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Written features from the writers of CITIUS MAG

June 22, 2022

High School Championship Meets, Explained

It can be a confusing time to be a high schooler deciding whether to run New Balance Nationals, Nike Nationals, Brooks PR or Adidas Outdoor Nationals.

August 11, 2021

Invisible Strings: Robyn Stevens’ Long Road To A Dream Fulfilled

Robyn Stevens on celebrating the different struggles that can lead to high points in life like her comeback and making the Tokyo Olympics.

August 2, 2021

Video and Visual Storytelling with R.J. McNichols

Documentary filmmaker R.J. McNichols shares his tips and advice on his eye for visual track and field storytelling.

August 2, 2021

With Or Without The Mask, Raven Saunders Is Always Herself

Olympic silver medalist Raven Saunders represents so much more than what you see when she’s competing. She knows that and values it.

July 30, 2021

The Gold Standard: Kaylin Whitney

In 2016, Kaylin Whitney failed to make the finals of the Olympic Trials in the 100 and 200 meters. How she found her groove as a pro.

July 15, 2021

The Art of the Interview with Lewis Johnson, Ali Feller and Chris Bennett | The Magic Boost

Podcast host Ali Feller (Ali on the Run), NBC’s Lewis Johnson and NIKE global head coach Chris Bennett shares what makes them great interviewers.

July 13, 2021

Helping Athletes Amplify Their Voice | The Magic Boost

Michelle Sammet, who works closely as a communications consultant and content creator with SPIKES & World Athletics, shares her experience with athlete storytelling.

June 30, 2021

The Concept of Story | The Magic Boost

University of Oregon professor Lori Shontz helps unpack the concept of story and why great stories are specific and universal.

March 1, 2021

What We Learned At The Trials of Miles Texas Qualifier

David Melly unpacks how key storylines developed at the Trials of Miles Texas Qualifier on and off the track.

February 19, 2021

Book Reviews: ‘26.2 Miles to Boston’ and ‘Let Your Mind Run’

Jesse Squire reviews the books Let Your Mind Run by by Deena Kastor and 26.2 Miles to Boston by Michael Connelly.

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.

November 24, 2020

I Like Track (And So Should You)

People asking “How do you make track more entertaining?” are asking (and answering) the wrong question. Track is entertaining.

July 24, 2020

Michael Norman’s 9.86, More Whereabouts Failures + Bowerman PRs

Unpacking everything from Michael Norman becoming the first American under 10, 20 and 44; Bowerman Track Club’s third intrasquad meet + more podcasts

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.

March 17, 2020

A Letdown

We’ve got time spent inside, at home, to just think and feel and be. It seems like a curse that I’m trying very hard to turn into a blessing. 

March 8, 2020

A Good Rabbit is Hard to Find

With the Olympics looming, and therefore qualifying-standard-chasing upon us, as well as runners everywhere hoping for new PRs, well-paced races are a necessity.

March 5, 2020

Belonging | A Day at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

Jenny Donnelly delivers a play-by-play account of one of the best days of her life at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

January 30, 2020

Good Morning, Central Park! It’s Me

It’s just how the NYC running community works- someone knows someone who’s friends with someone, and now you’re friends that run together.

January 24, 2020

Less Than 40 Days Till The Trials

A brief training update with less than six weeks to go until the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

December 10, 2019

On Trying (and Failing) to OTQ

David Melly reflects on his marathon debut where he went after the 2:19 Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier.

October 18, 2019

The Best and Worst Things About Marathon Training Thus Far

For a marathon rookie, here are some of the best and worst things about training experienced thus far.

July 3, 2019

CREW LOVE: The Team Behind Stephen Kersh’s Western States Run

A look behind Stephen Kersh’s seventh-place finish in his Western States Endurance Run debut.

June 26, 2019

Half-Tights vs. Short-Shorts: A Definitive Guide

It’s a debate as old as the sport itself: What to wear, and when. In particular, [male] [distance] runners have, since the dawn of time, spent long runs and locker room time debating the relative merits of short-shorts and half-tights. Do you want to show off your newly-inked team hip tattoo as your gangly, pale legs fly through intervals? Or do you want to showcase your best assets with form-fitting spandex that sends Bible-belt parents complaining to their athletic directors? The choice is yours.

You could argue that what you wear doesn’t matter nearly as much as the effort you put in, but that’s not nearly as fun as digging your heels unnecessarily deeply into an extreme position and arguing passionately against anyone who might disagree with you. The more arbitrary and inflexible the rule, the better.

As host of the Run Your Mouth podcast, I occasionally ask our guests what their half-tights versus short-shorts (or bun huggers, or short tights for our female guests) preferences and policies are, which has helped inform the guidelines below. As a disclaimer, this particular piece is largely focused on the apparel sported by male runners – for many reasons, I would not presume to tell women what to wear and when but I’d eagerly anticipate a follow-up post if anyone would like to make one

At the end of the day, rules were meant to be broken. If you’re good enough, you can pretty much get away with wearing whatever you want, which has resulted in a resurgence of sprinters in short-shorts and the rise of the distance-runner speed suit.

Races: The general rule when it comes to racing on a track is as follows: if you’re trying to feel speedy, wear half-tights. If you’re trying to feel smooth, wear short-shorts. The roads are more complicated and weather dependent, and despite the historical popularity of shorts, the trend in the marathon lately has moved toward half-tights over 26.2. If it’s good enough for the GOAT, it’s good enough for you.

  • By distance: 
    • >3000m: short-shorts.
    • <3000m: half-tights.
    • 3000m: half-tights if steepling.
    • >10 miles: half-tights if chafe-prone.
  • By temperature:
    • >50 degrees: short-shorts
    • <50 degrees: half-tights

Workouts: If you care about your hamstring health, always err on the side of extra warmth. Take notes from the sprinters, distance crew: Long tights for warmups in almost any conditions. If it’s warm enough to take your shirt off, shorts are allowable, but if it’s a “speed day” I still recommend half-tights for the confidence booster.

  • By temperature:
    • >60 degrees: short-shorts
    • <60 degrees: half-tights
  • By color: 
    • You can wear either a racing singlet or racing bottoms in a workout, but never wear a full matched uniform in a workout. You’ll look like a nerd.

Easy runs:

This one is simple. There is one rule for easy run apparel (assuming it’s warm enough that long tights aren’t necessary):

  • Wear whatever is clean and available.

Additional words of wisdom:

    • When to tuck your shirt: In shorts? Dealer’s choice. In half-tights? Only if you’re Sam Parsons.
    • Short-shorts over half-tights: Never. Leave that particular fashion choice in middle school where it belongs.
    • Shorts length: I disagree with my colleagues on this one. Running shorts should be split and max out at 2-inch seams. Anything longer belongs on the basketball court.
    • Runderwear: You may have noticed that people run with sports underwear under their shorts, even if said shorts have a built-in liner that serves the same purpose. This may seem foreign to you, but that’s because it is: For reasons passing understanding, runderwear is almost entirely an international phenomenon, one Americans rarely employ. I don’t know why this is a universal rule, but it is.

These rules are ultimately subjective, but please don’t let that stop you from angrily disagreeing with me on Twitter. And feel free to send along your own set of sartorial guidelines – the more silly and irrational, the better. Happy summer!

June 25, 2019

Trying to Find the ‘Why’ in 100 Miles

Stephen Kersh will be lining up at Western States for his first 100-mile race. Why? He’s still figuring out the answer.

June 18, 2019

A Pride Month Ode to Nikki Hiltz and Therese Haiss

The sport needs more athletes like Nikki Hiltz and Therese Haiss.

May 29, 2019

Summer Reading List: 100 Books All Runners and Track Fans Should Read

From Once A Runner to Endure…Jesse Squire has compiled a comprehensive list of required reading for all track and field, running fans.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
May 10, 2019

Kyle Medina Knows About Falling And Getting Back Up

Kyle Medina is one of the newer faces of Tinman Elite and this is his story.

April 17, 2019

Meet the Photographer Capturing Shots of Eliud Kipchoge and the NN Running Team

Meet the photographer responsible for many shots of the NN Running Team, Eliud Kipchoge and the world’s best runners.

March 7, 2019

Tokyo Marathon 2019 – The Process Pays Off

Reflecting on my 21-minute personal best from the 2019 Tokyo Marathon.

February 19, 2019

Christmas in July: The Pacific Pursuit 10,000m

It was President’s Day in San Diego and a few of America’s best distance runners gathered to run a fast 10K.

January 15, 2019

The Arrival of David Elliott

David Elliott may be the best runner in America without support of any kind. Who is he and what does he want from the sport?

December 13, 2018

Club Cross Country Nationals: The Best Party in American Distance Running

The USATF Club Cross Country National Championships are for the people who bear themselves to the unforgiving reality of a cross country race.

December 1, 2018

Here’s to the blue collar runner

EDITOR’S NOTE: Noah Droddy (fast) has been a Citius Mag supporter since day one. That’s why when he sent us this blog ahead of CIM, we decided to throw him a bone. Let that be a lesson to the rest of you. 

It is 5 AM and I am sound asleep, but the bed I share with Emma is already half
empty. She has had her first cup of coffee, and by now is likely running loops of a
nearby park in the pitch dark. She did it yesterday too. She’ll do it again tomorrow.
Day after day she toils in the still dark. She will finish just in time to shower, eat
quickly, one more cup of coffee and head out the door for a full day teaching at a
Boulder preschool. After school, she will train again. After a brief moment to
decompress and dinner, she’s in bed early to prepare for the same routine

Why? An Olympic Trials qualifier. The gold standard of the post-collegiate athlete.
Emma is an accomplished athlete, having finished 39th at the 2016 Olympic
Marathon Trials, and she has always balanced her training with some amount of
work and school. But this time would be special; the barriers to marathon fitness
were especially high. A full time demanding job, graduate studies, a sore hamstring,
and a needy boyfriend waiting on the couch at home – enough to scare a mere
mortal into adult recreational sports. But not Emma. She chose to do this because it
is hard.

The California International Marathon has shined a spotlight on the citizen runner.
The runners laying down fast times while holding down full-time jobs. In distance
running, we keep the “blue-collar runner” in the highest esteem. Why? Well,
probably because they are motivated by the love of the sport, and the pursuit of their
absolute limits. Not sustained by dreams of big money or fame, their ambition is
pure. They have done their absolute best in difficult training circumstances, and no
doubt many of their performances will still rank among the best the USA has to
offer. The idea that someone could love something so much and pursue it with such
tenacity and sacrifice in the name of personal satisfaction inspires the imagination.
It forces fans and competitors alike to ask themselves – what am I really capable of?
What do I really want?

Everyone says that just getting to the start line of a marathon is a win in itself.
Surviving the demands of the buildup and showing up healthy enough for a 26.2
mile race is extraordinarily difficult in the best circumstances. I agree with that –
seeing Emma start that marathon will be an emotional moment for me, knowing
what she went through just to get there. But I know she wants more, the start line
will mean less to her. That’s how we’re wired as competitors, and the mission
isn’t over at the start line. So I’ll cheer her on with vigor all the way home. Because
of what this means to her, because of what she means to me, and because of what
runners like her mean to the sport we all love.

So here’s to the blue-collar runner, but specifically to my blue-collar runner. Emma,
you inspire me daily. I strive to emulate your toughness. You have taught me to find
joy in my work when at first glance I can’t see it. You have taught me to appreciate
what I have. Your buildup has made me a better athlete, a better person. May you
and your competitors have the races you all deserve this Sunday. I am tremendously
proud of you no matter what. To the moon.

November 20, 2018

How serious should you take your local Turkey Trot?

Why you should care about your Turkey Trot?

November 4, 2018

Scott Fauble is good at the marathon

Scott Fauble has never been the guy everyone talks about, and that’s fine but let’s take notice of him now.

October 19, 2018

A Farewell to Former Times: Advice from a Washed Up (Almost) Has Been

Tim Cummings dedicates this piece to those who struggle dealing with emotions and their identity as a runner.

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?

September 19, 2018

Eliud Kipchoge called his shot

The origin of the Called Shot, as it relates to modern sports talk, dates back to a New York World-Telegram headline that read “RUTH CALLS SHOT AS HE PUTS HOME RUN NO. 2 IN SIDE POCKET.” This headline, of course, ran after game three of the 1932 World Series when (sure, I know this is disputed, but for the sake of history and not being a stick in the mud, we’ll believe the rest of this story) in the top of the 5th inning, the Great Bambino pointed to center field and then slapped the next pitch 440 feet into nothing but Wrigley Field grandstand.

The man called his shot. The man then did exactly what he said he was going to do.

This trope plays out in sports all the time, though it takes many different forms: Cassius Clay driving to Sonny Liston’s house in the middle of the night just to tell him he’s going to kick his ass. Michael Jordan closing his eyes before a free throw and saying, “Hey Dikembe, this one’s for you baby.” The 40-year old white guy at your local YMCA screaming “game” as he releases from Steph Curry-distance, game tied 19-19, then actually drills it.

Displays of confidence, earned or unearned, are heralded. The anything-can-happen quality is what makes sports fun. Upsets and close games are what keep us watching. But there is something to be said, and I’d say arguably more entertaining, about witnessing a sporting hero declare their intentions, and then watching them deftly navigate through the chaos to land safely, exactly, where they said they would.

This is what I saw on Sunday in Berlin. I watched as Eliud Kipchoge called his shot, and then went out and ran faster than any human had ever done before him. He denied going for a world record, instead opting to say he was looking for a “personal best.” But then Kipchoge asked for world record pace — the rabbits would go out in 61-minutes for the half marathon. This was Eliud calling his shot in a truly Eliud way. But unlike shooting a free throw or swinging at the next pitch, we’d have to wait for nearly two hours to see what he could do.

I caught a glimpse of him at the 5km mark, flanked by three pacers, where he already had 10 seconds on the field. Behind him was Wilson Kipsang, the second name on the bill, who already looked cooked.

By the halfway point I was sitting in a beer garden near the finish line where they had the race projected onto a huge inflatable screen. The early morning crowd, half intoxicated at that point, watched him clear halfway, down to a single pacer, in 61:06, just six seconds off his intended goal and more than a minute clear of the 2nd place runner.

Calling your shot doesn’t always go as planned. There is that now-infamous GIF of Nick Young launching a three-pointer from deep, then turning around to walk away with his arms in the air, not bothering to watch as the ball bricks off the back iron.

The running equivalent would be just not bothering to go with the rabbits. No one would blame Kipchoge for blowing up, as there are plenty of opportunities to do in the marathon. But at the halfway mark we realized that this was not a Nick Young-level attempt at calling your shot. He was going for it, and we’d either watch him blow up or get the record.

The next time I saw him I was standing on the photo bridge behind the finish line. He was hammering towards the finish, fully enveloped in the moment. After running for a little over two hours, Kipchoge was slapping his chest, arms outstretched as he broke the tape in 2:01:39. Covered in salt, the man who had just averaged 4:38 per mile for 26.2 miles sprinted to his coach Patrick Sang and covered his face in what was probably a few different emotions. Disbelief? Elation? Sweet relief?

Not all world records are equal. We can’t immediately recall how all of them were set, what kind of build-up led to the moment in time where someone did something no one else had ever done. Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record, however, has the intangibles — those things we can’t quite reach out and touch that make something special.

People that you probably don’t want to meet at parties will tell you that it’s because of Nike and their never ending marketing campaign. But for me, and hopefully for the rest of you, it’s because we watched someone at the peak of their talent, calling his shot like one of the greats and then gently closing his eyes with a grin before executing completely, unquestionably, beautifully, what he set out to do.

September 4, 2018

Feast Your Eyes On The Best Cross Country Roster Portraits – Part X

The return of our hit series. We round up the best cross country headshots and portraits and roast them just a little.

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