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Author: Paul Snyder

Meme-disparager, avid jogger, MS Paint artist, friend of Scott Olberding, Citius Mag staff writer based in Flagstaff. Supplying baseless opinions, lukewarm takes, and vaguely running-related content. Once witnessed televison's Michael Rapaport cut a line of 30 people to get a slice of pizza at John's on Bleeker at 4am. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @DanielDingus.

February 24, 2022

Everything you need to know about Spokane: Host of the 2022 USATF Indoor Championships

Where to eat, drink, run, and admire a trash-eating goat sculpture while visiting this delightfully strange eastern Washington city.

February 8, 2021

“A Time And A Place” Captures The Pursuit Of A Dream

“A Time and a Place” is a documentary about Northern Arizona Elite over the four months leading up to the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.

May 13, 2020

Johnny Gregorek’s Blue Jeans Mile Will Be More Fun Than The Olympics

Johnny Gregorek’s blue jeans mile has the potential to mix things up, provide a great spectating experience and raise money for a good cause.

September 28, 2018

The 10 Alice In Chains Tracks Every High School Harrier NEEDS On Their Pre-Meet Playlist

I tweeted ‘If this gets 2,000 RTs I’ll write a post entitled “The 10 Alice In Chains Tracks Every High School Harrier NEEDS On Their Pre-Meet Playlist’ and it didn’t hit but I wrote it anyway.

September 26, 2018

The Sisyphean Climb: Once A Runner (Fanfiction)

We at CITIUS have written an exclusive excerpt from The Sisyphean Climb, a much-anticipated follow-up to Again to Carthage.

September 20, 2018

It’s Been Almost A Week Since Kipchoge Ran 2:01:39. Did I Miss Something?

What can the reception to Eliud Kipchoge’s performance in Berlin tell us about the current state of running fandom?

October 25, 2017

Four-time winners of major international race test positive for PEDs

A huge story is developing out of the United States as several members of one of a sport’s most dominant team have tested positive for PEDs.

October 19, 2017

Running & Politics Converge Again: A Gerrymandered 5K Course

That’s right folks, everything seeps into politics and politics seeps into everything. There’s a gerrymandered 5k course out in N.C., ya’ll.

October 11, 2017

LEAKED: Eminem nearly rapped about Rupp’s Chicago victory, too

Eminem, America’s hip hop dandy, has built a career on taking down his foes via verse. Today it was Trump, but it was nearly Rupp who drew his ire.

October 10, 2017

Bad Oscar Pistorius film set to debut on Lifetime, nobody is happy

Not only does the upcoming Oscar Pistorius Lifetime movie look pretty bad, it’s also fairly insensitive to the victim’s family and is facing a lawsuit!

August 31, 2017

Between Oasis’s Gallagher brothers, who’s the superior jogger?

For as long as there has been Oasis, there has been the obvious question, “Which Gallagher brother do you like better?” Well we have thoughts

August 24, 2017

I let you simulate a HS XC race via Google Form; here’s what happened.

I made a Google Form so you could simulate a HS XC race. It was the worst sports video game of all time but 110 of you participated. Here’s what happened.

August 20, 2017

“I’m back:” beleaguered blogging jogger takes aim at niche division victory

Beleaguered jogging blogger Paul Snyder is back, following a string of debilitating physical setbacks after the Debajo Dos Debacle.

August 10, 2017

London jogger learns the hard way that pushing women in front of busses is bad

Whether you’re on pace to win a major marathon, or are simply out for a stroll, there is never a good reason to body check a woman off the sidewalk, and into traffic, nearly contributing to her-bus-induced-decapitation. It doesn’t matter if she is mildly obstructing your path. Nor does it matter if you’re having a rough day. You just should never push an innocent person in front of a moving bus. There are few absolutes in life. That is one of them.

But that’s just what one unnamed London Man did this week, tacking another negative pock mark on a running list of controversies surrounding the 2017 IAAF World Championships taking place in the same city. The incident took place in May, but footage was recently promoted publicly by police searching for a lead in the case.

I apologize in advance if I link to the British media’s equivalent of Infowars or something. I’m not well-versed in the UK’s media landscape.

But if you’d like to for some reason watch security cam footage of the incident in question, the Evening Standard has you covered. Don’t worry. A heroic and alert bus driver veered masterfully and the woman was unharmed.

“In THIS country, we release the names of people charged with crimes!”

After a months-long manhunt for the infamous London Jogger, he was apprehended and promptly arrested. (I didn’t write the book on British legal proceedings, but it strikes me as odd that the man’s name wasn’t released.)

Anyway. Let this serve as a warning to you assholes who might otherwise be tempted to shove folks in front of vehicles while you’re indignantly exercising. Crime doesn’t pay and you WILL be arrested.

August 8, 2017

Contagion: The Isaac Makwala Saga

Botswanan 400m superstar Isaac Makwala has had an interesting trip to London.

Perhaps the only man on the planet with the chops to challenge all-but-assured-400m-World-Champ Wayde van Niekerk, Makwala finds his chances of competing at all up against IAAF policy forbidding violently ill, contagious athletes from toeing the line.

Makwala is one of several athletes–many staying in the same hotel–who have contracted gastroenteritis, which is a fancy word for food poisoning.

Track’s governing body has forbade Makwala (and other afflicted athletes, as well) from competing any further, a decision he is actively contesting.

Track Twitter is covering the situation as it unfolds, and grows stranger and stranger. The current IAAF stance is that Makwala–and any similarly ill athlete–is to be quarantined for 48 hours following the last known bout of vomitus.

The IAAF has released the following statement:

Isaac Makwala (BOT) has been withdrawn by the IAAF Medical Delegate – click here – from tonight’s 400m final after the athlete was diagnosed with an infectious disease on Monday.

As per UK health regulations, it was requested that he be quarantined in his room for 48 hours, a period which ends at 14:00hrs tomorrow (9 Aug).

These procedures are recommended by Public Health England and were clearly explained to the teams in writing on Sunday (6 Aug) and in person to the Botswanan delegation, a member of which was present with many other representatives of teams at a meeting that took place at the Guoman Tower Hotel on Sunday.

The decision to withdraw him from the 200m heats last night and the 400m final today was made on the basis of a medical examination conducted in the warm-up medical centre by a qualified doctor on Monday (7 Aug) and recorded in the electronic medical record system of the championships. A copy of this medical record was given to a member of the BOT team medical staff following the examination.

The team doctor, team leader and team physio had been informed following the medical examination that the athlete should be quarantined for 48 hours and would therefore be missing the 400m final on Tuesday.

The IAAF is very sorry that the hard work and talent of Isaac Makwala won’t be on display tonight but we have to think of the welfare of all athletes.

UPDATE (Aug. 9th)

Makwala was given the go-ahead to vie for a spot in the 200m semi-finals, after being barred from entering the event’s heats. The only stipulation? He had to run a qualifying time-trial heat, completely solo, from lane seven, in a chilly rain. If he ran faster than 20.53, he’d be in. What happened, you ask?

Track Twitter reactions and updates to the first day’s saga:


It is raining in London but it appears that Makwala will be attempting to run a 200m time trial in an effort to try and get into the 200m semifinal. He missed the heats due to the food poisoning. This is still wild.

The IAAF later announced that Makwala has been medically cleared to compete and will be running a solo 200 in Lane 7 and if he runs 20.53 or faster then he will have a place in the semifinals. This will reportedly not affect any other of the semifinalists and their respective lane drawings.

July 18, 2017

Researchers: T-rex, the coolest dinosaur actually sucked, couldn’t run

A team out of Manchester University has concluded that the famed T-rex was a whole lot dumber than we’d initially thought, and couldn’t even run.

July 17, 2017

Meet Jimmy Watkins: World Champs 800-meter runner turned touring musician

Welshman Jimmy Watkins has run 1:46 for the 800 and made a World Champs final. He’s also opened for Jeff Rosenstock. He’s the man. Get to know him.

July 14, 2017

Study: boy tennis stars legally dope; here are 5 ways I too, legally dope

To paraphrase an article which ran today on Wired’s UK website that paraphrased the results of a study conducted somewhat through the Queensland University of Technology Business School:

World class male tennis players are legally doping through increases in testosterone brought about by something called the “winner effect.”

The study, which was undertaken by two men named John Coates and Lionel Page, essentially lends credence to the validity of the highly disputed “hot hands effect.” Page and Coates looked at the outcome of roughly 400,000 pro tennis matches. They then zeroed in on matches between closely ranked players, and further reduced the scope of the survey by only analyzing matches in which the first set went down to a tie-breaker.

They found that in men, the winner of the first set in these select matches had a 60% shot at winning the second set, compared to a 51% second-set-winning-percentage for women. From this, the researchers inferred that the increase in testosterone that comes from a victory was the cause–and thus the Wired author drew the conclusion that male tennis players are legally doping.

As a retired competitive runner myself, I don’t really have the opportunity to “win” or “lose” anything, anymore, in the conventional sense. But buddy, that doesn’t mean I’m not legally doping! Here are five ways I enhance my performance daily–that wouldn’t result in a positive drug test!

  1. Eat a salad–I try to eat one of these bowls of leafy greens at least once a week. They’re chock-full of nutrients and vitamins which are good for the body’s various mechanisms and if you’re sick of eating using just your hands, salads can be a fun change of pace as they require the use of a fork.
  2. Research–One simply must stay abreast of the latest in training technique. And thanks to the recent advent of the Internet, that’s never been easier! I spend hours daily in front of the computer refreshing a Google search for “workout tips and pointers,” and it’s a crucial part of how I continually better my game.
  3. Push-ups–Nothing earns the respect and admiration of passersby quite like public displays of strength. When I’m about town, I make sure to capitalize on that fact. Stopping, dropping, and cranking out a quick set of 15 push-ups in the middle of a crowded sidewalk is a great way to harness the respect of others, and convert it into strength-building testosterone.
  4. Sleep–Most doctors recommend getting eight hours of sleep a night. So logically, by sleeping for nearly twice that amount daily, I’m getting that much better as a person, friend, and athlete. I shoot for 16 hours of nightly snoozing, and it shows.
  5. OutfitsSex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw once famously opined: “I like my money where I can see it, hanging in my closet.” I couldn’t agree more, because having lots of clothes and wearing most of them at once is a surefire way to be your best self. Layering is not just savvy from a comfort perspective, by wearing tons of shirts at once, you appear bigger than you are, which is a sign of strength in the animal kingdom.
July 12, 2017

Running etiquette: How to interact with pedestrians without being a jerk

We discuss the proper running etiquette as it pertains to interacting with the non-running general public. We’ve all been assholes, but we needn’t be.

July 7, 2017

Running surfaces ranked; Paul + Ryan debate the best type of ground

Spurred on by a recent negative experience with nature’s cruelest mistake–sand–Ryan and Paul signed onto email to banter about what is the best running surface.

Ryan Sterner–10:17 AM

Hi Paul,

The other day I was duped into going to the beach, one of my least favorite activities. As I walked towards the water, I couldn’t help but notice that a tremendous amount of sand began accumulating in my shoes. Every step sent the stuff deeper into the crevices of my feet, socks, shoes, etc. It was miserable. There’s nothing worse than sand in your shoes.
I finally found a place to roast in the sun for an hour and proceeded to take off my shoes and clear them of the unwanted debris. In the middle of emptying my right shoe, some clown in half tights and Hokas sprinted across my periphery and on his back kick propelled a foot-full of sand into my eyes and mouth. There was nothing left to do but sit in the sun and feel sorry for myself.
But that leads me to today’s big question: beach running, what’s the deal? Sand has notoriously wonky footing, gets in your shoes, and exerts somewhere between 50-100% more energy than running on a nice, normal surface. Am I being a baby? Am I missing out on all the fun?

Paul Snyder–10:46 AM

Hey Ryan, I’m glad you reached out on this topic.

You are not being a baby. And you are not missing out on any fun.
Sand is awful. Sand is grating. Sand can be hot, or cold, but is rarely just right. Sand is why I don’t like beaches that much, and sand is why when I do go to the beach, I refuse to wear sandals.
And the only thing worse than walking or standing or lying down on sand, is running on it. If you’re far enough from the water, you’re just flailing around like a dumb ass trying to generate enough traction to facilitate forward momentum. If you’re down near the water, you’re running on a nice hard, compact surface, but on such a camber that you risk succumbing to hip dysplasia like an aging golden retriever.
But for whatever reason, beach jogging is romanticized by the DISHONEST media and liberal COASTAL elites IN Hollywood. Well color me a triggered snowflake because I think it sucks.
What do you say we rank all the running surfaces, to further demonstrate how awful sand is?

Ryan–11:03 AM

Friend, you have yourself a deal.

1. Concrete

I can hear people groaning already, but give me concrete or give me death. I’d estimate that anywhere between 75-90% of my lifetime mileage has been run on sidewalks, paved roads, or bike paths, and it’s been great. I’m sure the running bourgeois would love me to say something like “pulverized gravel” or “dirt.” These are surfaces for the modern day fancy dog. Concrete is a no nonsense surface, most of the time it’s flat, and you get great energy return.

Paul–11:44 AM

2. A Track

They don’t call it “sand & field,” folks. Tracks aren’t as hard as concrete, so they lose points there, but they are flat, round, and allow you to easily keep tabs on the distance you’ve logged. And as an added bonus, most–if not all-track world records have been set on a track!

Ryan–12:14 PM

3. Grass

There’s a reason we surround our houses with this stuff. Not only is it pleasing to look at, but if you need to learn how to ride a bike or do a back flip, it feels forgiving enough to do so without fear of scrapes–we all know that scrapes hurt the worst. I also can’t think of a nicer feeling than kicking off your shoes at the end of a run and finishing the thing off with a mile in the grass. It’s probably only ranked third because things hide in grass, like ticks and snakes.

Paul–12:30 PM

4. Dirt

Grass’s grittier cousin, dirt, is best known for its versatility (can become mud) and its ability to make filthy all it comes in contact with. Runners like running on dirt, because it shows up on their legs, which people then notice, alerting the general public to your recent brush with aerobic exercise!

Ryan–12:46 PM

6. Woodchips

What is a woodchip? It’s like sand except 1000 times larger. Running on woodchips presents many of the same problems as sand: kicking up bits of the running surface, the off chance of one of these things getting lodged in your shoe, splinters. None of those are good things.

Paul–12:50 PM

7. Treadmill

If you’d asked me to help with this ranking a year ago, I’d have put “Treadmill” way higher up. It’s basically concrete, but indoors. What’s not to love? Well, after falling in love with the treadmill this year, I developed a vitamin D deficiency due to lack of exposure to sunlight. So there’s that. Running outdoors has its drawbacks (weather, insects, hecklers), but it’s good for bone health somehow.

Ryan–1:26 PM

8. Sand

If you were having a picnic on any of the above surfaces and accidentally dropped part of your meal on it, it would be easy to pick it up, blow on it a little bit, and continue eating. If you drop anything in sand it’s fucking ruined. This is a metaphor for doing anything, not just running, on sand.

Paul–1:29 PM

Well, I think it’s safe to say we’ve satisfactorily ranked every available running surface in the world to prove our point that running on the beach is for losers!

July 5, 2017

How the Seinfeld-Meyer rematch could have been a boon to track & field

The track and & field brain trust missed a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on Seinfeld momentarily forcing people to care about footraces.

July 3, 2017

The Atlanta Track Club is saving an old track through performance art

The warm up track has fallen into a state of disrepair since the 1996 Olympics. The Atlanta Track Club aims to remedy that through innovative fund raising.

July 2, 2017

Replay: Tracktown Summer Series: Portland stream

Tune in for the TrackTown Summer Series Portland meet as Robby Andrews chases the 1,500m standard for the 2017 world championships.

June 29, 2017

7 “The O.C.” Memes Only Middling College Distance Runners Will Understand

Is your team’s sixth runner struggling to remain motivated this summer? Show ’em these memes to light a fire under their ass, The O.C. style!

June 28, 2017

Mt. SAC gets 2020 Trials; Eugene 2021 Worlds under investigation

The next Olympic Trials go to Mt. SAC 2020. The Eugene 2021 World bid is being investigated. What does it all mean for Track Town, U.S.A.?

June 27, 2017

Was Sacramento a good fit for USAs? One idiot blogger sounds off

The general consensus is that Sacramento wasn’t a great place for a track meet. Here’s where that opinion misses the mark.

June 25, 2017

2017 USATF Outdoor Championships online: Results, Analysis and more for Day 4

Follow along all the action for the third day of the 2017 USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Sacramento. Live stream, TV and results info too!

June 23, 2017

WATCH: CITIUS MAG LIVE at Hoppy Brewing Co. (Guest:Noah Droddy)

Grab a beer and watch the Citius Mag staff dissect all of the track and field action from the USATF Outdoor Championships with Noah Droddy.

June 13, 2017

Four easy dietary switcheroos to improve your training, hygiene

It’s no secret. You are what you eat? Citius Mag gives you the scoop on what small changes to your diet you can make to maximize your training!

June 13, 2017

Meet Soh Rui Yong, Flagstaff legend and Singaporean marathon star

Soh Rui Yong is on a quest to become Singapore’s fastest ever distance runner, while also raising the profile of the sport in the island city-state.

June 8, 2017

Graduating seniors: How to exit with a bang, not a whimper at NCAAs

For the vast majority of seniors competing at NCAAs, their competitive career ends with their event. Here’s how to make a splash into civilian life.

June 5, 2017

With several favorites absent from NCAAs, here’s what to watch for instead

Several of the projected favorites from NCAAs will be no-goes due to injury. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty to watch out for at this weekend’s meet.

June 3, 2017

94-year-old marathoner to attempt world record, in a very different world

94-year-old marathoner Harriette Thompson is attempting to become the oldest woman to ever complete a half marathon this weekend.

June 3, 2017

The Ten Commandments of Summer Cross Country Training

On the first day, of the first week after I graduated from high school, I was putzing around in a vast, empty shopping mall. My legs grew weary from trying to locate the Auntie Anne’s pretzel stand. I sat on a bench near an anthropomorphic track suit and the track suit spoke to me.

It called out: “This is what you must tell to the other members of the high school graduating class of 2009, who are embarking on their first summer of collegiate cross country training: you will soon see what I do to those whose hubris leads them to overtrain, or whose gluttony leads them to undertrain; and you will soon see that I will carry on the wings of eagles those who train smart, not hard during these hot summer months. These are the words you are to speak to your peers.”

“Okay,” I said. “So like, do you want me to make a Facebook group?”

“Yeah, I guess,” bellowed the track suit. And I made a Facebook group, and went home and posted on it what the track suit had ordained. Then the 18-year-olds of the Facebook group all “Liked” the status, and I went back to the mall and said to the track suit: “They will do everything you have said.”

“Neat,” called out the track suit. “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, and we can take a selfie to post on the Facebook group, so that all its members will forever trust you as a smart boy about training.”

The track suit then instructed me to post on the group, informing its members to take frequent showers and drink plenty of water.

“And another thing,” it called out, “prepare yourself for the next day; abstain from sexual relations.”

“No problem,” I, a huge virgin, said.

I went home, jogged a 30-minute double, and went to sleep. Then the next day, when I returned to the mall to exchange some pants for a slightly smaller size, I found the mall ablaze, plumes of noxious black smoke radiating from it, then I heard the voice of the track suit, coming at once from nowhere and everywhere.

And it spoke these words:

“I am the anthropomorphic track suit you met at the mall. Your college coach knows a shit ton about training, so you should listen to them, but also listen to me, because you and your teenage dirtbag cronies could use a head check.”

And I carved it into stone.

  1. 1.Thou shalt drink plenty of water. For it is summer, and summer is hot. And water is good.
  2. Thou shalt respect the double. There shall come a time when one run is not enough. Then thou shalt do two runs. Just not too soon.
  3. Thou shalt not half step.
  4. Thou shalt not overdo it. Fall is for racing. Summer is for training.
  5. Thou shalt not underdo it. Eat the flesh of chicken nuggets and imbibe the nectars of Keystone, but in moderation. Thou must still run.
  6. Thou shalt run hills, and run hills often.
  7. Thou shalt run strides, at a slightly lesser frequency than thou runneth hills.
  8. Thou shalt abide by thy coach. If thy coach decrees a week of 80 miles, thou shalt runneth 80 miles, not 60, not 100.
  9. Thou shalt not PR in a race distance the first workout back on campus. Nobody cares for workout heroes. Least of all me, the anthropomorphic track suit.
  10. Thou shalt get the dumbassery out of thy system. Procure thy stupid hair cuts, ironic tattoos, and body piercings before the season begineth, for the season is no time for a staph infection or rat tail.



May 31, 2017

The National Spelling Bee and Track & Field: a moment of reflection



“Dumb? D-U-M-B. Dumb”

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.


“Glory days, well, they’ll pass you by”

Representation of the author’s physical and mental decay



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!


May 30, 2017

Citius Mag Presents: The Electromyography Nightmare Mile

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?

May 29, 2017

Weekend Power Rankings: Pre Classic, NCAA Regionals and more

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.

May 27, 2017

Eat like Pre while you watch Pre: an educated guess as to the legend’s diet

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.

May 25, 2017

In the Jared Leto Cinematic Universe, Cinematic Pre literally lives

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

May 24, 2017

Nobody’s been better at the Pre Classic than Maria Mutola

Check out the resume of the athlete who’s performed best at the Prefontaine Classic, the best track meet in America: Maria Mutola.

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