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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.

March 27, 2017

Debajo Dos: Paul’s fitness is lurking

Aesop once wrote of a farmer, whose goose laid a golden egg daily. He grew rich off of his fowl’s cloacal output. But one day, his greed drove him to slaughter the golden goose, hoping to harvest all of its golden contents at once. It was empty, and the farmer extracted no more gold. This parable keeps me up at night. I am the farmer. I am the goose. And my fitness is the egg. Am I getting too greedy? Is my task too ambitious?

Monday, March 20th

It’s a wild world when six miles no longer feels like a milestone.

Tuesday, March 21st

Hopped on the treadmill to bolster my aerobic fitness metrics. A five mile tempo later (at 5:40 pace) I walked out of the gym and straight to a neighborhood pizzeria a better version of my old self.

Wednesday, March 22nd

Woke up debilitatingly fatigued. Yesterday’s marathon session really zapped me of any vigor I once possessed. Went for a jog with Jeanne in a bullheaded attempt to plow through the wall of physical degradation.

Thursday, March 23rd

With my body still failing, I opted to play it safe — something I once vowed to never do — and gave my overworked mitochondria a rest.

Friday, March 24th

Apparently rest is occasionally what the doctor ought to order. I went for a nice jog with my friend and filmmaker RJ McNichols. I was shocked RJ didn’t ask to make a documentary about my efforts, but can’t fault him for being nervous around an athlete of my caliber. I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable asking me that same question. No worries, RJ, if you’re reading this, I have a 90-page script typed up and ready for production as a Lifetime original film. I of course, demand to be played by Moby. (You thought that was it for today, but you’re plum wrong. Fitness doesn’t rest, except for yesterday when it did. And I ran twice(!) today, with my second run featuring some sprints on the track.

Saturday, March 25th

A storm rolled down from the mountains as another was looming on the track… me. I did eight 200m intervals, starting around 32 seconds, and working down to 27 for the last one. Hurricane Paul took no human casualties but did burp up a little vomit at the end of this session.

Sunday, March 26th

Really threw caution to the wind by going for a long run the day after a brutal speed session, but that’s the cost of greatness. Nine miles on the day.

Fatigue was the name of the game this week, which saw me run nearly 37 miles. Two workouts? Strides? A long run? Do I have a death wish? No. I have a SUCCESS WISH. Next week should be a little lighter, as there are only about 20 days to go in my training cycle. Only god can judge me.

This is the eighth post in a series by Paul chronicling his journey to break the two-minute barrier in the 800 meters. Check out his previous post below:

Introducing Debajo Dos and one boy’s quest to run fast as heck 

Inside Paul’s first week of training

Paul has an acute gout flare up scare

Paul’s biggest week of mileage yet

Paul suffers from Runner’s Amnesia in New York

Paul braves the elements and Albuquerque

Paul addresses the critics and doubters of his world record attempt

Debajo Dos: One month left of work

March 25, 2017

Updates on Blue Jeans Mile Prize Purse

It seems more people are clamoring to see a sub-4:00 (or sub-4:36 for the ladies) than we had expected. So we’re going to keep tabs on the rapidly expanding prize purse here, instead of in the original announcement.

Stay tuned to this page for updates on how much you stand to gain financially just by donning a pair of non-elastic jeans and hitting the track. (Full rules and jean-criteria are listed in the original announcement.)

Paul Snyder – $200.

Craig Lutz – $200

Chris Chavez – $150

Zach Ornealas  – $100

Ryan Sterner – $100

Shane Conway – $100

Whoever Dumb Flotrack is – $100

Christopher Hough – $50

Running Revolution, Campbell, CA – $200

*If 4:00/4:36 are broken at the Schrader Mile, meet director Paras Shah will pay an additional $200 + $50 per athlete beaten while wearing jeans.

Current purse is $1,200*

March 24, 2017

Track needs a new gimmick: introducing the Blue Jean Mile

For far too long, track has waded around in the kiddie pool of obscurity. What if we’re already wearing the answer to bringing it to mainstream audiences?

March 24, 2017

Your favorite running songs with “run” or “running” in the title

We put together the top 50 songs with “run” or “running” in the title and you guys let us know which ones we forgot. Here’s a list of your favorites.

March 23, 2017

The musical secret to your fastest 5k ever

You’ve pounded the pavement to no avail. You’ve traipsed over your fair share of trails, fruitlessly. You’ve gulped down GU and freebased ferritin without a hint of improvement. You’ve meddled in meditation and maxed out your mantras, but your ills are not psychosomatic. For whatever reason, your race times have plateaued, you’re at your wit’s end, and don’t know where to turn to get over that hump.

Well maybe, the answer… is music?

That’s right, there may be an ideal cadence for running, and it’s been observed to be right around 180 steps-per-minute. One of the world’s foremost experts on endurance athletics, Jack Daniels, brought this discovery to light in his 1998 tome Daniels’ Running Formula, considered by many to be the bible of the sport. And ever since, athletes from Olympic-caliber studs to first-timers have improved their performance by normalizing their stride rate, regardless of pace.

That’s where runnin’ along to some groovy tunes comes in. Sure, you could run with a metronome, but a playlist comprised of 180 beats-per-minute songs will provide the same service in a far less annoying way!

So with that in mind, what if I told you the secret to running your best 5K ever might just be sitting at the bottom of your 31-year-old cousin Cody’s sock drawer?

No, I’m not talking about that baggie of oregano he bought from some teens behind the gas station that he occasionally pretends to get high off of.

I’m talking about his first-generation iPod Mini.

Because many of the same songs that Cody rocked out to while carving “KoЯn” into his desk in high school, just so happen to be recorded at the same tempo as your optimum running cadence!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to make an excuse to visit your aunt and uncle’s house, then sift through Cody’s sticky room to track down his performance enhancing MP3 player, because we’ve recreated its contents right here!

Go ahead and follow Citius Mag’s Fastest 5k Ever Playlist below, and be sure to share your finish line photo with us from your next PR performance!


March 23, 2017

Q&A with New York Times best-selling author Shea Serrano of The Rap Year Book

As he finishes up work on his second book, Basketball (and Other Things), Shea Serrano took a few minutes to chat about his running, Olympics, San Antonio

March 21, 2017

Here’s what happened when I scored Bruce Springsteen’s first seven albums like a track meet

Bruce Springsteen is the best but what’s the best album. Using the scoring system of a track meet, Paul Snyder examines The Boss’ greatest hits and albums.

March 19, 2017

Track needs celebrity fans

Every other sport has some famous fans. We think it’s time track gets some too, so we’ve laid out a few suggested celebs we think would play the part well

March 19, 2017

Debajo Dos: One month left of work

With week seven of training in the books and less than a month to go until showtime, I’m feeling pretty snappy. The past seven days have been probably the smoothest sailing of my heroic training block and in the process of training for one world record, I may have inadvertently set another. No, I’m not talking about me brazenly running seven days consecutively, although I’ll have to check on those stats. I’m talking about a 1,600 meter time trial I completed this past Wednesday. Read on, dear sports fans.

Monday, March 13th

Huge mileage day in Albuquerque with Jeanne along the Rio Grande. Eight miles.

Tuesday, March 14th:

Ill-advised back-to-back long run day, as Jeanne and our friend who is also named Paul once again breached the eight mile threshold. Sometimes you gotta flirt with that red line, careful not to cross it.

Wednesday, March 15th

The 1,600 meter distance is rarely contested and so I can’t imagine accurate records are kept for it. But I’m fairly sure my time trial today established a new world’s best. Four minutes and 38 seconds for the ol’ four lap fiasco. I limped off the track almost certain I’d been dismembered by quartering horses, but feeling exceedingly confident in my ability to go sub-2 in about a month.

Thursday, March 16th

Listened to my body and kept things under control with a four-miler featuring zen guru Stephen Kersh. I could feel small holes and fissures developing in my overstressed bones as we wrapped things up, so I consumed some protein-rich tacos after to reconstitute anything that had been decalcified through excessive exercise this week.

Friday, March 17th

Most athletes would have taken a few days off to give themselves cortisone enemas after an effort like mine on Wednesday. But not this athlete. Four mile tempo on the treadmill averaging about 5:35 pace, then hit the track to do some short sprints. Woof.

Saturday, March 18th

Probably should have rested. But my friend Ryan was in town and so this was a hospitality jog.

Sunday, March 19th

A much slower hospitality jog of a similar distance to yesterday’s, after being over-served at the Elk’s lodge in town during a charity trivia event the night before. (Our team tied for second and the sting of that defeat will surely fuel my fire for another couple of weeks.)

I won’t be surprised if after this nearly 40 mile week, I come down with consumption, the grippe, or conjunctivitis due to my bullheaded approach to life and sport. Many detractors have cautioned me against burning the candle at both ends… well I say to those naysayers to find yourself a more creatively designed candle or some burlier wax. Let me know if anyone wants that printed on a motivational t-shirt to wear to the gym or church.

This is the seventh post in a series by Paul chronicling his journey to break the two-minute barrier in the 800 meters. Check out his previous post below:

Introducing Debajo Dos and one boy’s quest to run fast as heck 

Inside Paul’s first week of training

Paul has an acute gout flare up scare

Paul’s biggest week of mileage yet

Paul suffers from Runner’s Amnesia in New York

Paul braves the elements and Albuquerque

Paul addresses the critics and doubters of his world record attempt

March 19, 2017

Welcome to Music Week

Indoor track’s over. Outdoor doesn’t fully pop off for a few weeks. We just skated through the Ides of March. And we have nothing running-related that we want to write about right now.

So we here at Citius Mag are about to employ my personal favorite pickup line on you, the reader, and we sure hope it’s effective:

“Do you like music?”

That’s right. You better.

Because this is now Music Week at Citius. And all week long we’ll be churning out the content you so desperately crave, with a musical twist. We’ll analyze the weird overlap of the track-music Venn diagram. We’ll publicly bicker over whether listening to music while running is bad or good. We’ll proselytize our own personal tastes in music. We’ll discuss if any songs written about running are halfway decent or not. And we’ll have some fun, share some laughs, ya know?

Let us know if there are any ideas you’d like explored, songs dissected, athlete’s musical tastes torn apart, etc, by shooting us an email.

And if this goes well, maybe we’ll do the Tom Hanks Week I’ve been advocating for since we launched.

March 18, 2017

Five things to do in an empty Times Square during the NYC Half

For 364 days of the year, Times Square is a hellacious cesspool. But during the NYC Half, it’s cleared out. We help you make the most of it.

March 18, 2017

Artin Black: WWII-era NYC’s Forgotten Running Folk Hero

Who was “Artin calisthenic marathon runner” and why did he send a partially clothed beach portrait to Fiorello H. La Guardia? Exploring little-known details of NYC running legend.

March 17, 2017

Central Park: a surface-level skimmed history

Home to six miles of this weekend’s NYC Half Marathon course, Central Park has long stood as a proxy for the highs and lows of New York City.

March 16, 2017

Meet the man who measures and marks tracks for a living

We tend to take for granted the accuracy of our local tracks’ distance & that its lines are reliable. Meet the man who gives us that peace of mind.

March 14, 2017

Debajo Dos: Paul addresses the critics and doubters of his world record attempt

Haters gonna hate. Paul Snyder details his latest week of training and addresses critics that believe he will not be able to break the 800m world record

March 13, 2017

Footrace Fever: Classic Races Regional Breakdown (Voting)

Enter the Footrace Fever Bracket Challenge and help us determine what is the greatest race ever. Vote now for your favorite classical race.

March 11, 2017

A ramshackle NCAA Indoor day two preview

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

   The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

   Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

   Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

   The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

   The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

   The best lack all conviction, while the worst

   Are full of passionate intensity.

-From William Butler Yeats’ “The Second Coming”

With Citius Mag founder, editor-in-chief, and supreme puppetmaster Chris Chavez on a weekend-long sabbatical, we — the schlubs of the Citius staff — are struggling to hold things together. Birthdays are fast approaching. Cross-continental trips in the name of love abound. And general deficiencies of character and skill are presenting themselves in the most untimely of fashions.

But the world cries out for more track & field content, so we will hobble onward, and with our death rattle, croak something out just shy of “pithy,” and off-center of “accurate.”

At 4:00pm CST, we’ll fire up both of my virus-riddled Dell laptop computers, and live tweet the second and final day of action from College Station, Texas. Will the Oregon women have a big showing, and pry the team title out of current leader Georgia’s hands? Will Cheserek win two more individual events? (He’s already the winningest individual in NCAA track history.) Will the other storylines we’ve hyped up also come to fruition? Tune into our Twitter page (@CitiusMag) to find out, instead of suffering through another day of ESPN 3 broadcasting.

As you absorb the happenings from the meet, one tweet at a time, just keep the following things in mind:

  • In the women’s mile, top- and second-ranked Kaela Edwards and Elinor Purrier both advanced to the final comfortably. But the race shouldn’t be a duel between them. Lesser seeded Therese Haiss and Karisa Nelson, among others, looked strong in the prelims and should keep things interesting.
  • On paper, Cheserek should take the men’s mile without too much concern. But as many of my youth basketball coaches would say to my clearly inferior teams, “that’s why they play the game.” Josh Thompson and Ben Saarel look best-poised to upset King Ches, but it’s a long shot of an upset.
  • In the women’s sprints, we’ll miss out on another Deajah Stevens crack at an American Record in the 200m, following her super lame DQ yesterday, but she can redeem herself in the 60m, along with teammates Ariana Washington and Hannah Cunliffe, who are slated to run both short sprints today. Oregon’s team title hopes depend on a strong showing from these women, as Georgia currently holds a big lead, thanks to their multi- and field-eventers.
  • Jazmine Fray should win the women’s 800m, as she’s the clear class of the field. On the men’s side, there isn’t quite as dominant a presence, and given how physical yesterday’s prelims were, really anything can happen. Expect lots of jostling and contact.
  • Both of yesterday’s 5,000m champions return to the track for the 3,000m today, and considering how strong both Cheserek and Karisa Schweizer looked over 25 laps, it’s not out of line to suggest they’ll win this one too. Challenging Ches most will be Justyn Knight and Marc Scott. And on the women’s side, DMR hero Dani Jones, along with Elise Cranny and Katie Rainsberger will keep things honest for Schweizer.
  • The fastest heat of the women’s 4x400m relay should be insanely good, and could even determine who wins the meet outright. USC, A&M, Oregon, and Alabama. That’s all.
  • After the meet, don’t miss the nationally televised (on ABC) Spurs vs. Warriors game, which will probably be a tremendous letdown for the casual fan. For the Warriors, Thompson, Durant, Iguodala, Curry, and Green are all out. And the Spurs aren’t suiting up Leonard, Aldridge, Parker, or Murray. As a San Antonio-native who enjoys watching unheralded role players stepping up, I’m just about vomiting in anticipation!
March 11, 2017

Citius Talks Tech: reviewing the new WADA app

Welcome to a new, sporadically-occurring column here at Citius Mag, “Citius Talks Tech,” where a randomly selected member of our staff will be talking about tech, and its intersection with the wild and wacky world of athletics.

Have a topic you’d like us to dissect? Simply do us a Twitter (@CitiusMag), but please, nothing too difficult, like “how do computers work?” or “what is a app?” 

Yesterday, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) launched a new app and platform called “Speak Up!” that the group hopes will encourage prospective whistleblowers to report perceived instances of doping violations, through its easy-to-use interface.

There’s lengthy press release, but the main takeaway is that Speak Up! is a pretty good idea from a confidentiality standpoint, in that it allows informants to open up private, anonymous correspondence with WADA, without having to use personal phone numbers or email addresses. That said, the fact that there is also an app feels like a somewhat ham-fisted attempt on the part of WADA to make snitching cool for millennials.

If you’re interested in poking around the Speak Up! Website (which lets you do everything the app does), feel free to check it out because I’m not writing anything else about it. The web is nothing new to a tech expert (henceforth, “techspert”) like me.

Instead, let’s venture over to the app, whose icon is pictured in the bottom right of this screenshot from my dang cell phone:

It’s worth noting that it looks like this app is about arranging pickles in a parallel fashion. It’s also worth noting that when you open the app up, it’s just the website:

Call me old fashioned. Call me a Luddite. Call me what you will. But I just don’t think apps are going to save the world, like some technocratic folks seem to. Out of the thousands (hundreds?) of apps that have been developed, maybe seven or eight are actually useful, and the rest are either bad, dumb, stupid, or apps for the sake of being apps.

All-in-all, if you’re looking to anonymously blow a whistle or wear a wire on behalf of WADA, stick to the tried and true methodology of cutting out letters from magazine articles and gluing them to a manila folder. 

But if you must use tech, just use the website, because it’s less likely to crash, and you’re less likely to mistake it on your home screen for that phone video game where you cut fruits and vegetables in half.

March 10, 2017

NCAA Indoor Champs: Day 1 Recap

Day one’s in the books. It was a good day full of surprises and unfortunate, retroactively enforced DQs (going forward, please don’t be a snitch). In both the men’s and women’s DMRs, the teams with the slowest 400m split actually wound up winning the whole thing! And Cheserek began his assault on the trifecta of 5k, 3k, mile (but not the quadruple as once speculated). For full results and tomorrow’s schedule and entry lists, click here. For some rapid-fire analysis from Jeanne and me, read on.

Oregon gets ducked over by DQ (still does well, anyway)

Going into day 2, Oregon only has 6 points, but they remain strong through their sprint squad and will be looking to collect on some of the top qualifying marks they had in the 100m and 200m (Hannah Cunliffe and Ariana Washington in both, and Deajah Stevens in the 60m). They’ll be hurt by Stevens being retroactively DQ’ed from the 200m, which stings even more, because it means her blazing collegiate and American records are now wiped off the board. How much time does stepping on an inside line really save, anyway? Oregon didn’t field anyone in the 400m.

(It’s also worth noting that the Oregon Ducks were probably banking on a W in the DMR which did not pan out, as well as Stevens getting them at least 8 points in the 200m. Could make them vulnerable from a team standpoint.)

Women’s 5,000m: The Schweizer Anti-Surprise

Notre Dame’s Anna Rohrer said no to pussyfooting and bravely took it out, basically from the gun, which eventually broke the race into a lead pack of her, Erin Finn from Michigan, and then Karisa Schweizer of Missouri right on both of their tails. The NCAA XC rematch separated from the rest of the field before even hitting 1600m and stayed in that formation until 4600m. That’s when Schweizer took the opportunity of lapping some of the other runners to swing wide and pass into first. The same head-tilting kick that won her the NCAA D1 Cross title this past Fall got her to the finish line in first with a 15:19.14. She closed her last 400 in 65, and Erin Finn went around Rohrer for second place with 15:27.36. Rohrer was third with 15:29.83.

Ches’s first W of the meet

It was an honest 5,000m pace-wise, and Tulsa’s Marc Scott (who wound up in second) looked very good. But at this point, Ches seems to be in a class to himself. He ran his two races today looking like a fella with a lot left in the tank, and waited until the very end of both to open up, do that weird thing with his hands, and start turning over. When that happens, it’s going to take a very special day from anybody else to hang on and give themselves a chance.


The DMR started out with Penn State, Indiana, LSU, Michigan, and BYU handing off on top. LSU took over in the 400 leg, splitting a 53.4 and mixing up the order a little. Michigan moved to second, Indiana was third, then Penn State, then BYU. Michigan took back over after the 800, but Oregon closed fast, running the second fastest 800 of the field in 2:05.04 to hand off for third, right behind Indiana. Wondering which team ran the fastest 800? Well, hold on to that question. Then came the last leg! The long one! And boy, was it a whopper. Indiana was in second, behind Michigan with Katie Rainsberger for Oregon taking the baton and looking calm when disaster struck! Indiana dropped the baton! Rainsberger made a move, which was immediately covered by Stanford’s Elise Cranny who expertly avoided the baton drop. Cranny was closing with a little less than 200 to go, with Rainsberger hanging on into the final stretch when out of nowhere, Dani Jones from Colorado came and STOLE THE SHOW and the crown. You guessed it, Colorado had the fastest 800m leg, splitting 2:05.02. And while Jones’s 4:31.71 split was enough to come from behind for the win, it was only second fastest in the field, with Notre Dame’s Jessica Harris clocking a 4:27.01 to move up from last to 8th place.

Three Cheers for the The Mustacheod Men of Ole Miss

After a physical 800m prelim from which he failed to advance, Craig Engels more than redeemed himself with the 1,200m leg for his Ole Miss DMR squad. Closing fast off a slow 61 second first 400m, he handed off in the lead with a 2:56 split. Some pandemonium ensued over the next two legs, as Ole Miss was promptly gobbled up by the field’s stronger 400m legs. Which let Sean Tobin drop the Irish Hammer over the course of his 800m leg. His 1:47 split brought the boys in blue back into contention, and set up his teammate, Robert Domanic, to capitalize on a fading Kyle Mau from Indiana. Domanic split 3:57, giving Ole Miss the win in an honest 9:31.32.

Those middling middle distances…

The women’s and men’s 800 meter and mile prelims went off with fairly few hitches. The usual suspects breezed into tomorrow’s women’s 800m final; Texas A&M’s collegiate record holder Jazmine Fray, Olivia Baker of Stanford, BYU’s Shea Collinsworth, and defending champion Raevyn Rogers of Oregon. You know the drill.

On the men’s side, 600m world lead holder Emmanuel Korir of UTEP showed a last-second gear shift that was really impressive. Penn State’s Isaiah Harris and Georgetown’s Joseph White also looked good, although the early rounds were pretty physical, and literally and metaphorically knocked out a few contenders, namely Florida’s Andres Arroyo, Ole Miss’s Craig Engels, and Virginia Tech’s Patrick Joseph who all failed to advance.

No real surprises in either the women’s or men’s mile prelims. The two women who have dipped below 4:30 both advanced easily (OK State’s Kaela Edwards & UNH’s Elinor Purrier). And on the men’s side Cheserek opened up his NCAA meet with an easy 3:59.30, which is totally understandable, given that he’s run over seven seconds faster this season. He has another gear that not many he’ll face in the final can summon, so it’ll be a surprise if anybody beats him tomorrow in this event.
And Texas A&M’s Fred Kerley ran the fastest 400m of the day, going 45.10. He already has run the fastest indoor 400m in the world this year. Today’s showing is good enough for the second fastest.

March 9, 2017

Some reasonable solutions to the NCAA’s trouble with ties

Yesterday, Twitter user Jake Hesson (@HessonJake) slid on into our DMs like a dawg and posed the following question:

Hey so I know NCAAs this weekend could be a possible tie on paper (FL vs Oregon). I’d love to hear about/know, what would happen if there actually was a tie.

Great question, Jake. We didn’t know the answer off the top of our heads, so we dove into the meaty .PDF document that is the NCAA’s 2017/2018 rule book and found… nothing.

Turns out there’s no protocol for breaking a tie in team scoring, so should Oregon and Florida tie, that’s it. The tie is not to be broken.

That doesn’t sit well with us. It’s called the National Championships. Not the National ChampionSship, ya know? So we — Paul, Jeanne, Stephen, Ryan, Nicole, Chris and Scott, the rule-loving, tie-hating members of the Citius Mag staff — have offered up some suggestions on how to best determine a true winner in the event of a team tie.

We want Malcolm: After his shockingly inaccurate performance for USA indoor predictions, it is only the most logical possible conclusion to allow Malcolm The Cat to decide the winner. Place him in the infield and whichever team’s huddle he meanders closest toward after five minutes gets the crown and the spoils and the cake. Which brings me to another idea: why on earth does the NCAA D1 champion team get a trophy instead a giant 100 pound cake with all of their faces on it? -JM

Rerun the entire meet as a dual meet: That’s right, everybody. Put those spikes back on and take off the Minions pajamas. You’re doing your event (or events) again. Potentially against nobody, if the team your team tied didn’t field anyone in your event. If it’s an Oregon-Florida tie, we get to see Ches basically solo nearly six miles worth of racing. It’s the cruel, sadistic solution we both need and deserve. -PS

A Human Pyramid: Since this is a question of who was the best team, the winner should be determined through a superior display of Teamwork. I’m taking a page out of Corporate Team Building books everywhere when I say there’s no purer exhibit of teamwork than erecting an enormous human pyramid. Plus, you have all the building blocks: sturdy throwers for the base and pale, feeble distance runners for the top. If each team manages to build a human pyramid of the exact same height, it then turns into a feat of strength and endurance, the winner crowned after the losers collapse. -RS

Coaches 4×400: Yeah, a coach from each event group has to run the 4×4. Sure, you might have more than four staff members. Cool, you have choices. You just can’t choose two coaches from the same event group to be on the relay. Everybody stands on the track and screams. Whoever wins this, wins it all. NB

A-Ha: Each team selects three team representatives. They all sit in a room and have to sit through every single Take On Me cover that is on Youtube. Last person standing wins it for their team. – CC

Bone Density: That’s right folks, the name of this game is: Bone Density. We all know this is the most important aspect of running, so why not settle a few days of racing, throwing and smiling

with some good old fashioned hopping. In an homage to vitamin D and collagen, each team will have their athletes hop on one foot until:

  1. Cowardice kicks in
  2. A tibial stress fracture

This is the right way to see who’s been preparing their bodies for a season’s worth of pounding the mondo and who hasn’t. This makes a lot of sense and should be adopted immediately. -SK

Democracy: Each member of the opposing team and coaching staff forms a nice, orderly line and casts a vote, Survivor Style. This, in my mind, is the truest test of team allegiance. Perhaps there’s a few people who just hate their teammates’ guts, or a coach with a personal vendetta against their Athletic Director. Maybe two star crossed lovers from opposing teams would rather die than see the other’s team lose. There will be inevitable cries of mutiny and I imagine more than one person will be thrown off the loser’s team bus while flying down the Interstate.

(We’re aware that teams come in all shapes and sizes. For the sake of this tiebreaker, a few people will have to sit out. We’ll round down to the nearest ten.) -RS

Video Games: If I know student athletes,and I did at one point, they love and live to game. Get some sports stars in a room with an XBox, Call of Duty and a Jay-Z/Linkin Park CD playing and chances are you’ll have to intervene after several days to remind them to eat, use the toilet, and bathe themselves. So why not settle the score on the track, by determining who is best at manipulating some joysticks. The meet’s host school must provide a 32” LCD TV purchased on special at Best Buy, one XBox 360 with four controllers, and any old video game. The teams then select their designated gamers, who will duke it out in the virtual realm, for the spoils here in meatspace. -PS

Alternates: Oh yeah. That’s right free-loaders, you’re on the hook. All of the alternates who traveled with the team for various relays must put down the soft serve ice cream and don a speed-suit for a winner-take-all Mile race. You’re a 400 meter runner? Deal with it. You’re a senior coming off a very bad injury and the coach just wanted you at the meet for “leadership?” Don’t care, not my problem. Lane seeding will be assigned by the amount of per-diem that you received and anyone who got more than $200 has to wait an extra 5 seconds after the gun goes off to start. -SO

March 9, 2017

The Citius Mag Guide to College Station

What to do, where to eat, where to drink and what to see if you’re in town for the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track Championships in College Station.

March 9, 2017

On the 20th anniversary of Biggie’s murder, track’s strange ties to the case

What we know about the case surrounding former Oregon track standout, David Mack who was a person of interest in the unsolved killing of hip-hop legend Biggie Smalls.

March 8, 2017

How to beat Edward Cheserek…(well almost)

In the spring of 2011, Edward Cheserek hadn’t quite become the household name he is today, mostly because he was, like, 15 or 16 years old and a high school student in New Jersey.

Me? I was an even lesser known college sophomore, whose name recognition has not really changed since.

On the evening of April, 22nd, he only beat me in a 5,000 meter race in Princeton, NJ, by five seconds, during the fastest 5,000m I’ve ever run and probably most objectively impressive athletic feat I’ve ever accomplished. Naturally, this makes me an expert on dethroning the King, ya know?

The first rule for beating Ches, is to go out slightly faster than your current PR pace and focus only on clicking off even splits. With 800 meters to go, begin your long, drawn-out kick. Since Cheserek is six years older and faster than he was when I didn’t lose to him by that much, you’ll then have to rely on two things: the first being that you are much better than I was, which shouldn’t be hard; the second is that you need a weakened Edward.

Through deceit and trickery, try luring him through some sort of warp in the spacetime continuum before the race, from which he will emerge a meek, teenage version of himself. That or have a bunch of friends leave favorable Yelp reviews for a College Station restaurant that almost assuredly gives most of its patrons botulism, then hope that the Oregon team selects its pre-meet dinner based on the strength of an institutions online reviews. For best results, try to artificially inflate the reputation for a place whose name follows the formula: Health Condition + Name + Household Location + Cuisine, i.e., One-eyed Larry’s Basement BBQ.


March 6, 2017

Debajo Dos: Paul braves the elements and Albuquerque

Paul Snyder’s world record training for the 800 meters continues despite snowfall in Flagstaff and a trip to Albuquerque for the U.S. Championships.

March 6, 2017

Citius Mag Does NCAA Indoors Week

We’ll have all sorts of content this week ahead of the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship before we will be on site to bring you coverage.

March 4, 2017

USATF Indoor Championships: Full Day 2 recap, analysis and results

The latest updates from the 2017 USATF Indoor Track and Field Championships from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Live blog, results, analysis, reactions.

March 3, 2017

In defense of takin’ er easy: Why slow races rock

Slow races make for relatable and great comedy. At the 2017 U.S. Indoor Championships, we explore why it might be better to not watch the clock.

February 28, 2017

Elon Musk, the Eatons and why we sort of think track’s first couple might be headed for the moon

There’s no way Elon Musk sends two normal people to the moon in 2018. We believe Ashton Eaton and his wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton will be on their way soon.

February 27, 2017

Debajo Dos: Paul suffers from Runner’s Amnesia in New York

Paul Snyder continues his Debajo Dos chronicles as he attempts to break the world record in the 800 meters. He suffered from Runner’s Amnesia in New York.

February 27, 2017

Welcome to USA Indoors Week!

This week, Citius Mag will be bringing you all the coverage that you need regarding the 2017 U.S. Indoor Track and Field Championships in New Mexico.

February 26, 2017

Edward Cheserek runs 3:52:01, sets mile collegiate record: Quick thoughts

Edward Cheserek of Oregon ran a collegiate record of 3:52.01 in the mile at the BU Last Chance Meet to beat a field of professionals. More analysis here.

February 25, 2017

No country for fast men: How a coin toss determined a race at Big-12’s

Yesterday, at the Big-12 Indoor Championships in Ames, Iowa, there was a tie for the 8th fastest preliminary time in the men’s 60m dash. Two athletes finished in 6.809 seconds. Without consulting any sort of rule book, my gut tells me a run-off would have been the logical means of determining which of the two men (Baylor’s Malik Wilson and Texas’s Charles Anumnu) should advance to the final. Instead, it was decided via coin toss that Wilson would move on.

tie big 12 60m final

This is crazy, but it’s also the most Texas way of making a decision. (I know this meet is being held in Iowa…but like, half of the teams in the Big-12 are from Texas.) And by extension, it’s kind of a stupid way of making a decision. We will quickly turn to popular culture to validate my correct opinion. (And beforefriday night lights anybody gets pissed at me for saying Texas is really dumb, I’m from San Antonio so I’m allowed to good-naturedly disparage my home state, okay?)

Having never seen the critically-acclaimed television series Friday Night Lights, I can confidently say the movie is better. I’ve heard snippets of conversation describing ridiculous plotlines from the TV program and yeah, the movie’s just way better. Explosions in the Sky’s soundtrack is wonderful and the version of “Your Hand in Mine” featured in the film (which has a string quartet backing) makes me cry with about a 75%-success-rate.

I digress.

In the superior film version, the Permian Odessa Panthers qualify for state via coin toss, held at some random truck stop, presumably because if people knew where it was happening, somebody would get killed. The movie wants us to infer that Odessa, Texas, doesn’t have anything going for it except its high school football team. So this is just a cruel way to either buoy or crush a town’s hopes. Why not go to like, point differential or something that takes chance out of the equation? People can live with defeat, so long as it’s earned.

The other example that immediately comes to mind is when Anton Chigurh, played by Javier Bardem, in the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men (based on the Cormac McCarthy novel), enters a West Texas gas station and threatens to kill the attendant, just based on the results of a coin toss.

“What’s the most you’ve ever lost in a coin toss,” he croaks to the frightened gas station-owner and it’s remarkably creepy. Bardem is perfect in this role and Chigurh is the best villain in any movie of the last 20 years, except maybe the mean prince from Shrek.

javier bardem no country for old me

Back to West Texas. The man facing death stammers around for a bit and eventually calls the right side of the coin. Chigurh tells him to keep the coin, as it’s now lucky. Crazy stuff. But the point is, that a coin toss shouldn’t decide life or death matters. Or really any matters.

There is always a way to make an informed decision in the world of athletics without turning to chance. The only acceptable time to act based on the landing of a coin, is if you can’t decide between Papa John’s and Dominos. And even then you should just go to Little Caesar’s and get a Hot-N-Ready. (We were not paid by Little Caesar’s for this but we wish we were.)

February 24, 2017

A Million Dollar Idea: Air Bud Meets Running

There’s 14 Air Bud films and none of them focus on running. It’s time to change that and here’s an idea for how to make it happen.

February 23, 2017

BU Last Chance Meet Preview: Races worth putting up with Pats fans

Previewing the action of the BU Last Chance meet. Edward Cheserek could attempt to break the collegiate mile record. The Bowerman Track Club heads East.

February 23, 2017

Heps: The Hype Behind the Good Conference Meet

What is Heps and why is it such a big deal? Paul Snyder, a Columbia graduate, breaks down the hype behind the Ivy league’s conference championships.

February 23, 2017

Debajo Dos Update No. 3: Paul’s biggest week of mileage yet

Paul logs his biggest week of mileage as his world record training continues.

February 17, 2017

New Jersey-New York Track Club sets new 4xMile World Record

The New Jersey-New York Track Club squad of Donn Cabral, Ford Palmer, Kyle Merber and Graham Crawford set a new world record in the 4xMile.

February 16, 2017

A Presidential Race: What if every U.S. president raced a 5K fun run?

What If Every United States President Raced a 5K Fun Run? Let’s have fun with history!

February 14, 2017

Just give NJ-NY Track Club the 4xMile world record already

NJ-NY Track Club will attempt to time trial their way to a new indoor 4 x mile world record

February 13, 2017

A penny for your thoughts: Who is track’s fancy dog and junkyard dog?

Who is track and field’s junkyard dog and fancy dog.

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