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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.

October 6, 2020

Bringing Ekidens to America May Be Just What The Sport Needs

The coronavirus has forced professional teams to get creative with their respective racing plans and the Michigan Ekiden is doing that.

October 2, 2020

WATCH: Night of the 5K – Presented by Trials of Miles x Bakline

Watch Olympians, world championship qualifiers and other pro and sub-elite athletes chase fast times at the Night of the 5K in New Jersey.

September 30, 2020

Bakline x Trial of Miles Night Of the 5K: Entries, Live Stream Information

Who to watch and how to watch the Bakline x Trial of Miles Night of the 5K featuring Donn Cabral, Colby Alexander, Allie Kieffer and more.

September 18, 2020

Mondo Hits New Heights, Minnesota Keeps Fighting, XC is Coming Back?

At the Rome Diamond League meet, Mondo Duplantis broke Sergey Bubka’s long-standing outdoor pole vault world record with a 6.15m clearance.

August 1, 2020

Run For Rivs, More Shoe Talk, Russia Canceled? + A Personal Best!

A look at the biggest news stories in track and field from Tommy Rivs’ battle with lymphoma, World Athletics changing its shoes rules again and more.

July 31, 2020

Run With Rivs Virtual Challenge – August 1st to 9th

A virtual challenge has been set up to raise money for the family of Tommy Rivers Puzey as he battles Primary Pulmonary NK T-Cell Lymphoma.

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

July 17, 2020

Let’s Give This A Try Again!

An attempt to re-launch a newsletter rounding up the biggest news from the track and field world with commentary and analysis by Chris Chavez

July 14, 2020

MVMNT Race Series Set For Boston

Races will return to Boston on July 18 with the MVMT Race Series featuring Molly Seidel, Natosha Rogers and Abbey Cooper.

June 5, 2020

Gwen Berry: Sport, Politics, Protest… and the Olympics

Gwen Berry shares an open letter on the truth and reasoning behind protesting at major global championship stages.

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.

May 1, 2020

Johnny Gregorek To Attempt Blue Jeans Mile World Record, Fundraising For National Alliance on Mental Illness

Johnny Gregorek will attempt to break Dillon Maggard’s 4:11.80 world record for the blue jeans mile on May 30.

April 16, 2020

Track Rewatchables: 2017 World Championships Women’s 1500 Meters

The 2017 World Championship women’s 1,500m final is underappreciated.

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.

February 26, 2020

A Historical Analysis of the Olympic Trials

Analyzing some data on the 34 men and 25 women US Olympic marathoners since the Trials system began in 1968.

January 31, 2020

Let Erin Run

Ivy League champion Erin Gregoire ran 2:42 at the Houston Marathon and was not accepted to the U.S. Olympic marathon trials.

December 30, 2019

One Quick Thing: U.S. Marathoning Decade Review

A quick look at some stats shows sub-elites are getting quicker in the United States.

December 16, 2019

Peter Snell Was a Legend

Peter Snell remains the only man in 99 years to have won the 800 and 1500 meters at the same Olympics. He died on Dec. 12. He was 80.

November 7, 2019

What is the Diamond League Doing?

Why the IAAF is totally missing the mark in cutting events from the 2020 Diamond League circuit

October 17, 2019

Unpacking Eliud Kipchoge’s 1:59:40 and the Great Shoe Debate

Should the IAAF ban the shoes worn by Eliud Kipchoge in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge? What are the rules? What’s next for the GOAT?

September 5, 2019

Heroines: Mary Decker Slaney

Recognizing some of the brilliant and most talented female distance runners in history. Examing Mary Decker Slaney.

July 1, 2019

“Road to the Olympic Trials” Podcast Debuts Next Week

The Rambling Runner Podcast is launching a new show following eight runners on their respective journey to the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

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.

June 12, 2019

What Brave Like Gabe Means to Me

Gabe Grunewald proved that in the face of adversity you have a choice to be optimistic and make the most of your time.

June 12, 2019

A Tribute to Gabe Grunewald

We often get caught up in the times and the places and forget what really matters in this life. Gabe never forgot. I’ll never forget because of her.

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.

May 7, 2019

Breaking Down Jim Walmsley’s 50-Mile World Best

A front-row look at the significance of Jim Walmsley breaking Barney Klecker’s American record for 50 miles, which stood for 39 years.

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.

April 16, 2019

Comparing Samuelson and Howe

61-year-old Joan Samuelson ran yesterday’s Boston Marathon in 3:04:00. That’s really fast. How fast? Age-grading calculators say that’s worth about 2:19 for a woman under age 35.

Her stated goal was to run within 40 minutes of the time she posted while winning the race 40 years ago. She did that and then some; she was less than 30 minutes behind the then-world record time of 2:35:16 she ran in 1979. That day she wore a Bowdoin College singlet and a backwards Red Sox cap, and she did the same yesterday.

Samuelson’s career accomplishments are unparalleled in distance running: Olympic marathon champion, multi-time world record holder, four-time Boston Marathon winner, and ageless wonder. There is only one athlete in any sport whose accomplishments are similar: Gordie Howe.

Howe was the greatest left wing in the history of hockey, and is one of three men in the discussion for the greatest hockey player ever. Let’s see how the two of them measure up.

EDIT: Samuelson qualified to seven Olympic Trials marathons, but only ran in four.

April 7, 2019

CITIUS Reads: ‘The Passion Paradox’ by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness

What we thought of The Passion Paradox by Steve Magness and Brad Stulberg.

February 24, 2019

Four quick things: volume II

Alrighty, I’ll jump right in here with my four quick things from today’s final competition at the 2019 USATF Indoor National Championships.

  • Donavan Brazier threw down
    • The Nike Oregon Project athlete absolutely crushed in the men’s 600 meters competition, running an all-time world’s best time of 1:13.77. There were six men in this final heat and five get paid, which is good work if you can get it.
  • Athing Mu is a world-beater
    • The 16 years-old athlete not only set a 2nd best ever world indoor time in the women’s 600m, she also crushed the existing indoor American record and walked down Raevyn Rogers, who has a 1:58 PB and has finished 2nd twice at US Championships.
  • Shelby Houlihan got her revenge race in
    • After finishing second in the previous night’s mile race, Shelby barnstormed the last mile of this evening’s two mile, slowly dropping the field. She appeared to be on a mission, and given that the slow heat was won in ~9:50, she was not going to leave much up to chance when it came down to getting the W.
  • Craig Engels does Craig-Engels-Things
    • After looking incredibly calm at the start line, Craig did the thing that he always seems to do, which is find himself in excellent position with 600 meters to go and slowly dismantle the rest of the field. His last 400m were run in ~54.X, his last 800m in ~1:52.X and finished in 3:59.69. The man fought off Henry Wynne and Johnny Gregorek for this title.
February 23, 2019

Four quick things

Without further ado, here are a couple of thoughts from the racing today at the USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships on Staten Island:

 

  • Clayton Murphy has the 1,000m in the palm of his hand
    • The NOP stand-out controlled his heat with a win, ran the fastest time in prelims and even had enough of a buffer to walk it in the last few steps. He’ll have to fight off the likes of Brannon Kidder, who had an excellent prelim as well, and Robbie Andrews, who despite having a bit of rocky start to the season got a little q for the final and can never be counted out.

 

  • Ajee Wilson is not here to relax
    • This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as she has won a US title indoors every meeting since 2013, but Ajee Wilson come out of prelims with the fastest mark, while also setting meet record in the 1,000m distance (2:37.96). She will be your favorite heading into the final.

 

  • The men’s 2 mile final was weird as hell (and I loved it)
    • So here’s the skinny: Drew Hunter, an arguable contender for the two mile title, entered the race without a seed time. This usually means, if there are multiple heats, you are in the slow one. Drew, along with his Tinman Elite teammates, proceeded to time trial the race and propel Drew to a meet record and world leading time of 8:25.29. The second heat then proceeded to take the first mile out in 4:25ish, all bur securing the victory for drew, as he watched from the sidelines. That’s Drew’s first US Title and one hell of a story.

 

  • Colleen Quigley out-Shelby’d Shelby Houlihan
    • It’s pretty wild that we got to the point where Shelby is the favorite after 1) not racing any indoor this season and 2) just winning the 10K Cross Country Championships on February 2nd. Shelby has been so dominant that despite these two aforementioned items, we all pretty much expected her to walk to another indoor title. After unsponsored Eleanor Fulton won the “B” heat in 4:33.47, the standard was set for the fast heat, which after going through 800m in ~2:19 or so, wound-up pretty quickly with a 2:10 last 800m. This is Colleen’s first track US Title, which is wild, considering she has been 8th at the Olympic Games in the steeplechase.

 

Follow us at @citiusmag on Twitter and Instagram for more good-ass content.

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.

February 17, 2019

Lane 9: The 5K World Records Smashed In Monaco

Julien Wanders and Siffan Hassan absolutely smashed the road 5K world records in Monaco.

February 11, 2019

Lane 9: MILLROSE GAMES WAS WILD

From Yomif Kejelcha’s near world record to Ajee Wilson’s American record…Breaking down the best moments from the 2019 Millrose Games in New York City.

February 8, 2019

Q&A: Sam Prakel Ran and Won A Lot of Miles in 2018, He’s Down for More

Sam Prakel gives insight into adjusting into his first season as a professional and living/training in Seattle.

January 22, 2019

Why Should Running Fans Care About Jim Walmsley’s 64-Minute Half Marathon?

Editor’s Note: Eric is one of Jim Walmsley’s training partners with the Coconino Cowboys. OK. Now that we disclosed that, here are his thoughts.

Jim Walmsley has recently been the recipient of more vitriol than any other runner. The hatred spewed in places like LetsRun and Twitter would leave you to believe, if you didn’t know any better, that Walmsley had taken everyone’s mother out for a nice seafood dinner and never called her again. I’ve never seen a runner’s success create such giant geysers of boiling bile. The nay-sayers might say he deserves it and, granted, they might have a point. After all, he comes off as more confident than might be warranted—maybe so confident that it seems cocky. And sure, he’s outspoken about his goals—perhaps to a degree that borders on arrogance. Maybe some people just don’t like the guy, and so that’s why they want to mitigate the extent of his successes or reduce his achievements. (One of my favorite hot-takes from his 64-minute run in Houston? “That just shows that the Olympic “B” Standard is SOFT.” Such a great take.) I’m not here to tell you that you should like Jim Walmsley. You don’t have to like him. But I’m here to suggest that you should respect how he’s accomplished an Olympic Trials qualifier. Because he accomplished the feat in a way that has never been done before.

UltraRunning, the preeminent magazine for the sport of ultrarunning, started an award in 1981 called Ultrarunner of the Year (UROY). A panel of judges will survey ultrarunner performances from the year and then vote to determine who was the best ultrarunner, male and female in North America. It’s a points-based system. Whoever has the most points that year will win the award.

Walmsley has now won the award three straight years (2016-2018). This is not unprecedented: he’s the third male to win three-straight times.

The International Trail-Running Association (ITRA) has a Performance Index that ranks runners, also on a point-based system, on the basis of their performances. For every trail race you run, an algorithm determines how many points your result was worth. Your best results determine your overall ranking in the ITRA Performance Index. It’s a worldwide ranking system.

Walmsley is currently ranked #1 in the world on the ITRA Performance Index. This is not unprecedented: other people, like Kilian Jornet, have owned the #1 world ranking at times.

Walmsley ran at the Air Force Academy and he graduated in 2012. He stopped racing on the track and road after college. Upon leaving college, and before he began racing ultramarathons in 2014, he owned personal bests of 13:52 in the 5K and 29:08 in the 10K. This is not unprecedented. Max King, the current 100K American record holder, has a 5K personal best of 13:56. There are countless other examples in the sport of ultrarunning: people have run very fast times at shorter distances on the track or road before stepping up to the ultramarathon distance. And there, too, are countless examples of people who have straddled both worlds, running very competitive times in both road marathons and trail ultramarathons in the same calendar year, or even the very same month.

For example, Max King had also run a 2:14 marathon years before he set the American 100K record. King ran in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials and also won ultramarathons that same year. Magdalena Boulet, a 2008 Olympian with a marathon best of 2:26:22, eventually turned her talents to ultrarunning and won UROY in 2015—the same year she won the Western States 100. Again, there are countless examples over the last several decades, on both the men’s and women’s side, of runners moving on from fast marathons and road times to ultramarathons and trails or continuing their road marathon careers while also running competitive times on the trails. But the opposite is not true.

No one has successfully dominated the sport of ultrarunning and then—and this is the important part—run competitive times on the road. There is no example of that sequence of events in the sport of running, save for one.

Let me be clear about what is being said here. There are many examples of men and women who have raced very, very competitively, and at a very, very high level on the roads or track, at distances from the 3k to the marathon, and then gone on to run very, very competitively and at a very, very high level in ultramarathons and on the trails. The converse is not true.

No one—with one exception—has raced very, very competitively, and at a very, very high level in ultramarathons and on the trails, and then gone on to run very, very competitively and at a very, very high level on the roads. No one has fully dominated the sport of ultrarunning—to the tune of three consecutive UROY awards, a #1 ITRA ranking and a course record at the prestigious Western States 100—and then run 64 minutes flat for the half marathon. Except for Jim Walmsley. (For context, during the last Olympic cycle, there were only 41 men who qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials by running 64 minutes or faster for a half marathon. That’s only about 20 guys, on average, each year.)

This is not to say that Walmsley is on the cusp of making a U.S. Olympic team. He has simply qualified himself for the Olympic Trials. He did so by running the slowest possible half marathon qualifying time. If Vegas were placing odds, his would be abysmal.

There’s no reason to think that Walmsley’s speed or talent have never been seen in the sport of ultrarunning. There’s no reason to think he has the speed or talent to make an Olympic team. But there is very good reason to give him a great deal of respect, for he has accomplished an order of events that the running world had never before seen. Keep in mind that prior to Sunday in Houston, Walmsley hadn’t raced a road half marathon since high school. He hadn’t raced on the track since 2012. He’s still never raced a road marathon. Instead, he terrorized the sport of ultrarunning with complete dominance from the 50K to 100-mile distances. Only then, after he was one of the best ultrarunners in the world, if not the best, for years, did he race a shorter distance on the road and run a competitive time.

To paraphrase a recent tweet from one of my favorite Twitter trolls: You don’t have to cheer on Walmsley for his successes, but if you’re actively cheering against him, you might be a douchebag. To make the point slightly differently in my own words: you don’t have to be impressed by Walmsley’s 64-minute half marathon, but you should care about the way he did it, and you should respect him for it, because it was groundbreaking.


UPDATE: Since publishing the piece on Tuesday, our informed readers have noted at least one person – Ann Trason. The legend’s trajectory in the sport is similar to Walmsley’s. She won Western States 14 times in her career and qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on three occasions. The author’s point remains that Jim’s trajectory is very rare, if not unique on the men’s side of the sport. The author welcomes further feedback on Twitter: @goodsenseruns or email us at [email protected].

January 21, 2019

LANE 9: HOUSTON, WE’RE BACK

Breaking down all the top results and storylines from the 2019 Houston Marathon and Half Marathon.

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