life and in pursuing of our own goals outside of the sports arena. He put the responsibility in our own hands to become great or remain mediocre. Countless times we were given a workout or race plan to follow through without him in attendance. Whether it was because we were missing practice due to a class commitment or because he was with the other half of the squad at a different track meet, it was on us to figure out the logistics of getting the work in.

On the flip side, Bruce was always willing to come to the indoor track early or stay late into the evening to oversee a workout. Usually it would be a bread and butter workout like 600, 600, 800 x 2, with him quietly reading the splits from the sideline. If we were sick or an injury was nagging, we simply missed the workout for that day and proceeded in training as if we had done it. If we missed more than a couple workouts, we did not race, as Bruce always err on the side of caution. If we were to become injured, as I did during my 2012 season, it wasn’t because of too high mileage or intense workouts, it was due to failure on our part to be smart in recovery and training load.

Track trips became opportunities to explore different parts of the country. Whereas some coaches would have their athletes rest in the hotel for days leading up to competition, I traveled with Bruce to Niagara Falls, the Space Needle, Pier 39, the plains of Texas, and the Oregon coast to name a few places. If we wanted to come into his office and just chat, not about running but just about what was going on in our lives, his door was always open. Under his careful guidance, I eventually lowered my PRs to a 9:05 3k, 15:42 5k, and a 32:44 10k.

In the running community, Bruce was known for his laid-back demeanor. However, the way he loved his athletes was anything but. I’ll never know if I would have had the same athletic achievements under another coach, but I do know I wouldn’t have forged the same relationships, career path, and life philosophy as I have now. Given his humble attitude, he wouldn’t accept me saying so, but I owe so much to this wonderful man.

I remember one day, early in my professional running career, we were having a chat in his office.  I had been lamenting over some petty dating woes and off handedly mentioned wanting to be single and not have to deal with finding a partner.  Bruce became serious, and threw away a comment I said about being “independent.” He said, “But you do need to find someone — sharing your life with someone is one of the most beautiful gifts you’ll ever receive.”

In the years since, I’ve come to realize he was right. It doesn’t matter if you have all the stories, money, skills, or fortune in the world, if you don’t have anyone to share them with, they don’t matter. And Bruce had lots of people to share his life with.

Watching someone I love battle with ALS throughout the last couple of years has been heartbreaking. My thoughts and heart go out to his wife, Lesley, and sons Blaize, Elliot, and Aidan. Thank you for sharing your husband and father with me and so many others. We are all better people for knowing him.

Bruce, wherever you are, I hope you are getting in some quality miles.

Bruce Lehane

Lehane with Katie Matthews


June 23, 2017

PHOTOS: USATF Outdoor Championships – Day 1 (By Justin Britton)

Photos of the 2017 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, California. All pics shot by Justin Britton for Citius Mag.

June 7, 2017

Wake up to Lopez Lomong winning the 2007 NCAA 1500 meters

Watch Lopez Lomong run one of the fastest collegiate 1500m races of all time executed at the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

May 19, 2017

PHOTOS: USATF Middle Distance Classic 2017, Occidental College

Photos of the 2017 USATF Middle Distance Classic at Occidental Classic on May 18. All shots taken by Justin Britton.

May 12, 2017

Fantasy Diamond League Update – Shanghai 2017

Fantasy Diamond League Shanghai 2017 edition as the Diamond League makes its second stop in this years campaign, we pick teams.

May 2, 2017

Fantasy Diamond League 2017 Edition

The 2017 Diamond League is here and that means so is the 2017 Fantasy Diamond League. Check out our league and join in for cool prizes!

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 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 12, 2017

Wake up to the fastest Boston Marathon ever

The 2011 Boston Marathon was the fastest race that has ever graced the streets of Boston. Check out the race video to witness it all go down.

April 11, 2017

Wake up to Joan Benoit Samuelson setting the world record at the 1983 Boston Marathon

The day after losing her world record, Joan Benoit took it back by winning the 1983 Boston Marathon in 2:22:43. Hear her recount her Boston Marathon win.

April 10, 2017

Wake up to the 1982 Boston Marathon: The Duel in the sun

The 1982 Boston Marathon will always be one of the most thrilling races of all time. A world record with a neck-and-neck battle to the line.

April 2, 2017

PHOTOS: Stanford Invitational 2017 by Justin Britton

70 degrees, sunshine and fast times, the 2017 outdoor season is getting into full swing and yet again the Stanford Invite did not disappoint.

There were some upsets, some World Championship qualifying marks and a piñata full of PR’s that lots of people were able to take advantage of.

To be frank, I didn’t stay for the entire meet, but I was there during prime time photography hour at sunset and here’s a collection of images that I captured during my time at the meet. Look for more galleries to come this outdoor season from out photo crew!

March 24, 2017

2017 IAAF World Cross Country Kampala: Who To Watch

Kampala, Uganda hosts the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. We preview the heavy hitters in this weekend’s championship.

March 21, 2017

Jake and Zane Robertson: The Fastest twins ever in the Half Marathon

Jake and Zane Robertson, the twins who moved from New Zealand to Kenya at the age of 17 are now the fastest twins over the half marathon distance. Zane captured the New Zealand and Oceania Record at the 2015 Marugame Half in 2015 when he clocked a 59:47 and over the weekend Jake recorded a 60:00 to win the Lisbon Half for his debut at the distance.


It’s been 10 years since the Kiwi duo moved from New Zealand to Africa. Without cell phones, much money or sponsorsship, the two brothers have spent years grinding alongside many of the worlds best runners, over dirt roads, cinder tracks and thin air.

For those who don’t know the story about the two from Hamilton, NZ, here’s a brief recap: The brothers were obsessed with the sport since their youth, as many of us are..except this was different. They both knew everything and anything about the East African runners. They were obsessed with specifics right down to their height and weight. In 2006, Jake was able to have his first in-person rendezvous with a few of the Kenyans when he qualified to race at the World Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. He mentioned the idea of moving to Kenya to train and the Kenyans urged them to.

After digging into the archives a bit, for results from dating back to 2007, it looks as though Jake had a 5,000m time of 14:28 at the age of 16. Zane had a similar personal best.

Currently, the twins are now 27 years old with the following personal bests:

Robertson Brothers PRs

Zane might show the greater range than his brother, but they both are a force over the half marathon distance. Zane’s 1/2 PR stems from a narrow second place at the 2015 Marugame Half Marathon and Jake has nipped at the heels of sub-60 this past weekend in Portugal. This easily ranks them as the fastest twins in the distance of all time. (Obviously, let’s be real and recognize that finding twins to do this all is an outlier and that’s what truly makes the Robertsons special.) Zane is only the fourth non-African to run sub-60 for 13.1 miles and for about 10 miles of Sunday’s Lisbon Half, Jake was on pace to break Zane’s national record.

Although Jake’s time in Lisbon was a phenomenal debut it still only ranks him as 36th all-time..on that course. It’s the 27th year of the race and yet it’s a wild stat that not many half-marathons can boast.

The two brothers remain very supportive of each other and still train a good amount together. I once read that Zane splits time with an Ethiopian training group and then heads back to Iten at times to live in a house next to Jake. The two are never ones to settle down, and have coined the phrase “Heavy In Da Game.” Their marathon debut in 2017 has not been ruled out.

Jake Robertson Lisbon Finish

Jake finishing in Lisbon.

In their start in Kenya, the Robertsons fought malaria, slept on a cement floor and struggled to adjust to life. The likes of Steeplechase kings, Patrick Sang and Saif Saaeed Shaheed aided in the housing the two at first and served as mentors as well. It appears that they may have received some sort of sponsorship backing now.

Zane and Jake Robertson are both 3-4 on the all time New Zealand 5000m list, 1-4 over 10000m and 1-2 for the half marathon.

If you’ve got 28 minutes, watch the video above and it’ll show you that hard work truly pays off, some insights on Kenya and how the risk was worth the reward for the two Robertson twins from Hamilton.

March 8, 2017

Wake up to the 2011 NCAA men’s 3,000m final

Get your morning started with a kick that would make you choke on that coffee that you’re drinking. Centro? Leonard Korir? Hicham El Guerrouj? Nah, it was Elliott Heath. Elliott woke up the crowd during the 2011 Men’s 3000m race with a scintillating last 200 meters.

At the time, we didn’t know that there were four future Olympians in the field. Factor in a few tired legs from the 5000m race the night before and the men’s 3000m final in 2011 was sure to put on a show.

A beardless Ben Blankenship, Matthew Centrowitz, Lenny Korir, Sam Chelanga, Lawi Lalang and Tom Farrell were among those on the start list. It was a race that was bound to be exciting and one that couldn’t be easily predicted.

The previous night, Korir held off Sam Chelanga and Diego Estrada to win the 5,000m national title. He was one of the studs to watch. But that 3k/5k double isn’t always the easiest to pull off (unless you’re Edward Cheserek). The race got underway, German Fernandez DNF’d in the first few meters and the pace wasn’t anything too extreme half way through. Roughly 8:10 pace, very doable considering most of the field had already run 7:57 faster to get in.

But as championship races tend to do, the pace quickened with 400m to go and again on the bell lap. Nothing out of the ordinary. Heath took off and took the win.

Give the race a watch above, re-live the excitement and get pumped for this weekend’s meet, again down in College Station, TX.

View the race results below


March 7, 2017

Wake up to the 2011 NCAA Men’s DMR

Over the last seven to eight years, the Men’s Distance Medley Relay has been very quick in the NCAA. The top time by a collegiate school of 9:25.97, (Texas with Leo Manzano as the anchor) was once the world record until Team USA recently broke it. Many teams have close to that mark recently and we once thought 9:30.00 was very impressive.

Although we don’t have the video of that record setting relay from 2008, I do want to have you wake up to the 2011 Men’s DMR from NCAA’s back when the meet was in College Station, the site of this weekend’s NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Looking back at the results, I was surprised to not see Oregon win with Matthew Centrowitz as the anchor. I even figured with Ben Blankenship as Minnesota’s anchor, they’d have a really good chance now. But no…It was the the BYU Cougars that were crowned victorious six years ago, anchored by Miles Batty, who is now retired and studying medicine.

Watch the video above

Below are the results from the 2011 NCAA Indoor Champs. 


Below this are the top teams heading into this weekends meet.


Ole Miss has been on a tear these last few seasons and coach Ryan Vanhoy has been an excellent fit at the school. Stanford, Indiana, Oklahoma State, Arkansas and the rest of the heavy hitters are all in the field as usual. But let’s not forget the defending champs, Oregon with Edward Cheserek as the anticipated last leg. With a race that isn’t at elevation and many of these teams with fresh legs, I won’t be surprised if this race has about eight teams dip under 9:29, which would blow away the already impressive results from 2011. Give the above video a view or five and get pumped for this weekend’s meet down in Texas.

March 2, 2017

Wake up to Jeremy Wariner winning the 400m at 2013 USA Indoors

For many years both at Baylor and in the professional ranks, Jeremy Wariner was the 400 meter god. Check back to 2013, as he claims gold at USAs.

March 1, 2017

PHOTOS: Santa Barbara Track Club By Justin Britton

Check out our Spring 2017 photo gallery of the Santa Barbara Track Club. The largest multi event training group in the U.S.

February 28, 2017

Wake Up To Mary Cain Winning The Mile At USA Indoors 2013

Watch Mary Cain win the mile at the 2013 U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships at just 16 years old. Cain closed in 58 seconds.

February 20, 2017

Wake Up To Laura Muir’s British 1,000m Record

Watch Laura Muir set another European record as her indoor campaign continues to roll.

February 16, 2017

Wake up to the 2011 NCAA Indoor Men’s 4x400m Final

What’s home-field advantage? Texas A&M’s 4×400 taught us in 2011.

February 7, 2017

Wake up to the 1982 Millrose High School Boys Mile

We’re going back to the 80s.

Scroll to top